In the evening Emily sat with her mother in the sitting room in front of an open fire. She had been hoping to find a secret door somewhere in the cottage but there was nothing.
The kitchen was old but too ordinary to have anything as wonderful as a secret door. An iron stove sat coldly in the corner, clashing with the modern refrigerator. There was a row of cooking utensils hanging on the wall. On the mantelpiece were a couple of ornaments and photographs.
Emily had studied the photographs but they were just a bunch of old people with stony faces sitting upright and stiff. Above the mantelpiece was a painting of a forest. She had only glanced at it quickly. It was just another boring landscape painting.
She turned the page in her novel and tried to focus but the fire made her sleepy. Emily stifled a yawn.
There wasn’t much to see in the sitting room either—just the usual stuff found in an old person’s home—more photos, lots of lace doilies and ornaments and the oldest furniture Emily had ever seen.
But no secret door.
Emily put the book down and looked around the room again. A tapestry hung on the wall but when she had looked behind it earlier there was nothing. The opposite wall was lined floor to ceiling with a bookcase. Most of the spines were brown and dusty.
She was about to turn back to her book when she noticed something glowing high on the bookshelf. Emily sat up but the glow had disappeared. Maybe it was just reflection from the fire. As she studied the shelf, there it was again. Just a glimmer for a moment before it disappeared.