Submitted into Contest #119 in response to: Set your story in a silent house by the sea.... view prompt


Mystery Suspense Crime


From the glass facade the sea seemed to enter the house, which, despite its transparent façade, had almost the appearance of a beach cottage, a red brick cottage with a sloping red roof, on which three chimneys stood ( out), and on each chimney, a cockerel windbreaker ( a cockerel wind vane). On the ground floor of the beach cottage ( house), which would be more appropriate to call…sand floor, there was a wide room, perhaps a study, perhaps a kind of living room, furnished exclusively with all white furniture, all of strictly geometric shape. A long and large desk, white like the rest of the furniture, dominated the room. There was no chairs or armchairs ,.but a lot of colorful pillows were scattered on the glass floor. From under the glass floor, where it was not covered with the colorful pillows, plants, flowers, and even motionless fish and mollusks, which had to be embalmed or fossilized, could be seen . It was as if those plants, those flowers, and those motionless ( embalmed) fish and mollusks too, were looking out into the room from under the floor. On the walls of the room, of which only the one on the façade was made of glass, the others were made of bricks, videos with framed ( views) of the sky and the cosmos were dazzling ( flashing). Next this wide room there was a bathroom, with a large  pink  porcelain bathtub with gold decorations. In the large pink bathtub, full of water, fish of various ( different) sizes were swimming. Together to small goldfish there were also trout, mandarin fish, seahorses….and mackerel, pike, turbot fish.

On the first floor of the beach cottage ( house) there was the bedroom, where the most important piece of furniture was a big ( great) wooden wardrobe , which looked like quite old.  And in fact to see it up close, you would have noticed that the wood ( of the old wardrobe) was warm eaten. It seemed there was no one in that strange house, almost a cottage, by the sea  except a big red cat curled up comfortably, placidly, on a yellow pillow on the floor of the wide room ( at the ground floor) . The red cat, big and florid,  seemed to be asleep, but perhaps he was only dozing. His muzzle ,lying ( stretched out) on the pillow, had an air ( expression) so delighted, so blissful that  you would have said that the cat was smiling. A very little fly, with glistering wings, placed its very tiny paws on the cat nose. He, the placid , chubby red cat slightly wrinkled his nose, but he remained with his body in the same position, he didn’t try to chase away the fly.

A small goldfish dared out of the pink porcelain bathtub, it jumped high above the water of the bathtub, arching its body, waving its tail, then the goldfish  jumped back into the water of the bathtub.

In the bedroom , on the first floor, one of the doors of the old wardrobe began to open slowly, creaking.  As the door was opening first a manikin appeared, then another manikin, then a third one ( manikin). The manikins had female bodies, and they were dressed only in a short white tunic. They, with female like bodies, had heads, but ( they had) no face, no eyes, no mouth, no nose, and no hair too. There were some other rows of manikins behind the one that had appeared  when the wardrobe door was completely open. ( the wardrobe compartment looked rather deep.)

In the wide room on the ground floor the red cat, with his eyes still closed, stretched out one foreleg, then the other one, then lifted his head just a little from the pillow and, squinting his eyes, shook his head vigorously, as if he had to get rid of a weight. Then the cat yawned, opening his mouth wide. The cat pulled himself up and sat on his hind legs, keeping the front legs straight, the feet resting on the floor. He turned his gaze ( look), and his muzzle too, towards the glass door, His face took on an expression between the thoughtful and the ecstatic. A large vine leaf was slammed by the wind on the glass wall, now higher, now lower. The red cat seemed  to be enchanted by that leaf, his pupils lengthened, becoming two slits.

Meanwhile in the bedroom, upstairs, from inside the wardrobe, from behind the manikins lined up in the front row came out someone who, in body and in clothing was identical to the other manikins but who, unlike them, , had also face and hair, someone who could be a woman instead of a manikin. But when this one, who could be a woman, came out of the wardrobe, her movements, her steps did not make you think of a woman but rather of a manikin, or, in any case, of an artificial being. Even the face, motionless, looked more like that of a doll than  that of a woman. This kind of doll, but it could also look like a woman, went down the stairs, which led to the ground floor, with the steps all the same one after the other. When she entered the wide room, which was perhaps a living room, perhaps a study, the red cat was standing, upright on his hind legs, to the glass wall, and he tried to catch the vine leaf, that, beating by the wind, kept going up and down on the outside of the wall. A goldfish was gasping on the floor.

The doll with the features of a woman left the house and started walking into the sea that stretched out in front of the house.

Meanwhile in the wardrobe, in the bedroom , among the manikins with female bodies, a woman appeared, with a rope around her neck and her body bleeding from wounds.

When that doll or manikin , which looked like a woman, disappeared in the sea, submerged by the water, in the glass façade of the house a hole appeared, with chipped edges, as if from a gunshot.

The sound of a ship’s siren could be heard from afar, when a white horse came, running, in front of the house with three chimneys.  The red cat jumped out of the house and started schasing after the white horse.

In the house by the sea the woman with the noose around her neck  and her body bleeding from wounds fell into the stairwell.

November 13, 2021 04:18

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Kathy Philpott
03:54 Nov 18, 2021

I enjoyed hearing about the beach cottage. Although I admit, the cat's character was well thought out and engaging more than the other characters. But, keep believing that your reader is intelligent; never underestimate us.


Mara Masolini
18:14 Nov 19, 2021

Thank you for what you write, a lot of thanks. I find you're too good Every time I get your comments I would like to tell about my situation, to say WHY at my age ( advanced age) I started writing in a language that is not mine, that I know only a little.....Every time I would like but I can't....Then I can say only that Reedsy Prompts is a very good thing for me, which I would like to have met sooner THANK YOU


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