The Tuesday House

The house was only there sometimes.

Pau had first noticed it on a hunting run on a rainy day and had, when the rain became too intense, hidden under its very broad overhangs.

The next time up the mountain, Pau tried to find the house — but nothing was there.

Pau didn’t go up the mountain every day, only when food was needed and the weather was supposed to be good (or when food was really needed and the weather wasn’t supposed to be horrible ), and not on any particular schedule, since sometimes the hunting came down the mountain on its own and sometimes a trader passed through their little settlement and then they had things like cheese and sausage and, sometimes, spices.

It took seven more trips for Pau to find the house again.  This time, a rabbit was running particularly wildly and Pau had, perhaps unwisely, started to chase it instead of just waiting for a more sensible prey.

Pau nearly ran into the house.  There it was!  Pau noted the location carefully in relation to the sun, the mountain peaks nearby, and the two old broken towers to the south.  This was right where Pau had looked for the house before.

There was a sign over the door, but Pau did not read.  Pau’s expertise was in hunting and trapping and the dealing with the results thereof, not with words.  Pau circled the house twice for lack of other information.

It had glass windows in three sides – none in the back, which was  more or less north-facing and nearly pressed against the mountain.  It had shutters which were closed over all but the front windows, but Pau peeked.  On the eastern side, under the overhang, wood was stacked from front to back of the house.  The western overhang, where Pau had hidden from the rain, remained as it had been, mostly empty.  The southern side had a broad covered porch with a swinging chair on one side and a small garden of pots on the other.

Mouth watering, Pau picked a strawberry.  Even though the season was long past, the strawberry tasted perfect.

The door swung open; Pau jumped.  A woman smiled from the other side of the door, dressed in strange and brilliant clothes but looking not all that different from the people of Pau’s village.

“Welcome.”  Her words sounded strange, but somehow Pau still understood her.  “This is the Tuesday House.   Come on in and sit a spell.”

Pau fled like the rabbit that had led here in the first place.

It was days and then days later when Pau found the place again, days before the nerve had been strong enough, days again until the house had been there.  This time, Pau sat on the steps of the porch; the door didn’t open. 

The next time, Pau hid under the overhang.  There was a chair out there now, and a barrel, so Pau sat, but did not snoop too much.

The weather was cold and the prey thin on the ground when Pau finally stepped onto the porch again.  The porch was notably warmer than the ground below, and the door opened immediately.

“Welcome to the Tuesday House – ah, you again.”  The woman’s smile was amused.  Pau nearly ran again.  “Come on in.  Stay a while and warm up and perhaps I will tell you the story of this place.”

Written to D. Moonfire’s prompt here: https://octodon.social/@dmoonfire/102294310774929293 

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