Door #1 (last seen on Aug 4th)
The rain started pouring down as Irene trailed after Haily and Frankie. Reaching in her rucksack she tugged out an umbrella, trying unsuccessfully to squelch her laughter as the other two broke into a run. She did hurry up, not wanting them to get to the unknown house before she got there. She caught them just as they reached the path leading to the front door.
Even in the storm with granite clouds behind it, the house looked friendly and normal. Catching a glimpse of Haily’s face, Irene could see she looked disgusted. Of course, that could be because she was dripping and Irene wasn’t. Frankie went up the steps, ignoring the puddles drowning his shoes. He knocked firmly on the door. Haily joined Irene under the umbrella and they hung back as Frankie knocked again. He waited, then shrugged as he looked at the girls.
“Don’t think anyone is here.”
“Probably a summer home or camp,” Irene said.
Haily darted towards one of the wide windows, standing on tiptoe to peek in. “Hey! I see a French magazine! Maybe we are in France. I’ve always wanted to go to France,” she said.
“Great,” Frankie answered, “now you have been. Or they just like reading French magazines,” he ended, stamping her dreams as only an older brother could. “And we need to get back, it’s getting late.”
Haily flounced off, sticking her tongue out at her brother. Irene rolled her eyes, then followed Haily, with Frankie coming behind them. All three jumped when Haily’s phone suddenly rang. Pulling it out of her bag like a live snake, Haily cautiously put it to her ear.
“Hi….Mom!….I know, I know, we are on the way home….I’m with Frankie and Irene.”
Frankie and Irene could both hear her mom’s voice calm after Haily said that.
“Yeah, be home soon……can Irene stay the night?…”Haily lowered her voice and moved away, while Frankie moved closer, standing at Irene’s shoulder. “You can call her mom….you know it doesn’t matter…”
Haily hung up and popped her phone back in her bag. “Guess we just needed a tower! Cool. And you can come home, then head to school with us in the morning, Irene.”
Frankie expertly shepherded the girls back across the sand and grass while Haily chattered at Irene. Just before they got to the door, Haily pulled her phone back out. She thumbed through her apps again.
“Hah, France,” she exclaimed triumphantly, showing the GPS on her phone to Frankie before dancing through the door.
Frankie shook his head, smiling at Irene. “You ok?”
“Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t I be?” she asked stiffly.
“Well, she kinda is dragging you to our house. That ok?”
“Oh yeah, sure, be fun,” Irene answered, relaxing and heading through the door.
“C’mon Frankie,” Haily yelled. “Mom is going to call again any minute.”
Frankie shut the door carefully, leaving the door-stop next to door #2.
“Tomorrow, tomorrow, after school we try this one,” he said before following the girls home.