The Impossible House
by Adam Casalino
Robert Asher fell down the porch steps. He crashed against the sidewalk, his face and palms landing in a puddle. Pushing up on his elbows, he looked back at the front door. He caught one last glimpse of the man who ejected him, before the door closed with a snap.
“You’ll never get in. If they don’t want you to get in, you’re not getting in.”
Phillip Pettigrew stood over Asher in his tailored suit, walking stick, and fedora. A cigar was in his mouth. He did not help Asher up.
“Thanks for the pep talk,” Asher said as he stood.
“Trust me, Robert. This is a fool’s errand. You can spend all night trying to get into this house. You’ll keep failing.”
Asher glared at his fair-weathered ally as he dusted himself off. “My client hired me to get into that house. I don’t fail my clients.”
“Obviously your client had no idea what was inside this house,” Pettigrew said. “If he did, he might not have contacted you.” He drew a handkerchief from a pocket and gave it to Asher. “You have some… on your face.”
Asher took the embroidered cloth and dabbed his mouth. Blood soaked the handkerchief. “Anywhere else?”
Pettigrew gestured at his own face. “Yes. Everywhere.”
Asher snorted a laugh as he wiped his brow, cheeks, and chin. “Been a rough one.”
“It has made you considerably uglier,” Pettigrew said.
“And it hasn’t even started yet.”