Though the house was abandoned, that fact was not obvious from the furnishings. The kitchen was fully stocked. The lights were on and the appliances were functional. The kitchen opened directly into the only other room in the house. The furniture in the living room was in impeccable condition. There were two throw pillows on the couch and one on the arm chair. The overhead light was off, but the lamp on the side table was turned on, providing dim lighting to the room. The lack of abandonment, however, ended there.
The house was fully enclosed on three sides. The fourth side was almost completely open. It looked as if a storm had come through and torn off that one wall. Pieces of insulation hung in various places along the top and edges. There were a couple of boards running the entire length of the wall as if to provide a barrier so one wouldn't fall out of the house. Just outside that wall was a porch that also ran the entire length. It wasn't technically a porch. There were only a few loose, rickety boards attached to the side of the house. There were no stairs leading down to the ground below. In fact, there was no "ground below". The house was completely surrounded by water. It was as if this house was its own private island.
Truth be told, I'm not sure how we came to be at this house. We never questioned how we got there or who owned the house. Maybe one of us did. Maybe all of us did. I don't know. We were just there.
The beginnings of this story are a little blurry to me. It has been so long since it took place. If I'm remembering right, we were in hiding, but I know not from whom or why. I don't remember how many of us there were, for in the end, it was only me left. I know we were all good friends. I think there were 6 or 7 of us. I don't know if we were all girls or if there were some guys in the mix. I cannot tell you what happened to any of them through the course of this story. This story is my battle. They were engaged in battles of their own. I do not know if they won their battles or lost them. My own journey was that intense. All I know is that I was not alone that first night.
Anyway, after seeing all there was to see about the house, we walked to the open wall. We stood there staring out at the peaceful dark sky, the open water stretched out before us. The calm was suddenly interrupted by boats. There were only 3 or 4 of them, but they were circling the house. They were filled with ugly, angry, beastly creatures. The creatures' brown skin was leathery and wrinkled. They reminded me of the Orcs from the Lord of the Rings movies. (It was only years later, when I saw these movies for the first time, that I was able to make that connection.) They were unified in their purpose but clearly, there was no single leader. It was obvious they had been sent. They were doing their job well in spite of that. They were yelling and laughing at us and mocking us. They didn't reach out to us though. They didn't try to get out of the boats to get to us. It was as if their mission was to let us know we had been found and to scare us.
Once they felt their mission complete, they left as quickly as they had come. We all went away from the open wall and went to sleep for the night.