What A Strange Little Man


Weekly Writing Challenge: The door to your house/flat/apartment/abode has come unstuck in time. The next time you walk through it, you find yourself in the same place, but a different time entirely. Where are you, and what happens next?


One day, I arrived home from work, and as I got to the front door of my house, a small man opened it and ushered me inside. “Good day, ma’am. This is one of our newer models. You’ll notice the lovely open floor plan of the entryway. It opens right on to the living room,” said the little man who was wearing a three-piece suit. In one hand, he held a clipboard, and the other held a hat.

“Excuse me?” I said wondering who this little man was standing in my living room. Where the hell did all of my furniture go?

He ignored the puzzled look on my face and continued, “This area used to be entirely peach groves and wheat fields until a few years back, but now that the big war is over, all of our returning soldiers need a place to live. When is your husband coming back?”

“I’m not married.”

“Oh, well, I hope you have a wonderful wedding. Have you set the date yet?”

“Who are you and where’s my dog? Where is all of my furniture?”

“Well, I don’t know where your dog is, ma’am, but when your husband makes an offer, provided there are no surprises, you can move in within just a few weeks. All of your furniture can be here then. It shouldn’t be a problem since we’re automatically approving all service men who fought overseas. It’s the least we can do for the war effort. If all goes well, you could be in your new home before we ring in 1946. It might not be this particular house, but all the houses on this block have the same floor plan. All of your neighbors will be returning servicemen, too. Isn’t that nice? Shall we take a look at the rest of the house? This over here is the attached garage.”

“No, this is the den and where’s my bathroom?”

“Well, if you want to use the garage as a den, who am I to stop you. The bathroom is over on the other side of the house with the bedrooms. We’ll get there in a minute.”

“No, there are two bathrooms. One is in here. This one is mine.”

“Sorry, ma’am, this house has one bathroom. Who would put a bathroom in a garage anyway?” The little man huffed and left the garage. He went back to the living room. “As you can see, this is a wood-burning fireplace here. We purposely didn’t put any ceiling fixtures in the living room so that you can use floor lamps instead for a cozier feeling. There are two electrical outlets in this room for that purpose. With the fireplace and the light from the windows here with no proper foyer, you hardly need overhead light.

“Over here are your bedrooms and the bathroom you were asking about. There are two bedrooms, each roughly the same size with ample closets. The bathroom is in the middle for added convenience and we’ve added two linen closets, one on each side of the bathroom for extra… ahem… privacy,” he blushed but quickly continued, “That way, you can take a shower without waking the children. Do you have any children? Oh, of course, how silly of me. You said you aren’t married yet. Well, someday, you’ll have little bundles of joy to put in this bedroom here.”

I went along with the little man, not saying a word, hoping that something he said would explain what was happening here. “And this here is your dining room. Can’t you just picture a lovely wooden dining set here? It’s perfect for the holidays. With these French doors leading out into the yard, it gets lots of light. We’ll get to the yard in a minute, but first, over here we have what I know you have been most curious about, the kitchen!

“Here it is, ma’am, your pride and joy. You’ll notice how roomy it is with ample counter space. Notice that there is one stove top, but two ovens! You probably won’t need them both all the time, but for dinner parties or the holidays, nothing could be more convenient for you. There are so many cabinets you won’t know what to fill them all with! At the end here, there is a large pantry, and here we have your utility sink to do laundry. And here is the door to the side yard. We put it at the end of the kitchen for extra ventilation when you’re cooking. Also, of course, here’s your milk delivery door down here.


“The yard is a good size. Perfect for that dog you were talking about. We’ve taken the liberty of planting a sapling lemon tree here. It might not look like much now, but by the time your children are older, it will be a beautiful big tree. Well, what do you think? I know you couldn’t possibly make a decision without talking to your husband first, but when he gets home and you two get married, have him call me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a couple who wants to see the house, too.” He put extra emphasis on the word “couple.” With that, the little man shuffled me towards the front door and out of it. As he was shutting the door, he said to me, “You better hurry since this block will all be sold in a matter of only a few weeks.”

I stood there staring at my house, bewildered for a moment. What the hell was that? Why was that little man showing me around my house? My roommate has some explaining to do. I decided to go back inside and get to the bottom of this. I tried the door, but it was locked. I turned the key, opened the door and my dog greeted me as usual. All of my stuff was where it should have been. I decided to never speak of it to anyone, but every time I put my key in the door, I thought of that strange little man. I never saw him again.