* A very special thank you to R. Rodriguez who gave me permission to take her story and rewrite it to make it my own and write it as beautifully as I know how. Love you R.!!! *SUPERMEGABESTFRIENDHUGS*

I stared up at the huge old monstrosity, gleefully giggling in the back of my mind. "It's mine! All mine!" I practically danced up the steps of the huge old Victorian house, the keys jingling in my clenched fist. I found the old iron skeleton key and loved the feel of it instantly. The iron was heavy and real, a true weight in my hand, unlike the key to my current apartment of lightweight steel. The realtor was behind me, just as excited as I was. Not surprising, since she was my best friend and had helped me search high and low for just such a house for the past two years for a price I could afford.

"I knew it was meant for you the second I saw it, Lil!" She gushed, as I rammed my hip a little against the door to push the slightly swollen door open. It swung open to reveal a long hallway with tall, arched doorways on either side and a stairwell going up. I took in the tall, vaulted ceilings, the beautiful cherry and walnut parquet floor, the windows topped with stained-glass panels and nearly began crying. Casey was immediately at my side. "What's wrong Lil? If…oh honey, if it's not what you wanted, you know we'll keep looking. I just thought this was what you wanted, it looked just like that picture in the magazine you showed me and-"

She only shut up because I put a finger to her lips. I whispered through my tears. "It's perfect, Case. Absolutely, positively, amazingly perfect." And then she began crying too and wrapped her arms around me. We stood there for a second and girly-cried. And then began jumping up and down for joy. Yes, we are batshit insane. That's probably why we're the very best of friends.

She began dragging me through the house. It was old, it was dusty, but it was perfect and everything I had wanted in a real home. There were two fireplaces, one in the living room/parlor and one in the upstairs master bedroom. The master bedroom had an attached bathroom. Obviously some modernizing had been done, but it was minimal and mostly plumbing and electricity and insulation to make the house more user-friendly. The most recent owners had decided to sell in the middle of working on the house and had just put in central air and heating. I was thrilled. I could so easily see myself living here.

The kitchen was beautiful and enormous. Gorgeous hardwood floors had been polished to a shine, and the counters were a beautiful slate blue marble, except for the large center island which was entirely butcher block and also held the stove and a small sink. Double ovens were right behind it, with a large farm-style sink set into the counter; a dishwasher was tucked just under the counter beside the sink. Whoever had designed this kitchen was a genius! This place was a cook and baker's dream! I knew Casey and I would be spending a lot of fabulous rainy Saturday afternoons in here baking cookies and cupcakes for the community bake sales that were held every week or so.

I looked at Casey and sighed. "I can't believe anyone would leave this place in the middle of renovating it? I mean, this place is perfect, exactly the right mix of old Victorian and the very best of modern amenities! What could possibly be wrong with a house this beautiful?" And then felt a chill grip my heart when she didn't smile back. "Ok, Case. Spill. What's wrong with the house?"

"Ok, ok! I didn't want to freak you out. There was a murder here!" As if to stop my freaking out before it began, she continued quickly, "But it was like a hundred-some years ago, ok? But I still have to let you know." She continued in a rush, as if to get it out and over with before I could adamantly tell her no and to find me something else. "Somehow or other, the sellers managed to convince themselves that there's a ghost here and decided they didn't want to stay here anymore and so they're selling the house. But come on, Lil! This house is PERFECT! What could possibly be wrong with a house THIS beautiful?"