Jen was walking to Stacy and Rob's house two doors over. She was very curious about what their son had said to her yesterday. Rob had said that they moved in in 2005, when James was born. And that her place was vacant ever since they had moved in. How could the kid remember someone living in her house if it was vacant? She knew that kids had very broad imaginations but this seemed a little too sketchy. She needed to get this whole thing sorted out.

She pulled back the gold-painted knocker on the door and hit it three times. Stacy came to the door with a smile on her face. She opened it with a cheerful, "Hello!" her tone sounded like she was in a very good mood, but her face told a different story. Her face looked like she had been peeling onions in a windowless room for three days straight. Her eyes were dripping with tears. The entire mid-section of her face, eyes to nose, was brick-red.

"Hey Stacy, is everything okay?" Jen asked, slightly concerned.

Stacy took a deep breath and exhaled, "Yeah, why do you ask?"

"Well, it looks like you've been crying, like a lot."

"Does it? Hmm. I don't know what that could be. That's weird." She went to look in the mirror to see for herself. "Oh my gosh. Where did that come from?"

"Were you chopping up onions?" Jen asked, hoping to get a laugh.

"I haven't cooked since 1999," she laughed. "Robert does all of the cooking, he is a genius with a spatula. I am terrible, I burn everything. Once, I'm not even kidding, I burnt salad."

Jen started laughing, Stacy joined in.

"I know what you mean. My meals consist of a bagel or ramen, and the ramen is pushing it."

The two stood there in silence for a little while Stacy used a tissue to clean up her face.

"So, what was it you wanted? If you don't mind me asking," Stacy questioned.

"Oh, right. I almost forgot why I even came here," Jen laughed. "I wanted to ask you about my house."

"Oh sure, go ahead. What's on your mind?"

"You said my house was vacant right?"

"Yeah, ever since me and Robert moved in, which was 2005 I believe. Yeah, that's the year we got married. We had only been in a relationship for like nine months at the time. I don't remember why we got married so fast, but everything worked out in the end I guess," she said looking down at the ground, like she was trying to remember something. "Why do you ask?"

"Well yesterday I went to the park for a walk-"

"Oh, is that where you got that?" Stacy asked pointing at Jen's cut on her leg.

"Yeah I was running through the grove an-"

"Oh, the grove is a nasty place. The roots there are evil."

"Yeah..." Jen replied, trailing off. "Anyway, when I was at the playground by the school, James came up to me and start talking to me about my house. He said that he remembered an old lady living there."

"That's weird," she paused. "James who?"

Jen looked puzzled. "James... your son?"

"Me and Robert don't have a son. We've been trying for kids ever since we got married but so far nothing." She said those words with the same kind of longing that a man walking through the desert has for water.

"What are you talking about Stacy? Yesterday you told me you moved here in 2005 because that was when James was born."

"I don't remember that at all. I'm pretty sure if I had a kid I would remember it. I'm sorry."

The conversation was starting to get uncomfortable. Jen had an idea. She didn't think that Stacy would really be lying to her, but she had to make sure.

"Hey can I use your bathroom real quick?" Jen asked.

"Sure, it's upstairs second door on your left."

"Thank you," Jen replied and started walking up the stairs. She immediately found the bathroom, but that wasn't what she was looking for. She kind of felt intrusive, but she needed to figure out what was going on. This was all just too weird.

She opened one of the closed doors. It was Stacy's bedroom. It was given away by the large king-sized bed and a mess of clothes all over the hardwood floor. "Someone has been neglecting the laundry," Jen whispered under her breath. She closed the door and opened the one next to it. This room puzzled her greatly.

Something had clearly been in the room before, that much was obvious due to the outline of furniture on the walls and floor. Dust was everywhere. The room looked both ancient and contemporary at the same time. There was a deep brown hardwood floor in here just like in Stacy's room, but this one had a thin layer of dust over it.

There were cobwebs in each of the corners of the room, a lot of them. Jen shivered at the sight of them. She could live the rest of her life without ever seeing another spider and consider herself a happy girl. But she persevered, she needed to know what was going on. Then, out of the corner of her eye she saw something... off. She turned her attention to it. It was a brightly colored cup. A small cup that was an obnoxious orange color. It stood out so viciously, she couldn't believe she missed it before. She walked up to it and picked it up. It was made of plastic, on the bottom was the number '2' written in large, cartoonish script. It was a child's toy.

If they don't have children then where the hell did this come from? Jen pocketed the item and immediately began exiting the room. She had been up here for a while, not too long, but she didn't want to arouse suspicion from Stacy. She walked down the old staircase to be greeted by Stacy with a dish and a towel in her hand.

"You okay?" she asked. Her face was beet-red again. Like she went back to chopping up her onions.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Jen replied. "I think I'm gonna go, I got a lot of work to do still at the house; cleaning, unpacking, you know."

"Of course. Well it was nice having you, feel free to stop by anytime!"

"Thanks," replied Jen, walking out the door.

As soon as the door shut, Stacy began walking into the kitchen, still drying off the dish in her hand. "What an odd woman," she remarked to the stove. She continued with doing the dishes, paying no mind to Jen's visit. Then something caught her eye. Near the corner of the room, behind a small mess of cobwebs was a tiny red cup. She had never seen anything like it before. She walked over to it and inspected it. On the back was the number '1' written in, what she would describe as, "skoolyard writing," it was odd. She turned it over to look inside and let out a tiny scream.

She shouldn't've been too surprised at what she found inside. The cup was lying amidst a small tangle of spider webs. What did she think would be occupying it? A dove? As soon as her scream was over she heard the sound of the front door slamming shut.

"What's the matter, honey?" Rob asked, gently jogging into the kitchen.

"There was a spider in that little cup," she replied, pointing to it on the ground.

"Here, let me get it."

"Please. Get it away from me, you know I can-"

"Yes , yes I know you can't stand bugs. See? I'm throwing it away." Rob walked over to the trashcan and rapped the tiny cup on the edge of it until the little guy fell in. "See? It's gone."

"Thank you," Stacy replied with a breath of relief.

"Now that leaves the question... where did this come from?" Rob asked.

"I have no idea. I was washing dishes and I found it over there," she said pointing to the corner of the room.

"I don't remember ever seeing this, but... it feels familiar," Rob remarked, rolling the cup around in his hand, looking it over.

"That's what I thought," Stacy agreed.

"Hmm, oh well," he said putting it down on the counter. "How was your day today honey?"

"Normal housewife things, gosh I sound so fifties." They both laughed. "Oh ,Jen stopped by," she said, grabbing another dish from the sink.

"Really? What for?" Rob asked.

"She was asking about her house. Oh, and get this, she thought we had a kid," she said, as she opened the cabinet to put the dried dish away.

"Really? Why would she think that?" Rob asked.

"I haven't the slightest idea. She said that we said we moved here in 2005 because that was when, again, get this, that was when our son, James, was born."

"I wish we had a son. I would love to have a little tyke to play ball with."

"I know Robert, I know."

"She even said that we named him James?"

"Yeah, I don't know what it was. It was the strangest thing. She might have gotten us confused with one of the other neighbors."

"Maybe, but I don't think any of their kids are named James either."

"No, not that I know of."

"Hmph. That's just strange."

"I know."

"Her house was vacant when we moved in, right?"

"Yeah, no one lived there since we moved into the neighborhood. Is that what she came over to ask about?"

"Yeah, she said that James had told her that an old lady used to live there."

"Wow, that's strange, I don't remember an old lady, well except Ariel, but she lives over on Blossom," he paused, watching his wife clean the dishes. "She seemed like a really nice girl, I wonder if something is wrong with her."

"Oh Rob!" Stacy scoffed.


"Don't say things like that, she seems normal enough. She might just be victim of a big imagination and bad dreams."

"I guess so." Robert walked up behind Stacy, who was standing in front of the sink. He put his arms around her and kissed her on the cheek. "James..." he said in thought. "I like that name."

"I do too," Stacy replied.