She discovered the house by accident. It appeared, brick by brick, through the bare branches of a hedge. Mud squelched underfoot and the winter wind whipped across her face. She was transfixed by the house and it’s sudden, unexpected appearance.
She pushed her way through the hedge, the branches prickling at her.
Gravel crunched underfoot. She searched the windows, wondering if there were eyes watching her, but there was only darkness.
The front door loomed in front of her. She pushed it hopefully, but the door was stiff and locked, a huge padlock hanging from the handle. There was no way she would get in. It was clear that no one had been there in years.
And then she heard a scratching sound behind the door.
The door handle rattled.
She stood back as it swung open.