Seemingly intact porcelain.
„What was that?“, I heard Kyle asking, his rough voice was filled with strain.
“Maybe we should turn on a porch”, Peter suggested. I was right about him; he was the one who asked first about a light.
“It sounded like porcelain”, I sighed, “I hate to agree with Peter but this house is too strange to go any further without any lighting.”
Kyle murmured something, mixed with the rustling of clothes, a click and the torch was lit on. The light fell on the ground, showing an expensive carpet in front of our feet. Kyle began searching the room with the cone of light. My heart stopped out of perplexity and I heard how Peter did hold is breath – the first floor of this house was completely intact, from the walls over the heavy furniture to the blue pointed tea service standing on a small table next to a freaking beautiful arranged flowerpot. My curiosity won over my fear and I moved into the room, inspecting the perfectly well ordered living room of this house. It was unbelievable. From outside, the house looked like a complete pile of rubble and inside – it looked like a typical, horribly kitschy designed family house.
I glanced backwards, Kyle and Peter still standing at the door, tensed, and ready to fight of any danger. Kyle looked disturbed. I knew what he would have said if he had not the command of this unit. He liked referring to old things as “American Pie”, combined with some nasty words. As if he knew what living before the dawn meant. Of course he didn’t. We all didn’t.
“What does that mean?”
“I suppose this is a postponement of matter”, Kyle said, looking around the room, “let’s move through the other rooms, check if it’s safe. And be quick, I don’t have good feeling about this place.”
We went through the house, looked into the kitchen and inspected the rooms upstairs, two bedrooms, a bath. Nobody was there. I could not tell if Kyle was relieved or even more worried about that fact. He gave us a sign to leave the house but I hesitated. Something was not right about this place. It looked like a perfectly built replica of a family home –
“Stop.” Both stopped, the one in anger, the other in awe. “Something is missing inside. If this a postponement of matter, everything would be exactly like it was. It’s not. There are no pictures. No photos of the family, of the wedding day, of children, of vacation shots. People used to have those in their homes. My grandma told me about this. But in this house are no pictures.”
Peter seemed utterly nervous, he wanted to leave the house as soon as possible. “And? Than this family had no pictures? I don’t have pictures of my family.”
“This would be strange. I – I don’t think it’s a postponement of matter. I think it’s an illusion.”
Kyle’s face hardened. He looked directly at me as if he would expect that I would not agree with his next order. “Still – we did our duty, checked this house. We leave and report to Madame X.”
“No. It would be too dangerous. We leave.”
I nodded, swallowing my contradiction. I knew I was right – and Kyle knew it too. Maybe it was too dangerous to secure this place but even more dangerous to leave the house and what was inside alone. Nonetheless, I couldn’t say anything, not again, I couldn’t risk it – I have already been convicted for disobedience.