The start of a new story! Just a few comments and then you can go and enjoy.

1) This story is co-written by Prongs J. Potter and 24-7reader.

2) This idea was stolen with the permission of Diamond Skin. The basic idea was theirs and we (with their consent) ran with it.

3) The characters belong to a book called Twilight which I'm sure you've read (otherwise you wouldn't be here ;) ) and so Stephenie Meyer owns them.

I stepped out of my aging vehicle and stared at the ruins that were to be my home.

"Figures," I muttered.

I should have known, of course, that any house my parents offered to buy me could not be expected to hold any worth, but this absolutely reeked of ridiculousness. I wouldn't be surprised if they had bought the cheapest house in all of Chicago.

The house used to be white, I think, but due to the chipping of the paint the original color had become nearly impossible to know for sure. The roof only had half of its singles and looked ready to collapse. Remnants of what must have been a beautiful porch in its prime littered the front of the house, causing it to resemble nothing more than a potential home for every kind of vermin within a five-mile radius. The front door continued to hang from its hinges, thank goodness, but half of the windows around the house were either seriously cracked or completely broken altogether.

I slowly walked up to the front door, carefully treading through the deteriorated porch, quickly becoming grateful for the credit card Renee handed me before I had left. She instructed me to use it for basic repairs and any furniture needed, and to think I had considered her generous for it!

As I stepped into the house, I realized the inside looked no better. The building contained two bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a living room. The furniture was old and crumbling. The floor seemed smothered in a hundred years' worth of dust and debris. The only item of remote worth was an upright piano sitting in the corner – dirty and battered, though I suppose beautiful in its own… unique… way.

I quickly assessed each room. I could barely even walk into the bathroom for all the dirt, grime, rust, and general decay. The kitchen wasn't quite as bad – it only needed to be cleaned up, scrubbed down, updated, and cleaned again. Running water did come to the house, for which I was grateful, although the slightly reddish tint to it caused me to quickly reconsider the drink I had thought I needed.

The living room appeared decent enough, though the hardwood floor was, of course, rotting. Luckily, the decay wasn't to the point of instability, and for that I could give thanks. Plus, I couldn't see the sky from indoors, although the large, moldy wet spots on the ceiling definitely indicated where I would need to place buckets the next time it rained.

The bedrooms, like the rest of the house, were in horrible shape, excepting one cedar chest that looked remotely usable. I rummaged through the smaller bedroom, looking for some clue as to how long the house had been uninhabited.

I discovered two photographs sitting atop a rotted bookshelf, all three of which ravaged away with time. Every face was obscured by age, but I could just barely make out three distinct figures. I set them aside. Next to the photos lay a journal, quickly capturing my attention. I gently opened to the first page:

Property of Edward Mason

March 1916

I laid down the journal and walked out of the room.

Great, I thought with a scowl. My parents bought me a house that hasn't been lived in or, more importantly, cleaned in 90 years.

I attempted to display some forgiveness, though. I understood Renee and Phil's reasoning - they just wanted me out of the house. I would have unburdened them sooner by moving with my real dad, Charlie, but he died several years ago. My only chance to get away was moving out for college, which I took pains to do a year early. My mom and step dad were so proud they decided to pay for my college and housing, which is where I found myself now. They probably didn't get the chance to look into what they bought me. The cause of the situation I found myself in was not any form of neglect… no, it was just unfortunate circumstances. Sure. That's what I'll go with.

A very itchy nose followed by a violent sneeze interrupted my thoughts. As I made my way out, I began to make a list of all I needed in order to live in such a place.

Looking behind me as I shut the front door, I could clearly see every footprint made.

This was going to take a lot of work.

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