Nobody in the little town knew why Sofie, the old spinster, always had a mysterious smile on her lips. As long as people remembered, they had seen her walking between her apartment and the grocery store, constantly alone, wearing the same coat and the same smile. The reason for her satisfaction was kept in darkness since she never spoke to anyone.

The truth was that Sofie had a secret love. But not a man: as she had turned older, her apartment had become her passion. In her mind, it was her beloved friend, someone who made her intensely happy. 

The old lady left home only when it was necessary, always to return immediately. Once back, she would  share her thoughts with her house. The walls and the furniture would listen patiently and attentively. Sometimes, like lovers do for their sweet-hearts, she would  bring gifts. Sofie´s presents had included a luxurious knife set for her kitchen, a mahogany chest for the hall, and art work for the living-room.

Her eccentricity wouldn’t have caused any trouble if a neighbor woman, Mrs Taylor, hadn’t discovered that she was out of eggs one Sunday morning. It was her husband’s birthday, and she knocked on her closest neighbor’s door.

When she came inside and saw Sofie’s exquisite apartment, Mrs Taylor’s enthusiasm was overwhelming. Repeatedly, she exclaimed, “Oh, how beautiful!” and “I love it!” Sofie first smiled approvingly, then became suspicious and finally fearful. She panicked, and started to see a rival in her neighbor; somebody who was flirting with her beloved partner.

Suspecting nothing, Mrs Taylor continued her tour into the kitchen. When she cried, “I could die for this apartment!” something snapped in Sofie’s mind. She was overcome by sheer terror.

Mrs Taylor’s husband didn’t get his birthday cake that day. In fact, he never saw his wife again. Nobody did.

After some time’s pandemonium, everything returned to normal in the little town. Two things changed, however. Sofie would never again allow anybody to step over her threshold. And the stray dogs in her neighborhood were fatter than before.

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
2 years ago

This story is one of a kind, Christer! What a unique concept of her “secret love” being her apartment. I think many of us can identify with that aspect of Sofie, especially in these days of spending most of our time at home. That concept alone made for a good… Read more »

Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
2 years ago

We all would love to channel our inner Agatha Christie – and you did it! Your story also reminds me of some of the great Alfred Hitchcock Presents short stories. Can’t wait to read your next one!

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

What a difference it makes to be able to hear the story being read by the author. I found it rather strange hearing my own voice. What did you think on hearing your own voice Christer? I suddenly laughed in horrified amusement when I came to the end, where it… Read more »

Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
2 years ago

As you know from my previous comments, Christer, I totally enjoyed reading your story. Now that I hear it in your own voice, it comes to life even more. It must take a lot of work and many tries to get a good recording. I’m glad you persevered – the… Read more »

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

I have just been reading through your profile Christer, and I liked the comment – ”Adopt the pace of nature” and thought how apt in todays climate. And yet many people still can not wind down. Perhaps the fast pace of living is the result of not understanding Nature?

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
2 years ago

Hilarious in a macabre sort of way

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
2 years ago

Often stories gain a life of their own. They usually live in my head for many days until they have swum round it into their own plot.

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
Reply to  Susan Dawson
2 years ago

You are so right. It’s so grim and morbid that it can almost make you laugh.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

This story is very amusing and unique. The concept stuck on my mind. I like what Fuji said about the part two – the jealous lover. Hoping to read the part two. Nice one.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Christer Norrlof
1 year ago

Of course, Christer. Age doesn’t matter. I know a spinster (an old unmarried woman) who falls in love with a 28-year-old man, but their relationship only lasts for 2 years because the Spinster is very jealous and insecure of the young woman. And that insecurity leads to quarrels and misunderstanding.

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