House in the Woods

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
~ Revelation 3:2

A modern parable for he who has ears to hear

The day Guy Ichabod Heatherly V woke up, was the day he observed scratches on the outside window sill of his house. Some could be called scratches and some gouges, which Heatherly deduced to be the evidence of attempted forced entry. Guy Ichabod Heatherly V owned the house at the very end of a long, snaking road named, Ichor Trail. He was the legal, rightful owner. No question about that. All the paperwork was in order and securely kept in his safe. The house had belonged to the first Guy Ichabod Heatherly and had passed from father to legacy namesake son four times now, so it was in the possession of the fifth.

Guy did not live in his inherited house. He actually lived in town where he had a completely separate life from the isolated house in the woods. He would visit a couple of times each week and always followed the same procedure. Upon arriving, he would walk the perimeter of the house to make sure everything was in good repair and as it should be. He would enter through the front door and walk throughout the house and gaze at the many valuable family heirlooms throughout. He would open the safe and pull out the papers and read through them. Each time he was satisfied that his name was still there and he was the legal owner of the house. He would then sit at the table and eat some of the bread and cheese he brought with him. He would also drink a little of the vintage wine that was stored there. He reminisced a while about his dad and granddad and the good old days. After a while, he would return to the city after securing the house.

Guy had kept everything at the house just as it was when he inherited it. Some of his friends had asked why he didn’t do something with the old place and he would always respond, “It was in right order when I got it and I’ve only maintained it.” Everything had been the same for so many years now that Guy could go through the motions in his sleep. He often dreamed of the house and it was always the same as he found it. This went on until the day he noticed the scratches. He was satisfied from his investigation that no one had come into the house, but was certain it had been tried. He could only assume they would try again.

His checks became more frequent and more serious. He took more time looking at everything to make sure it was as it had always been. He couldn’t get his mind off the windows and began researching what he could do to make them more secure. He had the windows replaced with shatter proof units and chose a tinting that meant you could see out the windows but not into them from outside.

He began to become quite well known for window security expertise and even started his own design consulting business. He would travel all over to address window manufacturers, sellers, and installers. He addressed homeowners on the subject of window security. He inspected windows and graded them on their security and recommended replacements to increase the security.

He became so busy that his visits to the house in the woods became less frequent. His own checks there were given less time. One night he had a dream and saw the house, but it wasn’t in the woods. It was setting on top of a hill and it was shining with brightness overlooking all the lesser houses down in the valley beneath it. He awoke excited and realized it had been quite a long time since he had been to the house. He set out at once to visit his house in the woods.

When he arrived, there was no brightness and no mountain top. The house sat as always at the end of the road, dark and quiet. Guy was feeling quite pleased with himself as he walked around and admired the security of the windows. When he got back around to the front, he noticed the front door standing wide open. He rushed inside and the house was completely empty. No papers, no safe, no valuables, no wine, not even a candle to light. He sat down on the floor astonished for a long time. At last it occurred to him, he had secured the windows but forgot to lock the door.