“Yeah, I guess it is,” said Astrid. “I forgot that you haven’t been here before. Everybody else has lived in Maxxim City since they were born. Come on in. I’ll give you the five cent tour.”
They stepped through the front door to stand in the foyer below a sweeping staircase that led up past the second floor balcony and onto the third floor. Austin followed Astrid as she led him to the right, into the large and seldom used dining room. The heavy oak table and chairs seated twelve.
“We never eat in here,” said Astrid. “We eat back there.”
Beyond the dining room was the breakfast room. A smaller dining table with six padded chairs dominated a smaller room with large windows looking out upon a rose garden.
“It’s called the breakfast room, but we eat all our meals in here. And right in here is the kitchen. Mom had it redone last year.”
The kitchen too had large windows, these looking out to the backyard and the swimming pool. Glimmering white marble countertops with a matching island surrounded the latest appliances, contrasting with their black finishes. There was at least one remnant of the original kitchen though.
“Check it out,” said Astrid. “It’s a dumbwaiter. It’s like a little elevator that carries your food up to the upper floors.
“Did you ever ride in it?”
“I used to think about it when I was a kid. But it goes down to the basement too, and it’s scary down there.”
On the other side of the kitchen from the breakfast room was a comfortable family room, complete with large television and video game system, fluffy chairs and couches and several overflowing bookcases. Beyond that was a living room, which like the dining room, saw almost no use at all. A long hallway led out of the living room.
“What’s down here?” wondered Austin.
“When my dad was little, they had a bunch of maids that lived here in the house. These are their bedrooms, but they’ve been empty since before I was born. Come on. I’ll show you.”
The girl inventor led her new friend to the first door and opened it. They both looked into the small bedroom and stared open-mouthed. Standing in the center of the room was a man in his underwear. Astrid slammed the door shut. She stared wide-eyed at Austin.
“Who was that?” he asked.
“I don’t know! Come on! We’ve got to call the cops!”