When I stepped into the first McMansion, I loved it. Marble floors, vaulted ceilings, luxurious wood accents. The pool was what I’d always dreamed of having. But there were two more houses to look at in this quiet little nook in the mountains and after dragging the realtor out here, I thought I should at least take a look at them.

The next place was… nice. A bit of a step down. The previous owners looked like they’d left in a hurry – last week’s newspaper was still in a rumpled pile on the shabby coffee table in the den. I took in the outdated furniture they’d left behind and grimaced. The agent knew it was time to see the last place.

Stepping into the third place was like stepping onto a dilapidated set from “I Love Lucy.” Like the second home, the owners here had just up and left. I never asked why. Maybe I should have. There was even moldy food left on dinner plates at the kitchen table.

When I moved to the backyard, there was no pool. Only row after row of headstones.

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