The window was open.
Salma knew she had not left it open. Today she specifically remembered shutting it, locking it, right before she made breakfast. She had slept poorly, but at least her hunger remained. She had decided to have eggs on toast, garlic and jam, everything that would assuage her hunger when she had heard the sound in the other room.
It wasn’t the first time that a sound meant nothing. This house made a lot of sounds. Salma checked anyway, unable to stop herself. In her old place, an apartment in the city, one could assume that if a sound came from the other room something had actually moved, fallen over, for some reason. Here? Certainly something could have fallen, but it would have been replaced by the time she arrived. The cottage wanted her to move from the kitchen and had tricked her once more.
This time the house’s goal was to get her out of the way. In order to open the window and set her food on the sill for the birds, who picked the grains off her crust and out of her jam. Salma stared in horror, before rushing over to shoo them off.