The first four paragraphs of Norman Levine's "We All Begin in a Little Magazine" create the exposition of the story, and effectively contrast the festive, busy and warm setting that the main character wants to get away from, to the much calmer, and more desolate setting in London.
The description of "the doctor's house" states that this is a
...detached, all-white house with acacia trees in the front garden. A bottle of milk was on the doorstep.
The normalcy of the house does not preclude us to think that there may be anything wrong going inside of it. It does not indicate chaos, nor disorganization, nor any suspicious ideas. If anything, those first four paragraphs deflect from any possibility of foreshadowing, which is a clever technique from Levine. This way he can slowly start developing the plot with the inciting event, which is the first mysterious phone call that the main character answers. This will be followed by other phone calls that eventually will tell a story that the reader does not really expect.