Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Short Story # 1

It looked as if the earth wanted to swallow the house up, to erase it, to pretend that it never existed. The house, which had once been something that resembled pink, had turned a haughty shade of orange- proud to the last moment, to the final collapse of two by fours and stucco. It had once been a proud house, and he'd built it with his own two hands- for them, to shelter them, to love them, to comfort them, to keep them. But they'd all gone away, and now he was left, the empty shell of a man, and his house, the empty shell of a house- a reflection on all that could have been.

The vines circled the house like rattlesnakes, striking at every available weakened spot, digging into the stucco here and there- pockmarks on the once fresh face of his beautiful past. They left holes where they'd climbed into the house like everything else- getting in the way of his solid, carefully planned foundation. The neighborhood's children had broken the windows, glittering with as much bling as a crack whore on Broadway.  He could see the baseballs, the rocks, the shoes, all lying inside where the kids had thrown them. "Some sport," he thought. Their trash existing in all the empty spaces in his soul- occupying what was left.

The roof was tired, and sagged in the middle, and shingles were missing, and the gutters were torn, resting precariously on what was left of the frame. It seemed to sigh, to quiver at the slightest breath of the wind, as if cowering under some invisible force. A single raindrop appeared too much to handle- too much strain on the existing landscape of destruction.

The vines, the windows, the pockmarks on the walls, the roof, the damaged floors, from top to bottom the house was as damaged as he seemed to be. So, closing his toolbox, he tipped his cap to her and said: "Ah reckon ah'll see you tomorrow," and walked out.