Working TitleA Story by saintenitouche
A recurring nightmare I have, slightly dramatized. It's in the works, only about a third of the way done.
What was I doing here? I didn't remember making the decision to drive here on my way through this part of town. Though somewhere inside my subconscious there lurked a lingering curiosity about the place... It had been at least six years since I lived in this house. And I certainly was not acquainted with the people that abided here, now.
There were, however, certain similarities I had not expected... I could have sworn there was a gritty, red picket fence that had been erected between the dilapidated doghouse and the two giant pine trees, each peaking about fifty feet in the air, blocking the gray, rotting back porch that would otherwise be visible from the road. I was parallel to the road now, standing twenty feet into the yard, and there was the porch looking weather beaten and sad. Just behind it stood a solid wall of dead forest, creaping to bloom against the skyline behind the house.
My attention catching up with my subconscious excursion, I feasted upon old familiarities. The skirts of the twin pine trees to my right swung out into the long, neglected grass, infected with dandelions, dropping ther cones as close to the house as possible. The old, gnarled ash tree in which squirles would frequently make enough noise to be heard inside was flowering.
To the left of me was the garage, though the building itself resembled more closely a barn. I could have sworn the people here had painted it the same sickly red as the fence, but here it stood; its cracking white paint as inviting as a long since liberated sibling, coming back home for a visit.
There were four large barn doors, adorned with two rows of four square windows running along the top. The last of which was still shattered. Jagged pieces of pane sticking out of the frame like vampiric teeth, erupting from wooden gums. The incident had been product of a cousin and I trying to clear the stones from the driveway across the molding, ruined shingles on the barn's roof. Had no one really corrected that?
Just a foot above the driveway light sat two grimy, lookout windows. I could not place the sun at the time, but it must have been somewhere overhead and to the back of me, because the sunset was not reflected in the glass, but positioned so they appeared opaque. I could remember looking out of those windows countless times watching the cars fly by on the county route. Only occasionally would a car swivel into the crunchy gravel of our drive, my idle life sending my heart into my throat. But nine times out of ten they would circle around the third great pine tree beside the road and speed off in the direction they came. The other ten percent of the time they were expected, but being that I was up a flight of steps and halfway across the yard, I was not usually the one to relay the good news, just the first to witness it.
Facing me ten feet away was the house itself, looking just the same as we left it. The soft, weathered wood of the front stoop, adorned with daddy longlegs. The row of ancient windows unbroken across the facade of the house but by a front door (replaced by my mother before we left) that looked like it didn't belong. Windows so tall and wide it resembled a sun room you'd find on a mansion on a Louisianna cotton plantation...
The unexpected familiarity was probably what intrigued me into motion. I found the soles of my feet meeting the soft, earthy turf. I felt the long stems of grass tickle my knee caps. I felt completely absurd. I did not live here anymore, and I was walking up the steps, preparing to attempt entrance into a house that no longer belonged to me. The house felt empty, almost abandoned. The complete opposite of how I remember it feeling every time I drove by and saw the paint and the fence, yard tools everywhere... None of that was here now. Just an eerie silence.
I kept the key ofcourse... I could easily go home and get it, I didn't live far. Curiosity was overwhelming my reason. Strangely I did not think of anything but getting inside. I knocked, the door swung open.
"I got locked out."
My mother's laughing face, plump and rosey, focused on mine like a beam of sunlight. "Knocking? Who'd've thought you capable?" she sidestepped to let me in. "That's much better than sending your fist through the window, eh?" I skipped over the parapet and luanched myself into the living room, padding the length of the house. I skid into an open door sandwiched between the dull yellow fridge and the closeted ironing board. Directly in front of my face were placed two newer windows, slightly smaller than the mansion-esque ones in front. I could see the yellowish, white heads of tulips peaking over the grass that hedged the side of the garage.
My bed stood in the far left corner, out of sight of the curtainless windows. Beside it was a closet door slightly ajar, a dull and splintered white veneer against the old, dirty pink that colored the walls. Beside that, in the opposite corner was an ornate white writing desk. Pausing a moment to watch the shadows materialize against the aged panels of the barn outside, and catching the outside light spring into being, I grabbed a box beneath the bed and flew out of the darkening room.
The kitcen was full of artificial light throwing a yellow glow along the dingy wall papper. My mother was digging for something, the freezer door swinging open, billowing out a copious amount of frozen air; I ducked beneath it, dancing lithely around my mother's frame and getting a faceful of the scent of lemonpepper as I exited.
"Alright-" my mother's voice reached my ears from the very back of the house. I was crawled under the computer desk, hemmed in by the filler wood frame and my sister's long legs as she swivled about in the office chair after dinner, clicking away on the key pad. I was secretly examing the effect of a haircut I'd newly given to my favorite barbie, stuffing the cut hairs behind the desk. "Its bathtime, who's first."
© 2010 saintenitouche
Hopewell Junction, NY
AboutMy name is Erica, I'm nineteen and I've been writing (roughly) since age 8. I've been told its what i am best at; what I was meant to do. I'm going to school for publishing and creative writing. I wan.. more..