Eyes are closed. Checking posture. Breathing deep, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat…
Cobalt blue wood paneling. That’s the house right there.
Breathing deep, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat…
There’s a dilapidated shack-like porch on the back side of the house. Do you see that?
The cobalt blue house, save the emphasis on the obvious grey undertones, with wooden paneling sits atop a bulge sad enough to call it a hill. The frost-covered deep green grass surrounding the home. It’s not cold at all, however. The roof accents, crowns the blackhead pimple festering from Earth’s skin. The edifice is seemingly ready to crumble, implode.
A murder of crows soar by, swooping down and then back up with the wind swirling overhead. Depending on how tall you are–you have to be tall–you can raise your hand up to feel the amnesic, wandering gusts. In the distance sits miles and miles of raw beauty: snow-dusted conifers sway in the slightest–hills and hills of them–but the landscape appears to to have a falseness, an aesthetic plasticity that could convince anyone to think the backdrop was purposely staged.
Looking over at my companion, it is a guy I recognize, but don’t really know. Sure, at one point he was a neighbor, but this history is simply that. I ask him, What are you doing here? From his staring almost blankly, he simply turns his head to me and smiles before returning to his first position.
We are standing in the middle of the road, looking up at the house, but there is no mental debate on what to do next. The landscape, including the homes surrounding the house look brittle and unstable. This sky we’re under causes everything to appear, to look like the feeling of your mind while plagued by the flu–tired, brittle. Even the weakest touch, the simplest extension of a finger to finger to touch any object–let’s say a tree–could cause an implosion, turning the piece of nature to dust, scattering the ash particles everywhere.
I live here, he finally says after a period of sickeningly thick silence, down the road.
The statement generates a sense of unprecedented jealousy. How dare he to live here? A wave of anxiety flows through my body and the decision to push him off a cliff contents me. If we weren’t standing in the middle of a road, my hand would have given his back a hearty shove, forceful enough for sending his body over the lip and quick enough before his comprehending the desire to latch onto my arm. Should he hold onto the ledge, stepping on his frail fingers would be the justified approach to ending this dilemma.
You don’t live here, he daringly states.
I’ve lived here this entire time, you jackass. [Haven’t I?] I cross my arms and glare at him. My mind is generating thoughts furiously with attempting to create a beam of heat to fire from my eyes, hoping to fry him to bits from his head to his feet. However, before the ray can escape my pupils, stopping myself for rationality’s sake, the malicious feat for such a death sequence would create an even more overwhelming regret. Having blood on my hands is not how I want to go out in this life, and the reminder of Karma solidifies my resistance.
The snow begins to fall. However, the temperature of the air is not cold.
I don’t know you’re trying to sabotage me, and that confuses me. I’m living here whether you like it or not, I tell him.
He looks at me, I know you’re living there. However, despite it being your house, it’s not your house.
I blink and shake my head. It’s the house, but its not the house. He did not grow up here [either], so why is making such a big deal of it appropriate? We both face the monstrosity again, and we stand in silence. The crows have since settled on the branches of a tree across the street. More may have arrived, but no one was counting.
Cars begin to pull up to the home, but no one is exiting the vehicles, and my mentioning the decision to go inside is looked as a fine idea. While walking up the driveway, it’s decided to turn around and see if my companion is following me. He’s no longer there.
Fine, I say aloud. The period from the utterance stops me in my place. I look around at the neighborhood, which has a layout of a circle, but he inner circle has it’s own cul de sac. One entrance leads in and out of the neighborhood. After entering, take a left, and the house is exactly halfway up, it is a hill, and equidistant from the entrance of the cul de sac corner.
circle street itself is reminiscent of Escher’s stairs, forever heading up (until you decide to leave).
The smell of firewood is eminent the closer I approach the house. Looking around, the scenery appears almost painted and two-dimensional. The lawn heading to the street curves more than perceived, almost dangerously, from the other side.
The cars are still running.
Entering through the side door of the garage, passing through the cold emptiness. The door to the house, entering to the foyer, is unlocked and so it opens to a darkened interior. The fixtures and furniture are mostly dark wood, and the brick around the fireplace is prominent. It’s cozy.
The entrance to the porch is across from the foyer, and even walking upon ones tiptoes creates such a disturbance with the hardwood floors; the floors are in dire need of being refurbished, updated. The porch is as much in despair as the floor. Carefully, I step into the room and watch my foot placement. Luckily, no boards spring up to slap me in the nose, cartoon-like fashion. The furniture, sofas and chairs and laps are all covered with sheets, which are double-coated by dust.
At this moment commotion fills my ears, and curiosity brings me to the window. Looking out toward the driveway–out of the corner of my eye, the crows scatter–we see a mob of people in a panic. Some stand in a circle while others break toward the cul de sac. Screaming, some of them, they wave their bloodied hands; some hands are holding torn clothing and wet–for the worse–objects.
Taking the place of the crows, a quick moving creature gains my attention. The lizard-like, alligator looking creature lunges at the crowd of criers, and all people involved take a step back. The animal, a body paler than pale and eyes blacker than the darkness of Hell, crawled at its prey. It knows what it’s doing, it knows the intimidation it imposes. More screams pollute the air, but this round is from a distance. This alligator snaps again, grabbing the hem of some unfortunate gent’s pant leg.
The sudden urge to stop this, these–supposedly–creatures is convincing. Entering the den again, I grab the poker from the fireplace and exit out of the house.