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Fiction

The Nothing House

This short story is inspired by a moody southern gothic picture and tells the story of the house seen in the photo. 

Deep into the dark field there is a lonely, broken little house at the end of a lane. The house contains no one, no one stops by to visit, and no one knows about it, for it belongs to itself. This is a house where the shattered pieces of a stained-glass window go to sleep. Where the weeds crawl up the walls and whisper to each other where no one can hear them. Where the lanterns swing in the breeze and dance with the fog. Where the long fence that winds around the lane keeps the living out. This is a nothing house, and no one knows except for me.

I know of the nothing house at the end of the lane, where butterflies go to die, and the groans of the empty rocking chairs form a chorus with the wind howling across the nothing porch. I know of the nothing house, with its nonexistent life and the stationary mailbox that greets me each morning as I walk up the lane. I know of the nothing house, and the nothing house knows of me.

The nothing house knows my childhood, of mornings spent riding skeletal horses and singing colorful songs to the ceiling who always sings the soprano part. The nothing house remembers a time when the stain-glass windows slept in their frames, when the weeds talked in the grass, when the rocking chairs contained people. The nothing house remembers the child and her two parents who greeted the mailbox each morning and bid the fence goodnight.

But the nothing house also remembers the nights when the terrors grasped at me, when the nothing porch of the nothing house took up arms to keep harm away. The nothing house remembers the car that took the parents away, and left the groaning rocking chairs empty, and rotted away at the walls. Most of all, the nothing house remembers the child, and the child remembers the nothing house.

Now the child is not a child anymore, and stops by the nothing house to greet the mailbox in the morning, and gossip to the weeds, and helps the ceiling to sing a lullaby to the stained glass that sleeps in the lawn. I tend to the skeletal horses and light the dancing lanterns and walk up and down the lane. I sweep the porch and smile at the fog and tell the house goodnight.

I know of the nothing house, and no one knows of it except me.

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Elisabeth is a freshman at BCCHS and is passionate about writing, art, and social justice. She hopes to save the world with words.

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