The Wish of Perfection

April 27, 2010
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I opened the car door and stepped out, cigarette in mouth. It was my first time at the house in over three years. Nothing had changed. The lawn was mowed, the roof under the trees was leaf-less, the balcony clear of anything and completely empty, and the potted flowers had no dead petals. I walked across the perfectly swept walkway, even though it was bordered by a small herb garden planted into bare soil, it had not one spec of dirt. I walked up the perfectly in line brick porch steps. I looked through the clean window of the unscratched or chipped white door. I sighed then rang the metal door-bell that had absolutely no rust. Two perfectly in tune notes rang inside the house.

This was not were I belonged. I shouldn’t be here. But that didn’t matter now. I was here, and I had a duty to attend to. I had to be here. At one time I had lived in this house. As I had said before. Nothing had changed. The house was corrupted. Not just the house. The lot. It was still the place I had run from, and now had to run to. I had lived like this. Perfect. I had gotten out just in time. These strangers were not so lucky.

A thin woman wearing a long blue skirt, and a white blouse opened the door. She smiled at me with pure white and impeccably straight teeth. There was no smudge in her make-up. There was not a strand of hair out of place in the woman’s bun. She looked nice. It hurt to look at her. I knew who else would be in the house. She was the perfect mother. Her oldest son was up in his room filling out college applications, her second son would be at the kitchen table doing his homework, or writing the sequel to war and piece. Her youngest would be her daughter who was currently helping her mother in the kitchen. I could already smell a casserole in the oven. The father figure in this family was sitting in his office working hard. This may seem fine to the usual person. But I knew what was really happening. Beneath the house there was a tunnel that led around an unending circle around the piece of property, there were the souls of this woman who really was a lawyer who over worked, and was hard on her failing-out-of-high-school oldest son, who picked on his girl obsessed younger brother, who never stopped asking his lesbian sister for advise, when she would be thinking about playing baseball with her dad that summer when he didn’t have to teach school. These souls were kept by a wish. A wish to be perfect. Once one stepped inside the perfect house one wanted to be just as perfect.

“Hello.” The woman said in a high pitched sing-song voice that rang with the same notes as the door-bell. This family had been here for far too long. “Can I help you with something dear?” She asked, the smile still glued to her face.

She is nothing. There is nothing to her. She isn’t human. I’m doing the right thing. I chanted in my head.

“Would you like to come in?” She gestured for me to come in. As she moved slightly sideways, I could see the perfectly sanded banister, the dustless bookshelves. It was just so tempting. I couldn’t let myself inside though. If I did I would go back to the way I was before, and the way this woman was now.

I took the cigarette out of my mouth and through it on the carpet inside the house. The woman’s face twitched in awkward ways that still managed to be polite. I knew I was killing her, I didn’t want this to be too painful, but at the same time I did. I wasn’t killing her; I was killing the wish, the death wish for anyone who knew what was happening to them. The cigarette finally caught light. Soon it had spread the length of the carpet, and then it reached the hard wood floor. I watched the house as more and more of it was consumed by flame. The woman stood there staring at me in the middle of the fire, smile still glued on her face. The oldest boy stepped out of his room.

“Dinner does smell good mom. What kind of casserole is it?” The teenage wish of a boy was standing in his burning doorway.

The sister came out of the flaming kitchen her close on fire. “Chicken and cheese.” She answered.

I stood there watching in part amazement, and part horror.

“Darling? Who was at the door?” The father asked stepping in the entry way and standing next to his wife sliding a flaming arm around her waist.

“Oh father? I can’t remember, how many pages is it allowed to be?” The youngest son yelled from the kitchen.

I shuddered. I began running away from the house to my car, but before I could make it I realized I was trapped by the flame, and by the perfect family, it all trapped me because of the wish. I couldn’t leave. I had analyzed the yard and the house too much; I could feel my soul slipping away. I incoherently gave the keys to my car to a homeless man walking by. I barley had control of myself.

It was an open path to the clear road. The homeless man was having trouble with the gears. The dominate part of me told me to help him and drive him to his destination, but I only had a small bit of soul left in me.

I ran into the house. I was immediately on fire. I was dieing. I unintentionally waived to the homeless man who figured out the gears, and then I dropped my hand. I grasped onto what I had left of me so I through myself fell into the flames, as the wish of perfection overtook my body, and my soul slipped away.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Andrea W. said...
Sept. 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm
well it was a little hard to follow but really good luv you iz
Isabel M. said...
Sept. 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm
I really appreciate comments, even if it;s just good, horrible, weird, or anything like that, I would really like feed back. Thanks.
kmiller replied...
Sept. 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm
the writing was good. in the part where the daughters clothing is catching on fire u spelled "clothes" wrong. i think its a piece of perfect art. its perfect, because its flawed.
I.R.MacCay replied...
Sept. 16, 2010 at 1:26 pm
Thanks so much kmiller
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