The House

May 24, 2011
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Lexsiel shivered again and hugged herself tighter as she trudged through the early morning chill closing in on 40 degrees. She kept her head down as she walked, the black hoodie, black shirt, and black pants blending her into the shadows of the residential street. A crisp wind blew through the neighborhood as she walked, and she stopped walking until the air stopped moving again. She continued to walk towards the end of the street. There, alone, sat a house, the particular house that Lexsiel was looking for. It seemed like centuries had passed by the time she finally reached it. She walked up the steps to the porch and gripped the door knocker with one of her freezing hands, somehow managing to find the strength to lift it up and bring it down a couple of times before she had to take her hand back and hide it in the pockets of her jacket. She stood there on the porch, waiting for someone to open the door. While she waited, she stepped off the porch and took in the outside of the house. It was old, very old. The wood was unpainted and, from the looks of it, unsealed, too. It was shades of gray and faded brown, and green in the places moss dared to grow. There were countless holes in the wood where it had either rotted or been eaten away by insects. The roof was sagging inwards and looked like it was about ready to cave in. The windows were cracked and, in some cases, missing altogether. The window panes looked to have fallen down long ago, and some hung like the dead from a single hinge. The porch looked no better than the rest of the house. The wood sagged and looked bug-eaten. There was no furniture, only dust and shadows. It looked as if the porch had, at one time, been screened in, or maybe even had glass panels, but what little was left was almost impossible to discern. The yard was barren. There were no plants or flowers; even the weeds seemed to have refused to grow. There was no grass, and the trees were completely leafless. The house and its yard looked, for all intents and purposes, dead. It was amazing, she thought, that anyone even considered living in it. The whole house looked like it would collapse at the slightest touch. So she was surprised when the door opened in front of her. She quickly looked toward to door and walked slowly up the porch again, now afraid that the smallest movement or one wrong step would send her falling through. She peeked through the doorway, stepping closer to get a better view of the inside to see if anyone was there. But the front room looked empty. “Hello?” she called, but no one answered. She tried again, a little louder, but received no reply but the echo of her voice through the halls. “Maybe they walked away for a minute?” she mumbled. She sighed and said, “Might as well go in; it’s freezing out here.” She stepped through the doorway and into the front entry way. She was completely taken by surprise as she saw the inside of the house. The exterior of the enormous house may have looked old and decrepit, but it was clear that that was merely a façade, as the inside looked something akin to a Victorian palace. The furniture was impeccable and looked to be from the Victorian era. The walls were covered with antique-patterned wallpaper in shades of pale yellow, light pink, and sky blue. There was a comforting feeling about that first room, but there were undertones of fear and menace and cold. It unnerved her, but she kept on. Behind her, the door slammed shut. She spun around as quickly as she could, but no one was there. “May I ask what you are doing in my house?” a voice asked from behind her. She whipped back around and came face to face with a boy. Well, face to chest, really, as he was several inches taller than her. She slowly dragged her eyes up to his and studied him for a moment. It was obviously tall, somewhere around 6 feet, she guessed. His hair was as black as midnight though his skin was almost as pale as death itself. “Maybe that’s just the lighting,” she thought to herself. Piercing green eyes stared at her under thick lashes. His features were sharp, but not menacing in any way. There was something about him that softened how he appeared to others, but she couldn’t place what it was. “I-I-I knocked on the door a couple of times a-and the door opened but no-no one was there,” she stuttered. “So you figured you’d just let yourself in?” he said. His voice was like melted chocolate with shattered glass mixed in. “I-I didn’t mean t-t-to intrude,” she said, still stuttering. “It-it was just s-so cold out there,” she choked out. “I see,” he said, though it lacked the dismissal she had been expecting. She was even more surprised when he said, “Have a seat, make yourself at home. I’ll go get you something warm to drink.”





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KileyJahn said...
Jun. 5, 2011 at 4:41 am
Decided, in the end, not to publish "Stress and Me." For another example of my stream-of-consciousness stories, check out my archives, as I'll be adding new ones every now and again.
 
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