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Arc Place This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Anyone driving by the white duplex saw the house as vacant real estate for sale. However, few knew this home and its stories.

The driveway was empty now, but it once had contained a collection of family cars. As I approached the house, I saw the kitchen light shining through the window revealing the small television on the counter as Grandma's rocking chair faded out of sight and then rhythmically reappeared. Now the window was dark and empty.

I stepped onto the rotting porch deck and opened the heavy wooden door. Once inside, I was struck by the stale, damp, closed-up smell instead of the perfumy fragrance of Grandma. I stood in what was once the kitchen, now a room stripped of its facilities, absorbing the dark and dreary atmosphere.

I turned and glanced down toward the living room. The nicotine-stained wallpaper revealed the places where pictures had once hung. I could still see the little yellow car half-hidden by the burnt orange sofa - the one all of us kids had once played with at one time or another.

"What happened to all the furniture?" I asked the empty house. It did not answer. But the living room was empty also. Returning to the kitchen again, I saw Grandma sitting in her rocker crocheting a quilt as she watched a soap opera or game show on that small T.V. I blinked, only to find that she too had vanished; there was no one there.

I stole a glance down the hallway that led to the master bedroom. I could still see Grandma lying helplessly on the hospital bed, slowly dying. Would she make it to see another Christmas? Only the outline of the crucifix still hung on the wall casting an emptiness on the room. I shivered because of the chilling memories surrounding me.

I remembered all the holiday parties that had taken place here. I strained my ears to hear the laughter still lingering within the house. But the laughter had been silenced; the house was still.The house depressed me now. It was no longer my grandparent's home; it was just another house with traces of a family long forgotten. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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