Sunday, October 24, 2010

the haunted house

by human being

illustrations by rhoda penmarq


she was standing in the hall
with two suitcases
the telephone was ringing
she decided not to answer it
she was not leaving
she had just arrived
let's not listen to others this time, she whispered to herself


the walls of the hallway were all white and bare
except one with a tall mirror
reflecting her figure dressed in black
she opened the suitcases

they were packed with framed portraits
she decided not to hang them on the walls
she leaned them against the walls one by one
let's not listen to others this time, she whispered to herself


the sitting room was even bleaker than the hall
a lone armchair was sitting in front of a cold fireplace
she decided not to take the seat
the adjacent room was the library

the walls were hidden behind the orderly rows of bookshelves
she stood there for a long while reading the titles of the books
leafing through some of them

she picked out a very thick one and carried it to the fireplace
let's not listen to others this time, she whispered to herself


she lay down on the small rug in the middle of the sitting room
listening to the soothing sound of books burning in the fireplace
shadows were dancing gracefully on the walls and the ceiling
she closed her eyes
feeling something thawing within her
dripping on the rug

flowing on the floor
traveling through the house
room by room
a scratching sound stopped the flow

two cats were behind the window
in the dark wintry night
looking through the misty glass
right into her eyes
she decided not to ignore them and let them in
along with a chilly gust of wind, they jumped into the sitting room

paying no attention to anything but the door to the hall
where they cuddled up in the suitcases left wide open
she leaned against the door frame

contently watching the cats
disregarding the frowning face in the portrait in front of her
let's not listen to others this time, she whispered to herself


a dripping sound echoed in the house
she followed it
when she arrived in the kitchen, it started to rain

she decided not to use an umbrella
let's not listen to others this time, she whispered to herself
all night she was washing the dishes under the rain



Jason Gusmann said...

so far this is definitely my favorite thing you've written for flashing by, human being, and rhoda, yr visuals are again at a real peak - great work, folks

human being said...

a heart-warming comment! much needed in this blizzard i'm trapped in...
thanks, Jason...

Dan Leo said...


human being said...

thanks a lot, dear great writer, Dan Leo!