Saturday, November 6, 2010

the haunted house... continued

to begin at the beginning, click here

by human being

illustrations by rhoda penmarq


she placed an empty plate in front of each of the portraits
and one beside the suitcases in the middle of the hall
for the two cats who were now sharpening their nails
on the inner lining of the suitcases

she decided not to disturb them whatever they did
let's not listen to others this time, she whispered to herself
as she climbed the stairs
her soaked dress trailing behind her


when she opened the door of the bedroom
she was embraced by a gush of cold wind
the window had been left open long enough
to let a walnut tree spread out its branches into the room
covering almost half of the bed
the floor was carpeted with dead decaying leaves and broken twigs
soon they were fed into the fireplace

now a fire-breathing dragon battling with the cold air
warming up the room so pleasantly the tree began to bud out
she stood in front of the dusty mirror
taking off her rain-soaked dress

revealing her body
densely covered with wounds
old and new
infected and gangrenous
bleeding or healing
she decided not to hide them anymore

she lay down on the bed
close to the budding tree
let's not listen to others this time, she whispered to herself
as she closed her eyes and fell asleep


it was high noon when she woke up
the buds on the walnut tree had grown into large green leaves
she sat there watching them for a long while
examinig the course of the veins in each leaf
she smelled and caressed them
then picked forty of them
carefully piling them on top of one another
she found a white robe in the closet
put the leaves in one of its pockets and wore it

then she went to the window and watched the world through the walnut branches and leaves
she kissed the tree warmly and left the room
while she was ascending the creaking spiral staircase to the attic
she could hear the cats fighting

in a dark corner of the attic she found an old writing desk invaded by spiders and dust
she decided not to be a hero fighting a formidable foe
she took back the writing desk in a bloodless battle
very gently she swept all the dust and spiders into an empty box
putting it away in the dark corner

she pushed the desk into the column of light streaming down through the round attic window
in its drawer she found a quill pen
but no ink
she spread out the leaves on the writing desk
and held the quill pen in her excited hand
after a long ponderous pause

she started writing on the leaves
dipping the quill in the blood oozing from her open wounds
before writing each word
let's not listen to others this time, she whispered to herself


when she finished writing on the last leaf
she looked up
the spiders had been busy weaving webs
all over the ceiling, walls and a few things stored there
connecting all of them together
she returned the quill pen to its place in the drawer of the writing desk
collected the leaves and put them carefully in her pocket
the column of light was traveling to some other spot
leaving the desk in the dark

she crawled out of the attic
trying not to disturb the spiders and their webs
when she was descending the stairs, she could see the cats
in the suitcases in the middle of the hall
licking their wounds

she approached them very quietly
she sat by the suitcases
and held the plate she'd left there for the cats in her hands
she stared at the cats for a long time
her eyelids dropping slowly

she was walking
on the plate
the plate was in her hands
she was in a restaurant on the plate
the plate was in her hands
the waiter brought her meal in a large lidded plate and put it on the table
the table was on the plate
the plate was in her hands
she removed the lid

there was a big roasted chicken on the plate
she inhaled the delicious smell
and opened her eyes
the plate was still in her hands
heavy with a roasted chicken
she decided not to eat any of it
thinking she had no right to eat the cats' share
she got up

and thoughtfully took the leaves out of the pocket of her blood-stained white robe
the cats were devouring the chicken now
so merrily
she kneeled in front of the first portrait
searched the pack of the leaves deliberately

selected one leaf and put it on the plate in front of the portrait
let's not listen to others this time, she whispered to herself
as she looked into the kind eyes of the portrait


love is a wound:
the child fell in love with the kind eyes
flowing in her mouth

the first leaf was gone with the river
the plate was empty again
the cats were chasing each other


Dan Leo said...


rhoda said...

thanks, dan!

Peter Greene said...

Yeah, really neat. Perfect pacing and very trippy. Thanks for it, guys.

human being said...

dear friends, Dan and Old...

thanks a lot for reading and encouraging words... means a lot to me!

each caw you hear from any crow is a thank you from me!