Sunday, September 1, 2013

Frameworks of Decay

(image credit here)

A cloud of ravens swarmed around the roof, surrounding the abandoned house with a faint halo of dark feathers and the stench of death, of time slowly eating it up from its foundations. It was beauty left to rot. Slowly, desperately, it looks at you from across the field, silently pleading with broken window-frame eyes and gaping door-off-hinges mouths.

Am I not good enough, it seems to ask, gazing at us sadly.

We once lived there, in that house.

Those were happy times.

Now, the floors where we learned to take our first steps are giving under our feet. The places where we used to run around in, the space were we threw our first party and the spot where we first threw up from drinking too much in said party... they were barely recognizable. The stairs are missing whole steps, now not taking us anywhere but the past. Rooms that were the beginnings of our worlds, and the attic where we kept our old stuff... now, the whole house has become the attic, left behind under a dust cloth and never opened once again.

Until now.

We had stopped exploring the old house, stood in front of it and allowing its shadow to loom over us. You ran your hands over the prickly bushes and sorry stumps of what was once a beautifully tended flower garden, now reduced to weeds and creeping vines of more weeds. The ravens were coming back in small flocks, and they squawked over the two us irritably. It was annoying how they made us feel as if we were trespassing over a place that was rightfully ours.

But now, what was once our home was less than a mere skeleton of a house. The warmth, the memories, everything seemed to have fled the place. Like the owners, the occupants. Us.

You had unconsciously dug a little hole in the ground with the toe of your sneaker. I stared at it, and with a finality I dropped the little piece of metal I had held in my hand. 

We both stared at the key for a moment before you kicked the dirt back into the hole, stamping your foot firmly to flatten the gap you had made in the ground. 

Bye house, we whispered in our heads, and turned our backs for the final time. The ravens called out their goodbyes. One swooped down and began pecking at the ground where the key was buried.

The sun was setting, and the shadow of the house stretched, following our steps until it faded into the surrounding darkness. The sun was gone, and so was the warmth. 

We wrap our arms around each other's shoulders as the house looked on sadly.

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