200 Words

Occasionally I will post little snippets of writing not tied in to anything else. Simplicity can be very soothing. This is the first.

For Sale. Dozens of not so careful owners.

Every day I pass by this run down neglect of a house, held together by old bones and cobwebs. I pause, tie a shoelace that doesn’t need fastening, and wonder at the bleached timbers and the tales they could tell. I daydream about taking it on, mending the holes in the roof, mending the holes in my life.

A new limed oak floor, chintzy curtains and roses around the door. Such a pretty house people would say. I would smile, offer tea.

I research, poring over books and yellowed photographs, scribbled notes and ink on my fingers. I always want to save things, lost puppies, a battered hat, old ghosts.

There is death in the dust; last breaths lay motionless in the dirt, disturbed only by the faint filtering of sunlight and the murmur of a hangman’s noose. Murder, betrayal, hatred. Not at all chintzy.

I could paper over the deceit, sweep old blood into a pile, deposit it outside.  Paint a flower on the wall. Velvet and gilt and goose down duvets. There, all fixed.

But can I sleep with a ghost child sobbing in the hearth?

I cannot save everything.

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