The Lonely House

This is an attempt at a short story following a prompt at the blog Novelicious and it just ran away from me. It is a cringe-worthy, childish effort and yet it is the first time I ever wrote on a topic someone flung at me and in the spirit of honesty I put it up for all to see.

Do not read unless you are a forgiving and large-hearted person!

Novelicious Pinterest Prompt October 2013

Anna stopped her car on the side of the road and got out. It was a long drive and anyway she was in no hurry to get to her destination. When she thought about it, her best times had always been with herself. She reached into her bag on the passenger seat and pulled out her pink sipper, locked the car and walked towards the stile bordering the field on the roadside. It was just something about the late autumn light falling on the drying blades of grass and the trees on top of the incline further on, that seemed incredibly inviting and a good enough excuse to extend the journey. As she jumped over the stile, all ungainly seventy kilograms of her, Anna giggled at the sight she must present to anyone passing just at the crucial juncture when she had one leg perilously balanced on the stile and the other valiantly trying to push her off the ground. Once she was safely over, she tried to brush off the detritus from the front of her over large top, unsuccessfully at that, and then started resolutely towards the summit a mere forty feet away. But she had reckoned without her state of general health and by the time she reached the top, she was sweating like a pig and wheezing like a banshee. It took about five minutes of deep breathing and mental chants to regain her equilibrium and focus on the view before her eyes.

It was an old house on the plains, hidden from the road by the incline and to Anna it seemed like something straight out of her Enid Blyton stories, but only in an adult context. The fields extend over a smoothly undulating plain, covered in the golden autumn grasses all around the house, with a few trees dotted here and there to break the monotony of the landscape. The golden evening sky behind the house seemed to embrace it with its warm rays and bounced off its windows in invitation. It looked abandoned in its stillness and Anna was strongly tempted to cross the 200 or so feet between her and the front door and twist the door knob just to see if it would open. A childish whim, she knew and yet it sent a thrill of anticipation up her spine. The walls covered in peeling vintage wallpaper, the wooden floors lined with the autumn leaves that had found their way through the broken kitchen window, the rocking chair in the parlor swaying from the gust of wind through the front door, the open fireplace with the long dead ashes strewn over the hearth, the photographs in round, wooden frames over the mantelpiece and the chintz covered sofa, now yellowing with age. Anna chuckled and shook her head. She hadn’t moved a step and her imagination had run riot. She really must stop these games now, after all she was grown up woman. And yet, she let out a sigh as she stared at the house silhouetted against a rapidly darkening sky, here was the dream house she had always imagined herself living in someday. Wasn’t the sheer solitude that sat like a blanket around the house just what she had always craved for? Her very presence seemed an intrusion into this scene of idyllic tranquility. The wind that wove through her brown hair seemed to whisper a silence so profound that Anna stopped breathing altogether. She wondered about the people who must have stayed in this house and the reasons why they had left. Had they lived happy lives or were  they bogged down by the small, unrecorded individual tragedies of life. Her phone rang, shattering the silence and snapping her out of her reverie. It was Alex. As usual, not the best of timing. She put her phone on silent mode and returned her gaze for a final mental snapshot of her dream-house, before turning away with a little shrug as if to signify her helplessness and walked back, through the dried grass, over the stile, into her car and off to the end of her journey.

Anna, stepped away from the window and drew a huge sigh. The portly girl with the brown hair and ethnic clothing had looked like something out of  a mad 3 year old’s colouring book. She had stared at the house for so long that Anna had begun to worry about her intentions. They hardly ever had visitors anyway and Anna wasn’t sure if she would have welcomed the girl in or let her walk away. Well, she had let her walk away. So what did that say about her. It was all because of the house. Living in this lonely house had sapped all her social skills and any confidence she might have had. Life was just not fair. That girl probably had gypsy parents and walked all over the world with a whole caravan of relatives and friends. She flung her pillow on the wall just to emphasize her anger without making any noise. It was second nature to her, after all silence was bred into her veins through all the generations that had lived in this forgotten, godforsaken house. She turned to the mirror and added another layer of lipstick to her charcoal- black lips and adjusted the spikes in her hair. There were after all so many ways of making a noise. She needed more conventional sounds now and she knew just the place for it. she walked out of her goth-art inspired room into the glaring white wash  of the corridor and headed down the stairs, into the spic and span kitchen, through the carefully carpeted hallway and out the front door, through the fields and over the stile by the roadside. The blessed road of endless possibilities, leading away from the house and its screaming solitude and loneliness.


6 thoughts on “The Lonely House

  1. I enjoyed this. The pace was good and measured, you took your time with the descriptions and the story unfolded gently. For some reason, your writing style reminds me of 19th century British novelists — even the setting of your story is quite British! Thanks for being courageous enough to share your work with us 🙂


  2. Thrilling reading and connect very well to ones life. So much of learning lesson which could be drawn from such a small write up. Well done and keep it up. Wings r with u and the sky is open to fly Mallu…..God bless


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