Thursday, April 7, 2011

Excerpt


It has been a while since I have shown any evidence that I am actually writing a book. Ergo, it is time for another excerpt. Enjoy. And please ignore the grammatical errors. I try my best, but my best is just not great (Roommate cousin, talking to you). 

From the day I met Rune until the day that he died, I had never once visited his house. It was off base. It was a place where I suppose his real life existed. A place he never felt I belonged. I didn’t push it. I knew he didn’t like his home life. He told me multiple times that it was the last place he wanted to go when he was spending time with me. Even his funeral reception was held somewhere else.

Then one day, he seemed to have disappeared from everything around me, and believing there was one last place I could find him, I inadvertently hopped on my bike and rode to the place I was never allowed. When I arrived, I was dumbfounded. The house was huge, a looming dark shape appearing out of the cusp of dusk. There were several shrubs and a few rose bushes, brown and dying. A large, knobby tree lived in the middle of the front yard, growing nearly as tall as the house. The front door was painted a rusty red color with stain glass windowpanes.

It was beautiful and haunting, just like Rune.

The house grabbed a hold of me, snaking its presence around my body and pulling me towards it. 

I expected the door to be bolted shut, or maybe I just hoped it would be. When I turned the knob, it clicked free from the jam, swinging inwards with a loud groan -- almost like a hunger -- eagerly awaiting the next person to walk inside. I didn't hesitate, but stepped over the threshold, inviting myself into the musty interior. 

I stalled at the base of the stairs, afraid to go any further. Though my mind was telling me to leave, my legs propelled me forward. And soon I was wandering down a long hallway. My legs stopped in front of a door and my fingers lingered cautiously over the knob, unsure if I was really ready to see what remained inside. Figuring I had come this far, I pushed it open. 

The room was messy, looking as though nobody had bothered to touch it after he was here last. In fact, it smelled like the door had not even been opened. His scent hung in the air more prominently than even the encroaching scent of mildew. His life lay strewn across the floor; the evidence I desperately needed to prove that he really did exist.  

I picked up a grey t-shirt from the ground and held it close, imagining that it was still warm from the heat of his body. There were two pictures on his nightstand. One of a woman holding a baby and another of the two of us; the same one I had demolished in the kitchen disposal. It was the first time I had seen a picture of him since. The ache that usually flickered inside, ignited into a large flame, threatening to consume me from the inside out. 

I lay down on the bed, cradling his shirt in my arms, holding what was left of him as close as I could. Then I cried myself to sleep.

I went back a year later, but when I got there, the door had been painted white, the stain glass windows were gone, and there was a little girl playing on the now treeless lawn. All evidence of the haunting house had disappeared. I wanted to scream at her. Tell her that this was not her house, but she smiled brightly at me and waved. In that moment, I knew that whatever remained of Rune was gone. 

He was gone.  

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