Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

Go sit on your grandmother’s rocking chair, on the porch of that strange house – the one
which harbours the memories of a family you have never known. Stare blindly at the dusty and crumbling ceiling, and allow disgust to slowly fade away as the legs of a lonely spider creep up, bony and graceful, towards the corner of the roof. Only the blindest of all three Fates could have borrowed such a disguise; unbothered, she weaves on an intricate web of sturdy thread catching the flickering rays of the sunshine dying, defeated, under the blows of an army of clouds.

The family had been forced to come and visit the house. Duty had called; there they were, entertaining this circus, this parody of family intimacy for a flock of spectators – acquaintances, neighbours. Family friends, they said. And for a week now, they had come back and fourth from their lavish city hotel to this creepy small town house to perform this great number, and find the best way to get rid of a house they had no interest in.

How could this house still stand on such weak foundations, he wondered, looking around in absolute disbelief. With each step, the cracked wooden floor creaked, begging for mercy. Spiders, worms, all crawling creatures, had invested the house; it was their territory now, and he and his family were mere invaders, disturbing the peaceful and dusty serenity of a ghostly building. The porch remained the safest place. No presence – human nor arachnoid – had disturbed his retreat. Until Fate decided to weave an architectural masterpiece on the arch of the porch, putting to shame the frail human construction.

Everything was standing very still now. Night always caught you off guard around here,
darkness dropping like a curtain separating the daily performances of all aspiring liars from the stillness of repose. Night gave you no evenings, and it had a funny way of laying a thick layer of silence upon the town, drowning it in torpor.
Yet, inside the house, daylight had left long-lasting shadows on the walls. A window left forever ajar by the rustiness of its hinges let the wind whistle through every single room, chanting an odd sort of life back into this dry house. And suddenly, the house was crying; a violent sob rising from beneath the surface of the earth, beneath the surface of time. The past, rising from the lazy dust sprinkled down in thick layers of History muffled onto broken furniture, shook the unsteady building. Every shadow rose, freed from the walls, from the daily yoke of immobility.


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