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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)

TITLE: Empty
By JoAnne Potter
06/05/08


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So many years gone, and the house yet stands. I wait, but the front door will not yawn open. I watch, but the half-drawn shades of my old room do not wink. The house lives, but no longer breathes. I must push, because it does not draw me in.

Careful webs tie coat hooks together and reach across doorframes with vacant fingers. A spider, his work not yet finished, spins in the shadowed corner where Grandfatherís rocker bore him up long evenings. Motes stray through newer light, remnants of flour dust from Motherís facile hands.

I do not know this place after all. Its hollow silence banishes every remembered encounter, both of weeping and celebration. It proclaims a vacuum emptier than death, its last exhale beyond record. No laughter echoes in these rooms any more.

The stillness falls hard. What happened to round days, full of sun and color? Where went scraped knees and stolen kisses? I know they still live and can almost touch them, like a whiskerís brush, populating the hallways of my constant memory. This brick and wood and glass witnessed, but did not hold a life any more than flesh holds a soul. I will not find my childhood here.

My footsteps stir the dust one last time. I walk out without thinking to close the door and do not look back.


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This article has been read 505 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/05/08
WOW!

This is an exemplar for mood and atmosphere, and some absolutely splendid writing!
Florence Roberts06/05/08
Beautiful expression of thoughts. I enjoyed this.
BOB BLACKMAN06/05/08
Its true, an empty house cannot be a home. Very well written.
Marilyn Schnepp 06/06/08
From the Title to the very last word - This is hauntingly beautiful and leaves an Empty whiff of nostalgia for those long gone yesteryears. Loved the briefness, especially - too many words would have ruined the beauty of its sentiment. (My opinion, of course). Loved it! Kudos!
Sara Harricharan 06/09/08
WOW! this is simply amazing, the detail and the atmosphere and everything! I just loved it! ^_^
Debbie Wistrom06/09/08
Your second paragraphs is filled with wonderful pictures.

You said so much in so few words-great job with the resigned sadness of emptiness.