Wednesday, January 28, 2009
When Emily walked into the house I knew right away something was terribly wrong. It was obvious that she had been crying. But I had never seen that look of fear on her face before. She had scanned the room quickly to catch my eye and then slipped into her room.
It had been my week to have our book club over and even with the lateness of the hour not all of the ladies had gone home. I quickly finished pouring Mary a second glass of wine and looked at Deb across the room. Yes, she too had seen Emily come in.
“Leslie let me help you serve that cake. You know it’s the real reason we come to club anyway. Forget the damn book, let’s get that cake out here.” Deb said for the benefit of the room. With one hand on my shoulder she steered me into the kitchen. Quick, I’ll see to the cake, you go get in there and see what’s up with Emily. “You’re the best, I said in a low voice and followed my daughter to her room.
There sitting rigid on the edge of her bed was my eldest daughter. A slip of a girl that belied her eighteen years of aged. Right now, with her hair done up in a messy ponytail and puffy tear stain face she at first looked the same to me as she had years ago. Like when she had fallen on the playground or been frightened by a bee, a problem solved easily with a hug and a kiss, perhaps a Band-Aid for good measure. But no this was much worse. Emily was very pale. Her hands were clenched tightly into fists. And then I saw that her white sneakers were covered in blood.
I ran over and knelt next to her. “Baby, baby what happened! Are you all right? I grabbed at her. Wrapping her up in my arms bending her stiff body down to me. Forcing her to be held. “ Tell me what happened so I can help you.”
“I killed Jack, Mom. He’s outside in the car.” She had said this without emotion. As if she were telling me where she had put the remote to the TV. “ I… I think I want to take a shower now and go to bed.” She started to stand and kick off her shoes, but the shoe slipped in the blood against the other. She stumbled a little. “ No darling, not yet, here let me help you,” as I pushed her back down. And reached for her shoes. “I’ll do that, you just, relax and try to tell Mommy what happened.” As I pulled off one sticky shoe and then the other, Emily took a long slow breath, and began.
“I told him I wanted to take a break…you know just for a while. I mean we’re graduating this year…it would be good for us to get used to being on our own. He got so quite, Mom. Then he hit me. He grabbed my neck and said I could, go…he called me awful things…I think he was going to kill me; he never looked like that before. His eyes were crazy. The way they moved in his head… like it wasn’t me he was seeing anymore. He just kept squeezing my neck. I don’t know exactly how I found it,” she said emotionlessly. It just was in my hand suddenly. His screwdriver. The one he keeps in the center console to fix the glove compartment when it pops open. I just wanted him to stop hurting me. I hit his head. He stopped and fell forward. It was then that I saw it sticking in him. Mommy, I pulled it out. I thought I could fix it. Isn’t that crazy? I thought he would wake up if I pulled it out of him. When I reached over and grabbed the handle …it was just blood. Pouring out …running down his face…on the floor and my feet.”
It’s ok, baby, I’ll take care of your shoes. Here, you lie down and rest.” I bundled her in her white quilt. Rest here now and wait for Mommy. I’ll take care of everything. I left her light on. Then closed the door and took the shoes with me down the hall.
Water from the faucet washed over Emily’s sneakers over flowing them and sending a river of pink and dirty water down the drain of the tub. The blood was almost completely cleaned away when there was a knock on the bathroom door.
I shut off the water. “Ah, just a minute I’m almost done.” I’ll tell them it’s mud Emily tracked in. We’ve had so much rain that’ll work. I’ll complain about how irresponsible teenagers are. I’ll gripe and complain and even act embarrassed.
“Leslie, it’s me. Deb’s voice was low and conspiratorial. She opened the door. In her hands was a bath towel covered in blood. “She left tracks in the hallway. No one saw me. You take care of this, I’ll get rid of the stragglers.”
“What are you gonna tell them?”
“ Emily’s sick, with a fever. Maybe they’ll think she’s drunk. Let them; think the worst, so long as they go home. Then we can think about what to do next.”
“ I know what I’m going to do.”
“ I am going to dig a very big whole.”
“ Alright then Leslie, I’m going to move his car. I’ll meet you in the back yard.”
Posted by Beverly Hamilton Wenham at Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
It falls like a ball from the center of the sun.
Curving fast round the corner, weightless and on target right through the center of my third eye.
It burns white and flashes bright with a purple hue and nests in the back at the top of my spine.
That’s when the world starts to glow ultra-violet with heat rather then light.
Then comes the pain.
Constant, humming…hum, hum.
You take the white pill, three times now. When one would have worked,
how long ago?
Crawling for a dark place and waiting for the angels to come
Seeing only flashing white wings.
But the warm flows like honey over the pain, over the light and the wings drip with it.
When the sun fades to an ember it fades darker to black.
You catch your breath with your fists from a sleep too deep.
But you want your honey back and you’ve grown afraid of the sun
Posted by Beverly Hamilton Wenham at Thursday, January 22, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I was writing a new short story for this site,but I am just taking to darned long to do it. Then last night I saw Ricky Gervise, On The Actors Studio and he quoted this poem written about the town that the original, The Office was set in. I thought it was a great poem about a town that was becoming more industrial and less a place to live and thrive. I would share it with you.
Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!
Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
Tinned minds, tinned breath.
Mess up the mess they call a town-
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown
For twenty years.
And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women's tears:
And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.
But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It's not their fault that they are mad,
They've tasted Hell.
It's not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It's not their fault they often go
And talk of sport and makes of cars
In various bogus-Tudor bars
And daren't look up and see the stars
But belch instead.
In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.
Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The old man had to get Ogwara out of this house and into the sunlight. He turned to look behind him to see that the house had returned to it’s proper self. Perhaps the demon ghost can only work its illusions at night? He thought. Slowly he got to his feet and circled the futon. Taking care to stay as far away from the vile luxurious bed as the room would allow. He looked quickly over to her handmaiden sitting between him and the shoji screen wall. She too sat still and rotting just as her mistress did. If I can break through this wall it would allow even more sunlight to enter the room. That should keep these demons still until I can get Ogwara from the house. Perhaps I can make a hole large enough to get both of us out of the room. From this direction it should be possible to cross the garden and take the samurai to my home.
The old man began to push against the rice paper walls, at first breaking each individual square of paper. With each hole he made in the paper, the morning sun would pour into the room. Then he set about kicking through the thin wooden lattice that held the paper in place, until he had made a space large enough for him and the samurai. He then turned to the bed. With his bare feet he kicked at the bones of the woman. Knocking then further away with each kick from Ogwara. The old man almost panicked as her hair caught between his toes. Or when he saw that his foot was becoming more wet and sticky from some unseen goo, as he kicked his master free of her embrace.
Finally when her bones lay in a beam of sunlight across the room, the old man bent down to Ogwara’s ear and said, ”Master it is I your friend and humble servant, you must leave with me now or you will die. I am going to try to lift you, but you must help me if you can. You remember how old your friend is so please help me lift you Ogwara-san.”
Ogwara said in the quietest of whispers, “Where is she? My moonlight love. Has she gone to make one of her wonderful meals? You know my friend, I could stay here forever eating with her, and making love. Did I tell you she sings to me as well? Such beautiful songs.
The old man tried to lift the samurai who was emaciated, had certainly not eaten any wonderful meals in a long time. He did not want to imagine what those meals might have been if not an illusion. All he knew for certain he was that the Ogwara was close to starving to death yet he did not have the strength to move him with out the samurai’s help.
The old man whispered in his ear,” Ogwara-san, Your love has gone to the market to buy food for your next meal. My wife would like you to come to our home so that you might pick out the fabric for a new kimono my wife would like to make your lady. Would you not like to give her a present after all she has given you? You do not want to appear to be a selfish lover, and you have always said what a fine seamstress my wife is. Think of how pleased she would be after receiving such a beautiful gift?”
The samurai nodded and leered “yesss, so grateful,” he said slowly, as if they were sharing a dirty joke. This man is not my master. I must get him free of this house if I am to save him at all, the old man thought.
“Come let us go now Ogwara-san, one, two, three. Up.” The old man took most of the weight, but with a little help from the samurai he managed to steer him along. Luckily Ogwara did not see the bones of his love in a heap in the corner. He did not seem to notice that they were leaving by a new hole in his shoji screen wall either. The old man did not think Ogwara knew where he was at all, until he turned to the handmaiden in the corner. “Now you wait here my little Kimiko, and perhaps I will bring you back a present too. Ogwara then smiled and blew a kiss to the skeletal girl. The old man now rushed toward to hole and sunlight. He looked over his shoulder at the handmaiden one last time before pushing his master through the opening. The handmaid slowly turned her head, and bowed.
The old man got the samurai halfway across the garden when he collapsed. His wife saw them from her window and came running to help him. Together they brought Ogwara into their home. First they spoon-fed him some broth and they bathed him, and then wrapped him in a deep blue kimono. They then tried feeding him some plain rice. When they where certain he had received some nourishment they let him sleep. The old man headed to the Buddhist temple to ask them advice on how to save Ogwara. His wife sat by the samurai’s side quietly saying prayers.
When the old man returned an hour later he brought with him a white linen bag and a jug of sake. He called his wife to join him in the next room while Ogwara slept. He opened the bag and shook out dozens of rectangular pieces of paper each wrapped with fine red twine. On each of these was a prayer of protection.
“Wife, we must place these Ofuda in every room of our house and at every door way and window.” Then, he reached into a larger pack for a roll of bundled rice paper. “ With this we must write the prayer to the Buddha, repeated over and over again. With this we must cover every crack and hole in the wall of our home. Everywhere light can come in to the house must be covered. Do you understand?”
“Yes, husband. How can we accomplish such a thing in one day? And how do you know that she will know to come here?”
“ First wife we have two days. Today we keep him drunk and feed him when we can. This should keep him sleeping, but his thoughts confused. It will make him harder for her to find him, said the old man holding up the jug of sake. ”The priests say that this is a desperate and lonely spirit. She will not give up easily.”
“How do you know she will not wait for him at his own house?”
“Because I am going to burn the unclean thing down”
The Priests had been right. When the old man looked back into the hole he had made in Ogwara’s wall, the bones were gone. They said that they would most likely return to their own graves without a companion here. But he could tell that the ghosts did linger here in their own way. There was that smell in the air, fainter, but still present of flowers that had stayed indoors too long. Yes, forgotten flowers rotting in stale water. The old man took one last look at the fine house he had helped to build. He then set a fire at each corner of the house waited to make sure that it would catch. He then walked home. There was much work to be done yet.
On the evening of the second day their house was finished. The couple had done as the priests instructed sealing the small house in the Buddha's prayer. The words, I trust in the light of the Buddha, repeated again and again around each wall and window. From every corner hung the Ofuda caring it’s spell of protection. The old man and his wife were exhausted. Ogwara had remained drunk, but was happy to eat more as the hours passed. Today they gave him tea instead of wine, so that they might explain what had happened and what he must now do.
Ogwara sat before them mortified that he had behaved so badly and that he had been so easily seduced. “I do not deserve to have such good friends as you.” Ogwara said. “I have been foolish and weak.”
“No Ogwara-san, You were not in your right mind, you were a victim of this demon ghost. Now is what is important. You must show your strength and be ready to turn her away one last time.” The old man looked into Ogwara’s eyes and in them for the first time he saw fear. “ Now listen to me, she may, if she truly wants you for her companion come tonight, with her maid. She cannot come in, but you Ogwara-san must not go out either. If you slide open any of our humble screens she can guide you out and you will be lost. However if you defy her tonight she will never return. Do you understand me?”
“Yes, I do.” The samurai steadied himself. “After all she was once just a woman. Now that she can travel at will between two worlds does not make her the master of me. It is a trick that I now know how to foil.”
“ Would you like my wife and I to stay up with you? We would be happy to keep you company.”
“ No friend, I must face her alone if I am to know that it is I that have defeated her and not the courage of my companions.”
Ogwara sat sipping tea in the darkened room and staring at the shoji screen door. As he waited he thought about his life. He thought about all that he had accomplished, his lovely wife, his friends and his country and his place in it. He had lived just as he should have, was rewarded with wealth and rank, and a beautiful bride. But now what did he have? Only his honor. He would be strong tonight. He would start a new life tonight. He would have new adventures, after he had defeated this ghost.
It was then that Ogwara thought he heard singing. It sounded as though it was coming from the direction of his home. The samurai froze. Had he really herd it? It was quite now. Then the samurai saw a soft glow shining through the rice paper. It was still small and at some distance, but it rocked gently back and forth as it came closer. Then the singing began again and it was just out side his door. The silhouette of the lady’s outline was clear. She knelt just outside his door and continued her song. The lantern grew closer and its glow warmed the light in the samurai’s room. Ogwara knelt on his side of the shojiscreen door and listened until her song ended. He saw the outline of her hand as she placed it on the rice paper screen. He placed his against hers with only the paper between them. He felt the warmth of her hand. It’s pressure against his. He took a deep breath. And he opened the door.
In the morning the old man and his wife went to the cemetery to look for the lady’s grave. They found a very old abandoned shrine of a fine lady’s. Half buried in the earth was the samurai's deep blue kimono.
From Wikipedia: Botan Dōrō (牡丹燈籠) is a Japanese ghost story that is both romantic and horrific; it involves sex with the dead and the consequences of loving a ghost.
It is sometimes known as Kaidan Botan Dōrō, based on the kabuki version of the story. Most commonly translated as Tales of the Peony Lantern, it is one of the most famous kaidan in Japan.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
The front entrance was warped and bulged at the black wrought iron hinges. The heavy oak door was not locked. It opened silently, which was wrong, thought the old man. A door so bent out of shape such as this one should creek and moan at the touch. It should fight not to be opened. No this door wanted me to come inside. He pushed the door opened wide and looked down the long narrow hallway ahead.
“ I will not be fearful, I will not be fearful, I will not be fearful”, he chanted to himself, but it began to sound like the babbling of a madman to his ears, so he stopped. Taking a large breath the old man said a silent prayer. He took off his shoes and stepped over the threshold. The house felt warm inside. Not unpleasantly so, but warmer by degrees then it was just outside the still open door. There was an odor here as well. A feminine smell, a perfume perhaps, mixed with something else that the old man could not name.
The hallway was before him and it seemed to him much longer in just the moonlight than he had remembered but he knew that it ran the length of the house, with entrances to all four rooms downstairs. At the end he should find a small staircase leading to two more rooms upstairs. But he should not need to go that far. The glow was coming from the first room. He felt his way with one hand along the wood paneled wall. He held the other hand out in front of him to ward off the unseen wall, or piece of furnture. He would not allow himself to think of what else that hand might brush against in the dark. Would it be that soft silken something that perfumed the house? He began to think of his wife when they were first married. In those days they could not bear to be separated from one another for even a few moments. When after making love she would lay on her stomach with her long hair flowing down her back like a river in the snow. She was never lovelier to him then.
The hallway suddenly turned sharply left and became very narrow. The old man did not remember a turn of any kind. He placed both hands along the walls and walked forward. “ Have I forgotten this… can it be that I am lost? Soon the old man had to turn sideways to continue forward, placing his bare feet side by side to take a shuffled step to move forward.
perhaps he should not go on he thought. The walls were feeling too warm to his touch and seemed to be getting warmer. Or was it the air was hotter. Or was it simply running out all together. The old man turned to leave feeling that he could take no more. His wife would forgive him, he would forgive himself. But it was then that he saw that there was no hallway behind him anymore. Only the same wood paneled wall that he felt on the other three. His mouth flashed with the taste of metal, and his legs felt like they might give out. He rested his forehead against the warm wall in front of him. The wall almost seemed to give under the pressure of his head. The old man then pressed his hands against the wall and they did indeed give in to the push of his fingers. He stood as far back as the cramped space would allow. These walls were no longer walls, but some kind of living skin that moved and breathed. That underlining odor that the old man could not at first name was now the very pungent smell of sweat and decay.
He panicked. Trapped between the walls of this thing. His mind raced. The blood rushed in his ears and he was certain that his heart would explode in his chest. Then what if he did not die but was instead trapped for an eternity within the walls of this house, just as the samurai must have been? Then the old man thought if he could just breathe. One full breath. And so the old man did. He followed that by another, then another and tried to calm himself just enough to think. He was a good and just man. Evil was chaos. If he was thoughtful and present of mind he could over come this thing. Breath.
“I have two choices', he thought quickly to himself. "I can wait here and be swallowed up whole, or I can go forward. The first may be cowardness or an act of defiance to stay and play a waiting game. It just may be that this demon wants to lead me down this path to aid it in some plot to more evil doings.” In the end the old man decided that he could not bear to wait in that small space, that it would be better to act and move forward in the hopes that he would have the opportunity to fight better ahead.
The old man resolved to keep moving forward. At one point he was forced to hunch his shoulders in and duck his head to make it through the ever-shrinking passage.
When the hallway then became almost too small he thought he might have to give up and let the house win after all, he saw in front of him for a moment, the glow of a lantern. He moved forward like a withered spider until he saw a glimpse of that light again. Finally he pushed his way forward through the impossibly narrow end of the room with such force that he fell onto the floor of the hallway as it had always been. The way the old man had remembered building it. Moonlight shone through the shoji screen windows all around him. Except for the room in front of him. That was the Samurai’s room. From it emitted an warm orange glow from a lantern of some kind. The old man picked himself up from the floor. He stood out side the door and listened.
Within the room he could hear the soft moans of a man. But it was obvious that these were not sounds of pain. They were followed by his gentle laughter and whispered talking. The old man waited. Soon the sounds of the mans love making became louder. And then he was silent. The old man saw the morning sun begin to light the shoji screen windows and that was when he made his move to enter the room.
Slowly the old man pulled back the screen door and looked into the room. His mouth hung open as he dropped to his knees.
There on his futon lay the once great samurai now half starved lying naked in the loving embrace of a moldering skeleton. It’s long black tangled hair wrapped around the warrior’s fingers and still attached in places to its putrefied skull. There in the corner patiently sat another skeleton wrapped in a simple peach colored kimono. Still holding a bamboo rod with a brightly painted peony lantern attached.
Coming Part 3 The End of The Peony Lantern
Posted by Beverly Hamilton Wenham at Sunday, January 04, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Tale Of the Peony Lantern
The great samurai Ogwara had not left his home for a year. Not since his wife had died. He could see no reason to. Everything in the world had lost its color. All food had lost its flavor. And for him it was always a winter without snow. Ogwara spent his days existing, simply waiting for the days of his life to be finished. He moved from room to room in his large house unable to sleep, to read or to eat. He could no longer concentrate on things. He no longer cared to do anything, but wait for another day to pass.
Ogwara’s neighbors was a very old man. He had admired the samurai’s since he had first known Ogwara as a young man and had been one of the master carpenters to build his home. The samurai had been a man of great and noble bearing in his youth. Fearless and honorable in all things. Ogwara service to the Emperor had been rewarded and his generosity had been well known throughout the village. It had sadden and embarrassed the old man to see the now emaciated form of the once great samurai as he walked mindlessly through his garden, talking to himself. Late at night when the old man was forced to get up again to relieve him self, as he now so often must. Through his window he would often see a glow from Ogwara’s lantern through the shoji screen walls of the samurai house as he paced from room to room. The old man would go back to his bed and curl up to his wife’s frail old body. Glad that she was still with him. He said a quick prayer that she would not leave him alone first.
The moon was very bright. It was distractingly so. The moon was hurting Ogwara's eyes. He tried to ignore it. But the moon would not be ignored, it’s light kept boring into his eye. He would have to rise and close the shoji screen against it. He was just so tired. How was it possible for the moon to be this bright? Why couldn’t he be left alone? As he did approached the door, a warm soft gust of wind brushed his face. The cherry blossoms swayed in the garden and for a moment the garden once again looked beautiful. In the moonlight he could see the pinks of the petals and the greens of the leaves. He thought he heard a woman humming a song and then, just as quickly it was gone. The world was grey and lifeless again. Like a starving man Ogwara ran out into the garden. And stared at the moon. It was wrong. Everything was very wrong. Suddenly Ogwara was frightened. For a moment he wasn’t sure of his footing. He was light headed.
He had just gotten up too quickly. That was it. When was the last time he had eaten? He was a fool chasing shadows. Afraid of the moon. Well, why not, he supposed, He had lived on little more then boiled rice and wine for at least a week now. The wind picked up again. It was warm, and wrapping around him. Brushing against his skin, gently moving his hair. Ogwara sat on the stonewall of his garden and took a long slow breath. He relaxed his shoulders. The moon was indeed very bright, but why was that something to be afraid of? It gave a strange light to the garden, but not unpleasant one. The colors of the cheery trees could be seen faintly as his eyes adjusted to the night. The warm breeze carried the scent of many of the flowers in the air without being cloying. Ogwara began to feel more peaceful then he had in months. He suddenly knew that his wife was at rest. He felt certain that that everything was just as it should be. He began making plans for repair to the stables and hiring men to rethatch the roof, when out of the corner of his eye he saw the glow of a lantern coming down the street toward him. Who would be out this late he wondered. As it got closer he saw that it was two women. A servant carrying a large paper lantern decorated with peonies. Next to her a very beautiful woman who was singing the song that Ogwara had heard earlier that night. What was any woman doing out at this hour. Especially one of this woman’s apparent rank. Certainly she would be an easy victim for any thieves.
Ogwara stood and quickly ran his fingers through his hair and straighten his kimono as the pair drew closer. The women smiled shyly at Ogwara and came to a stop closer to him then he had expected. Her eyes were warm and dark brown. Her skin pale, but not made up the way a woman’s face would normally be for one so formally dressed. Her black shiny hair was pinned up in an elegant bun, but a tendril had come lose and curled slightly around her ear. The Lady’s servant faded into the background and was quickly forgotten by both of them. Ogwara bowed to the lady. The lady did not return the greeting. Instead she held out her hand and led Ogwara back into his home. The servant followed holding the lantern high to light their way.
A few weeks later the old man was staring out his window looking out at Ogwara house. His worry was beginning to gnaw at him. It was not his place to meddle in the samurai’s business, but he knew something was very wrong. He had not seen Ogwara in many days and at night he no longer saw the light from his lamp moving from room to room as the man grieved for his wife. Now the house stood dark until very late into the night. And then a light would be lit in one room. The same room every night. In the dawn there would be no sign of life again until late the next night. The old man knew it was his duty to do something. But he worried how to approach the samurai without insulting the mans dignity. Both their honor was at stake. How was it he thought that a man could live such a long life and still find himself so mystified as to how to go about things just the right way. It was then that the old man’s wife shuffled over to his side. She looked out of the window with him.
“I know what you are thinking my love. You are right something must be done.”
“Yes, but how is it to be done is the problem.”
“Perhaps husband, you should see for yourself just what the problem is first. Why not go quietly into the house at night after the lantern is lit and see with your own eyes what is happening. Then you will know if you suspicions have merit.” If not then you can quickly leave the house and leave Ogwara to himself. But if as you fear something has happened to the good Samurai then you will be able to face him with the truth, and then you will truly have a chance to help him.”
“What if I am caught wife? He might take me for a robber. Or something worse. “the old man said his eyes growing wide with fear.
“ Do not be foolish. The man knows you. He has for many years. You may say that you thought you smelled a fire, or perhaps you thought you saw robbers yourself. It is that or do nothing and husband I do not think you can do that. Don’t worry you old fool, it is one of the many reasons I love you,” she said as she hugged him. As he held her small fragile frame he knew she was right, and that tonight he would have to steal his way into Ogwara’s house if he was to put his worrying to rest.
The old man stood in Ogwara’s garden staring at the glow passing through the shoji screens of the house. There was nothing about the light itself that was unusual. It’s just that the rest of the house was always now so dark and still. To the old man, it was a house that was empty except for that one light. And when that light was gone it was a house in which no one lived. How could a thing look so empty and at the same time look some how bigger, thought the old man. It no longer looks like the house he had helped to build. . The angles on the roof were no longer plumb. This was not a house for thoughts of serenity and beauty. This was a place that felt very much alive. The house looked almost bloated like a fat tick. It’s wall slightly bowed out. It sat lurched forward on its foundation as if it would topple forward at any moment collapsing under it’s own weight. Imploding a wall of blood and bone, and what ever else it had sucked out of the life of its victims. It would be a tsunami of horrors that would wipe away himself, his home, and his wife completely from the earth.
The old man now felt quite certain that the master of this house was no longer of this world. Perhaps there was a chance that the samurai was still alive within it’s walls. It was his duty to try to save him. The old man looked at his hands shaking with fear, and gnarled with arthritis. Would he be strong enough to face what was inside? This house had become a place that was wrong. It was not sane. It was a place that was empty of reason and feeling. This was a house that wanted to keep what it had.
Posted by Beverly Hamilton Wenham at Friday, January 02, 2009