Fiction Drama

The sound of the ringing phone filled the room, prompting me to reach out and answer it. The voice on the other end was urgent, every word punctuated with a desperate tone. It belonged to my realtor, who had experienced every aspect of the real estate market, selling houses in every nook and cranny of this scorching town.

“Listen,” he said, his voice filled with excitement, “I’ve got something special for you.”

Leaning back in my chair, I could feel the warmth of the slanting sunrays as they streamed through the blinds, casting long, dark shadows on the floor. “What is it?” I asked.

“Ernest Hemingway’s house,” he said. “It’s for sale.”

I blinked, and the world suddenly came into focus. Hemingway is the iconic writer known for his concise prose and tortured soul. The man who had written about the chaos of war and the passion of love, who had experienced the vibrant streets of Paris and the exotic charm of Cuba, shared drinks with Fitzgerald and tested his strength against bulls in Pamplona. Here, in this sleepy little town, his house was a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

“Are you serious?”

“Dead serious,” the realtor replied with a stern expression. The quiet street is home to a charming white-washed cottage hidden from the hustle and bustle.

I imagined the typewriter on the desk, the whiskey bottles hidden in the cupboard, and the ghosts of characters pacing the rooms. Hemingway’s spirit lingered in the corners, whispering secrets to the wind.

“Is it haunted?” I asked.

The realtor laughed. “Maybe. But not by ghosts. By words. By memories. By the weight of a life well-lived.”

After hanging up the phone, my mind became a whirlwind of racing thoughts.

I drove to the address and parked in front. The For Sale sign swayed in the breeze. The sound of waves crashing against the shore grew louder as I approached Hemingway’s house. The place where he had penned his masterpieces was filled with the echoes of his triumphs and heartbreaks.

I stepped out of the car, my heart pounding. The door was unlocked. I pushed it open, and there it was—the old wooden desk, the faded rug, the sun streaming through the window.

I sat down, my fingers brushing the keys of the typewriter. Ernest Hemingway’s house was for sale. And I was buying it, one word at a time.

“Mr. Vance, sorry I am late.” The words cut through the room’s stillness, starkly contrasting the soft rustling of the papers on the desk. I glanced at the realtor handling the sale, her red hair a fiery halo in the sunlight streaming through the open door.

“When you sign this document, we can finish this transaction,” she said, extending a sheaf of papers toward me. Her voice was steady, but her eyes betrayed a flicker of urgency.

I reached for the pen, feeling its familiar weight in my hand. Just as the ink was about to touch the page, a gray cat leaped onto my lap with its sleek fur and silent movements. Its paws were strange, more prominent than most.

The realtor paused, her eyes twinkling with a hint of amusement. “That’s Hemingway’s cat,” she said, her voice filled with admiration and mystery.

Hemingway’s cats were famous for their polydactyl paws, a genetic quirk passed down through generations. With its extra toes and keen amber eyes, this cat was a living piece of the house’s history. It was not Hemingway’s, but certainly a relative of one of his cats.

I stroked its fur, feeling the rumble of its purr vibrating through my palms. The cat looked up at me, its gaze holding mine as if to say, “This is your home now.”

With a nod to the realtor, I signed the document. The transaction was complete. The house, with its white walls and sea-scented air, its legacy of words and whispers, was mine.

And the cat, with its peculiar paws and silent wisdom, was part of the deal—a reminder that every story has its quirks, every writer, their muse.

Indeed, the cat’s claim was not one of lineage or literary pedigree. It cared little for the legends that swirled around the house, the whispers of Hemingway’s ghost still lingering in the air.

No, this cat was a creature of practicality, a survivor in a world of salt and sun.

With an extra toe on each, its paws silently treaded on the creaky floor, leaving enigmatic imprints in their wake. The cat was familiar with every hidden corner; sunbeams streamed through the windows. Visitors had come and gone, leaving traces of their lives imprinted on the walls.

Settling into the creaky old wooden chair, I felt the cat’s presence as it gracefully leaped onto the desk, its intense gaze meeting mine. It was a silent negotiation—an unspoken agreement that transcended words.

The cat claimed me as its own, and I gladly welcomed its presence, feeling a sense of warmth and comfort.

The typewriter sat silent, its keys poised for a tale to be told. However, the story was no longer Hemingway’s. It was mine—the enchanting narrative of a writer who chanced upon a house where a gray cat weaved through rooms filled with a timeless legacy of words.

I gently scratched the cat’s ears, savoring the sensation of its coarse fur beneath my fingertips. “What should we write?” I asked, my words hanging in the air, waiting for a reply that may never come.

With an inscrutable gaze, the cat blinked, leaving its intentions unknown. Perhaps it held the secrets of the house—the faint echoes of laughter, the lingering ache of lost love, and the palpable thrill of creation. Or maybe it simply craved the comfort of a warm lap and the blissful warmth of a sunbeam.

While waiting on the movers, I used the antique typewriter, which worked as if it were new. The moment I began the story, the keys on the typewriter danced to create a melodic rhythm, immersing me in a world where the beauty of the sea meeting the shore, the fragrant jasmine in the garden, and the slight tang of salt on my lips set the stage for the unfolding narrative.

The cat watched, its tail flicking in approval. It was almost as if the ghost of Hemingway tickled the keys with my fingers.

While writing, I realized that perhaps ownership was an illusion. We were all passing through this life, leaving our footprints in the sand, our stories etched into the walls. The cat knew this. It had seen it all.

With a gentle purr, the cat’s eyes lazily blinked, half-closed. And for a brief second, I grasped the true meaning of belonging—to a home, to a feline companion, to a heritage that transcended generations.


The moving truck had rumbled away, leaving behind a quiet that settled into the corners of the house. The rooms, once echoing with the ghosts of Hemingway’s words, now held the promise of fresh stories—mine.

I placed my worn leather armchair by the window, the sunlight filtering through the curtains. The cat—Hemingway’s cat, or so I liked to think—curled up on the cushion, its eyes half-closed. It had accepted me, claimed me as its own, just as it had claimed the house.

My computer found its place on the desk, its screen glowing with the familiar hum of possibility. The keyboard awaited my touch, the cursor blinking like a hesitant heartbeat. I wondered what words it would birth—the next chapter, the unwritten novel, the musings that danced at the edge of consciousness.

And then there were the books. My collection, dog-eared and beloved, lined the shelves. Hemingway’s classics stood shoulder to shoulder with contemporary novels, poetry anthologies, and travelogues. Each spine held a promise—a journey, an escape, a revelation.

I ran my fingers over the titles, remembering the bookshops where I had found them—the smell of ink and paper, the hushed conversations, the thrill of discovery. These books were my companions, my silent confidantes. They knew my secrets, my dreams, my fears.

Outside, the garden beckoned. I stepped onto the sun-warmed path, the grass brushing against my ankles. The jasmine bloomed, its fragrance mingling with the salt-laden breeze. I imagined Hemingway tending to these same plants, his hands calloused from the soil, his mind weaving stories.

The cat followed me, its tail held high. It had become my shadow, my muse. I wondered if it whispered to the birds and shared its feline wisdom with the lizards that darted through the bushes. Perhaps it knew the secrets of the sea, the rhythm of the tides, the ebb and flow of life.

I watched as the sun dipped below the horizon, and then I lit a candle on the windowsill, filling the room with a soft, flickering light. The flame danced, casting flickering shadows on the walls. The typewriter sat silent, waiting for its turn. I could almost hear its keys tapping sentences, paragraphs, entire worlds.

Ernest Hemingway’s house was no longer just a house. It was a sanctuary—a place where stories converged, where time stood still. And I, the inheritor, would honor its legacy, one word at a time.

The cat curled up on the bed, its eyes closing. I settled into the armchair, the pages of a fresh notebook before me. The pen felt weighty in my hand, its ink poised to flow.

And so, I began:

“In this house, where the sea meets the sky, I write.”

I was abruptly awoken by the piercing sound of a ringing doorbell. There was yet another tourist eager to explore the sights. Once again, I would emphasize that this house had transformed into something more than just a museum.

The house settled around me, its timeworn walls whispering secrets. The unfamiliar sounds—the creak of floorboards, the distant murmur of waves—became my companions. I sat at the desk, pen poised, but my writing was fractured, interrupted by memories and the ghosts of untold stories.

This place was a museum of sorts, a relic of another era. The furniture bore the weight of countless lives—their joys, sorrows, and quiet moments of contemplation. The typewriter, once Hemingway’s faithful companion, now sat silent, its keys gathering dust.

They had run out of funding to care for it, so the house stood, a forgotten gem by the sea. The garden once meticulously tended, now grew wild, jasmine vines creeping over the windows, the scent mingling with salt and decay.

Outside, people walked by—the curious, the nostalgic. They petted the stray cats that roamed the overgrown yard, their six-toed paws leaving imprints in the dew-kissed grass.

I watched them from the window, my heart both heavy and light. The cat—the one that had claimed me—curled up on the bed, its eyes half-closed.

And so, I wrote. Not grand novels or epic tales, but fragments—the sound of seagulls, the taste of salt from the ocean’s spray, the way the sun dipped below the horizon. Each word was a brushstroke, adding color to the faded canvas of life.

The cat stirred, its tail flicking. Perhaps it remembered too—the days when Hemingway paced these rooms, his sentences sharp as knives, his laughter echoing through the corridors. Or maybe it simply reveled in the warmth of my lap and my heart’s steady beat.

I closed my eyes, listening to the symphony of the house—the wind through the cracks, the distant crash of waves, the cat’s soft purr. It was a fragile existence, this dance between past and present, between longing and acceptance.

The typewriter remained untouched, a relic of a bygone era. But I knew my fractured writing would find its rhythm—this place’s cadence, the sea pulse.

Ernest Hemingway’s house was no longer a museum. It was alive, breathing, waiting for someone to listen, write, and remember.


The room was dim, the air heavy with the scent of tobacco and ink. I sat at the battered desk, my fingers poised over a strange typewriter. Words eluded me, slipping through the gaps in my mind like water through cupped hands.

And then he appeared—the muse. A creature of shadows and whispers, his eyes like pools of midnight. He stood by the window, the curtain brushing against his form. His presence was both a blessing and a curse—a distraction that pulled me from my train of thought, yet a beacon that begged me to follow.

“Come,” he seemed to say. “Stories are waiting. Worlds to explore. Lives to unravel.”

I hesitated. The unfinished sentence hung in the air, a fragile thread connecting me to reality. But the muse was insistent. He beckoned with a finger, and I rose from the chair, my footsteps silent on the worn floorboards.

Outside, the night was alive—the stars winking like forgotten memories. The muse led me down winding streets, past lamplit cafes and shuttered windows. His footsteps were soundless, his presence both ethereal and tangible.

“Where are we going?” I asked, my voice a whisper.

He didn’t answer. Instead, he pointed to the river—the dark water flowing toward the horizon. I followed, my heart pounding. The muse was a guide, a trickster, a companion on this nocturnal journey.

We reached the bridge—the iron arches spanning the abyss. The muse stepped onto the railing, his coat billowing in the wind. He looked back at me, his eyes filled with secrets.

“Write,” he said. “Write as if your life depends on it.”

And so, I did. The words poured forth—the ache of lost love, the longing for something beyond the tangible. The muse watched, his smile enigmatic.

“Is this enough?” I asked when the last sentence was written.

He shook his head. “Never enough. But it’s a start.”

And with that, he vanished—the mist swallowing him whole. I stood on the bridge, the river below murmuring its ancient song. The unfinished sentence echoed in my mind, but now it had a companion—a story woven from moonlight and ink.

Ernest Hemingway’s ghost, perhaps? Or a figment of my imagination? It didn’t matter. The muse had called, and I had followed.

The warmth of the cat awoke me from my impromptu nap. There were marks on my forehead that appeared to be from the keyboard. The screen was an endless line of MM’s.

I gave in to sleep. The bed was warm with the sounds of the waves outside. The curtains danced at the foot of my bed, and the six-toed cat took his rightful place where my dear wife would have been if she had not passed away from cancer.

Mary left me way too soon. So many things left unsaid. And now, I was to start over, but how? Did she guide me here to this house?

The cat got my attention as if to tell me not to dwell on the past. I lived in the moments when I should have made a different decision. Even the cat knew that was a mistake.

“You need a name buddy. What should I call you?”

The cat meowed a plaintiff mew, which was good enough for me. ‘Mr. Mews.’

I chuckled as he jumped off the bed. He seemed to beg me to follow him, which I did.

Mr. Mews pawed at something in the closet. I assumed it to be a wayward spider that would soon meet his match with the six-toed cat.

The air was thick with the faint scent of dust, a nostalgic reminder of a past era. While deciding to clean the dust, my concentration was shattered by the unexpected creak of the loose floorboard. In the light, the floor unveiled its secrets, exposing telltale scratches that seemed to mimic the mischievous trails of a six-toed feline.

The board came up, and I recoiled at the grating sensation against my fingernails. It would seem the scratches were made by human hands. Mr. Mews gave me a knowing look, silently urging me to explore the depths of the secret vault.

I did, and the feeling of accomplishment washed over me. In my possession, I had a small leather-bound book, its pages yellowed and worn, undoubtedly crafted by the hands of Hemingway himself.

My stomach twisted into tight knots, a jumble of nerves and excitement.

Holding the heirloom in my hands, I couldn’t help but ponder the untold secrets it held.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t the potential profit that ignited my enthusiasm. My connection with my personal hero was so deep it left an indelible mark on my soul. He was brilliant yet tortured. There were times I swear I could relate.

The constant drip of Morphine into my wife’s body was the last time I cried until I read this.

To Mary, in the dwindling light,

Whispers traverse the husk of night,

Years cradled in trust’s quiet blight.

“Adieu,” with eyes dry and wide,

For love’s a tome oft opened wide,

Its leaves inscribed with life’s long tide.

Mary, heart of unwavering hue,

The dusk now claims both me and you,

Yet in its embers, love’s etched anew.

A scribe’s existence, a muse’s thread,

In every verse, your essence spread,

Now I confront our story’s dread.

Recall, my dear, our woven yarn,

Laughter shared as day did darn,

Our book concludes as stars adjourn.

Parting, my love, with silent stride,

Within my prose, you’ll ever bide,

My tears added to the stains of that ancient writer who penned these words for his Mary.

My prose would undoubtedly speak of a love lost but not forgotten.

People don’t fake depression. They fake happiness.

I could relate, and Mr. Mews seemed to know it.

May 19, 2024 22:25

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Dustin Cooley
22:10 May 29, 2024

It was interesting I like how you set the scene, something I am still working on developing in my own writings.


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Kristi Gott
18:04 May 27, 2024

Past and present are braided together and muses mingle, creating insightful moments and awakening intuition leading to Hemingway's hidden messages!


Scott Taylor
19:10 May 27, 2024

I am guessing you liked it...:) I hope you are doing well. -Best


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Darvico Ulmeli
09:18 May 24, 2024

Nicely done. I would act the same if I bought Hemigway's house.


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Alexis Araneta
16:03 May 21, 2024

Oooh ! What a tale here ! Great concept right here with Hemmingway's house. The descriptions are spot on, as usual. Lovely work !


Scott Taylor
01:46 May 22, 2024

Thank You so Much! These prompts really make me stretch my comfort zone.


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Trudy Jas
00:32 May 20, 2024

Wat a wonderful story. Wouldn't it be nice .... You had ne from Hemmingway's house is for sale and kept me all the way to the end.


Scott Taylor
04:06 May 20, 2024

I am thrilled you liked it. I hope you are doing well.


Trudy Jas
08:36 May 20, 2024

I am (doing well) Thanks. :-)


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