Most stories are about people.
They’re by people, for people, from the perspective of people.
This story is different.
This is a story about a place.
A place whose walls have heard secrets that still go untold. Whose floors have creaked time after time, whose ceilings have blocked out rain and snow and sleet, whose doors have been closed and slammed and left open at times, a place that’s housed family after family after family. It’s watched people fall in love, young people. The same people cry and fight and leave.
And all to have another family come and make their own memories. Drill their own nails into the walls and hang their own pictures. And the cycle restarts, and the place grows older and older and older.
This place’s story begins in the summer, in the hot sun and heat. The person who built it is long gone now, buried six feet under in an old cemetery, where his ghost sits peacefully, maybe reading this story here.
But where we start telling it is spring.
To be precise, April 24th at 3:06pm sharp.
The neighbor is mowing his lawn, the other neighbor has her windows shut as always (she’s a little suspicious, but this story isn’t about her) and our perfect place is standing tall, because she knows there are new people coming.
When the car comes, sputtering gas and gunk and spitting out a man with more wrinkles than skin, the house shuts her windows a little tighter. The big red ‘sold’ on the small white sign bothers the man, and he kicks it down as he examines the grass.
The house wonders if this man will bring little kids to run in her halls, or perhaps a partner to watch sunsets with on her roof.
But the man walks in and closes the door, and doesn’t take his shoes off. He fingers the couch and sighs and our little house wants to be everything he desires.
She knows there are bigger, better, places he could be, but he chose her, didn’t he?
On May 28th at 4:07pm sharp when he finally brings someone else into her living room, she doesn't seem like the sunset watching type. They start shouting before they talk and our house, our little perfect house thinks it’s all her fault.
And in a way, maybe it is. But we won’t tell her that, will we? She’s a bit sensitive, with her old wooden floors and weak brick walls. Her wallpaper is faded and her lights sometimes flicker, and the man thinks maybe he shouldn’t have come.
The lady likes it. The lady thinks it’s nice. Our house thinks maybe she should just stay and the man could leave and find somewhere else to sleep and eat and yell. He seems to like yelling.
When she leaves, the house wonders if she will ever again become a home, for this man is not the homey type.
And sometime in June when he sits in front of her precious TV, remote in one hand and cocktail in the other, she stares with her windows out at the trees and wonders if children are meant to ever climb them again.
She grows restless and tired and thinks maybe her housing days are soon coming to a close. She dreams, as only the best houses dream, about wrecking balls coming and destroying her wood in the night. In the day, she watches the man closely, her woodchips on edge.
She waits. Because what more can a house do, but wait and watch?
The woman comes back in July, and she is no happier than the last time she was here. Her hair is a little less tight, and maybe her eyes are a little more tired. The man has left our house’s perfect living room a mess and the house blushes, her floors shifting in shame.
The woman gestures to the glass on the floor and utters words that leave the man red with something our house assumes is not love. Of course, she can only guess, for houses cannot speak. They can listen, and they understand laughter. They know when the tears falling on their floors are happy or sad, and they try to comfort you when you lay awake on your covers at midnight by highering the heat.
But right now, sometime in August, our house sighs, her pipes groaning and her TV still on. She wants this man, this unloving man, to get in his dirty car and get it out of her driveway pronto. And then she wants someone to come and vacuum her floors from every trace of pretzel down to the last grain of salt.
The man sweats on her couch like it’s a sauna, and he brings bag after plastic bag into her living room. Her poor kitchen remains untouched and our house thinks, hopes, that maybe that means he’ll leave soon.
That hope is lost in September when the man wears heavy work boots all around the house. He brings in leaves of orange and red and while the house does not deny their beauty, she’d rather watch them from afar with fogged-up windows, with kids at the windowsills and autumn love stories happening inside her doors. Our house longs for adventure but she’s a house so the only adventure she gets are the ones that happen inside her walls.
At this time before, the kids in her rooms were getting ready for school with too full backpacks and slightly teary-eyed parents.
Now her floor goes unmopped and her windows unwashed, and the bedrooms unoccupied. Her tears are just early October frost running down her windowsills, and her grass bends sadly into the dirt, wanting out.
Our house does not dare put her hopes up as the end of October nears, for she knows all the children in the block, all her neighbors will come and ask for candy. The man certainly has enough to spare.
But on the night when all the other houses have been decorated with fake webs and spiders, our little house remains dark and closed and bare, with a small paper taped to her door. It itches and she wants to remove it, but she can’t. Her windows are too high to see- but she knows it’s telling all the children to go away.
Late at night, the woman comes, her face painted and a tail attached to her pants. She slams papers on the table, along with an uncapped pen and the man rolls his eyes.
It’s well into December before our little house is given relatively fresh air anymore. Her heaters are turned on and her pipes groan in boredom. The man buys blankets and our house remembers moments in which kids would giggle and make forts and watch movies with hot cocoa mustaches on their lips, all in the living room that's been reduced to mess now.
The trees outside grow bare and bony and our house remembers sheltering one, a green one, this time last year. It does not matter. The man shuns the carolers away and scrolls bored on his phone all day. No cookies are baked in her kitchen and no presents wrapped secretly in her rooms.
And when the new year comes by- no noise at midnight at all, but for the man’s consistent snoring.
January is cold and snow coats our house’s path. Footprints don’t dent it until early February, when a new person comes by. The man grunts and removes himself from the couch.
This boy, maybe this boy will knock some sense into this man, that’s what the little house thinks.
He’s a boy scout in cargo shorts and a hat, his knees shaking and skin red with cold, but his smile remains intact and his cookies-- of course unbought.
The woman does not come back in February, which is strange for the house. She remembers something special happening on some day last year that time, with heart-shaped balloons and dark red roses that made her rooms smell real nice.
But the man stays on his couch, for the most part, all until March, when dandelions start growing in our house’s field. Her grass has grown tall and the man bothers not to mow it. His beard has grown longer.
He complains of boredom to anyone who will listen in his gruff voice to the suspicious next-door neighbor or the woman if she ever comes.
And that woman, that woman watches sometimes, she’ll come in her small black car and look through the windows. She hopes each time that something will change with this man, because she loved him once.
When that woman, when she comes back April 24th, looking to see if something’s changed, she sees the worst thing has.
The small white sign is being put up again, just as the clock strikes 3:06pm.
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Hello fellow 1/2 Human, 1/4 Writer, 1/8 Taurus, 1/8 Dramatic that likes colorful pens and Pinterest like me :) twinsies lol
Who wants a separate story for the suspicious neighbor?
It's crazy how this story has so much emotion when it's in the POV of a house!
Thank you :D
Hey Amany! Its been awhile but yup I'm still here haha! I loved this storyy!!, your descriptions were wonderful, I love how you picked a houses point of view and described the break down of the man. The ending was very touching too, since it ended with him not changing. But it was still beautiful! I loved it! Great story keep writing!
Yay, lol! Thank you so much! I will!
Hi Amany, what a creative take on the prompt! I enjoyed the perspective of the house, a little distant but still deeply connected to the events which occur. The writing is just lovely, so descriptive with unique imagery and plenty of depth. It’s a moving tale told from a perfect distance, with just enough detail to engage us while still leaving a lot to the imagination. My favorite kind of story :) I found a couple things you might consider editing: “ When the car comes, sputtering gas and gunk and spitting out a man with more wrinkles t...
Thank you so much! Aw, that truly means a lot to me :) Oh, I was actually talking about the house, and I can see how it would be confusing so I'll fix that. Ah, thanks for that. Thank you so much for your time!
Oh, such a tuneful tale..., It was sadder than it would have been if it was said from a humans point of view =) Happy Today!
Thanks :D You too!
Hey, Amany, can you give some feedback to my stories, I would love to see your perspective.
Yes, for sure! I've been meaning to get to it, just a little busy, and I want to give actual feedback.
Ok, sounds great.
Oh gosh. I have run out of praise. AMANY!! Now I'll have to go buy some praise from my heart. Sorry, that was random. this was beautiful. HOW HAVE YOU NOT WON YET!!!! Ps. New one :)
Lol, Thank you! No, it's alright, I like random. Thank you :) Aw, stoppp there are plenty of people who deserve it. :D I'll get to it ASAP
Hehe, lol Yay! Welcome :) Like you :)) :D
I love this story so much! I don't know how you thought to write a story from the perspective of a house, but it was brilliant! I wish I had even a pinch of your ideas, and talent!
Aw, thanks! I just tried to think of a situation in which someone would stay in the same room for a year, and the idea popped! You're too kind! All I can say is practice makes perfect :)
Aghhh I know I liked this hours agoooo. I forgot to give feedback I'm sorryyyy This was so beautiful and interesting to read. I like how the house almost seems like a human being, except for the fact that she's a house (that sentence made no sense whatsoever, but I hope you get what I mean XD). I love the descriptions in this story. That's definitely one of your strengths when it comes to writing. And yesss I need a story about the suspicious neighbor lol My only critiques are the same ones as Luke's. The Minor Errors Police didn't have to s...
Oh, don't be sorry! Thank you so much! Yeah, I get it. Really?! I've always struggled with it lol, so thanks. Got you ;) Yay! Thanks for reading!
Yeah. I always love reading your descriptions :) Np! :)))
Wow this story is beautiful. Very well written. I loved it!!
Much appreciated :D
This is so sweeeeeeeet!!!! I think that the metafiction element was interesting. However, the final reveal of the who the woman was seemed to me a little... well, if its really metafiction it would center a lot more on her and her thoughts or at least it wouldn't act like the narrator knows the house more than herself. I just feel like that was too much of a reveal with not enough buildup. As for the writing, everything seemed amazing and I couldn't love your descriptions more!!
Thank youuuu! Yeah...it was a little random, and I just didn't know how to end it. Thanks for the feedback. Thanks so much :D
Is it funny that I wrote a similar story for that one mansion prompt awhile back? It was about a cranky old mansion who met a little boy that melted her heart. I referred to her as 'the woman' and didn't reveal she was indeed a house until the end when she burned to the ground. La fin. But this is a different story altogether. Well written — mellow, sad and timeless. We need that shady neighbour's backstory too — like heck we do.
Y'know that IS funny, I'll have to read it later. (what's the title?) Thanks R, your feedback means a lot. Ha, I'll see to it then ;) Thanks for reading!
Nine letter word for torture?
Lancinate? (full disclosure- I used google)
Lol, me too XP
The idea of writing from a house's perspective is SO creative and smart! And the story was so well-written too I loved it!
Thank you 😊