Return to Humanity

Written in response to: Set your story in a silent house by the sea.... view prompt

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Sad Fiction Contemporary

Kiera had lived in the house for years, but it only felt empty now, ever since her parents had died.

Before, everything had been sunshine and rainbows, with the family filling the gloomy house with cheer and pretty things.

Now, though, the house was gloomy again, the darkness seeping in through the cracks in the wall plaster.

Kiera roamed the house, and never did any of her usual things anymore.

She didn't brush her hair, wash her face, or anything. She was an old woman now, haunting the hallowed halls of her previously grandiose home.

Her wonderful home had fallen into disrepair with no one to tend to it, and Kiera certainly couldn't. She wasn't capable of taking care of herself as it was.

Kiera's days were filled with nothing, staring at the wall.

If she felt ambitious, she would go outside and sit on her favourite rock on the beach, looking out over the horizon across the sea, with seagulls occasionally flapping across her view.

Today was one of those days, and as Kiera sat down, she marvelled at the view.

It was the same as always, but she didn't get out much, so every view was different and interesting to her.

She also liked to think that there was always something new about the sea, whether it was a new piece of driftwood on the beach or a different seagull that came to the vast expanse of sand, cawing annoyingly.

As Kiera's hair blew in front of her face, she thought about what she'd come to.

Look at me, she thought. What have I done to myself?

More like what she let happen to herself.

I need to do better.

Kiera left the beach with a plan, the salty air refreshing her mind. She was going to turn her life around, starting with her living space.

Kiera had a plan to transform her house from the dusty, dirty building it was to its previous state, back when her parents were alive.

And that was only the first change that would be taking place in Kiera's world.

The next step was her living habits. Kiera was going to go back to brushing her hair, every morning and evening, twice a day.

She was going to eat properly, wash and change her clothes, and take generally better care of herself and her surroundings.

Encouraged, Kiera trekked up the grassy slope to the house waiting above, the house she'd lived in since she was a child.

She was going to change. It had been too long that she'd lived in disrepair.

It was time to turn her life around.

That afternoon, Kiera went out to the grocery store. Everything had changed, and the bank was in a new building now.

It had been a long time since she'd gotten out, so she wasn't too surprised that things had changed. She hadn't left the house since her parents' funeral, about fifteen years ago.

A lot can change in fifteen years.

Kiera walked down Main Street, marvelling at the things she saw around her.

The library had expanded, with a new entrance and a big window out front.

Good, I think I'll go there soon, Kiera thought. Y'know, so I can get out more and all that.

She loved books as a child, but the dusty library in her house was out-of-date and she'd read all the books there besides, most of them multiple times.

So, Kiera was looking for some new reading material, being bored of the books she had. The public library would be perfect for that.

Kiera neared the grocery store, making a mental note to get a library card soon.

When she arrived, she was shocked at the development of the grocery store.

Once a small corner grocery, the building had been redecorated and, by the looks of it, the grocery store had taken up the second floor of the building as well.

"Wow," Kiera said aloud, in awe. "Things have really changed."

It has been a long time.

In the grocery store, no one seemed to recognise her, not even the elderly cashier she'd known since the age of twelve.

He'd been working at the grocery for a long time, and he would always take a few minutes out of his day to talk to Kiera, ask how she was doing, things like that.

His name was Maximus, but his mother had had delusions of grandeur and high expectations for her children. So everyone just called him Max.

"Max?" Kiera called. He looked up and, seeing her standing at the counter, put on his cashier face.

"Hello, miss. How may I help you?"

Kiera shook her head in disbelief. "Max, it's me. Kiera."

"Kiera?" Max said, not believing her one bit. "Really?"

She nodded. "Yes, it's me!"

Max smiled. "Kiera!"


Max rested his wrinkled hands on the counter between them. "Well, I'll be. Kiera Cutting, standing in front of me. Ah, it's been a long time. How have you been doing?"

Kiera smiled, but then sobered at his question at the end. "Not good, actually."

"Oh?" Max raised his white eyebrows.

"Yeah. Ever since mum and dad died, I haven't been taking good care of myself. Just can't cope with loneliness, I guess." Kiera shrugged sadly. "I don't know."

Max rested a hand on her shoulder. "Do you want to come over for dinner tonight? I can let Sally know to set an extra place at the table."

Sally was his wife of forty-five years, and their children were about the same age as Kiera.

They had played frequently together when they were young, but Kiera hadn't been in touch with any of them since the death of her parents.

Kiera smiled, relieved to have some place to connect to people again. "Max, that sounds great."

Max flashed her a smile. "Happy to help."

As Kiera turned to leave, Max said, "Oh, and Kiera?"

Pivoting, Kiera answered, "Yes?"

"You're always welcome at our house, okay?"

Kiera nodded. "Thanks, Max."

He smiled. "I'm perfectly happy to lend a hand to an old friend, I promise you."

"Well, see you tonight then!" Kiera called over her shoulder, leaving the grocery store. "Bye!"

Max waved. "Goodbye, Kiera."

Kiera walked away happily, thinking of her new, improved lifestyle. But she was nowhere near done with her changes.

You know what? she thought. I like change. And I'm going to change my life, one step at a time. Bring back the old Kiera.

And who knows? I might just have the adventure of a lifetime.

I'll just have to wait and see.

November 09, 2021 17:18

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