Contingency

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: December 03, 2017

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Submitted: December 03, 2017

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Contingency

 

Tejas Sarna

 

The small castle like bungalow is an anomaly in the neat, cheap and modern houses lining the streets of suburban detroit. Its lime stone base and walls are complemented by old, peeling timber beams overlapping the stones. The large mountain like clay roof shields the bungalow well, and transports it into a time long forgotten. Dusy rickety slider windows add to the mysterious and otherworldly aura of the house.

 

The lonely, solitary road in front of the bungalow is deserted completely except for a lone car approaching in the distance. The far off, happy hum of the engine is audible over the creepy and almost apocalyptic silence of the neighbourhood. No movement can be seen in and around the bungalow. Faded paint and a dusty, ramshackled porch propose it abandonment. The car, now visible as a bright green minivan, approaches bubbly and steadily, its headlights giving a constant yellow glow through the grey pollution.

 

A flicker of movement is suddenly visible at the highest window of the bungalow. A mere rustle of a curtain, but the afternoons lack of wind suggests the bungalow is occupied... The dusty, rickety window remains still, a line of termites making their way up the peeling, white painted wooden frame.

 

The minivan is now 2 blocks away. The round wheels, baggage loaded roof, bright colorway, and retro style makes the car stick out like a sore thumb in the perfect normality and congruence of the neighbourhood. The car slows down to a slow crawl. It buckles to a stop right across the street from the bungalow as the luggage on the car's roof scoots forward against the weak restraints.

 

Inside the bungalow, there is an old, weathered man. Dressed only in an overworn night suit. The dull, burgundy cloth of the pants rustle against each other as the man slowly makes himself towards the door of his house. The creak of the stairs, or maybe it's the creak of his knees, tremble with age and a lack of use. The darkness of the house makes visibility of furniture or even color impossible. The all consuming blackness breaks before the man and closes up after him as he finally reaches the door. He pauses for a moment wearily, before lowering his head so that his eyeline goes through the peephole of the door and onto the green minivan across the street.

 

Two youthful, squealing voices pierce the noiselessness of the neighbourhood as the back, sliding door of the minivan is hauled open, and two brothers jump out onto the road, eager to stretch there aching limbs after so long on the road. The shotgun door opens as a tired and relieved woman with an over stuffed purse slowly gets out of the car, her gaze stuck to the house in front of her. She drops her bag, and spins back around, her bright yellow sundress twirling behind her as she reaches into the back seat of the car to collect the belongings and rubbish left there by her two children who are now locked into each other's arms as they ecstatically role and wrestle around the dull green lawn besides the clean cement sidewalk next to their car.

 

As the man watches the scene unfold, his eyes fill with nostalgia and his gaze loosens as he remembers a time long ago.

 

Conversation.

 

Friends.

 

Family.

 

Companionship.

 

Love.

 

The man shakes himself and begins to turn himself away from the door and back into the black hole of his bungalow. Something stops him. Mid turn his joints crack to a stop and he turns back towards the door, the light of opportunity in his eyes.

 

His weathered hand reaches out for the door handle, suddenly confident and sure in movement. He grasps the curved, rusty, brass piece and pulls the door open.

 

The hinges in the door creak open for the first time in years, rust rubbing off. The mans atrophied muscles have just enough strength to the pull the door wide open. Grey light streams in through the door for the first time in years, illuminating the dusty expanse of the old bungalows entrance, now visible as a room built for receiving guests in large numbers. The man’s burgundy night gown catches in the wind behind him as he abruptly steps onto the porch as he gazes at the family in front of him.

 

The parents push the last cardboard boxes through the doorway. The kids, now calm, were settled inside the house, memorising every crook and cranny. The father leans against the doorway and raises a tired hand across his brow. He gives his boxes one more shove inside the doorway and turns around to lock the car. Midway down his lawns walkway his gaze finds the olds man across the street. The father's face breaks into a smile as he waves and makes his way across the street to the bungalow and its sole inhabitant.

 


© Copyright 2018 Tejas Sarna. All rights reserved.

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