The Comforts of Home

The door sits ajar, a deathly stillness within that cannot be touched. He slips by on his tiptoes, as a roaring wheezing sound emerges from its depths, the sound of some terrifying beast’s slumber being disturbed. Moving quickly now, for it does not seem a moment to linger, he runs through the parlor and the kitchen and then out the front door.

The yard he finds himself in has been transformed: the house with cracked and peeling paint set against a sea of grey. The air is full of the smell of rain that won’t come. He wanders behind the house, thinking he hears someone calling him. There is an old windmill there, creaking in the breeze, and a rusting behemoth of a truck set up on asphalt coloured blocks. He sits in the passenger seat, the sensation familiar and comforting in this strangely barren world.

A coughing rumble from the front yard draws his attention and he creeps around the side of the house, peering to see what is there. He sees his mother leaning against the battered door frame, a distant look on her face. She puts her hand on his shoulder and says, “Meet your father.”

He turns and sees a man on a lawnmower, driving in ever-widening circles as though expanding his realm. He looks oddly familiar and yet not, cutting the long brown grass whose desiccated blades crumble to dust at the merest touch.

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