Word of the Day Challenge: Phantasm
There is only one house left in Kinlin.
It used to have numbers above it’s door and a mailbox at the end of the driveway. It has locks on it’s windows but not on it’s doors and when it snows or when it rains the floor boards creak and snap like an old man’s bones on a brutally cold winter day.
The roads into Kinlin are buried under dust and sand and grit and when the crows fly by Kinlin they never land there. They call out ” caw caw” and ‘tock tock’ to each other and they fly as hard as they can away from the town that isn’t there anymore.
You can drive by Kinlin and see the house for yourself and you can look for the town that isn’t there and you can wonder, like the people who remember Kinlin, what happened to all of those roads and the main street and the houses… and the people.
Where did they all go?
You can drive up to the house, park in front of it and you can even walk up to it and go inside and look around.
The only house left standing in Kinlin is empty and dry.
There is nothing in it’s cabinets, nothing inside of it’s closets, nothing stored in it’s cellar.
The only house left standing in Kinlin is a husk.
One October Hodge Sobel decided to take a break from work and she drove out to Kinlin to have a look around.
She explored the house, walked around it’s dry dusty yard and on her way back to the car she wondered like everyone else- what happened to Kinlin.
Was it ever really there? Were there ever really houses and streets and cats and dogs? Was there a Main Street, a park? Maybe a Welcome to Kinlin sign?
Hodge had no answers- but she thought maybe she was asking the wrong question.
The timer on her phone started to beep and she headed back to her car.
That’s when the wind picked up behind her and pushed at her back.
She turned around and faced the house and she wasn’t sure where the thought came from, but she thought that the warm breeze that ran it’s hand down her back and lifted her hair off of her neck came from the house.
They faced each other and another breeze pushed it’s way around her and grit tried to climb up her nose and into her eyes. It was in her hair.
She brushed at it and when she brought her hand away she saw it was covered in dust, she looked at her feet where the heavier dust settled on the ground and she saw it was mixed with grit, white powdery grit.
Hodge backed away from the house and that’s the way she walked back to her car.
When she was safely inside she emptied her bag that was on the passenger seat next to her and took out her water bottle . Hodge took a long drink and then with her eyes still on the house she rinsed her mouth and turned her head and spat the water out on the car floor.
She knew, at that moment with her eyes locked on the house- she knew what happened to the town of Kinlin and to everyone who lived there and who, if you could call it that, was responsible.
Then she started her car and raced out of Kinlin and made it just in time to work her next case at the View Ridge Cremation Services.
One thought on “The Last House In Kinlin”
There are no crows out here in the Mojave Desert, only ravens go “tock tock”