The Last House In Kinlin

Word of the Day Challenge: Phantasm

Photo by zoe koskinioti on

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.


Sharks and Fish

FOWC with Fandango — Disruption

” This is our pond, our lake, our stream this body of water is belongs to us, ” said the fish who could swim around all day and not see another fish unless they wanted to- which they never did because in this little story the fish are only concerned with their own little body of water.

However, if they did swim into another fish it was super helpful to all concerned if you were swimming in the same direction.

Life was good when nobody made a ripple in the cool smooth universe where they lived.

“Chill” said the fish,” just chill the heck out. Read a book, sniff some flowers close your eyes and think of England. Do something but quit being so loud.” they told their disruptive neighbors- the whales and dolphins were the noisiest I’ve been told.

They always had something to complain about and they had been doing it almost forever, swore the fish. Seriously. How many times did they have to listen to them complain?

Photo by Madison Inouye on

“This might be your pond, your lake or even your ocean,” said the sharks but we don’t care about your feelings we could care less about what you think or want and if you swim anywhere near us we will eat you and your family and if we hear one peep out of you about why we are making ripples in your pond, we will spit you out and eat you again.”

The sharks had no patience for the fish who just wanted to get through the day without creating a ripple in their pond, their lake or their patch of ocean.

Some sharks die if they stop moving- and that is science. So sharks make lots of ripples and I’m sure that the ones who don’t die if they stop moving make ripples for the Hell of it because they’re sharks and it makes fish who don’t like random ripples mad.


And above the fish, near the sharks and listening to the noise coming up from water was the sky.

It got tired of all the bickering and bloviating sharks and fish so

it stomped it’s foot, shook it’s fist and shocked them all.