From The Window Upstairs

Vilhelm Hammershøi

I wanted to tell you a story about the empty rooms in the house next door to where I live.

I wanted to tell you the name of the daughter who did unthinkable things to her family and when the police arrested her, they asked her why she did those awful deeds and then made her family dinner, like always, and set the table with fresh linens, flowers from the garden out back and why did set the table her mother’s best bone china and how could she put on her prettiest dress and then take her seat and ate her meal- like always.

She had peach cobbler for dessert.

I wanted to tell you that the Devil made her do it. that her boyfriend talked her into it that there was something wrong with her brain and that someone did unspeakable things to her as a child and that is why she did those terrible things.

But none of that was true. She was as normal and predictable as you or the lady who made you coffee at the Espresso stand this morning. It’s a mystery to us all  where the idea to murder her entire family came from.

I can tell you she used to look out of the window on the top floor of her house and from her floor she could look down into my backyard. She used to watch me garden late at night. She used to watch me dig and turn the earth with deadly efficiency and grim determination.

Sometimes she waved at me and sometimes I waved back.

And sometimes she just watched me dig.

Something Is Up There

RDP Thursday: On The Roof

Karl Nordstrom

When I hear the old floorboards in the  hallways outside of my bedroom groan and pop, I know it’s just my house feeling it’s age.

When I feel a draft at night, creeping around my feet and sometimes touching the back of my neck light as a feather and sometimes giving me a little nip, like playful kittens and impish adult cats do, I know it’s cold because my windows are old and wobbly in their frames and they can’t keep the weather out like they should.

When the lights go off for no reason at all and stealthy distorted shadows suddenly appear on the walls around me, I know for a fact that they are there because the wiring in my house is older then me.

Not, however by a lot.

But when I hear that scratching, that clawing on my roof I know what it is, I know who it is and when I am not tired from a day of haunting my favorite bookstores and gardens  I ignore it and go to bed.

Though there are nights, when the scratching the clawing that stops when I turn down the radio and look up at the ceiling and the scratching and clawing is accompanied by  a string of words that for will turn into a tune and then weeping that I know I have to make it stop if I want any rest at all.

So I open the door and step out onto the porch and from above the scratching, the clawing the babbling come together and I can hear them race to the porch eves just above my head.

I step back and stand into the doorway and from the roof above Alberik Prat drops down halfway head first and hangs there and whispers and pleads for me to let him in for a little rest, for something to eat. Maybe a drink. He’ll be gone by daylight he says.

In the spiderweb covered porch light, Alberik Prat’s face is swollen and red. The skin across his forehead his dry and has fallen away in little patches exposing the smooth white bone underneath it. When he talks his teeth click and they sound like rats chewing and clawing in your walls at night.

” Go away.” I say ” there’s nothing for you to eat here. ”

” Please. ” he says, ” I am so cold and I just want a little rest. ”

When I don’t say  no right away he drops a little lower.

” You can’t come in. I won’t let you. Not after what you did to us. Go back to your grave and sleep with the worms- if they’ll have you. ”

Alberik wants to yell, he wants to gnash his teeth, he wants to scare me to death- but he can’t do that again.

” Vampires. ” I tell him. ” Belong in their graves. Not on porches begging for a bite. ”

” And ghosts ” Alberik hisses ” are full of themselves. ”

I close the door and I hear  Alberik scuttles across the roof and back into the darkness, where I suppose we both really belong.





Putting My Feet In the Dirt #3 Prompt Crispy and Crunchy

Ludwig Sigmundt

Florrie Herold dressed in her finest mourning dress strolls through the botanical gardens miles away from where she actually lives.

She enjoys her journey to the gardens, she never waves at the people she knows but she does bow her head a bit and  gently smiles the way all well mannered ladies do.

When she arrives at the gardens she always stops at the gate and with her eyes closed she takes a deep breath. She slowly opens her eyes and with her heart hammering in her chest and her cheeks flushed with just a trace of pink she steps through the gates and heads for her favorite part of the Garden.

Florrie tries to not rush to the Garden where the flowers- the delicate flowers- are grown and cared for by gardeners with rough and calloused hands. She tries to not smile to broadly, she hopes that her eyes are not shining  because when they shine Florrie’s eyes start to burn and when they do there is nothing lady like about them at all.

At last she arrives to where the flowers live and  when she does she hardly knows which way to turn first. But she finally does- after savoring seconds of delicious expectation and passion and she makes her way from one plant to the next.

She stops here and there and sometimes she reaches out and almost touches the blooms but at the last second she draws her hand away, she steps back and then like a cloud floating across the face of the Sun she reaches out and snaps a petal, sometimes a leaf from her carefully selected victim.

She holds the petal, sometimes the leaf up to her slightly disfigured victim and when she is sure she has it’s undivided attention, her lip curls, she opens her mouth and she puts the blossom into her mouth and chews it so very slowly.

Sometimes she spits it out and sometimes she swallows it but she never fails to draw her finger along the the flower’s stems and she she says, ” I’ll be back later. I promise. ”

Sometimes though, Florrie Herold, ever the lady dressed in her best Mourning dress simply rips the petals from the flowers and drops them carelessly, even thoughtlessly to the ground.