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.


The Vertex


Photo by Raphael Brasileiro on

Do you know how a prism works?

Prisms are made from glass, plastics or fluorite and how they are shaped will determine how the light that enters them will be dispersed. I understand that and even if I don’t grasp it all on an academic level,  I have seen it and enjoyed the results of that scientific fact.

I also believe that there are times when I think that experiences  behave the same way.

I think there are moments that hit some specialy crafted moment in time or maybe even a person and they split apart into an array of images and actions for just a few seconds, and they hold that shape and then they drift apart and there is no way to prove they were really ever there.

Two days ago on the train home I was sitting behind two women who were cleaning their phones of messages and pictures. They were chatting about where to get their nails done and what resturaunts were open when one woman gasped and said, ” somebody just got hit by a train!’

There were a dozen of us in the car and we were all ears.

” Where? ” her friend asked.

” Kent. The train is stopped in Kent. ”

But we just left Kent.  ” Her  friend  held her hand out and she passed her the phone.

Someone asked, ” did we hit someone? ”

The answer was the train kept moving and we all started to check our phones- none of us had that message.

Her friend looked down at her friend’s phone. ” Oh, look this message is old it’s from a few months ago. ”

She said she felt stupid and of course no one agreed because   who hasn’t had a ghost message pop back on our phones now and again or run across an old message and thought it was new?

We were at my stop about twenty minutes later and when I got home and settled in my phone buzzed at me.

I looked at it and saw the text that the train behind us had been stopped in Kent because of a ” medical emergency “.

” Medical emergency is the polite way of saying that someone had been hit by a train.

So this little moment in time may have been a coincidence. It could have been one random then was really there.

Or maybe for one moment reality split apart and it came back together in the best way it knew how.


The Silver Handle

RDP Monday: Handle


I couldn’t take your hand, for our last walk that day

in October.


I took up the silver handle and walked as close as I could to you.

I thought I could feel you, I wanted to feel you but

I was afraid I’d drop you.

We all were.

On that day

in October,

it was raining and cold and the orange and red leaves of autumn were drowning in the


The woman in the smart black suit and sensibly manicured nails gave me the key to your new home.

She rested it in the palm of my hand, I barely felt it’s weight.

It disappeared  until a week ago.

I found it in our car, it was in  the counsel between our seats hidden under a coupon for a free


I lifted it up and I was surprised.

It felt heavier then I remembered.

I took it as a sign.

It could only mean one thing,  this was an invitation

 to your home and I think I will pay you a visit.

I wonder if I will recognize you.

I am preparing myself, that I may not.


But October is here and Halloween is near and this is the  best time for me to drop in 

and take you out.

Maybe we will use that coupon for the free yogurt.


and when we are done with our visit, I’ll take you back to your home and  lay you to rest.