The Landlady

Photo by Andreea Ch on

There empty rooms in the attic for rent,

the stairs are sound, the floor is sound the roof is sound too

one of the rooms in furnished

that’s the room my Aunt used to live in before…before didn’t have use for it anymore.

It’s still furnished because I don’t have the heart to empty it.


If you don’t like what’s there, well. I hope your do. If you don’t you’ll have to pack it up

yourself- is that okay?

Good. Good. Splendid.

It is charming as it is, isn’t it?


Yes, everything is clean- no dust, no mold, Mr. Price takes care of this floor. He’s the

gardener but as you can see, it’s all about maintenance and not so much about


Still, he does keep the woodwork  polished, he plumps the cushions. He vacuums and

sweeps and opens the windows daily when the weather allows.


No. No rats, no mice, a few spiders now and then but they keep to themselves.


Now here are the rooms that are empty- as you can see they have been well


They’re aired out and dusted, the windows are polished on schedule. Yes it is very

bright in all of the empty rooms. My Aunt was a painter and a sculpture so she insisted

on those windows always being  cared for. Old habits die hard, don’t they?


Well. I suppose I don’t mind telling you.

My Aunt is no longer with us- she, we had a tragedy and she died. It’s been six years- six

years on November 1st, as a matter of fact.

She passed in the hallway. We think she was going into the studio here at the time.


Please go on in, take a look around. It is the biggest room up here and you can certainly

it for anything you-


What’s that?  Here, let me take a look.

It looks like a bottle, perhaps it was one of my Aunt’s medicine bottles. Yes it is

strange.  It’s empty too. Perhaps she was going to store something in it, maybe she was

going to throw it away. I honestly couldn’t say.


I understand, you have a few other places to look at today.

Well. Of course please do think about it and get back to me when you can.


The Landlady  heard the door at the bottom of the stairs open, the potential tenant was making

small talk with the housekeeper and then she heard the attic  door shut.


She was still holding the empty medicine bottle in her hand, she thought about not 

putting back on the windowsill, but it wouldn’t matter where she put it.  It would turn

up again, like it always has since the night her Aunt swallowed everything that was

inside of it and died looking out the window to the grounds below.


It’s a shame, she thought.

They are a lovely set of rooms and at night when the moon is shining it lights them up

and the shadows from the trees dance on the walls and her Aunt dances with them the way

she did before she died.


Old habits, as I mentioned earlier

die hard- some though never die at all.



Looking for That Magic

Putting My Feet In The Dirt September 6: I Hope You Find Your Magic

Today I went  to do some shopping for Halloween projects and decorations.

Lo and behold I found my favorite breakfast food from the early 70’s ( I was six when the Monster cereals hit the market for the first time)   on the shelf and just in time for the  season.

The funny thing is, I don’t remember this as being pushed as ” Halloween Food ” because I ate it year round and it was a chore to get my Mom to buy it because I did have a tendency to plow though a box in less then a week, plus unlike some kids who panicked when the cereal ( Frankenberry )  turned their, er, bodily waste different colors ( Pink, which was my favorite color ).

I was thrilled with that side effect,  so I ate it non- stop in order to achieve the desired results-

which I shared with my brother and sister and family dog as soon as I could and  with much enthusiasm.

I guess there was only so many times Mom could tolerate me inviting everyone in the house to look into the the toilet bowl and so many times she could stand the sight of how many people in the house actually wanted to see it because she decided to go Betty Croker on us and started to cook breakfast instead of buy it ready to pour from a box.

I didn’t buy a box on my shopping trip, you know that saying- you can’t go home again. But it was fun to see my favorite cereal at the market – who knows maybe I’ll buy a box or two for my Granddaughter Jemma.

Pink, after all,  is her favorite color too.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Forever Yours, Verona

Photographer Unknown

Sometimes she traveled by car, sometimes she traveled by bus a few times she even traveled by air because she liked the little snacks they used to give you  after you were settled in for your flight.

Verona’s  favorites were the salty almonds.

There were times when Verona had no choice but to walk to the house with the rats in the walls or the apartment with the dishwasher that would start on it’s own – in the middle of the night of course. Once she even had to walk to a house in the middle of the winter  where an even more weary traveler then herself took refuge in the upstairs closet to keep warm and died there- as far as I know that traveler is still there.

Verona isn’t there, she moved on after spending  a few nights in the kitchen where she sat on a chair with her feet up on the kitchen counter and watched the curtains in the window above the sink sprinkle dust into the sink below it.

If you looked through the window, you would have seen her sitting there eating her salty almonds, a pale figure with no place to rest her bones for longer then a moment or two.

To Verona those moments felt like a month, maybe a few weeks at the most, but the truth is Verona has been visiting  countless houses – the abonded ones and the freshly painted ones the ones that seem to have always been there as the world grew and fell around them- for  so many years that she has lost count and all of those houses and those roads and the fields have blended together in her mind’s eye to maybe one or two houses and a couple of roads.

She has always been partial to the kitchens and pressed, she could tell you what color they were and what they smelled like. But the rest of the houses and the sheds and the cabins were faceless in her mind’s eye.

One night she woke up and Verona was in a field, standing on the foundations of house that burned down to the ground  and took with it everyone inside of it when it  finally fell.

The house in the field was just as isolated in life as it was now in death and nobody was there when the fire raged and when the embers cooled and the crows and the  eagles and a few stray dogs took away all that was left of the occupants,.

In that quiet field in the middle of nowhere, Verona looked up into the sky and it was full of stars.They looked so bright and they seemed so close that she thought if she reached up she could touch them.

To travel there- over to that pale star,  maybe to that one high above her head, her hand reached up to one star after another and she could see, she could almost hear the places she could haunt- roads that slithered and snaked through fields under skies with dying Suns and to  small mangled moons slowly crashing into dead oceans on the planets they  spun around, to homes full of dust and bones on the sides of mountains buried under ice or bathed in poisonous clouds-.

Closing her eyes, Verona  filled her lungs with the night air and as she did she could see it. She would be a shade on the crumbling  wall, a face reflected on pools of water a figure drifting across fields of sand under skies gourged with raging storms on world after world.

The cries and laments  on these worlds would sound different. The skies would  look different- even the air would smell different and the sorrow was bound to taste different

and there would be an eternity of these worlds to haunt.

An eternity.

” Mars ” Ray Miller

Made By Pernille Writing Challenge:

The Ghost That Traveled The Universe.