Empty house

North Vancouver, 2019

North Vancouver, 2019


The long dry grass scratched at her legs leaving thin swollen wheals across her skin.

Beth bent down and brushed flies away from her shins. Tiny wildflowers blossomed in the brown grass, their bright primary colours littering the parched lawn. She ran her hand along the tops of the taller grasses, each one bending in a graceful arc then springing back as her hand passed over them.

A crow perched on a single fencepost at the bottom of the garden. The rest of the fence had long since fallen away. His sharp eyes followed Beth as she got closer to him. He bobbed and ducked away as her hot breath reached him.

She raised her chin to the sun. The skin around her eyes crinkled in a squint. There was no cloud cover today just a hot relentless sun. She sniffed the air and wrinkled her nose. A rotten, sickening smell of death filled her nostrils.

A small round table stood in the middle of the lawn tied to the ground within a tangled mass of bindweed which was crawling and twisting around and around each leg, inch by inch, day by day. An empty bottle of wine lay at one end unbroken spattered with bird shit. Beth turned around taking in everything about the garden she’d played in as a child.

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