I had actually planned on posting this piece of flash fiction the day we did this writing exercise in class, but somehow it slipped my mind (or maybe I wasn’t confident enough). This is just a short, unedited blurb I wrote in a span of just a few minutes, trying to follow certain rules and meet particular requirements and as my professor called them out. (For example, “Now have one of your characters take something out of their pocket.”) I actually had a lot of fun writing this, so I’m not too worried if it’s not the best.
The House On Coster Road
More than half of the aged white paint was chipping away from years of wear, revealing the greyish old wood of the two-story farm home. The lawn had been left to grow on its own accord, and it reached our waists in most places, the wild grasses grabbing our legs and twisting around us. The smell of lilac invaded our noses, pleasantly but almost warningly, as if to remind us that this was bee territory.
Becca and I cautiously made our way in through the back door, ducking our heads a little at the memory of a bat flying out unexpectedly many summers ago. The inside, though even more barren and dead than the outside, had an almost magical quality. We crept up the old stairs, which creaked dangerously under our feet, to see what would have someday been our bedrooms.
“I can’t imagine living here anymore,” I said softly, looking out the window of the room facing the road, “even though I used to be able to picture it so perfectly.”
“Yeah. Did we ever end up picking our rooms?” she asked. “You probably would have gotten this one, since you get whatever you want.”
“I’m the oldest. Of course I would have gotten first pick.” I rolled my eyes.
We made our way to one of the other bedrooms, treading as lightly as possible through this barren home. I was just about to bring up how we always thought it was haunted, when a rotting floorboard gave out beneath my flip-flop, my foot and ankle sinking into the jagged wood.
“Help me!” I shrieked, trying to lift my foot out while avoiding too much pain. Becca warily hurried over, letting me grab her shoulder for balance.
“I’m calling Mom and having her pick us up,” she said and reached into her pocket for her iPhone, having had enough of the creepy place from our childhood. She hurried downstairs and outside to get better signal.
“Wait for me!” I yelled after her, bending down to tend to my scraped ankle.
“Come on then!” she called back impatiently.
I paused a moment longer, my mind flooded with past dreams of what this house could have been for us, how it could have changed our lives. Maybe if our dad had actually gotten around to fixing it up, Mom wouldn’t have divorced him.
I quickly tiptoed back downstairs, careful to avoid any floorboards that looked threatening. Becca, sure enough, was on the phone with Mom, as I waded through the sea of weeds. Normally, I would convince her that we should walk back, but my ankle had started bleeding, so I settled for getting a ride. We sat in the dirt driveway, a distance away from the bee-infested lilac bushes, and waited for our Mom’s silver Grand Prix to pull up, having had enough adventure for the day.