Sunday, 8 February 2015

The grass looked like it hadn’t been mowed in years.



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http://writeworld.org/post/107410021540/the-grass-looked-like-it-hadnt-been-mowed-in
The grass looked like it hadn’t been mowed in years. There wasn’t a garden although there had been in the past; a long time ago from the look of it. It was an older style house in an older style area and it didn’t look like a paintbrush had been anywhere near it for a very long time either.
The family stood there and looked at the house with expressions ranging from horror to awe.
The youngest, the daughter, clearly thought it was awesome and all part of an extraordinary adventure. The son had a moue of distaste. The father just looked battered and defeated. The mother looked utterly horrified. “It’s a squat,” she choked out.
“We’ve got a key,” the father suggested.
“If it was a squat, it wouldn’t have a lock,” the daughter pointed out.
She got a look for that.
The paint was peeling on the front door. She picked at it with a fingernail and saw at least three colors underneath.
The lock worked and the door opened into a long hallway tiled in black and white tiles with a curving set of stairs leading to an upper level. There was stuff everywhere; all over the floor. “Whoever lived here left in a hurry,” suggested the son.
“They said he had to move urgently,” the father said.
“Even people who move pack their stuff,” the mother noted.
“I bet he was killed,” the daughter said with relish.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” the mother argued. “They would not have put us here if there was any danger.”
“”If he’s dead, the danger has passed,” said the father.
“You always manage to find some good in things, don’t you, honey?” She kissed him quickly and a look of relief crossed his face. It was clear that he was the cause of this unexpected move. He was frightened that his family would blame him. He went to pick up a bag and winced. He was clearly carrying some sort of injury.
“We’ll get those,” the mother suggested.
“Yeah, you think the cops could have arranged someone to show us around,” said the son. “While they were arranging everything else.”
“This is our only option,” the father said for the hundredth time.
“I didn’t cause this,” the son hissed at him. “You did.”
The man sighed. “I did... yeah...”
“We don’t have a choice,” the mother said.
The daughter tried to be conciliatory. “Can we just go see upstairs? Can I have the room with the tiny balcony? Is there a name for those?”
“A juliet balcony?” her mother said, distracted. “Really?” She loved renovating and had always wanted to do up a Victorian terrace. She looked at the house with new eyes.
Her father hugged the girl and winced again. “Of course you can, love.”
“Is it actually ours?” the mother asked. “Or is it just temporary?”
“I think this is a long term thing,” the father suggested carefully.
“Ugh,” the son said, and pushed past them and started up the stairs.
The daughter chased him, shouting, “Don’t you take my room.”
The father gave the mother a nervous smile.
Maybe this witness protection thing would work out?