Home by Elana Williams

Part One

The girl rushed out of the cold and through the back door of the Big Blue House.

She hung her wet socks and mittens in front of the fire and shivered there for a moment,

as water dripped slowly onto the hearth.

The girl had a vague memory of a ship she'd commandeered to endure the flood waters,

but her memory had sharply splintered away with each new gust of wind.

From the far street corner, the back left window of the two-story had appeared a perfect lighthouse, but just before the fire burned out, the Big Blue House's moody keeper flared up and swallowed her whole.

Even the girl was surprised at how quickly she grew accustomed to darkness.

She often found herself following the water's trailing whispers in wide meandering circles through the ash.

To pass time, they hummed little odes, back-and-forth, to their favorite things:

satin black gloss
Una chorda pedals
and the strings, so many strings, safely hidden away.

Part Two

The girl was in a dream room with four small square windows and no doors. The gusts of wind were growing stronger; she knew she'd soon have to obscure her homely view of the river and cover the glass.

For just a moment, she sat gingerly on the piano bench, and it creaked in appreciation, a splintery goodbye before its haunting song to the river began.

The girl's mind is splintery now too, and the water around her just keeps rising.

"The string's never had a shot at survival," isn't the kind of thing you say out loud.

You whisper it in dream rooms then let the wind carry it away.

She's swimming and swimming now, down through the brown water

toward the piano.

The further she dives the more warped the keys get.

The water keeps rising, right behind her eyelids, filling her up to the brim.

Part Three

Here is where the flood is imaginary.

Here is where the flood is neither here nor there.

Every day is June 8, 2008 and every day the girl hopes for rain.

Perhaps the home she can't quite recollect will one day spring back up, just the same, from some brown puddle.

The girl will giggle with the ivory, their years of burdened wandering in the dark having suddenly pushed them both out into the sunlight again.

But the flood is not so easily defeated a foe; it breaks you slowly, consumes you. When you rot, it's from the inside out.

Home pops out of a puddle but this one is no good. It's collapsing in on itself.

You've forgotten how to navigate in the bright lights. Your ship's wrecking.

Look now, it is June 8, 2008.

It's only a matter of minutes until the water finds the satin gloss, copper perdals, and even the most stealthy strings.

"I never had a shot at survival," isn't the kind of thing you say out loud.

You whisper it in dream rooms and then let the wind carry it away.

The water is always rising.

Credits:

Created with images by WenPhotos - "vatican staircase graphics" • 4997619 - "instrument piano black" • FotoshopTofs - "music sheet notes music" • Flavio~ - "Grand Piano"

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