dead bird, no. 7
(Being an attempt to write short fiction in even shorter increments…)
The mail was still in the mailbox, all junk. There was an American Express offer for me, and I had not lived there for over a decade. I’d gotten lost on the way over, and it was almost dark. The house outlined in the mild, pink light, I squinted at the familiar facade. When my eyes focused, I realized the whole left side, from the kitchen up, was caved in; missing, like a dark chunk from a waning moon.
The fire had started in the living room, they said. I stood at the edge of the yard and looked at the first floor’s dim skeleton. As a child, I’d imagined fires in the living room many times; not fires that I’d started, but fires I envisioned at their peaks, flames lapping cruelly at the drab, off-yellow drapes. I wondered how this matched up.
I sat on the warm hood of the car for a few minutes before I headed back to the city. The coroner had given me the option of picking up the ashes in the morning or having them shipped. I gave him my address.