Below is my response to the first ever RedInkling Writing Challenge! If you haven’t written yours yet, make sure to check out the Challenge here: http://aredinkling.com/2013/03/26/calling-all-writers/
The house glowed from within. The house, the home, the place, the only place.
The last place.
That house was the the place where I was born. The place where I shot into the world, wet and screaming. At least that’s what I remember. But memories are unreliable. My memory, especially cannot be trusted. It plays tricks on me and false things appear to be true.
I was walking once, outside in the field with the long grass and the yellow flowers. I walked with my head lost in sky and my bare toes buried in earth. I walked and I walked until I found the edge of the world. I stood on the edge and the warm yellow breeze nudged me from behind.
I wanted to fall but my toes wouldn’t let me. I stood on the edge for a long, long time. Years and years passed behind me, nothing at all happened in front. For years I stood and when I finally fell, I fell for so long that I almost got lost. When I landed I was small and wet and screaming. It was then that I saw my mother’s face for the first time, although I’d known her forever.
I told her that story once and she said that it was a dream.
The house glowed from within but no forms inside cast shadows on the walls.
The last story is the one I remember best but I cannot know if it is true. The day it happened on was a sunny day. The air was warm but the soil was still cool. I followed a stream and found a riffle and waded through water that was up to my knees. The pebbles were smooth beneath my feet and I stood in the water for a long time. When I got tired of standing I went back to shore and lay down in the grass and closed my eyes.
Never asleep, I was alert behind my eyelids but so much time passed as I thought that soon I was cold without realizing it was cooling. It was a long walk home.
I saw home sooner than usual. At first it was a yellow glow on the horizon where there’s usually just a smudge. When I got close I saw that all of the doors were open; all of the lights were on. It shone brighter than I’d ever seen, cleaner than I’d ever known it to. When I went inside, it was empty. I waited outside because the lights made the house cold and harsh and none of the switches responded when I flipped them. After an hour the lights turned off. I waited outside until the sun came up.
Eventually I went inside. Still empty, but the house was home again.
I do not know if this last memory is real.