There is a house on the corner of two broken streets. The white paint is chipped and peeling. The shutters faded, hanging loose, and battered. The roof lacks shingles and the windows are cracked and broken.
Three stories tall and half-a-block wide, the house is older than the town itself. It was there when the farm was bought. It was there when the streets were rolled. It was there when the war took all of the young men and it was there when some of them came home.
It was a proud house. It was the first house to boast running water. It was the first house to be lit by twinkling lights at Christmas. When the airwaves were pulled down into fiber optic cables, it was the first to get hooked up.
It was a loving house. A loving house for a loving family. It was loved and cared for. It was clean and fresh and pure.
It was a warm house. It was filled with laughter and joy. The heat of the hearth pushed chills from rafters and bones.
But, the doors have loosened. The joists have settled and the drafts have laid claim. The pride and love and warmth have faded, replaced with the quiet dignity of age.
It was a house of emotion. It has seen births. It has seen death. It has seen the blossoming of new love and the crashing wake of broken hearts.
It is a house that knows history. It has seen times of war and times of peace. It has seen revolutions bring both strife and progress. It has watched a community rise and a community fall.
It was a home. It sheltered and nourished five generations. It saw children born, grow, marry, and bring the next generation into the world. And, when the mill closed, it watched the last generation leave for a life in the city.
The house still stands at the corner of two broken streets, empty and neglected.
But, its town is recovering. The mill has reopened. Re-purposed, they say. New life is strong on the wind. New people. New wealth. New love. New pride.
The house is alone and battered, but it still stands.
And it is for sale.
Vignettes are a tool author’s use to practice a particular skill. For me, this little slice is all about trying to be poetic with my prose.
My aunt is one of my biggest supporters. She is also a true devotee of Steven King. I thought, it might be worth writing something for her.
No matter what you think of his stories, there is one indisputable fact about Steven King’s writing. Dude can write a vignette.