My written stories

The Two Houses

Wish I had a photo to share with you here. Anyway, have a good weekend!

The two houses stood across each other, like sharp shooters from the Old West frozen before a draw, like arguing friends rooted at an impasse. They had stood on Lamppost Street for forty years or more, and the residents on that street looked at them as the dividing line. “Do you live North of The Marble House?” “Do you live right or left of The Blue House?” were common questions put to new and unsuspecting neighbors.

The Marble House was named for its swirl of brilliant colors. The gold, purples, reds and greens were garish when first painted; now they were faded echoes of an old Mardi-Gras parade, an empty street sprinkled with a few stumbling, drunken revelers and shreds of garbage. Some said its first and second floor porches had been the scene of neighborhood parties and celebrations. Others claimed it held darker secrets within its rooms late at night while the pale moon hung overhead.

Every inch of The Marble House was elaborately carved, from the bargeboards to the railing leading up the steps to the porch. An explosion of color, a jumble of overwhelming detail-perhaps its exuberance explained why it had lived out its days in a flash, why it now sat like a deflated party balloon on the lawn.

But there is some residual spirit there yet. And nowhere was that more apparent than when the opposing house was taken into consideration.

The Blue House was a low-slung craftsman style house. Passersby would almost miss it as they passed the burgeoning bushes that lined the street on its property. But there it was-a peek of blue-ogling at its outrageous neighbor from behind its jungle of green, as if smugly superior in its enduring simplicity. Indeed, anyone who discovered The Blue House after the Marble House nearly breathed a sigh of relief at the rest their eyes found there. It was a picture of serene symmetry. The brick path leading from street to modest wooden front door on the low-slung front porch did not so much invite as it drew the eye. The single level was unpretentious is every small, unobtrusive detail, and of these, there were few. It was a pleasant house, but it was also a hidden house.

Were The Marble House and The Blue House what they seemed to be? Not quite likely. Did their facades reveal or hide what they were? Some of both, likely. Who, then, held more secrets? None could say.

 

 

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