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November 5, 2011
By KeithW BRONZE, Hemet, California
KeithW BRONZE, Hemet, California
2 articles 9 photos 4 comments

Dark. Cold. Lifeless. That’s how he felt as he walked through the damp streets of my tiny town. Usually, a little burst of delight would fill his soul and he would be light-footed and hop through the empty, wet alleys. However, tonight was different. He felt miserable. He was alone, with no one for support. He walked towards the lights of surrounding homes seeking warmth and friends. Each window either contained a couple sharing a wonderful, roast chicken with a side of savory mashed potatoes or a family laughing about fond memories or hilarious occurrences. A little grin reflected upon the frosted window, but it slowly fades away. He moved slowly down the avenues of the little neighborhood until he got to one particular home.
It was boarded up; abandoned and excluded from the society surrounding its once wonderful appearance. The door, wide open, revealed a broken table and two couches, torn the reveal grey and black fluff. Broken ceramic tiles are covered with the remains of burnt wood and black ashes. Some of the ashes still dance around like lifeless souls. They go through every room and every hall. Their motions are peaceful, but they seem like they want to escape. Walls and furniture are obstacles to them; inanimate objects block the way to a better place. It blocks their way to a place with no windows and no objects. It blocks their way to a place where everything is bright and welcoming. It blocks their way to a place where the wind can carry them to anywhere they desire. Nonetheless, the objects don’t move and the ashes slowly dance around trying to find another escape route to peace and freedom.
The man turns to his left to see an empty hallway. Without thinking, his feet begin to slump towards the entrance of the quiet hallway. His hands, covered with open cuts and wounds, slide against the surface of the black-speckled wall. Framed paintings on the wall contain images of a meadow, a sunflower, and two kids chasing after each other. A sigh glided through his chapped, pink lips. Sorrow engulfed his soul as he looked down at his torn dress shoes. He opened a door to one of the many exanimate bedrooms. Unlike the rest of the house, it was kept up and cleaner than any of the other rooms. The bed’s comforter was clean, but the frame was burnt around the edges and the furniture still seemed to shine. Slowly, another slight grin showed upon the man’s face.
The room contained many photographs and paintings. Most of the paintings revealed beach scenes such as a seagull flying parallel to the shoreline. The photographs always contained a family containing a mother, a father, and two siblings; a brother and a sister. One of the photographs showed all of them smiling; smiling directly at the man. The man stared into all of there tiny, happy eyes, but he stared mostly into the eyes of the young boy next to his sister. Tears welled up into his eyes. He did a nervous giggle and let his face become a small creek to the salty water pouring down his rough, icy cheeks.
“I miss you guys,” he said to the lifeless frame.
He gently rubbed the dust from the frame with his dirty thumb. All of a sudden he felt cold again, yet he could also feel warmth. The laughter of two adults and two kids filled his head. His eyes slowly began to close. “I can’t wait to see you all again,” he said to himself. His eyes shut and his last icy breath escaped.
The picture dropped to the floor. He opened his eyes again. Everything was warm and the sky was golden. He looked down. His hands were locked between him and his sister. His mother and father looked at him softly, grinning. His father’s voice entered his anxious ears.
“We’ve been waiting for you my son.”
“I know dad.”
He gripped his father’s hand, while his mother held his sister’s hand. The four of them walked towards the bright, golden sky. All of the dark, cold, lifeless feelings were gone. All that he could feel now was warmth and happiness.

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