2016

For some of us, 2016 was one of the worst years to date. It stole some very famous, loved people, it left some of us jobless, homeless, sick, and without anymore people to love. It was a rough stretch of road.

For myself, 2016 seemed to be a beginning of hope; everything was falling into place. I had a great new job prospect, I was going to sign on a house, and a relationship that was sure to become doomed seem to be mending itself. I was certain 2016 was going to be my best year yet.  

Before the beginning of February, it slowly started to fall apart. The new job fizzled away, the house fell through, and the relationship faded. By the middle of the year, I was thinking of ways to get out of my situation. It was going in circles and I needed to jump from the ferris wheel before it sent me off a cliff.  

I ended up deciding I needed to move back home. I needed to leave the sunshine, leave some very valuable friends, leave a decent job, and leave my marriage. By the end of August, I upheaved myself and my dog back to Missouri. I moved back into my parents at 36. That was rough. It took a lot of adjusting. I did not have a job and my bills piled.  

I often give up pretty quickly, but I knew I couldn’t. 2016 wasn’t going to get me. I sent out resumes, went to many interviews, and even landed a great job with help from a friend. The job wasn’t for me. So I went out to find another. I couldn’t give up.  

While I struggled to deal with reality, it started to hit me – my unsettled emotions. I never dealt with what I left behind. I started to break.  

For me, I always try to keep a good support system. I had to cling to it. My life would depend on it.  

I am better. 2016 tried to get me and I didn’t let it. I fought to stay a float.  

Living with my parents was one of the best decisions I have ever made. They have and continue to help me everyday. There are some things they do that I am not sure I will ever be able to pay back. Everyday I am grateful.  

2016 has taught me many lessons.

1. Not everyone is your friend.

2. Trusting others is a tricky delicacy.

3. Some friends will never be replaced or will ever want to be replaced.

4. Those with less, give more.

5. We are not meant to have everything, just everything we need.

6. The word grateful means more to me than years past.

7. Friends and family are my greatest assets.

8. There is more beauty in this world that was lost to me in the past.

9. Time is not to be squandered.

10. Love with all your heart because that’s all you have.
Even though 2016 was very difficult, I had to stop and see the good. This year has taught me to stop and realize just this. Look around you, find the joy, and embrace it. If you don’t, 2017 will be just as difficult as the years before.  

Life will try you. It will test your strength. Life will try to break you and never ask if you’re okay. You have to look out for yourself, and you have to make sure to cherish the ones that love you.  

Don’t make 2017 great. Instead, fill the year with memories, joy, laughter, tears, love, friends, and doing the things you love. For if you continue to keep doing these things, 2017 won’t be great because you tried to force it, it will be great because you lived exactly how you wanted.  

Thank you for continuing to read and follow my blog. I hope you found the good inside 2016 and I hope you find even more to be grateful for in 2017.  

Happy New Year.  

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A Sliver…

Hello my faithful followers. It’s Friday. For some of us, it is a good day. We slack off in the office. We count down the hours until it is time to leave   

Oh Friday. ….

I’m having a difficult time feeling grateful lately. 

Others are reminding me about how awesome things are going, and they are. 

However, I’m a self-sabotager. (I’m making-up this word) 

That’s right people. I sabotage my own happiness. Why? I don’t know. 

I don’t allow myself to be truly happy. I never really have. I force myself to smile, to say hello, to give a hug here and there. It’s exhausting. At the end of the day, I need lots of room and silence to put on a happy face and face the world once more. 

Even as I write this, I pause to contemplate what words I will type next. I’m tired. 

So while I do post about being grateful, finding inspiration, and finding out who you truly are, I have days where it is all out of grasp, and that’s okay. 

There is a bountiful list of things for which we should be grateful. We should seek to find who we are. We should always strive to become better. However, it’s okay to let it slip away, but not too far. 

One day, I’ll stop sabotaging myself. 

Today I will remind myself it isn’t as bad as I think and try to find a sliver of happiness because sometimes a sliver is all we have. 

The Dark

Often, I stand in the darkness to awaken my senses. The wilderness brings a plethora of noises lost when the sun warms the earth. I hear things only the darkness can bring to light. The wind rustles the leaves and each leaf sings to its own tune. The bugs talk briefly and then listen to the wind. The birds hum and stop to listen to the rain tapping the earth. You can hear a howling dog in the distance. On some nights you can hear the coyotes breaking their silence to deliver their special code to let the others know the hunt is commencing. The shadows dance with the wind. Their fierce tango drives the moon mad. It looks upon the earth hoping to paint a perfect picture, but it angers at the wind and its games. It draws the clouds like a veil to shield the insanity.

The night brings a different perspective when the eyes are limited with vision. Suddenly, the dark plays tricks with your mind and nestles visions never seen. You stand, motionless, hoping to hear something you’ve never yet heard. You stand like a stone while your senses develop a deeper intelligence. Your hair starts to stand. Your skin starts to crawl and you start to wonder if you were meant for the night at all. Your eyes dart in every direction making your mind wonder if what you heard is real. The black encases you. The wind tickles your hair. You move quickly, turning to see what is there. It’s the dark, telling you to leave. For maybe the moon is on to something, using the clouds to blind itself. The dark hides what we are not ready to view. The wind lets us know to return to our slumber until the sun makes it entrance.

What draws us to the dark? What makes me stand there welcoming the unknown? There is beauty in what we cannot see. There is beauty in the silence. To listen to the rain, the birds, the howling wolves, or the insects whispering is more than noise. It is the break from useless chatter, buzzing phones, and a senseless box telling me how to feel. The dark is more than a sign to wind down. It is a message. So I stand in the dark awaiting a message that the light fails to give; a message to the senses.

Transformation 

If feelings were tangible, I would burn them. I would tie them to a chair and begin my wrath of torture. My time would be consumed with giving each feeling exactly what it deserved.

What a world we live in when our feelings torture us and we can do nothing in return. We have to suffer; to learn how to cope. If we could only learn how to transform from them instead of living with them.

Lately, my feelings have consumed me. The change I have dealt with recently is leaving me in shambles. Coping with my torturous feelings is, at times, more than I can bear. It isn’t enough to cope anymore. I must transform.

I suppose my feelings are holding me captive and I am now developing Stockholm syndrome. If you are laughing at that statement, good. If you laughed and then cried, good. Transformation is emotional.

It can leave you weak, vulnerable, and it can also leave you strong. Those three words separately are different. When they are together, they transform into something much different. Let me explain.

My feelings often leave me weak. When I am weak, I am vulnerable to my thoughts. The scariest part about my thoughts are they can lead to harm. The last thing I want is for my thoughts to overtake my logic. The beauty in transformation is the strength. When my emotions drain my energy, I don’t want to do a whole lot. I would rather suffer. I can’t. It isn’t an option. Strength finds its way and transforms my vulnerability into a sliver of confidence. It isn’t much, but it is enough. Once I become confident, I am no longer weak.

Transformation is emotional, but it is also a blessing. If we do not learn to transform from our suffering, we will lose the will to cope, and our feelings will hold us captive – forever.

Will they come back for round two? Sure, but our transformation has left us stronger and more willing to fight. Soon, our feelings will find us, but leave in the same amount of time. We will recognize them, and take control.

Transformation is emotional, but it is also beautiful. It has made you the person you are today. Perhaps you haven’t fully transformed as of yet. Many of us do not see it’s entirety until we reach an old age. But that is why we are here. To be better than the last time. May it take a lifetime to achieve what I failed to achieve in my last life, for in the next life, I will know, and I will conquer.

So transform, become great, be strong, and face your feelings. They will guide you to the person you were born to be.

Acceptance

Life can be difficult. There are times when all you want to do is give in and give up. There are no answers and there isn’t a clean path to lead you where you need to be. We will never have all the answers and for some, especially me, this is more than difficult, it is a hardship.

Over the past couple of weeks I have dealt with many things that are hard to accept. I want what I want and not having control over the outcome has driven me to tears, anger, and suffering. I feel lost, powerless, and mostly, I feel ashamed because what I thought I could control, what I thought I could perceive, what I thought I could have was explicitly out of my reach. It always was. It always will be.  

A dear friend of mine listened to my problems and in return gave me one word: acceptance.  

Now, I do not have a hard time with this word. I know its meaning. Yet hearing it plagued me nearly every hour of the day. It prodded, poked, and oozed until I came to grips with what it really meant.

  •  I have wanted to write about it for days, but I could never find the time. Acceptance.  
  • I want people in my life to be better. I want better for them. They choose to live a certain way and it saddens me. I want to change it. I’ve tried. I can’t. Acceptance.  
  • I long to control my surroundings, but I can’t. Acceptance.  

I often pause when I feel my life spinning out of control. I look at the way I am treating people. I look at the way others may view me. I look at my current behaviors and ask where I can make a change. It is a constant inventory.  

If I can not change others so I can accept them, I must change myself so I can accept what I cannot change. Acceptance.  

When you cannot find the courage to fight with life any longer, look at your surroundings and let go of what you cannot change. Acceptance isn’t easy; just as life is always difficult. Remain vigilant, focused, and strong. Remain knowledgeable. Remain wise. Remain able to accept. 

Slow and Steady or Fast and Crazy?

Remember the days when I filled Tuesdays with running? All my blog posts were of the days my feet hit the pavement with fury. I sort of miss those days. However, I have somehow created a stumpy version of myself and now I am slightly overweight, my knees pain my, my hips scream in agony every time I rise from a chair. My body is in its own horror movie stuck on repeat.

Alas, I can not fret over what I used to be. While I would love to start running once more, I have to start small. I have to regain my strength.

So I bring you this: a pondering question. First, a set-up. Many know I have uprooted myself. I have no serious income, my bills are stacking, and I miss my friends. I should be in a darkroom, under the covers, contemplating m existence. However, I have begun writing and it makes me feel so much better. But I long for more. I need to exercise. So my question is this: Do you ever find yourself wanting to do everything at once even though you haven’t much stability? I want to do it all, and a part of me feels I should slow down, yet another part of me feels I should do it now; there’s no time like the present.

If you find yourself in this situation what is the course you take? Balls to the walls or time is of abundance, the turtle wins the race?

Sip your coffee, pretend your working, and let me know. I’ll end up doing what I want, of course, but I’m curious about you.

We Must Love Change

I was in an interview the other day, and I was asked about change. She asked if I thought change was beneficial and if I adapted well.

I nearly laughed. (I’m an awkward person with a knack to make any situation weird)

Instead I held in my sarcastic humor and decided, thankfully, to be serious.

We need change. Without it we will never grow. We will never truly know who we are. If life did not adjust without consulting us first, how would we ever know how to adapt. Change is a necessary tool for our survival.

Adapting to change is difficult. It brings a certain amount of stress though we have no actual idea of the exact amount it will bring. We try and prepare ourselves for the worst and our efforts are never good enough. We then, have to adapt even more, and for some it is beyond what they can handle.

Many times I’ve sat in a pile of my own tears wondering if life was worth the suffering because change wasn’t willing to bend.

These moments test us and we either grow or we fall.

In these moments, or perhaps after the tears and screams, we have to assess. We have to process. We have to take a moment and find out why.

For me, especially lately, I have to look around me and find an ounce of gratitude.

Last Friday or it may have been the Friday before, I posted a list of things for which I was grateful. It seemed to do well, and in the spirit of today’s celebration of 300 followers, I bring you my gratitude list of today.

  1. The will and need to write.
  2. Parents who love and support me.
  3. Access to the internet so that I may entertain you.
  4. A dog. He’s the reason I’m here.
  5. Friends. I have some really great friends.
  6. Finding a job.
  7. A new adventure.
  8. Stove Top Stuffing (I know, but I seriously love it)
  9. Paid bills
  10. Change.

Being grateful can be a challenge. Change is difficult. Being strong isn’t easy. But you weren’t put on this earth to ride the kiddy train, were you?
Happy Friday. May change make you grateful.
Here’s a picture of my dog. He makes me happy.

 

img_2493
He finally gave in.

300! (No, not the movie)

Many may scoff at the number. Their blogs with followers that reach the thousands, or perhaps they are even being paid for their endeavors. 

While I aspire to become more like them, I must acknowledge the people who keep my dream alive. 

Today, at the meek hour of approximately 3 am, this blog has 300 followers. 

300! Hey, that’s a lot of people. 

This blog has been running for about 7 years, possibly more, I’d have to look that up. 

I’ve written words that made us laugh, cry, shiver, and possibly words that gave us hope and made the day a bit brighter. 

However, I would never grow if it weren’t for the readers. So I thank you. 

Thank you for reading. Thank you for following. Thank you for letting me be me. 

The Old Man – Scary Story-A-Day: Day (3) *edited*

I missed yesterday. If you were looking forward to a scary story to prep you for Halloween, I am sorry. However, I try not to disappoint too much so to make up for my lack of words, I give you gore. If you are not a fan of the sick and twisted, i suggest you turn back now. This is a story for those who don’t mind a little blood in their coffee.

This one is rather long – at about 2,500 words. So settle down, and lock your doors, and remember: sometimes it is best to let your neighbors be.

Enjoy.

He kept to himself. He mowed his lawn. He paid his taxes. He was just odd. Something was off about him. While he was mostly quiet, many times heavy bangs coming from his building would excite the neighbors, enticing a few to call the police. Small threats, and empty promises kept the neighbors slightly satisfied and slightly displeased. He continued and we all just breathed a sigh of exhaustion. There were some neighbors you should just leave alone.

That was rather difficult for some and a more difficult for one neighbor.

“I can’t listen to the awful banging anymore!”, her hair tickled her nose as it fell from the mess of a mop on her head. She brushed it aside and continued to gripe. That neighbor scared my Peaches into a barking frenzy last night. She nearly wet the bed!”

She was the type of neighbor who knew of everyone’s business. If there was anything you wanted to know, she was your gal. While the information was always skewed, the entertainment value was worth the inquiry. She was a petite, but stout woman, in her 40’s. Widowed, she lived with her small poodle, Peaches, in a simple two-bedroom ranch sitting on a few wooded acres.

She looked at me for an answer. I shrugged my shoulders. There wasn’t a thing we could do about the noise. We could call the cops, let them threaten the old man, and let the cops tell us he would be more cautious. Bla, bla, bla… It was all the same song and dance.

“I don’t know what you think we should do, Abigail. We have notified the police before and nothing gets done. Perhaps if it bothers you so much, you should tell him to stop yourself.”

She turned on her toes at the very word. Her dog yapped at the abrupt movement of her petite, stout body. She scooped Peaches off the ground and offered the poodle words of condolence. She looked at me sternly, and for a moment, I was back in reform school getting punished by the dean.

“Perhaps, my indifferent neighbor,” she scolded,” I will.”

She marched her little legs down the dirt road, and She wondered if her indifferent neighbor wondered if she would ever see her and her yapping poodle again.

Abigail’s feet met the top of the hill. Despite her small frame, she managed to make the trip quickly. There was a sick feeling bubbling in her guts when she saw him inside the building. The sun sunk over the roof, and darkness started to ooze over the trees behind her. Swallowing her fear, she stepped toward the building, dog in tow. Sensing something its owner wasn’t privy to, the dog started to growl. Abigail continued, brushing off her dog’s warning. She stroked its black, wiry fur, speaking in comforting tones. The dog continued to growl, followed by shaking. Abigail leaned her head near the poodle’s face to ease its fears. Peaches, scared of its own shadow, abruptly turned its snarling jaws and latched its perfectly sharp teeth into Abigail’s cheek. She screamed in agony, dropping her beloved pooch. Peaches ran away from the scene, yelping.

 Abigail grabbed her cheek. Blood flowed down her face, onto her neck, and seeped into her freshly pressed clothes. Shocked, she fell to her knees, flinging her body from the pain. Not one for knowing how to compose herself, she wept. Dirt clung to her skin and latched itself on loose strands of hair.

“What is going on here?” The voice was low and garbled. Years of smoking left a thick film of mucus lining his esophagus. He tried to clear his throat.

“What are you doing curled up on the ground? Get up!” He grabbed her by the arm and swung her to her feet.

The pain left her and fear encased her. She stood frozen, shocked a man of his size could lift her stout body with one arm. She stumbled as she regained her bearings. He caught her arm. She violently retrieved. His eyes made their way to her blood-soaked cheek.

“You better get that fixed. I can see some tendons.” His grey eyes, met hers and she shuddered before frantically feeling her open wound. She nearly lost her composure when she felt the sticky tendons dangling from her face.

“Come inside. I can fix you right up.” He reached for her arm. Abigail withdrew. He gazed at her, almost confused by her sudden disagreement. “You need a bandage. I have some supplies in the house.”

Abigail turned up her nose. She was in a great deal of pain, but her instant disgust of even entering such a place wouldn’t stop her from being rude. “You want me to enter your building and let you touch me! I would rather get an infection. I can manage my own body, at my own house.”

He stared at her face, watching the wound seep blood into her mouth as she spoke. Each flex of her muscle made the tendons twitch. It was rather amazing, as he wondered how she was managing to speak.

Noticing how he was rather engaged at her misery, she stepped back. “Stop making all that racket. I would never have come here, but you keep managing to disrupt the entire neighborhood. Now I have this terrible issue, and my poor Peaches has run off. I ought to sue you!” She squared her eyes with his and waited for a rebuttal. Instead, he remained mute. She scoffed at his silence and turned on her heels, making her way back home.

Abigail clenched at her cheek, trying to stop the flow of tears. Her stomach was in knots and her body trembled. Nearing the top of the hill, she started to call for her beloved poodle, but the pain in her cheek intensified, and she sobbed from her sudden mix of emotions. Feeling weak with exhaustion and deciding she was a good distance away from her recent trauma, Abigail started to take a seat on the side of the dirt road, but the swift end of a 2×4 against the back of her small rounded head helped her take the rest she was looking for. He drug her to his building.

He laid her on his work bench layered with. Blood leaked from her cracked skull. Her eyeballs started forcing their way out of their sockets as the blood pooled behind them. He looked closer and saw bits of her brain making its way onto the dirt floor. He stepped back to fully take in his work and felt a sense of pride. He was disgusted by her. She was rude. He wondered if he had hit her on the head a little too hard. Often, he didn’t know his own strength.

A scream came from a room inside his building. He left his possession rotting on the wooden slab.

She was cold and hungry. But they all were. The chains were old, but strong. Each were attached to each other, chained by the hands and feet, while the main attachment roped its way through a small opening in the metal frame.  

He stripped them naked and often dressed their wounds. They were always dirty; filthy from the dirt floor and their lack of facilities. The flies swarmed their bucket in the corner of the dark room. One of the girls crawled into the adjacent corner; left to decompose. The maggots had set in. It wouldn’t be long until the hunger pangs were larger than their need to never feed on human flesh, no matter how old.

She screamed. Her voice echoed against the steel walls. He would come. He would be angry. It was her arm that pained her. A fresh wound that grew infected. She sulked over the injury. It was purple and the blood was dark. It was the bone scraping the top of her skin, begging to be free from its confinement, that left her in agony. She kept screaming.

He flung open the door and they scrambled to the walls, hiding in the shadows. He went for her and yanked her off the dirt floor. She fell limp; weak from lack of water and food. Her tears soaked the earth.

Her arm snapped. She let out an intense yell and they all watched as her bone broke through the skin. Blood dripped from her fingers. In immense shock, the fragile girl lay silent at his feet. He kicked her in the face, the top of his steel toed boot meeting her thin jaw. It snapped and hung sideways, exposing the inside of her mouth. The girls shuttered and gasped, finding their bodies closer to the cold steel, hoping to disappear into the metal.

He left. The door slammed behind him and the girl in the corner was now a fresh meal with a broken arm.

His fresh victim twitched on the bench. He walked over to the door, and poked his head out for the chance of any new visitors. Satisfied he would be left alone to do his bidding, he bolted the door and returned to the twitching, arrogant, insufferable neighbor on the slab of wood.

Peaches scraped the bottom of the door leading to her safety. She whined and pleaded, barking insistently. The noise took her from the TV and out onto the lawn. She could see Abigail’s front door from her porch, making her neighborly interactions much more retched. She despised the lady. Seeing Peaches wanting to crawl out of her skin delighted her in a strange way, but she also enjoyed silence.

She made her way across the lawn, over the road, and onto Abigail’s porch. She knocked on the door. Surely Abigail was done cussing out the old man by now. There wasn’t an answer. She twisted the door knob, it crept open. Peaches rushed in at the mere sound of the door swinging on its hinges. She flung herself onto her bed, shaking.

The indifferent neighbor wasn’t the one to go prying in the night. She had more sense than that. Instead, she was the type to fix things in the day light, or not at all.

She left and returned to the comfort of her home, stopping at her porch, watching the TV flicker in the dark.  She didn’t care if she saw the snotty winch at all. She secretly hoped the old man found a use for her like he had found a use for the others.

BOOM!

Her heart fluttered. It was the old man again. Her heart skipped a beat and a smile creeped across her face. She turned to look in the direction of the noise. A small glow could be seen over the top of the hill. It nestled above the trees like a looming fire. She returned to the dancing of the TV and turned up the volume. It helps muffle out the screams.

 

 

 

The Property Next Door – Scary Story-A-Day, Day 1

I have never really talked about something I truly love, and that is Halloween. One glance around this blog, and anyone might know I have a dark hole in my heart, even if it is tiny. It is filled with horror movies, dark poems, and creepypasta.

I have decided I will bless you with a story-a-day until the arrival of Halowen. Each story is completely different, but is related to the things I see everyday because inspiration has to come from somewhere.

I worked on this piece last night. it is surprising that even on my small iPad keyboard, how quickly one can type out 2,000 words. That is the rough word count of this particular story. So settle in, dim the lights, lock your doors, and become acquainted with the Property Next Door.

A little note: I am working on “showing not telling”, if you have any time, please let me know how I did. Thank you

It occurred to me the property next door was calling my name, not literally, of course, but something was pulling me toward its rotting side paneling, it’s grimy windows, and the front door swinging on only two hinges. The hedges were overgrown. The untamed branches scraped the siding and helped devour the decrepit house. The grass entangled with the thick weeds. They seem to dance across the yard. Each lady beckoning me to join in their seductive tango. I sat on my porch everyday staring at the rusted, sagging tin roof that sat lifelessly on drooping metal siding. Ivy climbed up, around, and inside the house. The earth was consuming the tin shack and it wanted me to join the party.

I was certain I would only ever watch nature devour the house, as I sat from the safety of my porch, rocking in my chair, but the need to walk into the depths of the tangled grass and weeds, to walk inside the tin house that may fall to its death if I push open the swinging door, was strong; stronger than the will I had to stop myself.

I stepped off my porch, onto my freshly cut lawn, out onto the gravel road that led to the highway. My feet dragged behind me as if my mind were trying to stop me, but my heart, or perhaps it was my ignorance overriding my logic, pulled me forward, and I ignored my slow, crawling pace.

I reached the enchanted dance, and I was sure the weeds and grass separated their romantic entanglement to let me pass with ease. As if they were waiting; waiting to soak up my remains like the remains of a rotting corpse. They flowed back and forth, tickling my skin with each pass. I was in a daze. My feet became a little lighter with each delicate touch.

I paused to take in the tin shack. Each window caked with grey grime so thick, peering inside was out of the question. It was something I wanted to do because a sliver of logic bled into my brain after turning to see the weeds and grass had returned to their dance. This time, the dance was more sinister, and my heart jumped as their touches become more aggressive, as if they were now forcing me to open the door and go inside.

A weed snapped its filthy tip across my cheek and my head whipped violently to my front. My eyes becoming locked on the door swinging from the bottom two hinges. It was open further than before. A blade of grass whipped my calves almost putting me to my knees. I turned my head to look behind me and I saw a wall of tangled grass and weeds so thick a chainsaw would see difficulty getting through. The wall grew quickly behind me, growing thicker and taller, becoming more violent. It pushed me onto the front porch, my feet stumbling on the swooping, rotting wooden steps. I fell to my knees not being able to regain my balance after the wooden step seemed to trip me. I hit my head on the swinging door. My vision blurred and a knot grew on my head. I struggled to get to my feet, gaining splinters from the unmanaged porch. My hand flinched with each piece of entering wood through my skin. I found my way to the door handle, not needing to open the door; the door opened slowly, inviting me in, saving me from the dangers of the outdoors.

The daylight leaked in from the opening between the sagging siding and the oddly shaped roof. The sun’s rays lit the floor which wasn’t a floor at all but a placement of dirt. I was inside a house made of tin sides, a tin roof, and a dirt floor. My mind raced as to who would live inside a metal box without a floor. The tin house contained a small kitchen without any appliances save for a hot plate. Roaches scurried across the counter. A mouse hid inside a rusting can. In another corner rested a cot. The tattered blanket swept over the sides with a brown pillow that was once white. A 5 gallon bucket sat in another corner. It was once a green bucket. You could see the original bucket’s color along the bottom edges, sinking into the dirt. The rest of the bucket was covered in filth, feces, and a thicket of flies, roaches, and maggots. The more I stared, the more bile began to crawl up my throat. I quickly turned away and started for the door. I didn’t care what I thought the weeds looked like outside, I was removing myself from this property. Logic had filled my brain, drowning out the desire of my heart to stay and explore. I raced toward the door which was actually only a few feet away being as the tin shack was only ten or twelve feet wide.

I reached and what was once a door hanging on two hinges was a door fully hinged, bolted to the wall. I placed my hands on the knob and shook violently, screaming for the house to let me out. Stoping myself from becoming too hysterical, my fully logical brain remembered the sagging siding and knew I could climb on a counter and slip my body out of a wall.

I ran to the roach infested counter. I placed my hand on the wood to brace myself for the climb, and roaches fled in all directions. I tried to remain calm as a few found their way onto my skin. I stepped onto the counter top and grabbed the broken siding. I pulled down as hard as I could, but my foot slipped from the moldy, feces covered counter, and I fell to the dirt floor. When I regained my bearings, the oddly placed roof had swiveled into its proper place, aligning with the siding, locking all the possessions and inhabitants inside. The windows were now black and locked. The sun was blocked, now only bouncing off the tin roof, giving more life to the ivy that encased the metal.

My heart skipped, my stomach churned, my head ached. I was in a near panic; willing to tunnel my way out. I became angry at myself for becoming entranced by the rotting piece of junk on the property next door. I screamed and the house shook with what felt like laughter. The sink rattled, the cot scraped across the dirt, and the filth filled bucket, bubbled. Each pop oozed on the floor creating mud, and growing a stench foul enough to make the roaches flee.

Looking all around, feeling my heart pound through my chest, I saw the roof shift to make room for something sinister. The ivy began to tear its way inside the oddly shaped roof. It crawled down the metal walls, and seemed to thrive as it reached the dirt and make its way to my ankles at a faster pace. My breath left my body as I yearned to scream. I clawed my way to the only exit and the ivy wrapped itself around my legs leaving me with only the use of my arms. If only I could unbolt the door before the ivy trapped me forever. My nails dug into the door frantically. Each scrape broke a nail making some of them bleed. I screamed in agony, but mostly from fear. I was going to die in this house, encased by the same ivy that I watched take over the house from the comfort of my porch.

The same logic that failed me earlier in this tragic day, reminded me of a knife I kept in my pocket. The ivy circled its way around my waist closing up all entry into my pockets. I took my blood soaked hand and struggled to fit my hand between the dough exterior of my jeans and the sticky coarse skin of the treacherous ivy. Although I disagree, at the moment, luck would have my hand finding my only salvation. My blood soaked nail beds made a lubricant. The ivy had found its way around my trapped arm. I kept my free arm above my head, but the ivy grew faster. I grasped my knife and wedged it out of my pocket. I tossed it onto the dirt. I shifted as best as I could so my nearly free arm could reach the knife. My fingers scraped the dirt, barely managing to wrap my bloody hand around the grip. Once I had my fingers firmly planted, I screamed with my last big breath of air. The ivy had reached its way around my throat, circling up my chin. The ivy had wrapped itself around my upper arm, leaving only my lower arm free. What was left of any movement I could muster, I aimed at stabbing the ivy. The knife made its way to the thick, green ivy around my upper arm. Each thrust was devastating. Blood was everywhere. But it wasn’t the ivy that bled. Sensing danger, the ivy shrank in size with every pending stab. I never had a chance. The ivy made its way around my face, locking its grip around my eyes.

I was trapped. I lost all hope. I let the ivy wrap me into a cocoon. My bloody arm unlocked its grip around what I once thought was my savior. You could hear the metal house shifting. The dirt floor parted like the Red Sea. The oddly shaped roof once again became oddly placed. The sagging siding let the sun highlight its certain spots. The door became slightly unhinged and completely unbolted. The roaches and mouse took their assigned places, and the weeds and grass stopped arguing and began their romantic, persuasive dance; making itself reading for its next victim who stares curiously at the property next door.