House warming

old bathtub

Crossing through the doorway, the smell that greeted me was redolent of wet leaves blanketing the floor of a deep, dark forest – a sweet and earthy fragrance. The wild woods were taking over the ruins, reclaiming what it could. From the road, the abandoned building showed little resemblance to its former self.

As I ventured farther into the house, dying daylight streamed through splintered rafters and broken windows, fractured over time by encroaching brambles. Musky algae papered the bathroom walls, concealing blood stains under a velvety green stencil. A phantom odor of lavender hung in the stifling air, masking the underlying stink of evil.

At the center of the rubble, I turned in a narrow circle, processing my unease in silence. My journey into hell started and ended here. Rising out of the fire, my wounds cauterised, only then could healing begin.

Holding an open box of matches in my hand, the image of a bikini clad cowgirl on the cover, I breathed in their sulfur perfume. Found among the belongings in his bedstand, the firestarters were the only thing of value he left to me.

Piles of decaying dreck and detritus, blown into the corner of the room, served as my funeral pyre. With each lit match, with each spark that ignited the fire, I felt my dark memories rising with the cinders and smoke, billowing up through the rotting timbers.

Walking away, my back warmed by the inferno, I relinquished the fiery demons of my past, the night illuminated by their macabre dance.

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Week 7: Inspired by “the sense of smell” and/or the word “Elixir.”

This week’s Studio30 Plus theme is “Gigolo rhymes with __,” and/or “dark.”

16 thoughts on “House warming

  1. Whoever said arson wasn’t constructive didn’t have a decayed relationship like this. When the matchbook is the only thing left of his that has purpose, you strike a match and purify your past with cleansing flame. Yes, this post is exquisitely crafted and I, too, am envious of such a display of talent. Well done!

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  2. You did an amazing job capturing that combination of disgusting and sweet smell that comes with decay; I particularly appreciated the hint of lavender, because it left me wondering more about what the place was like before it became a mess of mold and memories.
    ~Angela

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  3. Outstanding writing. I hope this is a novel in progress. It’s my first time visiting and I definitely was NOT disappointed. The sensory details in this writing are wonderfully crafted.

    I loved every word:~) Also, if that picture was taken by you. It’s very well done and perfect for the story.

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  4. Pingback: Write at the Merge Wrap Up, Week 7 | Write On Edge

  5. If “the devil is in the details” , then the demons released here are through perfect word choices and excellent prose. I loved this. The opening few lines were addictive.

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  6. if it were really that easy to burn the bad dreams, I’d probably do it once a week. ;)

    “A phantom odor of lavender hung in the stifling air, masking the underlying stink of evil.”- I loved this line, how it refers to something that might have been pleasant in another place and time, that even in the midst of the durge our minds try to find a happy memory.

    what does that sound say “Let the m**f** burn?”, alright, then.

    it’s pieces like this that make you truly incredible.

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