Monster House

by A. M. Thomas

Image from Snappy Goat

For the first time

in fifty years

two teenagers dare venture past

the thorny garden on Dove

Street, and into the so-called

“Monster House”

Pillars, scattered

vines slithering up the 

foyer walls, the dull gray

wainscotting has long since

rotted loose

The teenagers wander the slanted 

hallways, look out

barred windows 

walk into each 

unloved room searching 

for life and lore 

finding nothing

except…

There is a worn path

starting at the second story bathroom

which follows a single

hallway, inviting

the students to step over 

tiny lumps of light-

colored feathers, until 

they find

a gangly thing in the corner

of the farthest room

in the east wing

boxed into a corner

It holds a sopping sponge

above a bucket

and tends to the green wallpaper

repeating the same motion

back and forth

back and forth

Wings glide against

a jungle-green sky

its face stretched 

thin, hairless, grey eyes sunken

its skin, blemished, stretched

over bone, rocking

back and forth

back and forth

Thinking, freedom is an

unknown sky for which I

haven’t the wings

uncapped and unattainable.

I curse the wanting 

it brings

The teenagers stand there

fascinated by its cleaning

obsession; they poke its abdomen 

with a mechanical pencil, and when

it doesn’t flinch they laugh

taking turns poking it

again and again

But the Old One knows  

it’s the last of its kind

 

This house, its structure 

its security the last of its kind

And would rather turn

its atrophied talons to the

invaders, tearing their limbs

off one by one, than surrender 

its comfortable life

And so it does.

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