[Old House, New Lives]

By Katy McDonald

Marline and John threw open all the windows of the house.  Pro of living in an old house: big windows.  Con of living in an old house: no AC.  But they had made the decision to live there, and now they had to live with it.

Not a bad decision, Marline thought to herself as she looked out over the green and blues from her attic window as the breeze began to cold the room.  Still, John had been strategic about getting them to move in when it was still bearable.   

Six months.  It had been six months, and Marlin still felt she couldn’t move in her own home.  The walls held so many memories; they had seen the lives of so many men and women. A few deaths, too, no doubt.  She shook herself, if she started to tell herself ghost stories now she would never get to bed.

She stepped carefully back down the steep steps.  John’s family had lived in the house for generations.  When his cousin moved out in the early fall, John had jumped at the chance to move in.  Marline was still unsure about her husband’s hasty decisions, but he was happy and promised their kids would be too.  Kids.  She smiled at the thought.  John still didn’t know how soon he would have to come through on that promise.

Katy Old House photo“Happy, Love?”  He asked from his place on the couch.  It had to be from the twenties.  It was hideous.

Marline turned her smile on him and dropped her hand.  “Couldn’t be happier.”  She grabbed her bag.  “I’ll see you after work, don’t get up to too much trouble.”


They were laying in bed.  Wind blow through their room.  The days were too hot and the nights were too cold.  Marline tried to sleep, but it was so hard.  She tossed and turned.  John always slept hot not matter what.

Finally, she gave up on the idea of sleep.  She grabbed her sleeping gown and walked down the kitchen.  The wind was blowing throw the whole house, that seemed about right.  Without turning on the light, she started making tea.  At least someone had thought about indoor plumbing and electricity.  

The street light shown into the window giving the whole room a light caramel feel.  The street was still.  Carm.  Good neighborhood.

Marline stopped.  The wind was blowing through the room.  It was blowing in her hair.  The pages of John’s book on the table were rolling over slowly.  The trees outside were still.  Like a picture.  Dead still.  She shook her head.   No thoughts like that were bad.  Bad thoughts.

The kettle started whistling, and she jumped.  She hadn’t been paying attention for it to get that loud….that fast.  


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