The house sat—vacant and alone—for many years. The roof sagged, the paint peeled, and the house lost hope.
It slumbered until the rumble of low voices awoke it. It creaked and groaned as the men inspected it, caught snippets of words like “great bones” and “so much potential.” It was afraid to hope, but one day the men moved in. The work was endless and the house shuddered as its roof was replaced and the floors were resanded. But there was happiness in the house too, murmured “I love you’s” and once a “will you marry me?”.
The work brought the house back to life as the couple lovingly painted the siding white and planted flowers. The house settled in for a long spell of contentment but it was broken by the loud screech of a very small person. Alarmed, it watched the small one, unsure of what it was doing. The scribbles on the wall tickled and the constant screeching made its timbers shudder.
One afternoon, when the sunlight glazed its windows gold and the birds hopped in the branches outside, the house felt something strange beside it. It looked like a house, but was brightly colored and tethered to the ground like a balloon.
“Hello?” The white house said.
“Oh, hi,” the brightly-colored house replied.
“What are you doing here?”
“I’m a bounce house. Here for a party. “
“There’s a party?”
“Yes. Don’t you see the streamers and balloons?”
Soon both houses were swarming with guests. The house shuddered at the cacophony of sounds. The smallest people seemed to make the most noise.
But then all of them disappeared into the bounce house and soon the white house was empty. It felt a pang of loneliness as the little ones shrieked and squealed and the big people clapped and took pictures.
Even the three people who lived in the white house had abandoned it for the bounce house. What if they never came back? The white house liked the men and the small girl they’d brought home. Despite the sticky messes and the loud noises, it missed the laughter and the patter of little feet on its stairs.
It thought of the long, lonely abandoned years and the faucets began to trickle with sorrow.
Then a door slammed and small feet returned to the stairs. The house felt little fingers brush its walls and it felt contentment again.
“You’re lucky. You have a great family,” the multi-colored house said, a little wistful as the people moved from the bounce back into the white sided home.
“People who live with you and take care of you. I don’t have that.”
The white house considered that for a moment. “Yes, I do.”
Later, as the house quieted and the family settled in for the night, it thought about the three people living in it and decided that the bounce house was right. It was lucky.
“You could come visit again,” it told the bounce house.
“Maybe next year,” the little multi-colored house offered.
This week’s pic prompt was from Theo and let me tell you, it was a challenge. I enjoyed it though and I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out. Something a little bit different than the usual. Check out Helena’s blog for her story and this week Jaycee did one as well! So much fun.
Don’t forget to come back next Monday for the next round of flash fics.