She rose up

All night long, the outside world bellowed. Bellowed, honked, shrieked, krilled, ululated and yowled. She tossed restlessly, nearly sleeping but disturbed by the concatenation of sounds rising in hysterical crescendo and then falling into brief staccato silences. She woke, and slept, and woke, and slept, until 3 a.m., when the full moon was hot and the orchestra was tuning up for another movement.

“I am afraid I never will do that,” she told herself as she considered sleeping in the basement, with the spiders and the goblins still hiding in the shadows of her childhood. She rose up in her blue nightgown and went outside, where she sat on the porch swing. The silver lace vine shone in the moonlight, the honeysuckle twitched as if its dreams were restless.

At 3:20, he went past the house where he used to live. It was now even more worn by time and weather than it had been. He stopped, to see it better, and turned off his car engine. The house seemed smaller, and ghostly in the flat white light of the high summer moon. Sitting on a porch swing sat a girl, swinging gently, in a blue nightgown and bare feet. She was singing a song, a ballad of danger and gypsy love that sounded so familiar he spontaneously got out of the car and walked toward her in the moonlight.

The girl looked up and their eyes met. She stopped swinging. The birds and the beasts in the barnyard started up again and within seconds they were wrapped in cacophonous, ratcheting, chaotic sound. 

 “Good gracious!” she said, getting off the swing and stepping onto the cool grass. She started toward the house, the house with the silent windows, that seemed to him to be empty.

“No!” he said. “Stop!” But she didn’t, she didn’t stop and the house swallowed her up and the sounds were swallowed with her and he stood on the front porch in the moonlight, saying “Mom? Mom?” to the empty rooms and gaping windows and the moon slid behind the clouds in the sudden silence.







2 Responses to “She rose up”

  1. 1 Craig Towsley July 26, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Oh, Twist!

    At first I thought there were just a tad too many adjectives and adverbs, but the piece soon swept me up and away. And then the ending slammed me down, but not hard, like dropping onto a couch at the end of a long day.

    Very nice.

  2. 2 Teresa July 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks, great feedback. The noisy adjectives are definitely pushing hard, but I ended up thinking the silence stood out even more by contrast.

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