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April 25, 2018

Vanished Thoughts and Found Vacancy

art by Kawase Hasui
Fiction: Vanished Thoughts and Found Vacancy

He stood uncertain of time. It has been early morning when he came but now it seems to be night and yet, the sky is still vivid, still awake. He glances down at his wrist watch. It is a little after 2. He spots the shift of the moon as it appear behind the clouds. It seems like yesterday he was having breakfast in the yard with his father and mother. His mother had peeled off the shell of a boiled egg and gave it to him. He had stuffed the egg into his mouth and laughed. The sky was a deep purple then. Now in this semi-darkness, he wonders where the time went. His eyes search the stillness and into the vacant spaces where life used to reside. Everyone is gone. He doesn't believe he should leave and yet, he doesn't like the idea of staying by himself. Last week, his aunt left with her husband. She have been wanting to leave for years. While he never thought of leaving. But standing there among the empty snow-covered town, he knows he must leave. This place is no longer his home. It belongs to time long ago but parts of it linger in him. He tries to forget as he makes his way back to the hotel. The only sound he hears is the quietly falling snow.

The emptiness. It consumes us. Day after day, we try to yield toward the light but night after night, the emptiness is all we can cling to. The humans have gone and we, the buildings and houses are the only one left. It is said when houses are left to themselves, they grow cold and vacant. They grow to become what they cannot fill. I know this to be true. I feel that all-consuming void every day. The seasons may change, time may move on, but we, the houses, remain where we are built. In a couple of months, we are to be torn down to nothing and we will ceased to exist. I fear for those who are doomed to last forever standing by themselves with no one and no end in sight. I suppose we are the lucky ones. We get to end. But until that day comes, the void is all we have.

The houses have been standing silently in the darkness. But the snow have brought them out again. The bright white patches are caught on rooftops, verandas, window sills and walkways where no one treads. The woman watches as she stands near the edge of a set of stone steps. She wonders if she should go in and have a look. It have been her home for fifty years and yet, she feels like a tourist now. Her nephew have told her the whole town will be torn down and rebuild. He was the last to leave. But here she have returned when all who knew her, knew she wanted to leave. Everything is familiar and yet, everything is new. As she looks around her at all the shadows and lights, she sees the faded ghosts of the past roaming the vacant hallways and empty rooms. She wishes never to know them again and yet she could not help but revere them. In two months, the bulldozers will come and remove everything but the ghosts.

a to z challenge 2018
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