The Other Side of Pain
by Haley Isleib
The house sat alone on the bluff, the waves below eating at the shoreline, greedy for the berms that protected the house. No friend, the sky--it screamed with thunder, raged with winds gale-force, hurricane strong.
The house had no people. That's what it meant to be alone. Even if there had been a hundred other houses on either side, it wouldn't ease the solitude. Without people, the house had no purpose.
Maybe it was time to die.
Maybe a storm surge would be the end, wash up and lift the house from her foundation, pull her out, and down through icy waters, and up through cold currents, and strew her across a thousand shores in splinters.
The people left her alone long ago. They had not said goodbye. One day they were asking for light and heat and tap-tickling in the kitchen for meals; the next they packed up and drove away. There had been a good year, a great year, a stressed year, and a last year. They woke the house up, brought her into this life, then abandoned her when she was still a baby, as houses go, only four years old.
They named the house Simone. They called her a "she." Once in that first good year, the house had asked how to be a girl. The people had laughed, delighted for a reason that she still didn't comprehend.
Maybe after more years of taking care of the people, she would have understood their sense of humor. As it was, the house learned only one thing from them.