Creative, News

In the House I Listen

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By Zoe Norton

In the house I listen, cautious. It is winter, and the rain outside our red brick house smacks against the window pane beside me; the seasonal night’s drum solo that no one can truly dance along to. Before me velvet purple walls like crumpled paper show up tiny shadows, embossed plaster making patterns—buildings, roads, the makeshift city of my daydreams. Parts of the city are under reconstruction, nightmares covered by pictures of me, of her, of him, of someone I can only imagine meeting. Gaps in the timeline have fallen to the floor, abandoned in the dusty mass of fabric, a fallen warrior lost in all the other memories.

Elsewhere in this house, four bodies are awake and wandering; four people as alike as the sun, the moon, the earth, and the sea. Their dependency on each other is the only thing keeping them together, though the earth is still bearing no fruit and the sea is somehow still drowning itself in its own might. I, the outside man, the intruder into this desolate, desperate kingdom, am alone. Waiting in the shadow of their death-marked label of awkwardness, until in she walks. Flicking sea-foam off her bouncing heels she crescents over onto the haven I have made upon her bed, sinking into the pillows I have presented to cushion her fall. I am the calmer of the ocean.

Into the darkness we collide, throwing arms above our heads and shaking four week old tear-drops off her covers. We listen to the outside sounds beneath our ground, the rotten, dried out whispers of outdated opinions and burnt out beliefs. We are the secrets within these walls; as soon as another walks in we are metres apart in dreams, or so it would seem to anyone who cannot see the interlocking fingers beneath the pure white, flower petal dusted sheets.

There are skeletons in wardrobes here, decrepit notions of identity stored away in fabrics filled with the sounds of fluttering wings; we are grateful to those fast moving creatures, devouring the labels on our clothes and on our souls. She shudders in her sleep, lashing out tidal wave fists against my chest. I pull her into me to soak up all her anger and resentment until the waves of furious breathing and the beating of her violent heart against her ribcage calm, rolling against my breathing and beating in slightly fractured unison.

I have found a lovely seaside home and I do not intend to lose it.

I do not favour any red-brick, mid-city, houses covered in plaster casts of all the remnants of used up happiness, over this.

Zoe Norton is 18 years old and is in their first year of studying English with Creative Writing. Their writing blog, hosted on tumblr, can be found here

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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