Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Chairs and Pears, Pairs of Gears, People Upstairs

One of our weekly writing prompts.

Granny’s house is a strange place. The main floor seems normal. There’s a rocking chair in the living room with an orange and gold afghan draped over the back and a sofa that has ugly flowered upholstery. The kitchen is tiny and there is always a bowl of yellow pears in the middle of the miniature table. Her bedroom is also on the main floor and not too interesting except for the cuckoo clock on the wall that ticks and grinds and makes all sorts of noises, and then on the hour, the little wooden cuckoo explodes through the painted doors and screeches its mechanical coo.

But these are the normal things. It’s the people who live upstairs who are strange. The first thing that’s strange about them is that Granny tells me they aren’t there even though she has pictures of them in frames on the mantel. The second thing that’s strange about them is that they never seem to sleep. When I visit Granny I sleep in a bed upstairs, but even when I wake up in the middle of the night the people are awake and staring. They don’t talk much, the people upstairs. That is the third strange thing about them. When they do speak their lips don’t move. I think that is also strange.

There’s also a cuckoo clock upstairs, but there are two cuckoos in it, one is white and one is black. The white one cuckoos on the hour, but the other only cuckoos when someone dies, like when cousin Emma was sleep walking and fell down the stairs. I only heard it cuckoo then.