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No Place Like Home

Roaches scamper across mold-encrusted bread; flies circle an overflowing trash bin. On the counter-top television, a celluloid blonde extols the virtues of yet another erectile dysfunction drug.

Sitting at the kitchen table, an old man spits tobacco into a Styrofoam cup. Wisps of gray hair fall into his eyes, but he doesnít brush them away. A cat nuzzles his leg.

The buzzer screeches. He struggles to his feet, hobbles to the door and peers through the blinds. There she is again: the woman with the wicked eyes.

"This is my home, woman. I ainít leaviní!"

She pounds on the door. "Please, Mr. Jones. I just want to talk to you."

The rickety table will make a fine barricade. He drags it toward the door, but aborts the effort when a searing pain shoots through his chest. Gasping for breath, he grips the edge of the table. The cup of spittle tumbles to the floor, scattering yellow-brown sludge across the linoleum. The cat cowers in the corner. The old man falls to his knees.

Down the street, the woman with the wicked eyes rings another doorbell.

"Iím Linda Smith," she tells the man who greets her. "Iím running for superintendent..."

Story by:

Heidi Heimler

submitted at 6:52pm

14 May 2009