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Little did we Know

A Melanie Black Short Story

· Short Stories by Melanie Black

 Decay and dust are all that surround us. No matter how much we sweep it all away, there are not enough places for it to hide. At some point, the room made the decision that we had met its max capacity, forcing us to live in piles of what was once our proud memories. Now... they are rubbish that we couldn't welcome to find the door faster. It's what it would do with itself once it got to there; God knows we'd follow it out if we could- if it could. But no, not even the tiniest gap in the boards will swallow any. We've tried pushing ourselves past the knots in the boards, through miniature mouse chewed tunnels, broken window panes, but never finding success. We are always here in the middle of the wood rot and mounds of mold. It all was accumulating right before our eyes; no one was taking care of it and, well, things just kind of got out of hand. It affected us more than we could've ever imagined and now it feels we're damned to stay inside it for all of eternity. 

 The toxic sludge was leaking into our food, poisoning us from within; dangerous fumes were always being emitted into the airwaves we so hungrily breathed in at one time. If ever one of us mentioned the slightest notion of a hint of stain in the air, we chided one another to clean the house- which, of course, none of us would admit to not knowing how to do. But that's the exact truth of it. Not mother nor father ever showed us how to take care of the surrounding elements. To be fair, they only lived long enough to show us the importance of wiping our own rear ends and how to forage for food. Everything else we learned on our own... and boy, did we learn most things the hard way. Hunting, fishing, sewing clothes for ourselves was enough to fill the days... we weren't about to spend more time working on something we deemed as only for esthetics. Foolish. Really, we were. The saying "cleanliness is close to godliness" rings so much truth now. Oh, how I wish it would have back then.  We might still be alive and well if one of us had taken this little token of wisdom to heart.

Most people said we were too young to be on our own- to fend for ourselves in the wilderness. But after our folks' funeral, the baked goods and casseroles stopped showing up at our door and we had to learn quick. Not a simple task for immature wandering minds that are much too filled with excitement from town gossip or being nosy with the neighbors. We have no need for those casseroles now, but how lovely it would be to see another breathing human being come through the door. That wretched door that is stuck down tight. One day it will un-jam, I just know it. And when it does, not even the strongest, largest ox could hold us back from leaving this house of horrors. 

Sadly, we are all realists trapped inside with one another. No one is holding out hope any longer. We have fully accepted the fact that our own lack of sense killed us. And we are dead. We know that now. It took many years, perhaps a decade or two - for all I know, a century could have gone by before we realized we had expired. The stench ripened and eventually grew so strong that it created a path that led us to our rotting bodies. I won't, no I can't, gather the courage to tell you the sight we were with insects and hairy varments crawling through our gaping mouths and loosened eye sockets. Absolutely wicked looking. Now we just avoid that room- we can't physically bar it off from one another, so instead, we choose to stay out of the back bedroom and in the front living area. There're windows up here at least so that we can see nature change through its seasons year after year. The world appears to be changing around us, but we stay stagnant, stuck in the filth. When will this dreaded cottage be flattened so that it can finally release us to find the light? When will I be able to float away from the siblings I am so sick of? There are too many questions that remain in this dead girl's head. I guess I always figured that one would magically have all the answers on the other side. 

Apparently not - it seems we are more lost than ever when we die. From now until eternity, I suppose.