Vignette #34 “Milkweed Manor”

Never a day passed that I didn’t think about Milkweed Manor.

Yellow Carnation Lane was older than old and younger than young. It had been around as along as there were houses with people to live in them and yet, no matter how much time passed, the homes never seemed to sully or gray or chip, chip away. Except for one, the largest of them all, waiting always waiting at the end where the concrete ran dry.

Milkweed Manor was tall, but only in the sense that it was big. It was wide, but only in the sense that it was squat. When the seasons turned to fall to winter to spring to summer its siding seemed to shift and shrink without changing shape at all. Whenever I looked down the end of the lane I never saw the same picture twice.

Shutters blinked open at the whims of the clouds. The front door, painted dried red, was the only thing that ever seemed to ever stay closed. At nights in the heaviest heat the chimney chum, chum, chummed. Autumn winds blew from its windows no matter the snow, or rain or sun. Lightning had struck the gabled roof 13 times and never a mark had been left undone.

Weeds grew and some black roses filled in the front lawn spaces too. The iron gate was double my height and half my sight. It never ended, no matter how many times I tried to count the bars the number never stopped climbing and climbing. Nevertheless I could always find the 666 of the house number carved into the black, bone shards splintered to cut the number inside.

To this day I have noticed and watched. The neighbors come and the neighbors go but little do they know. Little do they know. I guard the gate, older than old, and a face young as nine. I, alone, bear the secret of the keeper of Milkweed Manor. If you ever come to see 666 Yellow Carnation Lane do not be confused to find yourself turned around back once you came.

No one was there for me ever so long, so long ago. So I guard the gate. Therefore to keep the demon inside never to wake.

Be grateful for those unknown, who protect you when you are alone.

Photo by Carlos de Miguel on Unsplash

©2020 Jai Lynn

This post Vignette #34 “Milkweed Manor” appeared first on Jai Lynn.

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“Ghost Story”

I saw two boys standing,
in the picture,
on the broken stair.
One with a frown,
and the other,
without a care.

The black haired one,
looking very serious
and quite proud,
held a book in his hand
his shoulders pitched forward
as if he had just bowed.

The lad with the smirk
and penny copper hair
all tousled about his face,
had his eyes far off
and looking away
as he stared into space.

It was taken
twenty three years ago
my mother told me.
When the world
was summer and
she and they played near the sea.


On Roan Island
where they lived,
there was a tale.
You see, the entrance
must be given one soul
to go beyond the veil.

My mother said
the boy made of copper,
brash and not coy,
had a timeless laugh
always heard at the wrong time
that sounded with no joy.

The dark haired one,
was forged of iron
and shadow smart.
His cracks were always witty
but they didn’t come
from his heart.

There was a game
they played
those nights by the sea.
“Something more
must be waiting
for our trio of three.”

One long summer,
when the ocean was storming
and the moon was bright,
one of them
disappeared
into the night.

He vanished,
like a light
in the dark.
The light of soul,
gone,
out like a spark.

“Never saw him again.”
My mother sighed,
her words slow.
“Other things I see now
ever since that night.”
and her voice was so low.

“What? What are you seeing
that I can’t?”
I asked shrewdly.
The picture crinkled
in my hand
the boys wrinkling crudely.

My mother stared straight
her eyes startled and wide
and looking right through me.
“I watch the dead now, sweetie,
for years they’ve come and go
creaking floors and spilling tea

they’ll never leave me alone.
By the sea we played
that stupid game.
Never the one soul
I wanted to see
but do I call his name. “

“Who?” I asked.
“Is it that you want to meet?”
She took the photo in hand
and looked down forlornly.
There was salt in her eyes,
and in her hair fell sand.

“One day the game
would catch up
I always knew.
The time to collect
the sin I owe,
proud and true.”

She pointed down
and I stared, then she said
only to me.
“Until now I never saw him
but now in this room
there are three.”