The House of the New Beginning

Close to dark. The streetlamps were burning. (And tonight was the first time he really noticed them—how strange). He was driving before the sky became so bruised, and somehow he came to the house. The lions were what he noticed first. Two of them, one on either end of the porch.
It was large and gray, the house. There were trees by it; they were all dead and twisted. The windows were dark and looked at him.
He was maybe a student or a worker or both. He maybe lived alone. He was maybe hungry a lot (and tired and angry and defeated maybe too). There was probably a day when what Could Be closed off to him forever and What Was brought down its jaws on him forever too—but what is forever? Driving, driving, driving and going nowhere.


One Witch and another. The First has no face, only Black. The Other has a very old face. The Other is tiny and has no teeth. The Other has eyes like tiny bits of broken glass. She glides very slowly.
The First looks like almost all Shadow.
For some reason the house made him ache with an ache from Once Upon a Time. Things were all around then, but they were not Defined Things then, not Already-Felt Things then, and the not knowing of Things was not so Heavy, but made him feel Warm and know he would live Forever.
Inside on a rainy day. Mother calling from downstairs. Looking out the window, the rain dancing. Tracing the infinity in the clouds glowing gray (the same infinity that pulses within). The smell of hot chocolate coming closer (never tastes or smells the same now).
He thought this and more. He ached.
One Witch and another. All bends and changes to their choosing.
(Do they exist from outside)?

So many blankets. And dreams. Everything would stay in the Forever of One Minute of Perfect Love. And on and on. Who is he Now? Who was he going to be? All the Unlived possibilities of Before and the Shattered ones of Now and the Laughing ones of Never held and choked him. Oh the ache.
Everywhere are vases. On tables and in corners. Their roses are browning and give their petals’ corpses shallow graves all over.
One Witch and another. The First is in the Walls. The Other counts the corpses. On and on.
His hair was thinner, his eyes dulled. Fists? Bloody from beating walls. Where had everything gone? He was so tired.
He went to the door.

Hour of the Rat. One Witch and another. The First is in a Mirror (singing, singing). The Other says she will make rain. She goes out back and pisses in the grass and beats where the piss is. The sky yawns and the rain begins.

He knocked.
Hour of Anael. One Witch and another. The First becomes the Dark Upstairs. The Other brings out a pot and fills it with hot water. Both wait for a knock.
Two small voices said come iiin and the door opened. Something grabbed him and pulled in.
The door closed.
One witch and another cut cut cut cut with knives and scream and laugh (the First comes out of the Air and the Other twirls) the blood flies and dances like rain and stains the corpses.
Only the Quiet.
One witch and another gather up pieces (Demon Hour). They put the Head on a shelf and it looks at them. Everything else goes into the hot water in the Pot, even what they laughingly call the “tender parts.” They eat up everything in the pot. Then they take the Head from the Shelf and put it in a cupboard and close it up. The First becomes the Inside . . .
Wake up. At first the tapping is hard to place. Then he goes to the window. The rain is dancing. Someone he once knew well calls from below. A sweet smell grows closer. He thinks he can trace the infinity of the clouds. He brings his fingers to the glass. And he begins to cry.
His hands: they’re so small.

– Omar Zahzah

This entry was posted in Poems, Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The House of the New Beginning

  1. Alexandre says:

    This scared me. Omar’s piece is something that might be interesting as a short film. Dark stuff.

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