Indie Chick Lit – #GetYourWriteOn prompt
By the time I get home after a particularly exasperating day at work, I am ready to take out my contacts immediately. Rubbing my eyes, I thought the wooden front door of my apartment looked strange, but figured it must be my tired eyes playing tricks on me. Usually blinking several times will center my Toric lenses and help me focus better, but my sight was still fuzzy when I began to cross the threshold to enter my home.
Everything looked different inside, and I stepped back out the door to check the number. Perhaps my key worked on the wrong door knob. But there was no number. The brass-plated “3B” was missing from the spot where it was usually nailed. Maybe I was in the wrong place. The layout was entirely the same, though. Dust particles hung in the air and swirled at the rush of breeze I’d created by entering and just as quickly checking back outside for the number. Fine molecules shown in front of me as the early evening sunlight cascaded through a now shadeless window on the opposite wall.
Where were my cloth blinds I had so carefully chosen at Pottery Barn to match my couch’s throw pillows?
The fragments of dust slowly lilted to a barren wood floor — dirty and scuffed — sans the coordinating throw rugs there when I’d left this morning. I’d paid several hundred dollars to have these floors refinished just a few months ago upon signing the purchase agreement for this co-op apartment, so my automatic reaction was anger at the damage done to my newly-polished hardwood.
But where was my furniture? A deeper sense of panicked confusion and fear began to overwhelm me as I glanced around the empty living room and down the blank hallway.
All my wall hangings were gone and stereo and television missing, along with the entertainment center where they were previously perched at my departure for the office earlier today. The building’s old charm was what first allured me, but now the plastered walls were shabby and marred. Holes glared at me here and there, and off-white plaster chunks were scattered around the baseboards, as if the structure was shedding its inner shell.
Was I losing my mind? This had to be my apartment, the one I had stressed so long over buying. Such a huge commitment for someone who’d never owned a home before. I stood in a frozen state of overpowered disbelief repeatedly scanning the scene before me despite obvious clues that still offered me no rational explanation of what was happening.
A yellowed leaf of paper the size of an unfolded newspaper front page was tacked on the arched entryway to the hall. In what should have otherwise been involuntary, my brain sent a direct command for my feet and legs to move toward the document. It read:
All residents herein are to be resettled in the East, and ownership of these premises are hereby relinquished this date, 22 July,
by order of Highest Commandant Hoefle.
The message only compounded the mystery of this empty space and its ratty condition, and my hands began to shake. Glancing at the adjacent kitchen area, past the piles of dirt and old, crumbled food bits on the floor, I saw a tattered calendar with ancient images hanging on a grease-marked wall atop where a stove once stood. Taking a few tentative steps toward it, I noted the date marked in the crease of the paper was 1942.
It was the last thing I saw before passing out onto the filthy floor.
*This post is my contribution to a new prompt at Indie Chick Lit.
You arrive home after a long day of work to an entirely empty home. There are no indents on the carpet, no wine stains–no sign that you or anyone lives there. Write this scene.