As he touched his palm onto the gate, he felt its fragility: as if it would break off in his hand. While the gate didn’t, flakes of its paint did and clung to his palm. He wiped his hand on the linen of his trousers. He used the helm of his shoe to nudge open the gate, with its squeak of a reply, and squeezed though the gap he had created.
He took a few steps forward on the plain dirt path, glancing up at the house before him. The sun had shone too fiercely outside of the gate for him to get a proper look. The windows were without glance, some of the frames had snapped, and drooped into the flower beds.
He felt a sudden maternal instinct, and strode forward, eager to be closer. He wanted to touch the house, to be sure it was real. As it had with the gate, the paint from the window frame transferred onto his palms. The flower beds, where once they were full of bloom, scent and colour, were now full of cigarette ends.
A gust of wind enchanted the trees and they were alert, rustling their spindly branches. Leaves fluttered to the ground in slow motion. He moved closer and bent down to pick up one of the leaves. As a sentimental reminder he put it in his pocket.
He decided to poke his head inside one of the windows. The room inside was bare but for a rocking chair that tipped back and forth, mimicking the movements of a ship at sea in a storm. There was also a chimney, white stone and marble decorated it. This gave it its mantelpiece which stood forlornly waiting for something to be given to it to hold.
This house held many memories of his summer’s as a child and now it was his inheritance.
© Katie Lewington
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