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Ellen Beth


Sarah Laeuchli

It’s hot. A heavy, thick, dead heat. The house is empty. A Silent, narrow, dead emptiness.

Outside Weeds grow waist high; leaving the dry, straggly, dead grass feet behind it. The ground is dry, rocky, and hard beneath one’s feet. Several feet from the house is a swimming pool, black-green water with sick green algae floating on the top.

The House is large, stone, and fast crumbling away. The door is off its hinges; the floor is thick with dust.
Rooms are indistinguishable from one another. Crushed, broken, rotten. Furniture, doors, and walls all blend together.

One room alone near the bottom of the broken, creaking stairs is recognizable: as a bedroom. The furniture here is old, but less damaged then in the other rooms. A canopy bed with the canopy torn down is along side one of the walls. A writing desk with rusty latches and broken pens lines another. Two worm eaten rocking chairs are also lying there, one near the window, the other lying on it’s side on the floor. Black, rotten, skeleton like dolls, with their faces pushed in or split apart lie on the floor near the bed.

At the foot of the bed is a trunk, elaborately decorated with birds, flowers, and trees. Barel distinguishable on the trunk is the name ‘Ellen Beth’.

The chest like the rest of the house is fast deteriorating with time.

Opening the chest the lid tears off and lies broken on the dusty floor. Inside the chest, deteriorating with time, is Ellen Beth.

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