fiction

The House Is A Man-Eater

I can feel it pulsing with an unrelenting rhythm. Itís alive and it has swallowed me up inside it. toxic houseCall it an upside down house or an underwater mortgage Ė whatever you call it, the place is eating me alive.

When we first met five years ago, it was love at first sight. I couldnít see any faults and she was thrilled that someone had come along at this time in her life. Someone who would take care of her, embrace her, buy her fancy things. I bought her a new heat pump, new air handler, and new water heater. Then I gave her bamboo floors one year for our anniversary. The next year I gave her new carpeting. In one crazy spree I bought her a new refrigerator, washer and dryer. We were in love for crying out loud. There was nothing I wouldnít do for my baby.

I repainted every room, put plants out on the deck, put a new backsplash in the kitchen. It was hard work, but did I complain? Yeah, okay, I bitched a little, but did I mention it was hard work? Removing wallpaper, standing on a ladder until your legs hurt, scraping and sanding until your shoulders ache. venus flytrapIt all seemed worth it then.

An adjustable rate mortgage can be a cruel mistress. Like a pact with the devil, the day of reckoning finally comes and there is nothing you can do to stop it. This wasnít supposed to happen. I thought we had a pre-nup. After five years, you promised that I could always refinance before the higher rate kicked in, but things change, you donít always follow through on everything you think youíre going to do.

One day you realize youíre caught, as though youíre in a Venus Flytrap and the poison is starting to do its ugly work. All the love and work doesnít matter then, because youíre not getting any love back. You could try to make a break for it, but even if you escaped, where would you go? So this is the end. The devil wants to go through with the bargain and I have no choice but to deliver. I donít care any more.

Eat me.


Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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