Vacant Lot

oxmag“Hank shuffled down the hall after Ethel and went to the kitchen and found his glasses on the bread box. Ethel had his pills lined up on the counter. One two three four five six.

“You need to shave,” she called from the bathroom.

Hank rubbed his face, then went back to the bedroom and looked out the window at the derelict lot next door. Tall grass and weeds, long tangled fingers of it, catching trash. Huge insects rising from it and falling back into it, cavorting.

It had been a year since that house burned down. The debris was hauled away immediately after the investigation, which found amateur wiring as the cause, but the foundation, that massive hole in the ground lined with cinder blocks, remained for months, until it too was removed. The blocks were pushed in with a backhoe, then dug out with the same machine. Then that gaping, open mouth of earth was clogged with dirt. One morning mid-winter someone drove by and planted a sale sign, but now, months later, late into summer even, the only thing it’s become is an eyesore.”

Read the rest of Vacant Lot in Oxford Magazine, originally published in May of 2016.


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