The house of dust…..1

Once upon a time there was a boy and he lived at the house of dust, but that was then and it wasn’t the house of dust, not yet, just a house where a boy lived, in a house where, if you stood in the garden, you could see the school.

The boy was never sure if this was a good or a bad thing.

And in the house, which wasn’t yet the house of dust, lived the boy, the mother and sometime, but not always, the father.

And the boy was never sure of this was a good thing or a bad thing.

When the father was there the boy would watch and wait, wait for the father to go away, because that’s what men did, they went away and he knew that when he was a man, he would go away too, do the thing that men do.

And he would watch, watch for the signs the mother never seemed to see. The father standing in the garden, a woodbine in his mouth, looking over the rooftops to the main road, the father in the kitchen, pushing the mound of washing up away to find a clean cup to make a single cup of tea, the father, his pockets jingling with change, walking to the phone box next to the school and then one day when the boy came home it would just be the boy and the mother again and the house would move   closer to becoming the house of dust.

The mother would cry and he would stare at her, not knowing what to say, a

part of him wishing that he was enough, even while he held the secret of his own future going away close to his chest.

And sometime later, the father would come again until one day, he stopped coming, although the mother continued to wait, continued to stand at her bedroom window, continued to talk about him as if he had simply popped out for a few moments and would be back in time for tea.

The house began to slide, to find its true nature and the boy became taller, older, almost a man and he waited, waited to become a man, waited to leave and all the time, the mother waited too.

The mother and the boy, both playing a waiting game……..


To be continued.


About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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