11,041 vagabonds plus:
the nightmare room
The door never was locked. It is an adequate latch, so why change it out? Even after a century of foundation settling that's shifted the ceiling like slate a hundred miles underground, it's plum as a carpenter's thumb.
I'll be reading...there in that very chair, subtle as a slow sleigh ride, lost in my little world nudged along by Capote, Woolf, shoved by Hemingway, and the door softly latches with that solitary click. Like a ghost hanging a do not disturb placard. Sometimes late at night I hear the door slam. I come downstairs anyway and check. Murmured conversations of souls annoyingly finishing each others sentences cease right as I pull back on the handle. I shiver and think I'll heave the lantern one day at something with big teeth that wants my blood, and the papers will boldly type how I burned down my own home sweet home.
Maybe the dead come in the sink-dripping night to look at my books. I find some of the older books opened. And pages of my manuscript missing, perhaps used by Thurber to blow his nose. I find pages dog-eared. The cat hunches its back at those.
No, I don't need your key.
You take it and get the hell out.
Charleston Farmhouse Door, UK
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