Jackson opened the closet door,
switched on the light and looked around. He loosened his tie and slid
it from his neck. "Where did we go?" He stood there, not
sure of where to hang his tie, now that everything had changed.
"I'm not sure," Kathy said,
taking the tie and folding in half then half again. She slid open the
top drawer of a massive dresser that hadn't been there that morning,
when the two of them had kissed each other goodbye and left in
separate cars for work. "Ties go here now, I guess."
Jackson peeked inside the drawer. His
ties were rolled and lined up in a neat five-by-five matrix.
Kathy unfolded the tie and rolled it
like the others before tucking it into the drawer, making a new
column. "It looks funny there all alone."
"It doesn't matter." Jackson
pushed the drawer closed. One by one, he opened his new drawers and
looked inside. Socks arranged by color. Boxers and tee-shirts, neatly
"Did they iron those?" Kathy
"Looks like it, doesn't it?"
"Don't expect me to iron your
undies from now on."
"Relax, Kath. This isn't us."
Jackson continued to another drawer. Two pairs of jeans.
"Where's the pair from college?"
"Holes in the knees," he
said. "They must have packed them away."
The next drawer held Jackson's three
sweaters. The drawer to its right contained two sweatshirts and a
pair of shorts.
He opened the final two drawers. Empty.
"Plywood and particle board," Jackson said, pointing. "What
a bunch of crap."
Kathy laughed and sat on the white
comforter adorning the king-sized sleigh bed. She picked up one of
the five massive pillows and launched it at her husband. "I hate
these pillows. I mean...What if someone drooled on them?"
Jackson made a face.
"It's like we're in a hotel room.
"Hotel rooms don't have your
wardrobe. Aren't you going to look inside your dresser?"
"No." Kathy shook her head.
"It's too depressing." She flopped onto her stomach and
looked beneath the bed. "Even the dust bunnies are gone."
"Our bedroom has never been this
neat," Jackson said. "Our house has never been this
neat. What's happened to us, Kathy?"
"We've been staged, Jackson."
Together they walked to the basement where they found their bedroom
furniture, scratched and dented and bruised. But still. It was
theirs. Hard rock maple. Inherited from Kathy's grandparents. Solid
through and through. "See you soon, old friend," Jackson
said, running a finger across a ring on the top of his dresser.
the Scriptic.org prompt exchange this week, Anna
at www.thebakingbarrister.com gave
me this prompt: My bedroom has never been THIS messy before. I
took the opposite route and went with "...this neat."
This piece is in reference to the fairly new idea of staging a house
before it goes on the market. It involves removing many personal
items, possibly renting more tasteful
furniture, and making all manner of updates. It's a pain. And I found
myself wondering, during the process, where my family went, after the
pictures, books, curtains and various pieces of furniture were
removed. Obviously, this was exaggerated: No one actually ironed
boxer shorts or loaded up the dressers for us.
gave Steph at http://peopledothingswiththeirlives.com this
prompt: He wore his successes like three Olympic medals.
Labels: flash fiction, scriptic.org