Home Fire

For many decades, Dee had lived in the home under a family trust. Windows of the home were filled with boxes, knick-knacks, and toys no children ever played with. She lived alone; no visitors had come in many years. Though neighbours complained about the clutter, the authorities had no legal grounds to interfere. 

The fence could not hide the declined state of the property. It was obvious that things were growing beyond Dee’s control. The smell and the mess were unbearable, as her pets were neglected too.  Cars in various stages of disrepair lined the driveway, also full of junk, trash, and bags of unknown items.

When she could no longer even make it to her mailbox, she would just sit in her yard. This was finally brought to the attention of the authorities, who deemed her unable to care for herself and placed her in assisted living.

The old home quickly and cheaply sold, as the trust had expired along with Dee’s removal from the home. Cleaning it out was a major undertaking, and it was unknown if it could even be saved. The horrors of the home and what it held had long been neighbourhood discussion. Perhaps now answers would come out, and people could understand how this happened.

The grounds were carefully cleaned. Items were removed and hauled away. The property was gradually uncovered. Many men worked hard to clean away decades of filth and grime, both inside the house and out. After many long years, there was hope that the house may again come to life.

Until the morning that sirens broke the silence of the quiet neighbourhood. A devastating fire had started in the old unused chimney, apparently by curiosity seekers or squatters looking for a place to stay.

No one knew the story of Dee, her life, or how she came to live the life she had lived. Now no one would ever know. No one would ever learn the story of the home either, as it burned to the ground taking its secrets with it.

~Story & Photo by: McGuffy Ann Morris~

12 thoughts on “Home Fire

  1. You are such an inspiration. I found myself buying a couple of writers magazines today at Barnes & Noble. On had weekly writing prompts. Perhaps this will spur me on to start doing some more serious writing. I like the way you do the writing and add an image to the verse as well.


  2. Wow, intriguing story, very sad too. I wonder why it is that no one ever comes to help, or to intervene, until things have gone so far out of control. I wonder if anyone ever tried to befriend her years earlier, or did they shy away from her strangeness? Part of me also wonders if just maybe she wouldn't have preferred that her house and it's secrets disappear rather than having them exposed to the curious. This was some really good writing Annie, it tugged at my heart!


  3. very good..we have two homes in our neighborhood very similar. Each year they get worse. In one, the side yard is filled with garbage bags to the point that you can see them from the street.
    I am very sure that one day soon the owners will die or be taken away “for their own good” and we will never know the reason they have chosen to live the way they do.


  4. Very interesting. Kind of like my neighbors house behind me. It was weird. The house always looked like it was getting closer to ours and the lights would go off any time that any one would look at it. I always wondered about it, until one day they demolished the house and left. The ground was completely empty, no trace of that house ever being there. Now there is a new house built there…. : )


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