CANE // by Justin Tompkins

Derangement from abandonment, maybe so. Vocal cords of moss, plagued with gravity. Stressed walls showing broken support with keyhole views into other rooms. Only one room is full — the others are empty. Dust layers the old wood flooring. Spots where furniture once sat are discolored. Perhaps, the rest is more true.

What’s shining through the windows isn’t sunlight. The thermostat is stuck on low. Too bad it doesn’t work. Long ago it once did. Decorative frames line the halls with pictures of cremations. They all look the same. They all seem the same.

The master bedroom has a single bed. Sheets are thin and worn. Mounted above is a frame which misses a picture. A red hammer sits on a stool. The object of support is now supporting blunt force. What happened to building? Says a monthly magazine half hidden below the bed. The date reads 1997. A distorted mirror creates muscles and suits of armor. A spear acts as car keys. A stable houses power. White and bloodied. Whimpers can be felt between the neighing.

In the kitchen sits a microwave and an unkept refrigerator. A rack in the fridge is broken by force.
The weight from substantial alcohol nervously waits above. Cane syrup remains up to date. The rest of the small-printed items are expired. Five pairs of glasses lay broken on the counter beside. One pair is readied for one eye socket. The light switch is broken. It’s on but was never on from the start.

There’s a pool that’s bone dry. Ashes and soot keep visitors floating. The roof is pristine — if this was Halloween. Buzzards line the roof waiting for the next crow to land. The front door faces south. Where the grass once was there are now rows of burn’t cane. Bitter. Always bitter.