New House

“This is the master bedroom.”

The real estate agent points to a dense cluster of paintings and bookshelves jammed against a wall. There is no door.

“Oh! This kitchen sink has a garage disposal!”

The cabinet beneath the sink refuses to open. You hear a thud against the door, followed by the sound of a child reciting “Hickory Dickory Dock” except the words are garbled and spoken in reverse.

“And notice the cat door!”

A raven flutters in through cat dog door and builds a time-lapsed nest in the kitchen then unbuilds the nest and flies back out.

“And notice how large this closet is!”

The closet opens to reveal a gaslit, subterranean Hungarian warehouse in the year 1914.

“Where does this door go?” you ask hesitantly, pointing at a wooden door.

The real estate agent doesn’t know what you’re talking about. The door suddenly resembles a mausoleum entrance, copper and encrusted in a thick verdigris patina. You smell moss and mallow and chrysanthemums from nowhere. The real estate agent continues to deny the presence of a door.

“This is the nursery.”

The room is achromatic. You also become drained of color as you enter. You hear a vaguely out-of-tune violin stuttering a sequence of an indelibly beautiful melody, looping continuously while repeating the same pitch mistakes every time. You examine the cartoon wallpaper, which is yellowed and peeling and layered with intricately complex spider webs and smells of an indefinable combination of peach ice cream and oregano. As you turn to leave you see yourself standing in the middle of the room, aged fifty years, staring at the wallpaper and crying.

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