A house on fire
by Frances Hawk
A house is on fire. You started it. Why?
I needed a clean break from past traumas. I found an old cottage on a tree-lined street, in a friendly community. It needed work doing to it so was being sold cheaply. The previous owner had been taken ill and the house was repossessed, leaving it empty for years. It was a new start for the house as well as me.
It took me months to work on the cottage, making it a beautiful home. I straightened up the small garden, transforming the overgrown jungle into a quaint area to sit out in. Throughout this concentrated effort I felt nothing but peace and contentment.
Almost as soon as the paint pots and tools were cleared away incidents began. At first it could be explained away easily. Keys missing; things finding their way to new locations; windows I left closed were found opened. Then, more obvious happenings began to affect my daily life. Door opened and shut on their own; pictures flew; plants and flowers died suddenly. More worryingly I started to become ill and develop sores. My doctor was baffled and talked about stress. I knew it was more than that.
My priest noticed my decline and invited himself regularly for dinner. As we sat eating he told me about previous owners. Others had become ill and described happenings as I was experiencing. He blessed the house and me several times. As I became sicker it became obvious what needed to happen. My priest offered me different accommodation, and I boxed up my belongings.
What-ever was in that cottage needed to be purified. I doused the whole house with petrol and threw in lit matches until it took hold. I watched as my hard work and dreams burned away completely.
I live in near the south coast of the UK. I'm a Mum to three adult children and a Grandma to my gorgeous year old grandson. I used to be a general nurse, but had to give up my career because of that invisible illness that has several labels, but no one really believes is real. Labels include Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, M.E Fibromyalgia. For an illness that isn't real its managed to dominate my life for the past 15 years. My writing started as a means of coping with my head, but has grown into a big part of my being. It really enjoy it whether its fiction or non fiction. I'm learning daily, to be better at it.
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