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Pansy House by Lori Everett

Picture of pansies By Raso

“We have to cross here. We can’t walk by pansy house.”

I looked at Marlene. “Pansy house?”

“It’s a bungalow down the block. There’s a bunch of pansies in the front yard that Scruffy’s deathly afraid of. He barks at them. Tries to dig ‘em up.”

I looked at Scruffy, her little terrier, happily trotting between us.

“Are you afraid of pansies?” I asked, reaching down to pat his head. He licked my hand.

“I don’t blame him,” added Marlene. “Pansies are weird. Have you ever really looked at them?”

I thought for a second. “Not really.”

“They have these scrunched up little faces. Two eyes and a mouth. That’s probably what scares him. He thinks they’re alive and gonna attack him.”

I laughed. “That could be a cute kid’s book: The Pooch Who Feared Flowers.”

“I’d love to illustrate that. There are so many types of pansies.”

She stopped and pointed across the street. “There it is. There’s pansy house.”

A small bungalow stood on a corner lot. In the front yard grew dozens of pansies in a large, rectangular flower bed. Red, purple, white, yellow. Vibrant and healthy.

“I’ll have to check out their mean little faces on my way back,” I said, smiling.

“Don’t get too close. They might bite.”

“Glad they’re not snapdragons.”

We walked on and when we reached the main drag, Marlene and Scruffy turned towards the mall. I made my way back to pansy house, but as I got closer, it wasn’t the flowers that held my attention - it was the house itself.

It was painted grey with black trim around the windows. The front door was white, but scuffed up with smudges and dirty handprints. A broken light dangled above.

I knelt down and looked at the pansies. Their little faces stared up at me like tiny dolls.

I could see why they spooked Scruffy. This was a type of pansy I had never seen. Their eyes were pinched and pained-looking, their mouths slashed into scowls.

Then I got the feeling of being watched. Funny how we pick up on that. Some ancient instinct, I guess. A built-in warning system. Gentle, yet persistent.

I glanced up to see a figure standing in the window. I waved, but they stood motionless.

A breeze picked up. The pansies moved slightly on the rectangular bed. I stood and watched them sway.

That’s odd, I thought. This flower bed has the exact dimensions of a… grave.

I looked at the window again. The figure was still there, watching me. I turned and walked down the block to the streetcar.

You’re right, Scruffy. Stay the hell away from pansy house - and for god's sake, don’t dig up that flower bed!

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Jul 13, 2022

I don’t blame Scruffy! I got chills. Very well done.


Jul 07, 2022

Alice in Wonderland inspired?

Graves would be perfect planter boxes.

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