‘Quiet’ by Donna Ghassemi
It had been quiet for a while.
Things have been quiet before. There was a time in December when the air had become heavy with the anticipation of another person walking through the doors. However, all the weight eventually settled down on the floor when they all came back a week into January. This time was different, this time was longer.
There was quite a lot of bustle for a while, the floors creaking with annoyance as footsteps walked across them, waking them from their slumber. The walls of the living room were equally annoyed, with the lightbulbs glaring into them late at night. They hadn’t managed to get any sleep, especially when the being would be sprawled out on the couch (who would fall asleep along with them) snoring away. The clock would yawn and tick on, only adding depth to their slumber.
It simmered down after a while, one left and then the other. The floors no longer groaned out of the exhaustion of being stepped on but instead they called out for someone, anyone, to give them warmth again. But no one was around, and they were all confused.
The coffee table had developed a cough, since there was no one left to wipe away the dust, and the chairs by the dining table felt stiff, their legs having not been able to stretch out.
Posters fell, a steady stream of a scream following them, but no one came running. Flower petals gave away and eventually became part of the dust that clung to the floor. The faucet’s tears dripped into the sink, with no one there to wipe them away, and the bathroom door creaked out of sympathy.
Even the ghost in the house had gotten bored, no longer being able to watch their dreams and startle them at night.
“Maybe that’s why they left,” the kitchen sink said to the now-dried dishes that were never put back, “because he kept flinging open the pantry door to scare them.”
“And whispering weird things in their ear,” the bed called out, from the other room.
The ghost rolled his eyes, flicking a dried flower petal off its stem and grumbled, “it’s not my fault all my friends are dead.”
Donna Ghassemi is a lover of raccoons, donuts, and nostalgia. She is a short story writer from Southern California who draws inspiration from everyday life and weird dreams she has after eating too much. Donna hopes to one day see her books be sold at grocery stores and airport bookstores.