House of Capricorn
by Megan Ferguson from Metropolitan Learning Center
Published in the 2007-2008 WITS Anthology I Once Was Young and Strong (Available for purchase)
She’s trying to listen to her father’s voice, she tries to hear the words behind it, leaning into the bluish shadows of their forest green minivan. June, and although she admired the look of the sun, with its warm, iridescent and slightly intimidating aura, she hates the feel of it stretched against her skin, pressing on her like a sheet, smoothing the contours of her body, stifling her pores. No, the sun was never friend. Her dad—no, Bobby. Called him Bobby then, but only in her head. He maneuvers that god-forsaken van along the streets: Michigan, Shaver, Missouri. The sidewalks, she could see, are littered delicately with drying dirty leaves, though it’s early summer. He takes another turn, exposing her hiding place in the last dark corner of the seat, ruining it. Sunlight doesn’t pour, no, it’s there almost like it had been all along. She cringes, pressing her cool cheek against the squeaky seat; the motion is useless. She blinks; their hideous car stops. Her stomach felt foreign and uneasy in the heat, sloshing around in her body. She tries to convince Nathan to open the window, but he’s laughing. Said something about Vitamin D, something about the sun, how it wouldn’t hurt. She’s blinking back again, light making colors on the back of her eyelids, a fiery orange she had a special distaste for. Bobby mumbles something she can’t really hear, but she follows his gaze to the house. No, not “the” house, but their house. It looks like it’s ashamed of itself, a forest green that almost tauntingly matches their van, with a large red mouth. The shadows play cruelly again the almost smoky color of the yard. Sunlight glints off its huge, beautiful windows. Flowers scattered in purples and yellows, drowning in the sea of their yard, a tree with dark, ruby branches twists around the left side of their new house. It lies West, and she turns East, away from it. So gorgeous, and she hates it.