Fall/Winter 2015 ~ Featured Fiction
The House by Jim Meirose
The small house set in the middle of the wide grassy field. It had a blank unpainted front door
with two narrow windows on each side of the door. A clothesline hung to one end held huge white
sheets hanging, waving in the breeze. Jarvis made his way off the potholed back road and decided to
go to the house to get help. He had been on his way to the shore for the day and had decided to try and
take this back way he had been told about; he had not driven this road before. But all at once, without
warning, steam poured from under the hood; the car shuddered and died under the broiling sun.
He tried his cell phone; there was no signal. He walked a mile past thick woods and scrub brush and this
was the first house he came to. The house had no driveway or walkway up to the front door. Jarvis cut
across the grassy field and came to the door. As he approached he noticed there were no power or telephone
lines stretching from the house to the crazily leaning telephone poles on the road. He reasoned the lines
must be underground, yes; underground. The house must have power and a phone, because this is what
Jarvis needed. If there was wash hung up there must be someone home. The windows were small and there
were no curtains or blinds and there was just darkness inside. This strange house invited Jarvis to knock.
It held help. He knocked. The sound of the knock boomed loud and hollow, louder than it should have
sounded based on how hard he had struck. He waited; no one answered, though a low vibration, a kind
of grinding sensation, came from the door and up from the hard packed dirt he stood on. He knocked
again, and the vibration slightly increased and mixed with a slow wet lapping somewhere beyond the door;
this struck Jarvis as extremely odd, but he would not give up. He needed a phone badly; he was stuck. In
the grip of the vibration and the lapping and the frustration, he leaned to try and see in the black window
next to the door; but there came a snapping and a loud rush; it was then the great red mouth opened
and took him.
Jim Meirose’s work has appeared in numerous journals, including the Fiddlehead, Witness, Alaska Quarterly review, and Xavier Review, and has been nominated for several awards. Two collections of his short work have been published and his novels, “Claire”,”Monkey”, and “Freddie Mason’s Wake” are available.