Short Story Contest 2020

A local paper (The Camarillo Acorn) hosts an annual short story contest, so I figured I’d take a swing at it. The following is based on a feeling I’ve had somewhat frequently when out in the street. Or looking at Christmas lights. All these houses, lit up from the inside. What if I didn’t belong to any of them? What if I was an outsider, who couldn’t gain admission even if I asked nicely? A street child perhaps. What a barrier!

All the barricades, fences, and walls that make a home feel so safe, also serve to make the home intimidating to those outside. And yet, so close, really more “among” the houses than “within” them. How can the physical distinction be so specific? Walls within walls, and tier on tier of refusal. Are the windows to the soul of the home blind? Or do they merely look out in the day, and at night turn inward?

So there you go, the introduction is longer than the work itself. I present to you:

Mansions

Great villas sparkling with warmth in deepening night. I, among them, but uninvited. Why so cold? There is warmth abundant, passing needs. I, pressing needs, and nose against the glass yearn to belong. I, an embarrassment, not so much shunned as blanked. Nonentity cannot hope for hospitality. Among them, but outside; Lingering in the streets, the guts, where all nourishment is extracted and waste, like me, moves on. Forgotten, will I fade away? Or was I ever here? The smudge of face and breath, my tender mark of hope, the servants will expunge.

About Ziggy

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