As a Good House Should

There was once a neighborhood filled with magical houses. Every home was modeled after its current owner. The people were not responsible for these changes. In fact, they had no idea what was going on (they were a bit oblivious, you see).
The youngest addition to the neighborhood was one Mab Zolly, a thin woman who could have been Olive Oil’s twin. After Ms. Zolly joined the block, her house spent the night changing its profile. By morning, it looked more like a thin slice of cake with a rosebud chimney.
Mr. Greary had lived in the neighborhood for so long that his house couldn’t remember how to rearrange itself. He was a large, mustachioed man, and his house was short and stout with a cluster of windows beneath its round red door.
Every day, Mr. Greary saw a man in a maroon coat walk down the street. Straw-yellow hair lay flat on his head and colorless eyes sparkled in sunlight. He always waved at Mr. Greary while turning onto another street.
None of the houses resembled him. Mr. Greary was certain; he’d inspected each and every one of them.
The man in the maroon coat had to be a stranger.
On a remarkably hot morning—after March but before May—the houses bore witness to something unusual. One amongst their ranks could no longer change shape or fulfill the duties expected of a house. They were not prepared for what happened next, however.
Ms. Zolly’s house turned into food.
The other houses had overheard their occupants read silly stories, and they knew about the children who found a gum-drop house in the woods. They hadn’t believed such a thing was possible.
But there was Ms. Zolly’s house, a spectacle before their bush-green eyes.
The walls were no longer made of plaster but frosting and cake. Their windows had molded into slabs of milk-fudge. From the walls hung pancakes and waffles and bacon. Each sink had turned to pie—mostly coconut cream or lemon meringue—while water ran to coffee and coffee to jelly. Eggs sprouted from light bulbs and silverware bent like taffy.
Other houses grew flimsy with cards for walls, poker chips for carpet. Some thinned to glass and took the shape of empty bottles. A few weren’t so empty; in their windows, residents could be seen wringing whiskey from their hair. One house even molded into a giant foot.
To say the neighborhood was astounded would be an understatement.
Perhaps no one was as astounded as Mr. Greary, who slept through his alarm and barely caught the bus. If only he had seen the man in the maroon coat tap a finger against his house.
The next morning, Mr. Greary suffered quite a shock when he woke to a burger bed and a candied alarm clock.
He didn’t mind the gelatin tub so much, though.

Alyssa Jordan is a writer living in the United States. She pens literary horoscopes for F(r)iction Series. Her stories can be found or are forthcoming in The Sunlight Press, X–R-A-Y Literary Magazine, LEON Literary Review, and more. You can find her on Twitter @ajordan901 or Instagram @ajordanwriter.

Leave a Reply