Once the house had been a beautiful thing, the epitome of the architect’s art and the carpenter’s craft. But the weather had changed, the mine had been stripped clean, the crops had failed and the fields been overrun with weeds and wildflowers. Forest had encroached, and grasses had taken hold in frost heaves in the pavement of the road and the concrete of the sidewalk.

The last owners looked on the house for the last time, then climbed into the car and drove away. The father had a lump in his throat; the mother wept openly, tears tracking dark makeup down her cheeks.

The sun rose, the rain fell, the moon shone down. The years rolled on. Snow, muck, rain, the drought of summer. Leaves changed from green to gold and fell whirling to the ground. A family of deer found a way in through a broken screen door, and grazed on grasses that had seeded themselves in the rain-damp carpeting. A bear entered, tearing the door from its hinges, and slew the deers.

Unseen, unheard, the house collapsed with a sigh.

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