Ray Bradbury 52 stories 52 w Week 14. A Day in The Life of Sparrow Hallow Short Story

Week 14. This is regular scheduled. I was a little late last time. This story is an expansion of a previous flash fiction story done few years back.

Iridescent shadows crawl across the peeling indigo paint and cobalt stripes of tearing wallpaper. I stand in a brilliantly lit stained glass window muttering to myself as I shake my head, staring over an overgrown blanket of unkempt spear thistle. Listen to the distant noisy ploppy, dripping sink as it fills the eternal stillness of the modest place. I scurry around from one room to another, preparing for the appearance of my newest roommate’s arrival at any moment now. So what am I to do other than put on my best? Though, I’m not suure what that’ll be yet! But first! I should probably try to neaten up the place, you know, rustling fluffing pillows, straightening the sheet covers. Though I have a heck of a time doing that. Take a swing of the white marble and dark wood staircase in and out of rooms in a flash, in a rush to make this old place presentable. I tried on my old softball uniform first, not too casual. I don’t particularly wanna play that kind of ball with this newbie. My old dark tan suit and shamrock tie? Ugh! Nope, not gonna do it. This old sheet? It’s too cliche for meeting folks. Old painting overalls, maybe just pajamas and robes orr my old fishing outfit. Besides, I dunno if they even like fish of any kind. Let alone fishing. You’d have thought having yearly visitors would make me an old pro at this. I raced in and out of clothes, finally deciding on a tuxedo, fancy. Eh! I still don’t think it’s the right one, but it’ll do. When that familiar rustling sound of keys interrupts the solitude. 

Showtime! I said, sprinting down the sprawling golden brown-marble and dark walnut staircase passed by one fella. Touch their arm or shoulder, no response, which isn’t that typical. I get some reactions from folks that come to the room here. I bolted in front of another man. Hey there, Welcome to my humble abode. How are you doing, sir? I said enthusiastically, as I accidentally placed my pale hand through this one fellas’ backside; whoops! What’s going on? A young man said with a shiver as he tried shaking off the eerie feeling. Has the temperature plummeted? Because I’m freezing now! He said as they rubbed their cold hands over the arms of their blue jean jackets. Well, hello there. I wave my hand in front of her young face. What’s a charming girl like you doing in a place like this? I said as she walked right through me. Well, I guess this will not work. I’d better think about doing something else. A one-person greeting committee and the best impression I can after all. Another pretty gal heads toward the staircase. I decide to follow, getting in front of the bottom step of the stairs. Hello, I said Nice to meet you, I’m Sparrow Hallow. What’s yours lovely lady? They all run and start screaming at the top of their lungs. One guy turns white as he bolts into the closed door. I think he’s seeing more than stars as he comes to, as some colorful orbs hover over above. Hey, look at the gangs all here. I said with a beaming alabaster smile. As I make my smile, the only thing they see. Like some sly Cheshire cat. 

I think they’ve got guineas-worthy moves, as they all skedaddled faster than a marathon runner. They never returned, and that means another one! It’s way every year, all spooky season long. But wait! I lean into the stained glass window, peering out to the road. Well, well, well! This is a record for the record books. New arrivals before I even freshen up the place, or me. This time I am more interested in my new guests. Don’t want to see them leave too soon after all. Though I’ll admit it, sometimes it’s like groundhogs day around this time of year. The group… all guys this time to settle in for the night with all their junk in my sitting room. Still not sure or comfortable with what they may or may not be doing here. I make faces at this one fella who’s a bit of a snot. But I can fix that. I’ll just stick my face into this contraption he’s cussin out. So I give him a little something to talk about. Hey buddy, watch the language. We’re about to be in the presence of gals from across the other side. The room you ask for, across the street, across the country. Hey, who knows? I do wanna say something right now. It’s really important so listen closely…BOO! I almost hated to do it as the expression never seen before washed over another’s face. Somewhere between getting your nose full of pepper and a bad chance of meeting with a skunk. This one wet their britches as they took off out the door. The two other guys also set up their junk and laugh like drunk hyenas. That’s when it’s decided I’ll teach him a little lesson.

 The class who’s the real scaredy cat? I dove into one bag and started tossing pieces of clothing up on the chandelier. Then I jumped upstairs and did the traditional expectational door slam. Hey, I can make em jump in unison, not bad. Now for some drumming sessions. I was a rather good drummer back in the day with difficult circumstances. Two of them did not scare so easily as they joined in. Sigh! This is gonna be harder than I thought! Hey man, get your feet and your food off my bed! I chided, as I took a swipe at him. That’s when it strikes me: how about I show off the pretty crystal balls? With their help, we make the room fill up so heavy they’ll think it’s foggy. Another joins in on the fun, making the faucets tinkle and pop their cork just as two others fool with the ripped wallpaper. I’ve never seen so many turns and different shades of fear at the same time. They all shot around the rooms grabbing up everything they brought and then some… of course not intentional stealing. I can forgive and forget their just out of the marbles currently. Let me see if I can…help them correct themselves by seeing the light. We made the lights flicker vigorously, even though the power hadn’t been on in quite some time. Everyone scatters out windows and doors, escaping into their cars and driving off. There goes another one. It’s like this every single day of every single year. Gee, maybe with a little hope next year, I’ll get some new folks to stick around a little more on… permanent basis. 

I mean, we’d love to see more visitors on a more regular basis. But, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see! Here we go again. Showtime! I have sure got the easiest job in the world. I said as I adjusted the snazzy polka-dot bow tie as I arrive at the door to greet the next ones.  


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