(c) Joerg Rainer Noennig


NWR Issue 105

Fox Man

Today I saw the most beautiful house. Tall and wide and painted white. It stood alone, the others, all of brick. In fact, I almost did not see it, my eyes, so often of late, drawn to the ground. So now I pause and wonder whether it has been there very much longer than I realise, for I have surely walked that street before.

To each side of it the houses were perfect copies, one of another. Two storeys, in bricks of red, bay windows, twitchy curtains, a lone vase peeping out. Streets and streets, up and down, two storeys, bay windows, lonely vase.

I am between dwellings myself just now, on the lookout for a house. The place where I am staying is only temporary, and nice enough, but I shan’t be there much longer. It’s a shed.

By now I have passed the most beautiful house a great many times, and have begun to look a little closer. It seems there is never anyone about and so I have become quite bold. The corners of the house are smooth and rounded and the windows there are moulded, fitting these curves quite precisely. The sunlight splashes upon them and bounces back at me. But I cannot yet quite see inside (this will require some cunning and much closer inspection, and for that I had better take care, for were I to be seen, a wrong conclusion might be drawn.)

The curved windows appear to be entirely sealed, though I should just add that this is not conclusive, but merely, so far as I can tell without taking a ladder, and this I cannot do for fear of drawing attention to myself (it did cross my mind that I could take the part of a window cleaner, but I think I have wisely chosen against this since I can see how easily it could all go wrong.)

As for the back of the house, there are several points of access and yet it seems most likely that a house such as this must be heavily alarmed; but following some long days and evenings of close observation (though taking care to be casual and cautious in this endeavour), I can at least conclude with confidence that the house is currently uninhabited. And there is nothing to suggest that anyone is about to return soon; I would say quite the contrary, since I have noticed that the furniture is covered over with dust sheets. The owners, therefore, are away for some time...

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