Tag: house

The Clock with a House in Its Walls

Once there was a very large clock. It was a clock tower, really, the kind that towers over the buildings around it and has gears inside that would make lovely traffic circles. With how tall the clock tower was, I suppose it wasn’t entirely surprising that a house could fit inside.

What may seem surprising was that anyone wanted to live there at all. The clock chimed loudly every hour from sun up to sun down. The neighboring buildings were well insulated, but the poor pedestrians near the tower when it chimed usually complained that their ears rang for at least an hour afterward.

It was ten times worse inside the tower. The sound echoed off the walls and multiplied until even the gears started to vibrate and hum. Living inside the clock tower would be dangerous, unless you were willing to leave for a short time every hour.

So, why did anyone want to live there? Rent was cheap. Very, very cheap. Since the people in the house kept an eye on the clock, they lived there for free.

Free rent in the middle of the city? The Smith family was willing to overlook a few minor problems. Plus, there were no annoying neighbors, or any neighbors at all, and rats and pigeons never stayed long. Neither did any annoying guests.

Living inside the clock tower gave their parties and get-togethers a definite time limit. Everyone learned to be punctual, very punctual. No one overstayed their welcome twice if they stayed behind when their hosts ran out the door, down the stairs, and across the street before the clock started to chime.

And so all was going quite well for the Smith family in the clock tower, until one day, their mostly quiet life was interrupted by a visitor who didn’t mind the noise at all. They had the misfortune to be haunted by a ghost who decided that he could almost feel the vibrations when the clock chimed. As a ghost, he missed being able to feel things, so he decided to stay.

In-between the hourly chiming, the ghost chattered endlessly about all the things he missed about being alive. He was a lonely ghost, and was delighted to find a new audience that only ran away from him once an hour. The poor Smith family wasn’t sure that they could handle this new inconvenience.

But the rent was better than cheap. Free rent in the middle of the city is nearly impossible to find. And the ghost wasn’t unfriendly. He was just noisy and glowed in the dark.

They got used to the ghost. After a while, his endless tales became mostly background noise. He never stopped to listen to replies, so he had no idea that no one was listening to him, either. The way he glowed in the dark was fine too, kind of like a large, person-shaped nightlight.

However, things weren’t quite back to normal. Fewer people came to visit. A noisy ghost was a bit too much on top of the hourly evacuations. The Smiths mostly didn’t mind.

That was until the ghost invited all his friends to move in, too. That was much less fine. One ghost didn’t make that much noise or glow excessively. A houseful? Not so great.

Even though they didn’t really take up any space, the house felt crowded. The noise level was constantly at a dull roar. The house was lit up by the equivalent of a set of stadium lights.

If you have ever tried to sleep while attending a football game and sitting in the stands of the team that was winning, you understand the difficulties they were facing. The Smith family decided to hold a family meeting.

They invited the ghosts, as they would likely be attending anyway. Some of the ghosts stopped talking as the Smiths sat down at the table. Mr. Smith cleared his throat. “We would like to talk about an important problem. This house is much too noisy and too bright.” The few quiet ghosts shrugged and started talking again.

“Do you think we could vacuum them up?” the smallest Smith child asked. “I saw an ad for a vacuum that could vacuum up anything.”

The Smiths had no carpet, so they didn’t have a vacuum. But, Mr. Smith thought it was worth a try. The next time they ran out to avoid the clock chiming, they bought the vacuum from the ad.

It really could vacuum up everything.

Once their house was back to as normal as a house inside a clock can be, they buried the vacuum in a graveyard late at night. They said several prayers over the grave, just in case. And they returned home to a quiet, empty house.

And they lived happily ever after, rent free and ghost free. The End.

Isaac’s Adventures Underwater: Chapter Seventeen

“So, how are you the queen of everything?” Isaac asked.

The sheep smiled. “Would you like to see my store?”

“I don’t have any money.” For some reason, Isaac felt a twinge of embarrassment, even though even if he’d brought money to this world with him, it probably wouldn’t be the right kind.

“Oh, I wouldn’t sell you anything,” the sheep said. “If I sold something, then I wouldn’t have it anymore, and then I wouldn’t be the Queen of Everything.”

“Then isn’t it more like a museum?” Read More

Isaac’s Adventures Underwater: Chapter Thirteen

“Do you both live in this house?” Isaac asked, once the song was over.

“Of course we do, it’s our house,” Hannah said.

Anna nodded. “It’s our house, so we live here.”

“So who lives in the other house?”

Hannah and Anna looked confused. “What house?” they asked in unison.

Isaac unfolded the map and showed the picture of the two houses. “I could only find your house, though. I didn’t see any signs leading anywhere else.”

“Oh, that house.” Hannah jumped up and grabbed Isaac’s arm.

Anna jumped up and grabbed the other arm. “We’ll take you there.”

Isaac stood up and allowed the two girls to lead him through the bushes and down a steep hill. They stopped in front of a wall of overgrown rose bushes.

“She doesn’t do much yard work,” Hannah said.

Anna nodded. “She mostly just sleeps. She’s the queen of dreams, you know.”

Isaac, who had been contemplating the sharp thorns on the nearest rosebush, turned to look at the little girls in horror. “You mean she can’t go home?”

Hannah shrugged. “She is home.”

Isaac shook his head. “No, I mean the home she had before she came here, where her family is. She can’t go back?”

“She is home.” Anna put her hands on her hips. “Hannah told you that. They’re all in her dreams now.”

“What do you mean? What happened?”

Hannah stepped closer to Anna and put her hands on her hips too. “She became the queen of dreams and took a nice nap and then went back.” She looked at Anna.

Anna continued the story. “But too much time had passed. Her parents and her sister and brother had all grown old and died. Her baby cousin was a great-grandpa. So, she couldn’t go back, not really.”

Hannah smiled. “So she came back here and she dreams about them, and in her dreams they’re real. So she doesn’t want anyone to wake her up.”

Anna smiled. “She has a great big sword and would probably kill anyone who tried. She’s really scary.”

The girls continued smiling, but Isaac frowned. It was an awful story. He hoped it wasn’t really true. Isaac looked at the wall of rose bushes. “So, no one would throw a party anywhere near her house if people are scared to wake her up, right?”

“We could check, but we’d probably hear them screaming from here if they did,” Hannah said.

“She wakes up if people are too noisy?”

“Doesn’t everybody? I do,” Anna said. “Especially when Hannah snores.”

“I don’t snore, you do.” Hannah glared at Anna.

“Do not!”

“Yes, you do. I wish I had a giant sword too.”

“Can we see over the rose bushes from the top of the hill?” Isaac interrupted. He didn’t like where this argument was going.

The girls turned to glare at Isaac, then looked back up the hill. “Maybe,” they said in unison.

Isaac hurried back up the hill. He walked along the top of the hill until he found a spot where he could look across the rest of the island. There was an empty overgrown garden, the red roof of a far away house, and a deserted beach beyond it. The party wasn’t on this island.

Hannah and Anna trudged back up the hill. “Time for cheese curds,” Hannah said happily.

“Yay!” Anna said.

“Wait, can you tell me the best way off this island?” Isaac asked. The girls were already pushing their way through the bushes back to their yard. Isaac chased after them and tried not to worry about the story they told. He would get home and see his family again. He got home last time, after all.

Start at Chapter One