The Thompson House


The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person or place is unintentional.

The old Thompson house sat between a church and an empty lot. The house itself was slated for demolition, having failed to procure another wealthy patron to take up the cause. With lead glass windows and turrets that faced the front of the house, it stood silent and empty – a memory of another era. Various real estate connoisseurs had left their marks on the house; the last one had tried to divide it into separate apartments and had paved over much of the field to the back, to create tenant parking.

I walk by the house twice a day; once in the mornings on my way to my work as a teller at Fitchley Bank, and again on my way home in the evenings. Throughout the ten years that I have passed by the Thompson house, I have been witness to the house’s many transformations. And now it stands silent and empty, unloved and unwanted and facing demolition. Soon it will no longer even exist.

Every day when I walk by the house, I slow my pace and gaze at the majesty of her. My imagination transports me to the early days of its existence, at the turn of the last century. I imagine horse-drawn carriages and footmen, women in long gowns and men always neatly attired. A box at the side of the house that once held coal now holds trash bins. I’ve never been inside the house but in my imagination, I see twelve foot ceilings and crown moldings.

I guess it’s just a matter of time until the strippers come to strip away anything of value – copper piping, cedar flooring, the leaded glass. The house will soon sit gutted, condemned for safety reasons, and wait for its demise.

Something was different today though. As I walked home in the early evening at dusk, I thought I saw a flicker of light in one of the turret windows. I stopped and looked up and before the dim light faded, I could make out the profile of a woman’s face. It flashed in the window and then suddenly disappeared. Did I imagine her? Was there someone living there? Or was it simply a memory of days past, come to bid a fond farewell?

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This post by Suzette Seveny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

In Hiding


I loved a man and then I lost;
And now I have to pay the cost
Of life alone in Solitude;
A constant dark’ning of the mood.

It’s not the loss that I can’t face
But haunting mem’ries of loving days;
So filled with lies and subterfuge;
T’would make another want to lose.

Perhaps I trusted much in haste.
Now I stand amidst the waste,
Trying to face reality
And slay the dragons to set me free.

But still I’m bound with all my chains,
While I’m learning to cope with all the pain
And this agony I feel inside;
But there is no haven – I cannot hide.

Originally written on May 16, 1984

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This post by Suzette Seveny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

In the Air


There was something in the air lately. After the nuclear meltdown two months ago, there was a sickness that filled the air. The ones closer to the reactor had died within days, and all of the smaller communities on the outskirts of the city had followed in the next few weeks. The results had been devasting; entire companies had been wiped out and resources were now becoming scarce.

Beth and her partner lived 300 kilometers northeast of the disaster, and had been ordered to isolate themselves and not go out at all. The poison was in the air. Beth and Carin didn’t worry though, they owned a small farm in the middle of nowhere and because of the dust and chemicals used in farming, an air purifying system and a complex water filtration system had fortunately had been built into the design of the house.

They were safe.

They’d both come from the city and many of their friends still there had become ill and died as a result of the catastrophe. The symptoms had been the same, a cough, sore throat, mild headache, and extreme weakness. Some went into a coma before they died. After losing so many close friends, they had no desire to go out themselves, so they stayed inside and ventured out only for minutes at a time, twice a day, and always with a face mask on. When they fed the animals, they quickly returned inside. They had no clue how this was going to affect their livestock.  

Time would tell.

The past few weeks, the number of deaths fell steadily, and there hadn’t been any deaths for the past two nights. They had decided to stay inside for at least another week, to sure. Other than less socializing, not much had changed in their lives. They read and they watched television, worked on the computer, kept track of finances, and followed the news very closely. Doing nothing was exhausting, it seemed.

Now, it seemed as if this was over. They’d give it a few days, or maybe a week to be safe, before going outside. None of the animals had become sick or died, so obviously the radiation didn’t reach this far away. They were been safe.

Then Beth began to cough.

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This post by Suzette Seveny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.



He stood on his balcony looking out over the cityscape to the south. The red glow of the sunset cast an eerie light over the downtown core as wisps of smoke rose from buildings and factories. The streetlights flickered constantly, as if deciding whether or not to remain on.

He felt completely alone.

He had never married or had children. An only child himself, he remained devoted to his parents and lived just down the street from the house in which he’d grown up. Just him and his cat.


His parents had passed away a few weeks ago from carbon monoxide poisoning. He was filled with guilt; he should have made sure the batteries in the CO2 detectors had been changed. He felt responsible.

They died in their sleep; together, but alone.

Today he had to put his cat to sleep. At 18 she’d had a long life, but her kidneys had finally failed. Damn! The timing really hurt.

And now he was truly alone.

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This post by Suzette Seveny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.