The Shine Journal

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House for Sale


Scott Woods


"Here they come, Henry."

"I see them, Mabel.  I'm not blind, you know.  Not yet, anyway."

"I hope you don't take that kind of attitude with them.  Do you want to sell the house or not?"

"Of course I do.  I'm not getting any younger, am I?  Does she look in a family way to you?"

"Now you don't want to go asking that of a woman you don't know, Henry.  If she's expecting, she'll let you know.  You'll be able to tell by how she is in Hank's room."

"You mean the sewing room, don't you?"

"I never could seem to get any sewing done there, Dear."

Henry waited when the doorbell rang so the young couple wouldn't think he'd been peering out the window at them, and then he waited a little more because he knew they knew he was older.  Older, there was a euphemism for you.  Well, it sounded better than eaten up with cancer, anyway.  With any luck they didn't know that.  Never could stand people's pity.

"I'm Henry Travers.  Welcome to Chickadee Cottage."

"Oh, it's just beautiful.  We're the Lanscombes.  I'm Rita, and this is my husband Reilly." 

Reilly nodded and shook hands.  For an instant his grip was very firm, and then it relaxed suddenly.  Must think he was frail or something.

"What kind of tree is that?" Rita asked.

"Hawthorne.  Flowers in the spring.  For a week it's filled with bees humming.  Thousands and thousands."

"We'd love that.  Reilly, why don't you let Mr. Travers show you around, and I'll just wander by myself a little."

Reilly asked about the granite fireplace and when it had last been serviced by the chimney sweep.  How many years since the cedar shingles had been put on the roof and how long they usually lasted.  Did he have any trouble with the furnace.  Could the oil delivery truck make it up the hill in the snow.

"Reilly?  Could you come over here?"  She was calling from the sewing room.  "I love the light in this room!  So cheerful and cozy.  This would make a wonderful nursery, don't you think so, Darling?"

"See, I told you, Henry.  You need to sell to them."

"If they want it."

"They want it, Henry.  You'd know that too, if you could only quit stalling.  The time is getting near.  And Hank can't wait to meet you finally."


Motivation: Thinking about a person's life cycle, a family's life cycle, and how a home could host several cycles

Bio: Scott Woods is a psychiatrist, older father of two young sons. "Interested in writing as a teenager, experience of fatherhood led me to head down some other paths not taken, found I have a lot more to write about than when I was 16, now shopping a novel Enemy of Good."

Email TSJ: Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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