How to Become One of the Ghosts that Live in the Granville House
by John Fisher Sexton
Take the keys to the old house at 320 Sycamore, crack the door and let light pour in. Shattered windowpanes decorate the floorboards wailing under foot, trace the hardwood’s fissures with your eyes and meet the staircase at its base. Guide your hand on the Norwegian banister and climb up the rotted platforms to their peak. The cold creeps in through the roof’s many wells, they puncture asphalt skin and bore past hard pine bones. Frozen air lurks from room to room, let it hold you in its frigid hands and let its frostbite sting your bones. Stand in the hallway as snow drifts build around your legs and compact into concrete shoes. Reach for the figment of a pale woman at the end of the hall, her familiar thin face and gaunt cheeks call out to you, but her whispers are inaudible through the snowfall. Learn to drown above water as it fills your lungs, join her in the house that always has rooms to let. Cohabitate in common spaces, but never speak. Live alone together through the rest of time.
John Fisher Sexton is an East Tennessee native, studying at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a focus in English creative writing. His work often centers around themes of nostalgia, love and loss. Prior to Covid-19, he performed with his band, Peach Fuzz, in the Knoxville area.