The house sold today. It’s where we grew up. Our mother left it go our brother, because he’s the one who stayed. In my mind, as I pass through these empty rooms one last time, that makes him the bravest. The rest of us scattered from the dark, oppressive walls as soon as we were able.
Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems that a fetid odor lingers here—the smell of secrets. Like a fine gray layer of dust, it’s a second skin each of us slipped into every time we crossed the threshold. The loyalty of silence.
Excerpt from the short story, “Words Fail” by Kara Pomeroy(C)