Alison walked home alone, the same route every day. She'd pass down the long hill, slowing every now and then to gaze at the empty houses. She could see faces if she tried, tired lonely faces with glass windows for eyes and a dull red door for a mouth. Or sometimes she'd make up stories in her head about the kinds of people who could live in the houses, whispering it aloud to herself. She was the only one from her school who ever walked down the cracked sidewalks, her navy Sketcher's shoes scuffing against the uneven concrete.
Today seemed different, for some reason. Her mind turned from the houses, and inward to the events of the day. The bird, and Miki. For some reason she likened Miki to a bird, quick, but not like a sparrow, more like a hawk. She saw the grace and percision, perhaps laced with an unspoken threat written across the chocolate brown eyes. She hummed catches and bits of tunes that got stuck in her head, cycling them through at random, quite pleased with the odd disjointed sound her lips produced. The houses and streets were never remembered, just when to turn and when to keep going. Before too long she arrived in her front yard, the yellowish green grass dying but kept in some semblance of beauty by ivy and flowers.
Alison was always convinced that her house had been built off of a beautiful woman. A woman of mysteries and tragedies. The windows were plain, but slightly warped and tilting. A sad woman's eyes to the world, halfway veiled by curtains. The door was a deep maroon, having no storm door or screen door in front of it. The roof was sloping and dark brow, like short hair sweeping away from a point in the forehead. Thin and shapely, the house was old and strong at the same time. Out of all the 'familial' objects, she loved the house the best.
The opening of the door brought the normal chaotic noise to her ears. Jonathon, her youngest sibling was wailing, he looked flushed and sat on the couch, a pout on his face still round with baby fat. Alison set her backpack down and walked right past him, into the dining room, where Caryn sat, doing her homework. Supposedly. Of all her siblings, Alison felt the most emotion at Caryn, hate. Caryn was blonde, with sparkling green eyes and a nice complexion. Caryn was on the soccer team, Caryn did her homework, Caryn liked to shop at American Eagle. Caryn was perfect. And Alison despised her, for 'being sucked into' the stereotypical girlness. Caryn even owned Barbie dolls. Alison passed her by quickly, heading into the kitchen were her eldest sibling was moving back and forth between cutting vegetables and stirring a pot. Justin gave her a wide smile, and then ran back to the pot.
"Risotto for dinner! Won't be ready for a while, mom will be home late. Can you take the trash outside?" He asked, whirlwind fast and went back to cutting vegetables. Alison liked Justin the best. He was actually adopted, dark hair and darker eyes, he didn't fit in family pictures at all, the tan skin sticking out in a crowd of pure white people. But he was the nicest out of them all, understanding, and having to play 'dad' all the same time. She nodded mutely, picking up an apple and heading outside the back door. He gave her a thumbs up and went back to cooking.
Once in the garage, she didn't go for the trash bags, lined neatly up down the middle of the two car garage, but up the small flight of stairs. The stairs could barely hold her weight, but she went up anyway, hands pushing into the uneven wood. A trapdoor opened easily, showering her face with dust and woodchips. It smelled old, and like gas, up in the garage-attic, but she liked it. She could peer out of the yellowing window and see the house. She could pretend things, or just escape things. She kept her diaries up here, and her music, plus a couple of pillows. It was her's, truly and only. Sitting on one of the pillow she bit into the apple, it was warm and soft, the bright red skin bending rather then breaking under her teeth. She could taste the wax on it, but continued biting until a bit of juice trickled into her mouth.
Alison then tooka bite from the apple, sucking on the piece of fruit. When the soft white of the apple had been drained of juice she set it aside and took another bite. The sun was still hanging in the sky, casting orange-ish light onto the house. Through the yellow tinted window it seemed as if the house was drowining in amber. If she tilted her head and looked through the lower part of the glass it was more the color of rancid apples. That sparked a bitter pinch in her mouth, she removed the piece of apple and felt around with her tongue. The taste of copper ran down her tastebuds, shaking her from her thoughts of amber. Alison carefully picked up the apple pieces and apple and headed back down. She planned on coming back up later, after she had taken the trash out. She opened on bag and put the apple inside, then closing it she set it dow again and walked to the opposite end of the line of bags.
Her hands slid around the smooth plastic of the bags, oncec under the twist ties she lifted and carried them out. Two at a time, one in each hand and down the long driveway which was share with the neighbors. There were four trash bags, two were out on the curb and she headed back for the other two. They sat in the garage like deflated people, shoulders slouched and their grins obscene and evil. Alison kicked one, watching it sag and then picked it up, she eyed the other with distrust though. The plastic was still conformed into that sadistic grin. From inside the house she could smell the risotto, and the warm smell of cooking onions and cheese and vegetables pulled her away frrom imaginary faces. She finished the chore with a satisfied sort of smile as the bags plopped on the curb and headed in through the front door. Alley Cat, she thought, closing all the blinds in the front of the house on her way to the kitchen. I like that.