Change

A flash fiction piece, inspired by my local writing group’s prompt. The instructions – write a story, 500 words or less, using the following line, “When she saw what had made the sound, she realized her life would never be the same.”

Change

The crash outside had Misty out of bed and running to the window before she even realized she was awake. When she saw what had made the sound, she realized her life would never be the same.

“Mom,” she yelled. “What’s a moving van doing in the driveway?”

“I’m guessing it’s probably carrying the belongings of the new people who are moving into the building – but I could be wrong,” her mother called back from down the hallway.

“New people? What new people? I didn’t hear anything about anyone moving in!” she hollered again, an unhappy note rising in her voice.

“Neither did I dear, but after all – it’s not as if we owned the building anymore. The McKinleys can do whatever they wish without asking our permission first,” Her mother walked into the bedroom and stood beside Misty. They both watched silently for a moment as the ramp, which was the source of the loud boom, was maneuvered into place by three men, forming a bridge from the truck to the porch.

“But letting another family move in here – how could they?”

“I’m sure they didn’t do it as a personal affront to us. In fact, I doubt very much they even gave us a second thought – landlords tend to focus on renting empty units, not how it might affect others in the building.”

“But, this is our property – I don’t want to share it with strangers!” Misty thought about the quiet family picnics in the backyard, the lazy days of summer lying in the grass looking up at the clouds, and the familiar stillness of the house late at night when everyone was asleep. She didn’t want strange voices and weird cooking smells to intrude upon their sanctuary.

“We really don’t have much of a choice…” her mother started, putting her arm around Misty’s shoulder, but Misty pushed her away.

“It’s not fair!” she yelled, and ran for the kitchen door. She slammed through to the side porch, and began screaming, “Go away! We don’t want you here! This is our home and you can’t be here!” She collapsed into a sobbing heap on the porch as the men from the moving company continued to haul boxes into the house, unperturbed by her outburst. After a moment, she sensed her mother crouching down next to her, and she leaned into her shoulder, trying for her mother’s sake to settle herself down.

“Misty honey, we always knew this day would come. We need to focus on the positive side. At least we still have the house – think of how much worse it would be if we were haunting an empty lot.”