settling in

the house is quiet,built after several bitter monthsof designing and planning.every feature is carefullycurated, placed to be clever. sometimes, in the evenings,it settles.floorboards creak undera phantom's step;wind whistles through windows thatneed sealing up. winteris on its way,after all. at night, she settles in withbooks and tea,a teapot perched nine preciseinches away. later still,when it's midnight, …

the guardian

the guardian waits outside the door,pacing to and fro.it's deep winter and there is iceon every foot of the fence.the gates are frozen stiff,locked with clumped ice over thekeyhole. the chain behind the gate issolid, immobile with the denselayer of ice. the guardian has been outin the coldfor several years now.it is the way theyprefer …