This story is about houses that sit on the sides of rural highways, the ones that are surrounded and overgrown in greens. You probably have passed by one if you are from rural areas, or have driven through farm country.

This story was written out in pencil in a small Moleskine notebook the other night, and the photo attached was taken at the end of last summer while I was driving through upstate New York. Enjoy this slice of horror, have fun.

Eating Houses

Trees hide broken and lost places. Tall grass aides and abets the forgottoning (to purposely work to forget). With each wave of bushes grown, of prickers spread, of mudholes birthed, the old house recedes further and further from view.

It is first pulled back from the highway (a rural road that many use). Then the weeds poke holes up and through the driveway’s pavement. Breaking the lifeline that keeps the derelict ship connected to civilization.

When the wind blows, the grass rolls in waves against the house. Pushing it towards the tree line. Loose boards and rotten shingles break free and sink into the ground. At each inch they relent, pausing long enough for birds to stake generational claims to the rafters within. The birds will eventually scatter though. They will break out the remnants of broken glass from the windows.

This is how you can tell that the earth is pushing again.

Even if a wall falls, or the roof caves in under the pressure of each blow. The fields will not relent until the forest is fed. The woods hunger for fading memories and lost homes.

The last meal is almost all gone now… All that remains is the fallen stone chimney, and even that will be sunken into the woods dirt belly soon. Maybe a hunter will see the chimney though? See it before it is all gone?

It won’t matter though. It doesn’t ever matter, because human eyes don’t pause for long.

Muddy water will suck those crumbs down between glances. Old cabins will go down, the meals made by people for old woods are soft and simple in construction. Structures that are quickly left behind, or visited so little that woods can lick it down until it is green and soft with moss and red rot.

The woods will be fed though. Someone always has done the work and someone always will. If the grassy fields are purged and burned, then the behemoth will seduce the worship of another. And it may even demand even more of their hands and willpower.

The green is all, and the green is forever, as long as there is green it will hunger. Its endless corridors will beckon the down, the weak, and will always find the willing.

Photo of a steel roof poking through a line of pine trees and overgrown grass.
Taken with my phone on a drive through rural upstate New York.