Inside You Is a Tiny House
You invite me in with a bow. You smile.
It’s warm in your tiny house. The fire is burning. There is a bowl of chestnuts waiting to be roasted. There’s coffee on the stove. Your pet chameleon has wrapped his tail around the lamp, and he glows like a golden statue.
You show me the marvel of space opening into more. The kitchen folding out of a cupboard. The larder hidden between the treads of the stairs. A garden blooming from a high windowsill, trailing tendrils of jasmine which brush my cheek and fill my head with scent. You show me how, at the pull of a lever, a wall peels away from itself and creates a new room. A bed hinging down, already made up with crisp cotton sheets, a posy of sweet violets and gold-wrapped chocolate on the pillow.
You say, ‘You’re welcome in my tiny house’.
We drink the coffee. We roast the chestnuts.
You say, ‘There’s more’.
You press a button by the door and there’s a little jolt and shudder like another carriage attaching to a train. The whole front of the house swings open and a deck falls into place like a drawbridge. There’s a hot tub and a tiny monkey perching, chattering, on the edge. Steam rises from the surface like a promise. A vista of a forest I don’t remember travelling through to get here. A smell of eucalyptus.
You put on a record. Chicago jazz from the 1970s. After one track you take the record off the turntable and choose another. A marimba player from Mali who I think I’ve heard before but can’t place. After one track you take the record off the turntable and choose another. Best of the 1980s. We dance. We’re the kids in America. Running up that hill. Our hearts of glass.
‘I’m shattered,’ you say, and we laugh; collapse on the rug by the fire and make angels like children. The light is chameleon gold. Scented with jasmine and the burnt chocolate smell of coffee spilled on the hot stove.
I want to be lost in this house. For its spaces to open one from another like an infinite puzzle. For there to be ten days in a week, ten weeks in a month, ten seasons in a year. I want to live in all of them at once. To swallow them whole. I never want to leave.
You’re looking at me now. Perhaps for the first time. Your mouth has folded in on itself and you’re frowning. You’re disappointed in me. I see that. For not understanding the rules. For being naïve.
‘You know,’ you say, ‘it doesn’t work like that.’
Inside me is a tiny house. When I ring the bell, no one answers, but under my palm pressed against the door beats the pulse of a strong-enough heart. I put my eye to the keyhole. One simple room. Everything within reach. A stranger, sitting on the floor, looks right back into my eye. This stranger raises a hand - welcome or stay back – it’s not entirely clear. She dips her head slightly; almost smiles.
is a hypnotherapist & NLP coach living in Dorset, England. Having spent more than a decade writing a novel, it is a joyful liberation to be writing short fiction. She has had pieces accepted recently by JMWW, Roi Fainéant, Corvid Queen
and Soft Star
magazines. She is currently working on a series of workshops for writers interested in flow and hypnosis. She can be contacted on Facebook or through her website: julietteadaircoaching.com