Short Story: For Rent

Did a Twitter #photostoryprompt that I thought I’d share as a #shortstory. Had to use the word #prison:

|  It was supposed to be our fresh start. But when I looked at the linen walls or the laminate countertops, I couldn’t see that the place was on fire. I saw our future, not the soot marks or the ash. She could, though. She could feel the flames, even if I couldn’t see them.

|  I thought I could will it away. I thought, if my love were larger than her sadness, if I dreamt big enough for the both of us, then one day she’d wake up and see how that 5th floor walk up, and our life together in it, was filled with joy.

|  Last time I looked up at this window, she sat in it, legs dangling out beneath her. “Baby, don’t jump!” I pleaded, but I couldn’t see the flames, couldn’t feel their heat behind her, but now I get it. Now I know how it feels to sink beneath it, to feel overwhelmed by it.

|  I’ve long since let go of those dreams, the place now in shambles, but the “For Rent” sign is up (though a few letters have fallen). I’m hoping some starry-eyed kid will find it and see what I once saw. Hopefully it won’t become their prison. Hopefully they can’t see the flames.

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