The House Regards

by Kevin Hollaway

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I am the House, and I regard

Aloft on the hill, the light seeks me
I can only absorb it, and feed the darkness

I am devoid of judgment
I do not discriminate
I welcome none, but allow all
Many have sought solace within
None dwell in peace

Have I no bones?
My columns support morbid actions
You dare say I have no skin?
My walls peel from unholy deeds

Have I not eyes?
My frosted panes tell no future
But swell with the past
Much I see, and do not relish the view

Do I not bleed?
My pipes seep of cursed life
I have no scars?
The ceilings are seared
They blister with aging sin
The floors are engraved with profane rage

I have no mind?
My attic seethes with shame
Motes dance amongst rotting beams, crooked from guilt
I do not breathe
But the decayed air echoes with stifled breaths

Yet, I still regard

I am the refuge of feats untoward
A sanctuary of evil, horror, and hell
My foundation cracks with buried intent
The bodies do not speak, but the dead do
Roaming the halls, yearning to confide, warn, and remind

Acts committed? 
They cannot be numbered
My rooms tell many

A planned execution upstairs
The curtains are still stained
A lonely girl, desolate and lost
The rope still swings from the rafters

A dark ritual, summoning an unbridled force
The ancient carvings still mark the floor
A lover’s revenge on a cheating act
The holes still riddle the bed

A man on the run, looking to bury his guilt
The rumpled clothes lay charred in the boiler
A drifter just passing through
The perished food still rots in the kitchen

A remorseful leader bent with shame
The bath water still swirls red around the blade
Thieves fleeing the inevitable
The loot remains hidden in the basement

Yes, it all rests in me
Hate, disgust, desire, angst, rage
Remorse, sorrow, pain, grief, regret
And there is always room for more

As the dusk dissolves to night
The town still pretends
Yet I remain silent
I have long before, and will long after

I am the House on the hill
And I regard

©️ 2021 by Kevin Hollaway

“The House Regards,” by Kevin Hollaway, was first published on September 9, 2021 in Love Letters to Poe and can be found in Love Letters to Poe, Volume I: A Toast to Edgar Allan Poe.

Interview with Kevin Hollaway, Author of “The House Regards”

What inspired your story?

I always liked the idea of that one house in town that everyone avoids.  Starting with that, I decided to make it a kind of supernatural witness and sponge for all the secrets and dark acts the inhabitants of the town choose to ignore.

What’s your favorite gothic story or poem and why?

For me Bram Stoker’s Dracula is hard to beat.

How long have you been writing?

About 15 years.

Do you have a theme you return to time and again?

No particular theme, but as far as genres go I stick mostly to horror/suspense and occasionally Sci-Fi.

Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?

From Dracula:  “I am beginning to feel this nocturnal existence tell on me.  It is destroying my nerve. I start at my own shadow, and am full of all sorts of horrible imaginings.”

What are you working on now?

I’m at a break, but taking notes on some short story ideas.