Something was wrong with this house. He’d felt it the minute he walked in; it was alive, hungry.
Voices rumbled, crowding Nate’s head in different languages; tongues. But it was the skeletal faces that disturbed him most, staring down at him, eyes wide.
The rumbling took on a new note. Nate looked up. The dragon at the top of the stairs opened its jaw. It dashed at him, slithering.
‘Ssh! What the hell’s wrong with you, man? Everyone’s looking!’
‘The stairs, Matt. Can’t you see?’
‘Damn! Let’s get outa here, before anyone else realises you’re stoned off your ass.’
When I was seventeen, two of my friends and I went to Barcelona. On the way to Casa Batlló all three of us got in a fight. I have no idea what the fight was about, but like three well-bred women we gave each other the silent treatment; perfect silence for one whole hour while we admired, oohed and aahed mutely at the magnificence within this house in the picture, which is also known as the House of Bones. It so happened that since we were being so silent, we didn’t immediately notice that one of us went missing. I turned one moment and Gwyn was gone.
I ran to Claire in a hustle and broke the stalemate.
Gwyn’s mobile battery was dead; we knew because it was part of the fight, though I forget how that featured. So, with no modern means of communication available, we spent another two hours in that house, wandering about, looking for Gwyn and then another hour outside on the sidewalk, waiting for the house to spit Gwyn out again.
In that time, I kept staring at those balconies, at the stairs inside that looked like a whale skeleton; I kept thinking how trippy and psychedelic the place was, fantastical and imaginative, but trippy mainly. So I when I saw this prompt today, I couldn’t help it…this story had to come out. I hope you like it.
Oh, and Gwyn…After three hours we gave up. Claire and I took the subway and went back to the hotel. Gwyn was there, crying. Ten minutes after she realised she’d lost us, she walked all the way back to the hotel and sat there worrying whether we’d ditched her completely and flew back home without her. Sigh.