What a Perfect House

3 Milch Court, Loxton, Australia | Google Maps

Charlotte hosed the garbage can out and wheeled it to the side of the garage. She made a face as she dried her hands. “Maybe we should hire out. These municipal sanitation workers…they just don’t care.”

“Charlotte, I’m—”

She gave me a sharp look. The words withered in my mouth. Instead, I followed her back into the garage, hands stuffed in my pocket. Would she ever forgive me? How could she, if we could never talk about it?

She fitted the recycling container into its niche and stared out the open garage door. “They’re not straight.”

“Excuse me?”

“The junipers. They’ve never been straight. I want to cut them down.”

I looked out at the landscaping, astonished. The neat spindles of evergreen along the property line had been one of the reasons we’d bought the place. That day, she’d clapped her hands, delighted. “What a perfect house,” she’d said.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

34 Comments

  1. One wonders what has happened to sour Charlotte’s opinion of her house and [?] spouse.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have my own idea but I think it’s plenty open to interpretation. I definitely think she thought she had a perfect life up until recently. Thanks for reading. Looking forward to your story on Monday!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, well, it’s uploaded and ready to go. But I’ve my Sunday Picture Post going out today. I prefer to give each post a day’s grace before loading another, though I do sometimes break my rule.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved your story a lot! The characters and dialogues seem really realistic and the emotions are so real! Charlotte seems to be changing her mind quite often… But I couldn’t have resisted junipers 🙂
    Thank you again for choosing Loxton!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your kind words and thanks for the great suggestion this week. I’ve loved reading everyone’s stories and learning about the area. I didn’t get far in my exploration because the instant I saw this house, I knew the whole story I wanted to write.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t say, how grateful I am that you chose this place…. Your story is really amazing and I am getting all excited for next week 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This was a great suggestion! Glad to have you on board Pegman!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you again… Pegman is my favourite place in this blogging world! 💞😃

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love how you took an image of yet another suburban house and constructed such a complex (and yet all too real) drama going on behind the closed doors. I can feel the narrator’s frustration, that Charlotte is picking apart everything about their life *except* the one thing they really need to resolve.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You nailed it Joy, that is exactly what she’s doing. Thanks for reading. Glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish I couldn’t say that I can relate… But then, the unexpeced side benefit of failed relationships is having so much great insight for writing! 🙂

        Like

  4. peterkirsch

    Ooooo! Ambiguity galore! I love it.

    But he never should have had gone behind the junipers to have sex with that garbage can!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You crack me up! He has definitely been up to no good. Maybe that was it!

      Like

  5. good write. I can see this argument actually playing out. One tree out of line, and it would drive me bonkers, too. Not to mention the height differentials. Yep, I can see it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to see you! Yeah, I think those trees would drive me nuts. And yet they’re so pretty. Glad to hear you found their argument plausible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Call it the OCD in me. hehe! Love the story!

        Like

  6. Great and ominous story. Charlotte seems to be unaware of how angry she is. I like how close to the chest the narrator plays it. This is a vivid scene indeed. You could take this in a lot of different directions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks J. Hardy. I definitely feel like there is a much bigger story with these two. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  7. You really brought this character to life…. could feel the idiosyncrasies and the personality evolving – maybe a disorder unfolding?
    Hmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Could be! I like reading the different conjecture. Thanks for reading. Hope you can find the time to join us this week!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just started looking up more about Loxton and might be able to – thanks (yet again) for the hospitality
        😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 🙂 Looking forward to it!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. lillmcgill

    So many thoughts and feelings are communicated in another language.
    Loved your story!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much!

      Like

  9. Like others have said, I wonder what happened between them to cause the friction here. What did he do? You’ve weaved a whole history between these two, dark secrets that threaten to tear them apart. And you’ve done it with sympathy and feeling. Great story

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hehehe I have an idea what he did, but its certainly up to reader interpretation. Thanks for your kind words. It’s delightful to see you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure always 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I enjoyed the transition from the mundane act of taking out the garbage to the intense emotion of an unforgivable slight. That look of hers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a lot of arguments that started over garbage. I had a humdinger with my ex that started after a plugged toilet. Thanks for reading. MIss seeing your stories on Pegman! I hope you can find the time to join us sometime soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too! A family health crisis (my dad’s in the hospital)is slowing my mojo at the moment. Other than a few poems i’ve hardly written in two months. Doing FF and Pegman every week seem like happier simpler times…glad you’re keeping it going!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh I’m sorry to hear about your dad. All best to you and your family during this time.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you Karen!

        Like

  11. Oh dear, things do not seem right in that house any more. The relationship has most definitely gone sours. I wonder what he did?? Emotional story, Karen, with your usual deft touches and more besides. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very kind of you. I do wonder what he did. Thanks for reading!

      Like

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