The Trouble with Life Enrichment Is

Short Stories

By Marike Stucky       

   She looked at me as if to say, “Well duh, you little shit.”

            I had asked this woman sitting on the curb, whose face was like a dried apricot—all orange and crinkly—if anyone was home at this time of day. Of course someone was home. This home was always occupied. The smoke drifting up from the woman’s cigarette seared my nostrils—I’m allergic to cigarette smoke—and drove me to action. I turned from the apricot woman and jogged up the steps leading to the house. Door. Handle. Open.

            “Hello?” I asked into the dismal entryway of house number 314. There was a staircase filling the space to my right; a living room devoid of the living on my left. A few potted plants dotted the living room—they had long past died. There were some squashy arm chairs in there, all with horrible floral prints. I was standing in the foyer. I’d left footprints in the dust as I had traipsed in.

             “Uh, Madge? You in here?”