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Located on the corner of a lively intersection in Forest, Virginia is a little green house. Compared to the vibrant houses that surround it on both Thomas Jefferson and Waterlick Road, this house is quite bleak; however, there is something peculiar about it. Despite the plywood boarding the two windows to the left of the porch suggesting that onlookers keep out, there is something inviting in the front of the house. Perhaps it is the white awning perched before the front porch; the pale green siding of the house, fading ever so slightly as each year passes; or the forgotten window to the right, beckoning those who are curious to peek inside.


There is a neatness to the front of the house that is unlike the back. Overgrown trees force themselves upon the railing of the back porch; the porch itself is slathered in dark red paint, contrasting against the soft green of the house. To the left of the porch is a rusted steel drum, tilting slightly beneath the weight of the decaying wood placed against it. Serpents lurk beneath the rot of the porch, slithering through the dead grass and fallen tree branches that reside in what was once a backyard. Cooperatively, this sinister image of nature reclaiming itself encapsulates the slightly open back door – a hidden entrance for those who seek it.


Pieces of a past life are discarded across the soiled carpet inside. Bulky multicolored Christmas lights lie beneath a once-elegant vanity chair. Blocking the doorway of the bathroom is a black sun hat, the pink of the silk fabric around it barely recognizable amidst the dull color of the carpet and peeled wallpaper. To the right, a single red Christmas ornament recoils against the chaos.


In a separate room, mold has begun to overtake the beautiful Carolina blue border around the tarnished mint green double doors. A large portion of the deep silver wallpaper has peeled, revealing the bare, water-stained wall behind. Covering the stained, presumably burgundy colored carpet are pieces of the crumbling ceiling above. Thrown atop the clutter is a teddy bear, a Christmas present forgotten; the bright red of its polka-dotted blouse prominent against the green and blue of the wall behind it.


This little green house, resting on the corner of a bustling intersection, is decomposing from the inside out. Yet, despite the mold-covered walls and carpet, the collapsing ceiling above and the four feet of stagnant water flooding the basement below, life persists. A box of saltwater taffy sits atop a hollow counter alongside a can of Hot Shot insecticide and a paper plate of molded food. Discolored socks hang from a makeshift clothesline near the back of the house. All of which to suggest that this abandoned house may not be entirely forgotten, that life still exists within.



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