Under the Ashes

The grass around the Kaplin house seemed unusually dark, even by moonlight. On a prolonged look, something else became apparent. The grass never blew towards the house, only away. The exaggerated strands flapped in the wind, first one way then another, but always at an angle away from the house’s stained wooden walls.

Of course, it was probably just air currents. Downdrafts from the walls would naturally push grass away from them. But this was true of the entire field of grass around the house. Not one blade ever seemed to point towards its stocky walls. Or perhaps it was just easy to tell myself that once the idea had prickled my spine.

There was one further peculiarity. The grass closest to the house had a brittle look to it, a broken, scorched quality.