No one wondered where she went.

When she left, she took everything with her-- furniture, food, photos, flowers, even the blackbirds that sang in the garden.

Everything went.

We could only watch and wonder as, slowly, bit by bit, her home became more and more barren. When we saw her packing her bags, we said, “she is going on vacation,” and nothing more, believing in our hearts that soon she would return from a well-deserved break. When her belongings began to leave with her, we mused, “perhaps she is moving away.” But when everything was gone, leaving only a dusty, empty house behind in her wake, we did not think anything at all.

Her house remains to this day, overgrown, unclaimed, and desolate, a mere shell of the castle it had once been. (It had never really been for sale in the first place.)

After she left, and her home was hollowed out and closed shut, we gradually saw that other things were leaving, too. It was as if the life-blood of the whole town was slowly trickling out. The bars grew quieter, the church less lively, the neighborhood streets darker and dustier. The plants began to retreat, as if they were shrinking away from some unseen, unknown threat, until only her garden remained, the climbing roses clinging desperately to what still remained of her tattered abode. The town sputtered out as if it were skipping at end of a well-worn record.

Slowly, but surely, she took everything with her, leaving only the shadow of a crow’s caw echoing in the wind.

No one wondered where she went.

Written from “American Address”

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