The Building – Leonie Rowland

The building with square windows is getting closer.

I have been suspicious of square windows since I measured the one in my bedroom and found the proportions to be inexact. When I told my flatmate, she said: yes, well, they are almost square. I said: we have a word for that.

I have wondered before whether the encroaching building might be a church. It has no spire or steeple, but when I look at it, I think: worship. I pass hours gazing into it and forget everything I am.

I saw someone at the window once. She was looking at me and nodding. The motion was slow and deep, like she was rocking her body back and forth. She rocked for a while, faster and faster, until she hit her head on the glass. Then, the window was empty again.

I have thought for a long time that the figure might be the one moving the building. I sensed it in the way the rocking seemed to happen outside of her. Recently, I have found myself rocking too.

The encroaching building has ivy growing up it. When my flatmate noticed, she squinted and said: that wasn’t there before. We watched the glossy leaves rustle for a time, and when she wanted to look some more, I took her to the window. We rocked together, slowly at first, then faster. The ivy was always there, blooming under the surface the way veins bloom under the skin.

After that, everything was still until New Year’s Eve. With no one to celebrate with, I stood in my bedroom and said: Happy New Year. In response, fireworks burst from the building, lighting up the windows like glistening eyes.

Get back with your rectangles, I wanted to shout. I’ve given you what you want.

Leonie Rowland has an MA in Gothic literature. Her writing has been published by Ad Hoc Fiction, Reflex Press and Horrified. She also has work forthcoming from Dreich, Emerge Literary Journal, TSS Publishing and BlueHouse Journal. You can find her on Twitter @leonie_rowland.

Image via Pixabay

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