by Lisa Tuttle
The house was a wreck, resting like some storm-shattered ship on a weedy headland overlooking the ocean. Ellen felt her heart sink at the sight of it.
‘This it?’ asked the taxi-driver dubiously, squinting through his windscreen and slowing the car.
‘It must be,’ Ellen said without conviction. She couldn’t believe her aunt — or anyone else — lived in this house.
The house had been built, after the local custom, out of wood, and then set upon cement blocks that raised it three or four feet off the ground. But floods seemed far less dangerous to the house now than the winds, or simply time. The house was crumbling on its blocks. The boards were weatherbeaten and scabbed with flecks of ancient grey paint. Uncurtained windows glared blankly, and one shutter hung at a crazy angle. Between the boards of the sagging, second-storey balcony, Ellen could see daylight.