She was nearing the house. The wind rose and fell. The unmistakable pair of rainbow carp streamers twirled from a tall wooden pole that marked the front lawn. On the porch, ghost chimes tinkled their white crystal tunes.
Iris broke into a jog and noticed that the kitchen windows were glowing a fiery, maroon tint, which meant that her father had fallen asleep and the fireplace was dying. She closed her eyes for a moment.
Home. What did those four letters mean, arranged in that order? Hearths, orange peels, mildew, earth. Home. Iris wondered if Mira had a home. It wasn’t always a place. A boxcar, an apartment, a barn, a house, a shed, a shelter. No, sometimes it was a person. A familiar song, an unspoken agreement, a pitcher of iced peach juice, a vintage book. Home.
She ascended the rickety front steps and removed her moccasins. On the porch, strands of wild grass stuck out between uneven cracks and brushed against her ankles. While unlocking the door, she noted that the porch wood needed a revarnish.
The entrance creaked open and she stepped inside. Her bare feet cooled at the touch of glazed cherrywood floorboards. Tiptoeing across the hallway, she made her way to the kitchen. She took a tiny jar of pills from her pocket and placed it on the dining countertop. Muffled snoring floated from the adjacent room.
Up the groaning staircase, down the hall, second door to the right. She flung herself down, down, down the rabbit hole, sinking deep into the chaotic nest of blankets and pillows until sleep came with its silent, shadowed chariot.
Writing month, day two, word count: 2298