“Moving Parts” by Avra Margariti

529713d9e31dbf774ec184537a590c18

One day, our house grew tall arachnid legs and ran away with us in it. We held onto the nearest furniture for balance and speculated about the house’s driving force, but deep down, all three of us were relieved. We wouldn’t have to make any hard choices then. We wouldn’t have to break all we had built together over the last three years.

It didn’t take us long to get our sea legs. Our house took us wherever it wanted to, and we three went along for the ride. Each day a room crumbled away, and a new one appeared. When we were running low on supplies, Alan discovered a pantry bursting with all our favorite foods. We prepared a feast and ate, sitting on embroidered pillows on the floor, just like we did on the fledging days of our relationship. We talked deep into the night and laughed until our drinks spurted sour from our nostrils. A few days later, Peter stumbled upon a wine cellar that definitely wasn’t in the original blueprints. We spent the afternoon drinking and reminiscing, Peter’s head on my lap, Alan’s arms around us both, the house rocking gently as a cradle beneath us.

Another time, we heard Alan shouting our names. Peter and I abandoned the books we’d been reading in a room that might have once been part of the Library of Alexandria. We found Alan standing by the bay windows of our living room. The water spread vast and sparkly below us, an impossibly blue hue. “I’ve never been to the ocean,” he murmured, and we held him as he cried, humbled by the view.

Day after day, we explored the ever-changing house, alone or together. We climbed, spelunked, and trekked from room to room, and each day we found new chambers inside us to store the wonders we discovered.

Time was pale sand through our fingers; summer was all but gone. Soon, I would be flying halfway across the world to fill an ESL teaching position in Japan, leaving Alan and Peter behind for a year. The rent was too high for only two occupants. We’d have to give up the house, so what was there to guarantee we wouldn’t also give up on one another? This fear, deep in my breast, was what willed the house to sprout legs and carry us away in the first place.

Alan caught me staring at the calendar in the kitchen, a large room filled with 1920s-style “electric servant” appliances. He stepped up to me and wrapped his arm around my waist. “Don’t you dare worry about anything. The three of us, we’ll be okay.”

“Will we, though?” I asked, my voice reedy like the wind through the cracks in the walls.

Peter marched toward my other side and leaned against me. “Of course. We’ll find a new house, and we’ll get it ready for you. Wherever we are, we’ll always have a place to return to.”

I let them hold me close. The house knelt on spindly legs and, with a soft thud, settled back in its foundations. For the first time in months, I felt like the ground was steady beneath my feet.

 

Avra Margariti is a queer Social Work undergrad from Greece. She enjoys storytelling in all its forms and writes about diverse identities and experiences. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Daily Science Fiction, The Forge Literary, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Argot Magazine, The Arcanist, and other venues. You can find her on twitter @avramargariti.

Advertisements