out of place artifacts @catsteeth
ooparts originally posted to ao3 on 9/29/16

In your room there is:

-A box of baby teeth. it's made of small daintily painted porcelain and it shuts with a golden clasp and your father bought it for you. the teeth are yours and there is a little bit of blood on the roots of some of them. when you pick it up it rattles hollowly.

- A collection of old family photos tied with ribbon. they are fading, the colors becoming warped into strange blues and reds. you took your favorites out of their frames when all the family photos in the house began disappearing, and now they lie at the bottom of your toy chest buried among stuffed animals that you are too old for. you rarely look at them because you are afraid that if they see the light of day they will melt away in your hands, vanished like all the others. in the pictures all four of you are smiling, your father and your brothers, and it aches. that is another reason you don't look at them.

- An invitation to the funeral, in respectfully somber typeface. the three of you had been in black and the coffin had been empty and sometimes you pick up the obsolete letter and dangle it in front of you and wonder what the world would have been like if things had stayed that way, if the presumed dead had remained truly dead. maybe it would have been better. a snail crawls over one of the old family photographs and smears a track across your father's smiling face.

- An old monocle of his. he doesn't wear them anymore. you used to tease him that he looked old-fashioned, like a caricature gentleman, but really they fit well around his laugh lines and thoughtful gaze. he would humor your jokes with a smile and a warm voice, genuine in its roughness. you wonder what could have changed it into the silk-honeyed poison it is now. you try looking through the monocle every so often, just to see, just to know, but all it does is warp the world the wrong way around and give you a headache.

- An old monocle of his. he doesn't wear them anymore. you used to tease him that he looked old-fashioned, like a caricature gentleman, but really they fit well around his laugh lines and thoughtful gaze. he would humor your jokes with a smile and a warm voice, genuine in its roughness. you wonder what could have changed it into the silk-honeyed poison it is now. you try looking through the monocle every so often, just to see, just to know, but all it does is warp the world the wrong way around and give you a headache.

-A telescope that you took from your eldest brother's room. he had a big one set up in the backyard once and he and your father would spend nights with it looking through it, pointing, taking notes and making hushed excited exclamations at what they saw. it's gone now, of course. he still has smaller ones in his room though, pointed at the window, and he spends so much time looking through them that you wonder what he sees. did you know, he once told you, that looking at the stars is like looking at the past? you've tried looking through the stolen telescope but all you can see is silver twinkling dust. maybe if you'd joined them in the backyard, in the night, in the time before, you would know what to see.

- A necklace of cicada husks that you picked from the walls outside your window one spring and strung together with a needle and thread. it reminds you of yourself. it reminds you of your father. it reminds you of the house that echoes too strangely now, a great empty shell. a house is the shell for a family, like if a family were a hermit crab, or a cicada, and what does it become when there is no more family to speak of? the necklace hangs dusty by your window and you never actually wear it. that would be too morbid. sometimes the wind stirs it and makes it whisper hollowly.

- A silence that presses thick against your ears like something underwater, something that hangs in the air and weighs on your chest.

- A silence that presses thick against your ears like something underwater, something that hangs in the air and weighs on your chest.

please leave a comment/review if you liked it thank you!
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