Safe House – Fiction Friday – If Walls Could Talk


I am a safe house, not a half way house, not a ranch house, nor flop house.

I look just like any other house you would expect to see. The folks living here put the trash out on Tuesday mornings and take the tote back in on Tuesday evenings, just like everyone else.

The woman buys groceries, drops the two kids off at school, comes home, works at the computer, picks up the kids. She likes Blues Music but the people who sent her here discourage any leftovers from her previous life.

Thankfully, she named her kids a very common name and they were pre-school age when this all came about. They are settling in with last names they do not know are new. They even have new birthdays given very carefully after some skills tests were given. One of them, the girl was slightly ahead of her curve so her birthday makes her about six months older than she really is. The boy tested almost on target so they only changed him by a few days. New birth certificates were issued and all the family photos are in the safe hands of someone running the program. If this horrible incident ever blows over they will get those photos back but still live with their new identities.

The man is having the more difficult time of it. He was and still is a very talented business man, involved in marketing for a really big firm. That is was because he blew the whistle on the corporation.

If I told you too much more you might figure out who he is and then the handlers would have to move them again and start all over.

The man is great with ideas and delegated the numbers part of his job. He can manage them but considers it deadly dull. Now, he is a bookkeeper and he hates every single minute of it. He makes fair money. He blends in well and even plays well with the other people at work but he despises his work.

He feels as though he is being punished for speaking up. He could have looked away and gone on about his business and said nothing. He could have even had the matter dealt with in house but he opted to go public. To rat them out.

The organization says he is not being punished that he is being protected. Who are they kidding he wants to know?

His wife is miserable, staying home at least for now, trying to figure out a small town school and small town expectations. The administrators keep reassuring her that she can go job hunting soon and get out of the house. She doesn’t like being left in a middle of the block house with middle of the block ideas.

She would rather be back in the city. Shopping, eating, dressing up, having her hair done. Working at the art center.

She wonders if her husband handled this the right way. When he complains he should have handled it from the inside, she wants to jump up and angrily agree with him. He should have. If he couldn’t just look away she thinks he should have at least confided in one or two people and then let the matter drop.

Sometimes people do the right thing.
The right thing by who?

Should the right thing bring down a sort of shooting of the messenger? Who would have really been hurt if he had kept it to himself. No one. No one would have died or been seriously endangered. It wasn’t that kind of thing, until he opened his big mouth.

The woman really wants to crank up the blues. But they told her not to.

They put the trash, the tote out on Tuesday mornings and bring it back on Tuesday evening.
__Safe House

By Sally

Sally Franklin Christie Blogger and Author of If I Should Die and Milk Carton People.