If Walls Could Talk

Anthology of Houses

If Walls Could Talk

Kindle Edition

An anthology of short stories written from the perspective of individual ‘houses.’ Who hasn’t wondered what would happen If Walls Could Talk?

37.House of Cards

Oh, wow, the Haunted House sure was long winded.  I wasn’t so sure I’d be here for the end. The elemental stuff was over the top.

I should have been allowed to go first.  After all I am the one most likely to go up in smoke, oh, wait, the smokehouse hasn’t gone, yet.  Sorry dude. 

I am a house of cards.  My deck is an actual deck.  I am built of fifty-two cards. plus the jokers, in a regular bicycle card deck. 

I’ve been built and rebuilt several times. 

The kid who puts me together is a bit of a loner.  You almost have to keep to yourself if you hobby in building a houses of cards.

A draft takes me down, a misplaced or jiggled card, placed wrong, takes me down most often. 

The kid has patience.  I am not sure what kind of paying job he will end up doing but he has a steady hand. 

He could work at repairing circuit boards but these days anyone can do that.  Maybe he can work in a lab inserting the ingredients to build embryos. 

Whatever he does I know he will have just the right touch.

One day a cat leapt up and knocked me down.

Another day he opened the window to a good stiff wind.

An earthquake of all things happened to me.

He has built me back up so many times the slick has worn off my faces. I dare any one of you houses to boast of the slick being worn off your face.

Well, forgive my rush, but I know my time is limited.  Who was next? 

Really you want more, well, as long as I can keep myself together.

I have the usual components of black and red cards, diamonds, hearts, clubs and spades.

The kid has never played even a game of solitaire with me.  He probably won’t become a gambler.  Rummy, war, spades, hearts, poker, 21, nope.  He just builds and builds to see how broad and how high he can get.  He keeps a silent count of how many cards he uses before I collapse.

A house of cards is insubstantial.  A house of cards has absolutely no integrity.  A house of cards is a fleeting thing.

Thank you all for listening I thought I felt a draft, so everyone, give a ‘hand’ to the Smoke House, I think I woke him up.

 House of Cards


I am a steakhouse and I am right across the parking lot from the House of Pies.  There isn’t much chance of real competition.  She serves pies and I, being a manly man restaurant, sell meat. 

When it gets right down to it, I doubt either one of us can be called healthy. 

To draw the sporting crowd into my establishment. I was established, a framed dollar bill and a plaque memorialize this event.  The owners put in televisions with cable and they constantly have some sporting event playing and everyone has a good seat. 

I am not really a dating sort of place, but the Pie House across the way isn’t a dating place either.   Can you imagine the walk of shame ending up across the aisle in the booth next to Mrs. R who cuts her coffee with hot water?

There is a room at the back of my building that not everyone knows about.  It is posted as a conference room for larger groups with birthdays or meetings. 

Every Tuesday night there is a card game going on.  Not high stakes, I am not even sure it is illegal, so I don’t know why it is kept on such need to know status.

They serve beer here, wine and mixed drinks.  Sometimes I think I’ve been mislabeled. I am really just a sports bar and gambling joint.

When a dating couple comes here it is usually because the woman is trying to impress the fellow and only the most brain-dead guy is going to bring his date here.  If we had a younger crowd, maybe then, the cheer-leaders would almost be required. That might be sexist. I’ll change the subject.

A very exciting thing happened here. Keep in mind, me and the pie house across the parking lot are only about ten years occupied.  The most exciting thing was when a flat screen television came crashing down and wiped out two patrons in one fell swoop.

I am not laughing about this.  It was awful. Awful enough to invoke Shakespeare’s name.

It was a horrid event. 

The flat screen tv sets are as heavy as the old tube televisions and the way it fell onto the two guys was nothing short of unbelievable.

The fallen tv struck one guy across his shoulder and at the same time came down with such focus it nearly took off the other guy’s right hand. 

The surgeons were not able to fix it.  While he didn’t lose it, the hand is so badly damaged it sort of curls up on itself.  He spent an unusual amount of time in the hospital then in physical therapy to become a south paw. 

The place shut down for more than a week.  During that time, the building underwent a steakhouse version of a colonoscopy.  No one officially knows how that tv worked its way loose, it was never explained.

No one knew that one of the prep cooks who came in early actually climbed up on the bar and loosened it.  I am not sure what the reason was, he loosened it and went on with his work. 

It took well over two weeks for the thing to come undone.  No one ever connected him to it.

It was never considered a crime and the fellow worked here another six months before quitting unexpectedly. 

Insurance, thank goodness for insurance. 

The lawsuit was settled out of court and the two guys who were bashed by the tv set were copiously compensated. 

They have both been in a few times but never as regularly as before.  I think for the man who nearly lost his hand, coming in was like a form of therapy, returning to the scene of what he will never know was an actual crime. 

It might be just as well these men don’t know.  The fellow who loosened the screws certainly never could have compensated the men so well. 

I would like to know the motivation behind it. 

I like to think he supposed there would be no harm to anyone. 

Is it Tuesday?  Maybe the guy had bets on it.  I never thought of that until just now.


Feel free to click around on my many blog posts. This site has been around forever. There are many posts under the Category “Writerly Wednesday” and “Fiction Friday.” The rest are the last ten years of my life. More or less.

Till next time.. Don’t touch anything sharp.

Sally Franklin Christie