Rain dripped down the inside walls of the house in the quiet of early morning. Insects stirred in the softened wood beneath the buckling paint and wallpaper. A closet that used to contain a wedding dress encased in plastic now was home to a family of raccoons, curled up together, sheltering from the constant wet.
Outside, a cool breeze blew, a precursor to a storm. A pair of deer ate the wildflowers that grew at the edge of the porch. In summers past a woolly black dog would lay along the boards on his side, avoiding the sun. A child once dumped a full tray of ice cubes on him as he lay panting. He lifted his head slightly to give the child a dirty look but then laid his head down again and enjoyed the cold deliquescence.
The house creaked as the wind increased. The bats inside the roof clustered closer together and had fitful sleep. Their droppings were piled on a plastic tub that contained half the bones of middle-aged man who was never resident in the house until after he died.
Sea water washed into the yard from the oncoming storm surge. It pooled into the sunken area above the old septic tank. The weakened earth broke apart. A shard of old lacquered wood bobbed up and floated in a slow outwardly turning spiral.
The rough edge of the storm made landfall. The trees swayed and splintered--a trunk cracked, rupturing up the center from the root and half of it split away and plunged into the roof of the house. The shingles slid and terrified bats flew and the deadened weight of the tree pushed through three floors. What glass wasn't already broken from decades of neglect shivered and fissured and eructed outward, splaying to bits in the storm.
The storm continued to lash away and the rotted wooden softened bones of the house gave out. The walls fell and the house became a pile. The tub in the attic rolled out into the yard and lost its lid. The brown bones inside spilled into the septic tank hole where they had been hastily excavated from, and sunk into the mud where they came to rest next to the grave of their other half and in a way, remade the man who originally built the house, centuries ago, with his own hands.