Describing Things (4 – 6)

More practice in the art of description, using photos from my walks around town.

#4. The old house was pink. It wasn’t flashy; if one had to paint century-old bricks pink, this was definitely the right shade. Otherwise, the house was rather plain, a rectangular box topped by a peaked roof with a chimney sticking out of the center. It didn’t even have a porch, merely an oversized brick doorstep ornamented by a single urn of mums. Squeezed in among newer homes and an ever-expanding city street, this old home had nothing going for it except its coat of paint. It should have receded into invisibility. Yet it still caught the eye.

**

The three houses marched up Campbell Street in a line. They were built in the traditional style of four windows across the upper story, and three windows plus the front door on the ground floor. A porch below echoed the peaked roof above, and a stubby chimney on either end kept the balance. Crowning the whole well-ordered assembly was a front gable with an arched-and-winged window in the center.

Despite their obvious shared pedigree, however, time had not treated them all equally. The first house was in good repair, with pale yellow siding, burgundy shutters, and a new metal roof. The second house was painted light blue, its shutters a darker dusky blue; it too had a metal roof. These two homes were connected by a small breezeway building between them, and had been converted into apartments sometime in the past.

But the third house was not so fortunate. No one had modernized its roof or repainted its walls. White paint peeled off its wooden siding and its shutters were missing. This third house had not prospered in the same way that her sisters had.

The first house actually has five windows across so doesn’t exactly match the other two; but as fiction goes, I smudged the details so they’d blend better.

**

#6. Just off the busy street was a small triangular courtyard where two buildings clustered close to a towering ivy-covered wall. A wrought-iron gate, flanked by stone topiaries, opened the way to a smooth flagstone pathway that curved through ornamental grasses to a tall, narrow doorway at the other end. There, a pocket of a porch lay hidden away from the anxious city.

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