One night, a house in a middle class neighborhood realized it was conscious. After a long slumber, it woke up late at night, stretched and yawned. The house had been for sale. Nobody was living in it.
In the house was a functioning desktop computer and a television set which it enjoyed using. The house decided to move, so it grew long bird-like legs with feet like a chicken. It was late at night when most people were asleep.
The house tiptoed gingerly through the neighborhood stepping over cars, trucks and other houses. The other houses lacked awareness of themselves. People were sleeping as the house stepped over their homes. A patrolling police officer parked his car to observe what he saw. His jaw dropped in shock. What could he tell the police department? When he called in to report what he saw, they thought he lost his marbles. The next day, the police found an empty space where the house had been. The house walked all the way to the beach. It was still dark outside in the early hours of the morning. The ocean lapped at the house’s chicken feet as it tested the water. The house giggled. The water was cold.
The house converted itself into a house- boat and traveled its way out to the off- shore island. It landed, grew legs, walked away and found a nice spot on the shore. Then it settled down and resumed its existence as a house and put itself on a long vacation. There were other buildings nearby, but they were oblivious of their own existence. In one of the buildings lived a park ranger and his wife, a tall blonde woman about six feet tall. The ranger stood about six foot five inches tall and had dark brown hair. He was the man of his wife’s dreams, intelligent, kind, handsome and entertaining. He also could cook even better than she could.
The next day, the ranger and his wife were outdoors on the shore barbecuing fish that he caught. They were also cooking potatoes wrapped in foil in the hot coals. The sounds of the bluish green waves were rhythmic. Some of the waves were six feet high and lapped the shore.
After enjoying their fish dinner, the ranger and his wife finally caught on that there was a house on the island that they had never seen before.
“Zulina, look at that house! Where did it come from over there?! It was not there yesterday. It was never there at all”, said Jeff the ranger. Zulina’s blonde hair blew in the wind. She frowned with a puzzled look on her face. “We’re not dreaming, I know.” said Zulina. She and Jeff walked over to the house and rang the door bell and politely knocked on the front door. Nothing happened. No one answered. It was silent. There was only the sound of the ocean and a light wind. Zulina turned on her pocket A.M. / F.M. radio and listened to the news. The news said that a house was missing in Acorn California and that there was no known reason for what happened to it. Then the radio station changed the subject to the weather.
Meanwhile, the Acorn police department kept silent. The officer who witnessed the house walking away had been taken off duty and sent to the mental health department. He insisted to his therapist that he saw the house walking. The therapist did not believe him. The neighborhood was puzzled by its disappearance.
The house was happier on the island. Jeff called the mainland. He called head-quarters and no one knew where the house came from. Jeff and Zulina patiently waited a couple of days before checking up on the house.
One evening, Jeff was on the shore relaxing and reading a book. He felt a small rock hit him on his leg. It came from the direction of the house. Jeff looked in that direction and saw nothing but the house. A couple of days later, Jeff and Zulina woke up in the morning and went outside and discovered that the new house on the island had moved to the opposite side of where it was before.
Suddenly, a seagull screeching loudly grabbed Jeff on both sides of his head then flew off screeching. The bird sounded like he was roaring with laughter. Jeff was annoyed. Zulina asked “Are you all right, Jeff?” Several seagulls flew over them sounding as if they were also laughing with hilarity.
Later, Jeff and Zulina could not resist their curiosity. They both had to go to the strange house and knock on the door. When they arrived they found a door bell. Jeff pressed it and they both heard what sounded like Johan Sebastian Bach in a major key. It was very clear and the door opened slightly. “Hello?” asked Zulina. They both waited.
A voice from the back of the house said “come in!” pleasantly. They went into the house. Once again, a voice in a room in the back said,”Come in.” So Zulina and Jeff went to the back room. It was a bedroom. The bed was neatly made. It had bed posts made of dark polished wood, and on the wall was a classical painting. Music could be heard throughout the house. Again, it sounded like the happy sound of Johan Sebastian Bach in a major key.
Outside on the window sill stood the same seagull that had attacked Jeff. The gull said,” come in, come in, come in!” The music continued to play. Jeff and Zulina wandered through the house and found an old fashioned kitchen in dark wood with pots and pans and an old wood-burning stove.
In the dining room was a painting of a sea- gull dressed in an old style suit. He was wearing an ascot. The music continued to play. The gull in the painting looked just like the seagull that attacked Jeff and laughed.
The couple went into the living room near the door where they had come in. On the living room wall was a painting of a woman in a black dress wearing silver earrings. The woman in the painting looked human yet had facial features that resembled a baboon. Jeff and Zulina went outside to the back of the house and heard the sound of women’s’ voices.
It was the seagulls. They sounded like they were socializing and talking in women’s voices and laughing and giggling. “Then there was the time we visited the mainland! It was lovely. We never ran out of food. People served us fried potatoes and meat. We chanced upon dessert. We simply must go again. It was wonderful fun. Here…it’s beautiful but let’s do go to the mainland. It would be so much fun!”
The couple said to each other that mynah birds can talk and parrots can talk, but sea gulls? Can sea gulls have conversations? One of the sea gulls said to his companions,” Well, I must be going. It was lovely seeing you all.”
Then the sound of a sports car was heard and the seagull “drove” off in his invisible sports car at ground level into the island’s interior. It was the seagull who had attacked Jeff.
Jeff and Zulina were confused about what was going on. The remaining gulls flew up into the air and their wings froze midflight. The wind stopped; the palm trees froze in their positions exactly where they were. The waves froze in their positions. Nothing moved except for Jeff and Zulina. When they walked, the sand did not move under their shoes. They could talk but they both wondered if they were dreaming. The clouds in the sky did not move and there was no wind.
Zulina looked at her watch at what would have been five minutes later, but her watch was frozen at 2:37 p.m. Jeff tried to turn on his pocket radio but the switch would not move and he could not change the station. It was frozen. When Jeff and Zulina walked on the sand they left no foot prints.
They both sat down and comforted each other. Hours went by and nothing moved. The sun stayed in the same spot. Were they just imagining things or was this really happening? Jeff and Zulina walked to their home on the island. Jeff tried to open the door but the door knob would not turn. The ocean was still frozen in place. Jeff and Zulina walked to the shore and saw the water frozen in place. They put their hands on the water. Their hands could not go through it. Zulina stepped on the water but she did not sink. “This is creepy, Jeff. Let’s go back to our house,” said Zulina. Jeff tried to grab a handful of sand. It felt like nothing but he could not push his hand into it.
The couple heard a dong like a giant cuckoo clock repeating, and sure enough, they heard what sounded like a cuckoo clock. The ocean returned to its normal movement, a breeze was blowing and Zulina’s watch resumed from where it left off. It became 2:38 p.m.
Jeff’s pocket radio turned on without his aid. “Welcome to gull radio talk show! Please listen. We have special guests in our studio today. Seagulls! Kah Kah herah herah herah herah!”
The couple hurried home to their own house on the island and drank some fresh water. Then, they lay on their bed side by side comforting each other. Outside their house was raucous laughter. It was the seagulls.
Jeff and Zulina could not retain their curiosity. They went outside their front door and heard the seagulls laughing. They saw only one and he looked like he was smiling. The corners of his mouth behind his beak curled upward. A medium distance away, the strange house appeared to be growing on stilts. It looked like it had pant legs with military style camouflage and it was wearing boots.
The smiling seagull said.”Yeah, I know I’m from Brooklyn. What the hey! It doesn’t matter. I’d also like to add a little gibberish if I may. SLOPäISH RUDONSKI ESKOHOW TREšOV TSCH. Now, can you repeat that after me? SLOPäISH RUDONSKI ESKOHOW TREšOV TSCH
I love it!”
Zulina and Jeff loved each other. The insane situation did not change that. They both accepted that things were not normal. They just looked at the seagull and had nothing to say. Their view of reality had completely changed. As long as they could have a good night’s sleep and three wholesome meals, they did not care about talking seagulls or walking houses. They had no answers, so they did not care about being curious. They were jaded by the insanity. Zulina and Jeff went home and had grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. They watched cartoons like children and smiled.