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occupied | non fiction | karin taylor

We found this ramshackle old building once, my friend and I, it was down the lane way across from the Kingscliff beach, old, abandoned and lonely it seemed. We were just 14 at the time, I was in my final year of high school, restless and rebellious.

The yard itself was overgrown with long matted grass and inside was just a shell. I remember well, one room painted black and it felt a little unfriendly in that particular room, hard to picture anyone ever having lived there in the past, there was no furniture at all. It became a sort of squat, a place to hangout, a retreat, a bit of a meeting spot and for a while, we felt like it was our place.

I was always excited to go there and felt safe enough, but one day, we noticed a small case on the ground, and I was bold enough to pick it up and open it. Inside were a pair of vintage John Lennon style spectacles, small and round, built for a small face. I put them on. The prescription hurt my eyes, but I had found treasure and would not let them out of my sight. I loved John Lennon and this was like winning the lottery.

I took them home and over the following two weeks felt very guilty for taking them. I wondered who belonged to them and why they were there. I remember hiding them in my top drawer underneath other items. Every day I went back to the drawer just to look at them, examine them, hoping to extract more information if I could about the owner.

Nothing was forthcoming, but I felt a coldness growing. The glasses did not seem friendly to me any more, and I decided they must be missing their old home. In an effort to rectify the madness of taking possession of them, I returned them to the spot I’d removed them from and we never again went to visit the house. It felt occupied from then on. Perhaps the ghost of glasses past had revisited or awoken from his or her sleep, awakened by the missing piece I had disturbed.

occupied | non fiction | karin taylor

© Karin Taylor

Lennox Head, Australia

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