ENGLISH: Assessment Now and Then

When I think about it, our new house is standing out amongst the crowd, looking like a painting not finished. The dust and gravel that lies between the concrete slabs, blows around in the wind, getting into the cracks of the earth. A small gust of breeze makes the leaves dance and the hairs on my arms prick up. I feel the goosebumps running along my bare legs that walk the brown multi-colored ground. I hear the loud chain saws and hammers that the builders are using, as houses are built up all around me. They are being crafted and created into more pieces of art that are scattered all amid the once piece of dry land that I now live in. Mountains stand like looming giants that are dusted with icing sugar looking at their prey, they stand tall behind the houses in the distance. They appear like cardboard cut outs that have been put up on the outsides of the windows.


As I enter the new place I call home, the sweet scent of ambrosial pungence enters my nostrils and I can smell a substance being crafted in the oven as my mother prepares a dish for an evening dessert. She waltzes around the place she calls her kingdom the kitchen and I stand helplessly looking for the fragrance that intrigues me and I’m reminded back to my childhood.


My squabbling siblings and I would fight over the last spoonful of dessert that was a family favourite. I can remember the homemade sweet taste of the ice blocks we were given as treats if we behaved. We would argue over the swing that was bound to the once old trees that stood side by side like columns reaching into the sky. I can remember the smell of the sweet fragrance perfume the old lady wore as she sat on the blue armchair in the corner. With the sun on her back and the dollop of grey sleeping on her lap peering away. She wore the perfect lining of the tangerine lipstick she had put on in the morning which made me remember the quiet, wise and polite lady with the fragile sticker stuck to her chest, which was once my nana. I’m taken to the time we had a trampoline placed in the front yard and I’m drawn back to the days of practising back flips and cartwheels that my bones are now to old and useless to do anymore.


I’m reminded of the park bench where I would stand and throw the yellow almost damaged ball up and across the large sheet of green paper that appears like it’s been scrunched up and pressed out  again. A small creature of an animal that looks like a caramel sweet, sprints across the shamrock  paper. An animal known to me as our family pet races across looking, searching for the small object it is fascinated about, Like a small child with a toy. I remember sometimes I would lie on the crumpled sheet of the shamrock paper and look up into the multiple shaped clouds. I could see the giant looming mountain that stretched along, beyond the rough land in the corner of my eye that I longed and hoped someday I would climb but never got the chance.


A monstrous kingdom of a house that was once a time our home made of wood and an orange outer coat of thick lining felt rough on my skin. I would walk with my hand scaling the wall of my dad’s handy work of art.  The house that stood out among the rest like a monster looking for its prey amazed me in my childhood eyes, the house that stood so clearly out in the crowd. The memories and adventures of the monstrous kingdom that once was my home, now a distant memory.   


BY: Portia Vuleta

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