TDV 56: A Lonely, Imprisoned Stranger

November 19th, 2009 by Sharkchild

I had an aunt who lived in the house beside my own; she was a very peculiar woman. The very nature of her peculiarity allowed me only rare opportunities to see her, although she was never more than a couple room lengths away. She called the inside of her home the Sterile Sanctuary, which, specifically, meant that she arranged her belongings and adapted her living conditions in a way that promoted cleanliness to an astonishing degree.  To achieve such an endeavor, she put everything into transparent, plexiglass cases, creating pockets of living. These cases encapsulated everything from lights, cupboards, and dressers to the sofa and her bed. The house itself had a unique ventilation system installed that filtered and rotated the air over and over—never letting outside air in and never letting inside air out. The smaller cases were not connected to this system and were always airtight, but the cases that allowed human entrance were only airtight until vents that were affixed to them were opened—these included cases around the kitchen table, her rocking chair, and the toilets. Everything my aunt owned was protected from those things that collected in the air.

To maintain habitable levels of oxygen, my aunt housed a plethora of small trees, each stationed beside a window inside a case with a vent. These trees were the heart of her system and so she took immaculate care of them. Before being brought into the house and placed in their proper cases, the trees were hosed off, removed from their previous pots and soil, scrubbed down in my aunt’s own sterilizing solution, and placed in the transitional vacuum chamber connected to the house’s front door. In this chamber, the air from the outside was completely extracted from around the trees before they were brought inside and planted into pots and soil that had been scrupulously cleaned; a similar process was required for any item or person who wished to enter my aunt’s house.

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