Lauren Voaden

As I approach the front door, I stop, turn and take one last look at your old home. I watch the dust dance in the moonbeam streaming through the cracks in the boarded-up hallway window. A spider wrapping a desperate fly is the only evidence that life ever existed in this house, a painful reminder that the only thing harder than losing someone you love is watching while the only physical remnants of them are stolen, mistreated and left to decay. I sigh. Some things, no matter how great and glorious they once were, have to be let go. I set the shoebox down just outside the front door and then feel into my coat pocket and pull out a small box of matches. I slide the box open, pull out a single match, strike it against the rough outside edge of the box and throw it onto the alcohol-soaked timber floor before making my way out of the house for the final time. I leave the front door wide open like you used to do when me and my cousins rode our bikes around the yard.

All that’s left to do now is wait. I wander back down the garden path and take a seat on the bench at the far end of your front garden. Brambles and thorns poke at my back and the underside of my legs through the slats of wood as my ears listen out for the sound of timber crackling. I feel for the hallway photo inside my coat pocket and look up into the night sky. The stars glisten above me and, before long, a thick smoke starts to smother their light. Just a few minutes later, I turn my gaze back to the house to see an intense blaze of red, yellow and orange begin to poke through the front door of your old home. The flames are big, fierce, and thick, a striking display of scorching orange against the blackness of the night. I can feel their heat from where I’m sitting on the bench, and eventually my skin starts to prickle and turn red. I can hear frantic rustling in the long grass around me as small animals hurry to escape the inferno. For a moment I’m gripped by fear. The untameable heat and irreversible nature of what I’ve done is suffocating, but as I listen to the entrancing chorus of crackles, pops and snaps, I remind myself of the alternative. I fiddle with the gold ring on my finger as I watch the flames take hold, transforming the house into a dazzling beacon visible for miles around. The fire flickers and dances, teasing the stars with its warm glow. The heat of the burning house is a comfort against the cold chill of the night, and I can’t help but feel that this is the most alive this building has felt for years. I picture the photo in the kitchen going up in flames, wiping the fake smile off the faces of the couple captured within it. For the first time in a long while, I tilt my head back and laugh like I used to with you. The smoke rises and rises and rises, leaping and twirling high above my head.

As the sun begins to rise, the roar of the fire is but a whisper, and the building is nothing more than charred wood, smoking embers and black ash. The distant sound of sirens grows louder and louder. I wish more than anything that I could have made those four walls a home once more. But your absence is engrained here, it always will be, and I’d rather keep your memory pure and distant than anchor it to Earth and watch it rot.

Series – Evanescent

January: If Something Can Go Wrong…It Will – Jonay Quintero Hernández (Spain)

February: The Planet of Pleasure – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

March: Evening with Jackie Chan – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

April: Vuvuzelas, Walkie-Talkies and Madiba Magic – Sarah-Leah Pimentel (South Africa)

May: Remembering – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

June: 5-4-3-2-1 – Talia Stotts (America)

July: Getting Ready for Newborns – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

August: Regrets – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

September: A Hollow Pursuit – Diana Haidar (Syria)

October: The Test – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

November: A Life Rekindled – Lauren Voaden (United Kingdom)

December: Translation Perfect – Zhang Lu (China)

Special: Catching Water III – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

Background – Context

Transadaptation Volume 2: Conceived – Childhood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2021)

Transadaptation Volume 1: In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world


Cover photo: Cornwall, England – Along the Tresillian river – Andy Durnin (Shutterstock)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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