The Deceased of 120 Primorsky Street

by Michael Carter

To the Last Resident of This Old House,

You don’t know us, but we know you. Not your name, or your voice. We cannot hear you. But we’ve been watching you since you moved in years ago. So we feel like we know you.

We haven’t seen you in a while, and we’re concerned. We’re hoping that by writing this letter we can reach out to you, or rather, you can reach out to us.

We live on the other side of mirrors in your house. We can see you through each one. We watch, and we wait, for someone like you to take care of this place. After all, it’s our house, too.

Sergey was the first to die here. He was ninety years old. He lived a long life and became a crotchety old man. Sergey passed away not long after his wife died in the hospital from pneumonia. You could say he died from a broken heart, but he’ll tell you he just had an old heart. He died peacefully upstairs. Don’t worry, it didn’t happen in your bedroom. He was in the guest room next door.

Little Anastasia is in the mirrors with us, too. She acquired a rare bone disorder. They moved her to the study downstairs so the doctors could more easily treat her. She too passed away peacefully after they gave her some elixir to subdue the pain. After she died, her family left the house and moved to the Urals where they hoped to forget about the tragedy.

The house passed through many owners before I bought it. My death is a little embarrassing, because, really, it’s my own fault. I’d had quite a few bottles of Vasileostrovsky and was making my way down to the cellar for more. I wasn’t drunk, but I slipped on the stairs and knocked myself out. I had a brain hemorrhage and died there. I should have just stuck with the Kvass.

They found me weeks later after the neighbors reported a foul smell coming from the house. I was living alone at the time, like you. I suppose that’s why the others wanted me to write this letter.

After hearing about all these deaths you probably think this place is haunted. I don’t think it is. We all died here naturally, it seems. The house is roughly five hundred years old, so three deaths in that amount of time isn’t odd.

We’ve seen a lot of people come and go through the years, and we all agree that you have been one of our favorites. We’ve watched much of your life through the mirrors. From the living-room mirror, we could see out to the front yard. You took such great care of the roses. The lawn was manicured. You kept the hummingbirds coming every year with fresh sugar water in their feeders.

The other mirrors gave us snippets of your life, and they also showed us how you cared for this house. You kept it the cleanest. You were respectful of the property, and, in turn, respectful of us. You also put up more mirrors through the years, giving us additional windows to the outside world.

We’re concerned because we haven’t seen you for a while. We started worrying when we saw a man come in here with a sledgehammer. A while after that we saw families and small groups of people enter sporadically to wander through the house. A lady would often leave the front door open and stand in the kitchen waiting for them to come and go. Her likeness appears on the sign placed in front of the house.

The man with a sledgehammer could have been a man with a pipe wrench. That’s what we’d like to think. Maybe you decided to sell and had the leaky plumbing fixed? That would make sense, but it wouldn’t explain the presence of the police shortly after we stopped seeing you.

Months have passed and we’re concerned. That’s why we decided to write a letter. Hopefully you can see it pressed to the glass, facing out towards you.

Could you reach out and touch the mirror one more time, to let us know you’re there? Could you touch it to let us know you’re okay? Just reach out and touch the words before you. If you’ve passed on, we’ll touch you back. And we’ll take you in.


The Deceased of 120 Primorsky Street
St. Petersburg

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