Heat from inside pressed against him in waves, and the smell of old ashes and burnt chemicals soaked the air. Megamind wasn't entirely sure he was in the right house until he'd cast his light up at the photos on the wall.

There had to be hundreds of them. Photos of his mother in beautiful capes with dozens of colors, her make up done in every style, her face aglow in a generous range of smiles.

His father was in only a few of them, his face usually out of frame. Or else he was smiling uncomfortably at the camera with his arm around his wife, hiding behind her. He always appeared in matte black, absorbing all the light that his him, so he was difficult to see.

The photos curled around the edges, peeling off the wall. As Megamind stopped and stared, perhaps he imagined, the sides of each photo splitting, tearing, curling, turning brown and yellow. The motion seemed to stop when he pressed his fingers to the edges and tried to press them back into the wall. But they sprung back into curtling.

Somewhere deep inside the house, quietly, music was playing. It must have been Earth music, though Megamind couldn't immediately place the song. Something seventies or eighties. It was drowned out by the moaning of the house and… an aquarium somewhere. But Megamind hesitated to go find it.

Slashes of acid must have been thrown up onto the walls. It had eaten little holes into photographs and a sizable gap in the floor. And there was heat wafting from inside the house, like that retained by desert stones as the sun goes down. A smell came up with it- burned rubber or something.

Megamind stood by the door, whatever light there was outside seeping onto the floor behind him. The circle of vision cast by his flashlight circled around the room at the photos, their lifted edges casting long shadows on the many beautiful faces of his mother. In one very close to his head, her mouth had been taken away by acid.

He didn't know her. Megamind felt in his stomach and his quickening breath a rising shame. Somehow, he'd expected joyful reunion. Somehow he'd imagined this place to be Krypton. He was standing in the open door of the darkest, strangest house he'd ever seen, and behind him grey mist was spreading across the ground.

But there was music inside, and an aquarium. Which could mean that there was someone still here? His parents? They must still be alive if he had survived as a baby. They had to be somewhere.

Megamind removed his cape and flipped it over before refixing it to his mantel. The bright satin blue of the cape's underside stood out against the gloomy background, its cheerful lighting bolt pattern portraying more confidence than Megamind felt. Somehow the bright, reflective color would keep him from being absorbed into all this… forgottenness.

The black side of his cape, which had previously been exposed to the outside air, was cool against Megamind's skin as he wrapped it around himself. His flashlight stuck out just far enough to swivel along the walls, at the ceiling, at the floor. Blessedly, his footsteps were silent as he crept further inside.

There was a sitting room with a generous sofa and an iron rocking chair. There was a room Megamind assumed was a kitchen, though he couldn't find the sink. A long stove took up the entire wall, with dried cuttings of plants hung from the ceiling above it at various heights.

There was a photography studio. Megamind recognized props from the photos, furniture, and costumes which hung on several headless mannequins which stood and leaned around the room. Photos hung off the walls, and lights had fallen and broken on the floor.

A small and strange device, which must have been an alien camera, stood intact and untouched on a tripod. It was impossible to tell which direction the lense was pointing.

Author's note:

This was getting dusty at the bottom of my Google Drive. It was titled "Abndoned house," written December 30, 2017. I may abandon the house, but why adandon the typo?

I hecking love how Grammarly analyzes tone. Before I started the author's note it said my tone was "Confident" and "disapproving." Now it's added, "worried."

I got that email from Google Drive that files were gonna start getting deleted after 30 days... so I' just gonna drop these things as their own stories. I could publish them as new chapters in "Nuke," but I think these stinkers need more airing out than that. And that way I can just add new chapters to them individually whenever I want!