They were the last to ever live in the house.

The Dazn family. I watched as they moved into the mansion (the capstone house in a cul-de-sac we shared), their place in easy view from mine.

Stardust Circuit, our street, a stretch of bitumen, dead lawns and sprawling mismatched abodes could be any street found in a number of cities in the world that flourished in harsh geographies, places that had failed in their attempts to keep civilisations at bay. In this post-post-modern and globalised age, I probably don’t need to be more specific as to where Stardust Circuit exists, and I won’t. It could be California, Arizona or Australia, or someplace else. Let’s say the street was the type of locale that, for the most part, merely hummed along, with its confident pulse evident under a skin of stucco and hearsay, a tertiary bloodline that reaches out, far removed from a heart.

The Dazns. They were a pretty family then, and I was taken by their casual finesse. The mother and father confident in their coupledom; their young girl shining in her pleasantness and easy joy.

The family’s house was a monolithic construction. The place, not unlike the other houses to its left and right, yet different to mine, consisted of an assemblage of boxes and mutant rooflines and odd-fixtures that were crudely attached, the total house ignorant to a developed sense of understated design. The house had none of the charm of the post-war single level residence of mine, the one I had been raised in to then inherit from my parents. The Dazns’ house stood boldly, as if by its gratuitous state of being it could hold off anything that the scrublands behind it could possibly harbour; it had shown early determination, swallowing a large parcel of land and a compact family home just to come into existence.

The Dazns had never truly made the place their own. They had perhaps known they had purchased another family’s dream, and perhaps this is why they had never made any modifications to the home or its landscaping; barely maintaining the place, in fact.  Only a couple times in the decade they lived there had they repainted the facia boards or guttering obediently in the shades of orange and cream that the original family had once selected. Dying plants and trees in the front yard were simply removed, the back yard kept as an expanse of lawn always in a state close to death, but never actually dying.

The previous owners were a family that had left without notice.

I had inspected the place on its first viewing when it had hit the market. The house was as garish inside as its outside conveyed, filled with unnecessary and unnerving detail. The oversized chandelier in the vestibule existed oddly like a captured ghost or luminescent jellyfish held in suspension, terminally lost. Beyond that chandelier, in contrast, the rest of the house was a great collection of empty novelty.


The Dazn’s arrival marked an interesting development in my life. I had been made redundant in the months before from a chemical conglomerate (a childless and middle-aged man being easy to dispose) before the family arrived, and upon the advice of a cousin, I started freelance writing, reviewing and editing technical manuals. My first invoiced assignment had been paid the same morning that the Dazn family had unloaded their entire material life into their new, and last, house.

Stardust Circuit all those years ago. How splendid we all were that summer as Fortuna spun in our cul-de-sac, she being momentarily caught, prosperity within all our reach.