For a long time my grandma worked in a real estate, and she would sometimes take me with her to the houses. There was one that was old and creaky and maybe sinking, definitely empty of people and full of dust. In the dining room sat a tall cabinet full of pairs of salt and pepper shakers.
I remember a set shaped like wooden shoes, and another like a man and a woman. Dozens of sets, all lined up on the shelves, looking out into a dim room that only rustled slightly from visiting roaches. For years I thought about those salt and pepper shakers all the time, wondering who had gathered them and why they had been left behind to stand sentinel in that quiet place.
I wondered about what happened to them all the time, but of course she didn't know. In my head they're still there, inside that old house slowly being reclaimed by saw palmetto and moss, their little ceramic eyes keeping watch through the dusty glass.