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A Girl, a Door and a Drawer

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posted on May, 15 2009 @ 01:40 PM
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A Girl, a Door and a Drawer.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

John Keats

The darkness before the dawn was losing its stubborn fight against the coming of day. Tentative birds made hesitant incursions into the silence…after all, who among us likes to shout into the void? To break a silence and be met with silence somehow incurs the sensation that the void is gazing back. Is it the courageous or the fearful bird that pierces the dead of night and aligns itself with the rising sun? Is it the same bird that nightly presses itself deep down into nest or roost, as if the weight of night compels it to? Where is your courage then, brave little bird?

Within that still night, as the darkness retreats with false bravado and unspoken threats, a house stands in its own shadow. Some darkened houses seem to occupy more space than simple bricks and mortar would have us suppose. They wait solemnly, with an air of what? Expectancy? Patience? We can’t know, but as we walk past under orange lights, an ill-formed awareness skitters around our senses and our lonely footsteps seem to quicken. A hollow laughter pokes fun at childish imagination. Like the Traveller, knock-knocking on the moonlit door, we feel the silence surge in behind us as we pass by.

Within the darkened house and up the darkened stairs is a bedroom. Inside lies a girl enveloped in the twilight, drifting morass that separates the sleeping from the wakened. The place where dreams still hold sovereignty and the waking world draws us back. The Sandman’s dust falls powerless against the mattress and she begins to stir. The brave birds begin their chorus and a room that was as dark as the shadows on a black horse resolves itself once more. The dawn arrives slowly and settles in with cheerful self-assurance.

The bedclothes move once and then again, she turns once this way and then rolls over, drifting in and out of sleep. The birds outside increase their songs as the fat old sun peeks lazily, magnanimously across the land. Lying there, still in the drowsy no-mans land, a different noise joins the cacophony of the dawn chorus. She twitches and then is still. A quiet, beating sound is barely audible, yet insistent. As her attention is focused on the soft thuds, the sounds of life beyond the curtains fade away to a muffled abstraction. Inside her gloomy room, the shadows hide secrets. They seem to lie in wait for something…

She steels herself and drags damp hair from her face, moves her dry lips as she tugs a couple of strands from her mouth. Her breath is short. Her heart beats with more urgency than the strange thumping sound inside the dark room. Thud. Thud. Thud. Unwilling to open her eyes, she gasps as her breath is caught short and scared tears glisten against dark eyelashes.

An uncontrolled cry escapes as her bedroom door rattles and a loud knocking shatters the moment. With a jolt, her eyes flash open and she turns with a terrible dread towards the bedroom door. The only sound now is the roaring thump of a heart in fear.

“Jess! Are you up sweetie? It’s time for school. You can’t stay in there forever, love.” Her mother stops knocking and tries the handle. The door remains locked. Her tone becomes softer, almost pleading. “Please Jess? I don’t know what to do. Let me in. Tell me what we’ve done wrong. What can I do?” Jess opens her mouth to reply, but her breath catches deep down and it hurts in a strange way she can’t explain. A thousand words lose their form in her mind, expression dances away from her tongue and sneers at her…remains out of reach.

Again, louder, her mother knocks on the door and remains still. Silence seems to seep from behind the door and for long seconds, she feels frozen. Guilt and annoyance play mischief in her mind until she takes a deep breath and taps gently against the door. She leans her forehead against a poster on Jess’ door and feels its coolness. “Please Jess. Speak to me. I’m worried.”

Inside the room, she throws the bedclothes back and sits up violently. Once more she moves her mouth to speak, to explain...the noises at night, the sobs in the darkness. The ceaseless thuds that seem to creep from the shadows. Dark eyes flash brightly and tears roll thickly down her cheek. Fists clutch the sheets blindly and she turns to the door to speak, but a racking sob chokes them from ever seeing life. “I love you Mum,” she gasps quietly. With terrible suddenness, she swallows a bitter sob and cries out, “Leave me alone! Go away!”

Outside, her mother turns slowly and walks away without a glance, shoulders trembling.

Jess remains upright in bed, staring at the top drawer of her bedside cabinet. Sunlight eases in and spreads from the edges of pink curtains. It creeps silently along the carpet, and feels its way over the stuffed bears and remnants of childhood’s end. All that can be heard in the room is a piteous, breathless crying.

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to die? To drown? To be caught beneath ice, and feel the last of your air burning in your chest? What beat would your panic and desperation sound like to those above the ice? Would it be as terrible to their ears as to yours? We will hopefully never know, but Jess knows…

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Reaching for the top of the sheets she draws their warmth over her knees and up beneath her chin, wrapping them around like a cocoon. Clutching her legs and holding back the tears, she remains like that as the dreadful sound of tapping returns. Unable to ignore the awful, intermittent thud…thud…thud, she rolls over on her side and simply listens in horror. Only the echoes of crying interrupts the remorseless beat of the dreadful thuds.

The world outside continues in its petty pace and the sun shines down benignly as cars pass by in their self-important urgency. The birds have become complacent as midday passes and now they only sing when they feel like it. Fear or courage is for other birds now. Dusk is for cowards and darkness holds the dreamers. They fly and dart from one branch to another, chattering for the joy of hearing themselves. Life has been described as a tale told by an idiot and signifying nothing. Perhaps. An idiot is guileless and when the sun shines brightly, innocence gains favour…



[edit on 15-5-2009 by Kandinsky]




posted on May, 15 2009 @ 01:43 PM
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Inside the shaded room, Jess reaches across to the bedside cabinet. Without an awkward glance at the drawers, she turns on some music and falls back on the pillows. The bright chorus and hook almost drowns out the taps and cries within the shaded room. With deliberate effort, she stands and gazes absently at the curtains. Unconsciously, she bends to pull the pajamas leg down from where it had bunched up around her knee in the night. With her foot she gently rubs an itch on the back of her leg and then opens the curtains.

Glorious sunshine! It drives away the shadows and reveals a wall covered in posters of handsome boys, their dark eyes full of unattainable promises and pain. There are pictures of friends, pouting and posing, in their reckless dash towards the supposed freedoms of adulthood.

Still, the cast aside toys lie lifelessly on the floor between scattered piles of discarded clothing. She turns and pauses, staring at a pair of pastel shorts against the foot of the bed. They are stained darkly. Uneven patches of ruddy brown stand out starkly against the light blue fabric. The room spins and she sways imperceptibly, explaining to herself that she has stood too quickly…that nothing is wrong. The song changes to something quieter and sadder. A car roars past outside, making her jump and turn in fright.

Again, Jess looks at the shorts. The dark stains remain. She breathes deeply and stares. If she concentrates, it seems that the stains lessen and falter, becoming indistinct or part of a pattern. Her stomach cramps and the stains blur behind teary eyes. As the music softens and takes on the rhythm of a dirge, the thudding returns and also softens.

Tap…tap…tap…

The shorts suddenly appal her and she seizes a large pink teddy from the floor. It’s lifeless black eyes and meaningless, ‘Be my baby’ t-shirt seem incongruous as she hurls it at the accusing garment. The bear lands on its back, arms wide open, inviting a hug. She shudders in disgust and clutches her stomach again.

Behind her, the music comes to an end and quiet peace should replace it. Instead the tap…tap…tap becomes louder and more insistent. In almost abject terror she turns to face the drawers, each movement jerky and without grace. Her lips parted in a rictus of revulsion.

Tap…tap…tap…

The top drawer seems to move. A dark gap appears with an awful, shuddering slowness.

Tap…tap…tap…

From within the darkness of that tiny abyss, a baby cries out…

Spring and Fall: To a Young Child

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder

Gerard Manley Hopkins

J Kandinsky 2009

Thanks to Ziggystar60 for your help and advice...notice the tenses?


[edit on 15-5-2009 by Kandinsky]



posted on May, 16 2009 @ 05:44 AM
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Kandinsky, as you already know, I love your short story. And I am very honored that you let me read the first draft of it.


Now your story is even better. Your writing is beautiful, and you have managed to create this dreamy, dark and tragic atmosphere which both fascinates and touches me.

I also like the fact that your story does not explain everything to death. You allow me to use my imagination and draw some conclusions on my own. I often find that stories which give me the opportunity to be an active and participating reader instead of just a "spoon fed" receiver make a more lasting impression on me.

Thank you again for sharing your story with us. I hope many will read, star and flag. And yes, I noticed the tenses!



posted on May, 19 2009 @ 10:01 PM
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I enjoyed your style of writing. It was easy to visualize the setting and feel the angst of Jess as she listened to the thumps. I do have to admit though I didn't get closure from your story, you left me wanting to know what happens next!!



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by worldwatcher
 
Thank you
I read it to a small class of 15year olds and heard six different conclusions. Murder, a ghost or demon, a dream (tut) or she stole a baby are the ones I liked best. I like stories that make the reader think a little...



posted on May, 20 2009 @ 10:08 PM
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Brilliant poetic and image inducing writing.

The description of the haunted time of youth is beautiful.

Thanks for the opportunity to read .



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 09:11 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Well I think you were getting at that she gave birth in the night in her room and placed the baby in a drawer. I liked the story, but I'd like to see a continuation. Find out the wholde story, you know? Just because I hate being left wanting more. I guess I am demanding lol!



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by Dr Conspire
 
Really nice words thank you. I usually go for dialogue, but I enjoyed writing descriptively.

reply to post by ldyserenity
I know what really happens, it would make another story, but I'll leave it there so people can work out their own meanings. The next tale is as short on conclusion as this one, more dialogue and very moody.



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by Dr Conspire
 
Really nice words thank you. I usually go for dialogue, but I enjoyed writing descriptively.

reply to post by ldyserenity
I know what really happens, it would make another story, but I'll leave it there so people can work out their own meanings. The next tale is as short on conclusion as this one, more dialogue and very moody.

sounds really good. I will be on the lookout for it!




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