“…The rocking of his house/ had me holding on/ but I knew that I was safe/ from there on out/ The waves that hit his face/ marked the past/ and the furrows on his skin/ Oh how time goes fast…/ But we are all far from home, but we are so happy/ Far from home, all alone, but we are so happy.”
I have become a crumpled mess, like rags thrown in the middle of the locked room. Ear buds streaming the lyrics of From Finner by Of Monster and Men from my iPod had tears strolling down my face. There was a truth paralleled in my life within those lyrics, yet half of the song is so far from anything I can even begin to attain at this time: happiness. I am not happy.
Looking back on my life I realize how quickly time has passed, numbness settling within my core as I realize a glaring truth: I am all alone. This ‘house’ has been rocked; Hard. I feel as if I am clinging onto my delicate mental and emotional state by my finger nails. I feel marred by the decisions I have made, my battle scars visible to all who are willing to see them. One only needs to look and I freely bear my mistakes…or so I fear.
I have become self-deprecating, embarrassment and confusion taking up residence. I am not sure how much time has passed since entering this room, with me staring at the bookshelf wall. How could I have painted this exact replica of a wall in a room I have never set foot in? Or is Stella right and I have been here before?
I begin to despise the state I have fallen into, disgusted that I have wasted so much time feeling sorry for myself. I rip the ear buds out, refusing to give melancholy anymore power over me. Songs can be wonderful to heal a broken heart or scarred soul, but reveling in the pain too long becomes debilitating.
I stand, slowly coming to my feet, eyes never wavering from the book shelves. One foot in front of the other, I walk towards them. Time is suspended. I take in the various knickknacks dressing the boards within their frames. Vases, candles, boxes, baskets, photos…
I run my fingers over the items lightly, disturbing the layers of dust. Somehow my finger catches on the corner of a picture frame. As I ripped my hand away, the frame crashed to the floor, busting the backing separate from the glass. Bending over, I picked the pieces up. Something fluttered to the floor, though I ignore it because the picture steals my breath. There are two women sitting on a bench. The photo was taken in black and white. The women dressed in clothing from the sixties. There was an uncanny resemblance in the photo: I looked like the younger woman on the bench. But that’s impossible…I was not even born yet.
I put the picture frame back together, having forgotten what had fallen to the floor. Shaken, I replace it on the shelf and continue to take in the multitude of decorations gracing the shelves. I came to the section with books. There was one in particular that caught my attention. It was thick and covered in dark brown leather. As I placed my hand on the worn binding – clearly a favorite – to pull the book out for a closer look, a huge gust of wind nearly knocked me over as the door slammed shut, covering the room in darkness…
Suddenly the room was basked in candle light, the creaking of a rocking chair the only rhythm within the room. The front window was open, the sheer white curtains whipping wildly in the wind. How did the window open? Where did the flames of the candles come from? Who shut the door?
Am I that out of it that I have no recollection of doing these things?
BANG! BANG! BANG!
The splintering of wood under the vehement banging on the cabin door sent a shock of fear down my spine. Whoever was here the first night was back!
What do I do? I remembered I had left my phone downstairs. When would I learn? I was unable to bring myself to walk down the stairs to retrieve it. I slowly slid to my knees and crawled toward the window afraid of picking up my feet, fearing the creaking wood planks would make my presence known to whomever was outside. I pulled myself up over the sill just enough to see the driveway. There was nothing there. Did the person intent on freaking me out walk here? But from where did he come?
I held my breath, very much aware of the intensity of my internal organs working overtime. There was a brief flash of light from under the porch prior to a shadow running from the porch around the side of the house. Where was the person going?
As quickly as the wind had picked up, it died down. The squeak of the rocker ceased. My heart quieted, though my mind raced. I was cemented to the floor, back against the wall with the window above my head. The moon shone through the window, illuminating the space. The book I was about to pick up appeared to glow, as if beckoning me to pick it up and see its contents. But I could not move. Images of the lavender room trickled to the forefront of my mind. Confusion swirled, effortlessly muddling my thoughts and vision.
~ ~ ~
Neon pink is all I saw. My body stiff, hardness beneath me.
I slowly opened my eyes. The sun rays assaulting my pupils forced me to shut them. I groaned; my body angry with me. I felt like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, wishing for a can of oil for my joints. I could almost hear them creak in agony as I worked myself into a seated position. I look about my surrounds, surprised to find I fell asleep in the locked room. I should probably think of a new name for it, considering it is clearly no longer locked.
I make my way to my feet stretching before I reach a full standing position. A yawn escapes. Rubbing the back of my neck, I become determined for some of my favorite liquid gold: coffee. I stumble down the steps, barely aware of the events from last night. My head is too foggy for such thoughts.
The sound of the trickling coffee as it percolates is music to my ears. The aroma of the Arabica coffee grounds is a welcome memory. Bliss fills me up in anticipation of the wonderful experience of drinking coffee as I prepare my mug. Coffee, coffee, coffee…I love coffee. I smile as the warm liquid slides down my throat, hitting my stomach with the makings of coming home. The entire experience of drinking coffee is soothing and calming, and I thank God for the wonderful beans.
Somehow a whiff of my stellar self is able to make an appearance despite the brewed coffee scent filling the room. I must shower. My muscles breathe a sigh of relief as the hot steam and steady stream of water massages them. My head clears. Visions of last night an affront to my relaxed state.
Concern wraps itself around my recollection. I dress quickly upon exiting the shower, shorts and a tee-shirt. Fear had left long ago, replaced by determination. I stepped out the front door to the porch, turning to examine the door. I remembered hearing the splintering of wood. It sounded as if whoever was banging was hell bent on breaking the door down. But if that was the case, why did they leave before they were successful? And what could they want? Was it something within the cabin itself? Or was it something to do with me?
I need answers, not more questions.
As I inspected the door, I found no signs of damage. Actually, the more I investigated, the more I became uncertain as to what I heard last night. The door looked to be in pristine shape. Understanding escapes me.
My next thought: check around the cabin in the direction the shadow ran. I made my way north, going around the exterior of the bedroom on the first floor. I noticed no footprints, but saw a slight break in the foliage along the tree line of the woods. Uncertainty flooded my thoughts at what I found. Should I be excited, or should I be worried?
There was a trail that led into the woods that did not appear to have been used in quite some time…Almost as if it had been forgotten.
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Has Ivy been in the locked room before? Who is out to get her?
Think you know? Have any ideas? Share your thoughts!!!