“Ok, so walk me through last night.” Todd and I were standing in the middle of the locked room. I walked through the series of events from the night before: the force of a mysterious wind slamming the door…the shock of darkness…the creak of a rocking chair…candles aflame flickering wildly…window open with billowing sheers…incessant banging on the door…shadow figure hightailing it around the cabin…the abrupt end to it all.
Moving toward the bookshelf, half in this world, half in the memories of last night, I recalled, “It all started with the book. Just as I was about to pick it up, everything changed…And I remember seeing the book when it suddenly ended. The book seemed to have a glow about it.”
Todd listened. I was falling in love with his patience. With slight trepidation, I reached out slowly pulling this book that suddenly had much meaning from the shelf. It felt heavy, its weight a presence in my hands. There was something special about this book. It was a very old book, almost possessing a personality of its own. I was unable to make out the title on the cover. The binding creased, the corners frayed.
My hands shook. I felt, more than heard, open; like a whisper to my soul. How do I say no? After taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, I randomly opened the book curious as to what I would find within. I was struck in the face with the following scripture:
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
~ Luke 11:9-10
There were conflicting thoughts and feelings warring for prevalence. This room was locked. I prayed for a way to open it. It was opened. This is the most literal correlation I can make between this scripture and my life. But something else tickled the back of my mind. I have been asking for truth: My truth; God’s truth. I just want to live The truth. There are the dreams, this cabin, and the shadow person. While one door was plainly opened upon request, I am still searching for how to go about hearing the truth that I have so desperately been asking for. I have many unanswered questions. A light within some deep part of me began to shine, moving me in a way I have never experienced, and without thought I followed that light.
I looked up to Todd, his expression consumed with worry. “Todd?” I asked in barely a whisper. At this his face softened, a slight smile touched his lips as his eyes brightened. “Will you pray with me?” A tear fell from my eye. In one quick motion, Todd stepped toward me, wrapping his arms lightly around my shoulders, careful not to crush the precious bible in my hands. I fell into him as I sobbed, the words flowing from my mouth not of my own accord. “Dear Lord, I beg you to please be with me. I am scared and I do not know what to do. This verse says to ask and I shall receive, so here it goes: Please reveal the truth to me. If You will it, help me to know my true self. I need Your help. Amen.”
I crumpled to the floor, unable to support myself, Todd’s embrace helping me to land softly. As we hit the floor, I fell back into the bookshelf wall. A grinding screech pierced the air, fracturing our ear drums. The sound was so intense we cringed, Todd’s arms tightening around me. The support of the bookshelf I had fallen into gave way.
Perplexed, we stood quickly, not really sure what just happened. There are no words to explain the shock of what we saw: my painting verbatim. The pergola vignette nestled between the bookshelves, one partly open on a hinge, and the slightest strip of lavender wall. The revelation of the image before me caused me to collapse as darkness filtered into my line of vision sending me on a visual journey not of this time.
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I’m being dragged up the stairs, not understanding what is going on. My dress catches. Fear emanates from the woman pulling me up the stairs, her grip like a vice. I am not fighting, though I clearly am not moving fast enough. A door opens and I am pushed through. “You know what to do, Ivy.”
She slams the door, I hear the lock click. I sit in the middle of the dark room, trying not to cry…
Short clips of breath are all I hear. I assume they are mine. My arm throbs from the woman’s talons. I am scared. I am cold. I am lost…
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.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
The splintering of wood under the vehement banging on the cabin door sent a shock of fear down my spine. “It’s ok Ivy.” I look up to see an elderly woman walking to me. She must have been sitting in the rocking chair hidden in the darkened corner.
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.
“Ivy, dear, get away from that window, come here. I have somewhere safe for you.”
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?
I begin to spin, dizziness setting in. I grasp for something to hold onto. I have no idea what is up or what is down. I feel warm loving arms catch me as I begin to fall. I close my eyes, nausea prominent within my stomach. I wait for the feeling of disorientation to dissipate; feeling as if my being is swaying from side to side, though my body is still. No matter how hard I try, I succumb to darkness…
…I open my eyes. I am lying on floor in the middle of a room. I slowly pick myself up confused as to where I am and how I got here. I turn around in all directions looking for a way out. The room, lavender walls from the whitewashed chair rail up the sloped ceilings. There are two windows, one to my right and a dormer directly in front of me. They are dressed in flowing white curtains possessing a minimal floral print. The curtains flutter.
My heart is racing, my palms sweaty. The pit of my stomach still burns with nausea. Though I am no longer dizzy, my head throbs with anger. To my left, two chairs flank a table. Behind me, shelves span the entire wall.
Commotion outside the dormer window draws my attention. Shouting echoes in the night. Banging begins again, resonating hollow as if fists are landing on glass. The loud voice moves closer, then farther, as if pacing back and forth between doors. Curiosity consumes me.
As I approach the window, my heart pounds within my chest as if screaming “NO!”
My senses heighten, coldness envelopes my body. The anticipation of what is outside is an unbearable animal trying to break free of a cage. Before I reach the window, the most startling sound assaults my ears.
A flash of light, a sudden pressure within my ears, an earsplitting sonic boom; the explosion rocks me backward, everything moves in slow motion. The ringing in my ear becomes exacerbated as silence consumes the space. I fall backward, an irrepressible scream commences. Darkness consumes everything in the room…
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Who is the woman from the locked room? How did she get in the lavender room?
Think you know? Have any ideas? Share your thoughts!!!