As mentioned in last week’s post, while cleaning out my room, I uncovered a stack of papers containing short stories and flash fiction that I had written last summer. With most of the writing I do on scraps of papers, I end up grouping them together in small piles and stashing them somewhere that I won’t look for nearly a year later, if not longer. After going through this newfound pile, I picked out a few that I’d like to share here on my blog in the coming weeks.
Scroll down to read the second story…
She had forgotten what it was like to be near the living. In an estate untouched for nearly a century, the living seemed like a distant dream to her. The man cautiously walked through the aged teak door and peered around the mass expanse before him. She leaned over the guardrail positioned across from where he stood, one story above him. Despite knowing she was all but a whisper on his plane, she nevertheless pattered down the mezzanine steps as swiftly as her feet would allow her, until she came face-to-face with the stranger.
Standing so close, she could smell the faint scent of tobacco clinging to his clothes, see the soft pores on his cleanly shaven face, hear the the gentle thrumming of his heartbeat. The very fact that he was so very alive was almost enough to shock her own long-expired heart into a rhythmic flutter. She reached up to touch the smooth milky skin of his face, trailing her fingers across as he stared past her — through her — into oblivion. Was he afraid here?
Here she was in a manor possessing minimal light, no trace of human contact for close to one hundred years, yet was finally seeing a living man before her…chest rising and falling with each inhalation of oxygen, cheeks flushed with life, hands clenching and unclenching nervously.
Why was he here? Why are you here? My mouth cannot open to speak words that he would never hear. I take his hand, trying to lace our fingers together, but I cannot. He does not know that I am here. He does not know that I exist. I am a superstition, a scary story, a bump in the night. I am invisible, I am translucent, I am a memory long forgotten. To him, I am no one. To me, I am a young woman trapped in a place that she once loved, damned to pace its empty rooms for eternity.
As he steps closer toward the center of the Great Hall, I mirror each reluctant step, until he turns and abruptly exits. I race to the door, but go no further. He disappears. He is gone, and I am alone.
Who am I? Where do I go from here?