Freedom by Jessica H. Page
Hey Guys, so I am not sure when I wrote it but came across it a while ago. As you can imagine, it is a travel into a world where my biological mother did not die. I thought I would share it, it is just a short and it speaks to me, which is good seeing as I wrote it, just wish I could remember when. Anyway, Enjoy. -Jess
There is this house. It is the same in every town and city across the world. There is always this one house. It is old and worn. Windows broken and wood and paint chipped, cracked and faded. Usually the house is so far past its prime it is no longer a threat.
Often though, the mysterious force that seems to hold it in place also keeps it standing far longer than it should. Perhaps they are simply hibernating. Waiting to be woken once more. Who knows? All I know is that this house is lived in as so many are in the beginning.
This house is lived in by a woman who never left. Even when her mother finally died. She sat in the kitchen and watched, silently as the people did their jobs and eventually she was left alone. No more words. No more noise. Just her. For the first time in her life she was alone in the house.
She still sat as the sun set and darkness surrounded the house each window a view into empty black nothing.
She had watched as her mother had clutched at her heart in the middle of a tirade. She had zoned out as usual and suddenly realized that the barrage of religious anger and outrage had stopped. She watched as her mother, eyes bulged, face red, clawed at her chest. She watched as she struggled to breathe and she watched and she fell to the floor and stopped moving.
She sat. Darkness came and went and she sat. At some point there was knocking and shouting and then people and eventually quiet and now she sat in the very same spot looking at the place her mother had fallen.
They said she was in shock. They said they would come and check in on her. They said she was now the owner of the house. They said so many things before they finally left her, alone, in the quiet and comforting darkness.
She was not in shock, she was free, finally. But of course they could not understand that, and in truth, neither could she. As she sat in the dark kitchen, staring at the spot her mother had fallen, she was not in shock. She was starting to understand and she was starting to See.
The chair she sat in was old, it was one they bought when she was a little girl. It had started out as a pretty white plastic seat and shiny silver legs, but, as with everything else in this house, including her, its sparkle was long gone, covered now by rust and the once pristine white seat was now ripped and yellowed with age and use.
A lifetime of torture and abuse. A lifetime of anger and rage and hatred forced at her and into her. A lifetime of sitting in this chair, losing herself as her mother would scream and slap her, Damn her and spit on her. This chair, filled with her essence, witness to her destruction as inescapable as the undeniable force of the gentle and persistent water drop that can create a crater or the destructive force of the tsunami that destroys cities.
She knew there was more, she could see it. Perhaps her mother had too which is why she became so lost in her own madness as she dragged them both down. It had always been here. A tickle at the back of her throat, the soft touch of the invisible spiderweb on her forehead and the feeling of something, anticipation perhaps, so common as she and her mother became lost in this house. As the years passed. A life unlived, so full of potential but squished under the finger of a religious fanatic with a madness so strong no one could help her.
Her head lost in the clouds, in the worlds she saw, she knew existed, the worlds her mother had kept her away from. She knew there was still hope. So she sat. She waited and she watched. No one stopped by. No one checked in on her. It was not until years later when she was discovered. The house had been assumed abandoned and had stood as the years passed and the yard grew into a tangled mess of weeds and overgrown flowers. Vines grew up the side of the house, slowly consuming it, taking it back into itself.
Voices could be heard and the occasional streak of a flashlight would break through the darkness of the house as the light was shown through windows darkened with years of built up grime. Children, daring each other to break in. See who has the most “balls”. It was a girl who took the rock and broke the window above the doorknob, unlocking the door and standing smugly as the boys walked by her, one of them gave her a shy smile as he passed and she fought back the blush he always inspired.
As they wandered through the house, sharing the scariest stories they could trying to scare one another, their voices became louder as they walked towards the kitchen and their lights flashed around, one of them swiping quickly by something then slowly, shakenly, it was directed back and all joking stopped.
All three of them aimed their flashlights to the center of the room. They illuminated an old rusted chair and a woman who was sitting in it, her hands in her lap, staring at the floor with a slight smile. As they quietly walked closer they saw that she was gray and her skin was almost transparent.
A light went up and into the face of the girl, she flinched and held her arm up to block her eyes, “Oy, you dolt.” she hissed, “get that out of my eyes!”. The light stayed in her general direction but aimed down so it wouldn’t blind her. “Sorry.” mumbled the boy, “But what is this, what happened to her?” he asked as he watched her move closer to the woman in the chair. Her long dark hair falls over her face a moment before she impatiently pushes it back. “I dunno. She looks happy tho.” she mumbled, intent on her inspection of the dead woman in the flash light glow.
She leaned in and looked into the woman’s eyes, which were open and surprisingly clear. Startled the girl stepped back. The woman winked then dissipated into dust, holding shape for a moment before all that was left of her was a necklace, she picked it up and dusted it off. It was a fairy. Bright and sparkling. She looked down at the spot on the floor the woman had been staring at and for a moment she thought it showed a lake and trees but then as quick as it came the moment was gone and she was once more looking at the dusty and dirty checker block kitchen floor.
As they walked to the front door she thought she heard the laughter of a little girl. “Did you hear that?” she whispered to her companions. “Whut?” asked one of the boys. “Never mind, lets just get out of here.”