"The desert bears only a scathing sun, and nothing more."
"What about mirages?"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Silent Halls: Short Bit of Prose.

The hallway was silent. He was standing at the foot of the stairs, teddy (rightfully named cinnamon, for his color) in hand, standing in the dark. He could see his bedroom light far at the other end; he knew it would only take him a few seconds to get there. But the dark from where he was to where he wanted to be was really quite suffocating.

He was too frightened to dash back to his bedroom, where he should be at this very moment, but too terrified to try and wander back down the stairs, in search of a place of solace from the madness of the evening’s events. He just wanted somewhere to hide.

Just an hour ago, there was nothing but noise, escalating from all sides, rising and falling with his mother’s screams, his father’s drunken grumbles, the sounds of broken glass. Everyone had forgotten about him, but it happened so often that he thought little of it anymore.

He’d crossed the hallway to his bedroom many times before. He’d walked, from the base of the top stair straight to the comforts of his proverbial palace. It was very different this time, surreal almost.

His mother had, he supposed, fallen asleep on the floor of the kitchen, in a big pool of strawberry juice. Father had stumbled his way up the stairs, threw up in the bathroom, and fallen into the soft memory ridden sheets of the parent’s bedroom.

The boy had hidden downstairs, waited until silence fell. Waited until the lights went off, and climbed the stairs. The door to Mother and Father’s room was astray, left wide open for all to see the man that had only managed to half crawl into bed before falling asleep. And now he was scared, far too scared to dash past the bedroom door (which lay between the top of the stairs and his own room).

His father was a dark figurehead in his life. A gruesome man that drifted in and out of the boy’s life, in segments of a few days, or sometimes weeks. He was grumpy, and mean, and he hit hard. When he was gone, the boy was never scared. Everybody smiled when Father was gone. Even Mother, who was always so, so distracted.

He took a tiny, creaking step. Winced. His heart was thrumming violently in his chest, creating the bass beat to his orchestra of fear. The hallway was still silent. The kind of silence that is stuffy and makes you feel as though you’re drowning in it. The kind of silence that makes your ears ring and amplifies every single tiny noise.

He clutched Cinnamon the bear closed to his chest, the familiar, homey smell making him feel better.

A little more confidence now, he dashed as quickly as he could across the hallway, making a barrage of noise as he went. As he got to the entrance of his bedroom, his heart close to bursting with adrenaline, he smiled.

He’d done it. He turned to give the hallway one last, triumphant look, and realized that he’d dropped Cinnamon at the top of the stairs.

- - -

Just a short little burst of inspiration that I had. With NaNoWriMo coming up in four days, some practise is better than no practise. Till later!

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"Write with our backs to the wind and our faces to the hard, bleaching sun."