Thursday, August 30, 2012

Through the window

This is a short story about a young girl in love that is trapped in her childhood home with her mentally unstable Father.  It is still a work in progress but since I might not have internet for a while I figured I might as well post it.
I hope you enjoy.

At the window once again the tear filled eyes of the lady watched through the dirty panes as the man she so desired walked past, his boots making crunching sounds on the gravel she could not hear but imagined all the same.  He turned and looked at the ramshackle old house with a mixture of disgust and pity, his eyes working there way up to her window.  She knew he couldn't see her through the dirt and grime but this didn’t stop her ducking around the corner till his eyes were once again focused on the path ahead.
     As the man disappeared over the crest of the hill she sighed with a mixture of sorrow and longing, wishing with all her heart that he would take her away from this wretched life she had been forced to lead.  The dream that one day both of them would walk over that hill and be gone for good.
     "Alice, were you lusting after that man again?" Her Father’s voice forced her from her fantasies, pulling her back to the cursed reality.  Alice jerked around pretending that she had been just gazing out at the sunset but there was no hiding what she had really been doing.  Her father swore in his usual vial fashion the look on his face terrifying poor Alice enough to make her shrink back against the wall.  "You bitch" her Father screamed in a demented tone then he stepped forward and grabbed her hair, using it to yank her to her feet.  It hurt terribly and she wanted desperately to cry out, but this was likely to only bring more pain so she stayed silent as he dragged her upright.  "Get downstairs and prepare supper, you don’t want me to starve do you?"  No Father said Alice in a small voice that sounded more like a frightened young girl then the lady of twenty two that she was.  "Speak up you know I’m hard of hearing. You were mumbling something wretched about me weren’t you"  and even though Alice shook her head the slap to her cheek came anyways, this time she did cry out as she landed on the floor with a thump and another small squeal, tears streaming down her cheeks and wetting the dusty floor.  Her Father saw the tears and his whole demeanor shifted, carefully he helped her to her feet, cooing about how she should be more careful so as not to trip and fall again, wiping away the tears that ran down her cheeks with his gnarled fingers he hugged her to him.  Whispered in her ear and rubbed her back as though to comfort her.  Alice wanted desperately to pull away, doing so would send her father into another rage so she stayed still trying with all her might not to shudder under his touch.
     Things had not always been this way, her Father had once been a kind, good hearted man who never would have yelled nor struck anyone, much less his own daughter.  That was a long time ago though, before the fever struck and took away her Mother then a week later her Brother, leaving her father in this demented state and turning the house that had once been filled with sunshine and happiness into a dark prison for her soul, reeking of death and decay.
     Alice was shaken back to reality by her Father’s shift in mood.  "You filthy thing, you are not my daughter, get off of me."  He shoved her away but thankfully not hard enough to knock her from her feet.  He came at her then, about to strike again but just before he did his mood shifted once again.  He put his arm about her shaking shoulders and led her down the creaky wooden stairs carefully as though terrified she might fall.
     When they reached the kitchen below he asked her politely if she might go pick some of the ripe apples from the trees in the front yard.  Alice sighed inwardly, there were no more ripe and juicy apples, not since her mother passed away.  Her Mother had tended the trees trimming them where they needed to be trimmed and watering them when there was not enough rain.  Without her the trees produced only sour shriveled apples that no one liked and the garden once full of sweet raspberries lay covered in weeds.  To refuse her Father though would send him into another rage and at least she would get some fresh air while she picked the apples, in a way it was like being given a wonderful present, out in the fresh air was the only place where she felt free and alive.
     Her Father plopped down in one of the rickety kitchen chairs that surrounded the table and Alice stepped out into the cool dusk air.  Once outside the barest traces of a smile could be seen on her face and one might even be able to tell that there was beauty hidden deep beneath the suffering and the grime which had contorted her face into something grotesque and ugly.  Alice stared down the road in the direction the man had disappeared in, she thought about running after him and leaving this awful place behind as only a memory to banish to the darkness but the fear of the unknown stopped her.
    When she had been a little girl her Mother would take her on long walks into town where they would go shopping together on the weekends and buy ice-cream at this wonderful little shop that had every flavor you could imagine and a plump lady who never failed to tell her Mother what a lovely little girl Alice was.  Now the thought of being on her on her own with so much freedom and so much space was even more terrifying then her Father’s most demented behavior.
    Alice wandered around among the apple trees for as long as she dared trying to find the apples that were somewhat edible if not tasteful then with only a few apples clutched in her arms she returned regretfully to the dilapidated old house.

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