Friday, October 26, 2012

The Corridor - part 2.

A child sat alone in a virtually sand free sand pit, resolutely spooning up what little sand there was into a battered red sand castle bucket. The child was totally absorbed by what it was doing and seemed unaware of anything else…such a pretty little thing with blond curls close to her head wearing an old fashioned hand knit cardigan with pearly buttons, but her cheeks were flushed as if she were chilled. The trees in the garden in which the child was playing were totally bare and the sky was a heavy wintery leaden grey, only the concentration on getting enough sand to make a castle was keeping the child from feeling the cold. ……….

She looked up the length of the garden to see if there was a house in the distance or an adult. It all looked hazy, as if there were a fog she couldn’t see past, the child appeared to not have noticed her or anything else surrounding it as it methodically got on with the task in hand……

Suddenly, the child jerked its head up as if hearing something, its face was totally expressionless and its eyes were empty and black……

She jerked back almost in synchronicity with the child’s reaction, she knew that face, her breath caught in her throat……………

The little girl jumped up, brushing the loose sand from her skirt she started forward towards her, hopping over the edge of the sandpit and breaking into a run…..running now, running at her……………………………

Through her and………………………..gone.

The lights flickered again, the room appeared to swirl around her, she felt as if she was being pushed back, back out of the room and into the corridor…..she cried out “Nooooo” her voice sounded anguished. She staggered and tried to catch her balance, she was falling……………..

She opened her eyes. She was in the corridor, still outside room 52 but the door was shut tight now…there was no handle…she looked left and right, none of the doors had handles. Nothing had changed. The noises were still there but they had lessened almost as if they were now on the edge of her hearing. Why had she seen that? In 1952 she was three years old with little understanding of life and the world she inhabited. All she knew was that it was the year her Father had left them, the last time she’d seen him, called in from the garden to watch him walk down the front path carrying a suitcase….he never came back.

She lent back against the wall and slowly slid down it to sit on the floor, drawing in her knees as close as she could toward her body and wrapping her arms around them. Her head drooped forward onto her knees, her breath shuddered and she struggled to swallow the lump in her throat. She’d not thought of that day for years but now the memories came flooding back. Banished to the garden whilst her parents fought, she’d spent many hours out there in the sandpit, cold and alone, trying to build a castle with her scanty supply of sand. Her Mother would eventually call her in for tea, red eyed and flustered, her Father absent, there was always an echo of slammed doors and often she had seen newspaper wrapped broken china in the kitchen bin when she had thrown away the remains of her tea.

Why had she seen, or maybe remembered, this now? Her mind was obviously playing tricks on her. She must be having some kind of a nervous breakdown, that could be the only explanation for what was happening to her. She was hallucinating. Someone must have put her here, and here was probably a mental hospital and she was lost in the building. They’d find her soon. Someone must come and help her soon.

(Copyright P Lainchbury 2012)

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