Saturday, November 29, 2008

SS - A Winter's Tale



I wake up with the roaring sound of thunder echoing through the room. I'm confused for a moment and I lift my head slightly. A lightning illuminates the walls for a split second, allowing me to locate myself in space and see the paintings that decorate this old bedroom. A thunder follows shortly and my heart leaps, oblivious to the fact that the sound always follows the flash.


I pull the blanket towards me in a gesture of self-protection, suddenly feeling like a tiny child in the middle of an enormous room of horrors. The window pane reveals big droplets of rain, growing in intensity in the subsequent seconds. I notice I'm shivering a little and start telling myself that it's only Nature doing its work outside and that I should go back to sleep.


A creaking sound from inside the house alerts me and I hesitate before I get up from my bed. I open the door and peer into the hall only to find darkness and silence. I blink a few times but nothing changes so I close the door again. When I'm getting back to bed there's a knock on the door and I jump, my usual quietness the only thing that keeps me from screaming. I open the door to find his sleepy face dimmed by the dark hallway.


'Hi!' I say, louder than I expected it to come out. He smiles and comments on the crazy storm activity outside. He scratches his head while he looks at me, his hair is completely out of place.
'Yes...it's quite severe. Did the thunders wake you up?' I ask. He nods and smiles again.
'Are you going to let me in?' he asks awkwardly.
'Oh...' I open the door further, realizing I was holding on to it to keep my hands from shaking.
'I thought you would have woken up too.' he says when he enters the room. 'Are you okay?'
I give him an amused look.
'You're frightened, aren't you?' I ask to which he replies with an unmistakable no and a funny offended look. I sit down on the bed and pat the space next to me.
'Come here, I'll tell you a bedtime story.' I smile and he obeys like a five year old boy would. He sits really close to me and I can feel the warmth of his bare legs next to mine. I wonder if he sat there on purpose or if he's just perturbed by the storm.


Another lightning invades the room but before the thunder is heard he whispers to me to turn the light off. I reach to switch off the small lampshade and when I straighten myself up I feel the nearness of his face, even though I can't distinguish exactly where he is.
'How does the story begin?' I hear him ask and I smile, the kind of smile you have when you think the other person can't see you, usually on the telephone. But he's right next to me, his knee is actually touching mine now and I can't help shivering even more. I gulp and try to get some composure back.
'Usually it starts with once upon a time...'
'That's right' he replies with a sound of approval.


There is a moment of silence when the rain seems to hesitate a little and I can hear him breathing calmly next to me. I pray he doesn't hear me because my body seems to have forgotten how to breathe regularly. I'm baffled about how assertive and calm I was only a minute ago and how quickly and dramatically everything has changed. Suddenly I'm asking questions I hadn't dared to ask all day.
'What are we doing? What's going on?'
There isn't a sound to answer me. Instead, I see him leaning his head towards me so it settles on my shoulder.
'I thought you were telling me a story.' he mumbles. I try to contain a sigh, divided between irritation and wanting to laugh. I think he notices because he's the one producing a small chuckle next.
'Ok. So, once upon a time there was a haunted house on a hill...' I start. Outside the rain seems to have made up its mind and it's bashing at the window.



*************************************************************************

Can I let you on a little secret? I wrote this in the Summer.

19 comments:

susiej said...

I love the coziness of this tale. (And I do love how thunder is winter in Ca!) I was drawn in from the beginning, but I loved the enveloping words, "Are you going to let me in."

linda may said...

This is great, left me working out what was going to happen next and who he was.

blissfulanonymity said...

I really enjoyed this, very descriptive. I do want to know what happens next though!

tumblewords said...

Ah, this is a lovely little tale - I'm torn between wanting more and loving the place it ended. Nice work!

Marja said...

What a touching story. I used to love listening to the storms back in Holland and the bashing rain on the windows I hope you continue the story

Shadow said...

the closeness of two people on a stormy night, love it!

Tammy said...

It was a very sweet tale. I couldn't help but imagine that the 5yr old was a ghost. :)

Tammie Lee said...

Fun that you left the story as you did, me left wondering....
you pulled me into your tale.

Devil Mood said...

SusieJ: Thank you. I do like to know what draws you in while reading :)

Linda May: Thanks, I'm not too sure myself, to tell you the truth. ;)

Blissfulanonymity: Thanks and you are free to imagine what happens next, it's up to you.

Tumblewords: Ah, good!

Marja: This was inspired by a real storm, quite a big one in fact.

Shadow: Glad you liked it!

Tammy: That's interesting! Could be, who knows? But I didn't really say it was a 5 year old, I only made the comparison ;) hehe

Tammie Lee: I hope you can continue the story in your head :)

Vaidya_Vaakya said...

The beat of the heart fingered on a keyboard,read by the eyes, felt by many....

murat11 said...

I like how this is a story about three characters: the narrator, the visitor, and a most insistent (mirroring?) storm. Lovely syncopation.

Niall said...

You know I half expected the 'person' entering the room to be a cat!...but I'm so glad you steered away from that story line..Susiej said the words I felt...'coziness'...a sleepy other world ..that time of night when time seems to stand still.

linda may said...

G'Day again, you are welcome tp read anything on my blog, not just the SS stuff. :)

alister said...

Your writing continues to blossom! Very well-written this is. I love how your planted seeds of “tiny child” and “five year old boy” messed with my head, defied the body language you described! This is a really neat piece! :-D
missalister

Devil Mood said...

Hi Vaidya, thank you for your words.

Murat: Well observed, I like that. I always write in triangles, I've noticed.

Niall: Nothing was standing still that night, believe me. lol A cat? Why? Is that a famous story?

Linda: Oh thank you, I know ;)

MissAlister: That's exactly IT!! I'm very glad I could bring those two contradictions together. Result ;)

Vaidya_Vaakya said...

I like clouds too. Especially the weeping ones. Cleansing.

Violet said...

your stories are good for my soul....
I wish you'd write a story book.
that picture os very neat too.

Devil Mood said...

Vaidya: Then you'd like what I'm seeing from my window.

Violet: That's so good to hear! I miss you :)

Violet said...

miss you too*