The Song She Heard
June 11, 2013 § 2 Comments
Correction from my last post: I’m going to try to post something whenever I can. :) School just started again, so I shall continue to make time for the blog. No long, hibernation-neglect this time, but daily updates shouldn’t be expected. Although I will try. :D
So here’s the new one. A short story for now. It’s a dark-ish one, but I hope you like it. Read on. :)
It had happened again.
The tiny pebbles thrown by jeering children who felt the need to make their parents’ revulsion their own.
The whispers and murmurs among shopkeepers and traders and wives who never even bothered to hide their discomfort around her.
The laughter. The mocking. The stares. The disgust.Of course it had happened again. It happened everyday. It was routine. It was life. Her life.
And as usual, it was sheer torment.
She had only been staring at the children. Staring at their gleeful, excited expressions as they played and ran around the neighborhood and danced on the grass. Staring at their innocence.
She was fascinated. The happiness in their expressions seemed like something she’d never experienced before. It was a mystery.
Drawn in by their smiles, she had approached them. Slowly. Carefully.
And when she saw that they had taken notice of her, her fascination had quickly turned into fright as she’d watched their own faces turn from joy to horror to menace and scorn.
Oh, how they’d recovered from their initial fear and had taken on expressions of glee as they started pointing and yelling and picking up stones.
Oh, how fast their mothers had come to their aid with wide eyes and sneers, whispering loudly among themselves and not bothering to tame their words.
“What does she plan to do with the children? Never know…”
“…Crazy, it’s obvious to anyone who…”
“Mama, why’s she like that?”
“Shh! She’ll come after you at night and…”
She didn’t understand why.
All she knew was that she felt a dull throbbing in her chest that hurt her so much more than the stones did.
All she’d wanted to do was play. To ask them how they could be so free. Why they didn’t seem to have chains on their wrists and ankles. How they could ignore the pain.
All she’d wanted was to have what she saw in the children. Happiness. But she’d only left feeling a hundred times more sad than before.
And she’d gone to seek refuge in there. As usual, it pulled her. Her special place. The only place in the world where she could shut out every other sound she heard that made her feel life was worthless.
Once again, she was running to the old bell tower.
The door opened at the touch of her hands with a loud wooden creak, and she sprinted up the staircase. She knew all its twists and turns, was familiar with every single crack on its surface– and yet every time she climbed it, it always felt like the first.
Even as she continued on upwards, she was already starting to feel the tower’s effect on her. Inside, the turmoil was vanishing with every step. Inside, her chaos was being replaced by a child-like anticipation of what was waiting for her upstairs.
And then there she was. At the top of the tower, in a small room just below the bells.She was in her safe place, her haven.
She was home.
As she walked into the room, the bells mysteriously started sounding in their cacophony, as they always did whenever she walked in.
For her. Only for her.
Comforted by the noisy clanging of the bells, she closed her eyes and grabbed a broom in the corner. The rhythm was a melody to her, and she swung the dusty stick around in circles, lifting her skirts in a pretend curtsy, and twirling around the room. Imagining.
She shut her eyes tightly and danced, enraptured by the music of the monotonous bells.
In them, she heard a song.
And when they stopped ringing, the song died. As well as something inside of her.
She went back to being herself, the she who was afraid of the jeering taunts and mocking laughter.
Exhausted, she padded towards a small bed in the corner, taking off her sandals and lying down. As she stared at the cobwebbed ceiling, she tried to imagine what the next day would have in store for her.
She thought of the next round of jeers and taunts and haunting laughter that tomorrow held. And she feared.
But then, amidst the chaos of her thoughts, another rose up. Something that would drown the rest out in its simplicity, and yet, its power.
And so she shut her eyes and dreamed. She dreamed of the second the bells would toll again. For her.
Only for her.