Friday, April 4, 2014
She closed the book, placed it on the table next to the crumbling papier mache horse--an art project--she'd had with her the day she arrived in this place, and finally decided to walk through the door. That door should have been a hundred feet high and at least fifty feet wide and covered in poisonous spikes considering the way Rachel had carefully avoided it all these months. But in reality it was quite ordinary. A simple wooden door weathered and faded with age. There were even cracks between its planks, wide enough to let thin shafts of sunlight into the tiny shed. They striped the dirt floor and her bare feet.
Rachel lifted her hand and placed it flat against the wood.
Then she put her ear to it.
The door gave a little under her weight and she jumped backwards. She almost returned to the table, picked up the book, and resumed memorizing the passages that He had marked for her to study this morning. The ones about obedience. He would know the second that she opened that door. He’d told her so every day since the night He brought her here—bound and gagged and in nothing more than the oversized shirt she’d worn to bed. He was always watching. Hadn’t He proven it often enough, telling her every minute detail of her day, down to how many times she managed to relieve herself?
The wind picked up outside and the shed creaked in response. Rachel winced. She had no choice. She had to try. The small, unconscious girl slumped awkwardly in the corner was evidence enough of just how limited her time had become. After all, there was only one book…and one chair at the table. She inched closer to the door. Her hand came up for the knob, twisted it. It moved easily, but the lock wasn’t on the knob, it was on the outside of the door itself. She pressed on the wood a little harder. It was soft and rotted. She wedged her fingers between the planks and began to pull. The wood crumbled off into her hands. It was much more fragile than she’d realized. With only a little effort, she managed to make a hole, large enough to reach the metal latch on the outside of the door and undo it. The door sagged open.
There were trees lined up just beyond the shed. Their leaves whispered to one another, passing their warnings on the wind.
She was sure of it.
A flock of little black birds shot up into the sky and scattered like little bits of pepper against the sky. They were off to warn Him too. She was shaking hard enough to make her teeth chatter. She gripped the door frame. Her heart was trying to punch its way out of her chest. She couldn’t breathe. He must’ve found a way to turn her body against her too. All the things he’d whispered to her were true. He was the world and the world was Him and everything in it He controlled.
There was a sound from inside the shed, a groan that quickly turned into a howl. Rachel turned around just as the girl, no longer unconscious now, scrambled up off the dirt and straw in the corner and lunged through the door. Her eyes were wild and unfocused enough to never even notice Rachel standing there. The girl ran straight into the trees without looking back, her screams fading almost as quickly as the girl herself. It was as if the trees had swallowed her up. Or maybe, the birds had carried her off. There was no way to be sure.
All at once, the shed was bare—quiet again—like it had been before the girl’s ragged breathing had filled up the space, insistent as a countdown clock. Rachel’s hand dropped from the door frame. She turned her back to the door and made her way over to her table and her book. Her face was slack, her eyes unblinking. She opened the book to the proper page and stared at the tiny, even print. Behind her, the wind slowly blew the door shut.
Photo by: Carros de Foc
Story by: Amy Christine Parker
Posted by Amy Parker at 3:00 AM | |