Silver Lining in a Dark Cloud

December 26, 2012
A silver petal fell on the ground, like a soft breeze gracing a cheek. It fell slowly down, down, down, and finally found itself upon the dark enriched soil. I looked at it with particular interest and peered closer. I had never seen such a lovely thing like this. It was almost as if it had come from heaven above to greet me with its presence. The strong sunlight caused it to sparkle and women's perfume drifted from it. My fingers had found their way upon it and I was now touching the silver petal with the utmost care. It felt like any ordinary petal and its characteristics followed any petal like it, besides the color it possessed. Maybe it broke off from a strange dead plant that had been sowed in aberrant soil. My eyes scanned the surrounding plants, looking for an explanation to satisfy the situation. No plant resembled the petal that was in my hand. I enveloped the petal in my palm and promised in my heart to keep it away from my father. Any happiness that started in me was surely and always taken away from me by him with quick agility. This petal would never leave my side as far as I allowed it to. It was like a dim light in a sea of darkness that I described as my life.

I stood up from the ground and put the silver petal in my pocket. Hopefully I could keep it a secret from any other living creature, for fear of them telling Daddy. A cat suddenly broke out of a nearby bush and came by my side. Its luminous yellow eyes peered at me with curiosity. “Shush, little cat. Nobody must know,” I whispered.

The cat cocked its head to the side and continued to look at me. Why was this cat so interested in what I was doing? Didn’t it know that it had no business being in my business?

“Go, kitty, and leave me be.”

The cat finally found no more interest in me and strutted away with a very evident cockiness and snobbery. I sighed as the cat left into a thicket of trees. Where it would go would not be known to me, but wherever it would be going would always be of envy. The only place I had to go was my chamber. No light, a cold atmosphere, dreary sounds, and hopeless leaking were a constant description of the only place I spent my time. If only someone would love me enough to allow me to live in better conditions. The only companion and shred of a friend I had were the permanent blue colors that reminisced on the tips of my fingers due to the coldness of the breeze and my thin flour sack dress.

I kept along the pathway back to the mansion; it was covered in rich soil and dead leaves that were perfect to crunch along the walk. I pressed the leaves under my bare feet and saw the diffracted pieces squish between the soil as I lifted my foot. Nothing could give me more joy than causing another object in this universe to feel the same pain and loss in being whole as I did. Misery most certainly loved company.

My feet skipped about as I went from dead leaf to dead leaf, crushing all that came into my path. I had probably been out in this garden of awe for about an hour and Daddy would probably be looking for me in a moment’s notice. This realization finally came to terms with my mind and soon my actions. I started to quicken my pace while running down the path with extreme ferocity. My feet were accumulating immense amounts of dirt and grim as I pushed them to its fullest stride. I ran and ran until I finally came up to the servant’s door in the back of George Hood Manor.

I tried to slow down my breathing as much as humanly possible as I softly pushed the door open. The servants were bustling about with various trays and foods in their upheld hands. They were all going this way and that in the kitchen and it reminded me of a busy bee hive. I laughed to myself of the silly sight of them all being big, fat bees, but I remembered that any noise extracted from my mouth could possibly mean a look my way and a very quick yell to my father. I closed the big brass door behind me and pressed my back against the frame. I slid along the wall and tried to remain as inconspicuous as possible. I made my way past cabinets, pots, and pans. Servants went right past me onto their next destination without even a slight glance in my direction. I wonder what my father had planned for them to fulfill.

I kept to my mission and was finally able to make my way to the other side of the room. I hid my face from anyone possibly distracted from their work that might cast their eyes toward my direction. As soon as I advanced to a nearby door, I quickened my feet and pulled open the door with all my might. I tugged again and again, my back arched and muscles strained. To my embarrassment, the door wouldn’t open and I was left there to everyone’s amusement of trying to pull the door open with no hope of actually accomplishing it. It must have been about five minutes, as my stupidity entailed, that one of the servants quit their booming laughter to inform me that the door was locked and my father had the key if I so deeply desired to enter the pantry.

Red was soon my signature color as it planted itself firmly on my face and never desired to remain off of it, also adding the pleasure of incredible heat in my cheeks. I tried to recollect my place as their soon-to-be employer and assembled a most dignified response of, “I knew that.”

As the laughter went up in even higher proximity, I found it more suitable to my current state that I take my stupid self out of the kitchen as soon as possible. I ran out of the room through the proper door and found myself out of the kitchen with only their laughter to remain. If I had been let out of my chamber more often, I might have been able to navigate myself through this large residence with more grace and style than the one I just displayed to the people who were supposed to be on a lower scale of class than I was.

Nonetheless, I picked my dreary self up again and looked at my new climate. In this dark, eerie hallway, the walls were a deep eggplant color and the floor was covered in red velvet carpeting. Distressed, brooding portraits of no one I knew adorned the side walls, every frame facing another opposite itself. I felt like I was in a tunnel slowly closing in on me. The hallway was rather small and there wasn’t much room to move this way and that. My eyes crept up to the ceiling and I saw beautiful dark mahogany wood with a glistening shine. I had never seen an environment so charming and beautiful, but also sinister and haunting. I was completely entranced and spellbound by the plum utopia that my feet had led me to.

I walked down the hallway and looked at the paintings that stared right back at me. Every angle in which I stood still allowed these strangers in my home an ability to gawk right back at me. Their eyes staring so intently at me caused a very uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach that could quite possibly be recognized as fear. This hallway no longer fantasized me and I had no wish to remain in it. I searched for an exit or an intersection in which I could exit this long hallway. When one appeared to me I immediately left and found myself right in front of my father. He took my head and threw my entire body to the floor without a second passing. It was a miracle that I was still able to remain conscious. Unfortunately, my head throbbed agonizingly and I stayed on the floor.

“You bumbling, idiotic, good-for-nothing dunce!” my father screamed. His voice echoed through the entire floor. Birds' flapping wings sounded through the open windows as they understandably rushed for cover.

“Where have you been all evening?! I took time out of my life to look for you and you were nowhere to be found! You cannot, and I repeat cannot, leave your room for any circumstances besides my calling you! You’re not even worth being a speck on the ground, let alone having me take care of you. Listen to me, you . . . you . . . Are you hearing me?” His face was now centimeters away from my nose and his stale breath fogged up my senses.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered.

He snarled at me like a stupid dog and grabbed me by my blond hair. It was only up to my chin and my scalp was very sensitive so even a small tug would cause pain. He dragged me up from the floor and lead me back to my room.

“I don’t want to see your face for as long as I live. Be gone!” He threw me into the open doorway. I collapsed on the wood floor. The floor was dank and moldy due to all the water leaking and bacteria that had been made. I sat back up on my elbows and looked at my father. The man who was supposed to love me, the man who was supposed to care for me, the man who was supposed to raise me since my mother died, the man who should have had at least a shred of love in his soul that could be given to me . . .

“It is quite possible that I hate you with every fiber of my being,” were the last words he ever uttered to me.

I was locked in my room for a long period of time, specifically I do not know. But what I do know is that it wasn’t the absence of food and water in my body that caused me to die. It was the lack of love that was never given to me. It was in his heart somewhere, but never shared with me. In the last moments of my death, I remember reaching into my pocket and pulling out the mysterious, beautiful silver petal I had found possibly weeks earlier.

My last words being, “The only shred of happiness I’ve ever encountered.”

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This article has 20 comments. Post your own now!

IMSteel said...
Jan. 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm
The terrible tragedy and the melencholy setting of it all!  Pretty description, and a sad, dreary feel.  
Keep writing! 
LinkinPark12 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 15, 2013 at 1:15 pm
This is a really good, descriptive story :) If anything, you over-describe! Something you should know about me, I usually read the first paragraph then a) see how long the story is and see whether I have time to read it and b) I see whether the ending's any good (it's sort of cheating, but I don't always do it) ;) I got enhanced by the ending so I carried on reading, haha! Anyway, this is really cool ;) your work is bound to get in the magazine soon!
Gabby135 said...
Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm
That was really dark and interesting.  I really enjoyed it a lot!  I love the wording you used to describe the scene around your protagonist, and how she died from lack of love.  Really great!
tigerlily98 said...
Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm
Such a sad story!  Well written, though, I like the more complex vocab and detailed imagery, though it's a bit confusing at times, and makes the dialogue a bit stiff and overly formal. 4/5! :)
thegoldenllama said...
Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm
Well-written! there are a lot of nice imagery :) very romantic story though sad. Nice job! 5/5
In_Love_with_Writing replied...
Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm
A smile sent to you :)
IamtheshyStargirl said...
Jan. 9, 2013 at 8:20 pm
This isn't quite as well-written as "Catty Relationships", and I soon lost interest. I think this has a lot of potential, though, maybe a rewrite is in order? I think it would help if you wrote an outline for this, figure out what the purpose of this story is, what's behind it, and where you're going with it, and I think it could be absolutely amazing :)
In_Love_with_Writing replied...
Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm
Thank you for the comment. This article was written on a whim and submitted without any extra, unneeded care. But thank you for saying it had potential.
Labtopnerd This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm
I thought that this piece could use just a little work. I found myself a bit confused while reading it. On a good note, this piece had excellent vocabulary, and had a beautiful story.
In_Love_with_Writing replied...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm
Thanks for the advice!
bwriter24 said...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm
you write beautifully and effortlessly
In_Love_with_Writing replied...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm
Oh thanks ;)
pandafyre This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm
Hello, I think you use great imagery and I appreciate that you stretch with the word choice. I suggest you might want to tone down the vocab just a bit--sometimes the greatest effect comes from simple, common words rather than complicated ones. That said, your emotion comes through clearly and I enjoyed your writing :)
In_Love_with_Writing replied...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm
Oh, don't I know it! (about word choice) This was my chance to really stretch myself and see if I could use words I wouldn't use regularly artfully. But I'm still glad for the advice. Thanks for commenting :)
ZephyrPunk This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm
wow, it's really good. 
In_Love_with_Writing replied...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm
Oh thank you so much :)
so_joy said...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 11:23 am
So sad but beautifully written! Great job!
In_Love_with_Writing replied...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 11:33 am
Thank you!
guardianofthestars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 10:27 am
That was so sad! ANd the last line really tied everything together. A heartbreaking story but you wrote it very well. Good job! :)
In_Love_with_Writing replied...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 10:57 am
Aww thanks :)
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