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Escaping the World
The little girl watched as her parents dozed into a dreamless sleep. She pulled her sleeves down a little farther as she crept past them going to the attic, determined. Noises came from above her head for months now, though her parents never heard anything. She knew though. She knew something was there. Because no one else heard the noises, she came to the conclusion, the hope, that whatever’s above is just for her. That something can be her own.
The stairs softly whined underneath her as her breath and heartbeat raced together. She’d never gotten this close to the attic.
Jingling. Jingling sounded behind the door in front of her. As she got closer she noticed that's not the only sound she heard. There was a sound as if someone was repelling, a rope rubbing against something.
The door knob was cool and chilled in her hands making her wonder if she could do it. Just as she was going to pull away from the fear she felt of the unknown, she heard someone moving beneath her.
The unsteady body moving around crashed into the trash can causing the person to yell out of pain. The shrill voice affirmed the little girl's worst nightmare.
Her mother was moving. Her mother was going to catch her. Her mother would punish her.
Without a second thought, the little girl opened the door, swiftly going inside the attic and shutting the door behind her as quickly and quietly as possible.
Taking a deep breath as the steps began fading beneath her, the little girl turned around in search of the jingling she’d been hearing these past months. The first things she saw in this attic weren’t very appealing. Boxes shrouded her view making her feel smaller than she already felt. Towering shadows everywhere she looked caused a sense of hopelessness to course throughout her veins, a feeling she’s come to know all too well.
Jingling. It came again.
Taking her first step towards the noise that seemed to draw her in, she searched with her eyes raking each possible place she could see to find the source.
The first row of boxes was now behind her, the dust seeming to increase the farther she walked. The only thing that kept her going was the intoxicating jingling that sounded every few seconds.
Shouldn’t it be darker the farther I walk in?
The darkness that she’d come to accept was slowly disappearing bit by bit, until behind one last tower of shadow she found light pouring out causing her to take a step back and shut her eyes.
“So you finally find us Aurelia.”
It had been so long since someone had called her by name, she looked back expecting to find someone else lurking about the boxes.
When no one was there she turned back to try and understand who knew her by name.
Keys, dozens, maybe even hundreds, of keys hung from the roof on black pieces of thread. The only thing all these keys had in common was the shiny coloring of black that seemed to shine in white, even though the light was yellow. That’s not what fully caught her attention, however.
On the threads were people about as big as the key their string held (the smallest about the size of Aurelia’s pinky, the largest the size of her hand). The small figures danced along their threads, ribbon dancing as gracefully as a feather falling to the floor. Each figure had an entrancing beauty when they turned just so against the light making them look like a silhouette frozen in their poses.
“Choose a key and it shall take you to a place far away from here,” a figure sounded making it sound as if the wind had gently whispered in little Aurelia’s ear.
The child smiled, a precious moment that didn’t happen often, but faltered pulling her hand back from the plethora of keys before her.
I can’t leave them. Not yet. I can help them.
A sad smile graced the tiny dancers who heard her thoughts among the jingling of the keys.
“Very well Aurelia.”
She sat watching the figures dance among the forest of vines listening to their joyful stories of fantasy. The stories weren’t fantasy though, they were real.
Time began to pass as the little girl began to grow. Day in and day out being ignored, humiliated, abused.
Her only solace was the tiny figures, that seemed to glide among the threads, and her writing.
She came to love writing, her only way to express how she felt without having to voice her thoughts. When she wrote she created whatever she wanted. When she wrote, she was noticed.
Unfortunately as time went on, those that she loved, those that she wanted to change, grew more sinister. Those who she loved became worse.
Everything she tried would end in a bigger mess than before. Multiple times she would disappear in the attic crying to her only friends that would reach out to her and dry her tears.
The little girl wasn’t little anymore. Now she was 17.
As she continued writing, her mark, now began to become fainter to the point that some couldn’t tell she had written anything at all. The tiny figures heard her words, bringing them to life before her eyes. The figures listened in between the lines of every word she wrote.
The day had come, that her loved ones snapped. She endured every single hit, every blow whether physically or mentally adding on to the years that she’d had to endure. Life had taken a turn lower, even when she thought she’d hit rock bottom.
Up in the attic she ran, her parents chasing after her.
She shut the door pushing all the towers of boxes she could find against the entrance to her escape, trying to find time to breath among her tears.
Her parents pushed and shoved. They were not going to let up anytime soon she could tell. Shouts of vulgarity still reached her and still cut her deeply.
I can’t save them...I can’t help them…
It was then the girl made a decision, it was then she took her fate into her own hands.
The figures saw her coming, heard the shouts. All were confused and worried, except the girl who seemed to walk with purpose. She pulled out a last slip of paper already filled with the thoughts she’d never said.
Clutching the paper she took a deep breath and began reaching out.
The figures realized her intent and gasped, whispering in jingles of questions. Everything among them was chaotic til they each looked into the girl’s eyes where all was said.
I can’t help them...So I’ve decided to help myself.
“Help me…” Her words were meek and quiet, but they seemed to reverberate through the air.
Everything was silenced as the figures who she’d come to love bowed their heads in understanding.
“We will help Aurelia.”
As her last tears fell down her face the girl smiled, a true smile. Love. She had found love after all.
The boxes fell, the parents stormed in, but the girl was nowhere in sight. The only thing that remained was a piece of paper filled with the faint writing of a voice now lost to this world, moving on to the next.
When you write faint like that it makes it seem like you want to disappear.