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The Mysteries Of Glass

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A tiny chip of glass, hanging by a nylon thread from the ceiling, dangles in front of the window. In the sunlight, it casts rainbows of light into the empty room. It illuminates the sofas, the table and chairs, the television, the bed, the lamp, all covered in grey packing sheets. No one knows the house is empty. No one would understand why. No one ever missed the silent, shuffling man who used to live there. No one noticed when he was there. And no one noticed when he was gone.

The house is cold and dark and musty. No one has been here for months. In the kitchen, pans and a plate are still waiting to be washed, to be clean. They wait for the man, aching for his loss, mourning for him. Only they saw what happened. Only they know what occurred, sixteen Saturdays ago, in the middle of the night, to the man who looked after them.

The fragment of glass swings in the breeze. The window is open by a fraction. The rainbows go wild, raving in the freedom they’ve been given by the swing of the glass, revelling in the movement. The man put the glass there. He loved to watch the rainbows. He would sit on the sofa, with the television on, ignoring the news of hurricanes and wars, watching the rainbows play in the circling dust. He loved them, and they loved him. They noticed when he went, when he didn’t come to see them. They noticed when they couldn’t caress his face. He never said goodbye to the rainbows.

The neighbours don’t look into the windows. They don’t care that there is no movement inside. They don’t care that the man is gone. He never spoke to them. He never went outside. He had no children, no wife, no friends, no colleagues. He didn’t go out to work, he didn’t go on walks, he didn’t go shopping. No contact with the world at all. When he moved in, someone had come to say hello, but he hadn’t answered the door. No one came after that. He was left alone, as they thought he wanted. A doctor had come, one Thursday; he stayed for only a few minutes, before he left, like the rest. Deliveries came once a week, always a Wednesday, always between one and three o’clock. He would talk to them through the letterbox. Just for the few seconds it took to confirm who they were and to sign for the boxes. Food came the same way, every Friday, between twelve and two. Any one else who rang his bell was ignored until they gave up and left. He was lonely. But he was not alone. The rainbows and the pans and the plates kept him company. He loved the rainbows. But not enough to say goodbye, and not enough to stay.

His bedroom used to be perfectly tidy. He never let an item of clothing touch the floor. His books were arranged neatly on the shelf in alphabetical order, all spine out, right way up. But the damp has started to eat away at his precious stories of a world he couldn’t join. On his desk, neat piles of paper stare, horrified away from the scene in front of them. The desk in the corner is covered in a mixture of black ink and blood. If you don’t look, you don’t see. If you don’t want to know, then the knowledge will pass you by. Sometimes, knowledge is painful. Sometimes, it’s better not to know.

Music used to play in the house. Quiet, still, calm music. Full of memories and forgotten peace. Now, the silence echoes off the walls, bouncing from particle of dust to speck of matter. No one hears it. But it can be heard. If you listen close.

His life was run off fear and desperation; he had given up on everybody. No one had ever shown him kindness; at least, that’s what he imagined. The world was out to get him. The other children hated him, wouldn’t let him play with them, hurt him. Adults were cruel; his teachers expected too much, his family too little. He never knew where he stood with anyone. Emotions would change so fast in other people, but not in him. It was so unfair, he had always thought, that no one cared about him. The love in front of his eyes passed him by.

He hated people, feared them even. Since he was a child, a baby. Even his own parents frightened him. They tried, for years to make him love them, to make him hug them. They loved him. More than anything else in the world. Always and forever, they said. He couldn’t believe them, or read the truth in their faces, in their words. But he found he missed them, when they died. And yet, his fears were confirmed. Everybody leaves. Everybody goes. And when everybody leaves, you are left alone.

The glass is still, his death reflected in its eyes, if only someone would look. Night has fallen. The rainbows have gone. But the man is there. A shadow. Doing what he always did: watching for the rainbows.




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WickedStarcatcherThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 21, 2011 at 11:55 am:
OMG!!! i love this piece sooo much! The use of language is so beautiful and i love the flow! keep writing! :)
 
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AmazingAmy said...
May 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm:
This was great! I loved how skillfully you kept up your tenses and how you made the beginning, with nothing generally morbid at all really, seem extremely creepy. 
 
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rubberducky said...
May 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm:
Your imagination is legendary. Fantastic, well done.
 
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