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The Room in the House of Drawn Curtains

It was old, the room in the house of drawn curtains, where the ghosts of whispers still haunted the deadened halls. The first left from the tattered staircase led to a sagging frame where a door must have once hung, where now stands only black emptiness. A single chord of light dangles on the floor, cast from the small slit between the shades. The air is thick, and petrified, as though it had decided to descend and settle on the floor and shelves and lamps as the dust had. It sticks in the lungs and whistles as it’s breathed out, disturbed at finding itself needed again. The drapes hang as an old man might, beaten, blue, blind to his surroundings. Cast them aside and the man shrugs, shrinks in on himself. Cold light creeps into the chamber, attacking the items therein: First the hard wooden chair near the window, its arms smooth from constant touch of dancing fingers. Then the carpet, so carefully laid next to the box of forgotten memories, each a treasure left to die in that room. A rocking horse, tin soldiers, and blocks spill over the side of the chest where childhood is surrendered. The light continues, illuminates the row of dolls thrown carelessly on the shelves. It touches their small crystal hands and admires their sad porcelain faces, each adorned with cherry lips and glassy eyes, empty of all they once held. A mechanical girl whirls on her stem, turning time to the notes she produces, a mix of laughter saved in bottles and tears caught in lockets, released to stumble across the vacant room. The girl turns again, faces the light, and with a faint click allows the last note to fall, a teardrop suspended in the forgotten abyss.

(c)



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