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In a Special Place

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The gentle beat of a clock and muffled snores were all I could hear as I tiptoed barefoot up the spiral stairs that led to the fourth floor. Despite the icy tile floor I hadn’t bother wearing slippers. It was rather late and to wake my anyone at this ungodly hour would be rather rude of me. Unlike everyone else, it seemed, I was the only one uncomfortable in the new home. The alien surroundings had left me tossing and turning since I had crawled under the covers earlier that night. But then, at last, when I had finally decided that laying in a bed staring at absolute darkness was ridiculous I had crept out of my bedroom and started upstairs.

The end of the stairs had directed me to an undersized room which contained an even smaller washing machine. The fourth floor, like the other domiciles in our area, served as a place for laundry and drying wet clothes. Unlike the rest of the house the top floor was lit by the outside surroundings through open windows. Using the flickering illuminations as a guide I opened a sliding door that led out unto the open terrace.

A frosty gust of winter air greeted me like an old friend, swathing itself round me and pulling closer the edge of the terrace. I leaned the ledge, resting my bare elbows on the dusty surface. The entire terrace wasn’t any bigger than the room before and a certain odor lingered in the air suggesting a clean-up job but I liked it anyway. Being at the top of everything like this was refreshing. Looking around I was surprised at how much of the city was still awake. Cars and trucks still reigned superior on the road, passing one another in an effort to get by. A man pushed a well worn cart down the sidewalk passing a group of huddled school girls.

Twin buildings lay on the opposite side of the road, obstructing my view of whatever lay behind. Yet I knew between the shadowy gap were waves gently brushing the shore, gently pulling and pushing with dual effort.

Behind me was an unoccupied flat which seemed rather scary and dark compared to the streets lights that were stationed in the streets. A motorcycle engine sounded growing louder and stronger as it grew closer almost as if building up towards an crashing finish but instead I heard the bike pass by, its loud engine diminishing into a faint hum.

I focused my attention to the night sky hoping to see the faintest flicker of a star but all I found was an empty dim canvas. Sighing I dropped my chin on top of my resting arms. This new city reminded me nothing of home where I could easily look out the window and pick out a star for wishing purposes. Instead of stars, it seemed, there were guards patrolling the streets waving flashlights in the shadowy cracks and spaces.

Closing my eyes I had hoped to feel the slightest impression of sleep, but after a moment a bark sounded and I looked around once more. This time I looked over the ledge, watching as the slanted roof point towards the yard below. The gate, which bordered the house, was reflected in the nearby streetlight. The wrought iron knockers that were positioned at the door of the gate had been molded into the shapes of wide mouthed lions. Meanwhile an intricate pattern had been cleverly woven leaving pointed tips at the top of the gate. A small garden had been planted alongside as if to add a more cheery feeling to the cold barrier.

A sudden burst of light surprised me and I quickly turned my gaze to the right. An open window revealed a lighted room in which the shadows of a couple were revealed. Watching the window intently I tried to piece together the reason the two were awake at this hour. Before I could even jump to a conclusion a baby’s sharp cry broke the silence of the night. One of them, I guessed the father, rushed over and shut the open window while also ruining my peculiar source of entertainment. My mind was on the verge of wandering once more but stopped when I realized how the sky was changing from a dark blue to a murky purple to a dingy orange. I waited a bit, watching the colors slowly blend together almost like paints swirling about one another creating completely different hues. Then, as new dawn took over the majority of the sky I headed back inside. Yes, it was definitely time for bed.





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