Photo by E. Wonders,  Whidbey Island

She wanders through a grand old Victorian, long abandoned and forgotten. There are dusty, tattered cloths draped over the once-lovely furnishings, and it’s dark inside. The only light comes from the grime-glazed windows that glow with a diffused softness, and sunbeams that filter down through gaps in the buckled roof. But it’s enough for her to see her way through the shambles. She knows these halls all too well.

She moves from room to room, pausing, observing, reflecting. She does this day after day -the same rooms, the same path, until she sees It. It’s standing in the foyer, at the base of the staircase, looking up at her. She walks down the splintered stairs, and without speaking, It leads her towards the large front door. It has come to collect her, hoping that she won’t want to stay there. But she doesn’t want to stay, of course. She never has. She very much wants to be somewhere else. She just hadn’t noticed the front door until now. Has it been there all along?

Hand in hand, they step over the threshold, down the front steps, and into a field. The clouds drift overhead, revealing the sun, and she smiles. It leads her further into the field, and when she feels the warm breeze on her skin, she laughs. It leads her further still, and she feels Its arms wrapped around her. She feels connected and loved and full of life. And then she hears Its voice, as It tells her goodbye.

Stunned, she watches It walk far out into the field, and down a slope, until It is almost out of sight. It disappears without looking back, so she turns her gaze back to the house. It has been a long time since she has seen it from the outside, and she notices the extent of the disrepair.

She doesn’t want to go back inside, but she’s exhausted. Her heart is broken, and what she needs now is rest. She realizes there might be other options, but sees no other path in the tall grass. As she walks, she takes in the sights. These are the things that people see every day, she marvels to herself. And that burst of joy she had as they walked together just moments before – that is what others must feel all the time.

She stops and tries to remember how It made her smile and laugh, and the delight she felt at the nearness they shared. But it already felt like so long ago. She tries to form a smile again, but the smile doesn’t come. She tries to recreate her easy laugh, but it now sounds weak and hollow. She knows she might be able to do these things again, but she has no idea how. So she climbs the broken steps, turns the knob on the front door, and walks back into the place she is destined to return to.

Back in the foyer, she closes the door behind her. As soon as the large frame clicks shut, the door vanishes once again. So she goes back to her wandering. She holds close her new memories, hoping they will be enough until the door to the other world appears once more.


©Elle Wonders 2016