Monday, November 27, 2006

Photos From The Attic - The End

Part One of this story can be found here.

Those last days seemed to take for ever to be done with, discarded like a cotton ball on a teenage girl's floor. Three long days that stretched out like a thousand-yard stare; they were almost unbearable. I tried to sleep for as much of it as I could, but the times I was awake I could nothing but think. Think about him, the one I'd got around to dubbing 'The Silent One'.

He who had no voice, or if he did he maintained absolute control over its use. I'd not heard much more than the odd grunt, guttural, as if he could make no noise with his vocal chords. Like Jennie Evans from school after she'd returned, having spent seven weeks in hospital: four for the burns to her throat caused by drinking bleach from a lemonade bottle in some old man's shed on the allotments, another three learning how to make sounds with what was left of her tongue. I recalled a newspaper article from a few years back: Jennie was dead, took her own life. Reckoned on the old man touching her. Four girls and two boys came forward. For once I'd read something of truth in the local paper. I don't know what stunned me more.

Maybe that's how The Silent One came to be without voice? Was he another victim? It was doubtful, but I still shuddered at the thought, at what my mind could do left to its own devices. As I stared at those cracks in the ceiling I began to make patterns, to find threads amongst the chaos spreading from the epicentre. And I could find them, just as I can find patterns in what's been happening to me.

Wherever I want to go, he's there. It's like he's watching me, or controlling me. It was enough to send shivers down my spine. The photo, still intact but looking much worse for the journey I'd taken it on, was on the nightstand by my hospital bed and I had taken to looking at is, talking to it, asking Gramps for help. But they all stared back at me, their mouths no longer able to tell the story, the tale of the photos from the attic.

1 comment:

purplesimon said...

A shocking place to end it! Yes, I know. But there is good reason to stop now, to end it here.

And not just the story.

All good things and other clich├ęs.

It's a little like real tales, how they never actually end, even once you've turned the last page.

I have reasons and I will share those with you at a later date, when I come back to steal things and hide them away.

purplesimon out...