by A.E. Nickels
First chapter from my fictional story: A Stone Wall Beyond My Last Composition Notebook
| I slipped carefully into the silence of my private annex at the back of the barn and dropped to my hands and knees, tears flooding down my cheeks. A flume of dust filled the air around me, making my eyes well worse. I stayed posed in my dramatic stance for minutes, until flopping flat on the floor. I inhaled the musty air in stuttered gasps and gurgles. A thin strip of lighting from a rounded glass window highlighted the high points on the uneven floor. I stared at the brightness through blurred vision. Why me? I focused back down on the floor. I paused, listening to the voices below me. I knew they would soon start looking for me. Another tear dropped onto the floor.
I started to spell out my name in the dirt with my finger: V-e-r-a-n-n-a-a-h. I did it again. I wrote my last name under the two matching words already squiggled out. LaFlan. I sat up and stared at my open canvas. I could write my name a hundred times. The last tear fell down my cheek and dripped onto my name. I smiled. Slowly I rose, brushing myself off with the palms of my hand. I inhaled slowly until my breathing returned to normal. Silently, I floated to the back side of my small room and dropped to the floor with my legs crossed. My bloodshot green eyes shifted from my upside-down name written in the dirt, to the hemlock-colored graining of the unpainted walls. This room was hideous. If I could make it my own, the small supply closet in the front corner would be filled with books and pencils. It was not. If I could make it my own, the door would have a mirror on it, that wasn't shattered and falling apart. If I could make it my own, the face staring back at me wouldn't be mine. My hair wouldn't be black, I wouldn't be pale, and I wouldn't be a frail pathetic figure. I would replace my makeshift desk with a magnificent typewriter, instead of piles of secret composition notebooks. I tilted my head sideways and placed it gently against the cool wooden walls, comforting me. I started to daydream of life in Boston, Massachusetts, instead of here, in our small farming town. I didn't want to be hit by my mum. I touched the red mark on the side of my cheek with care and started to well up again. I didn't want my work to be secret. I wanted to publish. I wanted it like a cool sip of tea on a day of blistering sun and heat. I closed my eyes, taking in the atmostsphere of my desired future. It seemed so close. I listened to the sound of the pulse in my head against the wood and sighed. I looked forward again and reached for a notebook. I turned to a new page and scanned the empty lines. I titled the page December 8, 1941 and closed it again. To be continued, I thought. To be continued...