Jars, such a simple word and yet here we are. Remember, looks can be deceiving...
The small bits of light crossed through the split in the curtain, falling in and reaching towards the small wooden table. The table that had many indents engraved in it, stickers and designs that were carved into its surface so many years ago. A thin layer of dust also covered the wood, small particles dancing in the faint light. When you looked closely at the drapes you could see the holes, the moth eaten cloth and the dust sparkling so very slightly like jewelry left out in the sun. Once in awhile paint would fall from the ceiling, dropping slowly so far onto the floor below. There it would lay, over time collecting dust as well. It wasn’t just the ceiling though, the paint was peeling everywhere, eventually descending all the way down where its journey would end. Its life would end. Just lay there like the dust for the rest of time. There was no more.
But, there was something else. Today there was something.
Something sitting so still along the dust covered shelf. The dust wasn’t on these items though, nothing was touching these. The light reflected perfectly off them, creating a glare, a small orb of light that floated so closely next to them.
They were jars, glass jars shining so brightly up on this gray shelf.
There was also color. Every jar, when the light shown on it just right, would reflect a different color.
Subtle colors, things you would have to look at closely to figure it out. Figure out which splash, which tint shown.
The silence was thick in the air; there was nothing else at all. Just the silence and the light, the dust and the dozens of glass jars sitting so still up on the shelf above the well worn table and underneath the peeling paint.
Not even the birds were making noise from the forest just outside. There was nothing for awhile, not until there were footsteps.
They were quiet at first, not even there it seemed. Gliding gracefully across the forest floor and stepping just outside the house.
Suddenly, the colors in the jars grew brighter, silver, red, black and a deep purple. It was a faint glow, counteracting with the natural light seeping in from outside.
The door creaked, and the handle jiggled a bit before the frame opened and a figure stepped silently inside.
This person was small, small and quiet when they stepped in carefully with bare feet onto the dust covered floor.
Their footprints stood out, much clearer and newer then those that were left there before.
Their nails were long, scratching at the table when they walked by, running their hand, feeling the carvings.
She hasn’t been here in awhile.
It was different, but she saw the old footprints and somehow they looked smaller, but she knew that wasn’t possible.
Her gaze stopped on the jars, and something like a smile crept across her lips. She approached them, her eyes looking up and reflecting the colors that kept getting brighter the closer she got, the happier she got.
They were happy too, happy to see her.
She reached her hand out and ran her finger along the glass of a red one. It was smooth, the glass a little cold, but she felt the heat so far behind it.
It was true bliss, nothing else. She belonged here and she had almost forgotten what it was like. Swaying on her feet, she stood like this for awhile, caressing her jars and smiling when she felt the power behind them.
That was until she was cut off. She heard the footsteps before the jars did, and she wasn’t completely surprised when they dimmed and the heat vanished.
She took her hand off of the glass and turned around. She felt herself tense, stiffen as she listened. She felt the energy, not from the jars, but from the person outside. She breathed in deeply, sucking in the scent and again smiling to herself.
This energy was good.
It was strong, panicked- one of the best kinds there was.
She heard the footsteps get closer, closer to her house. Her house.
They stopped outside and that’s when she heard the breathing, it was quick, almost as panicked as their energy.
“Hello?” Someone called.
She grinned, parting her lips slightly. “Yes?”
She heard a sigh of relief, and then a hand moving to the door handle. She waited until the person opened the door, stepped inside.
It was a boy, a young boy with wild hair and a frantic face.
“Oh thank god, are you lost too?” He asked, his voice shaking a little.
She shrugged. “I think we are all lost,” she said. “But this is my place.”
He kept his gaze on her, his golden eyes still on fire, his face still worried. “I’ve been here for hours, there seems to be no way out.”
“Yes, it is a rather confusing forest.” She agreed. “But that is why I like it.”
He bit his lip, she licked hers.
“How do you find your way around?” He asked.
She took a step forward. “I have been traveling this forest for decades.”
He drew his head back abruptly, his fiery eyes switching from worry to confusion.
“What?” He echoed. “Decades? But you look like your ten!”
She laughed, a quiet thing. “Looks can be deceiving.”
He looked around uneasily, watching the dust and peeling paint with such concern. They stopped on her jars, growing wider as if he felt the energy emitting off them too.
“Whoa…” He breathed, his voice quiet like the forest around them.
She didn’t look back, just kept her hungry eyes on him.
“They are magnificent, aren’t they?” Her voice was like silk when it escaped her parted lips. So soft like her skin that seemed to glow in the faint light. Her tongue ran smoothly across her teeth and she licked her lips again.
He didn’t seem to notice her staring at him. His eyes were locked on the jars, the glowing bits of glass and light. “What are they?”
Her answer came quickly. “Energy.”
He looked back at her and took another step back. She was much closer then he remembered her being before.
“Energy?” He repeated.
She breathed in deeply, closing her eyes. “Yes, energy…you have very good energy.”
He bit his lip again, backing up into the door.
“So good,” she sighed. “So new, so bright and fresh…I love it.”
She was close again. His hand touched the handle, he felt his breathing quicken, his mind set back into panic.
She jumped towards him, her hands slamming into his shoulders, pulling his hand away from the door.
“What are you doing?!” He yelled, his voice cracking.
“I want it.” She said, her voice no longer dreamy. It was crazy, the edges rough, jagged like broken glass.
Her face changed then so that she didn’t look young anymore. She looked scary, the corners of her skin dark, her teeth pointed in a crooked smile.
“I want it!”
He didn’t have time to react. Her face was close to him, her mouth open and on top of his before he could even try to move away.
Her teeth bit hard into his lip and she sucked in. He felt his body shake, the pain was there and hot through his body, but his scream was muffled through her mouth.
His body crumpled when his eyes rolled back, when all the breath left his lungs. She let go of him, breathing in deeply and letting his body fall into the dust. The light reflected then, off of his sunken, colorless face.
All his color was gone.
She breathed out, her lips tingling.
She breathed in, rushing to the cabinet next to the table and pulling out something clear, something cold.
She twisted the cap off and put her mouth to the opening. She breathed out again, the heat leaving her lips and filling the jar.
She placed this one next to the others and watched it for a second, watched the color appear before she turned away and headed towards the door.
Stepping over the boy’s still body.
Stepping through the dust and out of her place.
The light shined a little brighter in the jar.
It was gold.
Such good energy.