Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2049676-Silent-Life
by L.D.R.
Rated: E · Fiction · Family · #2049676
A young man coexists uneasily with a sibling who never speaks to him.
Sitting cross-legged on the ground, a young girl began sketching a picture. With slow, careful precision, she ran her pencil over the paper, leaving pale grey lines. As she sketched, her drawing unfolded, from a few simple lines, to a spiderweb patchwork, forming intricate patterns that spiraled and twisted on the paper. Slowly, the frail girl stood, carefully pinning the drawing to the wall, positioning it carefully next to another drawing, that connected to many others, forming a sort of patchwork mural on her wall. Smiling thinly, she picked up another blank sheet, and sank to the
floor, carefully beginning to draw again.

She slowly resumed, her cautious nature causing her to take her time, careful not to make a single mistake- one wrong line would ruin the picture. One errant twitch and she would grow frustrated, shred her picture, and toss it into the fireplace. Perfectionism was always a flaw of hers.

So focused was she that she was completely unaware of her door being opened, and her older brother awkwardly hovering in the doorframe. For some reason, he always felt uncomfortable coming into his sister's room, as though there was some unspoken agreement about trespassing here. He hesitated a moment before sighing and speaking.

"Anabelle." He called to her softly. She ignored him, intensely focused on her paper. "...Annie."
She looked up at him silently, tilting her head to one side, her small grey eyes studying him with a cool, intelligent look, almost as if she were appraising him, like he were some kind of rare bug. It was just her default expression, though that didn't stop a shiver of uncertainty working its way down her brother's spine. He bit his lip for a moment, lowering his gaze. "...Dinner's almost ready. Will you be coming down, or...?"

She sighed, before reluctantly standing, setting down her pencil. She slowly walked down the steps, with her brother following haplessly behind her. He frowned just a little. Anabelle was never all there, and only rarely had he heard her make so much as a sound. It was unnerving at the best of times, and when she had locked herself in her room for days on end it made it even more

He shrugged it off, and settled with putting food on her plate. Annie gave him one of her rare smiles, before wolfing down the food, and he couldn't help but crack a grin at his sister's ravenous appetite. Sighing he sat down to eat, and when he looked up, the small girl was already gone, her dishes neatly by the sink, and he caught a glimpse of her moving up the steps again.

Back in her room, Annabelle knelt down, and began to draw once again, as though she'd never gone downstairs. She slowly lifted the pattern, and once again tacked it to the wall. Now, with the wall completely covered, It still seemed to form little more than patterns of lines without forming any real images. Her brother peeked in again, and awkwardly bit his lip, studying the images.

"...What is it?" He inquired softly.

Annie grinned at him- a thin, cool smile, before suddenly moving. She began rearranging and shifting the papers on the wall, and he watched, as she clambered onto a little step-stool to reach the top ones. His eyes widened in surprise, as after a moment, they began to look like an extremely accurate representation of a face- not a particular face, just a broad, featureless visage, with two wide eyes. She paused, before resuming, scrambling the pictures again, once again changing the picture to that of a complex spiderweb, complete with a small arachnid on it.
Her brother could only watch in awe- never before had he realized how many levels her mind truly worked on- like a machine, constantly creating and editing things- all hidden within this silent, staring, little girl.

She was ignoring him again, now entirely focused on her mosaic- changing and altering it. Once again, he felt that creeping sense of intrusion, and slowly left the room, as his little sister continued her task- whatever she hoped to accomplish, she would not rest until she had. Some part of her would refuse to stop working- a fundamental part of her nature that would never stop, like a machine that had to exhaust whatever fuel it had before it ceased.
If she kept this up, Anabelle would collapse from exhaustion. But there was no stopping the dauntless girl. She would finish her project eventually- whatever it may finally be. And when she did, what then? Would she do something with it? Leave it up? Or simply destroy it and start anew...?

Her brother sighed, feeling unsure. It was always the same. She would make something, and it would seem to just... vanish. The girl was so secretive like that- of course she would be. She never spoke anyway. Why would she talk about her art if she never talked about anything else? He had never once heard her say a single word. She could vocalize- sighs, little growls of frustration, outright screams- both of joy and of frusturation- but never a single word.
It was a silent life she lived, and somehow he doubted that anything would ever take it away from them- that the world would remain strange, silent, a mystery, but in a way, it was beautiful, for all it's troubles, for all its weariness, for all the problems it caused.

And he knew that, for whatever reason, neither of them would have changed it for all the world.

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