I mentioned a few days ago that I stumbled upon a message from the past and was quite moved by it. I have subsequently made contact with the original creator (which turned out to be disappointingly simple – I was hoping for some sort of Gulliver’s Travels experience to unravel the mystery) and can report that she is healthy and happy. And charming.
The discovery of treasure prompted me to look for further hidden gems, so I began delving through my collection of discontinued writing projects. It’s more than just a deep hole down there. It’s a veritable labyrinth of wasted thoughts. There is no treasure to be found. Just dark mounds of nouns, verbs, adjectives and nervous punctuation marks looking for somewhere to belong. Trip hazards, essentially.
But I did come across something that may well have been about her, albeit subconsciously. It’s very brief and unfinished. It has no date. I don’t know just when I might have crumpled it up and discarded it.
It might be about somebody else, of course. It may have been about quite a few people, now that I think about it.
She came like a fugitive into my life late on a Tuesday afternoon one winter, as though being pursued by the night. She peered opportunistically through my window before pounding upon the door with her fist.
“Let me in,” she demanded.
Who could say no?
It was only after she had removed her coat and shoes and was warming her toes by the fire that I ventured to ask, “where did you come from?”. She chose not to answer directly but instead turned and pointed back out through the same window where all was now bleak and dark. Further enquires seemed pointless.
By Friday afternoon she was rearranging the furniture and instituting compulsory alterations to the dietary traditions of the household. She refused to eat any meat other than fish yet smoked 20 cigarettes a day. She repainted the bathroom. Every night when I went to bed she was sitting in the same chair smoking and reading books that had been peacefully gathering dust on my shelves for decades. Every morning when I arose she was sipping on black tea and chanting mystic poetry. I don’t think she ever slept.
Somewhere during all this she must have changed clothes because she looked just a little bit different every day, though I don’t remember her arriving with luggage. Her hair was long, dark and disheveled when she arrived but short and blonde three days later. After a few weeks I began to wonder if there might be more than one of her.
As soon as the weather lifted she was gone. There was a note left on the kitchen bench.
“Always leave the door unlocked,” the note said.
P.S. the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Competition starts this weekend. Anybody else joining in?