Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Writing Wednesday: Untitled

     This is from the untitled dystopic novel I'm writing, which is currently on the back burner, but soon to be picked up again.  Let me know your thoughts.
     The door across the hall is closed and it’s a room I’ve not entered.  For a split second I feared another body would be found, but remembered the man had already investigated the entire house before letting us enter.  I opened the door slowly still, not wanting any surprises.  I’m not sure what I expected, a sewing room, storage maybe, but not what I found.  Bookshelves, a desk, a window seat, this room seemed out of place in this big country house.  On the desk sat a laptop computer and scattered farming paperwork. 
     Seeing that computer made me think of my own and how I would spend time connecting on Facebook, downloading music on iTunes, or learning something new from Wikipedia.  Back in the day, I would have said I could probably not survive without the internet, my cell phone, but now, I hardly miss that technology.  We had to adapt, and it was easier than I would have ever thought it would be.
     The window seat behind the desk was covered in a lush burgundy fabric, which went well with the mahogany furniture.  A mug with a picture of a kitten sat abandoned next to the window, half full of moldy coffee.  Next to it, open and face down lay a copy of Jane Eyre, a surprising choice for a farmer’s wife.  Curious, I moved toward the bookshelf to see what else she might have read.  More classics than I would have guessed, some contemporary fiction, and tons of romances, which was more what I would have expected.  This room must have been an escape for her, a place where she could unwind and forget about the bills, her aching back, and the dirt beneath her fingernails, a place for dreaming up other places, other times, other lives. 
     Exiting, I strolled down the hall to another door and opened it, a linen closet.  The next door led to a bathroom.  It was filthy, caked thick with grime and mold.  Mystery fluids, more than likely blood and vomit were splashed across the walls, and the floor.  I opened the cabinet below the sink and found Lysol, disinfectant wipes, glass cleaner, tile cleaner, a sponge, and paper towels.  I wiped everything down, spotless, threw the garbage on the floor, and walked across to the last room.  The girl’s room.
     I approached the soiled bed and removed the rest of the bedding.  I went downstairs, through the mudroom, and the back door, I dropped the sheets to the ground.  Entering the barn, I looked around for something to put water in.  Most of the tools were old and peeling.  After scouring shelves, and bins, I found a bucket.  One of the old metal kind, with a rusted and squeaky handle.  It was quite a walk down to the pond, and having to navigate through the overgrown grass and brush made it no easier.  Once at the pond, I stopped and admired the scenery.  It was quite beautiful country.  Tall cedars surrounded the property, standing guard like wooden sentries, blue sky hanging over like a canopy.      
     I squatted beside the pond and I filled the bucket.  Staring into the murky brown mass, I wondered if we’d ever have running water again.  I missed running water, doing dishes in them, showering.  I was tired of pool water, and pond water, and rainwater.  Tired of boiling it until it was okay to wash in, to drink.  I rose and carried the bucket to the house, it sloshed and splashed all the way, splattering my legs, my shoes.
     I put the bucket down outside the back door, went in and retrieved the propane stove, a stockpot, and boiled the water.  I had some cleaning to do.  Once the water boiled and cooled, I poured half of it back in the bucket followed by some laundry detergent.  Then I grabbed the sponge from the bathroom, and went into the little girl’s room.  I poured a generous amount of water onto the mattress and began scrubbing.  I don’t know how long I scrubbed, it could have been five minutes, an hour, but the stains persisted, lingering like a scar in the flesh.  A reminder of what once used to be, a family, a life, and now death.
     I ended up using bleach, while most the stains receded, the outer edge remained, dark red, the only bloodline left of this family.  I took the mattress from the bed, stood it up against a wall, and sprayed it with Lysol.  I opened the windows in hopes that the breeze might dry it before night fell, else I’d be sleeping on the couch.
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