A short story, in which an imaginative journey occurs. Yeah, it’s moderately poor, but I wrote it in about 40 minutes (as though it were an exam), so there we go. My excuses end. The story begins here.
The grey walls surround me. A shaft of light falls – at this moment – towards the door of my cell, the beam emanating from a narrow hole in the ceiling.
I sit against the door, in this ray of warmth which pierces the cold concrete surrounds, and begin to drift towards sleep; the first for days.
My son is running, in the golden expanse. He chases after the dog, yelling as it barks. I smile, and lean back into my chair on the verandah. Turning left, I see my wife sleeping peacefully.
Cold has returned, the sun has taken its gift of warmth. I move to the bed and sit – the wall does not change, yet I continue to stare at it, as though it may do so at any moment.
Hours later, my eyes close. Screaming pierces the cell.
It is dinner. My wife and child sit at the table, near a fireplace. I hear the rain outside, beating against the windows hidden behind curtains. I leave the room to fetch a drink – the house is cold, apart from that room, and so I close the door behind me as I leave.
My screaming has stopped. I don’t understand why it began. The wall is still the same.
Water flows into the first glass, into the second. The flow shudders as I fill the third, but runs still. It is dark in the kitchen by now – illuminated only by light of the storm beating outside. I did not bother with the light as I entered, and do not consider it as I leave the room.
I observe the wall still, tracing the imperfections of the slab over with my eyes. The lines blur, fading to be imperceptible against the endless grey expanse of the cell. Again, dreams come.
Carrying drinks, I leave the kitchen, walking in the cold expanse between rooms. My feet sound against the storm, softly on carpet.
The door. I swing it open, anticipating warmth, light, noise. Cold, dark, still.
My dream stops. I am awake again, my eyes open, my body upright (as it was when I slept). The room is no longer so dark – a diffuse light fills it from outside. Morning has come. Seeing nothing else, I close my eyes again, opening them to the dream.
I stand at the entrance to the room, as though it were a sheer precipice. The fire has been extinguished, curtains blown open by the wind coming through gaping windows. Wind tears around the room, displacing objects.
My wife and the boy cannot be seen.
Again, I awake. The sun creeps towards the point at which light enters my cell directly – its azimuth, for me. Not quite. Sleep comes upon me once more.
I enter the room. Placing glasses upon the table, I walk around the room. Both seats, empty. The fireplace bears not even embers – it is cold, the charred wood as dry and ashes undisturbed as though it were the end of a long summer.
Frantic, I yell from the window. A noise from behind me. I turn, to observe nothing but two of the glasses fallen, blown horizontal by the wind.
Their water runs red.
Windows slam and lock fast behind me, and as I turn, they harden, darken, becoming opaque before my eyes.
Once more, I turn. My cell forms before me.
The beam has arrived – I feel it, now attuned to the room and its changes. My eyes open – the wall which once had borne the entrance has changed.
I walk through the now-empty space, to observe the sun glowing golden against a field.
Leaping from the verandah, I chase my son, shouting, running, across the golden expanse.