The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The High Room
by Marge Simon
I stand in the doorway, overwhelmed with memories. Before me is that monstrous ceiling of multiple window panes that in my childhood mind was the door to Heaven. The frame of Mama’s bed is now barren except for the springs. The floor is littered with junkie’s trash and rat droppings.
My life began in this room. I used to pretend that the windows had organdy curtains that spread the morning light, unfolding an apron of delicious smells and wonders to come for the new day, like in Mama’s books. But of course that wasn’t so.
We lived as prisoners in this cage of multi-paned glass for a decade, Mama and I. Looking at it now, I wonder how she managed to raise me, keep me occupied and curious for all those years. To keep us both sane, especially when it stormed, or worse — at the sound of his boots clomping up the stairs. When that happened, I would be sent to lie on a bed of rags inside the closet. I was to plug my ears and be still until Mama opened the closet door. Of course I would try to do this. But I knew what he did with her –did to her. I could hear the bed springs bouncing on and on. Her sobs. His shout of release.
Then came the night I heard her scream and after, a terrible silence. He opened the closet door, his face pale above his dark beard. “I’m sorry, kid. Go!” And I did, but then I saw Mama on the bed. I saw how her neck didn’t look right. I started screaming and all went black. When I woke, I was on the pavement and a man in uniform was there, talking to me gently. He picked me up and took me to a hospital. That was a long time ago. I never found out what happened to the man who murdered Mama. For all I know, he was my father. I know it sounds crazy, but Mama wouldn’t tell me, wouldn’t allow the subject.
A feral cat pursues a rat across the floor and up upon the bedstead. I don’t stay to see if it is successful or not. No longer filled with Mama’s loving presence, this is a place of pain and tears. A barren world of filthy windows reaching to the skies.
Fiction © Copyright Marge Simon
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Marge Simon:
Small Spirits is another of the poems-for-art duets by Bram Stoker® Award winning poet Marge Simon and artist Sandy DeLuca. These unusual poems involve dolls of many sorts, including legends from countries all over the world. You will find small spirits of the wicked, the damned and the beloved. Be prepared for the mystical, magical and often misanthropic dolls in this colorful collection.