To take a break from all my old backlog I decided to look at something more recent, something that I actually wrote sometime this year. This was one of my more experimental short stories if I do say so myself. I give just enough information for you to know generally what was going on, but at the same time, there’s a darker meaning if you can really take at it. Hopefully if you did get the general idea the first time, if you were to read it again, you might turn your heads as to what really was going on. My hints go out to the paper planes. But anyway, enough babbling, here goes, “The Study”.
I opened the door to the decrepit room. It was dark and as I stood in the dimly lit doorway, I felt as if something would jump out at me. I shook my nerves and stuck my hand into the darkness. I stretched my fingers and felt the joints moving. Okay, my hand didn’t get clawed off by some hidden monster. I proceeded to scan the wall for a light switch.
My hand traced the wall, and for a second, I almost forgot that the room hadn’t been entered for nearly a year. Upon this thought, I quickly lifted my hand off the wall. I then ran my hand slowly down the wall, hoping to hit the switch by luck. *Click* As my hand passed the switch, a soft sound resounded from it, along with the reassurance of light.
I looked at the room, it was old and worn out as can be. I entered slowly, looking from right to left. I took in a large breath and then exhaled. It smelled of worn out wood, and strangely enough, there was a tinge of that familiar scent that I was oh so used to when I was a kid. That familiar scent that I smelt every week. He would come with his large smile and big open arms and I would leap into those arms. We would play and play until I was tired. And then when we were done I would fall asleep in a flash. Days like these gone by before I knew it, along with the familiar face of him.
I walked over to a drawer covered in dust. I ran my finger over it and watched as a streak of brown appeared over the white canvas. I looked at my finger and then blew on it gently. Just like how he did whenever I got a bruise. He would blow into it and softly say in his most solemn tone. “Pain pain, go away.” Except, now I know that he wasn’t any magician.
I refrained from opening any drawers, but from the edge of my eyes, I saw a frame. It was a picture frame covered in dust. I went over to pick it up, but the picture inside was so worn out from wear and tear that the person photographed was hardly recognizable. Perhaps, this is part of my own punishment, for I have forgotten their face as well. He was always so good to me, always playing with me, always talking to me, and I remember that he always used to pat my head.
I placed my hand over my head to imitate the motion he did. He would go round and round and give me a warm smile. I would always be embarrassed by this motion and would knock his hand off my head, but it was always to his advantage. He would simply smile and laugh at my childish notions.
I placed the frame down and sighed. I looked at the other end of the room and saw a large wooden chest that seemed so out of place amongst the other furniture. I promised not to look at anything personal, so I gave it a blind eye. But near it was something that we both treasured.
I went over to look at a small paper plane sitting on top of a drawer. I picked it up and just as I placed my hands over the top of the wings, I felt a hexing presence. I turned around, but nobody was there. I shrugged it off. Just my imagination.
I opened the paper plane and inside of it was childish scribbles, written by me. They were so precarious and messy that I could hardly read from it.
“Dear, ____, today was a fun day. The candy you gave me was tasty. My parents said t- s— a–y f–m — b– – know you’re good. They said big words and said that I would know when I am older. Do you know what a ————————————————————-”
The note ends abruptly without a conclusion, just a large scribbled on line , leaving everything incomprehensible. Strange. A lot of the words seemed to have been deliberately crossed out but, maybe it was just due to my bad handwriting that I couldn’t understand some of it.
I refolded the paper plane and placed it back onto the drawer. Oh right! I should leave this here now I guess. I reached into my pocket and grabbed a piece of paper that was slightly crumbled. There were words written on here as well, words from him.
“Dear, ____, don’t tell your parents anything. You don’t want to cause them any trouble right? So just leave this to the two of us, and we can do anything, okay? It will be fine, and besides, my parents are already okay with this, so it’s okay, see?”
I folded the piece of paper into a plane and placed it next to the one on the drawer. As I did so, I felt another eerie presence, and a chill ran down my spine. I looked behind me, again, no one there. Just my imagination.
Across this drawer was another drawer, and this time, there were candy wrappers littered all over it. I remembered him loving candy, and he always used to have some around. I looked at some of the wrappings. They were all so well kept. Each and every single wrapping was laid out in a nice square. Almost as if, not meant to be thrown in the garbage. I picked one up, and I could almost see the tracings of the candy outlined throughout the wrapping.
As I went back to the front of the room, I took in another deep sigh. I promised not to look into any of his drawers. That was invading into his privacy. Especially now, I should let him have a peace of mind. Just as I was about to step out, I heard a loud creaking under the floor tiles. I began walking back and forth to see how serious it was, but it never seemed to grow. It just creaked and creaked, almost like there was something loose beneath my feet. I leaned over and placed one ear over the tile to listen for any mice.
For a few moments, it was complete silence, but eventually, I heard feint puffing. No, rather it was a feint disclosure of….. air. I listened in more closely, and I could almost swear that I could hear a soft thumping come from the floor boards. From the doorway, someone called to me.
“You’re parents are here to pick you up!” I got up, turned the lights off and closed the door. I raced to the front door, where a man dressed in all black was ready to greet me out.
“Found what you needed, miss?”
“Maybe…. maybe not.”
“That is disheartening. Perhaps…. did you peer into the personal wares of the deceased?”
“No, I promised not to.”
“That is good, that is good. Perhaps the next time you visit…. oh no, perhaps there may not be a next time.”
“Well, you be on your way now miss. I have to get ready for my arrangements. Cleaning up the after mess is definitely a pain.” I walked past him, and a scuff of dirt and sunlight exuded from him. Just as I stepped onto the pavement, I turned back and waved, so did he and, from the side of his white gloves, I could see small patches of brown. But the most strangest thing happened as we were waving our goodbyes…..from the usual attire and way he handled himself, I swear I saw something that was….. inhuman. His smile was twisted in a weird way and his eyes…. they were filled with something that could never be forgiven. But maybe, it could just be my imagination.