Hello once again, and today we have a short story. This one is a little bit more on the side of grotesque than I would like it to be, and I really try to bend reality in a way where I want everything normal to seem off. Definitely nothing seems normal with this main character and he’s definitely in a strange state of mind. But despite that, I think there is a kind of twisted beauty in the whole premise of this work. Something like the idea of being able to find peace with one’s own guilt, of being able to overcome one’s demons and make it something that is digestible. Either way, here you go, “Girl With The Red Scarf.”
Every time when things seem rough, I see a girl with a red scarf. Some people might see visions of a future to come, or the images of deceased love ones. But for me, I see a girl with a red scarf. She glides by me with long fluttering hair that seems to coordinate itself with the wind. Her face is slim, and she holds herself with serene blue eyes and rosy cheeks and lips. Her red scarf makes her impossible to ignore, but despite this, only I am entranced by her figure. This is how I know that she is mine. She is my sanctum.
Each person has a different sanctum. They see their sanctum in dire times. Whether it be life threatening, or simply emotionally draining, something pops up in their minds that gives them ease. Most people won’t admit it, in fact, admitting it is a fault in society. It’s a sign of weakness. Though, whenever I see a girl with a red scarf, I smile instinctively and know that it is my sanctum comforting me.
I’m often told that I’m a volatile person. Things set me off, and I don’t often have the best response to things. I guess that’s just how I was born, I can’t really help it, but I manage to get by quite often. It was a normal day that day when it happened. The sun was beating down on my face with alacrity, and it sent beads of sweat running down my face. I was wearing a light sweat shirt and shorts at the time. I remember the heat creating a short buzzing in my ears, and I knew that staying in that unbearable heat for any longer would not bode well with my propensity of natural turtle-ism. In short, I hate the summer. If I could give an excuse for my going out it would have to be due to one of two reasons. I was deathly afraid of a home intruder. Or I was out for a nice morning jog. Actually, neither was the case for that particular day. I had simply been walking outside, basking myself in the sun’s ethereal heat for seemingly no reason. It was a strange day.
I was walking on the side walk, trying to find some respite from the heat when I noticed a shaded roof. I looked up to see a large tree planted in the middle of the side walk, and went to stand under it. I looked at the tree, and noticed that it had been planted rather haphazardly. The roots burrowed into the ground in a fashion as if it was seeking more dirt, though it only belonged to cement. I placed my hand on the trunk of the tree, and traced my hand down onto it, feeling the rough bark caress my skin in the opposite direction. I felt inclined to the tree, but the heat still managed to permeate me. The winds coming in were dry, and a mere waft of it would send me in a heated frenzy. I stepped out of the tree’s enshroud and back into the encroaching sun. People all around me were in great dismay for the anathema towards the sun was universal. Some had a soft escape from the heat as they carried with them ice cold water bottles or other such cold beverages. The mere sight of it all made me sick to the stomach, and I longed to enter an air conditioned building.
I kept waking until I arrived at a major intersection. Cars zipped past with no end, and the streetlights seemed to blink forever. Once green, I begun walking with the masses and allowed the stream of consciousness to drown me. I eventually lost my way in this stream and without further warning, I soon found myself on the floor of the road, the heat still standing above me, and this time, seemed to be gripping my neck. I wished it was suffocating me.
The next sight I saw upon waking up was of white walls, and in my ears I heard a light buzzing. I turned my head with pain and resistance and then noticed that the air in the room was of a deep winter night. I got up from the bed I was sleeping on, and with one hand over my head, tried to recall what had happened. It bore no fruit, but I noticed that the room I was in was no haven. I cursed, and then stepped onto the tiled floor and trudged my way towards the door. I opened it aptly, and then stepped outside, expecting a herd of people. There wasn’t a single soul with me in the hospital. I thought it strange at first, but as I walked onto the hallway, and listened to the echo of my footsteps, those thoughts became strangely inane. I began stepping towards what seemed to be the front desk, and as I did, I noticed that the outside was impossibly red. I stepped out the double doors that led into the hospital and watched the crimson sky as clouds of grey drifted among it in profane majesty. That was when I saw her, in the corner of my eye. The girl with the red scarf walked by me, and fluttered in my face before disappearing as quickly as it had appeared. I searched the hospital grounds to seek her red scarf, but my vision of her had grown strewn, and I could not see her again. Then, just as before, without warning the world around me fell apart and the crimson sky fell onto my being, encapsulating my every fiber and sending me awake again.
This time, I was on the street, still standing in the stream of consciousness, not having been affected by anything but my own strange reverie. I shook my head, and crossed the street as per usual and wondered what exactly had happened in that split second in which I perceived myself falling. I shook the notion, and simply chalked it up to my volatile nature. Perhaps I was going insane. Then I saw her again. The girl with the red scarf. She was ever so vibrant in my eyes as she glided across my vision and encapsulated me with all her being. I tried to follow her with my eyes, but she soon came out of my view, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to find her again. I searched tirelessly, but soon came to the realization that I would not be able to force the girl with the red scarf to come within my fruition. The blazing sun still threatened to send me into a stroke, but I pressed on and attempted to find solace towards the sun.
With a great stroke of luck, I found myself in a well ventilated convenience store. It gave air to my otherwise sullen being, and in an instant revitalized my gait. I didn’t expect to be assaulted so by nature’s giver and thus carried no money with me. It was quite alright, though, as I was able to traverse the aisles without much trouble and without sparking sneaking suspicions over why I had taken refuge here. Every single person in every aisles all had baskets full of groceries, and although I did stop to peruse the contents of each shelf, I did not take any with me. Perhaps I was over thinking it, but it seemed as if the eyes of those who were customers seemed to always fall on me with contempt. I walked by them and made sure not to bump into them. When I had finished walking among the entire store, I saw her again. The girl with the red scarf. She flashed before me, and this time I sought to speak to her, but she vanished in a blink, and I was left alone. I left the store after being cooled off, and began making my way back home. By now, I knew that staying in the accursed heat would do me no better than it did the first time. The heat gave me no time to prepare, and I was left sweating within minutes of returning home.
As I got back to my apartment, I noticed that there was a blazing streak of red leading from the hallway towards my door. I traced it with great inquiry and upon reaching my door, noticed that the streak was still somewhat succulent. I twisted the knob of my door, and to my dismay, it was open. I stepped in lightly, and examined every inch of my apartment, unable to see any more streaks of red splattered elsewhere. I scratched my head in confusion, and went back out to inspect the streaks of red. By the time I did so, they were gone. I turned, and then I saw her, the girl with the red scarf. She enchanted me yet again, but as I blinked she disappeared. However, this time, I followed her figure, and she seemed to disappear into my closet. It was a door situated exactly right as one would enter my apartment. I went over, turned the knob, and then wafted the air of rotting flesh. The room was covered in putrid red and even muddy brown. The smell alone was enough to send chills down my spine and force me to erupt the contents of my stomach. I saw her again, the girl with the red scarf. She was alone, lying about, and minding her own business, unknowing of my admiration of her. She was my sanctum.