Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Silent Room: Part 11


The question of what to do with the odd list of items in the burned up letter turned out to be rather easily answered a minute or two after the pounding feet of the guards stopped outside his door.

 He had relaxed back into a slack position against the wall within his eyes closed tight.(He saw no point in  giving away that he was awake and aware if they didn't already know that.)  Apparently they didn't expect him to be anything other than in a deep sleep though because they didn't even flip the door window open. They just started calling out in quick succession one voice after the other-- "Room 1 engaged."
" Room 2 engaged."
" Room 3..."

A flood of images exploded in his mind behind his closed eyes and their voices disappeared. The chains disappeared.  He was back in his own home, nestled in his comfy chair with his feet up. A soccer game was on and in mid-play. The world of the prison completely gone.  If he hadn't experienced that little interlude with the  red headed doctor, he would never have thought anything about it. He would just have dismissed the chains and the prison as a bad dream he was waking from, and dropped into the blissful contentment of a lazy weekend afternoon at home.  Now though...

He looked around a little more closely. It was home. On the surface of things. He was surrounded by his favorite comforts. But the details weren't quite right. Small errors.  There was a bottle of his favorite micro-beer sitting to his left (a "friends only beer" his best friend brewed in his basement), the cold sweat of condensation rolling down its side, but the label wasn't quite right. The crescent moon was just a fraction to wide, a little to close to stocky pine tree instead of a tall leggy one. He stared at the label; watched the error dissolve into accuracy.

Then he glanced over at the soccer game a little more closely. It was a tournament game from last year.  One he had missed, actually. The third in the series. Something he would definitely love to watch. He'd been on the run then too, and there were some plays in that game that were for the annals.  He managed, barely, to pull his attention back from the game and to look around with close attention once more.

The only glaring thing out of order was a lidded jar sitting on the counter. That had never been there before.  He stared at, waiting for it to dissolve out of existence. It didn't shift.  It did, however seem to lift off the counter and become slightly less concrete.  As thought it was now in the vicinity of the counter instead of being on the counter. 

A little like that letter had looked near his hand.

He got up to investigate.

As he got closer, he could see that there were still two faded letters on the side that must have once spelled a word.
                                                  OU R
He pulled it toward him.  Taking off the lid, he saw the fine white powder of flour inside before it dissolved in his hands and the room abruptly disappeared, leaving him standing outside in the sunshine of his grandfather's garden.

He blinked in surprise.  He hadn't seen his grandfather's garden in twenty years! Not since it had been razed for a new industrial parkway.  The bushes hung heavy with roses. A profusion of pinks and reds and whites holding court. There were even a few naked lady lilies peaking out here and there.  He remembered how shocked he had been at seven when his mother, in a calm and casual voice, remarked to his grandfather, "Oh, dad, your naked ladies are beautiful this year."

A smile split his face.  They really were beautiful this year. The heady perfume of his grandfather's favorite "old fashioned" rose drifted on the lazy summer air.  Boy that smelled good.   All thoughts of flour jars and prison guards vanished from his mind as he started walking in search of it.

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