By Rich Henry
From behind a door we hear screams intermittent with a heavy
sobbing. A harrowing, empty sobbing.
It seems like it has been going on for many days.
A terrifying screams explodes out of a scratchy, throaty
A resounding thud is heard.
Then heavy, shorts breaths are heard gasping, choking for
We are repulsed.
After twenty minutes of sitting breathlessly outside the door;
the placid murmurs of sleep drift under the door.
Standing up and reaching for the knob, it is slowly turned.
The knuckles grip it tightly to counter act the slipping of the
sweaty hands. Slowly she enters, careful not to kick anything or
cough. Lifting her eyes slowly, she prepares herself for the
She takes a shallow breath and is surprised by the peaceful,
Victorian aura of the small room. Everything is neat. Everything
is clean, almost antiseptic.
The curtains are open and they bow form the breeze of the open
window. The late afternoon wind rustles the trees. The low winter
sun blanches the room. The pastel wallpaper glows and deceivingly
gives one the impression that this is the room of a young girl,
perhaps eleven or twelve. The only pox on the room is the clump
curled up on the rug. The figure is thin beneath the oversized
clothes. The face is striking but seems to hang on the bones of
the face. The hair appears to be cut to style but in need of
washing. It isn't stringy or oily. It just looks a bit flat.
The intruder stands between the bed and the window; the door
is at the opposite end of the room. She sees paper with writing on
it, lying on the desk. It looks like it was recently written. She
cannot read it from where she stands and she cannot get closer
because of the figure on the floor and because the large hard chair
leaves no room for standing.
Every now and again she reminds herself to breathe. She does,
slowly and deliberately. The figure does not stir. She notices
the sickly skin and turns away. Not pale, yellow.
The yellowish skin color tips the scale and she succumbs to a
feeling of nausea. She looks at the figure again and quickly
averts her eyes and covers her mouth. Tears burn in her eyes, as
does the fading shining last rays of sunlight. The tears roll off
the back of her hand. She begins to feel trapped. At any cost she
must get out of the room. And although the yellow limbs haven't
stirred, she foresees that they will and very soon.
She looks out the window. The second story height and
blinding whitewashed walls start to make her dizzy. She feels like
someone is squeezing her bladder. She leaps as quietly as possible
over the form and slides out the door. Stopping, she realizes that
she should close the door. Her throat tightens as she turns and
pulls the door shut as quietly as possible.
She steps into the bathroom and gets a glass of water. She
drinks it, water running down her chin. Looking at her reflection,
she is bathed in sweat. Only then does she realize why she came in
She pats a damp cloth against her face. She finds she is
unable to stop the perspiration. She opens the window and leans
her head out. It is just past dusk and the last few warm breezes
of the day blow down through the fields. The night has no moon but
is not cool. She finds no relief in the night air. She finds no
All Works, Paintings, Images, Novels and Stage/Screen Plays & Text. Copyright 1995-2002 Rich Henry.
May not be reproduced in any form, mechanical or electronic. All rights reserved. Any use in
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(C) 2002 The Rich N' Famous Group