Leaving the past behind
The dew lies on the grass and my feet make dark patches as they take me towards the house. Crickets are disturbed along the way. Their chirruping stops and they spring upwards and outwards to escape my footfalls.
Dawn shows herself in the distant horizon, pink and orange and indigo, like pieces in a kaleidoscope – falling and moving and changing, making patterns in the sky.
As I draw nearer the shape of the house, looming large and daunting, obliterates all sign of the dawning day.
I am there! I reach out my hand and grasp the brass handle, turn it and enter by the back door. I find myself in the kitchen. It is a country kitchen, the kind that is often described as “the heart of the home”. Yet now it does not offer the bright and welcoming warmth associated with such kitchens.
The colours of dawn make the house look dangerous and forbidding.
I take a quick look around and then move into the living room.
I know it must be here somewhere but I can’t see it, no matter how hard I look. I start by lifting the cushions on the settee. Nothing there. It isn’t on mantelshelf or on the sideboard in the dining room.
I move into the study. I am anxious and feel a desperate need to find what I am looking for. I pull frantically at the drawers of the desk, turning out their contents on to the floor. Nothing there.
I go towards the stairs and start to climb. There on the third step is the gun. Life and Death are the polarities of the world and I stand there looking at the gun knowing that it can’t take a life. Only a human being can do that.
I look again at the gun’s black outline against the pale blue of the carpet on the stairs. I reach out my hand to pick it up but as I close on it I feel that I could be badly burned if I touch it and I snatch my hand away.
Yet I know that I have to lift that fearsome object. It seems alive, breathing, any minute now it may talk to me.
“What do you want with me?” it asks, “Think about your reasons for wanting me and how your life will change if you take hold of me.”
I pick up the gun, put it in my pocket and climb to the top of the stairs.
And there is the door, right in front of me.
My heart is in my mouth as I reach for the knob, turn it and swing the door wide.
He is there, cruel lips drawn back and fire in his eye. He has been waiting for me just as he had done all those years ago. I find myself in a place straight out of my past.
The devil himself is waiting for me. He knows just how he will taunt me. He will smile a cruel smile of anticipation as he thinks about what he is going to do to frighten and hurt me.
I slam the door and close it on the fear and horror.
I run to the window on the landing and look out and down into the garden. The day has moved on and dusk is showing its hazy face.
I see three happy little boys sitting together in a big cardboard box. Each has a bottle of soap bubbles. They wave the little wire wands and bubbles float across the garden. They catch the failing light from the slowly setting sun and fill with rainbow colours. My heart leaps and tumbles. I know these are the children that will one day be mine.
I turn from the window to descend the stairs. As I reach the stair on which I found the gun I take it from my pocket and place it just where I had found it, trying to leave it at the very angle at which I had first seen it.
Slowly I walk to the door, the front door this time. For a third time that day I turn a doorknob and open a door.
I step out. The garden is empty. Yet there still seem to be rainbow bubbles floating in the air.
And so I walk into my future, leaving my past behind in a house I have never seen before.