This is a snippet written for [ profile] ruffwriter's original fiction prompt tree challenge.

Prompt: The view from the back window.
Rating: G/PG-ish.

The thing's image went flicker-jitter, in-and-out, like a bad signal on a television set. It was grey, indistinct, out-of-focus; there were shadows suggestive of features around what might have been a head. Maybe something like human features. Maybe not. It moved like something on an old movie reel set to half-speed, its limbs making big, exaggerated arcs through the air. The grimy green of the moss-stained window gave the whole scene a dreamy, underwater look, that thing just swimming back and forth, back and forth.

Jesse laid her head down on the dusty window sill, her eyes drowsy, half-lidded. It was a peculiar lullaby.

This was the only room in the whole house that offered this particular view. A long, narrow storeroom near the back of the house, it was accessible only by a half-height doorway that even Jesse had to bend a little to enter. The room was full of the relics of previous generations -- rickety chairs and stick horses, a couple of small writing desks, broken dolls and moldering books, and boxes upon boxes of moth-eaten, ancient clothes. And on the back wall, the window: small, round, with a deep sill, lined inside and out with decades of dirt and grime. It cast a half-hearted stream of sunlight through the gloom. Dust motes danced like fireflies on the beams.

There were other windows in the house that looked out upon the backyard -- but they didn't look out upon the same backyard. At least, that was how Jesse explained it. Not that anyone ever listened to her.

"It's just because the window's so dirty," said Jesse's mother, the one time Jesse had tried to show her. "It makes the light do funny things. We'll have to get it cleaned soon." But now weeks had passed and it hadn't been cleaned; in fact, Jesse's mother hadn't entered the storeroom once since then, as far as Jesse knew.

It was better like this, Jesse decided. It was better with no one to bother her. She blinked sleepily at the creature beyond the window, her lips curving up into a tiny smile. Her fingers reached out, touching the glass, leaving faint tracks through the grime.

From: [personal profile] peacock_tales

Love this! It evokes such a delicately spooky atmosphere, with serious indelicate spookiness underneath. Like several of your other pieces, I think this one's of publishable quality.

From: [personal profile] peacock_tales

Sometimes short story is short and fragment is fragmentary :-) That's why some magazines like Behind the Wainscot publish short pieces.

With this piece, if you wanted to extend it, my first thought is that Jesse's mother knows something that she isn't telling, or alternatively goes in there and has her own experience.

lim⋅i⋅nal ho⋅ri⋅zon

a place only seen through a green door.


July 2010

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