The girl stepped out of the shack, clad in a long, white nightdress. She stepped onto the cobbleston path leading only to another house. It was dead silent. A large, stone fountain that no longer worked cast a dreadful shadow in the dimly lit path. No stars were out. The only light came from a single, yellowish lamp to the left of the door of the single house ahead of her. The girl didn’t seem to be scared at all, only careful. She was pale – practically colorless – and with light hair that floated down to the middle of her back and pale eyes. When she was near the house, a young man stepped out of the door and put one foot on the porch step. He reached out his hand to help the girl up the stairs and to welcome her.
From another angle, another woman watched the girl through binoculars. She saw the girl cautiously move down the stone walk. When the young man emerged from the house to greet her, she felt her neck grow hot. She knew this man. Unfortunately for her, all romantic possibilities with him had been torn from her future. She continued to observe the man; he was certainly pleasant to look at – tall, composed, clean shaven, brown hair, dark eyes, also pale. His clothes were simple and near colorless, too. If only the old fountain wasn’t blocking some of her view.
Everything’s strange, she thought, crouching in the dark above the dreary scene: a path leading from a doorstep of one house directly to another house’s doorstep; there were no side paths branching off of it. What was the point of that?
The pale girl smiled gently and took the man’s hand as she floated up the steps, following his lead. He had let go and turned around, no longer welcoming. He went through the door first and reached for something beside the door frame on the inside. The house was peculiar. The first room that you walked into was lined in books on shelves from floor to ceiling. The books were old and dusty. Some were on the floor, bent and lying open. Directly ahead of her, perfectly aligned with the front entrance, was another doorway. This one had no door. She could see through it to another room, also lined entirely with books. Only this one was lit – by candles, maybe. The same yellowish light poured from the room. The doorway was as far to her left on the opposite wall as possible. She could see room after room, all identical, with books and either dark or dimly lit, the doorway in the exact same place on the wall, no doors…
The man continued to walk into the next room, the room glowing with dreary light. As she entered, she saw what he had taken by the door. The light glimmered off of an uncommonly long, silver sword. He casually held it pointing downward.
She looked around. She couldn’t identify the source of the light. It seemed as if the room was just lit on its own, as if the light came from nowhere. This room had books strewn across the floor and two couches – One to her right along the same wall as the door that she entered through and one to her left, also along a wall. On each couch was the corpse of an old woman. On the couch to her right, a woman with long colorless, braided hair lay on her back with her hands on her stomach. On the other, the woman’s body was draped over the arm rest towards her, face downward. Her arms hung limp and straight down past her head. Her hair was frizzy and kept tied back.
“You must do this,” the young man uttered low. “There are two very solemn people.” At that moment, the pale girl became aware that she had been seen walking to this house. Out of nowhere, she just knew about the woman watching her enter the house. Back to the beginning, she thought. She panicked.
Change of scene.
She was back on the porch of the first house, stepping onto the first step, towards the ground. She walked along the cobblestone pathway, leading to the house with the books and corpses. This time she couldn’t let herself be seen. This was strange. It wasn’t as if something would happen if she was seen again and she didn’t really care if anyone saw her. It was just as if she wasn’t meant to be seen and if she did, it would stain the folds of the future. But nothing would come of her being seen. The future would go on the same way as would have last time.
She made it to the other house again. This time, the man did not come out. She walked through the first room into the second, where the man was standing there, holding the sword in the same manner, waiting for her.
“Two very solemn people,” he repeated. Suddenly, the old corpse with the braided hair jerked up. He legs remained propped up on one end of the couch, on the arm rest, but her entire torso lifted, still straight. It was as if she was reclining on a plank and it had increased its angle to the ground. The pale girl couldn’t tell if the lady’s eyes were open or not.
“You must do this.” The man was still looking at her, not the corpse. He knew about the corpses, of course. And he knew this one was moving, yet he acted as if nothing peculiar was occurring. The lady wheezed.
“One, breathe. Two,” The raspy voice was strained. She had practically coughed the word “breathe” and she had left no time at all between the words “breathe” and “two.” The girl wasn’t breathing – just being. Was the corpse telling herself to breathe? It didn’t matter. The woman continued. “There are two very solemn people.” The old woman flashed to sitting on the couch normally. Her hands were open and moving in front of her while she spoke. “They don’t enjoy…. Or having organs inside them or anything.” The wrinkled hands moved to her abdomen.
Change of scene.
The girl was back in the first shack, made of planks of wood. It had one door, one window on either side of it. Inside there was a whole wall full of books on shelves. She had ripped some books off the walls. Sweat made the nightdress cling to her skin and made her hair matt. Colorless hair clung to her face. A book sat on the floor, closed. The girl took the sword with both hands on the mantle, lifted it above her head and brought it down onto the book. She did the same with another.
The solemn people. The apathetic characters.
Then I woke up.