Virginia

Elizabeth Drawdy April 2019

Dripping in lace she steps softly into the hallway. She hears distant distorted voices and searches for them but finds only empty rooms.

 

She knows this house so intimately she can walk through it blindly. Her things are all here, just as she had left them the night before. A dress draped across the back of her chair, unfit for the chilly morning air. A mirror placed on the vanity next to a hairbrush hardly used.

 

She walks around her bedroom touching everything as she passes until her fingers fall on something forgotten, something she hadn’t wanted to remember. Her mother’s writing peaks out of an envelope, hastily scrawled and sealed, evidence of her sudden flight from home. She touched it and was overwhelmed by the smell of wet earth surrounding her.

 

Suddenly she was running through the rain in the forest behind her house, desperately trying to reach the road. She had her mother’s letter clutched tightly in her fist as she raced through the brush tripping over roots and stumps but never daring to slow her pace.

 

She could hear the sound of the carriage not far from her. “Mother!” she cried out knowing it was a hopeless attempt to be heard.

 

She came to the edge of the river and from the top of a rocky cliff, she saw her mothers carriage speed out of sight.

 

She sat and wept, her tears mixing with the rain causing the ink to bleed onto her white lace dress. She looked out from her perch taking in the familiar scene her mother and she loved so dearly.

 

Flowers were beginning to bloom on the riverbank, birds chirped softly in the trees above her head. She knew her mother would never return to this place with her.

 

So she let the letter slip from her fingers and fall down into the deep waters. As she stood to return home, the rocks beneath her shifted and down she fell, following the path of the letter.

 

She was surrounded by blue, the sound of rushing water filled her ears, then there was nothing. And when she awoke, she stepped into an empty hallway in a house she would never leave. The memories and voices of her childhood home haunting her just as she haunts them.

Image courtesy of the author