These are strange days indeed. I’m teaching from home, which is weird, though I’m getting used to it.
I might be coming out of the creative fog I’ve been in. Don’t want to jinx it, but nevertheless, here I am, testing fate and hoping for the best.
Years ago one NaNoWriMo, I started this story and it keeps calling to me, keeps asking to be finished. So, I’m going to post it here, bit by bit. I’d already shared the opening scenes before, but it was so long ago, I shall start from the beginning. Not sure how continuity will be…but we don’t know unless we try. (And yes, I realize this means I may not get published anywhere. Don’t care. Rather share.)
The Fairy Tale Asylum: scene one
“That’s a fairy tale!” the Doctor exclaimed.
River Song laughed. “Doctor! Aren’t we all?”
~Doctor Who, season 5, episode 5
The black birds gathered on the roof at sunset as they did every winter day. They flapped their wings, making a racket of feathers and hollow bird bones. The boy had no memory of being outside, but outside was where he was determined to go.
The grownups warned him illness filled the outside world. He didn’t believe this. If he were sick and the outside were sick, why couldn’t they be together?
The sun, however, frightened him. It burned too hot and bright, and it saw everything. The sun would expose him to the nurses. He didn’t know the punishment for sneaking out, but it would be spectacular.
Nurse Stillmark always used that word. The day was spectacular. The song over the loudspeaker was spectacular. His correct answer to a question was spectacular. His mistakes were spectacular too.
Sneaking up to the attic was easier than he expected, but he’d made a spectacular mistake. If he’d gone down to the basement, he’d have better access to the ground. From the attic, he had access only to the roof. Going up made no sense for an escape but up called to him. Up always called to him.
He had to wait for a deeper darkness. He curled up in the space between the wall and massive, dusty, rusty-hinged trunk and dozed.
The boy dreamed the black birds took him away to where grass bent under his feet, as soft as he’d always imagined, not sharp like the nurses threatened. He woke near midnight. The dream vanished, but the moon floated on high. The window latch moved easily under his small fingers. The cold night breeze startled him and he stretched his hand out, the moonlight striking his skin. This was fresh air. Fresh air was a promise.
He thought about falling. He thought about getting caught. The boy pulled himself through the old window and set one foot on the roof, four floors above the ground and where he was about to discover another world.
Thanks for reading.