Today’s prompt: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What jumps out at you? Start there. Today’s twist: Write in the form of a letter.
The novel I usually have at hand is Jane Eyre, but yesterday, I had been rereading parts of The Professor, also by Charlotte Bronte. I turned to page 29, and the word ‘chilling’ caught my attention. I thought it accurately described what was happening to my narrator/protagonist: S.N. It isn’t written as a letter, but it ends with a letter. So here is part four. Another cliffhanger, I’m afraid…
This story can be read on its own, but if you’d like to read parts 1,2,and 3, just scroll down.
Last night I dreamt I returned to…. Part 4.
The front door banged, and I raced up the stairs to the looking-glass in the main bedroom. I knew he was still here. I could hear his voice in the mirror. I froze at the threshold…
It was her again! A ragged grey dress covered her skeletal frame, and unruly grey hair hung around her gaunt face. Her bulging red eyes stared back at me. She was even uglier than before.
‘What are you doing here?’ I shouted. She looked surprised and displeased to see me, too. She repeated the same words as me.
‘I don’t have time for this now.’ I told her rushing to the back of the mirror feeling for the switches I had to press desperately, but I couldn’t find them, and she kept mimicking me.
I had to make her shut up. I turned back to the dressing-table, picked up my mother’s vase, and shattered the mirror with one sharp blow.
One of the pieces flew over the bed and landed inside the cot. I felt a chilling cry creep inside my head – the baby!
I jumped over the mattress to the cot. A jagged piece of glass jutted out of a toy baby. The blue plastic eyes blinked vacantly, and a drop of water slid down its chubby cheek.I wiped it away with my fingers.
I flew down the stairs and slammed the front door shut, pressing my back hard against it. I was still panting as I walked down the path and out of the gate into the bright midday sun.
She had left the letter on the bed, unfinished, unsealed, and unread, until he opened it when he finally returned days later.
I’m sorry, Chris, but I have to go. I know I told you I would wait, but I can’t stay here any longer. I’ve realized it’s not my house, or our house. It never was our house. The terrible things which happened here — we thought it didn’t matter, but it does. We thought we could start again, but we can’t. I understand why now. He is still here. She knows. Perhaps you shouldn’t stay here, either.
I love you. S.N.
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Although I have an outline for a story in my mind, Part 5 will depend on tomorrow’s prompt, and suggestions are welcome!