Monday, July 03, 2017

The Camera (short story)

There is almost complete silence but a good listener hears the sound of the flies who want to escape through the windows. Or the occasional flutter of the wings of a moth or butterfly who also craves for light and fresh air but soon will be caught by the sticky threads of the numerous cob webs that hang strategically in the corners of the filthy windows.
The windowsills and floors are covered in tiny dead bodies of insects that were never meant to live a long life but who died in a desolated decaying black and white world where dust prevents the light to penetrate the rooms.

It is a warm Summer day and the smell is that of dust and old chalk hanging down the wall like grey and forgotten lace. It is only occasionally that the chalk decides to let go because it is tired of holding on to walls that are filled with moist during rainy seasons and crumbling of thirst during days as today.
I do not mind warm days although the times that the wind whistles its way through the cracks in the half rotten roof, are more in line with my usual moods. It is that sound that is my language, the hauling and  the spooky effects are I.
Often visitors don't hear the difference but as soon as they see me, they know the difference. Needless to say I will never see them again. I don't mind, it cheers me up!

The whole house is mine but my bedroom is a place where I do not want to see anyone else and I am often successful in scaring my visitors before they discover my room.
It has always been my room, since I was born. It was a place I loved to be until I reached the age that my father noticed I was not his little girl any more but a beautiful (forgive me for saying such vain things about myself) young woman. At this point his attitude changed and he more or less locked me up in my room. My mother begged him not to do so but the begging stopped. Even worse, I was not allowed to leave my room any more and did not know my mother had died until I died too.
Don't be afraid that I will bore you with this story today.

Photo: Darren Nisbett Fine Art Photography
Since my death my room hasn't changed much; my bed is still there with my favourite pillow where you can see the print of my head. The pillow that contains most of the tears I shed in all those years. If I am tired of dwelling through the house, I rest on this bed but leave no prints any more.
I don't leave prints on the floors either but leave mental prints in the heads of my visitors.
You will ask why I do not lock the front door to keep visitors out, well I did but to no avail, the visitors keep coming, it is the state of the house and the decoration that attracts them. I don't know why, it is old, half rotten and dusty.
But they keep coming and although I scare them off, I am also very jealous of their freedom. They can walk out the broken door where I have to stay inside. My death did not change the situation, I am still a prisoner of this house which I hate so much.

It is that hate that makes me more and more hostile and the longer I stay here, the more I look for ways to escape. And I found one! It took me a long time to understand how and when but it is only today, when the man with the advanced photo camera arrived that I know how.
He does not see or hear me, he looks immune to my power and visibility. And he enters my room which no-one had ever done before since the day I died.
A very strange feeling comes over me, I see no need any more to haunt him. Instead I follow him and look through the lens of his camera which allows me a totally different view on my world. Imagine that I could enter the camera!!

I see what he sees: the diffuse light peeping through the filthy windows, lightening the old curtains, the bed but most of all my nightgown. And it is in this nightgown that I recognize myself. Hanging to be forgotten, to pulverize to dust.
I am impressed by the way he captures my room and realize he sees beyond the dust. It feels he looks into the past, it feels he steps into my world.  With the photo he pays respect to my past, something I  never encountered before. His respect makes me aware that I can finally leave this house. Although I do not know anything about the modern world, I am a ghost and move through doors and walls. So I move inside his camera, nestling myself in the photo of my bedroom, knowing this is going to be my new world.

The house is now allowed to decay further and further, people can now explore my room; I found a new one. I do not know what my new future looks like, I do not even know if I can leave this camera again but I know when I am in the right mood again, I may haunt my new friend. Or even you!!


 Word of thanks: the photo of @darrennisbett (Instagram) inspired me to write this story and I was given permission to use the photo as an illustration for which I am very grateful. Thank you Darren!

Link: the beautiful website Darren Nisbett Fine Art Photography

Note: the story is (of course) pure fiction!A figment of my imagination!

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