Vexed letters, old as time, raw as poetry, beckoned me from the forgotten corner of the darkroom- a room that carried a patina of neglect. Their unobtrusive presence and accusing glare subjected me to blame for their unerringly wretched state. Their hatred was undeniably perceptible. And, their expressions noticeably grim. It’s highly plausible that the former owners of this dilapidated house safely nestled the envelopes in the nook of the room. The mysterious writings and the poetic prose they contained were never read. However, despite the abandonment, the stack looked utterly beautiful and purely magical with the striped blue and red edges. Safely knotted with a straw thread, they burgeoned with the intensity of the words they contained.
Despite possessing knowledge of this truth, the letters despised me for their ill fate. Should I uncage the caged prisoners? Should I release them of their predicament and tear off the seal? In defiance of their unmistakable contempt, a beacon of hope still lingered in their frigid eyes. Perhaps it was the roguish existence of the itsy-bitsy dust specks that frolicked in the golden beams of light that ecstatically escaped the faded mildewed curtains. The distant rumble of the eastbound-train impeded my thoughts, and the magpie robin on the empty branch ceased to sing. It wasn’t until then when I heard the deafening knock on the front door. I closed the rickety door behind me and made my way down the rasping stairs that squeaked and groaned upon every step.
‘Anyone home‘ muttered a feeble voice behind the ramshackle door. There was a rotund lad with painful blemishes all over his face. He was too young to be working as a postman. Perhaps a juvenile attempting to escape school or an adolescent struggling to make ends meet. Do they hire young boys to carry out trivial tasks? I wondered hastily. ‘There’s an envelope for you. You may sign here’. How is that possible when no one knew my current whereabouts. I thought. I signed and closed the wobbly door behind me. Still perplexed, I scrutinised the fancy scribbles and decided against finding out what rests inside. Other matters demanded my attention.
A Year Goes By
Days transformed into weeks, and weeks into months. A year passed, and my estranged striped comrades didn’t budge, nor did I move them. The papers deteriorated and the scribbles blotched with time. Like the former owners, I too left the forgotten envelopes in the corner of the room.
Author of the poetry book ‘Nocturnal Hours’.
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