STRAWS AND CAMELS

short-stories1

This is a short story I wrote on 19 November 2007. It was the day I literally began writing. This piece depicts a normal day in my life… perfectly. Well… up until the end.

STRAWS AND CAMELS

Sophie walked down the hall. Her hands shook from the anger that swelled in her chest as her brother shouted down the hall at her, “No one wants you here! If you weren’t so stupid you could figure that out!” She turned in silence back to her room as she remembered her reasons for rarely leaving her room. She came to her door and placed her hand on the knob. “You think you’re so much better than us. You can’t come out of your room for a minute without running back to hibernate!” He began throwing chunks of the carrot he was eating at her. Sophie turned the knob and pushed open the door as she sucked in her cheeks. She closed her eyes as she closed out the malicious threats. “I’m going to kill you!” While she took in a deep breathe – a habit she had developed while resisting the urge to retaliate – she closed the door behind her and turned the lock. Silence.
Sophie turned her back to the door then leaned against it as she slowly exhaled the soothing breathe taken in earlier, relishing the moment of peace. This had been how she and her brother had lived for more than six years. Sophie wasn’t sure when it started. Only that when she stepped out of her room, her brother attacked her with unprovoked, vicious comments. Her parents ignored it, believing that she had somehow caused him to lash out at her. They couldn’t believe that he would verbally come after her like he did without some reasonable cause. Sophie often wondered how several mute trips to the refrigerator for a snack or the bathroom for a break could be cause enough to instigate her brother’s verbal attacks. She exhaled the last of her breathe and opened her eyes.
Then her eyes widened. Her mouth fell open and her heart pounded like timpani. Her bed was gone. Her dresser was gone. Her closet, missing. The whole room had gone! In its place, where once her pink walls had been, was a fine alabaster stone spread out farther than any room in the house had stretched. The pink carpet was gone and there, in its stead, was a smooth, marble floor. From the high, dome ceiling, a single stream of cool water fell quietly into an inset pool surrounded by white cashmere and silk pillows. Sophie stepped away from the door and her fingers brushed something cold. She looked down to her left and saw a black onyx statue of Bast, the cat goddess of the Egyptians, as a domesticated cat sitting gracefully by the door. An identical statue stood to her right. With her heart still racing, Sophie took her eyes from the statues and stepped away from the door.
She lifted her gaze and looked past the fountain and pool to see an archway across the room with large Corinthian pillars on either side of the arch. A gossamer curtain that hung from the arch, blew delicately in a cool breeze. Her chest ached from her pounding heart and her hands shook with awe at the sight before her. Sophie brushed aside the curtain and stepped onto the circular balcony, which clung to the side of a climbing stone tower. Before her stretched a series of mountains, red from the setting sun. Her mouth now hung open as she looked down from the mountains towards the large lush forest of pine that began at the base of the mountains. From there her eyes followed the trees down into a magnificent pool of water. It was then that Sophie noticed a roaring thunder from the ripples in the black pool. To the right, Sophie could see rushing a water fall, which plummeted thirty feet down into the black water. Her eyes peered over the balcony and into pool below. From there she could easily dive into the pool if she wanted. The falling water whipped the wind through her hair. Her pulse continued to drum as she stared down into the pool below. She closed her eyes, stretched out her arms and inhaled the perfect air of the wind and water. Suddenly, a sharp pain jolted her as she fell to the floor. She opened her eyes and looked down at the pink carpet and drops of blood that fell from her lip. The marble was gone, the water was gone, and there stood her brother with his fists clenched. She looked up at him before he slammed his fist down into her face once more. She felt the pain pulse through her temple as she made an attempt to stand. After she planted her feet firmly beneath her she felt his fingers grip her hair. Her face exploded with a different pain as her brother slammed it into the pink walls again and again until the pain in her head became numb and Sophie could think of nothing. Her mind emptied as she fell to the ground, unable to feel the pain in her head. She stood and her eyes caught sight of the scissors laying on her dresser. Without a thought she took two steps to the dresser, lifted the scissors, and lashed in the air. She didn’t see where she slashed. She didn’t think of anything. A feeling had erupted inside her. Not anger or hate. But simply instinct. Instinct to live and to protect herself. Once she realized he wasn’t coming after her again, she lowered the scissors and looked at the door. She could see that he had broken the knob to get into her room. Her eyes fell to where her brother lay, unmoving. She could see a thick, black pool forming into her carpet. Her hands no longer shook. Her heart was no longer racing. She stared quietly and calmly at her brother’s body. She closed her eyes while she took in a deep breathe. “Never again,” Sophie whispered.

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About the Author: Angela