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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Miss Carole is an obsessive writer who loves to describe the world around her. Sometimes, however, the world decides to write itself.

Perfect short story for those who ponder about reality, psychology and perception. Enjoy ;)

Submitted: April 09, 2019

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Submitted: April 09, 2019

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I’ve taken a break from writing. Or at least, that is what I told the maid who lived with us. Mother stopped by earlier to drop off some summer watermelons which, to my surprise, were ripened perfectly and not bitter like some of the others that Mother gave to me.

“You should come help your old ma with the garden,” Mother jokingly insisted.

It would have made me smile if it weren’t for the fact that it wasn’t a joke at all.

“I would, ma, but it’s just so damn hot out,” I tiptoed around her persistence and plucked an apple from the basket on the kitchen table.

“All you ever do is sit up in your room and write! All day, every day… can’t you find anything else to do?”

I put down the apple in my hand as she glared her judgmental pupils on me.

“Writing is my life, ma,” I said with a tinge of defense.

“Writing doesn’t pay bills. Isn’t that right, Margarite?” She asked the maid at the table who was peeling peaches for a pie.

Margarite glanced at me, almost as if she felt a wave of sorrow for me. But Mother was the boss.

“Right, Miss Melinda.”

I rolled my eyes and began to walk towards the staircase. This was our family home – a big, Victorian plantation in the middle of nowhere. Old money. Ironically, Mother had to live in an apartment near the city to pay for it all while Father was out drinking at the local V.A.

All Mother had to entertain herself was a rooftop garden that her and the other tenants shared.

“Please consider getting outside – back to reality!”

Mother got up and made her way out of the door and back to her car. She was finally leaving me in peace.

I sat down in the chair that Mother had just occupied and rubbed my finger on one of the hairy peaches Margarite was peeling.

There was a tense silence, although to me, it wasn’t awkward at all. In fact, I liked to sit there, in the silence, and just breathe while staring out the window. Sometimes, the best ideas hit me when I would just sit still.

“Miss Carole?” Margarite finally spoke from her intense peeling process.

“Yes, Margarite?” I said as softly as a mouse. I wondered if she could even hear my whisper.

“Look at me,” she said with a rich authority I’ve never heard from her before.

I stopped rubbing the peach and connected my eyes to hers.

“Ya know, when I was younger, I liked to write, too…” she trailed off.

More silence.

“Sometimes, it’s good to get out of your own situation. That’s the beauty of writing. It helps ya escape for a little while.”

I nodded – I heard all this stuff before. Plenty of times.

“Sometimes writin’ can be dangerous.”

This caught my attention.

I tapped my fingernails on the peach in slow, steady rhythm.

“What do you mean?”

The wind chimes blew softly in the wind as I tried to focus on the words that were about to spill from Margarite’s lips.

“Well… you see,” she said as smooth as a running river, “sometimes you get so deep into writing that you forget about… the real world. Ya know?”

Oh, great. Another judgmental critic. I already had enough of those on my case daily. Now it seems, Margarite, too.

“Right… well… who knows? Maybe I’ll give it a break,” I said. It was a total lie, but I had to appease them somehow.

I stole a peach and waltzed swiftly up the staircase and quietly shut my door. My sanctuary.

Staring down at my pen and paper, I knew I had to write something. It was an addiction, you see. It wasn’t like any other activity to me. Writing was my life. It was my reality.

The crisp, summer leaves sprung cheerfully on the branches

Calm, like the mist of morning fog, the summer blues hatches

No one could save the vibrant, crimson robin

From the sorrow of summertime falling

In drops of rain along the river boats,

This sorrow tied to the anchors docking

I put the pen down and nodded in approval. To my demise, I realized I hadn’t set foot outside in nearly two days to even see a boat, let alone a red robin. But this was the life of a writer – to capture the imagination of what could be there, not what already is.

A headache began to unfold in my brain – it was enough to make me put my obsession away and lie down on my bed. Although it was hot and muggy outdoors, I had the urge to pull a quilt over my legs and shiver into the mattress.

Sometimes writin’ can be dangerous.

Maybe Margarite was right. Being indoors all the time and never stepping foot outside could make anyone go a little crazy and ill. Tomorrow, I promised myself, that I would go outdoors and seek nature without the use of my pen.

The next morning, I sprung awake with a fresh inspiration. Down the steps I ran and slid into the kitchen with a fierce energy.

“I’m going outside!” I declared to Margarite.

She was stirring her coffee when I nearly scared her to death with my sing-song enthusiasm.

“Oh, how great, child,” she said – almost with relief. “Here, take a sandwich with ya, I made them for lunch but you can have one now.”

I grabbed the package and skipped out the door and into the immediate field that followed. Some of my energy was wearing off as I realized that the sky above was a warm grey color – nothing like the sunny, beautiful day I had imagined.

No matter! It would be a glorious day regardless. Today was the day that Miss Carole would brave the elements without having to write a single stanza.

Although there wasn’t a red robin in sight, I did spot a few dirty crows in the field. They were pecking on some poor carcass leftover from an unknown mammal. I frowned at the scene before me.

Nothing but miles of dusty fields and heavy clouds.

No, I told myself, I must keep going. This is my real world; I need to appreciate it.

I began to jog into the forest that crossed into the fields. A cascade of tall, ugly pine trees engulfed my own shadow and not a single bird or squirrel ran in or out of their trunks.

Although I was beginning to feel the spry hope I had from this morning drain my face, I knew that I couldn’t escape it with paper or pen this time.

Eventually, I came across a tree stump in the thicket of thorn bushes that scraped my knees and elbows during my trek.

I sat in a quiet disappointment as I sighed at the barren landscape before me. To ease my frustration, I tapped my foot on the ground and twiddled my thumbs.

Riiiip, I heard from below my foot.

Furrowing my brows, I looked down to see what had made the crinkling noise below me.

A soft, manila color popped out from below the rotten leaves. I bent over to touch the strange object only to immediately recognize its all too familiar texture. It was paper.

“What…?”

I dropped to my knees onto the forest floor and began to brush away the leaves. Doing so only revealed more pieces of blank, empty sheets of paper.

This is odd, what is all this paper doing here?

I pushed aside more and more leaves until I got to a massive tree. I could see that there was paper even below the roots of the trunk.

This cannot be possible; it just can’t be!

I sat in astonishment for a while – I was unable to process what I was seeing.

I yanked on the paper. As I did so, my head spun in a dizzy pattern – as if pulling the paper was like steering a wheel and I flipped the world upside down. I let go and wheezed at the giant canvas below me. I tugged on the paper again – this time I could feel the fabric of the landscape around me pull into a vortex, as if everything was being stretched into nothingness.

The forest began to buckle and bend in a swift direction like a wave. The paper below was surfacing with such strong force that the forest evaporated into a fog – revealing nothing but miles and miles of a giant, empty page.

This isn’t reality after all.


© Copyright 2019 Kylee Carrier. All rights reserved.

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