door remaining

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story was inspired by the writings of William Faulkner. It is by no means supposed to be a replica of his writing or stories. I was just inspired by his writing style and subject matter.

Submitted: October 23, 2011

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Submitted: October 23, 2011

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The Door

 

He knew it- he knew it just like everyone else knew it, felt it, and perhaps felt it more than he desired or deserved because he was still young, not like his father, who was old and untouchable now. That man had lost it already, but he felt it too, not unlike how his son felt it but still different somehow (the man who was now leaning over the chair inspecting him, knowing, despite his effort to hide it, that he, his son felt it). James felt it like his father had first felt it, intriguing, horrifying, and amazing, but mostly horrifying (and father still staring at son with that knowledge that only fathers have of sons, that sons never perceive of or are aware of because of that blindness which only youth can support- that knowledge that the time has come when a certain naivety has suffered and struggled to survive but finally has died) horrifying like the black of the night that seemed to penetrate into the old room and blind him. It blinded him like he was blind to his father's knowledge, but not like his naivety which blindness had supported for so many years because that was dead now.

The only thing left now was that old room, the old room and the front door of that perished Mississippi plantation, the old wood fixtures that might as well have been made of stone for all they withstood; the face of doom itself they had withstood- because that place was destined to fall, it had to fall sometime.  It was almost perfect, that place, that southern wonderland, and therefore it had to fall, just like the perfect naivety which one day must fall, must suffer and die and give way to reality, to the rest of the world who has in its knowledge almost forgotten about that ignorant narrow minded naivety which can only create that perfect place. Perhaps the rest of that place was too weak to fight that doom, but the old room was strong enough to, and it survived. Now he (the son) knew the truth, as his father had learned the truth, and as his father's father knew the truth would come, yet he was still somehow different. 

"How long you gonna stare at that wall James?  It's damn hot in here and them mosquitoes are gettn' to me." 

"Sorry Pap, I was just, well I was just thinking." 

"Damn it!  All anyone's been doing around here lately is thinking!  Damn south, this damn town, and this God damn house!  The only thing left around here is this damn room and that door!  After everything, after all these years, and this is what we're left with!  God Damn it boy!"

He took a swig out of the bottle of whisky and turned around and James, still staring at the floor, still thinking when the sound of glass breaking on the floor sent him to his feet because he knew, not because the broken glass was anything new, but because he knew they had to leave, that now it was time.  That old room had seen whisky bottles broken, heard the sound and felt the glass shatter on the floor more times then the Wisteria bloomed on the wall outside (and it bloomed full and often), felt the glass more times because James' father and James' father's father, and God knows his father before him too were intent on fighting the face of doom like that old room had fought the face of doom and still stood today.  James' father felt it like James felt it, like everybody feels it but somehow different; different because he fought it. He fought it because he could not let go of the naivety, because he couldn't let the perfect selfish naivety die, just like that old room couldn't let that perfect place die.  But it died anyway, just like it was doomed to die, bound to die because it was perfect-that place and that naivety that he (James’ father) and that old room had fought- and neither a victor because he now knew, and because (although it still stood) the place was no longer perfect. 

The walls still stand but here I am inside and all that is here are the walls and the floor and the broken glass and the chair- but the outside isn't much better, rotting away but yet still like stone because it is still here and that door, the door that they once walked through when this place wasn't dead and empty, before it fell, when it was an Eden to all who lived inside southern borders. But it fell, like my naivety has fallen- naivety that was perfect and that did not even exist until I discovered it, until it was lost because nothing exists until it is lost- like this place has been lost, has died because although it still stands, it is no longer perfect to them.  And that door, the door that once was the passageway to the perfect place, but now is the passage to darkness and rotting wood, and to broken glass.  And my father swearing in the corner, swearing at the place which has failed him, at the fate which has defeated him and this place -

James' father walked over to James and grabbed him by the arm, grunting and pulling him out of the room through that front door- the door that he himself used to walk through and his father too had walked through with pride, and that fight they would not give up, that battle against fate that they were bound to lose that was carried endlessly through that door and everywhere else in this decaying Mississippi town. And James, looking back at the old room, and that door, and his father pulling him along, grunting and swearing, and James still looking- because he did not know that place as his father knew that place, he felt it, like his father felt it but different because he did not fight it, because he now knew, understood, that place was bound to fall, and that his naivety was bound to die; and he did not fight it- and his father still pulling, still walking and not looking because he could not, because he would not; he would not because he still fought, he could not accept the fall of that place, or even of his naivety. 

And now passing the swamp, that strange place that lurked with endless life and James' father stopping and staring at that strange product of nature, that mysterious place that had been there forever and would live on and continue to produce life while the place was dead, and only the room left, but not alive because the place was no longer perfect.  And James looking back, still, at the old room, struggling to see it through the thick blackness that surrounded him and not seeing it, looking with no success, until he saw it; bright and horrifying like a dream, like a blur so that he wasn't sure if it was real.  But it was; and now fate was taking its last toll, striking its last blow unstopped by him or his father or anyone, and James watched it.  His father turned, saw what James had been watching and stood, dumbfounded once again by fate, his competitor and enemy, and this was it.  The flames engulfed the roof, and the old room burned, and they watched, helpless, the hand of fate burned that room and slowly he (James' father) walked away from the swamp, that twisted pool of life, toward the room that was already dead, dead before the flames had even singed the wood, and James following slowly, cautiously, following that man, his father, who was face to face with fate and James not sure if the fight was over, if the fight was dying or even subsided.  And the man, reaching the house standing, staring, thinking of that place before it fell, of that place when he walked through that door with pride, to that perfect place, that door which only lead to a dark empty room now, and James watching from a distance (that room, burning, and burning slowly, still fighting that fate, refusing to burn fast, to give in, and James wondering what his father was thinking, if he was still fighting, thinking that he was just like that old room still) standing back, then lowering his weary body to the ground..

*****

The sun beat down on his back, beating hard with no mercy into that hot still humid southern day, and no breeze, no breeze to relieve the heat that day, and he (James) opening his eyes, forgetting, and then of course remembering and looking; the ash was spread on the earth before him like a proof of victory- victory and defeat at the same time because fate had taken it's final blow and that old room was finally defeated, but the old door still stood.  The old door stood, strong and proud in the heat of that hot still humid southern day and it was not defeated; there it stood like it had stood the night before and the year before, like it stood as James remembered it and his father saw it and his father too had seen it.  But he was gone, he was no longer standing there, staring dumfounded, perhaps he was defeated like that old room was defeated but he (James) was still there and that door was still there, untouched by fate.  And James still stood because he had not fought it, because he knew it was bound to die.  And the door, the door was still there, the door that had given his father and his father's father pride, the door that still stood even though he was gone, and the son was still there.  The door and the son were left, untouched by that doom that had defeated him and that place. The son and the door still standing on that hot still humid southern day.

 


© Copyright 2020 Lizziest. All rights reserved.

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