Death's Door

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This short story was written in my English class when we were learning about descriptive work. It's based on a letter written by Charles Dickens.

Submitted: January 29, 2011

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Submitted: January 29, 2011



Death’s door
In the upper attic of the town house, there was a small room. It was filled with toys, flowers in vases, an antique rocking chair and a small bed. The wooden floor was pale with age and the room was filled with crawling ivy. It came from the small stained-glass window in the side of the room, which coloured the air with vibrant reds, yellows and blues. On the bed, was a small girl.
She sat in bed with her long blonde hair strewn around her. Her blue eyes stared at the tall boy who stood beside her. He slowly sat down in the rocking chair that stood beside her bed and threaded his fingers together. Looking up at her, he smiled and started to talk.
“Holly, do you know what an angel is?”
She giggled quietly and replied in a soft voice:
“I may be dying, but I haven’t forgotten anything. An angel is the messenger of God, who helps him in heaven.”
The boy’s vibrant green eyes glanced away from hers for an instant. Only for an instant, then they were back, locked on hers. Once again, he smiled, only this time it was just slightly sad.
“They are what you say they are, but not just that. They are the souls of people who have been good throughout their life, and they become angels when they go to heaven. As long as you live a life full of goodness, you can become an angel.”
The girls eyes widened and she tried to sit up, but to no avail. She fell down against the soft eiderdown in a coughing fit. At that moment, an old skinny man entered the room. He looked more like a skeleton than the girl, who was probably nearer to death than he was. The old man looked concernedly at Holly, whos coughing had gotten louder, then he looked to the boy, and his face-hardened. Noting the facial gesture, the boy stood up again, bent down to the Holly to whisper a short goodbye, and then he quickly exited the room, leaving the old man to help her.
The room where the girl lay was completely silent. No birds sang outside the window, and the chamber had taken on an air of tranquillity. On the bed lay the child, who was now covered with ivy and holly wreaths. She had her eyes closed and a small smile played on her lips. There was no one else in the room, and the furniture was covered in white cloth. The only item in the room that was left uncovered was a small vase of lilies. It looked almost as if the girl was sleeping, dreaming of wonderful things she had heard in fairytales. The only thing that betrayed the image of the sleeping child was that she did not breathe.
Holly was dead.
Two days later, she was carried to the church and buried in the graveyard. As the mourners left, and the vicar departed, an old, frail man was left alone, sitting beside the newly packed earth and the fresh letters on the gravestone. He had with him a small bag filled with food, and an old walking stick beside it. For the rest of the day he waited by the modest grave, until the light started to fade and the chill winter winds began to blow. Then, he stood up slowly and said aloud: “She’ll come tomorrow.” The only person to watch him leave was a tall boy, with tearstains down his cheeks and bright green eyes, the colour of holly.

© Copyright 2017 Midorihatenma. All rights reserved.

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