Estimated reading time — 2 minutes
Recognition without context.
A wall. A painting. A fireplace. A lamp.
I see these things and I know them, but I do not know why. Who once told me what a fireplace is and what it is for? How do I recognize it without memory, and yet have visions in my mind’s eye of it crackling with light and warmth?
I fear the lighting of it for I have been nothing but a coldness. I feel as though I am made of drifts of snow dyed black by shadow and can feel my mind only in the darkness. That is why I sweep through the hallways at night and break the bulbs in the low lights. I cannot think while they are lit, and I must think. I must find an answer.
It is a doll with black hair, dressed in pyjamas. I have seen the dolls before. This one is the smallest. It goes into the kitchen and I follow, keeping a reasonable distance. I am intrigued by the dolls and their clockwork movements – in and out of their beds, to and from the doors, sitting at the dining room table with their plates and cups. Their forms give them advantages I do not have, and I watch them often.
The doll goes to the kitchen while I follow behind. Its tiny body is radiant with sleep, and its shoeless feet make almost no noise as it goes to the refrigerator door and opens it. Light spills out onto the doll and onto me. I cannot have that, my mind has been so focused tonight. Anger and desperation surge within me, bracing me forward as I wrench the door handle from the little doll and slam the refrigerator shut.
This is when the doll falls into me. The force of the blow knocking it backwards, into the center of me. I feel its pulse, the rhythm of its heart, the soothing draw of its breath. My memory mingles with something inside of the little head, and I can see new green grass, streams full of fish, muddy rubber boots, a sky and a world beyond the upstairs, downstairs and basement of this place.
How desperate I am to see more! To take all of the memories inside of this doll and make them my own, expanding my knowledge and answering the secrets of this existence. But it is only seconds between the push that closes the door and the doll landing harshly on the stone floor.
It begins to wail, to sob, to mewl like an injured kitten.
I can hear the rest of them, marching down the stairs and leaving a trail of light behind them. There is little time to flee, so I open all of the cupboards at once, searching desperately for a corner of darkness to hide in before…
The electric light of the kitchen is switched on.
Credit To – Susan Eckland