Ghosts (freewrite)

in #freewritelast year

The great halls ring hollow under the hesitant steps. It gives the man no pleasure to be here and he rarely visits nowadays. Sometimes, though, he gives in to the gnawing doubt in his soul. Maybe everything is not lost. Maybe something can be salvaged.
But they are all dead, frozen in time, cobwebs hanging from broken limbs, begging for mercy. Like the old man with the fist clinging to the iron bar that no longer rattles under his grip. How long has he been there, behind the rust-eaten bars? If only there was a sparkle of life left in him he could break free, but it’s been too long.
The man stands in front of the prisoner and he remembers. He remembers the days when he use to feel something for the lonely man growing old in his cell. He knew all his secrets back then, but now the face locked in a soundless scream means nothing to him.

It’s been so long he’s been here the dust has settled on his footprints, hiding the way that would see him through the maze of empty rooms. Which way should he go? Right or left? You’d think it doesn’t matter, but it does, ‘cause there are things he’d rather not see. And faces. There are more than a few faces he’s forgotten about, God only knows why they’ve been sentenced to rot in here. He should know too, but he doesn’t and deep down he’s sort of ashamed of all the lives that were left unlived because of his… because of his what?


source

And there she is, just his luck to stumble upon the little girl’s room. At least she was little when he locked her up in this room. As she is now it's impossible to say how old she is.
You’d think he’s crazy, locking people up and forgetting about them, but that’s not true. He never meant to do that, he was going to save them, at some point. The girl in her high chair died hunched over her diary, a diary whose pages are now black, covered in the grime that corrupts a house of death where no one dares to venture. It would be interesting to read her last words, although the old man knows they don’t really matter. The girl was mad, really really mad and writing was her only defense against the nameless demons that crawled at her feet. Even in death her feet rest on the wooden platform of her high chair, so they would not touch the floor. He remembers the day he brought her the chair as she would not stop screaming. She felt safe up there, where they could not get to her.
Such a pity he forgot all about her. He could have told her the door was not locked and the rats were not real. But he didn’t and perhaps he enjoyed the thought of the girl trapped in the room fighting her worse fears with her meaningless words. Too late, now. Her face is fixed and yellow like that of a demented ceramic doll nobody ever plays with.
‘I’m sorry, little girl’, he murmurs as he shuffles his feet to the next room.
It’s very dark inside and there’s only the faint glow of a ghostly old man bent over the bed where the only friend he had left in the world died.
He was there when it happened and he remembers that one howl of pain of the man suddenly leftfinding himself all alone in the world. He promised he’ll help that desperate soul, there was still hope, he could have delivered him from this hell. One day he was going to come back and put him on a boat, to go out and find his friends, he even had family waiting on the continent if he remembers correctly, but he forgot. So long he’s been waiting in this room his body is starting to disappear, it’s disintegrating, atom after atom breaking finally free. If only he’d vanish completely, if they’d all dissolve into thin air, dust to dust.

That is not possible, it’s his fate, his punishment if you want, to wander the halls and face all the ghosts. He can never be free, like they were never set free and whose fault is it?
One day he’ll get lost. One day he won’t make it back to the gate and he won’t make it back home, the small room he calls home, where tea is waiting for him.
The thought scares him and he quickens his step, opening and hastily closing doors, leaving all the ghosts to rot behind. He finds his way back to the little girl with the diary and finally to the man behind the crumbling bars. There it is, the door to safety.
His heart is beating fast as he settles in the old chair, with the many pillows to sooth his aching back. He spends many hours in this chair, although he hasn’t touched the typewriter on the desk in many years. The stack of paper set neatly beside is all covered in soot. It used to bother him, but not anymore. He won’t be needing it anyway.
One day, they’ll find him dead in his chair. There will be no one left to visit all the ghosts, no one will even know they exist because he never wrote their stories.

Thanks for reading

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And this... is why we write... because there is no one else to tell the stories of the people we have inside our heads...

Thanks for that - found you on the CreativeCoin curation post.

Thanks for turning me on to this story, it is really cool and portrays your point very well!
And it's absolutely true, when one moves on, they take all of the unwritten people and lives with them, and no one will ever know them!

It's a shame the ghosts of sadness, guilt and regret seem to retain stronger energy than ghosts of gratitude, love and appreciation. A good support for the idea of not betraying ones integrity and honoring that which deserves honored.

Glad to see you back, and a great story that touches the heart with its truths.

Thanks! It's something that's been on my mind over the last few days. Thanks for the input, I haven't even considered the other side, the positive part that must exist even in this story, but then I'm not known for my sunny disposition.

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Hi ladyrebecca,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

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Hello! A pleasure♡

Wow, the story is intense, I feel sadness and read slowly because it was so much feeling that made me reflect ... Excellent and great story

Greetings from Venezuela

what tragedy happened here for all those to end their days in this way, lost and forgotten, trapped and alone. Your write with such emotion and pain. it was a pleasure to read even if it was intense and heartbreaking.
Curated for CreativeCoin

Wonderful!! A thousand applause standing. What a good story. When I started reading I thought about making you a jocular comment like: "which direction to go, right or left" -this is a subliminary message hahahaha. But it was just a joke.
You really made a very good story. Greetings @ladyrebecca

It's a pity that you didn't reveal why he has done all this. Why did he want to end those lives? Lock them up and don't let them see the sunshine again? So many questions :)

But it's also good that we don't know everything as it makes the story more interesting..

Thank you for sharing and have a lovely day!

I thought he intended to SAVE all those lives but never got there in time, and never learned his lesson, but I am notorious for mis-reading and misunderstanding.
You’d think he’s crazy, locking people up and forgetting about them, but that’s not true. He never meant to do that, he was going to save them, at some point.
To me, that adds all the more horror (and irony) to the story.

I get your point. I was also not sure about this story. I thought he might have schizophrenia or some other disease when he kind of does things that he can't explain later.. but I'm also notorious for misunderstanding :)

I tried very hard not to give it up too early, so I just put it in the last phrase that he was a writer and all those people were trapped in his imagination...maybe he was a bit crazy, too...
it happens! Thanks for taking such an interest, I really appreciate that!

I thought he intended to SAVE all those lives but never got there in time, and never learned his lesson, but I am notorious for mis-reading and misunderstanding.
You’d think he’s crazy, locking people up and forgetting about them, but that’s not true. He never meant to do that, he was going to save them, at some point.
To me, that adds all the more horror (and irony) to the story.
And this!
... it’s his fate, his punishment if you want, to wander the halls and face all the ghosts. He can never be free, like they were never set free and whose fault is it?
Eerie story, well written, with wit and dark humor--and surely one that took more than 5 minutes to write, edit, and post--I apprpove! #LoveIt!

I was already nominating it for @Freewritehouse Friday Favorites before I noticed you'd won @curie's attention as well. Congratulations!

Thanks, @carolkean! I did not post it to @mariannewest's traditional challenge as there was no way I could squeeze in any prompt this time!

I understand - but with the Wednesday challenge, I figured you'd earned a mention. Yes, I exceed my bounds - and have been fired from volunteer jobs for it, but I never learn. (Now, a paid job, that's another story. I'm better at following rules and sticking to the limits then!)

What a cool freewrite story @ladyrebecca!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, it was given to me by @viking-ventures, she knows I don't read all that much, but this was an awesome story!
Thanks!

Thanks for taking the time to read! And thanks @viking-ventures, too.

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