Barred Windows

A strange boy loves to escape from his life through his window, but when his father blocks it, the monster inside begins to break free..

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1. The Boy

The boy found the window fascinating. There wasn't anything to look at inside his room, other than the bare walls and the lightbulb with no lampshade. All he could do was sit on his bed, hugging his knees, so the window occupied all of his attention. Sometimes his dad would come in and draw the curtains, shouting at him to go to sleep, spittle flying everywhere. The boy would crawl under the covers and wait for the door to slam before flinging the curtains open to stare through the transparent material. Although, it wasn't the window itself that interested him, as intriguing as the lead patterns on the glass were. It was what lay outside that captured his attention, the ever-changing scenery no one ever seemed to spare a moment for. He would see people walking by, pounding the pavement with a regular rhythm, eyes everywhere but on the trees swaying to the beat and the birds that accompanied the thumping with sweet melodies. Everyone missed nature's song, too busy listening to the auto-tuned noises that rich people liked to call music. He despised them, the people who were never grateful for their surroundings.

He knew not all people were so ignorant, only the adults were. Other children appreciated the world that they all lived in, or at least most of them did. They knew how to have fun with what they were given, and weren't constantly pining for things they didn't have. He hadn't played with another child for a long time. He often missed them, wishing he could leave his room and dance in the sun with everyone else. But he couldn't. He wasn't allowed to leave, not for anything. There was a toilet in the corner and a flap on the door for meals to be pushed in through. Nothing else, not even a sharp object to end his miserable existence. Yes, he had thought about it, as young as he was. There was no other way he could escape from such a dismal place, and yet that route had been quashed by the absence of everything.

He never let his thoughts stray too far down that path though; when he felt the silence crashing down on him, he would get up and open the window, ignoring the shivers the cold wind sent through his frail body. The quiet honking of cars in the background, and the loud barking of his neighbour's dog was all the company he had, and all the company he needed. Something was always happening, squirrels chasing each other up and down the trees, pigeons hopping on the ground for morsels to eat. Seemingly common place events, but no two were ever the same. The boy often found himself wondering that if such a minute section of the world was so lively, how was the rest of it coping with all of the action happening? He hoped it would never stop, or else he would have no choice but to die of loneliness. The world outside his window was his best friend, even if it didn't know him. He loved it, even the patch between the trees that became as dark as a raven's wings when the streetlights were turned on. There was nothing in that patch, he was sure of it, but he could never shake the feeling that it was waiting, watching. But he loved it anyway; if it hadn't already tried to eat him, then surely it had to be safe?

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