Porcelain

Short story. She is there always there. But what about when she's not?

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1. Porcelain

 

Porcelain. Cracked porcelain. Sitting, staring out into the mystery of the gloom shrouding the street that almost always has a dim street lamp flickering. Glassy black eyes, eyes so full of curiosity in such a child-like  manner yet lifeless and dead. Everyday she is sat there when I pass the window from which she constantly peers. Sitting motionless. On more than one occasion I have attempted to ask another passerby who she might be. I get no reply. I am ignored. 

As a child I was always ignored, that one child out of all the others who would be constantly picked upon. They would call me names. Shout at me that I should've been left in the cold, in the wet on the steps of the looming grey bricked orphanage to die, like my mother had planned. Not taken in by the crazed old lady in the house next door. Living in a cramped house with green flowered wallpaper that had seemingly been partiality licked by flames at one point and had remained singed was not amazing. But it was the only place that I had had that was closely resembling a home. Not anymore. Even still I had always been left alone, in the dark and the cold.

Maybe that is why I am so drawn to her now. Maybe she reminds me of a younger version of myself that lives somewhere on the edge of my subconscious. Always there but never noticed. I notice her. Her pure blonde ringlets framing her petite face, never smiling just blank. Not that that bothers me. I never walk close enough to the glass from which she sits behind in fear that someone might see me and shoo me away from her, forbidding me to seeher again in this one-sided way of ours. 

Walking down the rough cobbled street in the greying fog through the immortal shadow that seems to cover this particular street at all hours, the light darkening further around me. Today felt different to me somehow. The air felt strange and wrong around me, hitching in my throat with every intake of breath. In the pit of my heart I can just feel the simple longing for her to be there even though I know she will be. Just to see her, like every other day since I moved into this town. Reaching the end of the street her shop just about comes into view. Her little light illuminating part of her window from where she watched. Drawing closer I see her. As usual, with the long black scar running from her forehead right through her left eye and just elongating her un-smiling lips on that one side with its tip. I feel a smile forming slightly upon my own face before turning to carry on back to my house, it is mine as the lady who took my in had died only a few years ago, of heart failure they said.

 After only walking a short distance, paranoid shivers run down the length of my spine one after the other causing the hairs on the back of my neck and on my pale arms to rise and stand tall. I turn my head, glancing over my shoulder. But in the darkness I see her. Her cracked porcelain face peering at me from the window. A different window, from a window from one of the red brick house just behind me. Flicking my head back to face forward, I feel the tension building in my muscles. I feel glued to the spot yet the urge to continue my journey. Only after another few minutes of continuing up the stone cobble road, that same feeling runs through every nerve in my body. Paralysing me. Cautiously I turn to face the row of hedges on my left hand side. There, staring at me through a small opening in the green, I see the all encasing black pits of glass that form eyes which look toward me with such lifelessness. I break into a run, small beads of sweat forming on my forehead as I move. Quickly I reach the front steps of my house. I am stopped dead in my tracks. She is there. Looking up at me from the step. I fall to the stone. Curling my legs toward me as salty tears stream silently down my cheeks. Laughter. I hear a child’s laughter. That sort of contagious laughter. I begin to laugh too until I feel a small cold hand on my arm. Then the pitch black encases my entire being. Then there is nothing. 

 

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