Inspired by this weeks Magpie Tales and the photo below.
She wanted to hide, curl up in a ball and cover her head, away from prying eyes. Even the slant of light through the tiny gap in the curtains felt intrusive, abrasive to her need for retreat. She yanked it tightly shut, angry that light had wheedled its way in, she needed darkness and silence.
She was trying not to focus on the the wind as it whistled down the chimney, sounding first like an express train, then a scream. She didn't know for sure if the noises were in the room or inside her.
She had heard screams like that before.
The door was locked, she knew it. She had turned the key herself and tugged at the door to be sure. But still she fought against the need to walk back over the lurid carpet to check it again. It was a matter of moments before her bare feet padded across the room and she leant her weight up against the panelled door. Her face resting against its cool surface, the solidified paint runs magnified in close up.
She turned the handle and pulled hard. It was locked but the slight play on the handle bothered her. She rattled it, her mind turning to screwdrivers and loose screws. She picked up the wooden chair with the red upholstered seat and the fake brass tacks and lifted it an inch from the floor, and then as she had seen in the movies, she tilted it and jammed it up beneath the handle.
She knew that he was out there. Standing across the street, staring up at her window.
He would have his hands plunged deep into his pockets and be shuffling his feet to keep warm. He would be watching for a sign, a flicker of the curtains, her face at the window. He would be praying that she would open the front door and run across the empty street and into his arms.
But she couldn't.