That dream which takes a lifetime
from a seed as a child to grand design
would all be wasted, life lived in endless
agony over memories denied
then what foolish nature is
to dream a dream impossible
no pauper may celebrate greatly
nor idle the days away in fantasy.
23 Feb 2015 Leave a comment
That dream which takes a lifetime
23 Feb 2015 Leave a comment
Mona had spent a frantic night sewing a handful of simple dresses for herself. It has been days since she’d felt she’d been of any use, and once she had started the work a fever of sorts took over. It wasn’t till she sensed the room get lighter that she finally felt tired, drained in fact. As if she’d spent every last ounce of energy.
When she looked up from the machine, she noticed a breakfast table already present in the room. Why hadn’t she noticed it’s arrival? Not that she was hungry. Instead of attacking the food like a starved animal, Mona strode over to the bed and fell asleep, glad that she didn’t have to wander the lonely halls.
It was late in the afternoon when she sensed something and woke up with a fright, only to find Lucifer standing over her, watching, waiting. She let out a shrill scream.
‘My servants tell me you didn’t eat your breakfast this morning, and that you were up all night.’ He glared at her as if she were a puzzle to solve. ‘Are you not well?’
Mona was gobsmacked. She was glad her curtains were drawn and there was no fire lit in the room because…and she stopped herself before the thought completed. ‘You have servants?’ she asked shakily.
Lucifer ignored the question. ‘Are you not happy with my hospitality?’
Mona sat up in bed. She hadn’t really thought of the whole situation as a guest-host thing. She hadn’t really cared to think how thoughtfully she’d been served so far. ‘I was too tired this morning to be hungry,’ she finally managed.
Mona could only look to her messy sewing corner. ‘I got carried away…’
‘Do you wish for anything else?’ He asked pointedly. ‘Mr Broom advises me that you are perhaps unhappy being here. Is that true?’
Mr Broom? Mona wasn’t aware that there were other people in the house with her and that they had been looking after her as per Lucifer’s order. Yes, she had heard whispers every now and then, but every time she’d look, all she would find were everyday items like broom, lights, dishes etc. ‘How can I be happy when I do not know the reason why I’m being held here against my will.’
To Mona’s surprise, Lucifer looked rather stunned. ‘Held against your will? You are free to go home anytime you wish, dear Mona.’
If that were true, why did Mona sense a but there. Lucifer smiled a pained smile. ‘Because, with me, there is always a but dear.’
‘I can leave anytime I want, but?’
‘But, your dear old papa will have to replace your presence here in my palace.’
Mona felt a sudden stab of pain where her heart was. Her papa, here, in that lonely place? He’d die within a month.
‘And so said he.’
‘Your father,’ the beast began, ‘he said that very thing. He stumbled upon my palace one dark night, lost, hungry, tired, and looking for a way back home, to you I suppose.’ Mona’s mouth flew open. ‘He took liberty in entering my home, eating my food, warming by my fire, and resting in my bed, yet asked not my permission.’ Mona knew where this was going. Her father’s habit of assuming everything and everyone was there to serve him had landed him in hot waters before, but this was an entirely different thing. ‘You see, such arrogance should cost, don’t you think, Mona?’
Mona simply nodded. She was somewhat mesmerized by Lucifer in that moment, almost questioning her eyes for a brief interlude when she swore she saw an image of a young, handsome man in his place. The briefest of a second.
‘Then why did you let him return home?’ she asked with dread.
Lucifer stared at her a while. The moment felt like an age. ‘How did you find your week in this palace?’
Boring, Mona thought. Absolutely maddening.
‘Yes,’ he read her thoughts again. ‘Now imagine living that life here for over a decade…’ he didn’t finish his sentence. Instead, he turned away towards the fireplace, and with a turn of a hand, there whooshed a fire in its hold. ‘I offered to spare his life under one condition.’
‘To keep you company till the end of his days…’ Mona whispered in a trance to herself, unsure whether he’d heard, or whether the words had even escaped her lips.
‘Yes.’ Lucifer suddenly turned back to her, fierce. ‘I admire your father, Mona. He worried not for himself, but for…’
Lucifer smiled, sending a shiver down her spine as his canines peeked out. ‘He indeed thought of you and your siblings. He knew, without him his family would fall apart, but I was awful lonely, and I refused to let him go. In the end, he offered me something I could hardly refuse.’
Lucifer shook his head. ‘No, not you so much, but your company. He said you were the only one of his children he relied on the most, and you were the only one who worked the hardest. It was time your siblings learnt to fend for themselves whereas you get to live your life for yourself.’
Lucifer didn’t counter the question. He stood up like a gentlemen and slowly started backing away towards the door. ‘If only you wish. Your father promised me that you’d gladly take his place and give me companionship, but I do understand you are your own person and as such, your father’s words become void.’
Lucifer reached for the door handle. ‘He did ask me one thing in return for you.’
‘And what was that?’ Mona breathed.
‘That you will not have to work a single day of your life.’ Lucifer bowed his head and as he closed the door behind him, ‘Do eat something, however. I do have a promise to keep.’ The words echoed through the walls sending chills down Mona’s skin. In front of her was another gold satin covered trolley.
20 Feb 2015 Leave a comment
There was a sort of tapping coming from somewhere amongst the piles of books Mona had gathered on a library table where she’d spent most her days this past week. Or at least that’s where she thought the noise sounded from when she woke from a slumber atop a thick volume on supernatural beliefs from around the world.
It was a dark and murky morning, and she had a slight cramp on her neck from the hard pillow the book had been during the night. She’d done it again, gotten so bored and lonely that she had spent another night in amongst the book in the library.
Mona wondered what she should do today. She couldn’t read another word. What else was she good at besides reading? Well lots of things. Back home, she was the one that cleaned and cooked in her house, even though she was the youngest, none of her three older siblings cared to give her a hand. Her two sisters were always too busy with their frocks, makeup, hairdos and gossip, and her brother, too absorbed in his desire to splurge what little their father had on women who cared very little for him. Mona would also keep a garden, front yard for gorgeous blooms, and backyard for veggies patch. Besides, they couldn’t afford to buy so much food, and it was much easier to grow own when you have six mouths to feed and only two holding down jobs of little significance. Their father had been a great merchant once, and luxury was something the kids were used to. That was until Mona’s mother had passed away suddenly when she was 10. Since then, their father, depressed and mourning for his wife, invested in business that went belly up. Their family home was seized, their money dwindled, and the only property left to her father’s name was a small suburban home on the very outskirts of the city. The three bedroom home was small, so small in fact that Mona had the garage for her bedroom. That was after her sisters taking the master room together, her brother taking the second largest room, and her father in the smallest room.
Mona sighed. What they were and what they are now. Not that she cared for luxury. She’s always liked doing things with her hand and making her own stuff. Most of the time, she’d even make her own clothes. She would sow her dresses from the scarps left over after her siblings were done having theirs tailor made. She couldn’t help but wonder what was happening back in her home. How her father was doing now that his Belle wasn’t there anymore.
Mona looked down at herself, at the elegant aubergine gown she had on. She missed her humble clothes. She missed her life. For some reason the house only ever have her gowns upon elegant gowns to choose from each day, and each day she’d go for what looked the simplest if simple was ever possible in that house. She rose from the seat and made herself way towards the restroom.
‘Give me something to do at least,’ she mumbled, snaking her way through aisles. ‘I can’t even clean my own mess here!’ She said this, and turned to spy the table she’d been sitting at. Those piles of books were already gone, as if invisible folks had only waited till Mona turned her back so they could put the books back in their homes.
‘Let me sow a garden, or clean the palace. Let me cook and clean! Give me some cutting so I can make my own clothes. Something!’ She begged the house like she’d done so many times but to no avail. Resigned, she walked through the hallways, aimlessly. It wasn’t till the afternoon, and she was completely exhausted that Mona slipped into her own room and went to sleep. Time had no meaning in that place. No meaning at all.
When Mona woke, she found her room to be larger than before. Much much larger than before, and tucked in the corner next to the fireplace, a sewing corner fully equipped. There was even a door next to it where the wardrobe appeared most days. Curiously, Mona slipped off the bed and approached the door with new found curiosity. As she passed the sewing machine, she couldn’t help but stop, shocked in front of it. It couldn’t be, could it? She walked closer to it, only to reconfirm her initial doubt. It was indeed her own sewing machine. The machine that had once belonged to her mother, the machine no one else wanted and Mona couldn’t wait to take it under her wing. She brushed her fingers along the engraving on it that her mother had had made. ‘To my beautiful Belle.’ It had made her sisters so angry when her mother had gifted Mona the machine on her 10th birthday, days before she passed away. Her mum was the only one who ever called Mona by her middle name, Belle. She had loved it so.
She couldn’t help the tears as they rushed down her cheeks. It had been couple of weeks since she’d been home. She had missed it so much. Being home, being amongst her mother’s things in her room. ‘Thank you,’ she whispered to the room, unsure how to express the overwhelming feeling of being home.
‘Thank you!’ She couldn’t help but wonder if Lucifer had anything to do with it. Perhaps yes. Perhaps no. Either way, for a few minutes, she was home.
19 Feb 2015 2 Comments
It had been a week since Lucifer had left, and Mona increasingly felt lonely in that giant, mysterious house. Just like he’d said, she soon discovered that the house did indeed give her what she wanted, such as food and music, or open up doors that lead to a beautiful library the likes of which she’d never seen. But she could only wander the hallways so many time, go to the library so many times, peek into grand bedrooms wondering which one belonged to the owner of the house so many times. Eventually, she had seen as much as she could without ever wondering when she’d ever get out from within its walls.
‘If only this place had a garden!’ Mona mumbled with much anger. She couldn’t take much more of being locked up indoors. She wanted to breathe fresh air, catch a glimpse of the blue sky, touch green grass with her own hand, and feel the wind caress her cheeks and whisper in her ears.
Just like that, she dropped to the floor and cried at the cruelty. Why had papa dear traded her life for his? Had he not loved her? Had Mona not done enough to see that in his old age, he was taken good care off? ‘Why, Papa? Why?’ She sniffled into her palms. ‘I can’t take much more of this solitude if I have nothing to do with my time.’
‘What would you like, dear Mona? You only have to express your desire and it will be so.’ Lucifer’s voice vibrated around her as if the walls themselves had leant him their voice. She looked around, was he behind her again? But there were indeed no one around her.
She caught a glimpse of her reflection on a large picture frame. Haggard, tired, and hallow. However, she also caught a glimpse of something else, something peculiar. It could have passed for Lucifer’s reflection, as if he were standing right beside her. Only, he wasn’t. Mona stared, thinking her eyes were playing a cruel trick, and there was that curious smile on his face. Just as if he’d read her mind again.
‘What do you desire, Mona?’ his voice shook the walls around her again, while the shadow of the reflection continued smiling. ‘May I go back home?’ she asked.
Lucifer looked glum. ‘I am sorry my dear, but this is now your home. I only wish you would except that.’
Mona shook her head and felt tears streak her cheeks. ‘How can I, Lucifer? How can I call this home? Last I knew, I was standing in the subway awaiting my train, going to my home, to my little room in my father’s home where I’ve lived all my life. I don’t even know how I got here, or why? Or whether you are even real?’
Her face softened, her eyes pleaded. ‘Won’t you tell me why? Help me understand? I have so many questions.’
He nodded, ever so slightly. ‘You may ask me whatever you wish over a meal upon my return. I must go now.’ Just like a mirage, his reflection vanished in a slight ripple and Mona knelt staring at herself, drained.
She looked around, spotting a broom stood against the wall in front of her. Not that she had noticed it earlier. ‘What shall I do now, Mr Broom?’ she sighed and rose to her feet. Walking ahead down the corridor. ‘The Library, please,’she mumbled, and ahead of her, a door appeared. Suddenly, Mona stopped and turned around and stared down the corridor behind her. Was it just her, or had the broom moved closer to her?
14 Feb 2015 Leave a comment
I have a habit of writing small pieces onto the ‘notes’ app on my phone whenever the mood strikes and I don’t feel like whipping out my note pad and pen. I was rifling through all the different pieces on the app and discovered an old one I hadn’t blogged yet. So here is the odd titled ‘Zombie Love’.
Whatchya think? :)
I’d rather hold you
even if it were for a moment
a moment brief as a blink
than to go through life
never having touched you
even the lightest of touch
till the end of my days
for those days would be without meaning
like land to sea-life
or a human without essence
that is kept safe by a beating heart
I’d be a zombie
forever walking a path
hidden and dark
that you bring the dead back to life
if I never got to love you
even if it was for one breath
the last breath I could take
it would be worth all the minutes on Earth.
13 Feb 2015 Leave a comment
Mona had no other choice but to wear the teal dress. After all, it’s not like she had had time to pack her own clothes. Not that clothes meant anything in hell. For all she knew, everyone could be simply walking around in their birthday suit. Mona couldn’t do that, no. Hence the dress. Her only option besides the red gown she’d been wearing last night. Unfortunately for her, her cafe uniform was still back in the slab room. She would have happily gotten back into those if she could.
She was famished, so she finished the breakfast too. What the hell? It’s not like she could really escape the place. At that moment, the room had no other doors but the one to the attached bathroom. Almost as if reading her mind, a tall, ornate door appeared as if a mirage right in front of her eyes. Mona leapt to her feet. Was she meant to leave the room, or had it just read her mind and given her something she’d hoped for? Curious, she tiptoed to it. Her hand shakily reaching for the handle when she suddenly stopped. She could hear whispers of people talking outside in the hallway. There were others! Other people like her maybe. Maybe other passengers waiting in the subway. Perhaps a train had derailed and they’d all died. Perhaps, the reason nothing made sense was cause she was in a coma in a hospital somewhere, and she was unfortunately having very lucid dreams. Perhaps.
Mona slowly pushed the handle down and pulled the door slightly open. She could hear a group of voices. At least three different individuals she figured. Two male, one female. She dared pull the door open wider and poke her head out, hoping to catch a glimpse of the people and determine if they were friendly or otherwise. As soon as Mona spied the corridor, the voices stopped. Mona looked both left and right of the corridor. To her surprise, the corridor was no longer a mile long, but held only a handful of doors. There was nothing in the corridor but for two lamps hanging either side of the wall near her door, and a maintenance broom leaning against the wall opposite her door. Nothing there that had a voice, let alone speak. Unless…
The thought send a shiver down her spine. Unless there were ‘ghosts’ Mona finished her thought in a shaky voice. Just like her. Another lost soul in Lucifer’s beautiful but crafty home.
‘Hello?’ She inched her head further out into the corridor. ‘Anybody there?’
She swore she caught the broom right in her line of sight give a short shake. So there were ghosts, Mona concluded. Ghosts that could make brooms shake and the lamps swing ever so slightly on their chains.
Mona swallowed and locked herself back up again in her room. She needed a plan. A way of getting out of wherever it was that she’d suddenly ended up.
Mona paced and paced the length of the room so much so that she knew it took her exactly 35 steps from the fireplace to the bathroom. She had continued hearing the voices for about an hour after having locked herself back in the room. But since then and now, hours had passed, and she was beginning to loose patience.
‘What is this place?’ She mumbled, her hands balling into fists. ‘And why am I here?’
‘Its my home,’ suddenly, Lucifer was standing right in front of her that she had so little time to stop her marching. She bumped into him with enough force for her to be pushed back a step. He smiled. Not a smug smile, but a warm one. Not that Mona could keep looking at him. In this room, with it’s plenty light, Mona was terrified from the sheer size of him. ‘And you are here because someone traded their own life for yours, Mona Belle.’
Mona’s jaw dropped. ‘How do you know my name?’
‘I told you earlier. I know much more than that.’
‘And where is here?’
Lucifer stared at her a while. ‘Why aren’t you asking who traded your life instead?’
Mona swallowed. She hadn’t really had a peachy life and knew bad luck tended to follow her where she went. ‘Because, it’s not like I can do anything about it here and now.’
Lucifer considered her. ‘You’re not scared?’
Mona shook her head defiantly but couldn’t look him in the eye to make it convincing. ‘You haven’t harmed me yet.’
‘I don’t intend to.’
Mona suddenly looked up. What did he mean? She wanted to ask him, but she couldn’t form those words. Besides, he’s probably already read her thought. At this, the beast smiled. ‘Why do you sneak up? Why not use the doors like a normal per…’
‘Person,’ he finished her word. ‘I’m not really a person. At least not now.’ He took a step back. ‘But if it bothers you, then I shall use a door from now on.’ He waved his hand and the door to the corridor appeared once more. He walked over, opened the door and stepped out. ‘This house will do what you ask of it.’
‘Will it let me out?’ she couldn’t help herself.
He turned and bowed his head ever so slightly. ‘I’ll be gone for a few days, so make yourself comfortable.’
Mona took that as a no. A moment later, the door was closed, and Lucifer gone. But so was hope.