Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Behind the Curtain Flash Fiction Contest: The Director

Source: tumblr.com via Anna on Pinterest




The Director

 
The wooden door had curiously beckoned me as confused, I sought sanctuary. It was ajar, and yielded to my fragility. Welcome relief washed over me as I had entered this once loved home.

No musky red velvet here, no soft fabric to caress away the nerves, no-one here but me.  Stiff, crumbling wood, no more than splinters clinging together, is keeping out the shadows. Hardness is everywhere, in the crumbling stone beneath my feet, in my heart. The stone shards heighten my pain, almost piercing my soul as they stab at the soles of my ballet shoes. Somehow I feel protected, though unfamiliar creatures agitate my sleep and tiptoe through my mind. The iron grille on the window reminds me of where he should be. But instead it’s me that is confined, punished, isolated, damaged.

He always had the pick of the girls with their flowing legs and attractive arms, their poised facades and harmonized expressions. I yearned for my dissimilar dullness to repel him, but feared my turn would come. His fierce breath had ensnared me and his meandering words had tricked me. The performance over, the public shut out, applause still faintly rumbling beyond the curtain, he had made his move. We were offstage in the wings, usually a comforting haven from my theatrical anxiety. The reassuring smell of the performance still lingered as my most anticipated, yet dreaded encounter began.

They had all told me to close my eyes and dream of my place in the front row; that his sinister intentions would subside and pass to another. But I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t. I could feel the scream coming, first creeping slowly and then rushing out of me, repelling his hands, his wickedness. I ran away propelled by my own noise: away from the swashing velvet and cracked floorboards; away from the heat and repetitive applause; away from all I knew.

The cart I found, and its elderly driver had travelled only 20 miles from the scene of my rebellion. I hoped it was far enough. My silk pumps had carried me a little further down the dirk track until my dilapidated discovery. This was my home today. I did not know how I was going to eat or find clothes that would not give away my secrets. I did know that I felt safer now that I was not behind the curtain.



This story was written for the Behind the Curtain Flash Fiction Contest at Yearning for Wonderland

18 comments:

  1. Beautifully told and very uncomfortable. You wove her fear and apprehension into the the very floorboards. Great read :)

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    1. Thank you for the great comments!

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  2. She made a hard decision. Now, what is to become of her?

    JzB

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    1. Thanks! Was told that recently in a workshop, that I leave the reader wondering. Didn't realise that was my style, but you have just made think it must be!

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  3. Very unique and disturbing. Thanks for entering, Sarah!

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    1. Thanks Anna, a great competition for us all to get our teeth into!

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  4. This is excellent, so glad she escaped :)

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  5. Thanks Susi! Found the comp via your tweets, you are great at promotion as well as writing!

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  6. This crushed my heart--so well written and full of stark awareness and brutal choices. Well done : )

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    1. Hi Diane, Just went off to read your story and relaised I read it a few days ago, but couldn't figure how to comment. A haunting sadness and resigned resolution to escape at such a high price. Beautifully cratfted!

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  7. Thank you for such a wonderful comment! So glad you enjoyed it.

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  8. Beautifully told! I find myself wanting to read more of her story. You've created a terrific character, full of both strength and vulnerability.

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  9. Thank you! I was thinking about a longer story so thanks for the encouragement :)

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  10. Very enjoyable Sarah, taut, tense, compact and compelling.

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    1. Thanks for reading Gerry and for your kind comments. I really enjoyed your writing prompt on Alison Wells blog, its a great idea.

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