A serialised novel
How did I get here? A good question. A very good question. Me? Don’t ask me. I’m asking the same thing. (And while we’re on the subject, just where is here? This…room.) No, I don’t mind, fire away. No worries. It’s normal to be curious, isn’t it?
Most of us anyway.
I’ve known a few folk who aren’t at all – curious I mean – but they’re definitely the exception right? Hey, if it was you in here and me out there I’d be asking you questions. Except…except perhaps you wouldn’t be babbling away. I don’t know, maybe you’d react in a different way. What? Oh yeah, of course. You’re right, of course we’d all react differently.
Yeah, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt over my few orbits around that pale sun out there it’s that everyone is different. Or, as a friend of mine put it, “No-one’s normal. Not one.” And he’d shake his head in that sad way he had, like the shadows were cobwebs clinging to his skin. But he’s right. Everyone reacts, behaves, thinks…well, just are not like anyone else. Even me.
So. Where was I? Oh yes, here.
Now, if you are like me at all, which I doubt, you’ll be getting impatient by now. What’s this guy doing? Who is he? All that kind of stuff. Trying to make sense. Of me – him – this – but you’ve got to be a bit patient, y’know? I mean, there’s a limit to what one person can get across to another in a given space, right? And for you and me that’s going to be even harder because you’ve only got my word for it this time.
So I’m trying to think what I can tell you. Am I in danger? I don’t think so. I don’t feel like I am. Wait… No, I feel o.k. Not fabulous but o.k. No sense of foreboding. Not yet. Although it’s a bit weird being in this room like this. Maybe I should be nervous? Hang on…
Locked. The door’s locked shut and the windows too. But I can see out, down to an alley on this side and a street on the other. Not many people around but a few. The sun’s out, kinda pale as I said but hey, it’s out. I mean it’s not dark. It’s not one of those brooding scenes if you get me? Not driving rain or smoky clouds gathered around the teasing moon or any of that stuff. Just your normal – what – Spring? Late Summer day? Who knows. Don’t ask me.
If you’re still there I can describe the room for you. (You may not be, I know. You may be thinking you’ll just let this one pass. ‘It had a good start but really, I must be going.’ That’s fine, I understand.) You usually know within a few minutes don’t you – about somebody I mean? For the instant you can be thinking ‘Oh yeah, we can get along.’ It can be days or even weeks right? Until you start to notice stuff.
Did I lock the doors? Sorry, it’s starting to bug me a bit. No, nothing in my pockets. Or the desk. I’m just going to try again…
Definitely locked. I just don’t trust myself sometimes y’know? I think I’ve done something and then I have to do it again, just to be sure it really happened. Or if I didn’t get it right first time. It’s weird. Some folk aren’t like that. Some, the really confident ones, just do it once and leave it. They never seem to have that doubt. About themselves I mean. Not in the small stuff of the day. ‘Did I close that window?’ Have I brought my ticket?’ ‘Where’s my coffee cup?’ Nope, they just don’t bother with all that stuff. I do. That’s why I checked the door. Still locked.
I don’t think this is my room. I mean, it’s hard to describe. I think I’d know if it was my room. Yet, it doesn’t quite feel like a strange place to me. It’s like I haven’t been here long but I haven’t just walked throught the door either. Before you arrived I reckon maybe I’d been here long enough to stop looking at everything. I think I know roughly what’s here but not in the way I would if it were all mine.
The small chest of drawers over there. I see it. It’s a pine chest, three drawers with thr…no, one knob is missing, the bottom one. But pretty ordinary really. No fancy legs or anything. But you see, I couldn’t tell you what happened to the knob. Or what’s in the drawers. You know – “Yeah the knob had been loose for ages and I just never got around to fixing it until yesterday, when I was in a hurry I yanked at the drawer and it came off in my hand, so now I can’t get to my shirts.” Or something like that.
I have no idea what’s in there. No picture. No memory list. Nothing. It’s just a set of drawers. But It’s not like I’ve never seen it before either. It feels like someone else’s house and I’m on my third visit. Y’know? And nothing’s quite new but you haven’t really looked at anything yet. Just impressions. What? Yeah, I could. But what if it is someone elses place? What if they don’t like me poking around their stuff?
O.k. You don’t have to convince me too much. I’m a curious person. And if it does belong to someone else they shouldn’t have locked me in, right? Or if it’s me – maybe I’ll find the key that I don’t remember using to lock myself inside this room that I feel strangely familiar with. (That was meant to be ironic by the way, in case you didn’t get it.)
I’m going to see what’s in the chest of drawers.
Dear reader – do you have a suggestion for the next chapter? A suggestion for what might be found in the drawer? Perhaps a plot idea? Or maybe you just want to tell me to stop! Whatever, drop me a comment! You may find it used in the next chapter!