A serialised novel
… So you hold all the cards. Who knows, maybe it’s you that’s put me in here?… I just got a bit freaked out about what I just found in the drawer over there...We all miss the little things like that, right? Until we look very very carefully…”…ever you do, don’t let her in! Never ever le…”…You got me? Wouldn’t you want to know the rest of that little bombshell? Hey, especially if you’re in a room that is locked…This is getting to me. I’m going to search the rest of the room…
Well, that was a waste of time. Nothing. Not a damn thing of any use. Just how did I get to be here? Boy, I wish I could remember. I’m trying not to think about it otherwise I guess I’d start to climb the walls. But I’ve got that feeling in my stomach, y’know? The one that tells you you’re starting to panic about something but…just not up front in your head right? No, just in your guts. Weird how the body knows before you do right? How do my guts know when I don’t want to see it? Anyways…
So there’s nothing here. There was. At least I know that now. It’s not a bare room y’know? It is now of course, but it wasn’t always. Lots of little clues for this budding detective. Take the walls. Just that dull beige like the person who lived here couldn’t be bothered to try and make it look like anything right? But there are patches – rectangular – on the wall where a painting or something was hung. Yeah, ha, Sherlock right? I make it about six patches, which is quite alot for this size place. I wonder what they were pictures of? Or paintings? Which ones. Shit I’d love to see a photo of this place when there was someone living here.
And the chest of drawers and the table have those marks on the top, part dust and part sun/heat whatever that tell this little detective that stuff has sat on top. Pretty dusty round here. Made me sneeze as I checked around the floor and that. Been empty for quite a while I reckon. Wait. How do I know this stuff? I must have had a place right? I must have seen this happen before. How else would I know? But I can’t just…reach it. I can’t bring that out of me somehow.
Now that’s freaky right? Usually stuff just comes right out into your head without you even taking the time to call it. Memories, associations, all that – right out into your mind snap! There it is. Sometimes when you want it, most times not I reckon. Like, when someone’s talking to you and pop! There goes that thought and your mind goes off on some other trip while the voice is in your ear with a ‘yada yada yada’ and then it’s the ‘Hey! Are you listening to me?’ Yeah, the mind huh. The mind and the stomach. What a mystery. Shit, it’s a wonder we think we’re in any kind of control at all.
Wait, yeah, someone…someone told me not to try and remember y’know? Like, look past the star and you’ll see it. I guess that’s what I’m doing. I just hope it comes back soon. It’s starting to freak me that I know stuff without knowing why or how or where it all comes from…
Shit! A noise.
Down there. A door. Feet up steps. Getting closer. Shit shitshitshit…
Man. That was some weird shit. Really, really weird shit. But…kinda good maybe? I don’t know. Sherlock? Shit, even he would freak at all this stuff. Sorry, you weren’t there were you? Right, where was I?
So, the footsteps come up to the door and stop. By now I’m at the other side of the door too right? Tip toe all quiet to listen to the feet. Jump outta my skin when the first knock comes. One, two, three – big proud knocks – not hesitant, kinda ‘are you in there?’ but big and bold. Man, now my guts are really going.
“Who is it?” I ask, like some dumb fairy tale shmuck, cursing myself straight after.
“It’s me, Harry, let me in will you?”
Harry? Who-the-fuck-is-Harry? I mouth to myself. But. But Harry is not a woman. So Harry’s not the one on the torn out page that I found right? So maybe this is my way out. If I could open the door. But at least he’s ont the other side. He might have a key. No. He knocked. So he doesn’t have the key right? It’s not his place or he’d be straight in here. Elementary…sheesh, how did I get into this?
“I can’t. I don’t have the key.” Boy, I sound pathetic.
“What?” He’s got a deep voice. Like one of those t.v. presenters y’know? That do all the doom and gloom pieces. How do I know this stuff? No time now. “Just open the door.” He says.
“I can’t. I told you, I don’t have the…”
“Just press the button on the side.”
“What bu…” And then I see it. Really! Right there, level with my eye, on the left of the door, like a silver circle set in a little metal rim. Shit. How come I didn’t see it before? I know I looked at every piece of that door. I hesitate. If it opens…what do I do? Run? Straight out and …where exactly? I don’t know. O.k. I wait, talk to ‘Harry’ and see what I can find out. At least I can get out when he’s gone. I press the button and there’s a buzz from somewhere in the frame and the door lock clicks.
I wait. The door is pushed open by ‘Harry’. He’s big and fills the frame so I can’t see out past him. So good job I decided to stay right? No way I’d get past him anyways.
He smiles as I back away. “Hey. How are you doing?”
“Uh, O.k, kinda…well, no, not too good actually.” He pushes the door closed again, I hear the click of the lock and wince. He walks into the middle of the room and looks around. I stand there cursing myself for not having seen the button. I wouldn’t have to be doing all this shit if I had. I’d be long gone. You’ve got to believe me, I looked man, I really looked at every piece of that door. You think I would’ve stayed if I’d seen it? Or maybe you just think I’m stupid. I think I’m I’m stupid. I’m thinking I’m the dumbest person on earth when I feel Harry’s eyes on me.
“You don’t look so good. Why don’t you sit down? I don’t want you passing out on me.”
“Yeah…right.” I mutter and sit down at the table. On some protective instinct I close the pad so Harry won’t see I’ve been writing. He’s big, a bear of a man but something’s not quite right. It’s his head. Something about the size of his head doesn’t match his body. Like his body is bloated or inflated or something. Anyways, his head is too small for his body right? He holds his chin down as he speaks like he’s trying to see over something in the way. As I listen to him I notice he’s holding a brown paper bag in his right hand. There are spots of something on the sides and a darker stain at the bottom of it.
“Say, this isn’t too bad for starters is it? Quite a nice place. Peaceful for you, give you time to think or whatever. Yes, this will be fine. Now, have you got what you need for yourself? I see you found the paper and that you’ve been writing. That’s good. Write as much as you can. Oh, yes, I brought you some lunch. Just a takeaway, hope you like chinese, I couldn’t remember. Shall I open it up?”
Harry set the bag down on the table and began to unpack the contents. All the time he’d been talking I’d been listening to my guts. Like, was this guy on the level or was there something I should be worried about? Apart from the pea head there was nothing out of the ordinary I could see about Harry. His brown overcoat, blue jeans and white trainers were unco-ordinated but pretty clean. I somehow couldn’t imagine him doing anything dangerous dressed like that. Don’t killers dress smart? Why do I think that?
I decide to talk straight. What have I got to lose? Harry is acting to me like he knows what’s going on.
“Uh, Harry. Can I ask you something? I mean, like I’ve got tons of shit to ask right? But this may sound crazy right, but…what am I doing here?”
Harry pauses slightly in the putting out of the little tin foil containers, bent over with one in his hand. I wonder if it’s hot. “You don’t remember?”
“No. Nothing. I don’t know…this place or what I’m doing here Harry.”
He holds the tray a second longer then nods to himself and puts it down with the others. While he checks the bag is empty he says “That’s probably a good thing.” He looks back at the table and shuffles a few of the food containers like he’s worried how it looks. I don’t feel he’s thinking about me at all.
“Harry, look, I don’t even know who you are right? I mean, you know me…or seem to but…shit I don’t know you from any other Jack right? Never seen you before. Nuh uh. Nothing.” I waved my hands in front of my face. “Harry, I don’t even know my name right? Hell, this is all so fucking weird!”
“That’s probably good too.” For a moment I think he’s still talking about the arrangement of the food on the table because that’s what he’s looking at. ‘Focus determines reality’ right? Shit, where’s that come from? One of those. Then he turns and looks at me and smiles. It’s a warm smile. Y’know, relaxed, at ease, in control. “Why don’t you come and have some food. We can talk and eat.” He folds up the paper bag neatly and looks for somewhere to put it.
Now it’s my turn to hesitate. Then I think, shit, what the hell. Can’t get much worse right? As Harry decides to put the small brown rectangle into his pocket I walk over to the table and spend a few minutes checking over the food. Spring rolls, barbeque ribs, special rice and suddenly I’m like drop dead hungry. Harry has even brought a couple of spare pots to eat from. I know he’s glancing at me as he stand next to me choosing his food. I don’t look back. I take my food and sit against the far wall. Harry sits opposite. I begin to eat straightaway – man, I’m hungry now – but Harry wipes his hands on a small white serviette and looks across at me.
“So, what shall we talk about?” He offers.
Dear reader – do you have a suggestion for the next chapter? A suggestion for what might be found in the room? Will anyone come to the character’s aid? 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!
‘Til next time,
- The Room (rattledrum.wordpress.com)