Alice woke disorientated with the early morning light seeping around the edges of the curtains. The murky outlines of spitfires painted across the sloping ceiling a reminder that she was in her brother Thomas’ childhood bedroom, tucked away in the attic. The bedroom where he had played and slept, and grown up without her.
Alice got out of bed, and still confused with the layout of the room, she missed the way through to the hall entirely, and instead opened a small door tucked under the eaves beside the fireplace. She ducked and went through to another room, dark and thick with stale air. Alice fumbled her way along the walls, bending her head low to avoid their inward slope. After she had negotiated a corner, her fingers found a switch – old fashioned, with a ball on the end of a stick. She flicked on the light and the bare overhead bulb illuminated a four poster bed draped in dusty velvet. Covering these walls was another mural, not fighting planes this time, but a dark land of trees entwined with vines and ivy. The sun shone in rays through this exotic jungle, and in every shaft of light golden fairies hovered, their filigree wings blurred with movement. It was a girl’s room.
“Mum had it decorated for when you came to live with us.” Thomas stood in the doorway of the secret opening through to his bedroom.
“I never came,” said Alice.
“No, you never came home,” said Thomas.
This story is from a prompt given by Trifecta – an online writing group. Each Monday writers are challenged to write a story between 33 and 333 words using a specified word and its meaning. This week the word is light and the meaning is a source of light (celestial body, candle or electric light). Click here to read some other responses or to join in.
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