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When Life Loses Composure

When in the absence of order

By Rick PensionPublished about a year ago 12 min read

The outside world was unknown to her, but she could see a glimpse of it through the window in his room. If it weren't for Daddy’s frequent naps, she'd never be able to experience the sliver of reality that was only visible through the small rectangular hole in the wall. His naps were frequent, but not long, so she had to move quickly if she wanted to look outside. However, as if he had a spy in the room, like a mouse that told on her each time she sneaked a peak, he seemed to always know when she had looked. He would wake up and storm to her room, his frustration evident, but suppressed, as he warned her for the second or third time that day not to look at the outside world. This warning would lead to an argument where she would plead to know why. Daddy would never answer, not directly. His explanations seemed to be nothing more than excuses, and sometimes, he would simply reiterate his authority as Daddy.

It wasn’t enough to stop her, though. Her curiosity was more than she could handle, and every time he would lay down for another nap, she would enter his room quietly, and gaze out the window. At first, all she had to do was open his bedroom door. After he caught her one day, however, he began to take measures to dissuade her. He locked his door. She figured out how to pick it. He added a second, different lock. She solved it, too. He placed noisy objects on the floor for her to stumble over. She became a careful and nimble stepper.

It began to occur to her that the only reason for Daddy to keep her away from the window was to keep it to himself. She was mad, even heart-broken a little, but she could understand his jealousy. Their home was bland, empty, and utterly boring. The window to the outside world, however, was full of life, colors, and exciting new things every time she beheld it.

One day, after a lengthy argument between herself and Daddy, she asked, “Daddy, may I go outside? I could go with you, next time you leave.” Daddy’s exhausted look shifted to concern.

“Why would you ever want to go out there? Why, when you have everything you need here?”

“I dreamed of the outside world my whole life. I picture myself being a part of it. Being a part of the colors, the lives, and the events. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted! Please, Daddy?”

“Please, listen. I will not say this again. You must never go into the outside world.”

“It’s the answer to my happiness, it’s my deepest desire, and yet, you won't even give me a reason why.”

“If something must be said about the outside world for you to realize that you mustn’t ever leave, it’s that you were never meant to experience the outside world, let alone the very home that you live in. Appreciate your current life and want no more, you will be much happier that way.” Daddy closed the door to her room forcefully, and without another word. She stood in the middle of the room, puzzled, and even more determined than ever before. In the instance that her room’s door latched, she decided that she would sneak out to the outside world the next time Daddy slept.

Daddy didn't sleep any more that day, so she slept one more night before she could carry out her plan. She laid in her stiff bed and stared at her colorless ceiling. She imagined climbing through that window, stepping on the soft green needles, leaning against the rough brown poles that climbed so high, holding their flat green, red, and orange papers. She planned to greet every person she met and ask them what their favorite thing about life was. She would attend the celebrations with colorful lights, rhythmic movements, and odd sounds that emitted from their tools. She had only read the books that Daddy would bring to her from the outside world, so her knowledge of names were lacking and only based on the descriptions she read. She was aware of her lack of knowledge, but she eagerly awaited learning about it all as soon as she left the next day.

The morning after, or the day of her departure as she saw it, she was filled with excitement. Energy burst through her as she leapt out of bed, eager to do all the things that she saw before as bland and boring. She ate her boring, colorless slop, she replaced her boring worn clothes with new boring clothes. She swept the dirt from the floors of the house, forming a small pile of it, yet making no noticeable difference to the floors. She did it all happily. Daddy watched from his bedroom door with a look of suspicion on his face, and stood with his arms crossed.

Once she was done with her daily chores and routines, she sat in her room, barely able to control the movement of her feet, kicking them back and forth. She was waiting. Waiting for Daddy to take his first daily nap, waiting to slip herself past his series of obstacle and traps, waiting to finally be free to enjoy the outside world as she was always meant to. Nothing could stop her. Not Daddy, not his traps, not her own fear of the unknown. Nothing.

A familiar sound echoed in the house. Daddy’s door creaked and clicked as it closed. Next was the mechanical clicks of the first, second, and third locks. Then a light buzzing noise, followed by the sounds of tin cans jingling together, indicating that daddy was tying up the noise trap. She jumped down from her seat, but paused at a final sound she was not familiar with. It was fast and high pitched. She took a moment to consider what the sound might have been, but after a few seconds of precious time to escape, she chose to follow through with her plan, ready to improvise, if necessary.

She began as she had many times before. She approached Daddy’s bedroom door and began picking the lock. She could hear his snoring through the door, thankfully drowning out the intrusive sounds she was making. She moved onto the secondary locks, switching the small piece of metal she held with a long wire from the hangers she used to hold her clothes. Using nothing but feeling, sound, and muscle memory, she unlocked the additional locks. Everything was going according to plan.

As she opened Daddy’s door quietly, however, she hesitated again, shocked to see barely any light in his room. Some kind of blanket blocked the window, hanging from a metal pole that sat above the sill.

“What is that?” she thought to herself. “Why would he hide such beauty, just to keep it away from me?” She observed the new obstacle from a distance, studying its purpose. It wasn’t just a tool to hide the outside world, but to also blind her inside the room. She had to be extra careful, as she stepped delicately through the maze of strings and cans. Her vision might have been blurred and faded from lack of light, but she no longer needed to rely on her sense of sight. She had already developed a new muscle memory. She knew which steps to take, with which length, with which foot. She cleared the traps as if she was walking through her house normally.

She reached the window, and looked back at Daddy, for what she assumed would be the last time. She looked up at the blanket. Next to it was a thin chain that looped back up to the metal pole at the top of the sill. She reached for the chain and pulled it, but it did nothing. She then pulled on one side of the loop, and the curtains gave way and began to open. She admitted to herself that she actually enjoyed solving the little puzzles Daddy put in place to keep her from his window. It gave her a sense of accomplishment. But that feeling was overlooked with the feeling of excitement as she began to see the light of her freedom.

The excitement faded in an instant, when she realized what she had just done. Light poured in from the window and fell upon Daddy’s face. Her heart dropped and fear overcame her as she turned to see Daddy’s eyes forcefully open. Never before had she seen such rage in his eyes that glared in her direction.

She had a choice. Either she could stop, admit defeat, and try again another time.

Or she could execute her plan with even more conviction than she ever had in her life.

She yanked the chain the rest of the way down, as Daddy started getting out of bed. She climbed onto the window sill and looked back one last time, surprised to see the look of rage replaced with worry.

“No!” Only a distant sound of desperation came from Daddy as she leapt.

Nothing could stop her now. Not Daddy, not the traps, not her own fear. She had finally left that boring house. That boring existence. It was all behind her now.

She fell. The wind blew through her hair. Fresh air and new smells overwhelmed her senses. As soon as she hit the ground, she was cushioned by the soft green needles. A small laugh escaped her mouth as she ran her fingers through the grass.

She got back on her feet, and surveyed the land around her. As excited as she was, she couldn’t help but notice that it was a lot smaller than she had imagined. The grass was plentiful, but in square patches. The trees that she had imagined towering over her, instead snapped under feet. She shook off her confusion for the moment, and began searching for people. Surely, they would be a delight to see. Off in the distance, she saw two farmers, both using tools to move dirt.

She smiled and began to walk toward them, but observed in horror when a third farmer ran toward the other two from a forest nearby, holding a pitch fork above his head. The third farmer quickly reached one of the other two and stuck the fork through his back. A strange red liquid sprayed out, and eerie wails echoed through the area. The third farmer retracted the fork and continued to pierce the same farmer while the other one watched, screaming and eventually running away. She gasped in fear as the dead farmer’s body continued to be defiled.

She had expected happiness, cheerfulness, and celebrations. She wondered why such an event would occur. More farmers emerged from the forest, setting fire to the trees around them.

“No!” she yelled, running over to the farmers. She wanted to stop them, but hundreds of farmers were already marching across the burning land. On the other side marched a hundred other farmers, wielding fire and weapons as well. The two groups met at the center and they all began to fight. More blood, more screams, more darkness. She screamed as she approached.

When she reached the crowd, they were small. Much smaller than her. They were no bigger than her toes. They stopped fighting, and started to run, screaming with fear.

“A demon giant!” they yelled, as they ran in terror.

“Why- wh… what’s going…” so many questions raced through her mind. The people who ran began falling over and crying loudly. Red and black spots emerged on their skin. Some began to vomit, others dropped dead. Those who were not covered in the spots killed those who were and burned their bodies.

Just when she thought it was all over, a puff of gaseous substance spread, turning other survivors nearly inside out.

Then it was all gone.

She saw nothing but darkness. Someone had covered her eyes and was carrying her away. She slipped out of consciousness.

When she woke up, she was in her boring colorless room, in her boring colorless house. She sat up in bed and looked toward her bedroom door to see Daddy with a look of disappointment. She never thought she’d feel the sense of relief being in her own home again or to see Daddy’s upset face once more.

“Daddy… I’m- I’m sor…” she started to say, but he interrupted her.

“No. I’m sorry. It’s my fault. Perhaps if I’d been honest with you from the beginning, this would not have happened. Instead, I decided to keep it obscure out of fear of what you could do."

“Why was the outside world so… scary?” she asked, unsure if it was the question she really wanted to know the answer to.

“The outside world isn’t scary… when you’re not around. Those people out there aren't like us. We are above them. Not because we are better, but because we are different. I hold the responsibility to restore and maintain order. Before I was here, there was no one, and it was discourse. After I arrived, it was calm, for a time. I never anticipated your arrival here, though, Chaos. On the very first day you were here, you found the window. When I woke up and saw you looking out of it, I was worried of what you might do. Your gaze causes the hearts of the people in the outside world to darken. That is why I have kept you from the window. Irreparable damage has been caused, and I’m not sure I’m strong enough to restore it now.”

“Strong enough?” Chaos couldn’t imagine what Daddy could mean by strong enough. Daddy always seemed to be strong to her.

“Since you’ve arrived, I’ve gotten more and more tired. It takes energy to maintain order, but your constant curiosity exhausts me further. I’m up to about four naps in a day, and I’m still not awake enough. My traps don’t keep you away, and if they cause me to wake up, then I don’t get rest. Order has been slipping away. The more I sleep, the more they fall. A day for us is long time for them.

“What do we do now?” Chaos asked Daddy, but he only shrugged as he looked solemnly toward the floor. “I promise, Daddy, I’ll never go near that window again. I’ll appreciate the books and trinkets that you bring.”

“I’m afraid that will not always be the case. Whether you want to or not, you will desire to go back to the window. You will be tempted beyond your own capabilities to withstand. Eventually, when I die, you will leave this house forever, and roam the outside world for as long as it exists. It is the fate of this world, but that does not mean it is wrong. Sometime there are things you need to do, despite how scary they may seem."

"But what will I do without you?"

"Don't worry about that. We can talk about it another time. Everything will be fine, as long as you never go through the red door."

“The red door?”

AdventureMysteryShort StoryFantasy

About the Creator

Rick Pension

Writing has been a passion of mine since before I was 8 years old. I’ve evolved my stories in various ways since, and I only want to write for people to enjoy my stories. I don’t like to typically stay within a specific genre.

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  • Ejiemen Sadoabout a year ago

    Very thought provoking and captivating work!!! I loved reading your work and taking a peak into your world.

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