9.4.09

Dream House pt. 1

I said I had a surprise for everyone this week and well.... here it is! Its magical, its short, and its probably not what anyone was expecting (or were, because I'm very bad at hiding things.

The Dream House is a very personal story to me that I tell myself very often before going to sleep. For the most part all of my stories come from me laying in a dark room staring at my ceiling and this is one of my favourites. This is the first time it has ever made it into words, though, and I'm very happy with sharing it with you guys.

Hope you enjoy it! And please comment and critique. Even if you think its absolutely terrible, I want to know as it will effect what I write in the coming weeks as well.

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Her pace was slow. Though Rada knew her way home it was easy to mistake her for straying away from her main path. It's a typical neighbourhood, though barren, in a typical autumn with the expected oranges, yellows and browns littering the yards lining the street as if nobody existed to tend to the fallen leaves. The sky remained a grim gray hinting at, but never touching upon, the idea of a coming rainstorm.

This was the detour she always took. There was never anything new here, though she hoped each time that her routine would share something with her. In truth, it was familiarity that kept from her staying on the direct course home. That the path she was on was the same displeased her. With a sigh she rested her head on the front of her bike and pedalled onward.

But than it rose before her as she pushed up a small hill. She could of sworn for the past few weeks that lot had been empty every time she passed it. Now standing before her was a cool assortment of greens and blues. Trees, grass, and a small stream of water immediately stood out to her before her eyes reached the rich white house errected behind the yard. 

The closer she got to the house a compulsion crept through her thoughts. It certainly wasn't every day that one would see this sort of thing (and just yesterday Rada could of sworn she had pointed out to herself just how empty this lot feels). Her mind faught back though. What reason would she have to just walk up and start looking through somebody's yard? It was best left ignored. Whoever owned this home clearly knew how to take care of it even through cold seasons.

Yet there she stood in front of the door. "Well, I'm here..." she whispered to herself. It took several minutes for her to work up the courage to raise her hand to knock. As her fist swung forward, however, the door swung open.

"Hello..?" Rada said quietly. It didn't look like anyone opened the door. "There's nobody there is there?" Is the only thing she could think to say. 'This is getting too weird..' she thought just before a strong wind started shoving her forward. Her body never really fought the wind; rather, she weakly fell through the doorway as if she flung herself in.

The door shut behind her. The house was warm. Candles lined the walls  and sat on tables through the entry hall. The tinted domes they rested in gave the hall the illusion of rainbows painted across the wall leading to two doors and a staircase at the end of the hall. Even more remarkable were the portraits set in several places. Along the walls, on tables, and one large portrait on the ceiling gazing down upon visitors.

"Edward Valsteir. He came her in his youth." A serene, feminine voice came from behind her. "He was very talented at making candles. He went on to found the Valsteir Candle Company and made the finest candles in the world from the moment he left here to the moment he died."

Rada turned quickly, startled by the woman. She was pacified, however, upon looking at the calm expression on the woman's face. It was calm with the slight hint of joy. The light, clean white of her dress with her black hair not only gave her a ghostly appearance but firmly corporeal.

"Oh! I'm sorry for intruding. My name is--"

"Rada Ilstai. And welcome." The woman cut off rada quickly. "I am the Caretaker. Please enjoy yourself here, but try not to mess with anything."

"Um... so... Why are there so many pictures of this guy?" Rada asked. She was still in shock.

"He came here some time ago. I don't remember how long ago, but he was one of the first visitors I had taken. He was twelve when he discovered in class his talent for candlemaking." The Caretaker pointed at a picture of a sorrowful boy. "He wasn't too happy. And neither were his parents. They were expecting him to take the family business.

"It took a lot for him to realize that his talents wern't going to aid his fathers business. When he told his parents that he no longer intended on taking the family business, though, they understood a lot more than he expected. From what he discovered he turned it into a hobby. From there, after graduating from school he went on to selling his candles." The caretaker's gaze swept across all the photo's of Edward than finally rested on Rada.

"But... why am I here?" She asked. "And what is this place?"

"Let us go to the living room and we'll discuss things." The Caretaker turned and motioned for Rada to follow down the right passage.

It wasn't a large room. The vast majority of the space taken up by a round table covered in a red and what appeared to be pink cloth. Two cups of tea sat on opposite ends of the table and in the center sat a very average kettle. Along the walls various paintings hung. Like the last room, it all seemed to be of the same person, but the range of art styles went from crayon art to abstract factial features and to a sketch comprised of meaningless lines.

They both sat. "Um... do you have any sugar?" Rada asked.

"It is already prepared as you like it." The Caretaker spoke very directly.

"Um..." Rada started, then sipped her tea. "How..?"

The Caretaker smiled. "I don't know." Was her only answer before looking around the room. "In truth, you're not supposed to be here. There is no reason for you to be here, anyway. Yet at the same time.. If you found this place, it means you're here for a reason."

"This place looked interesting." Rada looked at the curtained window. She could not see beyond the curtain, and partially she was afraid to look outside.

"Everyone before you got here for reasons far greater than that. But maybe... Will you come back tomarrow? If you can still find it, that is?"  The Caretaker offered.

"Hm... Ok." Rada smiled as she stood and finished her tea. "I should be getting home anyway. Parents are probably worried.."

"Yes. Though it seems like it, time does not stop here." The Caretaker stood. "Please see yourself out. And take care."

And with that Rada left the Caretaker alone.

'Its strange...' The Caretaker thought. 'That a visitor could be so enlightening to me, yet I haven't taught her a thing...'

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Will hopefully finish it next week. Hope everyone enjoyed it. It's still very rough.

2 comments:

King Ashura said...

I'm so glad I waited all day to read this; after a long day of studying, this was a treat, Dem. I sure didn't expect a story from you - so perhaps, it wasn't that much of a giveaway (at least for me). ^^

You've thought about this story for a while, haven't you? Do you think it came out the way you saw it in your mind? I'm sorry, I know this is a strange question, but it's just something that occured to me when you mentioned that this story was one you often thought about before falling asleep...

It's very well written, that's for sure; probably just need to edit a bit (spelling, maybe a couple of words here and there, and so on...).

But I enjoyed reading it - it's captivating - and I love the details. Nice, rich descriptions; I just find that people often don't put that much effort into all that...One of my English profs once mentioned that contemporary literature was a bit strange in that way, especially if you were the type of reader who has always enjoyed the classical stuff (and form of writing and so on).

The end caugh me off guard (a bit), though. I thought it was entirely in Rada's point of view...
It's not that big of a deal, just something that sort of stood out for me at least. ^^

I definitely think you should continue working on this story. It's not terrible at all. ^^
Now I really can't wait for next week. ^_^

Demoinai said...

I'm really glad you liked it. ^^ After posting it I started to get self conscious over whether it was a mistake to post it so that somebody liked it is really relieving to me.

When I imagine the story the first day is rather long and the second day is really short. When I sat down writing this early this week I didn't intend for it to be a two parts until I saw that it was getting a bit long. It didn't seem all that harmful to do and, while a still really rough cut, I think it works pretty well.

My creative writing professor told me that descriptions were a strength of mine even though I always wonder if people are seeing in the story what I'm seeing in my mind when I first imagine the story. At the same time I worry a bit, but also think its a really wonderful thing that people can take different things away from the same paragraph.

To really understand part two's ending (the true ending) you need to have some connection to the caretaker. If it helps, even slightly, to make people care more about the caretaker (something thats really hard because in my mind the caretaker is very close to me) its excusable.

Thank you for the feedback ^^ it was really strange publishing a story without having somebody to look it over first to correct mistakes (not something somebody can do themselves effectively). I hope part two isn't a disappointment ^^