Sunday, November 14, 2010
The boy slowly picked up the fork next to his chipped tea plate that held the vile pastry. Under the intense stare of Mrs. Godwin, Theodore sectioned a liberal bite onto his fork and then into his resistant mouth. He tried his hardest not to gag, looking back at the peach that the worm once inhabited. The pie was sour, having been made with expired milk and too much sugar. After a bit of force, Theodore swallowed what he guesses was the most disgusting thing he had ever eaten.
“Well Teddy?” “Very, uh, very delicious.” The old woman jumped up and clapped her hands together with delight. “Say Mrs. Godwin, could I use her bathroom?” The boy was afraid he may throw up and it seemed like a good excuse to avoid a second bite. “Why sure son, just round the corner to your left. Theodore left the woman humming happily behind him.
The floor creaked loudly underneath his feet as he hurried into the small washroom. It was unlike the other rooms in the sense that it was very bright, too bright. The single bulb hanging from the ceiling nearly blinded his ill adjusted eyes. The edges of the mirror were rusted and the dark green wallpaper peeled at its corners. Theodore rushed lukewarm water all over his face searching for some sort of relief. He looked up into the mirror at his reflection. His youthful face seemed to have aged a few years; it’s distraught expression almost unrecognizable from the handsome one he left at the front door. “Alright, once you go back just politely excuse yourself for lack of time. The sun will soon be setting and you have to get back before dark.” The salesman forced the phony smile he often had to wear in his line of work and stepped back into the hall between the stairs and the wall. A wall that now Theodore noticed held a row of pictures of young men. All were framed but most did not meet the dimensions of their encasing. Most seemed to be taken in the same dark room, a room that Theodore could not place. All he could make out was the same window’s edge that allowed a glimmer of pale light to hauntingly wash over the subjects. Each of the men was sitting with the same blank expression on their white faces. Once again Theodore ridiculously thought of the boys as sitting corpses, knives in their backs waiting to be revealed.
Theodore’s uneasy feeling heightened as he creaked slowly down the hall, staring at each of the twelve-framed pictures. What was once an excusable nauseous feeling was now growing into slightly inexcusable fear. Something was urging Theodore to leave, even without a goodbye to the old woman, her feelings somehow not as important as they were ten minutes before.
The boy turned toward the door but then was stopped by silence. Mrs. Godwin’s humming was no longer coming from the kitchen, and stillness overwhelmed his body. “Mmmrs. Godwin?” His own voice seemed to frighten him, his breathless call seeming too loud in the quiet. A creak and a thud bellowed from above him. Silence again.
His vision began to narrow and his head felt suddenly light as if he was losing control of his body, losing the will to stay standing. “Teddy dear?” Theodore looked up from where the voice had come from. “Teddy darling? Could you come up here for a moment?” Theodore stumbled forward a bit and mustered enough strength to say, “Mrs. Godwin? I must go. The sun is setting and I have to get back before nightfall.” “Oh Teddy. It will just take a moment. I’ve gotten myself into quite a pickle up here and need a young man like yourself to help me.”
His vision still narrowing and his heart beating unexplainably fast, the salesman began climbing the stairs in order to appease the old lady one last time so he could then and forever leave the Godwin house.