Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sightseeing (08/08/05)
TITLE: Through a Frame Darkly
By Tisha Martin
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Oh the mere thought of it sent chills and anger down her back.
But her window . . .
She was at least grateful for that. Peering out, her heart soared. The sky pulled her into it with its blueness, beckoning her to fly through the air. The tree branches, reaching to the sky like a church steeple, allowed a gray squirrel to scamper around. She glanced at the leaves and trained her eye to analyze each one. Bright hues of red, yellow, orange. Her gaze followed several as they released from the tiny branches they grasped and fluttered to the ground.
A red blurb caught her eye, and she turned her head slightly to the left. A person walked across the lawn. She strained her eyes, attempting to recognize the face and froze. No, she moaned. Her hands instinctively gripped the wheels of the chair and she pushed them back. The muscles in her arms quivered. Slowly swinging around, she looked at the dresser against the wall, hoping it wouldn’t be found. She turned so her back faced the door.
Footsteps on concrete echoed in a slapping sound. Leather shoes.
Jaw clenched, she moved her hands to the chair’s arms. Her fingers rubbed vinyl covering.
The doorknob wailed as it turned. More footsteps. The door clicked closed.
Her brain failed commanding her body to stop shaking. The eerie silence pounded in her ears until she realized her heart was beating rapidly. She waited for the person to speak.
“So, I see you’re well enough to move about.” The voice had a certain authority you trembled. “I left you by your window.”
She struggled to breathe normally.
“I want the money.” The wood floor echoed as the footsteps drew closer.
She felt the urge to jerk the wheels around to face what she knew would be a cruel stare and a taught mouth. For once, she’d like to defy who had caused the accident. Suddenly her heart smote her. No one had caused the accident but herself. Decisions come every day, and she chose wrong. She was to blame. Her head almost reeled back at the realization. Feeling the rubber wheels beneath her hands, she yanked the left wheel hard, and spun around into the hard, calloused face of her older sister.
“Oh, for the first time looking at me in two weeks, I’d say that’s a pretty nasty expression.” Her sister folded her arms across her chest.
She leveled her eyes with the person standing in front of her. Taking a deep breath, she forced herself to speak. “Victoria, I know what you’re here for, and I’ll not give it to you.” She spoke quick and, she hoped, with a level-headed tone. “If I hadn’t showed you that place, I wouldn’t be in this mess!” Tears jerked at her eyes and she scrubbed them away.
The mocking expression returned. “I thought you blamed me.”
She glanced at Victoria’s shoes. Looking into the steel gray eyes as if to challenge what words could not, she pushed the chair past the form and retreated to her window. “How’d I know you’d trade drugs for money?” she spat.
“I told you what I was doing. I needed someplace private; you were the only one who knew of such. Sarah— Victoria moved toward her “—you don’t listen to anything people say. That gets you trouble. Just like it did—
“Stop it!” she screamed, wheeling fiercely at Victoria, causing her to halt. “I don’t need anyone reminding me! I’ve got it all right here!” She jerked the wheelchair back to the window. Tears streamed generously.
It was her window, yes. But now everything outside seemed to turn against her. The tree branches, tussled by the fall breeze, shook their leaves angrily. The blue sky darkened, shadowing the glow of afternoon sun. Squirrels and birds hid from view. Nothing but bleakness, like the inside of her heart.
The window to the part of her world that let her imagination run also made her face up to her decisions and consequences. Her heart trembled as slowly she remembered a verse she’d learned as a child: ‘. . .be sure your sin will find you out.’ (Numbers 32:23b. KJV)
The window from which she saw everything had found her out.
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