Knock Reality, Knock

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Thanks to Delectable Collectables for the photograph.

-a knock at the door-

Sunlight streamed into the mahogany gilded den. A heavy weighted pewter chess set near a bookshelf sat catty corner to an over-sized black armchair.  Bold silver buttons embedded in the soft leather created sinking caverns of comfort. In it sat a tall man with shallow crows feet, black eyes and lone silver hairs falling to the front lines. His wisdom’s place was clear.

-a knock at the door-

He slightly lowered the newspaper filled with threats of impending war and called to his wife “Clara, you gonna get that?”
Silence permeated the space, broken only by the methodical tick tock ticking grandfather clock on the far wall. In his pause for an answer his ebony eyes followed the clocks large pendulum. “Seconds are worthless.” Each motion of the metallic reflection shines a moving light on the opposite wall. A quiet mumble “Quarter to noon, I wonder who’s here at this time.”

-a knock at the door-

“Clara, what ARE you doing?” He stood from his seat, folding his paper and setting it on a side table near his chair. “A mans reading interrupted.” He had been told that he harbored a disposition towards abulia and had since been adamant on its dismissal in his actions. Stretching his arms he again glanced at the clock and noticed the face that had moments ago a radiant shine was now tarnished and dulled.

-a knock at the door-

His curiosity peaked. “Clara” softly spoken and stepping towards the clock; “someones at the door.” Watching the tarnished pendulum swing rhythmically. Opening the case, his fingers lightly skimmed the once shiny surface to find rough touch and red bruises imprinted on his fingertips. “Odd.” Looking at his hands he stepped slightly back bumping into his side table. His hand quickly shot out to steady the table only  to find dust and rot. His eyes widened as the table corner crumbled leaving a compost of late autumn raining slowly down onto the area rug. The chess set was broken; scattered across the floor as though the war they fought found no victor. His focus shifted to all points of the room. Panic began to grip him. “Clara! Clara! Where are you!” Stepping towards the den door a sense of recollection flooded over him alongside the fear. As though a fog which had filled the den were blown to the side by a breeze building upon itself. As he touched the handle the door melted into dust – the handle rusted and dirty in his had fell with a soft thud on the leaf covered floor.

-a knock at the door-

A hard wind; cold yet heated at the same time pushed through the collapsed roof. A long dead tree leaned over blackened across the room. A small support beam still had strength to prevent the fall. A scream escaped his lips as he began to run. “Clara! Clara! Say something!” Running to the living room he stopped only to see the command decay had upon his home. “Our home…this is where we had our first Christmas, this is where we came on our wedding night, this is …” Quickly his voice rasped bungled memories and long passed moments. A lopsided couch thick with lichen across its top sat in front of the door as a barricade. Turning about the room the yellowed striped wallpaper peeled back revealing termites feasts. Sun shifting shadows moved. “Clara!” Stumbling over a dilapidated inn table and bracing himself against the wall he peered into the kitchen.

-a knock at the door-

A sole cabinet remained up as evidenced by wooden shards scattered on the broken tiles. A refrigerator tipped over showed food long since black and dry. “Clara” the wind blew strong against the house, pushing hot ash through broken windows and cracks as fine dust through a sieve. Memories unclouded. A flash, a thunderclap, then fire.

-a knock at the door-

“Flash, thunderclap, fire” his eyes closed then opened as though he were trying to unsee. “Flash, thunderclap, fire.” Mumbling faster repeatedly he sat down shoving his hands into his eyes to stop the sights as screams erupted from his chest. He hoped the screams would tear him in two.

-a knock at the door-

Snapping to reality he saw a darkened rotting home before him. His hands now clear are cracked, bloodied, and covered with sores. Just noticing the pain of his movements doubles his body over in wrought.

-a knock at the door-

“Clara! Its you! I’m coming Clara I’m coming!” Struggling to move he realized his leg is shattered and poorly splinted. Ignoring the suffering his body endures he summed his strength to rip the couch piece by piece from the door. Tossing splinters and chunks of rotted wood to the side. His hand reached for the familiar knob.

-a knock at the door-

Before him stood nothing. He looked from his front door to a valley  on the far edge of a crater. Homes non-existent in the center, burned farther out, and flattened for miles in front of him. “Flash, thunderclap, fire. There was no knock.” Limping slowly through his broken home. “Flash, thunderclap, fire”he moved past his shattered kitchen, over the pieces of a broken couch. Returning to the den he looked up at the tree hanging low over his chair. Seeing his chair he slowly turned and sat in it, remembering the plush canyons of comfort as his eyes slowly closed. Remembering those bold silver buttons pushed deep in soft leather. His hand reached out and picked up the paper that spoke of nothing but impending doom and he glanced at the clock. “Quarter to noon. I still have time.”

-a knock at the door-

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