Heyhey ihr Lieben,
für mein Seminar über "Early Gothic Fiction" durfte ich eine Kurzgeschichte schreiben, die von diesen Geschichten inspiriert wurde - und weil es ja schade wäre, wenn nur meine Professorin sie zu lesen bekäme, teile ich sie jetzt mit euch.
Dann habt ihr jetzt zwischen den Jahren auch noch ein bisschen was zum Lesen. Ich wünsche Euch allen schon mal fröhliches neues Jahr, und weil meine Weihnachtskarte in der letzten Mail leider irgendwie nicht angezeigt wurde, schicke ich sie euch direkt nochmal mit.
The Garden she walked through was vast. There was no end, at least not one, she could see. The formal spaces of lawn and pavement were cut in bits by a long and winding canal of black, reflecting water, still like a dark mirror. She was not more than a lonely, tiny figure walking these neverending everwinding paths. They forked and forked and forked. Behind her. Before her. An endless way of endless possibilitys. She never slowed down, she never doubted her way. She knew where she needed to go. At least so she thought. So she walked on. She must have walked her path forever when something changed all of a sudden. She did not feel lost, but there was this tingling sensation in her neck. The longer she followed the way, that was layed out for her, a path no one else could find on these endless roads, the stronger that prickling, alarming feeling in her neck grew. There was someone following her. Following her steps along her path. Abruptly she stopped, and as she stood perfectly still, she heard the scrunch of gravel under someones boots. The alarming feeling in her neck was now a silent scream, a wild animal sitting in her neck that pushed and begged her to run, hide and survive. But she just stood there, perfectly still, listening to the strange steps that came closer. And then, she woke up.
Confused about this dream, that was both harrowing and strangely calming, she laid in her bed. »30, 29, 28, 27...« counting down always helped her to find herself outside her dreams. »...3, 2, 1.« She was nearly completely sure to be awake. With a slide turn of her head, she could look outside the window. Snow was falling in thick lumps through the crispy air. The world outside was asleep and covered by a fluffy blanket. Everything was quite and peaceful. Her dream did scare her, but not particularly more than her other dreams. So she just laid there and watched the snow fall, to calm down. She would go outside later, in thick layers of chunky warming cloths, just to enjoy the snow. Maybe she would let herself fall backwards into it to make a snowangel. The only angles she knew for a fact where real. That was going to be so much fun. She could feel herself falling backwards in anticipation of the cold snow that would soften her fall. She loved that feeling. But then she heard it it. Again. Gravel scrunching under someone elses boots. It was close, right next to her bed where she layed with closed eyes, thinking about the snow outside. Someone followed her from the garden to her bedroom. And then, she woke up.
Dreams in dreams are always harder to shake and she hated the moment, when she could not be sure, if she was awake or not. She could not stay in bed, fearing to slip back into a dream, so she got up. Slowly. Feeling the weight of her age in every move. Her knees creaked, her throat was dry. With three careful steps she walked over the dirty carpet to her bedroom window. The air in her room was stifiling and smelled of the body that slowly rotted inside it. Her body. She pulled the curtain away to see outside. There was no snow. She knew it was only a dream, but she had some hope left. Deeply disappointed she looked at the rain and dark grey sky. She would not go outside today. She would stay in her room and think about the time, when she was young and let herself fall backwards into a thick layer of freshly fallen snow to make an angel. Or when she will be young again perhaps. Time was now a strange concept to her. She took a deep breath and thought about how long she was stuck in that room, but she couldn’t remember. She tried really hard, but her memories kept slipping away from her. Why couldn`t she remember? She felt this tingling in her neck again, like someone or something was right behind her. But she knew, she was alone in that room. If she would just turn around, to see that there was nothing there. She knew she was alone, there was no one there, the room was empty. But still this feeling stayed in her neck. Her heart pounded in her chest, adrenaline rushed through her veins. She needed to turn around, just to see that there was nothing there, to calm down. It was just the remains of her dreams, playing with her mind. But the feeling stayed. There was someone there. Or something. In this tiny, old room. With her. Right now. Something that did not belong. Her right hand clenched the dusty curtain tighter, something moved, she could see it in the corner of her eye. As she turned her head towards it, the world around her slowed down. That was weird, she thought just before her eyes finally locked in on the horror that was right in front of her. And then, she woke up.
But instead of her room or the garden she was in an empty, dark place. She stood on a stone floor and felt its coldness under her bare feet. There was just a little circle of dimmed light, where she stood, so she couldn`t see the walls or even the corners of the space. It was her mind trying to protect her from what she was about to see. It locked her inside her head, inside her dream in a dream, away from the scares of the outside world. She could stay in here, in her dream where her mind was safe and detached from her body. But she knew, she didn`t want to. Whatever the thing was, that followed her through all her dreams, she needed to see it. So she pulled herself out of the dark stone room, with all the power she had left in her bodyless mind. She saw herself leaving the room. She saw herself, old and fragile in that disgusting room, turning around in slow motion to that undescribable thing behind her. She saw herself dreaming about falling backwards into the snow. She saw herself in the garden on the neverending paths. And then she saw it. She saw where the path she was walking on headed. And she understood. She understood and her fear vanished. And then, she woke up.
The pillow underneath her head was soft and white and smelled freshly washed, the blanked on top of her was warm and fluffy. As she opened her eyes, she saw the room was lit with candles and she heard Mozarts Magic Flute playing, her favourite. But she also heard the cries. Softly, sad but not desperate. Then, she saw what moved in the corner of her eye before. The black, tall figure that blocked her view of the other people next to her bed. But she knew that everyone, she loved and still lived were there. With two heavy steps it came to her and reached with its thin white fingers towards her. »It is time now my dear«, it growled in a dark, raspy voice, that was still strangly calming. »Yes it is«, she answerd, »thank you for picking me up.« »Thats my job, dear. I will pick up everyone of you, when its your time and guide you. Now come, you dont need to be afraid.« She grabbed its hand and smiled, »I am not. Not anymore.« She felt disconnecting from her body. It was freeing.
And then she got up.