Friday, March 26, 2010

Prey 3:33

I waited outside the wrought iron gate of the mansion. The gate was closed. The gate, once coloured black, looked foreboding. I could see beyond it and was tempted to climb up it. It was winter and I saw that the snow had been cleared off from the driveway to the front door. Someone must be inside, I said to myself although I could spot no security in the booth outside nor any vehicle tracks on the sideroad to the gate. I pushed the gate open.

I walked across the driveway to the front porch. The ferns siding the driveway looked pale and bereft of colour. As I entered the porch, with its long, thick white columns, the stench hit me. I could only think of the stench that hits you when you open a refrigerator stocked with rotten eggs. Of course, the air around the fridge reeks even after you close it. The front door was closed.

It was late morning and the lone yellow bulb that at the end of the black wire that hung from the ceiling was still on. The stench was unbearable. I knocked on the door but nothing was replied. To the left of the door, there was a nameplate, the name "TINNY" etched in gold across a mahogany name board. I called the name out three or four times but again none bothered to respond to the echo that sounded across the hall through the bay windows open on either side of the door. Should I jump in? I asked myself. Someone has been here in the immediate past. Like last night or early morning today. May be someone like me, knocking on the door of the mansion. I could not stand there any more and trudged back to the front gate. As I walked out of the driveway, the gate, its tines rising and falling in sinuous curves, closed by itself. I chuckled.


Outside, a black dog greeted me. It looked emaciated and its skin was dappled with cakes of mud, as if it had rolled and fallen asleep in the ditch across the road. The dog looked at me with what I felt back then as empathy, as if, a while before it too had sensed something and walked to the front porch and despite wanting to jump in through the windows, just turned back and ran out.

I walked out and along the pavement, the tall trees sheltering me from the snow that fell slowly from the sky above. I wrapped the black duffel coat tighter around me, the coat shiny once like a highway reflector but now shorn of gloss and looking hardboiled after years of abuse, and kept walking. The dog did not follow me. It walked across the road to the ditch.


Teal™ said...

I am waiting for the rest of it. Even I am "Not Really Sure What This Is" - but so far it seems very gripping :-D

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

aahhh ..... makes me think of 2 dogs walking side by side

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