|Forum Home > Fiction > The House of Thibideaux, pt 6|
So I gathered up some sense and wandered down the tree line, the field line, not really knowing how far I had gone away. I knew exactly where I had to go back to if needed, as long as the marker kept its place. I passed the slave yard, carefully- for it held not only the living, but the dead as well too.
I remembered as a child once, a child much smaller than me had gotten in the way of a whip, then wrapped around his neck. Instead of the master doing it himself, he forced the mother to take it off, then she wept as she watched him die. The man intended still got his lashings too, he died before it ended, the two were buried together behind the cypress house. The one that stood right there before me. Just then I saw a shutter and a flicker from somewhere within. The lumber to build it had been collected and put together while still green, as the boards dried, the spaces between got much larger, if small enough- one could walk right through them.
I thought about the child and could feel the presence of the dead more than the living. After I had seen the study, I knew that the living were not all I had to fear any longer- the dead, the night, nor he day were sacred here. Not to the white, the suppressors in this wretched awful place, and it seemed no better for us. Matthew had thought I could help, but my own kind said I was not like them ...
Before I came back too, still caught up in my thoughts, I had wandered even further. I passed along the gravesides, I despised it more than the slave houses. Inside I chuckled slightly. The thought came through so clear; I had never thought it so well. If I did not claim either side, then neither did I belong. The tree, I noticed, it all had been removed, all that remained was the stump, and I landed myself in the kitchen.
Alas! The door! I must have set a trigger, for the floor was still ajar. I built it into place so easily. No time it had taken me- there! Yes, there! It looked as if it belonged! How I had never noticed before- this tiny little section. A doorway and walls now securely set around it. Here one minute then gone the next if one so pleased it to be.
Thoughts were running through me, Matthew's words were strung in my head. The dead were brought to life as if nothing had ever happened! I quivered, almost in fear- but no. Alas, I heard a sound, and ran in through the new way downstairs. Fear had overcome me, I had not thought to check the hall and doorway below me first. I had only locked the room I had just been in, and the room from nights before. The door above, I heard it rather well!, click, was being shut behind me from an unknown space behind me. Then CLICK! the door in the hall as well!
I had made my choice, I know it now. No rest, for the weary or faint of heart and I was neither. The bedroom door I jarred, but the other- as I already knew it- did not. I crept against the wall and found the bar up tight against it. My eyes watered up, but I do not know from what. My strength was gone again, my stomach ached, my senses dull and void. I simply willed myself to do so, I had been unable to prevent it before, and if I were unable to leave this cell- it was meant to be used by those who knew about it, and who would want to look here anyways- who would care if they did find me?
I managed to creep myself back and forth, it had made its use before, so I figured to try it again. Perhaps I could leave the place and its memory for good, if I regained any concern at all and actually escaped. Yet time and time again, no matter how I situated myself, I found nothing but air before me, then wall. Once I went up the stair, half hoping to find a latch, but hit nothing but floor- or rather ceiling- above me. Twice I fought with the door still bolted up so tight.
I scolded myself, yes sir!- I did indeed. Few things in life had given me not one- but two doors, but now I had three and I had thrown the good ones away. She had warned me of it, my mother had. I thought of my life as the darkness I was sitting in. Had I not been out of this prison? I chose to freely return. And the house, the past, it doubled up upon me. Had I even had a chance by returning?
My hate grew at myself. I followed the hall to the bedroom. I had already opened it before, only now did I sense the handle. From the light of the window, indeed it held my shirt, just as I had put it there before- and another had moved it to and fro. T'was much easier to see inside! Much had I forgotten that it was daylight before I entered the dungeon again. I would swear I faced a different direction this time, but I was not really sure. All I saw was some yard, then trees, then trees beyond that. Dense they were indeed, must have been the North for it was the only way that would have held such a view. I sat against the window, and watched the sun slowly drift away.
At some point as it set- I rose to take a peek, and whoever did I see? But Matthew and he wandered to and fro in the dusky light remaining. He wandered to and fro, not quite himself. If truly he had been in this house and experienced anything like myself, he could have been insane just then. Walking this way, then that. Then he wandered into the trees pulling something back out with him. He had been gone just a moment, when he came out with it.
I cried out and cried, hoping he would hear me, but never did he stop. Whatever he had was heavy, for he was having some trouble indeed. For a second he dropped it, and stared right up toward me- I know he must have seen- I was waving to him from above- banging and making noise. For a moment he turned again towards me, paused, and covered his eyes with a hand. He was looking directly to me. Surely with the light as dim as it was, he was not blinded by sun but rather trying to make out. However did he not see? Just for an instance, I swore he had mouthed me to bid my time, but no way indeed for I could not have seen it so far off.
I busted to and fro, round and round, then roundabout, I busted through the doorway, then back into the room for I knew there was no escape that way. He had disappeared again when I returned, and his bounty was missing too. Bravery struck upon me- I threw myself on out the window, glass and all- it mattered to me no more.
Shame it had to end that way, but indeed it did, my friend. For no more did care, or feel for what he was trying to show me. He had not even really shown, but rather left me to my own device in a house I had escaped from by lieu of my mother. She was the only real reason we had become as close as we had.
I made it to the yard, amazing as I did, with only a scrape or two, but when I followed where he had went- not even a trail was left behind. The woods, the grass, the shadows, then on into the backyard, and I wandered to the front. T'was the first time that I had seen it since entering that dreadful day. I almost ran, but the darkness was now surrounding me, the actual darkness, not the slave within, but soon- too soon- that latter would return for good. I would never make it anywhere anyways, no shoes, no shirt, and wandering in weakness as I were.
The sun had disappeared completely and I head the noises from all directions. The first sound in days. It had begun. Just as it had happened before! The slaves were wandering the yard- I watched them from the corner of the house, they wandered to and fro. Once, one of them stopped and glared at me, then went back in his walk. His eyes were blank, and I knew indeed that something had come over them. I had almost run when I noticed the very same one come back round.
That was it! I knew! They were making a circle round the stump. This one- I knew him, he had glared to me the other day in the field, one of the brothers. Stared me down. He had wanted to know why I returned. They were doing fine on their own, and that was why he had asked. Since I had left, they did not need me, for my mother had taught them to drive the Thibideaux insane. Before I could even think it, his mouth contorted and into another it became. I had been told the tale of wolf, where man and wolf were one- never had I believed it, even now I did not for this was something new. His teeth had grown, and his jaw had extended as well. They often went to the watering hole, only one needed to know and they could teach the others.
I did not stay long enough for others to see me, for I ran into the house. It seemed safe enough since the only one who entered anymore was me. I crept ever back towards the kitchen, where I watched through the safety of windows- there he was indeed. The lot of them, Matthew included.