Purgatory Forest

The puddles were deep and frequent. Hidden in the snarling hold of the trees roots each one gave a view into the life of another. Their depths portrayed a moving picture, one of family life, love or loneliness, the emptiness of the abandoned, either human or home. I had to find the one for me. Looking down into one I saw a man, old, decrepit, sitting alone talking to the chair that sat facing him, its posture straight and tall in contrast to his hunched softness. He began to shake and tears fell. I moved on to the next.

The view from this one was different, no longer a window looking across, but cut from above. I looked down on the scene below as a woman threw a plate across the room, the contents spread across the wall and floor as it flew then crumbled on contact with the wall. The man across from her ducked and then barreled forward, pinning the woman down, her mouth open in a silent scream. Should I jump in? Intervene? No. I could only watch. I couldn’t touch the lives of the living.

This puddle was far deeper than the last, its murky waters not allowing a clear view to the room beyond. I clung onto the roots that surrounded its edges and lowered my face towards the surface. As I touched the water the glass sheen broke and pulled me further in, my head protruding from the floorboards. The room smelt of dust and death. A chandelier hung from the ceiling, its crystals strung together with cobwebs. This was it, the room for me. I let the water pull me in and I rose through the floor into my heaven.

by Emma Shenton
What were your prompts?: surreal, fight, chandelier covered in cobwebs


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