A Mirror of Sorts

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Chapter 1: Screens and Windows
(by Jaycob, added on 8 August 2013 08:43 PM)

Suzy stared at the plate of canned sardines and frowned. Her seventh helping of it this week. She wished her parents would at least feed her something other than salty fish once in a while.

The basement was awfully cold this time of year, but the temperature change was the only way Suzy ever knew what season it was, since she had no windows. All she'd ever really longed for was a window, even if that window came in the form of a tv screen. Just something to let her see the outside world. It had been 3 years since she had last got out of the basement, when her parents decided to move from their city home to keep Suzy a secret.

Amanda and William Swanstone (although those weren't there real names; they were legally Gretchen and Burt Gulley) had always been known as the glamorous party throwers, the wealthy hosts of every wine tasting event or ball room dance. When Amanda became pregnant, they knew a child would ruin their reputations, so they kept her hidden. For the 11 years she'd been alive, no one had known of her. They kept Suzy locked in the cellar at all times and to save money for their parties, fed her canned tuna and anchovies. It was almost as if she was a kidnapped child held hostage.

once Suzy had had a television. There she saw other children running around at parks and going out for ice creams with their parents, and she began to realize her life was quite different from other children's. One day she decided to ask her parents if they could go to a place she'd heard of called Restaurant, and that was the end of the TV.

But what they did give her were old toys they'd had from their childhoods (they couldn't risk being seen out buying children's toys!) and what came with those was a giant box of Legos. With these, Suzy developed quite an imagination. By eight she had whole civilizations built, each with their own names: Fishlandia, Castlevania, Dungeontown, and The Susannah Fortress. This was her own private room she had constructed out of legos. The walls were as tall as she could reach, and as she grew taller, she added on until they were nearly 5 feet tall. This was where she slept since her parents never bought her a bed, only old blankets. She shoved the blankets inside to make a comfy little bunk. To get in and out, she built herself a small window. Sometimes she pretended she was Inside, and the window looked Out, so that she saw sunshine and snow.

Now, Suzy was sitting on the stairway staring at the dead fish's blank, black eyes. She felt just like it must have, packed away in a box. At least she had light. Tired, she went back down to the basement floor and crawled into her Fortress to read.

Another thing Suzy had were old books. They talked about faraway lands where witches lived and mermaids roamed, where people flew and goblins hid in caves. Suzy would do anything to retreat into these worlds.

That night, Suzy fell asleep reading one of her favorites, a book called Coraline. In this book, a little girl found a small door to another world where she had another mother with button eyes that gave her everything she wanted. That night Suzy saw a girl staring at her through her window. Her eyes were all whites, and she could see red threads going across her face, tracing over tight pink-ish tan strings. Her teeth shown because she had no lips, and she couldn't blink. When she woke up the next morning, she simply thought of it as a dream. But it was much, much more.

*The next chapter is going to be called Locks and Keys, or something like that. Keep the chapters with that theme, like...Ceilings and Floors, or Cogs and Gears :)

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