The Monkey’s Paw
Nuria was back to her somehow forgotten habitat. She had been taken away and forced to forget the surroundings of her childhood in order to make room for education. Somehow things seemed to have happened at the same time. She had been entering her teens with a unique restlessness but sharp and inquisitive mind. She also had been overwhelmed by all sorts of lovely feelings capable of paralysing her with confusion.
Now she was back, there was no need for her to go away, if so she wished. At this moment her feelings were all rather mixed. She wasn’t quite sure of anything except that she was looking forward to the dawning of the day and was waiting anxiously to find out if the sun was still rising from the same place.
She remembered how she used to turn on her bed to face the window and see the orange-red coloured flames emerge (from what she thought to be the beginning and end of the world) and start to cover that half of the sky. Then the sunlight would start dispersing to bathe the top of the flamboyant trees, and as it rose towards west, the light would slipped through the slightly opened shutters creating rivers flowing fiercely as each light joined the next finally landing on the window sill, then bouncing like a ball creating all sorts of horrid monsters as it hit the floor.
Everything was well preserved despite the time. All she had to do was to dust the place and change the bed, yes she wanted to sleep in the same bed she once did, she was absolutely sure of this. There was something very unusual in the accumulated dust, something like a mixture of foot and hand prints. She felt tired and sat on the rocking chair. She sat down and felt as if she had sat on a cat or any other animal. She stood quickly looking around and wondered if some kind of animal had secretly got into the house. “ My imagination! ” she said to herself. But there was something not quite right as she sat on it again. The rocking chair felt warm as if someone had been sitting on it. A fear and feeling of invasion crept up her spine. She got up immediately and went to inspect the rooms expecting to see someone. She encountered only a serene silence which put her mind at ease.
“Ouch! That was close he thought. Never mind it is the same girl I knew, that’s luck! I have not had any fun for goodness know how long. Yes it was soon after she left that I was trapped behind the door. I don’t exactly know how I came to be on the chair, never mind, It is her… I can not quite see the mole on her neck so I will have to wait until she undresses to confirm. However the way she walks, the parting of her hair is still in the middle and she is even wearing the same socks she used to wear. I do need to see into her eyes but I won’t try yet in case she gets scared. They were very big and intense, she could see beyond anything and anyone, like an x ray machine, only more accurate. She was dangerously powerful, especially when set herself to look into the guts of those she did not trust. No wonder she had been taken away and accused of all those things. I can only think that it was the authorities own fear of exposure what was causing all that paranoia as the positions in the society felt threatened and needed to be protected therefore no nonsense was to be tolerated.”
Nuria jumped out of bed and went to look into the mirror, an old custom of hers. There was a strong current of wind that blew into her face disarranging her hair. She went to check the window wondering if she hat forgotten to close it the night before. “ It is tightly closed.” She opened the shutters completely and went back to the mirror. This time she saw a shadow but put it down to her eyes being tired from the sleep and blinked a few times squeezing the lids very tightly each time. She had a feeling of being observed, “I think I’d better go for a walk to clear my head” she told herself.
“She looks weird in those boots and rain jacket. I wish I could go with her like old times. She seems to have forgotten me completely and I still have not been able to look into her eyes to see if we are able to connect again. I am not quite sure how her life has been and what sort of problems she has had, so the least I can do is not bring her past too abruptly and cause disruption to her re-adaptation. Perhaps is her wish to remember her past that has brought her back. Or is it her clinging to the past? Oh, she is kissing that bottle, what’s inside, oops, I nearly got caught in the spray mmm, I like the smell.”
“The woods are not the same anymore! Only my friend, the big old tree is there, looking unhappy and subdued. Perhaps in fear that he will be next to be fallen and there will be no mercy when the time comes.”
“She seems to be thinking the same as me. It’s a beautiful day why there aren’t any butterflies? Yes, yes we used to chase the large sky blue ones under the rainbow, and lie down facing the clouds, counting every bird we saw. Yes…it’s the Coqui frog. I can hear the partner too. They are singing for the good rain to come back. They sound very melancholic saying that the bad rain has caused illness and many of their friends have died.”
Nuria finished the flower arrangement with the flowers she gather on her way home proud of herself at how creative she had become, this had been one of the things she has always enjoyed doing. Then she carefully carried the vase to the drawing-room, setting it on the table behind the door. Her eyes became fixed on a crack, right at the top of the doorframe. She could not quite make out if it was part of the frame or the wood was splitting. “How unusual, there is something pressed between the wood” she said climbing on a chair. Filled with curiosity she began to dig with her fingers first, then she fetched the pliers and pulled one nail, two nails until she had removed all of them. She saw that the thing between the wood was furry and was overcome with disgust. When she gained her breath back she pulled the thing with all her might.
Next Nuria found herself on the floor looking at a monkey’s paw dancing round her. She stretched herself and grabbed the vase with the flowers and threw it at it. The paw began to twist as if in pain and gradually evaporated. She looked towards her right and screamed,” Mojito, Mojito.” “Nuria, Nuria you have liberated me for ever and ever, can you see me really? No, no, you are not able to touch me. Not until your time comes.”
Laura A. Bello