Five Minute Fridays were created by Lisa Jo Baker as a way for writers to get together every Friday & share their ideas on a single prompt. Today’s prompt is: She.
It was cold in the living room when I awoke with a start. I sat up and listened carefully to the sound of the wind howling and the crackling of the fire’s dying embers. A tree branch scrapped across the window behind me and I paused. After a few more moments of listening and a few deep breaths, I settled back into the couch. There was nothing in my family home to be afraid of.
It had been years since I slept in this house. As I stood up, I tried to recall the last time. It must have been the Christmas holidays just after mother died, five years earlier. I had rarely been home since her death, only for the occasional holiday to appease my sister. I walked down the familiar hallway toward my mother’s study.
I enter the room slowly, careful not to disturb the sanctity I have always associated with the study. This was her temple, her church, her sanctuary. This was the only place she could truly escape to. I can see my mother curled up in her leather club chair, blanket spread over her legs, so immersed in another world that you could stand in the doorway and go unnoticed for hours.
The musty scent of old paper permeates the air. I circle the room, running my hands along the books stacked haphazardly on shelves. A thin layer of dust over the mahogany desk is the only indication that the room is now vacant.
A worn volume rests on the table next to her chair. I pick it up and run my hand over the frayed cover; Rebecca, her favorite. I open the book to where the bookmark still notes her place.
A cream paper floats to the floor at my feet. I stoop to pick it, unfolding it as a I straighten. I immediately note the flowing curve of the letters, the perfect alignment of words. I would know that handwriting anywhere. Cora, it begins. My hands begin to shake and I sink into her chair.