Saturday, May 12, 2007

Secret Room

Felicity had a mansion to herself. It had many rooms, which she enjoyed exploring. Even limiting herself to the west wing, she was occupied for many days. Some rooms had extravagant tapestries and pictures in them. Others were somewhat bare. She had a hard time staying in either kind of room. She wasn't very expensive or plain herself. One day she came upon a room that was different from the others. It was in the corner, and the windows were covered with heavy drapes. For a while she had to use a candle in the room. The ceiling wasn't too high or low, and the chairs were not too soft or hard. Goldilocks would have liked this room. She didn't consider it her favorite though. She liked the ballroom and the billiards room. Despite her lack of outward preference for the room, she found that it appeared more often in her wanderings. It was so convenient that she started spending more and more time there. She figured out how to use the drapes and let some light in. She discovered that the room was much more delightful than she had at first thought. There were many books in the room, some of which she had read and enjoyed and others which she started reading and also enjoyed. The carpet was also a wonderful rich color which she hadn't noticed with just the candlelight. The chairs which at first had seemed a little unwelcoming were now the most comfortable in the mansion. She would stare at the pictures on the walls for hours. She was always reluctant to leave when she had to go to her bedroom for the night.

On a particularly sunny day, Felicity started closely examining the floor, which was made of wooden boards. She rolled back the carpet and started looking at the grain of the wood. It was a good grain, unexpected in such a room. One board stuck out to her. Yes, it was a loose board. It contained a box with a single pearl in it. She felt like it was the room's gift to her and she started carrying it with her in her pocket constantly. She didn't find anymore loose boards though, and eventually put the carpet back in its proper position (but with the smug knowledge that she knew it was hiding something).

She had not discovered all the room's secrets though. Next to one of the bookcases were two metal grooves. She had puzzled over this for several weeks when she realized their purpose. She pushed the bookcase and it rolled in the grooves. Behind it was a door. The door had a window in it, through which she could see another sunlit room. This room was in the tower on the corner, so its windows surrounded the room. It had a bed in it and some very interesting-looking books. She wanted very much to enter the room, but the lock held fast. She still spent much time in the room, searching for the key or just thinking about what it would be like to live in the secret room. She wrote to her father asking if he knew where the key was and if she could use the room. All he wrote was, "The room is not ready for you, and you are not ready for that room." Visiting the room became difficult yet exciting to her. Sometimes she would try to pick the lock, but without success. Eventually she was worried that she would try to break the door and thus ruin the room. Not wishing to mar her favorite room, she left it one day and nailed it shut. She really missed it, but she tried not to think about it. After a few weeks she wanted to check on the room to see how it was doing. She pulled the boards off the door and walked in. It was the same room, but she felt like she couldn't stay long. The shelves were a little dusty from being left alone so long. Without even rolling the bookcase over she knew the secret room was there, waiting for her. She left with a sigh and bolted the room. She walked back to her room feeling resigned, gripping the small pearl. Then she cried.

4 comments:

ahem. said...

I feel like I've happened upon a secret story. I'm intrigued, though.

ymb2006 said...

This sounds both familiar and metaphoric.

Andrea said...

Hmm, is this about learning, about relationships, about moving to a new house, or all of the above? :-)

Nectar said...

Puzzling.