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5th September, 2013
It takes but a scant three steps for her to lose–to forget and abandon–the trepidation and unease that weighs down her mind and soul. Her heart beats double-time as she looks around the strange world she has found herself in, and she can do nought but stop in wonderment. Five more steps her feet travel, and slowly, delicately, the edges of her senses become embroiled in the myriad of sensations dancing just out of reach.
She lifts a crystal hand, and the delicate fingers grasp and clench the air as though to touch the smells and sounds that surround her like a koala-sheep fleece blanket. She feels a rumble in her throat as a light laugh escapes porcelain lips. Tingling haphazardly, her fingertips continue their exploration of the golden air, and the beauty of the smile on her face is second only to the sound of her joy.
Then, as quick as it began, the world fades, bringing into focus the silent walls she knew to be staring at her, her dulled face illuminated only by the candle placed on her lap. Her ears ring with the sound of laughing lost children, and from her nose seeps the subtle aroma of petrichor and sandalwood. Her hands have ceased their uncoordinated dance as desperately they attempt to staunch the painful wound of leaking dreams and hopes and memories.
Once more, she is alone.
Her mind is assaulted, not by gorgeous blues and greens; rather, it is abused by clinical grey and sterile chrome. She aches, desperate for a splash of colour in this dank world to guide her. The frigid wood floor distracts her as she becomes aware of the door–that simple piece of timber–wide open and gaping. It mocks her with a vulgar grin, and she is determined to defeat it. She takes a tentative step forward before her resolve wavers. A deep breath gives her strength for another two steps, and suddenly, she is too close; it is to soon. The door slams shut, the bang reverberating through the room.
Her eyes clench, shame burning behind the lids. Why should she fear? Anything is better than the black world she has built for herself–the world that has been built for her. She knows what lies beyond the painted wood; she has escaped through it before. Now, it is more than the lock holding her back. The frame lets out a mocking laugh, and she realises she cannot allow one more opportunity to pass her by. Her heart, bent on overcoming the final obstacle, leaps from her chest as it pulls her those final steps. She finds herself on the brink as one hand, suddenly steel, grips the doorknob as though to choke it. She twists its neck; at its death, she find her own self, a tiny piece, come alive. The abyss opens for her with little protest–what right did it have to complain, when it was the one who challenged her?
Her heart smiles and she with it as finally, she leaves her world of darkness and solitude; her world of safety and security. For the first time in years, she steps into the sun she so desperately pined for, ready to face the strange new world she knew she had been missing.
Ready to take it on.
Notes: this is the short story I wrote for my QCS. It was written (actually using drafts) in 2 hours. The theme was 'the unknown', and this has been altered a tiny little bit to fit into Toph. I wrote the first three paragraphs and then realised, "I can totally do this about an agoraphobe!!"
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