Sunday scribbles writing prompts, Week 7: Vintage.
Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 7 of the 52 week writing challenge!
Between Flash and Arrow recaps, working on my current work in progress, Dragonspire, maintaining a presence on social media, and other things, like issues with my wisdom teeth, I am surprised that I have managed to keep this up each week :)
I have also been offered work experience in publishing for two weeks in March! Expect a post soon with details about my upcoming work experience in editorial!
The prompt for Sunday 19th February is: Vintage
This weeks prompt is loosely related to my super exciting March adventure!
I’ve always loved the film, ‘Anastasia.’ This piece is loosely based off the ballroom scene, where Anastasia returns to the mansion as an adult. For any one who is wondering, yes, most of my favourite films are animated!
A woman with long hair walked with brisk steps down the street, head down and eyes on the ground in front of her. Each house that she passed had the same neat garden, and tidy white porches lined both sides of the street.
An overgrown bush entered her field of vision, and the woman looked up. The house in front of her stood out from the rest. It’s garden was an unkempt forest of tall grass and wild bushes, a complete contrast to the tidy, well kept gardens which surrounded it.
It had been ten years.
Miranda stood still, and her gaze travelled up to the house itself. The paint peeled from the door frame, and one of the second floor window panes had been smashed. The porch, once covered with twisted, beautiful ivy, which had trailed majestically around the banisters, was now a messy tangle of weeds. When Miranda glanced up, she could see that a few tiles were loose. One lay in pieces by the porch steps. The house had not aged well. Neither had she.
The wind rustled the leaves on the trees, which lined each side of the street in a neat row. Miranda felt her hair catch in the wind, brush up, past her face in a gentle caress, as if it pointed towards the door. She grit her teeth and began to pick her way through the weeds.
When she reached the porch, Miranda took the stairs with slow steps and paused at the door. The hair at the back of her neck stood up. Was she being watched?
A glance over her shoulder confirmed it. A woman across the street had her sharp eyes trained on Miranda with a suspicious glare.
Miranda lifted a hand to wave, an awkward, slow, movement. The woman turned away and her front door slammed behind her. Miranda turned back to the house, and her hand drifted into her coat pocket. Her fingers closed around an object, and she pulled her hand free as she returned her attention to the door.
Her hand trembled as she opened her scarred fist and moved a rusted key towards an equally rusted lock. The key slid home, and Miranda turned it carefully. It caught in the lock, and she hesitated before she turned the key with a little more force.
The lock disengaged. When she pulled her fingers away, they were covered in a reddish brown rust. Miranda wiped her fingers on her coat and pulled the key free to pocket it once more. She reached for the door handle and tried to push the door open.
The door remained steadfast in it’s frame, wood old and weathered, swollen and stuck fast. Miranda turned. The woman was back. With a sigh, Miranda kicked at the door with a discreet foot. Maybe she would come back tomorrow.
A car pulled up across the street, and the woman’s attention was diverted away from Miranda as a young man climbed out. Her bright smile and the man’s warm embrace were all the distraction that Miranda needed.
She placed her shoulder, and all her weight, against the door. Two hard shoves later, and the door gave way. It screeched as it came free of the frame, and scraped across the hardwood floor. Miranda winced, but the woman was still distracted. The door was not open all the way, but it was enough for Miranda to slip inside.
A breeze blew into the house and lifted an old sheet off a small table. Dust flew up into the air. Miranda gave a harsh cough and rubbed her nose. She leaned against the door to force it shut, and the dust began to settle.
Her attention was drawn to the table, where an old photograph stood. Miranda frowned as she took in the figures in the photograph. It had been taken eleven years ago, after her seventeenth birthday. Her father stood in a dark suit, straight and confident, hands behind his back, with hair cut short as always. The only glimmer of emotion had been in his eyes, which gazed down at Miranda with a soft, fond look. Her mother was a complete contrast in her bright pink ball gown. She had an arm around Miranda’s shoulder, and the largest, silliest smile on her face.
Miranda scoffed, and she pushed the photograph down towards the table. As she moved to withdraw her hand, it brushed against the edge of their old telephone. In a daze, her fingers reached for the receiver, which sat cradled on top of the rust coloured phone. As she lifted the receiver to her ear, a memory played across her mind. Her mother, as she nattered away into the receiver, and her mutter of, “Next month, I promise.”
Miranda slammed the receiver back into the cradle, and she stooped to grab the sheet from the floor. As she stood, her attention was drawn to the intricately carved legs of the table. It had been designed as a lamp table, but Miranda’s mother had insisted that it would make a wonderful addition to the entrance hall of their grand Victorian house.
It was beautiful. Miranda swept the phone and the photograph off the table and into a heap on the floor. The table was not heavy, and Miranda picked it up to place it by the door. She chanced a glance out of the window. The woman had gone now, and, whilst Miranda was inside, the agents had finally placed a large, ‘For sale,’ sign at the front of the overgrown garden.
“About time,” Miranda muttered, as she turned and wandered through the downstairs rooms.
Photographs littered the sideboards. In each of them, Miranda’s mother smiled a daft smile, and her father remained as rigid as a statue. It had always been just the three of them. She had no other family.
Miranda paused in the parlour, and she ran her fingers over a large sheet. Her fingers twitched, and she pulled the sheet free with one smooth movement. When she sat in front of the piano, her fingers automatically positioned themselves on the keys.
Her fingers pressed down, and Miranda closed her eyes as the keys thudded. A tune, which vaguely resembled an old classic, filled the room. Although her fingers remembered the positions, the piano was out of tune, and she was out of touch. In the corner of the room, a sheet covered their old record player. Miranda’s lips quirked. She would be out of touch if she danced too.
The last time she had danced had been here, in this very room. The magic of New Years Eve, the snow covered lawn, ball gowns and finery. Miranda stood and held her arms up to an invisible partner as she began to twirl around the room. Her feet were unsure, and she came to a stop soon after she had begun.
Breathless and giddy, she remembered her dance partner, her betrothed. With a giggle, she had leaned up and captured his lips, in what had been their first kiss. Miranda smiled a little in remembrance, but it vanished as she took her next breath. She had abandoned him without a second thought when her father had died. She scowled. She was her mothers daughter.
Miranda shook her head and fled the room. As she headed for the door, she paused. Quick steps took her towards the large, sweeping, staircase, which sat central to the entrance hall. She let her hand trail over the banister as she climbed with slow steps.
The landing held many doors, but there was only one that mattered. Miranda’s pace quickened as she trod the familiar path towards a familiar door. She paused and turned when an open door across the hall caught her eye.
As if in a trance, Miranda gravitated into the room. Everything was as her mother had left it. There were no sheets in this room.
An old dusty typewriter sat in the centre of a worn open bureau. Miranda scoffed. Her mother would be disgusted at the state of it. It was a wonder that she had left behind the beloved tool of her trade. Obsessed with all things vintage, her mother had preferred the clatter of the typewriter, over a modern desktop computer.
The drawers were empty, and the papers had all been cleared out. There was no trace of her mothers stories, which she had clattered out as she had ignored the world around her in favour of a fantasy world, a fantasy lover.
For there had been love letters, too.
Miranda’s fingers ran over the side of the bureau, until they slipped inside a groove. She undid the concealed catch, and a hidden compartment sprang open in front of her. There, in three pink envelopes, was the evidence of her mother’s betrayal. Miranda grabbed them indelicately and thrust them into her open handbag. She took one last look around the room and nodded, before she crossed the hall to confront her own past.
The deep breath that Miranda drew in as she crossed the threshold echoed off the walls. She reached up and pulled a sheet off a large object to reveal a grand bookcase, filled with classics. Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations. Old, well worn books that her mother had collected. Stories that stood the test of time. Unlike her parents marriage.
The sheet from her desk was the next one to hit the floor. A pocket watch glinted in the sunlight, which streamed through the smashed window. It had been her fathers.
When he had returned home to find the note on the typewriter, ink still drying, his high spirits had been replaced with desperation. Miranda had watched with wide eyes as her father had flown into his room, rigid composure gone. A man of few possessions, it had not taken him long to pack.
Suitcase in hand, he had flown out of the door, with not so much as a backwards glance towards his daughter. The chain of his pocket watch had caught on the handle, and it had snapped with finality, as fragile as their family had become. Miranda had bent to scoop up the watch, which had fallen to the floor, and she had watched as her father drove away. It was the last time that she saw him alive.
Miranda ran her fingers over the pocket watch and scowled at the note beneath it, the note that had caused her father to leave: “I’m sorry. I’m running away with Steve. Don’t follow me.”
The watch was all that her father had left behind, and Miranda clutched it close to her chest. With her free hand, she reached up to pull the dust cover off the mirror in front of her. A gasp escaped her lips as she glanced up at the ornate cracked mirror. Miranda looked down at the old faded scars on her knuckles and whimpered. She sank into her desk chair, pocket watch in hand, and watched as her expression cracked, just like the vintage mirror in front of her.
Thanks for reading!
Sunday Scribbles returns next week!