Painted Rooms and Wild Wolves

Not all walls are barriers

Svetlana Smith
Woodworkers of the World Unite!!!

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Image by Rain Carnation from Pixabay

My mother painted our house to resemble an enchanted wood. The sitting room had a stream which wound its way around behind the fireplace, burbling merrily to itself. There was a small bridge behind the TV cupboard, and the sofas appeared to be set in a sun-dappled glade. The kitchen had distant mountains, snow-capped even in summer, and swaying grass which we could almost hear rustle in the warm breeze as we ate dinner. My bedroom was set in an oak forest — tall trees surrounded me, the sunlight playing through their leaves and a deer, caught just before it bolted, looking up with ears pricked and startled eyes.

Sometimes, when times were hard and my mother hadn’t had any new commissions for weeks, we’d come home to find that a storm had hit. The skies above our peaceful forest hide-out would darken, filled with blue-black storm clouds, as rain scoured the distant hills and the trees shook in a fearful wind.

I remember my father’s sigh of relief when the skies returned to blue and the trees calmed their thrashing branches.

‘Something came up then?’

He’d open a bottle of wine for them both, and we’d listen to my mother’s excited plans for the next big project.

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Svetlana Smith
Woodworkers of the World Unite!!!

Editor of The Crystal Palace. Writes short stories, mostly about relationships — between friends, siblings, lovers — but with the odd folk horror for fun.