She has been trapped in this room for a month, watching. One morning the television screens were just there when she woke up. A whole wall of them, flickering at her, humming quietly.
That morning she couldn’t find the door to her bedroom; the screens had been erected in front of it. There was no escape. At first she had yelled, screamed, cried, but no one had come and there had been no change in the television screens.
Then she would not watch them. She closed her eyes, blocked her ears and hid under her blankets. For a while it was blissful. But her imagination eventually got the better of her. ‘What if no one comes for me?’ she thought. ‘There must be a way out.’
And so she spent the first day inspecting the space around the screens, trying the window. But there was no way out. Here she was stuck, at least for now.
Each of the screens showed a different image. Some screens were clear and distinct, on others the image was intermittent and sometimes blurry. On that first day she became transfixed on a screen that flickered between a hazy yellow light, as if the camera taking the footage was pointed directly at the sun , and images of a little girl building a sand castle with her pregnant mother. The little girl was chattering incessantly and the mother replying occasionally, but their voices could not be heard.
Sally looked for a volume knob and turned it as far to the right as she possibly could. But only the hum of the television screen got louder, the voices still only heard as if from a distance.
This is my (late again) submission for this month’s Monday Project. Come and play along!
This clearly isn’t finished, but I thought it was better to submit something unfinished than to submit nothing at all. I’m not entirely sure where this is going, so any suggestions or impressions would be welcome!
I enjoyed this short piece and think there’s a lot of ways you could play with it.
Your first line is strong and it reminded me of the Japanese surreal novelist who wrote “After Dark”. (I’ll try to find you his name or maybe you knew to whom I’m referring to.) The impression I got about this story is “surreal”. Is Sally the same character from the last project “Missing You”?
Anyway, may I suggest that you follow Sally for another episode or two to see what is trapping her? Is she trapped in her own mind? A dream world?
Short piece it might be but it has achieved the effect to intrigue your readers … well done!
The Japanese surreal novelist’s name is Haruki Murakami. Lots of his novel have been translated in English. One of them is called “The Wind Up Bird Chronicle”.