imprisoned in a world without a memory, unconscious or am i conscious.
Who: Sam and August.
Where: The Summers home; Sam’s room.
When: Late morning.
Sam had missed dinner the previous evening. The smells had permeated the house and at least one voice had called up the stairs to tell him the food was ready but he had stayed in his room. With his eyes glued to the window he had spent a great deal of the night not sleeping but watching. Waiting. Breathing shallow and chest tight with a fearful kind of anxiety that had followed him all the way home from the edge of the woods that marked the limit of the Summers Pack territory after he had wandered out there with some misplaced sense of curiosity driving him. Unnerved as he was, so very deeply and completely, Sam had been afraid to leave his room, a place that had become familiar and therefore safe. It still caught him off guard to have furniture and a door he could open and close as and when he chose but more than one member of this family who had allowed him into their home had told him it was his space. He could keep it as long as he wanted or needed it. Sam had grown strangely attached to it.
That was dangerous. Alien. Wrong. It frightened him. For as long as he could remember nothing had been his, not truly. Even things that were given to him did not belong to him, he was permitted to retain them by those better and stronger than he was himself. That was how it worked. That had been Sam’s way of life for so many years that anything else was just bewildering to him, foreign and confusing to the point that it scared him. It was likely it would never stop feeling that way, that he would never be able to move past what had been so forcefully imprinted and impressed upon him, and had he been aware enough to recognise that for himself Sam might have found that disappointing, perhaps even frustrating. As it was he couldn’t see it, couldn’t stand on the outside looking in at himself, seeing what others saw. Even after the brief respite from that life only a short number of days ago Sam couldn’t see himself the way others did. Maybe that was for the best.
When breakfast time came someone called up the stairs again, much as they had the night before. More smells had drifted through the house, warm and comforting and appetising. Just like the night before Sam had stayed in his room. The return of the sun’s light had made him feel a little bolder, at least, in that he had moved from the bed and settled himself in the deep recess of the window’s ledge. He hadn’t brought a cushion or a pillow but he needed neither. Instead he had taken the book from the nightstand and folded himself into the space with the novel open against his legs. At least an hour had passed without him reading more than a few lines of the text, his eyes once again fixing on some unseen point outside, through the glass of the window and beyond the trees. The longer he stared the more Sam felt convinced he could feel eyes staring back at him.