Arielle Lee, Grade 11
Isabel never thought she would come back to Lambford Manor. A film of dust lay undisturbed on every surface, torn curtains scrunched beside angular shards of glass. The interior, barren since the passing of Erich’s parents 10 years prior. Erich never planned to return though ownership had been transferred to him.
A small boy waddled, as Mrs Lambford continued through the doorway, minuscule fingers wrapped around the low hanging hem of his mother’s dress. Releasing his grip he started to navigate through the minefield of ashes and tobacco.
She knew this would have to do. Every inch of the crumbling landscape reminded her of him, what was left behind. Isabel felt parts of him follow her around, not noticing the translucent figure watching in the abandoned doorway.
He was here for her. Erich saw it in her face every time she looked at him. Hatred. She despised him, abused him, then decided he wasn’t good enough.
Zachery trailed his fingers along the grooves of an ornate wooden box hidden in a desk drawer beneath piles of unopened letters. Nestling the newly found object under his arm he rushed to his mother’s side, lifting it up for her to examine.
The box wavered in Isabel’s soft grip, the stubborn box remained tightly fastened. Her thumb traced a keyhole on the side, beneath it the initials E.L.
Erich remembered the sting of glass against his skin with each letter scratched into the side of his father’s cigar box, claiming possession of the wooden vessel. The was before the voices, the dreams, the threats, abandonment, freedom. He was released in order that he may return.
He didn’t recognise his face but there was something familiar about the pale man in the doorway. There was no anger in his face, only disappointment. Zachery recalled shouts, broken glass, soft hands wrenching him out of bed. A cold hand rested on his shoulder, she had seen him.
Isabel stiffened at the tranquillity in his face, not the violent agitation she was accustomed to. Shuddering, she watched as he took the box, knowing she would never truly get him back.