This entry is part 25 of 33 in the series Tales from the top of the hill
The Girl in the Photograph

"The girl standing in front of me was really beautiful, she had long silky hair, flowing down on her shoulders like a streaming river"

When I came back after work today, I found her at the same place that I left her this morning, under a light blanket on the right side of my bed. I found this amusing at first and wondered if she just slept all day like a lazy girl, I can’t really blame her though, I have been the same at some point in my life and nobody can honestly say that sleeping isn’t great. I was pretty late though now so I decided to wake her up but it’s only when I came next to her that I noticed that she wasn’t sleeping. Her forehead was all sweaty and her face was red, I was wondering if she just did something physically demanding and she was extenuated as a result. The fact that she was still in her night dress confirmed that I was wrong but still she was breathing heavily. I got a bit closer to her and asked her is she was all right, even if I knew that she probably wasn’t. She said that she felt weak and couldn’t find the strength to leave her bed, she also mentioned that she was freezing while crawling back under the blanket. It’s the first time that I saw her catching a cold, I did not know any good cure to this except a lot of rest so I told her to do so, but I guess that it wasn’t necessary since she wasn’t planning on going anywhere.

I went outside a bit to burn my eyes with the flaming colors of the leaves, grasping the few last moments of autumn before the leaves fall on their own. It was a bit depressing in here when they all have fallen, in other regions snow would cover them and before it could thaw, those leaves would have decomposed themselves, following the cycle of nature but not in here, where snow refused to fall year after year, leaves were lying around the naked trees, like fallen bodies that nobody would take care of. They would also decompose before spring but that wasn’t a pretty thing, I’m not wondering anymore why there is a month called ‘The Month of the Dead’, that’s slightly creepy. At least it was a great show for a moment, there was plenty of fiery colors that were accompanying the late sunset. Even if everything was really beautiful, it still was boring. I found myself being irritated by having nothing to do so I thought I’d tidy up that deskroom that we haven’t really touched since we started living here.

The room itself wasn’t defying the theme of this house, it was pretty small and narrow but there still was an incredible amount of dust everywhere, like if even the people who lived here before didn’t enter the room either. I started dusting off the empty bookshelves and thought that it would be nice if they would be filled with books we wrote, or at least that she wrote, well I guess I would be satisfied if they were just filled with random books, since it would be pretty hard to actually fill a whole shelf with your own books, I think that it takes time to write a book, not even mentioning the time required to improve the quality of the story. While cleaning up the top of the bookshelf, I noticed that a tiny piece of paper was stuck between it and the wall, I tried to gently pull it out but it was really stuck there. I thought I would just move the furniture a bit so it would fall on itself but the bookshelf wouldn’t budge at all. It didn’t look that heavy, why wasn’t I able to move it? I took a closer look at it and noticed that the bookshelf was glued to the wall.

I thought that it was a pretty peculiar way to make furniture stay on the wall, I couldn’t really say that it was a bad method since it pretty much worked so far but I must say that I started to be curious, what would be the motive for someone to glue his bookshelf to the wall, there must be a reason! Was this place on high risks of earthquakes, if so that would explain why there aren’t any books in it and the accumulated dust on it would only suggest that there never were any books on those shelves. Since there was another one on the opposite wall I went to see if it suffered the same fate as his neighbor book-holder. I wasn’t really surprised when I noticed that it also almost made one with the wall, the thing that surprised me was the fact that it was the only thing that went through the glue treatment, the desk was just lying there like if nothing ever happened to its boring life and the chair wasn’t glued to the floor either, why would someone fall back to that barbaric technique? I’m not saying that the inventor of the glue is a barbarian, that would make no sense anyways but still I found all this comedy pretty much suspicious.

Then it hit me, the piece of paper stuck between the wall and the bookshelf, it was under the glue, it made me believe that the person who did this wanted to hide something, now I was really curious but I couldn’t just start a mayhem in the house right now since she was sleeping next door, I had to use delicacy. But how am I supposed to delicately do that, it was a case of brute strength! The only option I had was to dislodge it with a knife or something so I ran to the kitchen and took the scariest knife I could find, thinking to myself that it would be pretty funny if anyone saw me just rushing in the kitchen to take it and then going back to the room, but such a thing couldn’t happen. I slid the knife behind the bookshelf and to my greater appreciation I noticed the glue was only applied to the sides so it went off relatively easily. I took care to do it meticulously to keep anything that would be behind it intact, I hastily moved it away and what I found behind it stunned me.

There were a few dozens of old yellow sheets of paper pinned to the wall, along with a few pictures that looked really old. I was mesmerized by what I just found and I immediately wondered if the same thing was hidden behind the other one. I did the same process to the other bookcase but since I was so eager to reveal what was hidden behind it, I did it in a careless way and I might have lightly ripped a piece of paper with my knife… unintentionally. That was pretty much the same thing mirrored on the other wall but there wasn’t any pictures, only texts on old sheets of paper. I wanted to take a few to read them but I thought that they might fall to pieces if I tried to move them so I just read them directly on the wall. Most of them were beginnings of stories, I think, that was strange, all the stories were pretty different but they felt like they were all linked together. There was also a few pages of what seemed like a diary or something like that, there was a date but the year wasn’t specified, that’s sad since it was probably my only chance to evaluate how old were those papers. Judging by the few diary entries that I found, it seemed like the author was writing as a living, strangely enough there wasn’t any traces of a completed story on the wall, maybe that she only kept the unused beginnings as inspiration.

I said ‘she’ because at this point it was pretty obvious to me that this person was a girl, the handwriting was gracious and the pictures on the other wall were displaying a girl. I know that it’s a bit strange to display pictures of yourself, you would probably keep pictures of your friends or something but judging by the age of the pictures it was probably during the time where you had to pay a big price to obtain a picture and most of the time you would get a picture of yourself if you were going to pay for it, that’s my guess. I went back to the other wall to look over those pictures. The girl standing in front of me was really beautiful, she had long silky hair, flowing down on her shoulders like a streaming river, the picture was in black and white but I could guess that the color of her hair was either light brown or red, maybe blond. I thought that red haired girls are better so I went with that even if it didn’t really matter that much, she was holding a hat in her hands and she had one of those smiles that makes me forget that the picture is in black and white and is probably older than myself.

I kept on browsing the sheets on the wall, there were some really interesting beginnings, I wondered why she never continued them, maybe she lacked imagination or wasn’t just satisfied by how she started but probably not since she kept it on the wall. I noticed that there was more behind the sheets so I proceeded to carefully move them to discover a newspaper article that has been most likely cut off the local newspaper. It appeared like it was even older than everything pinned on this wall, it was behind everything after all so it made sense. I started to read the article and it said that an unexpected unknown town girl won the literature contest with a story that moved everyone’s hearts. That sounded a bit too familiar, I rushed through the text to finally confirm my interrogations, the title of her story was ‘The boy who wanted to become a knight’.

I cursed all the gods I knew over this, after all we’ve been through, I always thought that this story was only the fruit of her imagination and just today, while casually ungluing a bookshelf from the wall of my house, I found out not only that this story really happened but that the main character of the story actually lived in my house a century ago, or something like that. I’m pretty open minded to believe in coincidences and stuff like that but this was a bit too much, there were now too many signs that it couldn’t be a coincidence anymore, there was something going on and nobody thought wise to warn me. I didn’t knew yet if she was behind all this or not but I couldn’t just ask her now, not only she was sleeping and sick but I think I had to find more by myself before being told another story with hidden meanings. I re-read a few excerpts from the wall to see if there was some similarities with the stories she told me before but it didn’t seem like it, they weren’t even of the same style, I was on a blind lead, I had to find that book called ‘The boy who wanted to become a knight’ even if I knew that it wouldn’t help me.

How did she knew this story? How could she narrate it as if she was the main character, expressing the feelings like if she was living it? That could probably be explained by a good imagination or story-telling skills but that didn’t set aside the fact that the girl from the story lived in the house that we decided to live in. Now that I think of it, it was her that led us here and it was her that found the miraculously abandoned house. She probably knew what she was doing but I had no idea, that’s why I decided to investigate on the ‘Red headed case’, I had no proof that this girl also had red hair, but since such a coincidence never comes alone, she probably had the same hair color as her, without a doubt. Wait, since when was it a coincidence?

I just totally lost my mind.

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  1. Caprario says:

    I’d always want to be update on new posts on this website , saved to fav! .