Author: Nia Moone PM
The story of a boy and a girl who spend one summer learning about themselves, each other, the importance of communication and the power of words.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 3 - Words: 6,730 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 11-18-11 - Published: 11-08-11 - id: 2968711
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Jasper Finnegan watched as the sun shone softly through the window, the golden light illuminating the dust motes that floated their way lazily to the smooth wooden floor. The room had stood undisturbed for years, so there were plenty of dust motes to be seen. A layer of them resided on the hardcovers of the books Jasper had read as a child.
The books Jasper had loved, had adored as a child. He pulled out his favourite, the familiar weight of the pages, of the words in his hand. He blew the dust off and ran his thumb over the golden embossed title. Jasper took another breathe, inhaling the dust before realising his mistake.
Jasper held his breath, his chest aching as he pulled out yet another handkerchief from his pocket before coughing into it. His mother had always told him to take a handkerchief with him everywhere. This habit had proved invaluable in the recent months. Jasper inspected the vibrant red blood that now splattered the white cloth and sighed. Netty would be furious with him for even coming into this dusty room for a moment, let alone long enough for the dust to start effecting him. Not that Jasper would return downstairs just yet.
No matter how much Netty bothered and fluttered, trying to keep him safe, Jasper knew her worrying wouldn't make a difference in the end. Jasper didn't have the heart to tell her this though, and so let her keep fretting, but he tried to humour her and not increase her worries. But there was no point in lying to Netty, she was sharp and had always known when Jasper twisted the meaning of his words; he would just ask her if she would clean the room for him so that he could come up here for longer tomorrow. And the day after that. And every day after that. For the whole summer.
Jasper shoved the ruined handkerchief roughly back into his pocket. The room had withstood time, and the memories kept Jasper's fear at bay, although he would never admit the fear that haunted him, not even to Netty.
Jasper smiled. It was good to be home again.
After the death of his mother, his father had closed up the room, along with all the words (oh, the precious words), books and memories of her. As Jasper was yet another reminder of the shadow of a woman whom his father now grieved for, Jasper had also had to be forgotten. The easiest way to forget was for Jasper to be sent away. Send him away to boarding school, and never see him again. Not a letter, not a word scratched in ink, not even in pencil, not a whisper.
Not even when Jasper had first been ill with pneumonia had his father asked to see him again.
Although his father had not asked for his company, the fact that he was still there, still alive had kept Jasper hopeful. Even though his father still refused his company, Jasper, for the first time in 8 years had been allowed to return home, a chance he had long ago thought was impossible. He had been allowed to return, to revisit. To revisit the memories, the words of his childhood.
Even his father could not, would not, deny him this wish.
When he had first opened the door to this room, the slow squeak of the hinges that had been forgotten had comforted Jasper, and he had gasped, inhaling the scent of the memories of the room. The memories smelt of ash and ink (as almost anything of value should, in Jasper's opinion), of laughter and the innocence of childhood. The room had remained untouched in 8 years, and it still smelt of sunshine, and of course, his mother. She had smelt of ice and powder. And of course, of ink. She had smelt of far too many wonderful things for Jasper to list.
The memories of the books of his childhood and their entrancing words and how they had formed and fallen silkily from his mother's delicate lips like liquid onyx pervaded Jasper's thoughts. Those perfect, smooth, fluid words. The words to build a nation upon.
The words that Jasper had never dared utter.
The words of those stories had been the words that had whispered to him in the silence of the night, the words that had guarded him while he slept. Jasper smiled.
Jasper wasn't bothered by many things. He didn't mind the silence or the solitude. Didn't mind the fact that his father still refused him, his pleas. Jasper didn't mind, because at least, at last he had been allowed to return. Jasper didn't mind that he had not spoken a word in the 8 years he had been away. Jasper didn't mind that everyone thought he was dying. Now that Jasper was alone, he could start writing properly again.
Oh, how he had longed to hear, to feel the scratching of the nib against parchment, the small drop of ink, the moment it touched the page, spreading, staining, rapidly infecting the page with its dark lustre.
The delicate curve, the gracefully bowed back, that forceful straight line, it was these markings that formed the words. It wasn't just the markings though. It was the feelings, the emotions, the intention behind the words that made them so. That bought them into being.
Jasper began to write, occasionally pausing to dip his pen in the dark ink, the loud words slowly calming down, their ecstasy at his return contained. They slid obediently onto his page.
Jasper's lily-white hands, soft as lace flew gracefully across the page, smoothly, never halting as some writer's hands did. The words never faltered, never ceased, never hesitated even for a second.
After what felt like a few mere moments of writing, when in fact the room was dim because sun had almost finished sinking below the horizon, the words that had once fluttered chaotically around the room were silent, their whispers confined to the pages.
The words would stay there until the moon rose, the stars shone, until the shadows of the night formed their own ink, and the words would whisper to him; gently, sweetly, seductively. They would reassure him as he slept.
As long as Jasper had words, he would be fine, no matter what the others might say. Even when there was no more ink, he would be fine. When Jasper ran out of words he knew he would be in trouble, but he preferred not to think about it. His Mother (God rest her soul) had run out of words at a young age too. Jasper didn't want that to happen to him. That couldn't happen to him. He would never need more words, he knew he had enough to last him eternity. Even when the ink was gone, even when the paper was gone, so long as he had words he would be safe. Any old word would do, although it was the beautiful, the extraordinary, and the fluid words that were the best.
Those words had power.
The words would keep the nightmares away and whisper, ideas, thoughts, dangerous thoughts, dark thoughts, things Jasper couldn't even bring himself to write down, yet he dreamed of them all the same. During the day the words still lurked, still skulked in the corners of his brain, but they had much more power over him in the night as all words did.
Jasper was glad that dark had begun to fall; oddly it was when the sun shone that Jasper was afraid. The night was full of the words that could protect him.
Words that could save him.