Tommy's Room

            Tommy's room was just like any other eight-year-old boy's room, but with a secret.  If you walked up to his door, the first thing you would notice was the plaque on the front that read: "Tommy" in big red letters, with multicoloured balloons and clowns dancing around it.  Tommy loved the circus, especially the clowns; they always made him laugh.  There was also a small lock on the outside just above the handle that looked like it had been installed recently. 

Moving in to the room you would see how extraordinarily clean it is.  No toy cars and fire-trucks lying around on the carpeted floor to step on, no drawings in crayon on the sky blue walls.  All of Tommy's playthings were hidden inside his large oak toy chest that lay at the foot of his tidy bed, which was set up in the far right hand corner directly in front of the door.  Tommy's room was square, with two windows on the wall opposite the entrance just above Tommy's bed.  The windows overlooked the backyard from the second floor; looking outside, you would be able to see part of the vast forest that surrounded Tommy's secluded house. 

Everything in this room is neat and orderly; the bookshelf to the right of the door was stacked alphabetically, with books that were far beyond an eight-year-old's average reading range; and the colourful circus posters adorning the walls were all perfectly straight and spaced apart.  Tommy did this because he knew that his father hated untidiness; everything had to look perfect or it wasn't good enough. 

Tommy's nightstand was almost barren, apart from the plastic cup he used at night for a glass of water, a worn paperback copy of his favourite book, Moby Dick, and a down-turned picture frame.  The picture was of Tommy, his father, and mother all happy and smiling on a fishing trip two weeks before the accident that claimed his mother's life one year ago.  The glass from the frame had been long since shattered, yet the memory remained strong within the print. 

There is only one place left in Tommy's room to explore.  His closet.  Tommy's closet was situated in the centre of the wall left of the entrance.  Its door was white and shuttered with a worn brass handle.  Inside, underneath the rack of dress clothes and school-wear, was a lamp sitting on the floor, the plug running out of the closet underneath the door to an outlet just beside the closet.  There was also a red blanket with painted smiling faces printed all over it, and a beaten up old brown teddy bear with a red ribbon tied around its neck.  One of the bear's eyes was hanging on by a single thread, and the stitching that attached the bear's arm to its body had torn causing the cottony stuffing to poke out through the hole.  This was Tommy's fortress; his castle; his sanctuary.  This was where Tommy went to hide when he heard his father breaking things on the floor below, when he listened breathlessly as his father's footsteps drew nearer to his door.  This was where Tommy squeezed his eyes shut, blocking the tears that he would not let fall, and covered his ears, all the while dreaming of the day when he would run away from all this.  Tommy went into that closet and closed off his mind, all to escape the nightly screams of Tommy's room.