The Victorian Room


The first time I saw that monstrous room, it gave me the creeps. A dark and dismal place filled with ornate antiques perfectly arranged for maximum dread. Now, I have to make my way past without glancing in.
"Do not make eye contact for any reason." I keep telling myself.
"I wonder what it means to be an antique?" Antiques are once beloved possessions that belonged to dead people—that's what they are; and now they have a new home in my aunt’s Victorian room residing in the blackness at the top of the stairs.
It’s time for bed. I creep toward the stairway of fear. A floral glass lamp creates shadow dancers across an aging portrait hanging in the dimly lit wall. The golden light brightens a white-haired man’s face warming his ivory skin and rosy pink cheeks.
His black eyes follow me up each and every step I take up the stairs as if he knows it’s bedtime.
The aged pine staircase leads to the second floor of the renovated farmhouse. I lightly rest my bare foot on the first step and wait. The parched wood winces under pressure. My heart leaps into my throat.  Gasping, I take a deep breath and put a death grip on the darkly stained railing. Taking the remaining steps two-by-two, I slide around the sharp corner and make a giant leap into bed.
"Whew! I made it."
However, I am not free from an overactive imagination. The headboard of the bed shares a wall with that dark, dingy, evil room. It waits to invade my every thought—creating an inevitable nightmare—haunting my dreams as they yield to its control. I shove a timeworn portable radio beneath my pillow in the hope that white noise will jumble my thoughts.
Star rockets in the night, afternoon delight...crackle...crackle.
The heavy static interrupts the music and prevents me from putting my mind to rest. Visions  of delicately carved faces of fat cherubs dancing across the enormous cherry wood headboard played like a picture show in my head. I can hear them giggling with the devious dolls slumped in the elaborately embellished, wing-backed chair sitting solitary in the corner of the room.
The dolls have had a long, hard life. Their seductive, porcelain faces bare the cracks and peels of time. They want you to love them, but their chilling blue, dead eyes deter you from becoming part of their escape plan. Even they do not want to spend eternity in that dingy, sorrowful room.
A paper-covered vintage globe sits next to a small writing desk. A musty odor permeates the air. Earth looked strange back then. Ancient countries with strange names I don’t recognize. I dream of the previous owner sitting at the desk in the matching burgundy velvet chair .  He is planning his escape to some exotic land aboard a steamer headed across the Mediterranean. Perhaps he is sitting there right now.
Burying myself deeper into the thick and cozy feather quilt, I find the floral scent calming and comforting. My body begins to loosen from my head to my toes, and my eyelids slowly give way to sleep. The bedroom door slowly creaks open.
My eyelids retract like a quick pull of a window shade.
I hear the pitter-patter , pitter-patter of tiny wooden feet tap-tap-tapping against the wood floor growing louder and LOUDER  as they shuffle in my direction.

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