I threw my black pen into the oblivion of brown twigs, frazzled leaves, and colourful flower petals. So I felt a satisfying feeling spread through me. So I pledged not to write another word on the crowded white paper.
I'd poured my energy into this. I'd added soul into each object and personality into each room. I'd added feeling into each window and indescribable beauty into each flowerpot.
I walked up to the large empty field of grass, it was empty but full. The broken dandelions swayed in the white sun and the brook on the side of the fence hummed.
It was glorious. So I dropped the thick stack of papers in the center of the lot. So I smiled as the house grew out of the word-filled papers. So I opened the door and walked in.
It would be a miracle to come across thy
Oh the beauty was so hard to define
It hummed like an endless sea
and twirled like a dizzy violet
It sang like the most feeling singer
And chirped the magnificent tunes of a nightingale
And when I sleep in it
It tucks me in
The moon looks more like a strong diety from these windows
The sun looks like a golden king
The trees look like green fairies
The flowers look like colourful things sculpted by god
And I'll never leave it
It carries life
It holds dreams
It wipes tears
As I carefully framed the poem that I'd just written, I felt proud. So a loud banging feeling of triumph echoed through my chest.
I'd just created my home out of words!
A few years later I fell in love. So we had a grand wedding in the big backyard- the pool was floating with orange lanterns and the white fence was strung with baby roses, there was a small arch at the very back where my beloved and I stood as the pudgy, red-faced man did the ceremony.
My husband and I wanted children. So I had one child. So I nursed this child and left the windows open to caress her pale skin in the moonlight and fresh wind. So I sat with her and fed her plump dark blueberries from the mighty bush in the field. So I wiped her small chin when she got dirty and bounced her when she got sad.
Four years later, she thought she had a dull room. So I painted her room a subtle lilac and scattered a few jars full of iridescent bubble jars around the room.
And the walls remembered that. They remembered the first laugh of my first baby. They remembered the splendid smell of my first pumpkin pie.
As my first child grew older, she wanted a little brother. So I had a son. I nursed him just the same as my first child. I nursed him with ample love- hugs and kisses and songs.
Five years later, they were both old. Old enough to long for responsibility. So I sent them to their first picnic in the woods. A white balloon of a moon was dawning and they weren't back. The kitchen floors remembered my first tear, splattering on the ground. The floor remembered my anxious steps as I paced up and down on the white tiles.
The door remembered how hard I slammed it as I ran out to look for them. But the walls also remembered how hard I hugged my two children as I leaned against the flowery wallpaper. The house remembered my sigh of relief as I pulled them in the houses and brushed the thorns out of their hair. The air remembered the delicious whiff of the pancakes and hot cocoa that I made while they told me the entire story.
I sat down on the chair and watched their animated faces and puffy eyes describe the whole scene. How they heard a growl of a bear and ran deeper into the forest and how they later realized that that growl was the Mitchell kids trying to spook them. How they tried to navigate their way out of the woods but couldn't spot the unmistakable light of the sun. How they huddled together and cried.
Three years later, my first daughter was acting odd. So, she told me to remove the beautiful bubble jars from her room. So she told me to dump all her princess-like, puff-sleeved dresses and replace them with more "mature" ones. But the damp attic walls remembered how I furtively hid them in a big wooden box along with the bubble jars. And the attic walls remembered how I took the dresses and bubble jars out because a day later she asked for them back.
A month later my son gave me a glimmering pearl necklace that he had saved up for. So, it brought tears to my eyes, hot and wet ones. But he realized that the pearls that he paid for were fake. So, he marched up to my room and continued to repeat sorry. But I told him that the pearls that he gave me had no difference to the real ones. So I told him they were better and grander because they had love and hard work in them. So I told him that I'd rather have these ones than any of the rest. So he smiled and left the room, his tears gone.
Five years later, I had a sweet baby girl who had the most precious eyes. So slept with her at night and stared into her big eyes for hours.
A week later my daughter came up to me and said she wanted to study in Paris. So I begged her not to, I went down on my knees and then ran to make her most favourite meal. But she refused and talked to me mother-like, "I won't be your little baby forever. But I'll always be your child. But if you love me, mother, you have to let me go."
I stopped acting foolish then and said yes to her. But at night I cried, gripping my third daughter in hand. The walls remembered my echoing sobs. My bathroom mirror remembered my puffy red eyes.
One year later, my first daughter was gone and I was left alone with my husband, son, and second daughter. I was asked out to dinner that day, so my husband and I got dressed and we both ran into the carriage. My kids waved to me. So I waved back, eyes teary for a reason that I couldn't fathom. That was the day I saw a small strand of grey in my husband's hair, but the walls weren't there to remember that. So I looked away at the blurring trees and pictured what it was like to be young.
Four years later, I was sitting with my five-year-old daughter, carving a bright orange pumpkin. I pulled the knife through the center of the pumpkin, attempting to create a grin. So my daughter asked why I was hurting "poor" Jackie. So I laughed and said that pumpkins weren't living. So she crossed her arms and stomped away, pigtails wagging.
Fifteen years later, today, I flipped through the photobook. I traced my hand over the wedding dress of my first daughter, it was white and snowy white at the bottom with a trail of little white roses and a long elegant veil. My first son's wedding was big and grand because he set out to become a writer- like me. So he hosted the event in his large mansion and I was considered a guest- I wasn't able to run it. My second daughter's wedding was rebellious, she wore a short red dress- the colour of the devil but I still knew she loved me. So I didn't care how rebellious today.
But now, I let the walls soak up the pictures- the memories. And say goodbye to my dream house as I pull the two suitcases out of the turquoise door. I say goodbye to the bubble jars twinkling from the circular window. I say goodbye to the dresses hanging near the fuzzy window. I say goodbye to my first son's endless pages of fairy tales and goodbye to my second daughter's first dress.
I walk away from the lot of broken dandelions, gripping my husband's hand.
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Reedsy invited me to critique this story. Considering you've written over 20 stories, I feel like you're the one who should be giving me advice. But anyhow, I noticed another commenter recommended replacing all the "so's" in the story with "and's". I personally felt like the "so's" helped add weight to it, but I do agree there were too many of them. Other than that, it was a really deep, emotional story, and I hope to be able to write like this some day.
Thank you soo much!! This means a lot! Thanks for the critique!
The imagery in this is astounding! You really have a talent for painting a picture, I could feel the emotions of the character and the story evokes a raw and touching feeling. Love the writing! :)
Thank you! I'm glad you think that. I'm checking out your work now!!!
I like that walls are able to remember. In Spanish they say "las paredes oyen" - the walls hear/listen... What doesn't work for me is the transition from poem to marriage and children. I like the stories of children, but it becomes a little bit of a list because time rushes by. Maybe that was the point - it goes by so fast. The lot of broken dandelions was a nice ending. They say so much.
Thank you so much for reviewing this story! It really means a lot. I did have trouble with this story and I can see how it seems like a list. I'll try to work on that! Thankssss.
I am always happy to comment, never with the intention to be negative. I believe honest responses are the ones that help us most.
I agree. And thanks again for giving feedback!
Beautiful story! If you don't mind me suggesting, I think a better name for the story is, "They remember." Because it's not only the walls who remember... but this story was beautiful.
Thank you for giving me some feedback! I think that is a great idea. I will definitely think about changing the title, but the only reason I wrote "The Walls Remember" is because I want the readers to know that it's the walls themselves who remember if they click on the title.
Oh, good point! And anytime!
If you could, can you please give me some feedback on "You Jump" (my newest story). Thanks.
Of course! Will do :)
This is very nice how you framed the story in memories using the house. I would get rid of the extra "So's" and use "And" or nothing at the beginning of sentences to make the action stronger. I would split up the poetry in italics "in between" the short "snapshots" of memories to show you are flipping through random pages of a scrapbook. Check again to replace passive with active verbs for stronger movement. Such as the daughter "started acting strangely" instead of "was acting odd." Very nice metaphor with the house framing your memories!
Thank you so much for the feedback, I understand what your saying but I wanted to make "so" an overall theme throughout the story, but I'll see how it reads if I remove all the "so"s.
Aw, this is so amazing and wonderful! 💕 I really loved reading the poem over and over again, you have a great talent for imagery! A great story, definitely enjoyed!
Thank you! That means a lot to me. Thank you for reading my story and commenting! I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
You are so welcome! 😊