Saturday, 7 April 2012

Wardrobe ( A Short Story)

I’ve been waiting for Wardrobe to move for 25 years. Every evening I settle down with my coats and wait, it will move, I know it will. If I told anybody they’d just assume I was a loony tune, maybe they are right but I don’t think so. This is Wardrobe and it will move. One day before I die, it will take me there.

I’m all grown up now. I have a job and a bank account and a collection of ex-wives. I have photographs on the mantelpiece of family members who I remember to think about sometimes and I watch TV, brush my teeth and take a crap the same as everybody else. So I don’t see why I’m so different.

I’ve had this little ritual of sleeping in Wardrobe since I was 7. I don’t know if there’s a name for this like you have a name for people that refuse to walk over cracks in the pavement or who like to wear their mother’s undergarments. I’m sure it has a word. Maybe I’m a wardrophile.

It’s getting close now. For the last few nights I’ve been hearing little creaking sounds and I’ve felt a small vibration under my arse. It’s getting ready you see. One of these days I’m gonna wake up and my bedroom will be gone. Sometimes I spend all day in here in case it tries to catch me unawares. I would be bloody annoyed if I came home one day to find it gone without me. So just to be on the safe side I have started to spend more and more time in here. It’s a lot nicer anyway, it’s a bloody horrible world out there, that’s why I need to go.

Sometimes when I get a really good feeling I phone in sick. Tell the guys at work that I have a migraine or a bad case of the trots. I don’t think they believe me anymore but it’s better than telling them the truth.

It’s a simple affair, just your average bog standard IKEA wardrobe. You wouldn’t find it on the Antiques Road Show and it wouldn’t win any prizes at the Ideal Home Expedition. It’s just what is. A wardrobe is a wardrobe is a wardrobe just like a kettle is a kettle is a kettle. I'm just going to Narnia in mine.

I’ve got my affairs in order of course, haven’t left anything to chance. I’ve split everything up between my ex-wives and anybody else that is unlucky enough to know me.

To be quite honest I don’t care, they can have the bloody lot as far as I’m concerned. I’ve got nothing to write home about. They are welcome to my overdraft and my Motown collection and my signed Bryan Robson photograph from 1985.

Tonight I think is the night. The creaking sounds are louder than ever and the wood seems to be getting hot to the touch. That’s got to be a sign surely. I am starting to get the butterflies and I can’t stand the anticipation any longer. There’s a bead of sweat hanging on the end of my nose and I am desperate for a piss but I have to hold it in, if only I’d brought a bottle. I close my eyes and I feel like I am floating or Wardrobe is floating and spinning into the air and I am inside. But I don’t think it works like that. It isn’t going to zoom around my room like a firefly or jump through the window.

My knees are knocking. It’s starting to shake and I think I’m going to be sick I’ve been waiting so long for this to happen. I can hear a sound like air escaping from a balloon and there’s a metallic taste on the tip of my tongue. My heart is bouncing up and down, my throat has closed and my head feels like all the blood has drained out of it. I hold my breath and wait until it’s over. I am weightless. I am smaller than a pea. I am a blinking dot, I am losing consciousness.

I start to panic because I never dreamed it was going to be like this. I thought it would be all over in a flash and that one minute I would be sat in Wardrobe in the corner of my room and the next I would be doing snow angels.

I am awake and I am heavy again and I no longer need to piss. By the smell of Wardrobe I have already been there and bought the tee-shirt.

I can’t hear any familiar sounds like the ticking of the bedroom clock, I am freezing and Wardrobe door is hanging open. I grab a coat and crawl out on my hands and knees. It is absolutely beautiful and just as I have always imagined it. Everything is whiter than white and there is no sound. But something isn’t right.

My chest feels heavy. It feels like somebody is ripping out each of my ribs one by one.

I can’t move. I can’t breathe. It is Narnia and I have arrived here after all these years, Wardrobe has gone but something else is missing. I think air is the thing that is missing.

It wasn’t like this in the movie.

Copyright Ally Atherton 2012

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