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Lost Childhood

February 9, 2020

Late but here is a new story. Its rough as it still needs more details but its a start for me to get back into writing.

 

The sound of something massive being dragging on the floor was heard above the ceiling, followed by a loud thump. Soft footsteps reached the edge of the attic opening, and a woman’s head popped out from the darkness. Her eyes moved to the room and gazed at a two-year baby sound asleep. The woman breathed out, relieved that the child was still sleeping. She pulled her head back inside and walked over to the fallen boxes on the unfinished floor. The woman shook her head and carefully rearranged the cartons back into their place then resumed on examined a large reddish trunk. Fake jewels and colorful rocks covered most of the face of the chest. On top were words written in glitter, spelling the name Johanna.

“Wow, can’t believe I still have this,” Johanna said to herself as she tried to open the chest. However, it was locked, and the key was nowhere on the trunk. Johanna pushed it near the attic opening then went down the ladder. She was shocked that it was heavy, as it took a lot of effort to get it down.

“Okay, better find that key.” Johanna wiped her forehead with the back of her hand.

She returned back to the attic and spent the day searching for the key but had no luck. She went back down and closed the attic then looked inside the room, seeing that the baby was awake. Johanna walked over to the crib and gently spoke to her son.

“Hey, you.” She picked him up and gently rocked him in her arms. “Bet you’re hungry.”

Johanna walked out of the room and glanced up at the trunk and noticed a stuffed reddish bird resting on top. It was slump on its back with its wings spread downward. Johanna was surprised to see it and wondered how it got there.

“Did I put there without noticing it?” She pondered while staring at the toy and was about to grab it when the baby became fuzzy. “Okay, okay. Let’s go eat.”

As Johanna took a few steps down, she turned her head to look at the toy on last time before heading down.

After the baby ate and was playing inside the playpen, Johanna was seated nearby, examining the bird. It looked brand new, and there was a tag on the bottom with only a name, Trick.

“Funny, I remember having a toy with that name.” She flipped it around and felt the soft fabric that was surreal to touch it, almost like real flesh and feathers. The beak was hard and did not have that plastic hint. Johanna sat the toy down on the sofa as she glanced at the trunk. “Now, how am I going to open this up.”

Just then, she heard a heavy thumped near her feet. She glanced down, and there was a black key with gems inside the head. Johanna was stunned to see it as she reached to grab it. The jewels sparkled in the light and cast a colorful rainbow of light towards the chest. Johanna’s eyes lighted up as flashes of her childhood popped into her head. She smiled to herself and looked at the toy.

“Trick, I remember you.” She grabbed it and gently gave it a hug. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to recall the adventures she had with her best friend. Her daydream was interrupted as her son began to cry, and Johanna got up to check on him. “Hey, hey, what’s the matter, big man?”

She picked him up and showed the boy the toy. He stopped crying and began to laugh as he clapped his hands. “Oh, you like Trick. Well, here you go.” She moved the toys head around and peck on the boy’s cheek. He laughed more and pushed his hand closer to it. Johanna laughed and placed him back in the playpen with the toy. She returned to the trunk, and there, sitting on the top, was Trick.

“What the…” she turned her head to the baby who was laughing and clapping his hands. Her eyes moved back to the trunk, and Trick was standing on its two feet and waved to Johanna. She was dumbfounded that the world spun around her and collapsed on the floor.

A while later, a muffled voice was calling to her. She opened her eyes slowly and stared at a man who had a worried face.

“Huh?” she said in a weak voice.

“Johanna, are you all right?” What happened?” the man helped her sit up slowly.

“I…I was…” Her eyes passed the man and stared at a little girl gazing at the chest with Trick resting on top of it. “Was I dreaming about it?”

“What?”

“Oh, s…something happened, but I think I was just dreaming.” Johanna stood up and felt pain in the back of her head. “Ouch, that hurts.”

“You’re lucky you missed the coffee table.” The man peeked behind her head to see a red spot where she hit her head. “Looks like nothing serious, but we should get it checked for any head trauma.”

“I’m fine, doctor.” She smiled and looked at the girl. “How was school, Clementine?”

“Good, but you didn’t come to pick me up?” The girl answered without looking at her mother.

“Oh, I’m sorry, sweetheart. Guess the bump on the head made me miss the time.” She walked over and keeled, then hug her daughter and kissing her on the cheek. “But lucky daddy was there to get you.”

“The school called when she was still there, and you didn’t show up. I just finished an operation when they called.” He sighed and looked at his son, who was asleep. “So, why did you fall?”

“I was startled by something, but my mind was playing tricks. Anyway, you hungry?”

“Yeah, but I got to go back” He looked at his watch. “I’ll be back a little later. You sure you’re okay?”

“Yes. It’s only a bump.”

Her husband walked over to her and examined the back of her head then he glanced at her eyes. “Well, if you don’t feel better, call me, okay.”

“I will.”

“Okay, I’m off.” He kissed Johanna then kissed Clementine at the top of her head. “Take care of mommy, if she passes out or something happens, you know what to do.”

“Sure, do.” She answered without looking at him.

“See you later.” He told Johanna and left the room.

Johanna gently rubbed the back of her head and glanced at the toy. Its head rested to the right side, facing away from the playpen. Johanna wondered what she saw was real or just her imagination.

“Mommy, can I have the toy?”

“Huh?” She snapped out of her thoughts and looked at her daughter.

“The bird, can I have it?”

“Oh, um…sure, but take care of it.”

“I will.” She grabbed it, then ran upstairs.

 

A while later, Johanna had the table set up for dinner and called out to Clementine to come down. Johanna placed two chicken legs with rice and vegetables for her daughter, who came running in with Trick on her back.

“Did you wash your hands?”

“Yes.” Clementine sat down and placed Trick on the empty chair next to her, then she looked at her mother. “Did you really went to the land of Confetti?”

“What?” Johanna blink.

“Confetti. Trick told me that you used to go there all the time with him.”

“Hmm…I guess so. H-how did you know his name?”

“He told me.” Clementine looked at the toy and smiled. “You should talk to her. I know its been a while.”

Johanna smiled as she sat down. “Honey, it’s only a toy.”

“Says you.”

“Clementine.” Johanna snapped at her.

“It wasn’t me.” She pointed to herself. “It was Trick that answered.

Johanna frowned and looked at the toy. It was leaning on the table, and its head moved slightly as it smiled. Quickly standing on her feet, Johanna’s eyes widen as she tried to speak.

“What’s wrong, Jo?” The toy asked in a gentle voice. “Am I scaring you? That would be crazy. I know you were never scared of anything.”

“C-Clementine, come here,” Johanna said in a trembling voice.

“But mommy, he’s not going to hurt you.”

“Yeah. I’m not going to do that.” The bird hopped on the table. “Jo, what’s wrong with you? Have you forgotten about me and your world?”

“This…this all a dream.” Johanna closed her eyes. “I’m still unconscious on the floor. Yeah, that’s it.”

“This is no dream, Jo and Confetti is in dire need for your help.” The bird stood closer to her with its wings tucked inside its pockets.

“No, no, no, this is all in my mind.” Johanna shook her head.

“Fine, if you don’t believe me say the word, Gate.”

“Gate?” She opened her eyes and looked at the toy.

The bird smile and leaped backward as it grabbed Clementine by the collar of her shirt and flew with her into the living room. Johanna ran after them and stopped by the door as the gazed at the wonder in front of her. The living room was gone, and a colorful world with large trees and blue skies stretched in front of her. She took a step and felt something touched her face. Johanna placed her hand in front of her and sensed something as if it were fabric. Her hand caused the material to rip like water and the living room began to slowly reappear. Johanna was about to enter, then she remembered the baby. Dashing to the dining room, she lifted her son off the chair and raced back to the portal. It had shrunken more but there was still room for her to enter. Taking a deep breath, Johanna stepped into the strange world and the gateway closed behind her.

The living room returned as the trunk closed itself, and laughter was heard.

 

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