He ran his tender fingers across the landscape of the wall, tracing the tendril patterned cracks that adorned it. His thoughts were going gung-ho just at the sight of the theatre sized canvasses, pinned along the walls of the auditorium. It was the first time something had ever met his expectations, the expectations that had once snowballed into his dreams only.
As he treaded around the sky-open auditorium, or which, at least seemed like one, as the entire roof was only a layer of thick glass partitions giving a clear view of the fluffy white clouds dating the bright blue sky. The opening and closing of the glass partitions could be controlled using the few sets of buttons and small switches installed next to the entrance.
“Kevett?”, entered his dad as he enquired his only child’s presence in the room. “It’s been a while, I have been looking for you.” Kevett turned to look around and face his dad with a sorry expression.
Of course, this mansion being one of the largest among the very few in the estate was certainly an image of grandeur.
Kevett took his dad’s hand and walked him to one of the canvasses, performed a small gesture, and waited for his dad to decipher.
“You want colours?” guessed dad.
Kevett nodded at this.
It was not as if he was born that way, with no speech, but it was a tremendous shock that this 12-year-old kid had received just 2 weeks back, the shock of his mother’s, Selena Armstrong’s death. She was an archaeologist. It was a mysterious death indeed. The investigators assumed that she must have been buried alive at the site along with some other archaeologists, as the news had come that a landslide had taken place at the excavation location due to the instability of the terrain there. However, when search teams were sent, reportedly no bodies were found in that area.
After this Kevett and his only family, his dad left their home country Auckland and shifted. Mr Armstrong hoped that maybe a change of place could bring back his son’s speech and smile.
“You see those sets of drawers in the chest there, in that corner? You will find all your materials there. I have had it all arranged.” Assured Mr Armstrong and with this left his son on his own to explore.
Kevett gave a last look to the canvassed walls and with satisfaction left the auditorium to explore the other areas of the mansion.
As he was walking down the corridor, his attention shifted to an adjacent corridor on his right. It was dark with not even a sliver of the ray of sunlight pouring in. He took his first few steps into the dark, careful, not to trip over anything, with his hands against the wall guiding him.
He reached the end of the corridor having found no rooms attached to it. The end was marked by a wall blocking Kevett’s way further into the engulfing darkness. Kevett searched the wall with his hand and found something resembling a gear sort of handle. He looked back the way he had come from, thinking of going back to the main corridor and calling his dad instead to have a look at this.
But his curiosity was at its peak now and not being able to resist anymore he pulled down at the gear without any thought, to which, the wall shuddered a little, and opened up from beneath making an entrance. At this, a chill ran down the boy’s spine. He decided to walk in further and get to the end of this mysterious corridor. As he raised his trembling foot to take his first step into the entrance followed by the second, It was not long before he realized that he was standing suspended in mid-air, as the walls seemed to be in motion on hos both sides. He turned to walk back but all that summoned him was only darkness. He looked above to find a speck of light above that was slowly distancing. The realization hit him that he wasn’t standing in mid-air but he was slowly falling into a deep trench-like space having stepped out the entrance.
“Help!” came out his scream as he thrashed his legs and hands in the air to grab anything he could get hold of at that very instance.
“Kevett”, came Aa distant voice somewhere soothing enough but at that time nothing could soothe him and his terror-stricken soul. He continued to fight the hands in the darkness that now were trying to engulf him into it. Tears rolled past his cheeks as he closed his eyes to make his last wish.
He then saw people around, his family members, his not alive any more mom and caring dad. He thought that maybe this was how it felt to pass into oblivion.
He heard the same voice again but this time it was more of a terror-stricken scream. At this, he rubbed his eyes to find his dad hugging him tight and crying his heart over him. He looked down, to find himself back in the Auditorium.
“Dad, what happened?”
Mr Armstrong just had his lips parted to answer when the realization hit him and he didn’t know what to say or do, and instead, he cried some more but this time with a smile on his face.
“You are speaking” slowly said Mr Armstrong having taken a lot of effort to get out those words out of his mouth.
At hearing this, Kevett couldn’t contain himself any longer but hugged back Mr Armstrong tightly and cried hard, happy to get his voice back but more because all that was just a bad dream.
“You were in a fit,” said Mr Armstrong slowly releasing his son from his gripping hug and looked at his horrified sunken eyes.
“I had a bad dream.” Replied Kevett with a smile.