Once, I captured my inner child. I saw one her evening, crawling on the cornices and wandering on the edge of the wainscoting. At first I thought it was a figment of my imagination; after all, I was a wee bit tipsy on the Creme Yvette cocktail Aunt Sapphire had made before she turned in. But sure enough, there she was, a winged cherub, flitting amongst my curios and tchocktes. The nerve! Frankly, I was disappointed in the way she looked. She was so delicate and pale; I am made of much sterner stuff.
But the fragile schtick was a sham. She was a little monster. She spat in my heirloom Waterford crystal glasses. She knocked over my favorite Llardo figurine—the flamenco dancer awhirl with a blood-red hem on her white dress. When she began crawling on my replica of an Imperial Russian samovar, it was too much. I slammed down my highball glass, and knocked the nasty child into the belly of the samovar.
There, she sat for months.
At first, she banged on the gold-plated tin prison walls. But as time passed, her clanging changed to scratching, and the scratching turned to silence. When I finally opened the samovar to check on her, she was as still as a porcelain doll. When I picked her up, I felt an ice cold knife pierce my left side, just below my ribs. That place still aches now.
I keep her effigy in a a golden cage, in hopes that one day she will wake up.
Inspired by a photograph by Ben Carver.