Frantically, she tore up the floorboards. “It has to be here!” she half-screeched, as she darted to and fro, searching different places. In the end, she collapsed, crumpling into a heap in the middle of what was left of the floor. Her bleeding fingers pulsed with pain, a reminder, and her glazed eyes wandered to one of the places where she’d torn up the wood. There should have been something underneath of it. A secret passage, a beating heart, a hidden stash with all the answers in it. Dirt, even. She would’ve taken dirt. But instead there was nothing. Just the void, that endless dark. “There should have been SOMETHING,” she whispered, eyes tearing up. “But there wasn’t,” her mind hissed back. Instead of crying, she began to laugh; a mad laugh. The darkness didn’t end at the floorboards.

7 thoughts on “Underneath

  1. A captivating read. You’re invested in the character from the start. She’s trying to find something that will save her. Is she trying to dispose of evidence that would otherwise incriminate her? Is she looking for a locket she stole but now wants to give back? Did she have a nest egg there that she wants to give her kid to escape, as she gets hunted by the husband/father? And then we find out she’s just crazy. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you felt interest. Keeping with my habit, however, I must question: so, I ask, IS she truly “just” crazy? Who’s to say the world in question is ours, or that the darkness isn’t real? Or even whether, perhaps, the whole thing might be metaphorical?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooof, Rachel – there went my breath. What a powerful, intensely conjured paragraph.

    We’ve explored your themes, and we will far into the future, but let’s leave them for tomorrow. For now there’s little but awe at the skill with which you’ve organized our usually-chaotic language. Each word selected and placed with precision.

    How can at least a small part of you not be optimistic when you have talent of his caliber?

    As for our protagonist, how can she do anything but laugh upon realizing the uncharted depths were within her all along, not just safely beneath the floorboards? Maybe that’s what drove her desperate, frantic search, the realization darkness always was there, inseparable, instead of being discovered only upon tearing up the floor.

    Good Lord, my newly-minted optimism recoils at leaving things on such a somber note. Thus, this will be a conversation for the future, okay?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. How awesome a transition will it be, Rachel, to make the journey yourself? To realize you’ve become the light gatherer?

        Naturally. You have the thoughtfulness and the sensitivity to make the change, and to make it last. In fact, those traits nominate you in particular.

        Can you believe, after all this time, the brightness still waits in the next room?

        Liked by 1 person

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