November 1st, 2021


Idol Minor+ : "Forgotten"

idol minor+ | week 1 | 390 words
"There are things that drift away like our endless, numbered days"


The pretty, picket-fence garden
all around this little house
was a lie. You know that now,
much too late to make a difference.

The days aren’t so bad, but after dark…
you keep the tv loud all night long,
to hide the gaps in the silence
and push away the sense of ‘presence.’

Surely, it’s better not to know?

But you forget sometimes, and can’t help
but listen. Spidery shivers
race across your arms and neck,
that eerie feeling of being watched.

Foolish girl. You were never truly alone.

There are noises in the attic,
skittering claws or a creaking chair.
Someone died up there, you’d heard.
An old woman/widow/maiden-aunt
had died alone, forgotten and angry.

You suspect it might be true.

How long have you been living here?
It feels like months or maybe years—
a lifetime, even. No one will buy it,
this three-story noose around your neck.

The picket-garden fence is gray now,
the grass gone wild and the bushes overgrown.
You could not tend them, trapped in battle
with some nameless, faceless foe.

Your sister has two children now,
and a husband—a beautiful life.
You have cobwebs and strange rituals,
nights hiding from and in the dark.

How did it go so terribly wrong?

One night, a moan slips through the ceiling,
and then another. Your heart turns over.
Whatever else that sound might be,
you know it isn’t nothing.

Though you could ignore it. You always do.

But what has it gotten you so far?
Your friends never visit now—
they’re all as scared as you are.
The loneliness is bleeding you dry.

You’re so very tired of being afraid.

You were brave once, you remember.
You reach for that again, finding
a hammer and climbing up the stairs.
You stand before the door, tense and angry.

Then you push it open and go inside.

You scan the walls by flashlight, spotting
a chair in the shadows near the door.

It isn’t empty. The skeleton there
is dressed in familiar clothes—
the clothes you’ve been wearing for so long,
you stopped noticing they never changed.

What you’re feeling is like sadness mixed with dread.

You remember all those stories
about the attic, but not who told them.
It doesn’t matter, now that you realize
the stories were always actually about you.