A micro-narrative inspired by the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
I fear that my wife’s condition has been worsening day by day. I do try my best to assist her, but it seems as though all my efforts have been futile. I suspect it’s that wretched house we’ve been staying in, it does not do her good to be kept there for long. Oh, but she has been looking so very unwell lately, even more so as time passes. Her once fair and lovely complexion is now a poor and dull, almost yellowish shade.
I fear what is to become of her. She is a very naive little thing, always wanting to go outside. ‘Just for a walk’, she says, ‘Just to look around’, ‘Just to get some fresh air’. She does not know what to do otherwise, so she writes in this little book of hers. I catch her writing in it sometimes. Oh, the look on her face, whenever anyone gets within an inch of her book, is absolutely dreadful, might I even say horrendous?
I fear - sometimes - not for her but of her.
A deep sigh withdrew from my mouth. A quiet melody played from the jangle of keys as I pushed it inside the lock, letting out a loud click. A slow creak echoed through the hallway. Absolute darkness had devoured the house and its inhabitants. The only light source produced by the luminescent moon, peaking through the windows, revealing both dust and grime.
“Jennie!” I exclaimed. “Has she eaten yet?”
Silence. I stepped towards the staircase, with each stomp becoming more muffled than the last. It was an instinctual feeling. One that curled and snatched at your lower stomach. Towards the staircase, my body sunk to the ground like a cat that was creeping up on its prey.
As I reached the peak, muffled sounds of crying pierced through the ominous tranquillity. Unbearable scratching sounds, resembling the scraping of nails on a chalkboard, shrieked through the hallway. The sounds all came from one particular room. Hers. I clutched to the wall, only mere inches away from the door. I swallowed my thoughts and stopped my quivering. Turning the doorknob, I flung open the door, greeted by a wicked sight. Jennie, binded in the corner and in a state of dread. Glancing to the right was her. My wife. Gashing and slashing at the wallpaper as her hands lay bloodied and her nails ripped off.