Echo’s Of The Past…

The soft clicking of boots on hard wood guides me through an empty church. It was more abandoned really, pews broken and tossed aside. Holy books burned to ash, the walls crumbling in and decaying.

I don’t even know why I’m here, I was just heading home from a friends place. Something drew me here, like an urge to walk inside and investigate. To explore something long forgotten.

Perhaps it was that the church is sitting in the middle of nowhere, I mean, there where a few gas stations and a fast food place, sure. But the fact that the building is just standing alone; simultaneously drawing the eye and forcing it away.

I sigh, scratching the nape of my neck.

“This place is fucking creepy.”

My voice echos impossibly through the air, like the stone itself was replying to me.

I shake my head and start searching around, not even sure what I’m supposed to find.

“My gay ass is gonna burn in here.” I laugh to myself, hoping to ease my paranoia. It doesn’t work, it never does.

“The fuck am I doing? This is probably someone’s property. Dumbass.”I swivel on my heels and start to move to the large open doors, but I stop in my tracks.

A single, quick knock shifts the air. Coming from everywhere, yet nowhere.

“Aw, fuck this!” I whisper, yanking my pocket knife free from my belt.

I scan my environment, the broken pews, cracking walls, stained floor, burned books and Untouched glass…?

That’s odd, the first thing people break in places like these is the glass. Why the hell are these still here?

I step closer to the stained depictions. Instead of the usual tells of Jesus and his holy blessings; it shows a small child, a girl. Being held by her father, a tall, lanky, long-brown haired man. To his left, her mother, a shorter blonde woman with gentle blue eyes. Both with bright smiles and relief in their faces.

Then, in the next section it’s the two adults fighting while the little brown haired girl cries in her room.

I feel bad for her, I can understand the fear that stems from that kind of thing. “Shitty childhood, huh?” I joke to the air, my voice still carrying around the temple.

In the next it shows just the girl and her mother, the woman has her child’s hand cradled in her’s while she grips an empty wine bottle in the other. The mother is crying, yet her face is stoic, calm. The child only watches, her own brown eyes clouded with confusion.

“This seems pretty familiar.” I look around me, “and really fuckin’ weird to have in a church.” I squint at the glass, really taking in the details.

Her, the child’s room, the bed, the painted dresser, the pale green wallpaper. That’s my old room…and that’s me. And my parents.

I look at the panel with just the two women. That’s when my dad left.

What the fuck is going on? What is this place? I knew I shouldn’t have walked in…

I quickly study the rest of the story, unsure what I’m expecting.

Next, the child, now slightly older, is crying alone. Her backpack thrown against the wall, as she is in the middle of her bed, curled up to a ball.

I can remember that day exactly, now that I’ve connected the dots. The pain of my younger years, but why is it here? Posted up on a wall like a historic event?

After that was the girl, but now she was pulling her hair back. And getting it cut for the first time. This is when ‘she’ became ‘they’.

“That’s fucking wild, I’m getting outta here...” I back away from the stained glass, half expecting to me kept In place, by fear or something else.

I booked it for the door, ignoring the sounds of shattering glass that cut the air. Pushing through the atmosphere as it thickened around me, begging me to stay or punishing me for leaving, I’m not sure.

“Fuck that. Naw, fuck that!” I talk to nothing as i continue to bolt down the street, forcing my body to run.

I do end up making it home, opening and slamming my door shut behind me. Firmly locking it.

But unlike when I usually come home. My blood is racing, all of my senses are heightened and I no longer feel alone.

My safe haven, now no longer safe.

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