In every picture a story, beyond the visual implores the witness to tell with words…
What’s your take?
Those shutters sideways.
In front of what were windows, on smudged shutters, time and grime spat a generation’s worth of neglect and disdain for the kids on the inside.
The kids who would soon come outside, busting through glass and wood to paint their generation’s worth of rage and contempt for what they were left with, what they had to take upon themselves to break out of, and in the process, destroy.
Generations repeat generations, shutters sideways until the next kid bursts through.
The Challenge December 2, 2017
Muriel stopped dead in her tracks when she reached the front doors to her Uncle’s villa. On spring break, this was her first trip to Spain and the first time visiting her cousins Annie and Lillian at their home. The three had spent summers together in New England as children. This visit was their first since entering high school.
Muriel almost lost her breath when she saw those doors. She set her suitcase down and felt around her neck with her free hand. It was as if she had a tremendous weight on her shoulders, as if her legs would buckle. What is going on here? Muriel stared at those obviously ancient doors, wondering if it was the faded green paint, almost to a yellow hue, bleeding through and cracked from years of the bright never-ending sunshine in this place. The paint and old putty was so thick in places it filled in where the panels were beveled to fit into the frames. A beautiful iron door pull had been mounted above where there had been lock hardware. Muriel could see where the color was sharper, having been protected all those years from the sun, and the screw holes that were never filled.
Was it fifty years since these doors were painted last? How long since they locked these doors?
The little pull was beyond rust, settled after so much time to a dull bronze. It distracted Muriel, making it possible for her to breathe again. It was those holes in the panels, one in the upper, one in the lower, in a direct line with the first that bothered her. Muriel backed up two steps. She couldn’t bring herself to touch those doors. She turned away and set her daypack on her suitcase, rifling through the front compartment for her cell phone. Text Annie. Before she could enter a complete message, she heard creaking. Muriel’s heart raced as she spun around.
Annie stood before her in a bright yellow sun suit, a gorgeous tan, and a gleaming white smile. “Why didn’t you just come in, you silly.”
Muriel smiled toward her cousin a little embarrassed. “I couldn’t…I don’t know. What is it with these doors? What’s with the holes? These doors are creepy.”
“They’re shitty, aren’t they.” Annie took Muriel’s daypack. “Come on, it’s much nicer inside. The historical district won’t allow these courtyard doors to be replaced.”
Annie smiled at her cousin. “You must be clairvoyant. The story goes, this was once a slave auction. And on the day they would be auctioning, they would tie a slave—usually a young girl—around her neck to advertise the auction.”
Muriel once again couldn’t find her breath.
“But I think that’s made up.” Annie waved off the doors flippantly as she led the way through the foyer. “I think they’re just old knots that fell out.”
One over the other like that? I doubt it.
What’s your Take?