SARAH GONNET – NORTH EAST
The Girl Who Lived In A House Made Of Books
The girl who lives in the house made of books has never smelt a rose; but she can describe their scent.
The girl who lived in the house made of books never knew what time it is. She didn’t know where her house lay in relation to the houses of other girls.
The girl grew up in the house made of books; spouted roots into their pages and fed on the energy of their letters. Her branches grew bright green fingers. Her face was tough but withered.
The girl absorbed words easily because she knew she would never have to say any. For all the effort her sprightly hands made towards the book chimney, out into the risk of sky above, they could never make it. One day they stopped trying.
Another day an outside force shut off the lights in the house of books. The girl could no longer read. At first she shouted…
“I’M NOT HUNGRY ANYWAY.”
…but by day four of darkness she was withering.
By day eight the girl’s roots came loose and she found herself falling forever on a diagonal trajectory. She tried to grip the wall with her green hands, but she soon ripped open with the effort. The girl didn’t scream.
By day twelve the girl was flaking away into oblivion. She was lying on the floor, but there was nothing peaceful about it. Her hands were brown and crisp, yet the juice vessels were bloated with toxins. Someone had put poison in the darkness she was forced to breathe in.
On day sixteen the girl who lived in the house made of books set herself on fire. She still didn’t scream. The girl was overjoyed that she could read again in the light of the fire. She laughed in the face of the flames; at her inky reunion with the letters. She was so distracted that she didn’t notice when the house itself set alight.
She finally screamed as the house turned to ashes.
The house was gone. The house was dead. The house was powerless.
The girl reached out with her hopeless dried veins and creased her thick-skinned face towards the great blue risk.
She still couldn’t reach where she wanted to be.
On day twenty the girl who lived in the house made of books robbed a library. She began building her next house.