Duncan’s Depression

Whereas the following story could function as a prologue to: “The Chronicles of Caspia; Dandelion’s Descent”, It is not and will not be in the actual novel due to the stylistic difference and the much darker tone of this writing.


Duncan’s Depression

I think I moved to the living room at half past one. I remember glancing at that obnoxious clock our family was given during the war and considering tearing it off the wall. I didn’t because even though it was obnoxious, I loved it. I instead moved to the flower-patterned armchair with a yawn. This was going to be another of those restless nights.  Even when Jennifer just disappeared I slept better than I did nowadays.  I suppose Catherine was still around then. I suppose the other half of my bed wasn’t as cold as it has become.

From the armchair, I glanced through the hallway at the shower. That’d be the third or first shower of the day, depending on how you looked at it. It wasn’t even about becoming clean anymore; it was because when I showered could hear, through the droplets crashing, the voices of some girls, talking and giggling. I was almost certain they were my imagination getting the better of me but I looked forward to hearing those voices in the long, hot showers.

I sighed and glanced at the phone on the wall. Sarah would pick up but we wouldn’t be able to talk much with Roderique around and Ethan sleeping nearby.  Half past one in the morning wasn’t the time of day to be gardening or cleaning either. I mean, I didn’t have any neighbours but I was certain some owl would laugh at the crazy man in his garden; and if it wasn’t the owl, it would be one of the bogey-men I swear to have seen in the bushes in the corner of my eye. I couldn’t go to Dalmally either. Not only would everything be closed but there were actual people there who could laugh at me for being the crazy man who lives in the forest or something.

I placed my hands on my ever rounding stomach and let go of a second, deeper sigh. What was I doing with my life? Jennifer had vanished exactly five years ago and my wife had left me two-hundred-sixty-seven days ago and I was still waiting for either of them to show up again. It wasn’t as if I had the chance to wait much longer anyway; it seemed the pain in my chest was growing with the day. It wouldn’t be half bad if my heart gave in at this point. Besides the mansion, I had nothing left and I couldn’t remember the last time I smiled.

My hands ran through my hair. I wish they came back. I stood. Where had they gone? I took those two little steps for the third or first time of the day, depending on how you looked at it. Why had they gone? My hand rubbed the back of the phone and I wiped the layer of dust off the top of it. This had to end. My heart stung and my stomach turned. Three long tones. The first tear rolled down my cheek.

“Sarah Satal-Casehill” She yawned and sounded irritated.

I said nothing and wanted to throw the phone away. I think she heard me crying. I felt self-conscious about my tears and wiped them even though she couldn’t see.

“Duncan? Are ye alright?” I hadn’t said a word. I hadn’t called her or anyone in months but still, she recognized me by my pathetic crying and breath.

“I have…” a lump swelled in my throat and I coughed before I finished my sentence. “I have to get out of here, Sister dear. I can’t do it anymore. Don’t tell Ethan though, I’ll do it myself at some point.”

“We’ll be there in the afternoon.” She spoke quickly and from the following groans, I figured she had awoken Roderique. “Just dun do anythin’ silly alright Dunc?”

I didn’t reply. I dropped the phone and left it dangling by its cord as I walked back to the flower-patterned armchair with the first smile I had worn in months.


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