Old 10-05-2015, 11:38 AM   #1
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The Caged Bird (closed)

I remember the first time I saw her

I had been working at the mansion for a month or two settling into the role of the mechanic with ease. There wasn’t much work to be done to be honest. The man had a collection of nice cars but he rarely used him. He hardly left the house instead sending his butler of all people out and about in his stead. Of course I knew the job was going to be weird because to even qualify I had to take a drug and background check, sign a whole bunch of non disclosure agreements, and live on the property until I left. Yet for a young Hispanic kid whose fathers shop had been left to dust like said man it was…..

Well it was a dream come true

In truth I barely glanced at the papers instead taking one look around the rich opulence and deciding I had to have the job no matter what. Yet even if I had read the papers I wouldn’t have learned the real reason behind the secrecy…. No the boss kept his secrets close to his chest instead letting us stay in the dark as we followed his rules.

1. No one is to leave the manor without permission
2. No one is to take any pictures
3. The south side of the house is for family only
4. Every one was to maintain a distance from the owner of the house

Were they strange rules? They were even I could see that but I didn’t care instead shrugging and agreeing to them without a moments thought. I didn’t regret it either not when I was showed my modest (but still bigger than my parents house) suite above the garage. Instead I waited until the attendant was gone before I finally threw my self onto the bed breathing it in and thanking god for the gift.

I Dante Roderick Rodriguez born to hard working yet poor parents suddenly found my self with more. Of course I was technically a servant of the house and its master but when I wasn’t working (of which I often found my self with nothing to do) I was allowed free reign of the amenities provided to the staff. I use the TV in the wreck room marveling at the big screen, I played video games I never thought I would, and I swam in the private pool. In this time I never thought to question the person I worked for or the fact I had never met him. I was too caught up in it all to happy to really question.

Then I saw her

It was completely by accident, I had been charged with fixing the Mercedes which had begun to pull to the left. It was a simple fix and one I looked forward to doing but when I arrived at the car no one had given me the keys! They were usually hanging in the kitchen but the butler in his rush forgot to take them out of his pocket (though I wouldn’t find that out until later). I was a fool eager to prove my self so I took it upon my self to go find him.

In the south side of the house

I remember the feeling, the minute I stepped onto that side. There was a heaviness to the air a certain foreboding feeling. The house took on an entirely different persona to me. There was a feeling of claustrophobia as if I was trapped there. Of course I dismissed it resolving my self to get out of there as soon as possible. I heard movement and stepped forward going over to a library. I was so caught up in my own need to get out of there that I failed to notice the bars set into the walls, the lack of furniture to bump into, and the odd markings on each door.

The library door was opened a thin shaft of light cutting through the darkness like a knife. I remember the feeling of the wood as I touched it cool to the touch. I pushed open the door stepping fully in.

And that is when I first saw her

She was so beautiful…. I am ashamed know to admit that she took the breath out of me. My eyes they must have traveled up and down her body several times. She was curled up in an armchair reading a back her head turned to me. I spent a few minutes longer than necessary standing they’re trying to regain my senses. Finally I regained my senses moving forward ready to figure out who this exquisite creature was.

Then I saw the book she was reading

There were no words instead lines of dots. I had never seen a braille book before but I know enough to know what it was.

The girl was blind

Suddenly there was a large hand on my shoulder a figure grabbing me and pulling me back and out the door. I felt my self being thrown against the wall the butler Mr. Clean in front of me with narrowed eyes. He was an intimidating man large built like a bull with a shaved head and a British accent that earned him the nickname Statham junior by the other staff.

“You know the rules” He said narrowing his piercing eyes at me

“I know” I said my accent coming out heavier than I attended a sure sign I was nervous “You didn’t leave me the keys I wasn’t thinking….”

The butler looked at me for several long moments as if deciding my fate. He finally pulled the keys out of his pocket and pressed them into my hands before letting me go.

“One warning” Mr. Clean said brining up one large finger “and you are not to speak of what you saw do you understand boy?”

I did not

But I told him I did o afraid of losing what I had to say otherwise. I knew what was waiting for me back home if I lost this job. I was greedy but even if I had said no then I wouldn’t have been able to do any thing.

I was powerless

So I left all but an out and back onto my side of the house. I worked no the car as fast as possible trying to make up and atone for some thing I didn’t do. Once the car was done I went to Mr. Clean seeking him out when he was alone.

“Just tell me some thing” I said to him closing the door behind me “I wont say another word about it I just need to know he hasn’t…. Kidnapped her or put her in any danger has he?”

Mr. Clean looked at me once more deciding my fate

“She is his daughter”

I was pleased with the answer for a while throwing my self back into the activities presented to me. Yet she haunted my dreams driving her self back into my mind with a ferocity I hadn’t ever experienced. I began to question it more and more glancing over at the south side time and time again. I did some research finding out that my employer had had a family a wife and a daughter. The wife died in childbirth and the common consensus was that the daughter had as well. I knew the truth however and it grabbed at me.

I don’t know why maybe it was because of her beauty, or perhaps because I felt a kinship to the woman. After all I knew what it was like to be trapped by family. What was the difference before her and I? Beside money?

I began to resent my employer I knew it was wrong I knew he was just trying to protect her but this was no life for her. I began to fall in love with her more and more struggling with the desire to leave and figure out some way to help her or stay just in case I got the chance to see her again. I became convinced I was going to take her away or at least tell her the truth (which I assumed she didn’t know).

Then one day fate gave me an opportunity

“Did you hear the news?” Elise the cook said plopping down next to me with her partner in crime Elaine. I ignored them instead continuing to eat my oatmeal.

“I cant believe he is leaving! It’s been years”

I paused putting my spoon down and looking at them with wide eyes.

“You mean?”

“Yes Mr.(Insert name here) Is going away on urgent business”

I pretended to show mild interest to the news. Yet my mind was racing if he was leaving that would mean that the south side would be empty except for her. I would still have to get past Mr. Clean who would no doubt be vigilant for any one trying to take advantage but I could give him the slip.

So I began to make my plans


I watched hanging out by the coffee machine. Mr. Clean was making his usual rounds his attention focused on the daily jobs that needed to be handed out. I kept out of his field of vision inching close and closer to the door. I waited several more moments before slipping away ducking out of the door. I turned racing down the hallway quickly and silently adept at moving through a house. I reached the door to the south side and found it locked a I knew it would be.

Luckily I had the skills to handle that

I wasn’t proud of it but I picked the lock some thing I swore I wouldn’t do again. I opened it easily and stepped through closing and locking it behind me. I knew I didn’t have a lot of time so I moved quickly looking for the blind girl who had captured me so.

The woman I loved even though I had yet to speak to her
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:02 PM   #2
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Her father’s footsteps were as familiar to Aria Kensington as the steady thump thump thump of her own heartbeat. She could hear him moving swiftly across the plush cart, one quick tap of his dress shoe followed by the slower swish as his left foot dragged – a remnant of the accident eight years before.

Tendrils of sun warmed her face as she turned her head to his approach, her fingers stilling mid-sentence on the page in front of her.

“Why aren’t you at the office?” Her voice was soft with a light rasp to it, yet another memento of the accident. Gentle fingers absentmindedly stroked the small pink scar on her neck.

“I have to go away for a little bit. Just a few weeks, but I have to leave right away.” Her father had never been one to beat around the bush. It was either straight to the point or not at all.

Aria sat up straighter, the book slipping from her lap. She didn’t bother trying to catch it as it landed on the floor.

“But you swore you’d never leave on business.” Panic set in her throat, choking the words.

“I know, Aria,” a heavy hand rested on her shoulder – the gesture meant to comfort but ended up feeling awkward and out of place. They had never been ones for physical contact even before the accident, their interactions more suited to casual acquaintances than father and daughter.

“Clean will be here,” the calluses on his fingers rubbed roughly against her skin, “he has strict instructions to make sure you are taken care of.”

A sigh of relief passed her lips and Aria sank back into her seat. Clean served as much butler as bodyguard and was more a father to Aria than the man who employed him. As long as Clean was staying Aria knew it would be alright.

Without another word her father turned and left, just as briskly as he had come. His steps sounded heavier, wearier, and Aria wondered what he looked like now. Had the years aged him? The last image she had of him was that of a man broadly built with a square, clean-shaven jaw. His hair had been neatly trimmed, the rich blue-black color an exact match to her own. But it was his eyes that she recalled so clearly – the bright blue a mirror image to the sky on a crisp fall day. There were no lines around those eyes for her father had never worn anything other than a stoic, emotionless expression. Try as she might, Aria could never recall a moment when she’d seen him smile. And now she never would.


Sleep eluded her that night, as it had every night for the past eight years. The last images she ever saw played on a loop every time she began to drift, instantly jolting awake as she remembered the blinding lights and the screech of tires, the shattered glass that cut at her sending warm, wet blood down her face. Some nights she could still feel the crack of bones as her rips snapped and the desperate gasp for air. This was one such night.

The dreams had woken her just after midnight and she’d lain awake, the lush Egyptian cotton sheets wrapped tightly around her – cocooning her – until the swallows outside her window began to wake and greet the morning.

“Six oh three A.M.” The clock chirped in its stilted robotic tone when Aria pressed the button to read the time.

No doubt the rest of the house was already alive, the staff buzzing about, diligent worker bees seeing to their daily tasks. There was no point to remaining in bed. Throwing the covers off, Aria shivered as her feet met the cold, hardwood floor. She fumbled for the buzzer beside her bed then walked to her closet. After the accident she used to have to count the steps from one place to another. Now the steps were instinctual and, if the floors were kept clear, she didn’t even need her cane to travel around the house.

Searching her closet for something to wear, Aria’s fingers moved deftly over the Brail tag affixed to each item. Each piece of clothing had been hand selected by her stylist and shipped to the estate. If anyone had asked Aria if she cared about the designer clothing she would have told them there was no point. She couldn’t see the clothes so what did it matter? But her father insisted she wear only the best. She pulled a Gucci sweater dress from its hanger, the wool plush and pillow-soft beneath her fingers.

By the time the knock came on her door, Aria was dressed and seated at her vanity brushing out her silken hair.

“Come in!” she called, the fresh, bitter scent of coffee already permeating the air.

“Good morning, Miss Aria.” Clean said brightly; nothing at all like the brisk commanding voice he used with the staff.

“Morning, Clean.” Aria felt for the edge of the vanity and carefully set the brush down.

“Coffee on the left, cream and sugar on the right.” The fragile clink of herringbone china against a silver tray accompanied his words.

“You’ve been setting my tray the same way for three years. I don’t think you need to keep telling me.” Aria rolled her eyes with a playful sigh.

“Who knows, maybe I’ll change it up on of these days.” The teasing lilt in his tone brought a smile to her lips.

“The day you change is the day hell freezes over.”

There was no need to see him to know that Clean was smirking.

“Has he left yet?” The words tumbled from her lips quickly.

“Before the sun came up. But he’ll be back before you know.” Clean could try to keep his tone light, but Aria could hear the heaviness in his words.

“I think I’ll pass on the coffee this morning. I need to take a walk, get some fresh air maybe.” Aria pushed to her feet and felt Clean press the cane into her hand – the metal of the collapsible cane cool against her palm.

Without another word she left the room, the weight of Clean’s eyes tracking each step.
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:22 PM   #3
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I was a man on a mission

What that mission was…. I had no idea now that I was on the other side of the house. What I was doing seemed all the more foolish. What was I thinking? That I would be able to grab her whisk her away and that would be the end of it? I had no idea how to take care of a blind girl!

“This was foolish” I murmured shaking my head turning on my heel to leave. Before I could however a flash of movement caught my eye attracting me to the hallway leading out to the south garden. I watched mesmerized as the woman who had captured my attention walked outside.

“Damn it” I murmured moving after her. I reached the door and gently opened stepping out and closing it behind me. There was no telling when Mr. Clean would come back or what I was going to do but my feet were acting on their own accord carrying me closer and closer to her.

The south side garden was enclosed (like every thing else on the south side) and as beautifully attended to as the grounds that made up the rest of the estate. I watched her move for a few seconds admiring the ease at which she moved around. Her disability was more apparent now with the cane clicking in her hands. Instead of feeling some revulsion or pity I instead felt a rush of warmth. Whoever this girl was she was one of a kind some one to be admired and respected.

I watched her crossing a wooden bridge and followed not sure how best to approach her. I opened my mouth several times wanting ot call out for her ye not knowing how.

Then fate decided to give me a nudge

I was so intent on string at her that I didn’t realize my elbow pushing against the vase. It fell dropping like a rock and hitting my feet. I cursed angrily not realizing what I was doing until my hand flw to my mouth.

“Oh no” I said watching her warily “don’t be afraid!”

“My name is Dane” I said quickly the words coming out in a rush “I work as a mechanic for your father I was…. I saw you one day and thought you might be lonely I…. I came over here to see how you were doing I know Mr. Kensington is gone and I don’t man to intrude I swear if you want me to go I will”
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