“This is the room of the wolfmother wallpaper.” The old woman reached back, tapping a gnarled knuckle to the wall. The resultant thunk resonated more deeply than one would have expected.
The three solemn eyed children on the floor at her feet were captivated already; they loved Nana’s storytime and this was the beginning of a new tale. They shifted, suddenly smelled the pungent scent of forest, of deep and pleasantly moldering wood and smoke, and…noses wrinkled in confusion.
“Blood you smell,” Nana intoned. “The blood of life, birth blood, woman’s blood, the blood of death, and heat. This is the wallpaper of the wolfmother, red and burnt.” As if she were dismantling herself she bent, she creaked and folded, a warped and aged marionette, grasping the edge of the seemingly solid wall and tugging.
The corner of the wallpaper released itself with a susurration and spread out away from the wall to hang down, ripples spreading out from its center like moving water. Light flared behind the newly liberated wallpaper, flickering firelight with no discernible source.
The bravest of the children, or perhaps the stupidest, leaned sideways for a glimpse of what lay behind. The wallpaper snapped at her impertinence and she quickly returned upright.
“This is the room of the beginning, the room of reckoning. The room where the tally marks of your life begin and end.”
The polished wood upon which the children sat now scratched at them as they fidgeted, roughhewn timbers packed with dirt. Muted shadows cavorted across the wallpaper, grotesque and fascinating.
The children never knew what their neighbors called the old woman. They were kept mostly to themselves, and knew only that they called her Nana.
As Nana turned to face them, her smile spreading wider across her cracking face, the children drew their attention from the unfolding panorama on the wall. “Nana!” the girl gasped. “What big teeth you have!”
I was really lucky with my intro to blogging out loud (ever since I started reading them, many things have been turned into blog posts in my head ;). This Master Class game has been so much fun already, and I have to say thank you to Eric at Sinistral Scribblings for being kind enough to let me choose the prompt this week. I chose this particular line because Robbins has always been a very visually evocative author for me, and as soon as I read it I got an immediate picture in my head. I’m also totally grateful for the really talented writers who stopped and read my nonsense and said hi. I’ve read their work before and feel that I am in excellent company. Now, I’m going back to banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how to add the Master Class badge, because I’m trying to follow the corkin rules here, and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING! Ha, except not working, which is kind of what I’m supposed to be doing.