|Bio||Mykaela Jay is a young songwriter, poet and short story writer based in the small town of Lismore NSW. Deeply inspired by the flickers of magic and beauty that haunt our world Mykaela's writing style is poetic and grounded in the likes of magic realism as she paints a picture that highlights the way in which humans interact with each other, ourselves and the world around and beyond us.|
A Crack In The Window
Drip. Drip. Drip. Drop.
A footstep. The scurry of a mouse. A jump. Annie tucks her feet away from the cupboard below the sink. Mustard yellow. Peeling. She lets the tap drip another moment. She breathes. In. Drip. Out. Drip. In. Drip. Out. Drop. In. Silence. The room is engulfed by silence the way a Day is by the dark. That damp, empty silence of wooden floors and the smell of dust wafting through high ceilings and small windows, dancing where the cobwebs sit. The kind of silence that lingers in the laces of heavy blue curtains, and puddles in the corners of tiled bathrooms and mirrors.
The silence of halls that once echoed with the laughter of children, now grown.
Children, so quickly, having children of their own.
The house is silent in the Night. It doesn’t creak or moan.
It barely sneaks a breath, and when it does, the wind moves from its mouth like a whisper. Cold.
By the Day, the kitchen narrows as the light moves, it creeps up the walls with playful glee, blossoms, dances, then slowly shrinks with the fear of another Night, walls growing closer together as it holds its breath. And waits.
To the Night, the house is blind, eyes sore with darkness. To the Night, the house is but another shadow, unmoving, unblinking, un-breathing until the dawn breaks. And it does, even though Annie, awake in her bed, in the kitchen, in the hall, feet tucked, eyes squinted shut, breath held, thinks she may never again see morning light.
Her clock ticks as though stuck in a loop.
The shadows creep as though this were their home too.
And her bed, a known acquaintance of the Night, shakes with laughter as she trembles upon its cushioned pores.
It’s never long before she finds herself here, pressed against the kitchen floor, like a shaking baby to it’s mother’s beating heart. She sits. Her breath catching on itself like a broken record. Her legs pulled tight to her chest. Her eyes snap from drifting closed to wide awake as a breath escapes down the hall, cool against her shoulders. Breathe. In. In. In. Breathe. Out. In. Out.
You see, the kitchen see’s the sun first. The kitchen, stained and peeling, wisps of grey in its ageing wooden floor, greets the sun each morning with a gentle song. Like old lovers, exhausted by the efforts of their affection, quietly waiting for the other to disappear, they dance and sing.
So, between the hours of petrified Night and softening dawn, those middle, broken, cold and quiet hours, Annie sits upon the kitchen floor. Sometimes she will sleep. Sometimes a mouse will scurry below the sink. Sometimes the floor will sigh, or cry, or moan. Sometimes she will. Sometimes she will watch the shadows of plants as they snore, or the growing grey of the kitchen floor. But mostly she will wait for the dawn, feet tucked, eyes squinted shut and breath held. Like the walls around her, she holds the darkness until dawn.
When morning comes, Annie sighs, like a slingshot released. The light stretches and yawns, golden yellow, like the flicker of fire light, or the frayed edges of a dream. It teases a wooden dining table, deep mahogany and covered in dust spare a small patch at the right head, the shape of a woman’s careless elbows. Heavy and aged, like a great-uncle, snoring, asleep on the couch, the table doesn’t stir. While it sits still, asleep and snoring, the light can not. It leaps from the table, without a word, to flirt with the yawning tips of the Calathea plant, who sits warm inside her pot. She stretches and sighs, her purple leaves upturning with morning laughter, the giggle of the morning’s song upon her light, trembling leaves. The tremor of the Night melts to its melody.
Annie watches from the floor. Her moss green cardigan pulled tight around her neck, grey blue eyes peeking above with cautious curiosity. Her hair falls long over her shoulders in brown grey vines that knit and bloom as they fall from the nest. Annie watches the window as the light stretches, tickled by the tips of Ivy vines that pop from the ceiling’s seams and fall like ancient parchment unravelling down the wall, its leaves like music on the page, the melody; legato lines of hot tea and honey.
Between the cracks in floorboards, between the wall and the floor, beside cabinets and table legs and leaky pipes, daisies and clovers bloom. Their heads pop up, plucked from sleep, curious and kind. They wipe their eyes and smile and laugh as the sunlight rolls across them like a playful older sibling and Annie crawls to lay beside them. She smiles and laughs and closes her eyes. A peace settles in the thump of her flickering heart beat.
Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.
The room pulses in soft yellow sunlight to this gentle rhythm. A sweet and sticky surrender to the Day, Annie bathes in gentle sunlight as she drifts between dreams, the soft caress of clustered clovers at the tips of her eyelashes. As she drifts she hears a river as it flows down the hall, the call of birds at it’s mossy bank, the whisper of fishtails.
The jagged scurry of a mouse.
Annie is pulled from her bed of clovers as the sound echoes and falls.
It litters the air like a gun strike in the distance.
The sunlight parts.
The music stops and silence starts.
Annie breathes as though it is her last, deep and fickle. Her heart beat an untameable twitch inside her chest. The cold tickle of Night’s memory, uncertainty and cold cold touch, send a shiver so deep through Annie, she weeps. She holds her knees as though they are bound to her chest, and rocks in restless suspense.
Her eyes closed, her arms turn white as her fingernails dig into her skin, their bruises spelling ‘Forget this darkness. Remember to breathe. Remember. To. Breathe.’
But she can not.
Not here in this room with the sunlight on her back. Because she is no longer here, in this room, with the golden honey drops of Day. She is there, with the dark, songless Night.
Not as, before her tight shut eyes, a blossom, as orange as honey mead, bends its petals for the first time, and cries out, newborn. Its song as sweet as mangoes on a summer breeze.
Annie’s song sits still.
Her breath, the flicker of a candle.
In. Flicker. Out. Flicker. In.