Ice Window “Writer’s Block”

It was still dark.

It was still dark, when the morning came…

I arose, made my way over to the bathroom, and drew the loose curtain against the cold porcelain tub that caused my feet to tingle as they settled into position.

I slowly removed the nightshirt I slept in, being a careful man.

As I pulled and pressed my fingertips against my hips, and again at the upper parts of my chest, the cloth wrinkled and fell as it passed by. I abandoned the cloak upon the rug, the rug which lay on the floor just outside the tub.

I stood for a moment…bare.

My ears perked at the sound of the inner workings of my heart, when I realized it was beating fast.

I leaned down and turned the nob.

There was a soft screeching that tingled the back of my spine, and made its way to the drums in my ears as the echo abated there.

The water crashed against my feet and lingered at the tips of my toes, where it was violently thrown, this way and that as its compatriots followed.

It was cold at first…but I didn’t mind.

Once the temperature reached my satisfaction I commanded the droplets, by pulling the nob, to sail upwards through the pipes, and out the spout above that floated down against my bald head.

It was true that I was practically bald, but not entirely.

The water came a little hotter, and my body shivered pleasantly in response. It fell all around my body, and I could feel the soothing beads passing as they made their way to the floor. They carried their weight across my shoulders, down and outward, with their warmth causing an obscure fog that laced my lips as I exhaled.

The house itself had been built for snow, and was very well insulated, so that the winters would not be so hard on its occupants.

It snowed…constantly…where I lived.

I was quite fond of the snow, which was why I chose it.

I had cone across the place not long ago. Once I was firm in my decision, I settled in, and began to write.

I was a good writer…no, a great writer, as the New York Times put it.

Still…

I had moved into the house to think, in silence. It was really the only way that I could get any writing done.

I lived alone, in silence.

Sometimes I did my best writing, well…my best thinking, in the shower. For some reason the feeling of water beating against my bare skin soothed my inner soul, freeing my thoughts locked deep beneath my complicated mind.

I enjoyed writing.

I loved writing.

However, I had not written in a year. Every day I tried. I tried to pick up my pen and press it gently against the paper. Still, for some reason, I could not. My paper remained bare, with my pen full of ink. It was true that I had a computer to dictate upon, but I preferred the old fashioned way.

Either way, nothing would come.

But then again there was…the snow…

I still had the snow…the snow that brought excitement to my inner being.

The snow collected that morning as it did every other morning, against the two inch rim of the window that lay indented against the wall, at the far side of the house, in the bathroom.

The window had never been opened, not since I had been there. The rim on either side was forced against cement grooves that sweat when the steam of the whispering fog blanketed itself against the walls, surrounding.

I placed my wet finger to the center of the bottom corner square and felt the cold.

It was cold.

The ice gave a little as the heat cracked against the thin layer that had collected there. I watched closely as a second swipe revealed distinct lines that seemed strategically placed. To my surprise, a tiny woman appeared wearing a maids dress, worn shoes, and a bonnet, whilst she leaned over a bucket.

I wasn’t sure what she was doing, nor did I dare ask, for she looked quite entranced by her task.

It was truly inspiring to watch her, standing perfectly still. She was still in the moments that passed, until I realized I need only to swipe again to make her disappear. Her dainty lines were delicate in frame but seemed to run deep against the cracked crevices of the Ice Window.

Staring at her for what I felt to be an hour, caused me to realize the time I was wasting on her smooth skin and white flowing hair.

She was…beautiful.

I imagined that I made her in one moment, and in the next brought myself to the understanding that I did.

I did.

I did make her.

After all it was the stroke of my fingers that swiped away at the cold ice with my hot hands, causing the cracked reflection that created her body as well as the bucket she was leaning over.

Did I create such a creature?

Could I have?

I wondered for a while as the steam grew, and it became more difficult to watch this woman in the Ice Window.

“And what if I could speak to her?” I thought.

“What if she could answer? I continued.

“Would she answer?” I asked.

It was becoming all to inviting as my body became nervous and instantaneously began to shake.

I turned my head up towards the shower and closed my eyes.

I thought for a moment.

Maybe I was seeing things.

Maybe I was imagining the woman in the Ice Window.

But…when I returned my glance…there she was.

…still bent over the bucket, loosening the remains of the wet cloth into its center.

She appeared more delicate than a flower, though her dress had been worn away at its fringed laces, where the hem met her shoes.

“Do you need any help?”

The question passed my lips with even greater hesitation than the initial thought. I knew she couldn’t hear me. How could she? Yet I spoke, out loud to her, awaiting what I assumed would be a whisper of a voice from within the Ice Window.

“Could I be of any service to you at all?” I asked a second time, waiting carefully.

“What are you doing Oscar Now you’re talking to windows? And ones that don’t talk back, mind you. If there were someone else living in this house, they would have though you mad!” I said aloud.

I slid my open palm across my face in a downward direction. The water was blocked for a moment, while the cave I had created between my fingers, allowed for a breath without taking in water.

“Talking to windows? I really am,” I said, when a hint of a sound, caused me to stop midsentence.

“Crazy? I assure you Sir, that you are not crazy,” a voice said.

I quickly covered my eyes with my hands, a second time.

“Speak? I should think so. I am my own person after all and should be allowed to,” she said firmly.

“Of course. Of course you should,” I said quickly apologizing.

“You know I have been sitting in this window for quite some time now and this is the first time that you have taken notice of me Sir.”

“Please. My name is Oscar. Might I ask yours?”

“You may. However, I have a favor I would like to ask of you first,” the woman said, still without movement.

“Yes…” I hesitated, not knowing what she would ask.

“You see I have been standing, bent over like this, all this time. I am in a lot of pain, and I was wondering if you could blow on my back with the heat of your breath, so that I might stand up straight.”

I was relieved at her request, once I realized I was able.

“Of course,” I said and did as she instructed.

A hazy fog surrounded her in that moment. She had become invisible until the steam had removed itself from her delicate image, and I saw her once again.

The maid was then standing upright, just as she had predicted. Much to my surprise, once she had moved, there was more that could be seen of her.

She had let her hair fall down the sides of her bonnet, resting a heavy set of white curls at her shoulders. Her face was sculpted with slender lips and bright, glistening, blue eyes. Her nose was rosy, which I assumed had been from the cold. Her dress, I was certain, was that of a maids with white trimmed lace, surrounding the apron, as well as along the trim of the entire gown. The gown itself was a light yellow, with what looked to be several layers beneath.

“Might I ask where you are from?” I said transfixed by her beauty.

“You may. However, I have a favor I would like to ask of you first,” she replied.

“Yes…” I hesitated, not knowing what she would ask.

“You see I have been working, washing my ladies clothes, all this time. I am in need of rest, and wondered if you could give me a chair where I might sit for a while.”

I was relieved at her request, once I realized I was able.

“Of course,” I said, as I took my finger and drew a chair with the tip of my nail close beside her in the Ice Window.

It was then that I saw her move. She was elegant to say the least. Her arms swayed on either side as she stepped towards the chair I had so carefully crafted for her. Once she was close enough, she gripped her dress on either side and pulled it up so that she might bend correctly. When she was seated, she looked up at me and smiled. I smiled in return.

“How long will you stay, might I ask?”

“You may. However, I have a favor I would like to ask of you first,” she added.

“Yes…” I hesitated, not knowing what she would ask.

“You see I have been following my duties all this time. I am hungry, and was wondering if you might bring me some food.”

I was relieved at her request, once I realized I was able.

“Of course,” I said, as I took my finger and drew some fruit with the tip of my nail, in her lap, in the Ice Window.

It was then that I saw her take the grapes in one hand and a peach in another, consuming them both.

“Woman in the window,” I said to her, “I have done all that you ask. Will you not answer my question now?” I said politely.

“I will,” she replied, “But I will do you a greater favor than that. You have followed my requests without question, and in so kind a fashion that I will also grant you a wish as well,” she said turning her head towards me as she stood up from her chair.

“You may ask your questions once more,” the woman said with a smile.

It was then that I could see how white and straight her teeth were, as perfect an angels. That is if angels had teeth at all.

I stood there for a moment, when I realized that I had been standing amongst the running water all that time and should probably finish my shower. But my actions were not following the thoughts that came and went in my mind. I was entranced by the woman in the Ice Window as well as eager to continue to do as she asked of me.

“What is your name?”

“My name is Aleida.”

“Where are you from?”

“I am from the Netherlands but I have lived in England for most of my life.”

“How long will you stay?”

“Not long. If I were to stay away it would cause my lady to grow quite sad. She is very young and cannot even dress herself without help.”

I thought to myself for a moment, knowing that I too would be sad if Aleida were to leave since I had not spoken to anyone for a while.

“I have answered your questions Oscar and shall ask you now, what it is that you should wish for?”

“I wish that I could write again. I have not written in a year and am quite afraid that I have lost my imagination, my joys, and my hopes for continuing on, as a writer. There really is nothing left for me to believe in, if I can no longer write,” I said with a heavy sigh. I had that same conversation with myself several times before.

“I am sorry Oscar, for I cannot give you what you ask. I cannot return your creative faculties to you…that is if you wish to remain in your world,” she continued.

“What do you mean, remain in my world?” I asked as I pulled what little hair I had away from my face.

“I’m afraid I have no powers in your world. I can give you what you ask but only if you were to come into mine.”

“Come into your world? You mean come into the Ice Window?”

“Yes.”

I thought for a moment at the possibility of regaining my creative mind. I wondered if she was able.

Leave my world?

And what would I be leaving behind besides emptiness and a lonely heart? It was all together too inviting as I forced myself to answer.

“I will do as you say and leave my world behind in order to regain my creative mind, in yours,” I said relieved once I realized that I was able and willing to go.

“Very well then. Just take my hand, and I shall show you all the creativeness you desire,” Aleida said.

I stared back at her as the window changed.

The Ice Window revealed her hand that came out past the barrier and reached my chest. I was neither surprised nor afraid as the sheer size that matched my own. Her skin was soft and looked as though it had been made of the finest milk.

“She was real,” I thought.

“I had created this beautiful creature, and I knew I could do it again,” I continued in my mind.

Aleida too, could feel the warm water as it graced itself against her fingertips. Thinking nothing of the fact I was still bare, I grabbed hold of her hand and slowly made my way through the Ice Window and into her world.

When I had reached the other side I thought nothing of the nightshirt I had left on the floor beside the porcelain tub or the water that continued to pour out from the showerhead. I thought nothing of the steam that collected and would probably continue to collect for quite some time afterwards.

From that moment, I thought only of the woman in the Ice Window, and how I would create again…

…and, that it was still dark…

It was still dark, when the morning came…

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