The Forbidden Cupboard.
Robb, Rosiere, Rickon and Juliet: – the four precious children belonging to the Robert family, arranged in an order from the eldest to the young, had decided to play ‘hide and seek’ on a fine day. The boundaries had confined them to the huge wooden ancient house that has been passed down to the eldest in their family. Their parents haven’t returned to claim their right since three months so they have been staying here, with their ‘mean by the looks as well as the attitude’ aunt who declared that they could play a game only once a week. A notice put up as if they made so much noise, it would awaken the ghosts past and would shatter her fragile cups and saucers. With all the free time they acquired, they spent it by sitting quietly and staring at each other, which would soon form a new game and would have ended up in muffled laughter and giggle, if not for death-threatening glares spared by their so-loving aunt.
Robb was chosen to be ‘it’ and he had to find his three younger sibling as they slipped off with their naughty smiles on their faces. Each of them had a plan of their own but Rickon’s was innovative and original, a plan he had in mind for months now, something none of his other siblings could think of. He wanted to explore the ‘Forbidden Cupboard’. It was shocking for an eight-year old to get such ideas especially when he has been warned that the area had been off-limits to children. But he wanted to prove that he has grown up now and that he is no more remained a child, something every kid of his age ultimately wants to prove. Plus he had the deepest urge to explore the curiousity of the dangers that stood beyond. Another thing he wanted to show, that he is brave, a quality he truly believed in and would not let anything stand between him and the rusty old cupboard.
The game began and each had rushed to the different path they had chosen just as Robb closed his eyes and began to count. Rickon ran as fast as his little legs could carry him to his destination: – the Attic. He had been waiting for the perfect opportunity and now he had finally got it. And he couldn’t await for the pleasure of the ancient to present it to him.
The Attic was greeted him silently as he tiptoed in so as to not get caught by anyone. And his keen sense of observation took over. The Attic was empty except for the Arabian rug that laid its designs which depicted magical fairy tales beyond his imagination, a few intricately designed ceramic vases which were palely attractive yet so fragile that could break with a single human touch, paintings that told the magnificence of life, a few rusty thick bound albums coated with dust but inside, it contained memories of their past as a loving family and not to forget to mention a few other antiquities. Last but not the least, there stood the old ancient cupboard. Other than this, the room was truly empty but still it looked full and inviting, just to let people enjoy its mystical pleasures of extravagant gossips that one never knew before. But Rickon had his eyes steady on only one thing and he walked slowly towards it, as if in a mystical trance.
He pushed the handle down, putting as much as pressure his small body would allow as the cupboard was old and rusty, probably a beautiful ‘one-of-a-kind’ during his great-grandparents time. With much effort, it loudly creaked open, sounding like it was patiently waiting for the reward of greasing and polishing. A smile flashed on Rickon’s face. His day had indeed been lucky. On many previous occasions when he had tried, his tries had all been unsuccessful and he had to turn his back dejectedly. He opened the door of the cupboard gently, in hopes of trying to avoid the noise in fear of being caught.
It was dark. Pitch dark. Like he never known the identity of the colour black before. Like the sense of touch had suddenly deemed to become more powerful than the sense of sight. He could feel the dust and the perfectly engraved designs that left a rough and uneven feeling against his small fingers. The cupboard had barely any place with its wares of wonders filled, he thought and at that moment, he was attacked by his first vision.
He was surrounded by the puff of mist before he could make out the scene which he now stood in. The mist faded and the luscious green grass and the clear blue skies appeared. He found himself holding little Juliet’s hand and he returned a smile of endearment as she gave him a sweet, innocent one. He could clearly see the love she had for her dear brother. His elder siblings had raced in front of them as the knot between them held tightly, refusing to leave the other. Rickon turned to see his parents who had the soft smile present on their faces, basking in the joy of their little ones. Father’s arm was wrapped around Mother while her head rest against his chest. But something had felt wrong. So wrong. And within a few seconds, he noticed it. Their presence felt shadowy and their smiles had turned ghostly as seconds ticked by. Rickon ignored the ‘weird feeling’ and ran to join his siblings. When they reached to the spot where they had chosen for the picnic, the children decided to play around for some time while their parents set up and spend some moments together. Just then Rickon saw something. A huge grave stone. He choked on his own breath. How could the family choose to spend their moment of happiness on some one’s grave?
Rick tried to attract the attention of his siblings but when they ignored him and continued playing, he decided to investigate it himself. He neared the stone and found that in its place, there were two. He nervously turned back, he noticed that his siblings vanished but his parents were still in the same position, smiling at him as their eyes were on every move of his. Fear began to creep into him but he had to remind himself of his bravery. He decided to get a better look of the stones. Result, his hands began shivering, tears threatened to spill, words refused to leave. A better description, his eyes widened and a gasp of shock left his lips. That was the state of shock he was placed in when he read the names. It was his parent’s grave. The date remained blur for his weak eyesight to make out but the year stated to be the current one they lived in.
He tried to shake off the nightmarish feeling that was getting him nauseous which also managed to cause prickly goosebumps that filled every inch of his skin. But the vision did not leave him alone for he was jerked into another just as he adjusted his position.
The scene had completely changed and now it had shifted into a beautiful, brilliant, breath-taking sunset with its rich mix of red and orange hues, blending and fighting to make themselves noticeable. It was a magnificent view that Lady Nature could gift but that was not it. Rickon also saw his brother, Robb, a little older than now, sitting on the terrace with a girl who seemed like he knew. Each had a bottle of something fizzy, a name that a little boy could not recognize. But his attention was not on that. He was noticing the rest of the scene a little more than usual.
His dark sandy hair was messed and his smile was soft, a glow created in him which Rickon had never seen before. It looked like Robb had something for this girl, Rickon concluded as the curve of joy began to spread on his face. The girl was beautiful in her own way. Light auburnish hair in waves and blue sapphires glowing with a simple dimpled smile. He felt like he had seen her before but he couldn’t remember where. But he knew that somehow it reminded him of Mother. Maybe… They were sitting close and holding hands, admiring the view and talking about things which made the other red or giggle. And as the next moment began to unfold was something that young children were forbidden to see but Rickon saw it anyway, feeling the immediate happiness radiating out of the young growing love. Children never really understood the concept of LOVE but our dear little boy, here was nodding as if he understood how it truly felt.
When he looked even closer, he could see two known apparitions sitting right behind the young couple. They were smiling fondly at them, as if they were remembering their past together and followed the pursuit which proved that their love still stood strong. Rickon was truly happy. Even if his parents aren’t here, at least they are together and in extremely good terms. And the scene changed.
Suddenly he was pushed into a white room, where Mother was lying on a hospital bed. She had her auburn hair tied in a bun and the loose strands sticking to the perspiration that made her skin sticky yet she had that motherly glow that brightened her skin-tone and made her even more beautiful. Father was right beside her with his soft messy sandy hair and smiles producing sparks, a sort of pride a father would have. Rickon did not understand was going on until he saw Baby Juliet in his mother’s arms. He remembers the time when he heard the news, he jumped up and down, letting the world know of his uncommon joy. And when he managed to quieten down, he solemnly swore that he would protect his little baby sister just as Robb had taken care of Rosiere. He would protect her from all sorts of things. In fact he would be her knight-in-shining- arms, he simply smiled at the thought.
And then he found himself transported somewhere else. On Father’s lap, tightly in his grasp. He looked up at the right time, just as Rosiere received her certificate which was a written proof of pride and honour from graduating her eighth grade by topping her class. Rickon smiled at the memory of how much he wanted to jump and shout ecstatically but Father wouldn’t allow him to do so. He turned to look at Mother who had a proud smile, flashing her pearl white teeth as she must’ve remembered how it must’ve felt like to graduate eighth grade as resemblance always did get memories. The only person missing was Robb who stood backstage, nervously trying to recollect his speech with perfection as he was the guest speaker this year. Another pride of honour in the name of the Roberts.
Two hours have passed by and Robb still couldn’t find Rickon. He had caught Juliet and Rosiere within the first fifteen minutes but Rickon remained to be not found. At first it was fun trying to find the hidden, but soon worry began to hit in, thus making the search desperate. All of them had to help yet he was not to be found until it finally clicked Robb’s mind. Just a few weeks back, Rickon had challenged him in exploring the ‘FORBIDDEN CUPBOARD’ which everyone had been strictly warned of. The only remaining possibility as well as the fear of him being lost and them being scolded gravely left a mark on the remaining children’s mind.
All of them sneaked in to the Attic and things started to have the frightening effect. It could have been the eeriness of the Attic itself or the fact about what the aunt was left to say. Plus as silent as they were, they could hear a faint echo of deep breathing. In fear the girls ran out, leaving Robb all alone to venture his journey. He too was scared but he was the eldest and thus he had to portray the example to his younger siblings.
He opened the door of the creaky cupboard which again whined its need but was yet ignored. And their laid his little brother, sleeping peacefully as the Angels dawned their miracles of lullabies by the Love of God. He had wrapped himself in Mother’s favourite fur coat, searching for a sense of warmth and comfortability.
Robb gently smiled at the lovable sight which must be one of God’s favourite vision and before he could turn away to leave peace in its place, he noticed a glossy white paper sticking out, giving out its brilliance of its shade, being as noticeable as possible. Robb pulled the paper out slowly, scared to disturb the lull of the innocent child. He soon realizes that it was just an envelope but the one and only big black word was what caught his attention.