Joy was a caregiver to her parents who restrained her self expression, her gift for music, her need to live her own life. They were deaf, dumb and blind alone together. Her desire for self fulfilment was submerged by her parents demands. As a young girl she was sequestered within the confines of the manse with dead bolts on the doors. As she grew older their spiritual needs for warmth and succour were heightened by their physical frailties, she was surrounded by a silent entreaty of despair.

She was aptly named, bright and curious, an explorer in an unchanging environment. Fair haired, blue eyed, she thought of herself as a changeling, brought to the house by the fairies. Her five senses were sound but untried. She was only accustomed to touch, her mothers arms rocked her in a swaying movement when she was young. She was a preserved object, a delicate piece, a forever memento of unexpected passion.

The radio was left on all hours of the day, she learned to recognize the different lilts of the announcers voices and would mimic them to hear the sound of her own voice. There were books in the library belonging to long forgotten relatives. The massive tomes were heavy to handle, their pages whisper thin, the corners dog eared and torn as if hands had scrabbled at the sheets to peruse the pictures within. She would walk in hurriedly being careful to keep her eyes on the books and not on the painted portraits. She was afraid of them , their hooded eyes seemed to follow her.

The pleasures in her growing up years were of an unchanging nature. Her greatest joy as a child was waiting for the postman to drop the odd letter through the slit in the front door. She would sit at the bottom of the stairs awaiting the slap of the flap. A sound so slight that she had to tilt her head and crouch like a cat poised and ready to pounce. Reaching out for the letter she would inhale the scent of the post mans fingers on the envelope. Sometimes there would be an aroma of smoke, or a greasiness that spoke of a meal hurriedly eaten, perhaps fried fish she would think, her nose pressed deeply breathing in a scent.

The house was an old one, dust gathered in corners creating swirls of dust motes when disturbed. She would sidle up against the wall, her breath contained and with a twist of her skirt would jump like a jackrabbit to bounce down and see the dust spiral high into the still air. Sometimes she thought that these particles were ghosts from the past silently waiting to be released, stagnant in their stillness, a reflection of her own life. Large trees and shrubbery crept in close to the windows with only a brief flash of sunlight caught in the glass panes in the early morning as the sun rose to its zenith.The seasons were identifiable by the change in the colour of the leaves.

The years passed and her parents died, two together even in death. Financial freedom came to Joy but she was a caged bird unable to escape the confines of the four walls.

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