Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 77

inspiring my play, the clashing of the dishes in the kitchen with my mother, and the creak of the door that signalled that my father was finally home from work.

But I rarely heard anything from my father.

v. Night after night, the stacks of paper grew until they filled the study so that I couldn’t even open the door to peek in anymore. I asked my father what he was writing on all those sheets. He said, ‘Nothing.’

When my father died, the forest and the mill lost all their magic. But not the paper.

I shoved my way into the study and the dog followed me, sniffing at the floor and glancing around for a sign of her master. I picked up a piece of paper and felt it. It was thick and rough, speckled with bits of brown pulp that hadn’t been ground all the way down.

The paper was also blank.

I examined the sheet that was under it, and the sheet under that. They were all blank. The dog whined.

I clenched my teeth and fists, and stood for only a moment of frustration before sending my fist into the stack, which came up to my shoulders from the floor. The papers, all plain beige with their brown flecks, fled and fluttered.

I dropped to my knees and wept, the tears falling on the gently papered floor. I mourned because I wanted to know my father’s stories. I didn’t want the magic of the forest and the mill to have fled and fluttered away on the wind altogether, I realized. Their magic was supposed to be contained by these thousands upon thousands of