Silence Manor, my home. The long halls, the quiet libraries and the balcony overlooking the ocean below added to the atmosphere. I even dreamt about the manor while I slept in one of its rooms. I've lived a good life, filled with wonderful people, all long gone but remembered fondly. I was the youngest; although I was now well into my fifties. I plan to spend my last days in Silence Manor and with the way that I have been ostracized by the outside world, why not make it my last few decades as well.
My daily schedule was nothing special. I spent my time reading. My exercise was walking from one end of the manor to the other, repeating throughout the day because I would always forget something. Something I wouldn't say I live alone, but there was no one else in the manor. I would always have company walking through those halls. You see, when my loneliness was reaching painful peaks and the echos grew so loud I could not think straight, I suddenly no longer felt lonely. Your mind finds a way.
I saw people, people I had seen at the store that week. People I didn't speak to or hear speaking, yet in the halls they didn't stop talking. I didn't mind, why would I? The illusions were harmless and they made the day more enjoyable. It was only at night did they bother me, as you can imagine. Of course, it was a small price to pay sometimes when I could hear some interesting conversations between them during the day.
I would try to sleep, but the illusions would continue to roam the halls. Some shouted so their voices would echo. Others would slam the doors, but the worst ones fought. I would hear muffled arguments that only turned ugly given time. Sometimes I wouldn't get any sleep whatsoever. Those were the times where I believed I was cursed, not blessed, but like I said, these were rare times. These people could have become my friends if I wasn't too scared of being the one they fought with.
I got used to it over the years. More people would appear each week, but the manor was large, so the chances of bumping into the same person were rare. That's the benefit of wealth I suppose. Some cooked for me when I was too sick to get out of bed. Although I was friends with none of them, they all knew who I was and treated me like I was family. It was wonderful. The food some nights was particularly good, salted just enough for me to enjoy the savoury taste, but not so much I would be needing glasses of water after. Of course, if they did salt it too much they would bring me water I believe. I of course didn't want to ever insult them either because of my fundamental fear of becoming enemies with anyone of them.
"Sir, please listen," the officer said looking very tense. "You don't live in a mansion. You live in a two story home with seven rooms, most of which are filled with boxes and junk."
One night we would all collect each other and fill up the largest room with chairs. One of us, usually me, would climb onto a coffee table and read poetry to the rest. I love poetry with a passion and whenever someone besides me recited a poem I would listen to it on the edge of my seat. Hanging onto every word and reveling in it's...
"Sir, please concentrate," the officer told me, frustrated with my interruptions. "You live alone in a small house. This manor you speak of is an illusion. It doesn't exist, your friends don't exist. What you've done..."
"The people are the illusions officer, but don't worry, they're harmless."
"Well, you are bloody well not!"
A second officer walked up behind and placed a hand on the firsts shoulder.
"Call down, man," the second told the first. "You're wasting your time on him. The man may seem to have his lights on, but nobody is home. The asylum is sending..."
One night I walked through the halls, not hearing a voice or seeing another person. I felt so alone after such a long time. I hated it truly, hearing my steps echo through the expansive halls. It was dismal to say the least, to be alone. I walked to the large windows and stared at the cliff face below, counting the rocks till I reached the water which lapped against the cliffs. I was so angry. After all we've been through and they left without a goodbye. True, they weren't real, but I am dammit!
Of course they must have heard my outburst and I felt a hand on my shoulder, just like you have done to your friend officer. However, I could not forgive an illusion. I don't know who it was but I pulled their arm throwing them against the large window, my anger flourished in that moment and I wanted to punish them. I couldn't let the others see my weakness or they would never talk to me again. I didn't hold any illusion above the other so it didn't bother me killing one of them. Seeing the unfamiliar form fly through the glass and to the rocks and waters below eased me greatly. This was my goodbye. No more illusions.
"Sir, please turn around and put your hands behind your back," the first officer grunted angrily.
I turned around and felt cold metal wrap around my wrists. However, I was concerned with the decrepit house in front of me, overgrown with unattended shrubbery and vines. There used to be a nice large window on the second floor but it was smashed. The glass gathered around a white sheet on the ground. The sheet covered something on the ground, but I didn't recognize the shape. Such a shame really. The house reminded me of Silence Manor. It reminded me of home.
Be sure to follow!