A New Pattern in the Wallpaper -Flash Fiction

I hope everyone isn’t going out of the minds in boredom. Here’s a piece of flash fiction that I’ve recently wrote. Let me know what you think!

Also, I’m always looking for new story ideas, so if there’s anything you want to read about just let me know!

Happy reading.

A New Pattern in the Wallpaper

The Markson family used to have four children. 

The eldest is a young high school student. He is the captain of the football team, and well loved by those who were lucky enough to meet him. He is charming, charismatic, with no concern about anything other than himself. He is sure of everything that he does. He is going to go to college for football. He is going to marry a nice girl. He is going to be amazing.

The second oldest is a cheerleader. A sophomore in high school. Insanely bright, and focused on getting into her dream school of Harvard, on scholarship of course, so that meant she has to study and work extra hard. She is so focused on her future. On what she has to do to get where she wanted. She doesn’t have much time for anyone else. Sure, she has friends, but she is always studying in the library, or working out in the gym.

The third child is a freshman in highschool. Unlike his siblings, he struggles in school, and spends a lot of his time with tutors when he isn’t actually in school. If he isn’t playing baseball, his favorite thing in the world, then he is busy working on equations and fractions, the things that make his head hurt. 

The fourth child was Emily. She was quiet and shy. She constantly felt silenced by her siblings, so she seldom spoke. When she did speak, her voice was soft, featherlight, so much so that her siblings wanted to scream at her to speak louder. Everything about Emily was simple. She wore simple clothes. She had simple brown hair that was usually in a ponytail on the back of her head. Simple eyes stared out at the big wide world, begging to be noticed, but simple Emily didn’t do anything to be noticed. She was bland like the bland beige wallpaper in the living room of the Markson house.

Mrs. Markson is constantly on the move. She is a stay at home mother although she’s rarely at home. If she isn’t dropping the kids off at school, then she is dropping them off at their sporting events, or their tutoring sessions, or going on a grocery-store run. The Markson family is vibrant, and fast, always loud and always on the move. Their car was an old rusty red van that got more attention than any other child in the family. 

Mr. Markson is always at work. Constantly traveling from one city to the next, barely ever home. Though, when he is home, he’s at his sons football games, or at his daughters cheerleading events or at his other sons baseball games. He isn’t always present but he tries to be a fixture in their lives.

Needless to say that the Markson home is a wild one. It’s loud and busy, everyone fluttering about, doing their own thing, moving at their own speed. The mother always cleaning up someone’s mess, and scolding someone else.

And while the Masrkson house was always aflutter, there was one person that wasn’t on the move. Wasn’t a busybody like all the others.

Emily Markson felt… invisible. She felt that if she weren’t there, the house wouldn’t stop moving. Her family would move on as if nothing had changed. She felt her family was like a busy bustling street in an even busier city, and she was a girl glued to a wall of a ragged shop trying not to get run over. It was intense, and scary. She felt that if she stepped into the erratic foot traffic she would get swept away and wouldn’t be able to find her way back but if she stayed on the wall, she would slowly blend into the background. Plagued by her own thoughts, by her own erratic thoughts, she found herself frozen, unable to move, consumed by anxiety and fear.

 One day, the Markson’s had four children, and the next day they had three and a new pattern in the wallpaper.  

It took awhile for it to happen. 

At first it was slow. It was just an idea, but then one thought, and one fear multiplied into many more, until Emily was immobilized with fright. Until Emily Markson was nothing more than a piece of the house.

Her voice that was once small, once quiet, became nonexistent. Her small body that used to run through the back yard, chasing her brothers, stiffened until she couldn’t move it anymore. Her thoughts, though she wanted to speak them, were silenced by the needs and demands of her siblings. Her entire being run over by the vivaciousness of her siblings. 

Until one day, she was just a figment in the imagination of those she lived with, and a new pattern in the wallpaper. Everyday, she watched her siblings move on with their lives, her parents not even noticing that she was gone. 

And when her mother came walking past the wall one day, she noticed the new spot on the wallpaper. She pulled the rag off of her shoulder, and started to rub at the mark.

“Who got dirt on the wall?” She shouted, frustration filling her voice. 

The only response she got was a creaking sound that she blamed on the old structure of the house.

The smudge didn’t go away, even when Mrs. Markson pulls out the soap and water. She lets out an exasperated sigh, and moves away from the wall in search of her children so that she can scold them.

Emily spent her life on the wall wanting to speak but everytime that she moved her lips, and sound came out, it was overlapped by someone else talking. Soon she was nothing more than a creaking sound that echoed in the old house, blamed on wind.

And then Emily was nothing more than a pattern in the wallpaper.

Thanks for reading. Stay rad.

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