The following is a work of creative writing adapted from original historical documents.


For those who wish to know, the walls were grey. Thinking back to the beginning of my life with Vivienne Haigh-Wood, however, I’m certain that they used to be in fact something closer a Lily's pure white.

Why the current wallpaper bore such a faded look eluded me, it could be just dust or a cheap print. Sometimes I think of Hera, and the way her lilies used to grow… were the walls always this grey?

The light of my oil lamp only revealed so much, I suppose.

Darkness does not bother me, in fact it lets me wander curiously through my thoughts. The bothersome defect to the common man in fact cast quite the interesting mood in my study. Shadows brought life to the walls, twitching uncontrollably and staining black over grey in spurts. Naturally these walls were not truly alive. They could not breath the stale air I never clear out.

It was suffocating at times, sitting in a room so bleak, living such a life, but it bred exactly the poems I wanted. And so, to keep it that way the lumpy, uneven windows remained closed; their tall gothic look veiled at all times by bulky drapes. The shut windows and curtains didn’t sadden me quite as much as I’d previously expected, and if I were to question this, I could suppose that it was the idea that the outside never elated me. The majority of my life was spent bent over books, or watching my classmates engage in the physical activities I was incapable of doing.

The pen in my grip slipped out and rapped onto the wooden desk. My fingers quivered, forcing my hand to clench in an attempt to ebb away the pain in my abdomen. It was too painful to sit any more. My heavy body surged upwards, sending my chair grinding across the hardwood. I lumbered over to the dent in the wall where a couch awaited me, carrying my yellowed pages along. The writing was broken apart by thick black streaks, removing entire sentences and paragraphs then rewriting them in the margins. It was messy.

Poems in the right hands can be the finest of puzzles: a brilliant enigma who’s sole purpose is to entice the unsuspecting into a world they don’t understand. To call it an art is almost the wrong word. It’s a skillful challenge for both the reader and I.

My body is rot, my home a dusty grave. My wife is Erebus, the twitching shadow that adorns the grey and traps me in this half-life. All that’s left of me is my mind; it ponders and deciphers and knows how to make a poem great. This is why I now lay on the couch, the position that does the best job relieving me of the pain my illness brings, and think of the shadows and the grey as I write and rewrite my next best.

A loud sigh broke the silence.

I’d like to say it was my wife’s, but it was my own. It just had to be done, the room was so quiet and numbing. She was not here. Her brother did what I was unable to do, because it was something I didn’t bother to do. So now she sits alone, surrounded by big white walls and spiraling down the only path she'll ever have.

I now live with the shadows, where Erebus consumes. I wouldn’t say I missed her, or that I wished I visited her more than I did, because that isn’t what brings such melancholy to my tone. I don’t visit her at all. I just need the right atmosphere, and I know I need more than dancing shadows to fully complete my work.

Once more the sigh filled the room, it was just too quiet, and I rose slowly to get on with my day, and finish the preparations for my departure.

The only place where I will find what I need is Paris.