Shroud.

Pristine. Pure. Untouchable. Hidden behind drapes and sheltered by shadows. Untouched by sin and traced by virtue. Should the wind blow fast and dry, the drapes flutter open and close with deliberate languor, as if awoken by the whispers of the sky. Beyond the pearlescent cloak was silence; a stillness that felt irksome, unnatural and strained, as if the ivory screen suppressed all life beyond it.

Delicate fingers traced the edges of the window as if feeling the confines of authority, the view outside obstructed by a veil of haze that shrouded the darkness that grasped the sky; thin pale fingers of the moon reaching out in the night to dispel vulnerability and fear of the unknown. A soft sigh; the warm air forming a small patch of condensation on the window where it hit the glass. Tired eyes glanced back towards the white barrier as if expecting someone to be waiting there and the disappointment that came no longer had an effect as the eyes shifted back to the window – this had become a routine and one that was hard to break. Timeless hours spent in front of the same window, tracing the same wooden pane, watching the same view and occasionally glancing back towards the drapes for the sight of a human being; someone or something that differed from the same chalky wall that adopted a different shape every day, had become wearisome and the simplicity of it all incited a desire to escape. One hand absentmindedly clutched the edge of the seat by the window, the soft, velvety mass deflating beneath it and the air seemed to pulse with desperate intensity as if the idea to escape the border had become a desire yet there was restraint and the intensity dropped as soon as it had started. This happened all too often; the thirst for freedom slipping through seemingly solid mental defences before being reined back to the shadows of the mind – where it belonged.

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