Foothill College's Student News Publication

The Foothill Script

Foothill College's Student News Publication

The Foothill Script

Foothill College's Student News Publication

The Foothill Script

Caterpillar: a Creative Writing Installment

Pink+Sherbet+Photography+from+Utah%2C+USA%2C+CC+BY+2.0+
Pink Sherbet Photography from Utah, USA, CC BY 2.0

The aged wood creaked under my feet as I walked onto the porch. The fresh paint of the front walls was beautifully layered and mixed, below which lay termite dust and bird scat. I reached under the mat, grasping a key. A man walking by watched me do so. My hand almost slipped as I palmed the doorknob, so polished it was.

“Pardon my intrusion.” My words were loud and clear, echoing through the large halls. No response flitted back.

I slipped off my shoes, and made my way deeper inside. The air of the home hunching my shoulders and head down, my steps quiet. The crackle of static and voice echoed from the door ahead. Peeking my head in, I was greeted by the familiar, and barren, living area. A single chair and bed stand sat within. A TV hung on the wall, a dusty fireplace beneath. A single figure inhabited the space. Silvery strands and pale skin were his most apparent features. Dull blue eyes stared ahead.

“Dad.”

A reporter’s staccato.

“It’s good to see you.”

A grunt.

I ducked my head back into the hallway, and made my way to the sole stairwell in the house. The rustling of papers became more and more apparent in my senses as I ascended. An innumerable amount of water color paintings littered the area at the top of the stairs. I paid none of it any mind. My ears honed in on the sounds of paper, each crinkle sounding more aggressive and frenzied than the last to me. A shiver ran down my back. A crimson door stood before me.

I knocked on it quietly.

“Mother?”

The rustling stopped immediately. A tired groan was audible as were the sounds of springs squeaking. Hurried footsteps made their way closer, and the door opened violently, air brushing apart the strands of my hair. I withheld a flinch.

“Oh, it’s you.” My mother harrumphed and turned, as I kept my gaze down to the floor.

“Just like your sister to dump me onto you. She’s out there, I know, giving her skirts to whoever asks, akin to some common harlot.”

Hangers clanged and linens shuffled as my mother did what she does. As she pleased.

“Daughter! We are going!”

I hadn’t noticed she had finished. I hadn’t noticed she’d already made her way to the stairwell.

“Yes, mother.”

I followed behind her.

The roads in this part of town were uneven. My rear periodically lifted from my seat, something usually reserved for speed bumps. My hands were locked onto the steering wheel, and my eyes did not stray from the road for even a moment. Sweat trickled down the back of my neck. This car had both heated and cooled front seats. The button was just at the base of the console. A simple click away. I left it be.

“Just like your grandmother, your sister is. You’re my only chance left, you know this? I want a grandson. All I ask. Who knows if you could bear more than one at your age. You still have not introduced me to your partner. You have been with him once, yes? You can manage that, at least.”

A nice looking young man sitting across from me. My eyes held more optimism, back then.

“Oh my my, your sister! We are going to be late, you know? You should have come earlier, you know what your sister is like, yes, you do. Always so thoughtless, none for your poor mother. You barely send us home anything, you know? Never visit, don’t support us, don’t do anything that isn’t about yourself, just like your sister, you know?”

Green flashed in my vision. The comforting pressure of my foot pressing down on the pedal. I shifted slightly, the tip of my shoe digging into the grooves and lines. A silent breath left me, and my foot depressed the accelerator further. The revving was comforting to me. It purred into my ears, and reverberated through my body. I clenched my fingers, feeling the sweat that had built up between them and my palms moisten the wheel.

“Oh, Daughter. Your mother doesn’t have much longer, you know this. I feel my time coming. My bones creak and my mind tires. You are not young anymore, either, you know? You need to hurry, and make your family happy. And you need to send more money home, alright? I can’t work like I used to, you know? And your father is no good, no good!”

On that, at least, we could agree, mother.

I was in front of my apartment door, now. I couldn’t remember how I arrived here. I opened the door, regardless of my confusion. A fog lay over my mind and heart. A haze shrouded the day. I took mother to the doctor. Yes, I definitely did. I closed the door behind me, and, after a moment’s consideration, locked it. I slogged through my apartment, my accompaniments falling in a trail behind me.

My shoes.

My bag.

My jacket.

My pants.

My shirt.

I nursed a cup of coffee in my hands. I did not remember brewing it. I brought it to my lips, drinking it slowly. It was cold. Too dark, too. And too strong. I hadn’t put in enough cream. Another sip was taken. I let it sit in my mouth, swishing it back and forth. My hand rubbed the surface of the granite island absentmindedly. It was impossibly, unnaturally, smooth. Ground down from its original form, and into something convenient and pretty. Layered with gloss, and then used without a second thought. A chime from above interrupted me from my musings.

Midnight.

Had it really been so long? The doctor’s appointment could not have been more than an hour or so, at the most. My feet hurried out of the kitchen, my mug of coffee left half empty on the counter. Through the living room, soft carpet touching my bare toes, and into the hallway, giving way to chilled hardwood. Passing through a doorway, my hand palmed at the wall, eventually fingering a light switch. Jaundiced light filled the space. Haphazard miscellany littered the room, moisture stains decorating nearly every surface. Muck and grime that had leaked from the faulty faucet stood stark in my vision. I paid them no mind. I looked into the mirror, and saw myself.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

I turned a nozzle, and after a few spurts water gushed from the entrance. Trembling hands cupped together, and I splashed my face. I looked into the mirror. I splashed my face again. Again, I gazed at my reflection. I scrubbed in a frenzy, now. I used so much pressure that my cheeks ran with water and salt. A burning pain in my chest. Shudders wracked my body. Gasps tore from my mouth, and I looked up for a final time. The skin on my face had been rubbed raw. At least it was all red, now. My eyes drifted towards my toothbrush, and then to the curtain of my shower. I left the bathroom without a second glance. My bedroom was just next to it, and I trudged inside. Moonlight shone through the open blinds, but they were easily shut. I looked towards my bed, so close to the wall. My teeth grit and my eyes shut, but my legs and hands ignored my shame. With only a few heaves my mattress pressed next to the wall. I climbed in silently, dragging my blankets, sheets, and pillows all to one side. I laid one behind me, against the wall, my back sinking into its embrace. I squinted as I turned. I hadn’t turned off the bathroom or kitchen lights. I shut my eyes, ignoring it, and pulled my cacophony of blankets over my head, curling into a ball. The hum of the refrigerator was audible. I should’ve just closed my bedroom door. I made no move to get up.

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About the Contributor
Alexander Martinez, Lead Copy Editor
Alexander Martinez is a second-year Computer Science Major at Foothill College. He has a passion for creative writing and hopes to gain experience in his hobby by contributing to the Foothill Script. Alexander is always there whenever you need help, and brings a positive attitude every meeting.

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