Mary Sagittarius

Mary Sagittarius

A Story by R J Fuller

A woman's life seems to be in a rut, until she gets an idea of what a true rut could be. And she must discover the simplest solution to depart.

Dawn slowly approached the surroundings in visibility, making silhouettes in the dark more pronounceable, bringing all items into gradual focus. But it was a process Mary had sat in silence and observed too many times, countless mornings passed. She had always awoken before the sound of the alarm clock, which she turned on the night before out of habit, and just as instinctively, switched off when she was alert and waiting in the stillness. It seemed to be the only moment she was allowed individual thought, as she sat and stroked the small dog on the bed beside her, but even that had become routine.
Now it was time to follow through with the day, so Mary proceeded with the expected steps necessary for this typical journey. She stood out of bed; the dog, Ofo, leaping down to follow her. Once Ofo's habits were tended to, Mary made her cup of coffee, toast for breakfast and likewise fed Ofo. She washed, dressed and proceeded out the door to her clerical job. Ofo would be sitting on the couch by the door as she departed.
The path to work was likewise uneventful. Virtually the same appearances, same faces, everything part of the expectation. Just once why didn't she stray from this direction? But even her mind could not fully accept a different thought. She could only see what was straight in front of her. She had no concept of alteration.
Mary arrived at the office on time, as always. Friendly greetings to a co-worker here or there, but nothing further said over the course of the day. She began the basic filing system required of her, for what she was financially paid.
The young man, Trevan, walked through the office area. Barely saw Mary, as usual. She wore a red dress once, thinking he would notice. She wasn't sure what happened, but it just seemed to cause him to speak more to another young woman. Was Mary that unappealing? She didn't know, but she didn't try anything like that again.
Lunch was spent sitting outside, eating whatever she had procured. She'd watch cars drive by as she ate. Weather was usually nice. If it wasn't, she sat in the break room. No one spoke to her and she spoke to no one.
Then it was returning to the final hours of the job involving more paperwork. Why didn't she quit, if she hated the job so much? It wasn't making her any friends.
But she followed through, then made her way back home. She wanted to head down an unfamiliar road, anything for a change, but she didn't. She couldn't. She couldn't alter anything. She couldn't even get mad and frustrated, yell for no reason. She had to follow the same path as always.
She got home and it was tend to Ofo first, then fix herself something to eat, giving Ofo his evening meal as well. Mary ate in quiet, only the tinking of utensils on the plate to be heard. She watched a little tv, but there was nothing on. No point in checking emails or text messages. Nothing new there as well.
And now it was near bedtime, so tomorrow she could do exactly the same thing all over again.
Mary sat on the couch, lights turned off, just about time to head to her bedroom, and for one brief moment, she allowed herself an entirely different thought of how boring her life had become, then she wondered what she could do to change it. She didn't know, but never had she had such an idea this time of the evening. Mornings were spent wondering what she might wear or what the weather could do.
Mary stood, picked up Ofo, then headed to the bedroom. She turned the bedroom light off, and in the darkness, so she wouldn't stumble forward across the bed holding Ofo, she turned around and slowly inched backwards, until her legs hit the bed. Then she sat on the bed, lifting her legs up, and placing Ofo on the other side of the mattress.
The dog curled up and made himself comfortable, and in the darkness, she detected him watching her set the alarm clock once more, as if waiting for her to get settled. She sat back and just stared in the dark, the end of another uneventful day. Just another unimpressive day after so many.
The next morning, she awoke, turned off the clock and waited for the gradual emerging of the brightness of the sun. Everything followed through once more, down to the very second. Nothing changed. No need for a schedule. She couldn't get upset because anger didn't fit in the timeframe. She couldn't shed a tear as there was no allowance for the results. Pity? Sympathy? Apathy? Lunch was over. Back to work. She could walk through the day sound asleep. She'd laugh, but it seemed true. Maybe she was asleep.
She was home once more, same as always, and Ofo, still on the couch, always happy to see her. She continued the direction she was always in, nothing diverted. She even still checked text messages, when she knew there wasn't going to be anything there.
But then she came to that moment again, where she had been the previous night and thought her existence was tedious. She sat on the couch, as she had done last evening, and thought it again. Nothing changed.
She rose, ventured to the bedroom, retrieved Ofo, switched off the light, turned around, walked backwards to the bed, until she felt it on the back of her legs, and she bent to sit on the bed and place Ofo on the other side of her. The dog was held in her hands, practically in what would be her gradually emerging lap, when her feet suddenly flew out from underneath her. She continued going back, Ofo still in her hands and the journey to sit on the bed never ended. She fell back, her legs now pointing upward as she and the dog continued to plummet.
It was still dark as she fell, but she had no idea why they continued in movement.
Mary didn't fall far when she hit water. She heard a slight splash before she was muffled in soundless liquid all around her. She was in the dark, and no doubt, in the process, she lost Ofo. She never hit bottom of wherever she was, and simply allowed herself to stop sinking, then permitted gravity to take over and slowly rose back to what would be the surface. She broke the water, gasping for air. Ofo was there with her, splashing about her.
She wiped the startlement of water from her face and eyes to try to see where she was. Everything was still and silent, but she could make out distant water all around her, and a strange murky sky, not a roof of any kind as she might have expected.
And there, placed above her, not twenty feet, was the opening they had just plunged through. She could see the different shade of her bedroom ceiling from the moonlight in the opening.
Where was she? How could she get back up there?
Ofo had started swimming toward what was obviously a small island in this dark water. She did the same. They crawled onto the beach, Ofo shaking off the wet. There were no waves, no crashing waters. Was she in a cave? Under her bed? She didn't know. How long had it been there?
Mary gasped for air to relax enough, then sat up, looked around and wondered how she would return. The opening was now out above the water, but she was here on this land, so to return, she'd have to get back beneath the opening, at least. But why did the opening appear to be suspended in mid-air, like a portal of some kind? How was it possible she was in this unlikely location beneath her homestead? There had never been any indication of any this.
There was nothing to be heard but her own thoughts, and Ofo's sneeze. She saw no point in yelling for help. Who would hear her? She didn't know who might appear as well. She had to be in some bizarre unknown cavern was all she could think. Well, she didn't want to stay here, nor did she want to wait and see if someone would rescue her. Who knows how long that would take. Who would miss her?
The island, if that's what it was, gave off an impression of typical desertion with shrubs, small trees, twigs of sorts, but no hint of wildlife. Was there perhaps another doorway leading back to the surface? She didn't see one, the island was fantastically small, and she didn't want to venture in this darkness too far away from the original opening. Yep, the mysterious hole was still up there.
So now how does she get back? Make a ladder out of these sturdy tree branches and sticks? She picked up a hand-sized rock and began chipping at some twigs, to see if she could get an idea in her head that would work. She never touched bottom in the water, even as she was submerged, so she obviously didn't know how deep the water was.
She pulled on a slender green vine that didn't give way so easily and was about to cut it with the rock, when she thought, this would make a good rope to climb back up to the hole. She wouldn't need that much of the vine, and there was plenty of it. She would double the vine back on itself, making it stronger. Twisting it together like a braid.
When it appeared she had enough woven vine, stretched out along the beach, she examined her work, then looked again to the opening. Just to be on the safe side, she unraveled more vine, twisting and securing the lines together.
Now how was she going to get the vine up to the hole? So much of this was thoughts she couldn't be bothered with trial and error. It had to work on the first go, she felt.
She would need a grappling hook of sorts. Yes, that was it, to throw into the opening and latch on to probably the footboard of her bed, based on the location of this peculiar hole. But how is she going to throw a rope out in the water? Can she swing it in that direction over her head?
Mary found a gnarled tree branch that seemed solid enough to work as the grappling hook, strong enough to support her as she ascended, she hoped. She tied one end of the vine to the twisted stump, then pondered how to get it up there. To swing and throw it, she'd have to be back out in the water, trying to swing it through the water. She knew that would never work.
If she had a bow and arrow, she could fire it up through the opening. She looked for a sturdy piece of stick, deciding it would make a good bow, something she knew virtually nothing about, but she was going to have to learn, obviously. It wouldn't have to be a huge bow, more like the smaller crossbows she'd seen in use on tv and in movies.
She stretched a thin vine for the string, making it tight, as she understood they had to be. When she wandered out into the water, she'd have to make sure none of this gets wet, as water will loosen everything and make the items heavier. She needed them to fly.
She gave the twisted stump, now attached to a suitable arrow shaft, and the bow a test run, with the vine attached, aimed it across the beach, pointing up as she would have to do in the water, and let it fly. It actually gained momentum, and seemed to be enough for what she needed.
Now if she could only get it through the opening and the stump hook onto some bedroom furnishings.
She wandered out into the dark water. She had dried out a bit and now the water was cool. She placed the coiled vine rope on top of her head to keep it as dry as possible, and carried the bow in her upheld hand.
Slowly she moved until she began treading water. She pushed herself forward with her other hand. She wasn't worried as the opening was now nearly upon her.
The wooden grappling hook was held along with the bow, already tied to the vine. She carefully made her way around, getting the bow in position and the other hand holding the arrow with the stump on the end. Her head was now bobbing in the water, her mouth sometimes going under.
She pulled back on the arrow, not including any quiver as she couldn't grasp how to make something like that, and just hoped she had enough makeshift devices going on here to do the job.
Her mouth was submerged, she held the bow as high as she could, still seeing the opening, trying not to flinch in any way, and let the arrow loose. She gasped as she came back up for air, never taking her eyes off the arrow, as her vision likened it to a rocket, it sailed upward and made it through the opening.
She didn't blink. She gasped some form of happiness and seized the vine with her hands.
She swam over to beneath the opening and tugged slightly, ever so slightly, to make everything secure. It had to be secure.
She couldn't get much stability in the water, but still she pulled.
She hadn't forgotten Ofo. She decided it best to leave him on the land, knowing no amount of ordering him to stay would see him doing so once she began swimming. She hoped if he stayed behind, the water would be less rippled. Sure enough, once she became still under the hole, he began swimming out to her.
She pulled on the vine one more time and this time, lifted herself out of the water. It would work. Not twenty, not even fifteen feet did she have to scale.
Ofo was swimming near her. She looked at him. She had a split-second choice of either tying the vine to his collar, getting herself up the vine and back into her bedroom, or carrying him with her. He wouldn't be able to understand if she started up without him.
Still in the water, she placed the dog upon her shoulder and got him secure. One more yank on the vine for good measure, and she lifted herself again. She brought her knees and feet up with her and secured them onto the vine, then allowed her hands to reach up again and take hold.
The vine gave a hint of security, so she knew all was well. She kept her face turned upward, never taking her eyes off the bedroom ceiling above her through the opening. She hauled herself and Ofo up again, feet and knees, then hands.
She was close to the opening. Very close.
One or two more good hauls, and her head peered over the hole's sides into the bedroom. Ofo never moved, thank goodness.
Mary cast her arm without the dog over the upper side of the opening and detected what must have been the side of the bed.
Another good haul and she was now halfway. Now she cast her other arm over the edge and dropped the dog into the bedroom, so he landed on the floor. Ofo stood, shook off the water, then scampered into the apartment.
Free of the dog, she hauled her legs over the side of the hole into the room and fell to the floor. She rolled over to look at the ceiling. She tossed the vine and the bow away from her. She was back in her familiarity that she had previously resented so much.
She sat up to get her bearing, when Ofo trotted back into the room. She leaned on one elbow and gasped as Ofo leaped to rest upon the bed, as he always did at nighttime. She knew he would plunge through the hole again. Into the water.
She'd have to make a lasso and try to haul him back up.
She waited to hear the splash, but heard nothing. Slowly she raised her head, uncertain of what she would see. She grabbed the side of the bed, which had led into the hole, and found her hand now placing on a dry surface instead of the cavity. She peered up to see Ofo, curled up on the blanket, looking back at her. The soft bed blanket was all back in place.
Mary stood to her feet and looked at the mattress. First thing she did was snatch Ofo from the bed. She held on to him for a bit, then put him on the floor.
She grabbed the blanket off the bed and hurled it to the side, covering the bow and vine in the process.
She looked at the mattress, then flung it off the bed.
A box spring was now evident.
She grabbed the bed post and hauled the bed out of the way. Ofo fled the room.
In the dark, she could see the moonlit floor, sleek and intact.
The opening was gone as if it had never been.
A quick change into dry clothes, she tossed the wet garments to the side of the room where the blanket and bow had all been thrown.
She made certain Ofo was out of the room, then walked out and closed the door.
She grabbed a towel out of the bathroom for Ofo and she made her way to the couch and reclined to rest.
Ofo ran to her and jumped up with her and she wrapped him in the towel to dry him off. As she did, she stared at the bedroom door.
Who would believe what had happened? No one would ever think she was serious. She had no proof or witnesses to what happened, other than the dog, and he could never tell anyone.
But what exactly had taken place? The situation she wanted to depart from suddenly became where she wanted to return.
She ruffled Ofo with the towel, then wrapped it around him. He curled up to sleep.
Maybe she dreamed it. She thought about awakening tomorrow to find no bow, no arrow, the bed returned to where it had been, the mattress and blanket back in place as well. No wet clothes tossed in the room.
There may not even be a towel here wrapped around Ofo come morning.
But she wasn't sleeping in that room anymore, not for a while anyway. She'd move the bed to the other side of the room, if she had to. She may not sleep in that bed anymore either. She'd get a new bed, or move the bed out here into the living room.
Turn the bedroom into some sort of storage.
When would she do all of this? Tomorrow, she decided. As soon as possible.
She'd call into work, tell them she won't be in. Would they ask why? Would they be concerned? Would they even miss her? Maybe she would never go back.
The cycle seemed broken. Her days couldn't begin and end on that bed anymore, so she was now on a different road. She didn't know where it might take her, but even if she kept the job and she stayed in the apartment, her outlook was drastically altered.
She held the dog wrapped in the towel close to her, like he was a pillow and closed her eyes. She now knew what she expected to see tomorrow was what she anticipated seeing all along.

© 2020 R J Fuller

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Added on February 22, 2020
Last Updated on February 22, 2020
Tags: work, drudgery, water, falling, sleep, night, alone, dog