From Afar

Cyndra Galea

My little house sits proud and tall in the field of snow, the crisp white a stark contrast to the mismatched paint that covers its exposed walls. I can see my frosted Perspex dining set, chairs all pushed in neat and proper. My bedroom on the second floor is so poorly designed; one step out the door and down the staircase you go. My bathroom—the only one in the three-story house—is next to my room. To get to it, I have to climb across my bed, scraping my knees on the hard sheets. There’s an exposed, winding staircase that leads to the dance studio on the top floor. It has a clip that goes around your waist, and a dial that winds you up to the top. I can’t reach the dial from the clip; its placement confuses me. I’ve never danced, and the sticker is peeling from the television screen in the studio.

I also find it odd that my little house has walls on all sides but one. The snow comes in that way you see, covering my floor and dampening the flimsy patterned paper on my walls.

The weathered yellow support beams are thin and creak during the cold nights; the weight of the roof, the piled snow, and the three walls, are too much for it to bear. Stress lines riddle those beams, white lightning against soft yellow.

It’s become unsafe, this little house of mine.

The snow bites into my toes as I light a match and throw it into my mismatched rooms. The fire struggles to catch, but slowly it grows and licks at my walls and plastic couches. Black smoke stains the sky. The support beams groan as the roof engulfs in flames, the walls dripping as the snow melts and makes little rivers that part before me.

And as I stand and watch my little house burn down, I realise that I lived in a life-sized doll house all along.

I can see it now, standing back from afar.

I was the lonesome princess of my own story, a doll forced into lace and gowns, opening a fridge that never turned on and laying my head to rest on a pillow of plastic.

My dreamhouse.

We are all dolls to control and play with, in the eyes of others.

Author and Artist: Cyndra Galea (she/they) is in the third year of her Bachelor of Fine Art’s in Creative Writing with a minor in Professional Communications. When not found with her head in a book or three, Cyndra can be found radioactive antique hunting, fixing classic cars with her dad, drawing on her iPad, or writing and editing her manuscript. Cyndra aims to work as a structural editor when she finishes her Masters of Editing and Publishing, but also dreams of releasing novels of their own.

Editors: Kelly Rouzbehi and Breeh Botsford