The old room

His chair sits to one side of the bay window. The unloved leather is cracked, shiny dark patches worn smooth, seams barely holding on, tired with all the life it’s seen. Cold air creeps through the rotting window frame, tickling the rising pale curls of smoke as they fade into nothing.

Beside the chair a small table, the walnut ringed with decades of cold drinks. On it a small wooden pipe stand, a heavy oversized cut glass ashtray, and a leather pouch spilling pungent dried entrails.

Another puff; a draw and dull pop from his lips as the last embers glow and die. Fragrant fumes drift on the gentle draught as he watches nothing beyond the glass outside.

The mantelpiece on the far wall watches over the room. Standing firm and heavy with memories and dust. Ornate gold frames the mirror above it, reflecting the spirals of smoke as they rise from his pipe. A few memories dot litter the surface, photos of old friends, mementoes of his past.

The charcoal in the grating below is long cold, winter has passed. An ancient iron poker is propped to one side, the diminished stack of wood at the other holds those lucky enough to have avoid sacrifice.

Across the bay window from his chair stands the bookcase, the inherited wood dulled and scarred by the centuries. Books of varying ages, style and condition line the shelves, each space filled, this way and that, wherever it fits, however it fits. One shelf displays a card for a birthday long since passed, the last writings from the dead scribbled inside.

Beneath all this floorboards peek through carpet, curtains hang striped by the sun.

Across from the fireplace stands the sideboard. A behemoth of carved wood and ornate brass handles, it fills the entire wall. The men from the antique store brought it in through the window.

On its there are two carved doors to either side, while the centre is devoted to three large drawers. It stands tall on feet that curve and twist from floor to base. It has been well polished in the past, but now it shows only tarnish and neglect. An unloved and forgotten relic, dust hugs every crevice chiselled by skilled hands.

Atop the sideboard, slap bang in the middle, is a white vase. Simple and modern, clean lines. It holds fresh flowers, shimmering reds, splashes of sunlight, sparkling jewels of colour.

Strange bright lights in this tired old room.