I was fortunate enough that housekeeping found me; at least I thought it would have been fortunate. As little as I could see, I still heard my mother’s Ladies Maid babbling hysterically shortly after the click of the door opening. She had come in I assume to turn down my bed and sweep the room as she did every morning while I was at breakfast. I had never actually seen her, but that is the way it should be with servants, it is quite ghastly to have to actually acknowledge their existence. She definitely did not expect to find me in…whatever state I was in. I must have looked terrible to yieldthatreaction from her; perhaps my body had been mangled or deformed in some horrible way. The images working their way around my mind were horrific and I was praying to any God who would listen that it was not so bad, that the maid was over reacting, that I could be fixed. I was beyond the aid of prayer, I was beyond the aid of anyone at all, but I did not know it then.
I have no clue how much time passed after the footsteps of the maid faded back down the hall but eventually I heard new steps and more voices. I tried to call to them, but I could still not find my voice, I could not tell them anything as they stared down at me. There was not a physician present, which puzzled me at the time, I could only see the faces of my incompetent father and the local police inspector. Why were they not fetching more help? Was that mother I could hear crying in the background? What on earth was going on? For the second time I could do nothing but listen.
“Well is there any way to find out how this happened inspector?” The rather disgruntled voice of my father came through the loudest.
“Why would he leave like this?” Wailed mother from somewhere behind me.
“Calm down madam, we will find him if we can. Now, is there anywhere you can think that he might have gone to?” That must have been the inspector.
What could they possibly mean by ‘gone’? I was lying right in front of them! Was I invisible? No, that would be absurd, nobody can be invisible, and yet…Before I could dwell any further on the matter of my apparent invisibility I found my world moving. It was as if I was being lifted upright. The next thing I know the inspector’s face was almost pressed against my own.
“It is a very good likeness” he was saying, “I would guarantee that it is the work of a professional.”
A professional what? So they could see me after all, that was something at least. I had no notion of what could be going on. I still couldn’t manage to speak out to anyone, not I might add through lack of trying.
“I suppose for now the only thing we can do is hang it up, once I’ve checked for finger marks”
“Finger marks inspector?”
“Yes, it’s a new technology we are developing, originally out of Canada, where we compare any finger impressions left on items to the patterns taken from a suspects own fingers. They are unique to each person you know.”
“…Right…well…anything that will help you to find my son, but for now let'’ just hang this on the wall”
“Wait!” The shout from my mother startled me; she had been so quiet up to that point. “Hang it facing the window, where it will get the best light.”
I was moving again. Across the room and stopping, just as my mother had said, facing the large window. I was still trying to process everything that had happened as everyone left the room. Finger marks? I didn’t know what they might be but it sounded like some kind of hokum the kind of thing that desperate investigators are using to make themselves sound creditable, and what was all this talk of finding me? What exactly needed to be found? I had been there the whole time. How is it that they could not see me and yet move me so easily while talking nonchalantly about hanging me facing the window? Did I mean that little that they were not overly worried about me? No, that couldn’t be the case, my mother had always fretted about me. Though that knowledge didn’t stop my concerns, only subdued them for a while. Not knowing what was going on was infuriating, if there was one thing I prided myself on it was always knowing everything that was going on in my life and in my house. Not knowing even how I could make contact with anyone, if it was even possible to make contact, it was almost unbearable. I believe I wept that night with the thoughts of all that had happened, though that would be the last time tears would ever find themselves into my eyes.
I was left there. Eventually inspectors and investigators stopped coming to the house and my chamber was rarely visited even by the maids. The only face I saw was that of my mother, who used to come and stare into my eyes, though it was clear that she could not see me, she often wept, crying that she missed me. Days, weeks may have passed I had no comprehension of time. For the longest time I had no idea still of what had happened to me. Countless attempts to look around the room, call out to someone or even scratch the insatiable itch that plagued my nose showed no signs of success. Not only was a trapped, I was also frustrated and clueless, which is not a good state for a respectable man to be in. Once, only once, my doting mother revealed to me what I had become as she whispered how this cold likeness could never be true to the boy she had raised and loved.A cold likeness. I had become an object? Trapped inside the very image of myself.
There, in my canvas prison, my soul descended into the twisted darkness of my own thoughts and time began to slow.