The Stood Bedroom
The Stood Bedroom was a single story.
Standalone, a bedroom house, a house with only a bedroom, and four exterior walls and two windows halfway up or halfway down as formed by corners like sharp, right-angled bays, with curtains inside to match and pull in different directions from halfway across. Commonly called a Stood Bedroom.
Inside, it was indeed a bedroom with no sign of its doubling as a bedsit for the purpose of entertaining guests. Meanwhile, it was only guests who knew that there was a whole catacomb of rooms beneath this single bedroom, with stairs leading down to them, and thus such extra rooms were naturally below ground level.
Kitchen, bathroom, sitting-room, even a hall and a music room, but, of course, no sun lounge nor conservatory. Although there was a type of garden-shed at the end of the cellar area. Where God's tools were stowed.
This Stood Bedroom was in a clearing between two wastegrounds, in sight of a forest on one side and a council housing-estate on the other. The houses there were normal two-up-two-down ones that sat above ground level, back-to-back as in the old days before the clearance lorries and demolition workers set to work in other towns and cities nearby. With single sash-windows on most walls, except where the walls had been subject to defenestration laws.
Sarah Hemmerty lived in the Stood Bedroom and she had lived there longer than her mother had done before her, who had lived there longer than HER mother before her, and so forth, which gave some indication of how age spread longer over each life as the years passed by. All of them unmarried mothers.
Sarah did have guests in the Stood Bedroom, guests who were indeed privy to the living space below the ground. But she swore them to secrecy, as her mother had done before her, with earlier guests.
There was one guest, however, who had visited the Stood Bedroom over many years, spanning more than one generation of mothers, and he was of great age and wisdom. His speech was deliberately rough and tumble though, without much observance of grammar nor of spelling, though nobody noticed the bad spelling.
But even with his wisdom, he never really understood the pattern of overlapping of mothers with daughters and the circumstances of how each was born.
It was said that God only had one room in Heaven.
The old overlapping guest's name was Daniel. And today he was visiting Sarah. Sarah was a collector of paintings and she changed them quite frequently, hanging them between the corner bays. She loved art auctions and there was indeed, for her, more enjoyment in the act of bidding for paintings than in the paintings themselves. Sometimes she came home with a dud simply because she relished the out-bidding for it.
Daniel stared at the painting, as he ensconced himself upon the edge of Sarah's bed. (Sarah was sitting inside the bed, as was her wont, even during the daytime hours.)
"Is that ... pink cows?" asked Daniel.
Sarah squinted at the pink splodges, trying to make out what Daniel said he had made out. They were certainly sitting on a surface as green as grass, even if the grassblades themselves had not been sufficiently picked out to look like grass.
She shook her head. An inscrutability of shaking that either did or did not answer the question.
"Is that...a pink blancmange picnic?"
She shook her head again.
He nodded, as if he understood something that had not yet been made entirely clear.
They sat in silence. Sarah snoozed for a while.
"Is that...a noise downstairs, I just heard?" asked Daniel with an abruptness that broke the silence.
"I didn't hear anything," she replied. But would she have heard it, even if there had been something to hear, bearing in mind she had just woken up.
Neither suggested going downstairs to investigate. People in Stood Bedrooms normally only mentioned downstairs when they were actually downstairs. In fact, Daniel's mention of downstairs was the first time it had been mentioned while upstairs in Sarah's Stood Bedroom. EVER.
"Hmmm. Is that not really pink cows?"
She nodded. To keep the peace.
"Is that not clear enuff?"
She nodded again.
The next painting that Sarah hoped to bid for would be one of corner bay windows, to show the exact nature of their configuration in the way that mere words had failed to show.
She finally felt something deep down. Or thought she did. About understanding the facts of life.
Sarah and Daniel looked upward as if in some form of despairing. Or praying?
God turned over in his single bed upstairs. Evidently, now, He, too, had full understanding of the human situation. But He fell asleep before remembering He had understood.