Warning: May contain ensitive subjects, language, scenes that could offend, violence and mature content
“Here it is!” The real estate agent announced, spinning round to gauge my reaction. I’m sure my face dropped instantly, twisting into a look of horror, my nose wrinkling in disgust.
“Eh..” I paused, trying to think about how to break it to her lightly, that there was no way I’m buying a hell hole like this! The place had clearly been abandoned for countless years, and had rotten away to a few pieces of mouldy planks, old furniture and weeds.
“I know what you’re are probably thinking, but I strongly advise you to think about it. We should have a look around, without judging it from the outside.. You can’t judge a book by its cover.” She spoke, examining the building with curiosity.
“Does it get any better?” I questioned, and she stared back at me with a hopeful expression. I groaned.
“Is it even liveable?” I demanded, trying to see the bright side of a damp situation. Again she just stared, pursing her lips.
“Fine.” I sighed, taking a step towards the house. The smell had me chocking, gasping for clean air. Had someone died in there!?
“Now, I understand that the landscape isn’t perfect, but let’s look at the positive things first, shall we? It’s a beautiful swampy landscape. So mystical and romantic. Not to mention the location. The privacy is a great thing, no houses on this road!” She rambled, picking her way through the rubble and piled boxes. What were they doing here? Was this some sort of dump?
“There’s always the option of flattening it all out, which I’m sure can be arranged locally at a cheap price..” She said, looking back round at the pile of heavy boxes. “These can all be removed along with all the rubbish. And this fence” She looked up at the towering chain link fence that cornered off the house (if you can call it that).
“And look at this little chair. It’s even got its own umbrella. Are you a nature fanatic?”
“No.” I replied. This place was falling apart, how could I survive here?
“Well..” She trailed off. “At least the house is perfectly stable, so it won’t collapse. There’s only a couple of leaks to be sorted out too.. Enjoy the time indoors.”
Together we took to the steps, slowly taking a step at a time, praying that they wouldn’t break. Luckily they stayed strong.
Swinging the door open, it let out a loud squeak and I was suddenly hit with a stench far worse than the first.
“It’s really beautiful inside, I promise!” She declared, dragging me inside with her.
As we moved from room to room, she spouted off the “good” things about this place:
- The shoe rack right at the door – already equipped with a few pairs of (reeking, cheap) shoes.
- The themed medieval fire torches that lined the walls.
- The dinner table with three chairs and a beautiful dead flower withering away on it.
- The rusty sink and tiny storage cupboards.
- The cooker and fridge (I seriously doubted either worked)
- The old traditional fireplace
- The oldest TV/Stereo known to man
- The “fully functioning” bathroom
- The double bed (two mouldy single hospital beds pushed together)
- The crib and toys (“For when you meet the special someone”)
- And of course the pond outside.
None of these things seemed good to me. Everything was messy, falling apart, at least 50 years old. Everything smelled, everything was cheap, everything was broken. I couldn’t bear to stay another minute in this place.
“I need to leave!” I stated, ready to run out the door. “I can’t stand another second in this place. I feel like I’m gonna vomit.”
“Don’t be silly. But if you are actually going to be sick, please use the toilet. I don’t want the house to be messed up.” She smiled, kindly.
Is she fucking serious!? Messed up? As if the house wasn’t messed up already.
“Why the hell did you show me this place?” I demanded. Usually I was shy and quiet, but there must have been something in the sickly air around this house that drove me insane.
“Well.. It seems like this is the only property that we have on the market currently, within your budget.” She spoke, trying to break it to me nicely.
“Are you kidding? No, it can’t be. I’d rather camp out in the park than live here!” I stuttered, feeling like my short-lived happiness had died. “Are you sure there isn’t an apartment downtown? Please, can you check again!?”
“I’m sorry sweetie, it’s just not happening. Everything here has a price, and a fairly expensive one at that. Your budget just doesn’t work with those more upper class buildings.” She replied, the annoying grin still plastered on her face.
“Oh god. Please god no. This can’t be happening to me. I knew all of this seemed too good to be true, an escape from my family, a new life in a new town, a beautiful town, with no one here that used to know me. God, how could I be so fucking stupid!?” I blabbered to myself, banging my head against the grimy wooden wall. I half expected it to collapse in, and the roof to topple on top of me. That way my life would be over quickly, I would finally be reunited with Mum, not have to worry about any of this shit.
“Miss King, are you okay!? Would you like a tissue?” She offered a white crumpled up tissue, clutched in her hand.
Confused, I brought my hand to my face and discovered hot tears flowing from my eyes. I was such an idiot.
Don’t show anyone weakness. Don’t let them see you cry.
Quickly, I snatched it from her hand and dried my tears away, desperate to stop them. The pain that was channelling through my body was almost unbearable. Memories of Mum, my brother, my Dad and me before the accident drifted to my head, quickly executed by the replay of the accident, of my Mums death and then finished off with the countless beatings and hopeless life that awaited me.
“I’m sorry.” I gurgled, turning away from her.
Why did this all have to be so hard? Why was I so unlucky? Why me!? Why was it always me!? I wished again, that it had been me that was killed in the car crash, not my Mum.. ME!
“Look, I understand this must be hard.” She interjected. “But you have to fight through. I know I don’t know anything about your life, your past, what you’re going through and all of the stuff that you have to deal with. And I know I never will be able to understand. But I can try to help. Buy this place, at least it’s a home. A roof over your head, a little warmer than outside. It’s really cheap, since we just want it sold. You’ll have plenty of money left over to renovate, to build a sturdy structure, get nicer furniture, clear the place up. It’s better than nothing!”
I barely noticed the hand that she’d placed on my shoulder.
“Fine.” I grunted, “I’ll take it. How much?”
“Well..” She seemed kind of stunned, but also happy it was finally out of her hands. “How about 4 thousand, just for you? I chopped the price even more, because I can see how much problems you’re having. The struggle that you have to face.. A discount, especially for you.”
“Sure, I’ll take it.” I snipped, and turned round to her, clearing the last of my tears away.
“Great. That leaves you with over 10, 000 left! Enough to get a good start on anything.” She grinned. “I thought you might take it.” She spoke again, placing the rusty keys into my hands. “I brought them, just in case.”
I tried to fake a smile at her, trying to come off as polite, but instead I twisted my face into a look of sadness and insanity.
“Thanks.” I whispered, my voice sore and dry.
“No problem! Now, how about I head off back to the agency and get the paper work to fill out. We can fill them out right here, right now. Get you in here for tonight, so you’ll have a proper bed, instead of being boarded up in some crummy motel.” She clapped her hands and headed for the door.
“Oh,” She yelped, spinning round to me. “Here’s my card.”
She tossed it to me, and I caught it, puzzled.
“Call me anytime. If you want to chat, or have some support, I’ve been told I give awesome advice. I could also help you try to land a job somewhere? I have many connections in this city.” She smiled, and headed out.
I slumped to the floor, letting the card fall from my hands and flutter across the room.
“I might not be back in time for closing time! It’ll take a while to get them sorted out. If I’m not back tonight, I’ll be here first thing tomorrow morning.” I heard her call from outside.
The walls were paper thin, I could hear her every move. I sighed, and let the tears flow.
As her car roared to life and she pulled away from the house, I couldn’t stop myself. A sob racked my body, as I whimpered, my eyes red and puffy, my face and clothes soaked with tears. Sob after sob left my mouth, whimpers and pleas, mumbling things about my brother, about my Dad.. About my Mother…
Everything that had happened to me in my life so far, every moment that I had lived, flashed before me, replaying over and over, like an old film stuck on repeat. I begged for it to stop, crying out into the darkness that now surrounded me.
How long had I been crying for?! I didn’t know.. I didn’t want to know. Everything was running together, my eye sight blurry, my ears ringing, my body aching. Waves of pain, guilt, every feeling imaginable rolled through my body, making me tired, making me exhausted.
I slowly rose from the floor, still unable to really focus on anything around me. I stumbled forward, not in control of my body, not able to tell it what to do. I briefly heard a bang as I crashed into the wall, but I felt nothing. My entire body was numb… I felt like I wasn’t in it anymore, like I was stuck outside it, watching myself. I couldn’t stop it, I couldn’t even speak.
Somehow I made myself to the sink.
I heard a shrill, desperate voice echo in my head.
Clean yourself up.
I fumbled about, feeling for the tap on the muddy looking sink. My hand scratched against the rusty sides of the sink, but again I couldn’t feel a thing.
Suddenly, everything came sharply into focus. The sink, the dirty walls, the cracked tile, the taps. But still I couldn’t control myself, and still I couldn’t feel anything apart from a tingling sensation surging up and down my body.
I’d never felt this way before. I’d had a headache, but now my head pounded, I was unable to think straight. I’d never felt so strange. Like I was hollow, like I was some sort of puppet to a greater being. I didn’t feel like me.
The tap spluttered to life, cloudy cold water pouring out.
About to my put hands in, and splash my face with water, my entire body froze. My eyes caught onto a razor blade, sitting on the side of the sink.
I wanted to scream out, but my mouth was clamped shut, my teeth biting into my cheek. The metallic taste of blood entered my mouth, and I felt ready to be sick.
Glancing down at my hands, I realised the blade was being held between my two fingers.
I twisted it round, and round, playing with it in my hands.
No. Stop. Please.
Blood seeped from between my fingers, as the blade sliced at my delicate skin.
No. Stop. Please. I didn’t want to do this!
It’s not like I hadn’t thought about doing it before. I’d been so close numerous times. The blade clutched in my hand, pressed against my skin. I remembered the cold sensation, and then backing out, too scared to dare to do it.
Never had I felt like this.
Like I wasn’t in control..
So much for new beginnings.
My eyes opened slightly, the bright dazzling light burning them. I pressed them shut again, shuffling further under my covers. It was warm, and I felt comfortable. A pillow tucked under my head, a clean mattress beneath me and warm blankets and quilts piled on top. This wasn’t my bed.. I squinted again, trying to make out the room.
“Sweetie, sweetie.. Wake up honey.” I heard a gentle, calming voice right beside me.
I was too tired to wake up, and lying in bed felt so good. I couldn’t leave yet.
“Come on. Don’t you remember what day it is?!” I heard the voice again. It felt so familiar, so warming.. Who did it belong to? I felt someone prod my stomach, before chuckling.
“Am I going to have to make you get up?” The voice challenged. It belonged to a female for sure, but who?
I felt her hands gently shake me, but I just pressed my eyes even tighter together.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” I heard a young sounding voice yell, right by my ear. Suddenly someone was on top of me, jumping and giggling, falling about on the bed.
Who were these people and why were they in my house?! It wasn’t my birthday..
Finally, I opened my eyes, sighing.
“Wow..” I whispered, my eyes going wide and my jaw slacking open with amazement.
“Sleeping Beauty finally decided to wake up, huh?” My Dad joked. But he was young again, sitting on the edge of my bed, right next to..
“Mum!?” I gasped, jumping up from underneath my covers. She sat next to Dad, cuddling into him, grinning back at me.
“Yes?” She asked, her whole face lighting up. She was the one that had been talking to me.. What was this? What was going on?
Little hands clutched at my arm, and my face was showered with wet, sloppy kisses.
“Happy 8th Birthday, sis” my little brother yelled. But now he really was little. He looked about 6, laughing and collapsing back onto the bed.
8!? I jumped out of bed, and realised I was back in my old house again. I rushed out my room, almost tripping over my own feet and hurried to the mirror in the hallway.
I was eight. Little podgy hands, tiny feet, short legs, hair that hardly reached my shoulders and young features. I even had little t-rex arms.
“Someone’s excited to go open their presents!” My Dad chuckled, and they were standing beside me, all smiling, all young, all perfect.
In the blink of an eye, I was downstairs, all strange thoughts gone from my mind. I mean, who wouldn’t want to open presents?!
Torn wrapping paper, cute little bows, boxes and boxes piled on top of each other… My brother and me tore through them, happy, joking about together.
Board games, Barney the Dinosaur DVDS, children books, toys and even my own colouring pencils and books.
Last but not least, we reached a big present (the biggest of them all).
I stepped forward, instantly knowing what it was. My hands grazed over the neat wrapping paper, that clung tightly to the frame. I untied the bow on top, and put it to the side.
“Can I help?” My little brother toddled forward, gripping onto the other edge of my present.
I smiled. “Sure thing!”
Together we made quick work of it, and soon enough the wrapping had disappeared.
“A bike!?” I screamed, running around in circles screaming and jumping in joy.
Everyone was laughing, everyone was joking, everyone was happy.
Time seemed to pass quickly, me and my brother playing with my new toys, my Dad helping me get dressed in my new clothes that I’d gotten, my Mum preparing a picnic basket.
Shortly after, we were outside. I was flying along the pavement, my bike wheels spinning faster and faster, my legs pushing harder and harder. My brother ran along beside me, yelling for me to slow down and trying to keep up.
I glanced behind me and seen my Mum and Dad strolling along behind, hand in hand.
We reached the park, and me and my little brother ran straight to the playground. We spent hours on it, attempting the monkey bars, zooming down slides, spinning on the roundabout.
Mum and Dad set up the picnic underneath the gazebo, and then lay there, admiring the scene, keeping a close eye on us and being all lovey dovey.
I hated when they done that. Yuck. Why would Mum ever want to kiss a boy!?
Eventually, we convinced them to come push us on the swings. My Dad came over and started pushing my brother, my Mum pushed me.
We laughed and talked, and pretended to be spacemen launching into space. We had competitions on who could go higher, and my brother always let me win. It was my birthday after all.
When we all got tired, we got carried over to the gazebo, and ate. Treats, chocolates and sandwiches, everything I’d asked for. I really was being spoiled..
Once we were stuffed full, Mum pulled out the cake me and her had baked the other day. It looked really tasty, and I couldn’t wait to rip into it, no matter how full I was.
They lit candles and everything, singing me Happy Birthday, letting me and my brother blow out the candles and I got to make a wish.
We were allowed a slice each, and we lay there for a while, talking and telling jokes. My Dad told us a long story about his 9th birthday when him and his Dad had gotten lost in the woods and they’d been forced to camp out and survive the night.
“On my 9th birthday can we camp out in the garden?” I asked, excited.
“Sounds like a plan.” My Dad smiled.
“Fine, but no moaning about the cold!” My Mum replied.
“We could cook burgers, and hotdogs, and make a camp fire in the back. We could sing songs, and tell stories..” My Dad continued.
“And roast marshmallows!” James interjected.
We all burst out laughing, and got onto some other random subject.
Soon, it started getting cold and we all headed home. The rest of my family were coming over tonight, and we were going to have a big dinner, all for me.
And then tomorrow I was going to have all my friends round, and we’d have a party, all day. I was so excited, I couldn’t wait.
We got in, and were all lounging on the sofa, watching TV while my Mum worked hard at the stove, trying to get it all ready in time.
The doorbell rang and she sped out of the kitchen and started running for the door, the tea towel over her shoulder. But she paused half way to the door and stopped, her eyes widening and her jaw hanging open in surprise. She stood directly in front of us, and the look of horror that had crossed her face surprised us all.
We all rose from the sofa, wondering what was wrong.
“What’s up Mum?” I asked, my voice shaking.
She looked directly at me, her eyes burning into mine, a look so intense it made me want to cower away behind the couch. It looked as if she were staring right into my soul.
“I promise..” Her voice was raspy and didn’t sound at all like her.
I gulped, about to ask what she promised but I was cut off by a gurgling sound from the back of her throat.
And then it started… Blood pooled at her feet, her eyes rolled back, her face went purple, her skin glowing white. What was wrong with her!?
I watched in fear as her body decomposed in front of my own eyes. Her flesh went off, her skin flaking.. It was horrible!
And then slowly, she twisted her head round, as if she were just trying to look behind her at the person ringing the door. But she didn’t stop, she kept twisting it and twisting it and..
She slumped to the ground, and hit it with such force the floor shook.
I felt tears flowing from my eyes, and my heart beat going crazy. What had just happened?
I turned round to stare at my Dad and James.
But they were no longer the people they’d been before. They’d changed, so fast, grown older and colder. They weren’t the same people any more.. They towered above me, their eyes glaring down at me.
If looks could kill, I’d be right down there next to my Mum. They looked as if they were about to murder me.
They each took a step closer, their fists clenching, their jaws tightening, their entire bodies tensing.
“This is all your fault.” They both spoke at the same time, with dark, chilling voices that sent a shiver down my spine.
And then I fell, backwards, heading towards the ground. But I sailed right through it, falling further and further into a dark pit that had just magically opened from the ground.
Flailing about, my arms hit at the muddy sides, but I couldn’t grab hold. The dirt just came away in my hands.
My back finally hit the back of something hard, knocking my breath out of me. Struggling, I twisted round and as I looked beneath me, I realised I was lying on the lid of a coffin. My Mothers coffin.
Dirt flew from above me, cascading down, avalanching me. Soon enough, I was covered, and I couldn’t breathe.
“Please help, please don’t do this to me.” I begged, trying to get out of the dirt flow but no was there to listen. I was alone. Alone and left for dead.
So much for leaving the past behind.
A/N = Sorry if people found this chapter depressing, I really didn’t mean it to be so sad. I apologize, but guarantee this is the last sort of chapter..