The day she supposedly left, the day she died, yet every year on this day I know she’s still with me.
I decide to go on a walk to get away from the sinister thoughts piercing my mind. The rustle of the stale leaves beneath my feet sooth me. They fly up with every shuffle I take. When I stop walking the sounds stop and all I can hear is nature. on the banks of the stream lay green, luscious lands, full of flowers. I hear the repetitive drumming of a woodpecker in the trees and the familiar noise of a creature in the bushes. Before I know it, I’m back where the nightmare first started. The place I could never escape, ever since the night of the murder I could only ever reach one destination no matter how fast or hard I tried to get away from it.
The murky, green pond lay still. Lifeless. Its disguised by the autumn leaves of the willow tree. Behind the infected pool, a defeated path is unveiled. The stark sunlight tumbles upom the path, past the trees, beyond the creatures. Beyond the grizzled, rotten house.
A small robin dances across sky, blindly following the gentle, calming light, which is about to plunge into the night, blissfully ignorant of the dangers beneath. Finally, falling out of the daze the bird notices itself drifting above the broken house.
Not a home-a house.
The outside sun shines brightly, desperately trying to break through the impenetrable darkness, but the light is filtered out by the moth-eaten curtains and is banished from the duty of furnishing the dark and shabby room. So, the room remains as dark as a grave, mirroring the ominous atmosphere of a funeral. There were infinite sheets of paint, starting to crumble off the wall. Each layer could be stripped away to reveal dark secrets. Old skeletons in her closet. The layers remain unpeeled and the secrets remain undiscovered… for now.
The walls were otherwise empty in the dilapidated house. There was a small, glass window, cloaked with a coat of decaying floral lace shades. The shades shook with the lightest wind. Fragile. They seemed as if they were going to snap – like the bones of an ageing woman.
It had passed its expiry date…
Perhaps someone had finally given up refurnishing. Redecorating. Reinventing.
The walls displayed no photos. No identity. This was not a family home anymore. All that hung there was a small, broken, slightly crooked, mirror. The floorboards creaked noisily with every step I took. The dampened rotten floorboards evidently about to give up. Behind a grand majestic grandfather clock ticked away, slowly rocking away it’s lifetime. The clock sways back and forth, back and forth. It never stops.
The room next door was left empty, nothing inside. The walls are charcoaled, through the efforts of a fire. The flame was insignificant and harmless, yet the smoke it allowed to wander around the house was deadly, suffocating those who tread through the nursery upstairs. The only item left intact was a child’s rag doll, sitting on the windowsill, her emotionless glass eyes piercing through the darkness at the blackened door. Though the door is a grand staircase guarded by two menacing gargoyles. They stare, unfeeling, towards the rag doll, silently sending threats.
The crushing darkness beckons. Into the shadows, eyes slowly adjusting. There are piles of cardboard boxes, each one displaying a faded label. Books. Toys. Christmas decorations. None of the boxes had been opened for years; they had been left for dead. One box lays open on the floor, labelled “Photographs”. A single frame has been thrown on the floor, the glass shattered into a thousand tiny pieces. Thick droplets of deep red blood rest on the top of each razor-sharp shard, and the photo within is missing. It lies across the room, creased and faded. It depicts a family scene, last Christmas. They had gathered around the tree, and their faces would display equal vast smiles, if you could see them, but the faces were viciously scratched out in a rage of fury, blackened by a deadly ballpoint pen. It looked fresh – terrifying. Someone was there, hiding between those boxes.
The wall above the victim displays a message to whomever discovers the body.
Don’t Look Behind
It was written in blood. Suddenly, everything else faded into oblivion. There was a silhouette crouching down in the shadows, like a lion, ready to pounce on its prey. The only thing left was to run. But the hatch had disappeared, nowhere in sight. The creature circled the dusty attic, marking the boundaries of its territory. It made no noise, fading into the nothingness that had overtaken this land. Nothing could survive here.
I hear an almighty crash. Behind me. The warning rings in my head- Don’t Look Behind. Another crash. Don’t Look. Then silence. Is it safe? I turn my head. The creature is so close I can feel its breath caressing my face. I knew then – I was next.
She’s here now, she’s glaring at me. She’s silent and thoughtful with her orbs locked in mine for seconds worth lifetimes each. Her skin as white as the freshly dead, creased and crevassed by a lifetime of worry. Her black garb gives a sickly contrast to her complexion in cruel and knowing parody. The girl is dead yet alive, and I stand here with knees atremble in attempt to reconcile my vision as terror and numbness creep in my veins. She stares at me, disgust pouring out of her dark solemn eyes while mine dripped with fear. I count to ten while closing my eyes, praying for her to go, wishing for her to leave I cautiously look to see if the decrepit girl is still here. She’s gone for now, I can only hope she’ll forever leave.