Alone

The cold spread down through each layer of Violet’s skin. It was too cold, happening too quickly. Shit, shit and double shit! Violet knew she had passed out. Her body was shivering and the sun had moved down. Tears of pain and frustration fell from Violet’s eyes and warmed her cheeks. Sobbing was pointless. Lying on her back, Violet managed to twist and turn to look at the abnormality in her thigh. Bugger! It’s broken.

 The tears flowed again as she thought of her late husband.  Bob had tried to talk to Violet time and again, before he passed away, insisting she move to Sydney closer to their son. He couldn’t bear to think of her on the property alone. Deep down, they both knew she would never leave Charlotte Pass. It’s too late now.

 Looking up at the sun, Violet determined she had passed out for at least an hour.  It was approximately three in the afternoon. I have to get to the barn and call for help.  Bob and Violet had installed a phone line in the barn years earlier. The barn was where Bob had spent most of his down time, fiddling around with machinery and chatting with his mates.

 Violet pulled her arms back and tried to move forward, digging her hands through the shallow snow into the cold dirt.  Searing pain shot up from Violet’s leg and she screamed. It hurts too much, I can’t do this!  Sobbing now, she gave it another go.  This time the pain was overwhelming and Violet passed out again.

 On coming to, Violet looked up into the sky and saw a wedge tailed eagle soaring high above.  It was alone.  She remembered when her son Tom was five years old and flew around the yard with his arms spread wide, mimicking the eagles. They had watched them over and over again, while lying on their backs in the grass. Tom was going to be an eagle when he grew up. Violet smiled weakly through her tears.

The shivering was becoming stronger. Violet had to get a move on before the hypothermia took over.  Whilst trying to move forward again, a noise rang out in the distance.  The phone in the barn was ringing.  Oh damn!  Only 100 feet away and it feels like a bloody 100 kilometres.   It was Friday and whoever was ringing wouldn’t ring back. Violet was habitually in town at the library on a Friday afternoon, helping with a reading group.  No one would miss her if she didn’t answer.

Pulling her way forward a couple of feet at a time was not enough, and Violet knew it. There was dirt under her fingernails and two of them had snapped down low.  The smell of blood permeated the air.  It doesn’t matter, thought Violet.  I’m not going anywhere. Feeling dizzy, Violet put her head down on folded arms as memories swished and swayed through her mind.

Confusion was setting in as Violet again looked into the sky.  The wedge tailed eagle was still there, soaring so high it was almost invisible.  Oh, what a lonely life, but such freedom. Time passed. Violet couldn’t focus on how late it was in the afternoon.  The sun was low. Gripping the ground again, she pulled herself another foot forward.  I can’t do this. Too tired!

 Violet looked at her hands. They were old. I am getting so sleepy.  I’ve worked hard all my life. I am proud of my life.  My father… my husband…. my son.  What wonderful men.

A snow flurry washed over Violet’s body.  Her breathing was shallow. The barn was a blur in the distance. Snowflakes landed on Violet’s hair and sparkled in the failing light. The eagle glided, looking down on the white land.  Violet’s final thoughts were of an old tune sung by Johnny Cash, Snow in His Hair.

The Barn

The Barn

 

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Restricted

We both are restricted.
It’s not by our want.
Afar from each other
We travel, we jaunt.

Once it was rosy,
Time was so free.
The essence of you,
Was the essence of me.

Your breath on my neck,
Breathless to me.
I wanted you dearly;
I could touch you or flee.

We loved with abandon,
Skin naked, smooth, and rough.
The limit was endless,
Though never enough.

Over time I grew weary,
Of all we endured.
You smelled my forgiveness,
As before I adored,
The love and the tenderness.
Now never, no more.

You come back from the shadows,
To claim me at night;
I melt in your arms,
And hold you so tight.

So where are we now?
We are back to the fore.
I love you more dearly,
Than ever before.

Fire of the Heart

Fire of the Heart

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A Day in the Life of Madness

It was a shock to Susan. The comfort of familiarity was lost. In the blink of an eye what had once been Susan’s homeland was now foreign. Susan looked around at the sights and sounds, not knowing what to do, studying her new surroundings.  She was in a warehouse of sorts with a high ceiling. The warehouse was overcrowded and noisy. Hanging from the ceiling by chains, were cages, some large and others small. The small cages were full of carrots, still with their green tops. Susan was transfixed and stood on the spot, unable to move. In the large cages were animals, although Susan had never seen this kind of animal. They were all different, most covered in patchy fur, with some human like features. They did have one feature in common; their teeth were bared. This frightened Susan out of her wits and she started running and looking for an exit to escape this freak show. What the hell? A nervous sweat was trickling down the sides of Susan’s face and her hands were clammy. The stench from the caged human animals was overpowering and nausea hit Susan. Ugh!

No one took any notice of Susan as she raced through the warehouse ; except for one person. The girl had been observing Susan. A scream escaped from Susan as the girl grabbed her on the arm.The girl said, “Come with me now, quickly.” Susan struggled and tried to run away. The girl firmly held on to Susan’s arm and spoke again. “You must come with me now, I’ll help you!” Susan looked at the girl who was wearing a black hat with the rim pulled down over her eyes, rags covering her body and an orange tinge to he skin. “Who are you?” asked Susan. “My name’s Maggie, I know what you are going through and I can help you. You must come with me now!” said Maggie. May as well, shit! Maggie led Susan to a door and they left the warehouse.

Susan’s whole body shook out of control. “Take some deep breaths and follow me,” said Maggie. Susan nodded in confusion. They were in a city with tall concrete buildings, under a grey sky.  Susan noticed there was no greenery; not a tree, shrub or even a leaf in sight. The streets were empty. Occasionally a person scurried out of one doorway and into another. “I’m taking you to my house,” said Maggie. “The sun will be gone soon, so we have to hurry”.  After walking for 30 minutes, Maggie started to run. Susan kept up the pace. They circled around an enclosure, with an 8 foot high wire fence. Behind the fence was a concrete building with one door. Outside the building was a large concrete hole in the ground with steep sides. Water was being pumped out of a pipe above the hole, and the effect was that of water spiraling down a plug hole in a sink.

“Here we go,” said Maggie. The two girls had reached a harbour and Maggie helped Susan down into a dinghy.  Susan did as she was told and Maggie rowed out into the harbour.  The water was black and murky.

Surely nothing lives in this water.

As Maggie rowed, tears fell from Susan’s eyes. This was all too much. “Let it out Susan and I’ll fill you in, said Maggie. I’m not from here either.”

I was at the local supermarket buying milk, and in an instant, boom, I was here in this wasted city.  It took me weeks to adjust and a stranger helped me out, the same as I’m doing for you. Something is wrong with this place and no one will talk about it. The only thing to eat is carrots or meat, and they’re sold at the market after being dropped there once a month through the night. The meat comes from the animals you saw in the cages. I don’t eat them. They’re mutated humans,” Maggie started to explain. Susan’s crying turned to gags. “I’m taking you to a small island in the middle of the harbour. I live there with Tilda and Grandma Chicken. You’ll be safe” said Maggie. “Well how the hell did I get here, where am I, how can I go home?” asked Susan. “I’m so sorry” said Maggie. “You can’t go home. I wouldn’t be here if I knew how to do that.” Maggie reached over and hugged Susan. Susan was beside herself and the tears were running down her face. “You’ll be O.K. You’ll adjust,” said Maggie.

The two girls arrived at a small inlet and pulled up to a wooden jetty. Maggie padlocked the dinghy to the jetty with a heavy chain. The island wasn’t really an island, but a rocky protrusion with a building in the middle, surrounded on 3 sides by a high fence. Maggie looked up into the sky and frowned. The ashen sun was almost down. “Let’s get inside, hurry, come on!” said Maggie. After knocking on the door, it was opened by an old woman, and the girls hurried inside.

“Hey Tilda, look who I found at the markets,” said Maggie. “Tilda, Susan, Susan, Tilda. Yay, we have someone else to stay with us,” said Maggie. Maggie twirled off around the room. Tilda smiled at Susan and gave her a hug. “Welcome Susan,” said the old woman. “Welcome to our home”. Susan’s gratitude came out in tears. “I’ll make us a cup of iced water,” said Tilda. “Take a seat Susan, and please feel at home. We’ll fill you in, you poor lost sole”. Once all three were settled, Maggie began.

“The thing is,” said Maggie. “If you are out at night, you will disappear. The people from behind the Great Fence will capture you. You remember the high fence we ran around on the mainland? I’ve watched them at night. They drug the prisoners and take them behind the Great Fence”.

This must be a dream.  It just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

Susan sat, listened and stared off into space. Tilda patted Susan on the arm and smiled. “The prisoners are told to walk down the concrete spiral hole thingy, and then the water is turned on!  They are washed away by a whirlpool, never to be seen again. Deep, down into the ground. They obviously drown,” said Maggie.

 “Now, now, Maggie,” said Tilda. “I think Susan has heard enough! Come on love, we’ll show you round and find you a bed.”

The inside of the house looked as normal as any middle class home, with ornaments on a sideboard and photos in frames of people long gone.  Tilda, with tears in her eyes, spoke the names of each of the lost family members and friends.  Susan felt Tilda’s sadness and awkwardly put an arm around Tilda’s shoulders.

At the end of the kitchen were double glass doors.  They were shut.  Susan couldn’t see through the glass.  It was yellow, and reminded Susan of the retro decor of the 50’s. “Come along Susan, and I’ll introduce you to Grandma Chicken. You’ll find this hard to deal with, but Grandma Chicken is very excited to meet you. She’s been listening to us talk.” Susan silently followed Tilda towards the glass doors. “You’ll be fine with this Susan,” Maggie said, and gave her a wink. Doubt it! Susan could hear a scratching sound as the three women approached the doors. “Just don’t get too close, she bites.”

Tilda opened the doors and Susan saw the most hideous creature.  It looked like a chicken the size of a short person, with a head covered in not feathers, but human hair, wound up into a bun on top of its head.  The creature looked like the ones Susan had seen in the warehouse and was baring its teeth. The sight frightened Susan.

The big chicken lady person was scratching the floor and making soft clucking noises. “Grandma Chicken was rescued by Tilda from the meat markets,” said Maggie. Her feathers were falling out and she looked scraggly. No one bought her and she was left to rot at the back of the warehouse. It was disgusting! We’ve only been able to save this one. She can end her days here in comfort.” Susan noticed a chicken pen of sorts in the corner of the room, where shredded paper was scattered for Grandma Chicken to toilet.

This was just too much for Susan and out came the tears.  What was this horrid place?  Tilda went over to Grandma Chicken and fixed a stray piece of hair coming out of the bun.  “Grandma Chicken only lets Tilda get close to her,” said Maggie. “Oh dear, your tears will settle down eventually, sweetie.”

“I need to show you something,” said Tilda. Maggie was standing in another corner of the room, in front of what looked like a large painting turned backwards. We’ve heard stories at the markets, frightening stories of homes being broken into and people being whisked away during the night, never to be seen again.  The only defense we have is this mirror. Oh, please!  A mirror, a weapon?  “We were lucky to….well, find this,” said Maggie.

“Um, call me stupid but how is a mirror going to help you?” Susan asked. “That’s the good bit,” said Maggie. If anyone looks in the mirror, the mirror turns a ghastly black and the person is sucked in, and we never see them again. How awesome is that?” Maggie twirled off around the room again. Oh dear, get me out of here. “It’s what happens Susan, no matter how hard it is to believe,” said Tilda. The important thing is that you know what it can do and how it can be used. Never, ever, turn the mirror around unless you are facing an enemy, and don’t look in to the mirror, or poof, you’ll be gone. “Um, O.K,” said Susan. Help!

“Come on and we’ll find you a bed,” said Tilda. Susan was led in to a small bedroom with a mattress on the floor. “Thank you,” said Susan. “Try to get some sleep and we’ll call you later for supper,” said Tilda. Susan lay down and cried until she fell asleep. Dreams of hideous creatures danced around inside Susan’s head.

A noise woke Susan. Susan sat up quickly and took a gulp of air. Holding her breath, she listened. Susan’s body was stiff and motionless. Someone raced into the bedroom. “Quick Susan,” said Maggie. They’re here. It’s them, from behind the Great Fence. We’ve got to go, now!” Maggie tugged at Susan until she got up, and then pulled her towards the door.

 “Tilda went out to stall them, so we could get away.  Come on!  There’s an escape hatch in Grandma Chicken’s room behind the wardrobe.”  Susan started to shake and followed Maggie.  What sounded like a gunshot stopped Susan and Maggie in their tracks.  Susan heard a loud sob escape from Maggie.  On entering Grandma Chicken’s room, Maggie led Susan towards a wardrobe on the back wall.  The double doors suddenly opened and men with torches scanned the room.  Maggie desperately tried to drag the wardrobe aside.  “The mirror,” said Susan. We’re too late, get the fucking mirror!”

At that moment a figure flew through the room and landed on the man inside the doorway. Grandma Chicken was attacking him with such ferociousness it made the other men step back. Maggie and Susan both grabbed for the mirror when another gunshot was heard. Maggie let out another loud sob as they watched Grandma Chicken fall to the floor. Dizziness washed over Susan and she grabbed at Maggie. Both girls lost their balance. Maggie’s grip on the mirror loosened. A torch light fell on the glass of the mirror as it turned and faced the girls.

It happened so fast, and both girls looked in to the black mirror. Susan and Maggie were sucked away and disappeared from Grandma Chicken’s room.

Susan blinked. Maggie groaned. Bright sunlight was glaring in to their eyes. What the hell? On opening their eyes wider the girls saw a shopping mall.

Home? 

Maggie threw her arms around Susan then twirled off through the parking lot. Susan, overwhelmed, shaken and crying, twirled off after Maggie, with a grin.

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Last Night

I had a dream last night. I was looking in a mirror and the wrinkles under my eyes had increased. When I awoke in the morning and was brushing my teeth, I glanced up and looked at my face. All the wrinkles from my dream were, in actual fact, under my eyes. I laughed and laughed and laughed.

I laughed so hard one of my eyeballs fell out and bounced off the basin and onto the floor. As I reached down to pick it up, my cat scooted from behind and tapped the  eyeball with her paw. It rolled under the bathroom cabinet. Still giggling, I knelt down on the hard tiles to retrieve my eyeball. I picked it up and popped it back into the eye socket. Too casually. I had placed it in backwards.

What I saw in my mind, through that one eye, frightened the daylights out of me. I jumped. My other eyeball fell out, ricocheted off the wall and landed in the bath. I stopped laughing and shook my head at the absurdity. The cat stood up and looked over the ledge into the bath, then at me.

The cat meowed, as if to say ‘Now what?’ I started giggling again.

Stooping over, I picked up the eyeball. I turned it’s jelly substance this way and that and popped this one back in place, looking out.

Then I woke up……laughing.

I smiled as my head sunk back into the softness of the pillow.

"Petr Novák,   via Wikimedia Commons

“Petr Novák,
via Wikimedia Commons

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Memoir Madness Post 2

Let’s get this party started….

Memoir Madness

In December 2013, I commenced the memoir project in my writing software, including a character list (names may change) and descriptions of the main characters, i.e. personality types including distinctive traits, language, mannerisms and physical makeup.

As a result, I had to take time out and I spent the next 10 days reflecting. Being lazy.

Next up, I sent an email to the Supreme Court of NSW, asking who to contact and/or how to access records from a Supreme Court trial, in which I was the prime witness,                   approximately back in the year 1984.

I truly have forgotten the year.  I know.

I received an email back on the same day (Is that efficiency or are the public servants twiddling their thumbs?), with an attachment.  Yep, you guessed it!  A form!  I have worked with forms for the last 10 years and I’m proud to say, I am Form Master!! (You may call me by this title if it tickles you). This one is a sticky form and yet, I have no fear.

Surprise, surprise; the options in the check boxes do not match up with my request.  So, which box do I tick?  Where is the ‘other’ option?  Is this an evil trick played by our public servants when trying to amuse themselves?  Is sitting in the office making figures out of paper clips no longer fun? Do they get a kick out of this and giggle about it in the lunch room?

Public Servant 1: “Hey dude, guess what I did today?  I emailed a form to a tax payer with no option for her to tick, regarding her enquiry.  Hehe.”

Public Servant 2: “Get outta here!  Did you really?  That is so fricking funny! Good one mate.  Hehe.”  Slaps colleague on the back.

Forms, of course there was a form and no doubt an accompanying fee.  This is what we do as adults. We complete forms and pay fees.  I wasn’t taught this as a child.  Parents can be oh so secretive when it comes to explaining adulthood to their children. “You’ll need money and find a job you’ll enjoy because you will be doing it every day for the rest of your life!”  My parents didn’t warn me about the overabundance of forms. Not unlike a new mother and the milk which….oh, never mind.

The next step in my research is accessing archived newspaper articles. The court case made news in my small town over a number of days.  The Newcastle City Library has the newspapers on microfilm.  I went to the library and searched for 3 hours with no luck.  I don’t remember which month to look in, so I started at the beginning of January 1984.  After 3 hours, I had looked at every daily paper from January to April.  Only 8 months to go. The joy!  Love the street around the corner of the library, full of cafes with delicious foodstuffs.

Christmas has been and gone. I spent a wonderful time with family and friends. It’s 2014 and I welcome the New Year with open arms.

Now…back to my project.  Must try to stop being lazy.

 

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Memoir Madness Post 1

Memoir Madness

And so it begins….. It’s time. I’m not sure why, but it is. I am happy, relaxed, reflective, have time on my hands and more hormonal than I would care to admit. All of the above have influenced this craziness. If you’ve read the ‘About Me’ on this site, you’ll be aware I’ve made the decision to write a memoir concerning specific events from my past. The memoir is the story of a girl who looks at the world through rose colored glasses.

The only difference now being, they are prescription rose colored glasses and this has given me the edge I so badly needed.

So where do I start?  I’ve formulated a plan and it’s not unlike how I eat a lolly. Unwrap the lolly, take a good look, plop it in my mouth, swirl it around, suck up the flavor and finally chew it rapidly hence it disappears so quickly I’m left wondering if I ever had one in the first place. This results in having to put another one in my mouth, and so on and so on.

That’s not my actual plan. It was just good fantasizing about eating a lolly. To start with though, I will unwrap my past. I developed a highly honed skill when I was a young girl, which enabled me to forget (or block, if you want to be fancy) events from my past. So in order to begin I will…..

  • Create a timeline. It’s the only way I can gather my thoughts.
  • Research old legal records and newspaper archives.
  • Fill in the gaps with a close family member who has been my main memory keeper for years.
  • Think about how these stories will be told.
  • Write a draft beginning, middle and end.
  • Not pressure myself too much.
  • Decide on how many lollies I should stock up on.
  • Research which wine to drink with the numerous prawn and mango salads I am going to gift myself.
  • Remember to breathe.

Yes, this is the easy part. It’s going to become harder as I delve into my past.

I will gratefully accept support and I will suck it up like a lolly. Thanks for reading and I’ll keep you posted irregularly. No joke!

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Not Our Home

The house was out of town. Down an overgrown track where thick vines grew from one side to the other. The sun was blocked out. The air is damp, thought Silky. Silky and Tom stood looking around inside their new home.  It was huge and reminded Tom of a small castle. This is no castle from a fairy tale, Tom thought. He shivered as the chilly air inside the house flowed around his body, and he tightly hugged his teddy bear. The walls were nicotine yellow and the heavy window shades were closed. Silky walked towards a single candle burning a yellow glow and spread her hands to catch the warmth. The furniture was old; old and dirty. Silky and Tom stared at each other with sad, tired eyes.

The accident which took Silky and Tom’s parents from them had been 3 weeks prior to the relocation. A strong, gripping shock held onto the children and tore at their hearts. Silky was 14 years old and knew in her almost adult mind, it was up to her to boost her younger brother of 12. It’s too hard, thought Silky. Reaching for each other’s hands for comfort, they both felt the soft tears running down their cheeks. The only living relatives the children had left were Vivienne, their mother’s mother, and Mike, their mother’s brother. Silky and Tom hadn’t met either of these family members.

Mike had left the family home as soon as he was old enough to find a job. He had contacted his sister over the years from one far flung country or another. A wanderer, happy in his own world, were descriptions they had heard their mother whisper time and again. Mike had no children and never married. Silky felt there was more to Mike than her mother let on, but the questions only flitted through Silky’s adolescent thoughts. Mike had not come home for the funeral. He was in India and planned to stay there for an indeterminate time. Mike was a photographer. Silky and Tom had seen the beautiful shots he emailed home from his travels. He had called and spoken to Silky and Tom briefly before they moved. It had been an awkward conversation. He wasn’t happy about the children going to live with Vivienne. Silky picked up on that even though Mike didn’t say it outright. Wonder why, thought Silky?

The children’s mother had rarely spoken about her own parents. All Silky and Tom knew was when the children were young, the father had gone to work one day and never returned home. There had been 3 of them back then. The youngest brother, Harry, had disappeared when he was 5 years old.

Silky knew her mother didn’t like Vivienne. She has an evil way about her; Silky had overheard her mother say once, in a hushed voice. Vivienne scared Silky’s mother. Angie, their mother’s best friend, was appalled to find out the children were going to live with Vivienne. Angie had tried everything she could to stop it from happening. Unfortunately, blood was thick and Angie’s pleas fell on deaf ears with the child welfare department.

Silky had been christened Sarah. Her nickname came along at 2 years old due to her fine, white blonde hair. The name had stuck. Their mother always told them Silky had a way about her; a pure shining light to live by which gave Silky the ability to protect herself and her younger brother. Tom agreed. He had seen the aura within his sister. Numerous times in the school playground when he was being teased or bullied, Silky would appear out of the blue to help. When she walked on scene, the bullies would slowly ease back mumbling among themselves, before gradually slinking away. Tom and Silky had discussed Silky’s way numerous times whilst sitting in the tree house. Tom insisted Silky fill him in with the details when she had one of her funny feelings about something. He wanted to protect his sister just as much as she protected him. After all, he was a man!

Looking at her now, Tom knew Silky was sensing something.

“What is it Silky?” asked Tom. Please tell me, you know you have to or I can’t help.”

Tom watched as his sister’s eyes roamed the sitting room. He held his breath and watched. Silky fixated on a brick alcove at the end of the room. It was grubby, and the space in between the window seats was covered by an ugly grey material that rats may or may not have chewed on.

Silky put her arms out and pushed Tom behind her as she started to walk slowly and cautiously toward the alcove. A door opened. Both children jumped. Neither had heard approaching footsteps. Turning around, they saw a woman enter the room who could have been the wicked witch from the West. Her long fine black hair trailed down one side of her head in a matted braid. Grey tendrils had escaped the braid and were slick with grease. Not a pleasant sight. Dark clothes hung on her thin body as though still on a hanger. The face was grim, and both children picked up a sour odor as she entered the room.  Oh God, she’s an old hag, thought Silky.

“Follow me,” said the old woman.

There was no welcoming smile on the woman’s face, or compassion in her eyes. The children did as they were told. They were too distraught and exhausted to do otherwise. With a backward glance at the window seat, Silky took Tom’s hand and followed Vivienne’s lead. Vivienne led the children up narrow wooden stairs to a bedroom. The room had two single beds. Tom didn’t want to touch the stained bedspreads or lumpy pillows, let alone sleep on them. Yuck!

“You’ll stay here until dinner is served in the kitchen. I’ll ring a bell,” said the children’s grandmother.

“Excuse me, where is the bathroom?” asked Silky. She noticed Tom doing a jiggle.

“It’s at the end of this hall,” said Vivienne. You girl, will look after the boy. While you still can.

“Pardon Grandma,” said Silky.

“My name is Vivienne, girl, and I said, you will look after the boy.”

“But I thought I heard you say something else.”

The old woman gave Silky a look of disgust. The hair on Silky’s arms prickled. With that, Vivienne turned and without her footsteps making a sound, walked back down the stairs.

“She’s horrible. I’m going to the loo,” said Tom.

“O.K, but don’t go wandering off,” said Silky.

“Not on your life! This house gives me the creeps. It’s dark and smelly.”

While Tom was gone, Silky unpacked the suitcases. On opening the small wardrobe between the beds, a photo frame fell off a shelf. Silky quickly caught it mid air and turned it over. The frame showed a photo of three small children. The children weren’t smiling and the dark circles under their eyes were a sign of sleepless nights. What a sad photo, thought Silky. She recognized her mother and two uncles from a similar photo at home. Home….thought Silky, and a tear ran down her cheek.  While looking at the younger of the two boys, Silky felt a jolt of fear wash over her and scream down her spine. She threw the photo frame and it landed on the bed face down.

Tom entered the room and looked at Silky’s face with instant worry.

“What Silky, what is it?” he asked.  What’s wrong? Tell me!”

“Nothing” said Silky.

Neither child was hungry when the dinner bell rang. They went down the dark stairs to the kitchen. Vivienne shoved two plates of food towards them. The grey meat in the stew looked revolting. Yuck, thought Tom.
“Take this to your room to eat and return the plates in the morning. Water is in the tap.”

The children sat in their room and cried. Neither had eaten. “We should drink water,” Silky told Tom.  She passed a glass to him. He took the glass and sat staring at the water, watching as his tears made small splashes.

“Silky?”

“Yep?”

“Can I sleep in your bed, you know, like we did when we were little, with our heads at different ends?”

“Of course you can,” she replied wearily. They both climbed into bed and fell asleep instantly.

Tap, tap, tap.  Tap, tap, tap.

Tom woke up and gazed out the window at the clouds rushing past the moon. A cold draft came through the cracks near the bed. He pulled his blanket up beneath his chin and listened.

Tap, tap, tap. He did hear a noise!

“Silky?” he said, as he nudged his sister’s leg.

“Huh? What?”

Tap, tap, tap.

“Did you hear that?”Tom asked.

“That noise?” said Silky. It’s just the wind.

“Listen properly sis, it’s coming from downstairs.”

Tap, tap, tap.

“It’s a bit freaky don’t you think?” said Tom. I reckon we should go and check it out? It could a zombie trying to get in the front door.

“Really, you watch too much T.V,” said Silky, shaking her head. I sound like Mum, she thought. A tear rolled down her cheek and Silky wiped it away. If it’s bugging you, I suppose we could take a look.

The children climbed out of bed, Tom with the blanket wrapped around him. Silky knew she’d have to get this over with or there would be no more sleep.

“What if the witch hears us?”Tom asked. She’ll put a spell on us and turn us into toads.

“She won’t hear us,” said Silky. She’s got a drinking problem. Probably snoring her head off. Good grief, there was too much alcohol for one person in the sitting room, thought Silky.

Tap, tap, tap.

Following the noise led the children to the sitting room. Silky stopped so abruptly inside the door; Tom ran into her and fell down in a heap of tangled blanket. He watched as Silky walked slowly towards the alcove under the large window at the end of the room.

Tap, tap, tap.

“Stay there Tom. Get up and stand by the door.

“O.K sis. What is it? What’s going on? Is it one of your weird feelings? Uh oh, thought Tom. Now this is really freaky.

Silky shot him a cranky look. She could feel her skin crawling and a cold sweat running down her back. I’m not feeling so good right now, she thought.

“There’s a trap door in the space between the window seats. That’s where the noise is coming from,” Silky whispered. I’m gonna lift it up and check for an animal or something. It’s not an animal.

Tap, tap, tap. 

The noise was getting louder, more urgent. Silky walked up to the trap door and leaned over to pull on a brass handle sticking up from under the dirty material. Silky lifted it an inch. A loud bang was heard as the door flew up and back, landing on the bricks. Silky was thrown backwards. Tom jumped and ran out the door. He peeked back around the corner. He felt his body shaking all over and clutched tightly at the blanket. Silky sat where she fell and tears ran down her face in torrents.

”Stokesay Castle” by J. Alfred Gotch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Both children watched in shock as two tiny hands emerged from the hole. Slowly, a little boy crawled out of the dark space. He doesn’t look so good, thought Tom. His skin was pale and his clothes were in rags. He crawled towards Silky and sat with his hands outstretched. Silky was quietly sobbing.

“Sis? Who is he? Should we like, go?” said Tom. He watched in awe as red tears fell from the boy’s eyes. Tom felt sick. He turned and threw up. Silky looked at the small boy and cringed at the the purple marks around his neck.

“It’s him, Tom. It’s Mum’s little brother. Look at his hair. It’s just like mine, and I’ve seen him before.”

“But, that means he’s a….”

“Yep.”

“COME HERE GIRL!” shrieked Vivienne. Neither of the children had heard Vivienne enter the room through the kitchen door. They both jumped. Tom winced as warmth ran down his legs. Vivienne, holding a rope, ran towards Silky.

“Run Silky, run,” screamed Tom. Silky stood her ground and glared at Vivienne. Tom felt nauseous again. The little dead boy shrank back with his hands covering his face. Tom raced towards Silky. Driving him forward, his adrenaline kicked in, with fear and overwhelming love for his sister. Vivienne turned and swatted him away with the back of her hand.

“MOTHER!” a stranger’s voice yelled. Silky, Tom and Vivienne all spun around and looked at the man in the doorway. A fire sprung up in the disused fireplace giving warmth to the room.

“Help me Silky. We can do this together,” said Mike. Silky grinned.

“You stupid boy, you failed once and you’ll fail again,” said Vivienne. There’s no place in our family for boys and girls with pretty blonde hair and special feelings. I’m the only one who can continue our history. You are all damned.

Silky stood up. Mike and Silky both walked towards Vivienne. She backed away. She knew. Her horrid way was no match against two family members, especially an adult and a nearly adult. The little boy crawled over to Tom and they both cowered under the blanket.

At the realization she was outnumbered, Vivienne’s face changed to one of fright. She tripped and fell backwards into the alcove. Her body going down through the trap door. A scream tore up from below and seemed to go on and on. Then it stopped. Jolted out of his trance, Mike ran over and closed the trapdoor and slid the bolt into place.

“Silky,”said Tom. Sis, look!

Tom and Mike spun around. The little boy was fading. A shimmering, silvery light was emanating from his skin. He put his hands out to all family members, and smiled. The tears running down his cheeks were clear and the marks around his neck were disappearing. Pure love shone from his eyes, and before they knew it, he popped out of existence. Mike looked at Silky and Tom with a weariness they didn’t yet understand.

“I’m so sorry,” said Mike. He held his arms out. Silky and Tom ran into them. The three cried as they embraced.

Thank goodness for long lost Uncles, thought Silky and Tom simultaneously. Glancing at each other, they grinned.

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