I awoke this morning with a start. There had been disturbances last night, and I had heard Rose talking to someone last night. Although through the wall it was but whispers, but I heard some things, such as her smirking at something, and also her crying. Thinking back, I wish now I had been there for her... because despite all of her slut-like behaviour and strange actions, I find myself in a position where I want to be close to her. To be there for her when she is down or in distress. To be her... her... her friend. Perhaps more...
Anyhow, I had awoken this morning with a start. I was dirty, unusually dirty for one my age. I will be sixteen in but a week, give or take a day or two. But I was filthy, brown with soil and muck in blotches all over my body. I took a shower, hearing mum and Rose awakening early and beginning to dress and going down the stairs. Washing the dirt off my body, face and cleaning out my fingernails (An especially dirt filled place). I went and got dressed in my uniform quickly before entering my own room. She-Rose- had sprayed her perfume on the bedclothes and furniture, presenting her dark incensed fumes throughout my room, and this-My journal- was closed shut. She had been looking through it and on the previous page to this, She had laid a kiss mark on it, right next to my entry about our kissing incident. Clearly she had approved of my actions. Plus, she had also left a page on my desk, a diary entry in fact. As I read it earlier, I noted that it was almost like a response to what I myself had written. In her little extract she highlighted her interpretation of the day, with our little ‘intimate experience’ as she so kindly put it. She also displayed worry, as she spoke of my neck and her bites. Upon finishing reading it, I entered the bathroom to inspect the damage.
My own reaction to the gummage inflicted upon my throat was not positive, in fact far from it. The bruise like damage was not small, to say the least, but it appeared to be pasted on most areas of my neck. She is a nice girl, no doubt about it, but she truthfully needs to get a grip and figure out that behaving like a whore is not a good look. I am however glad to know that breath mints really do work their magic. Next time I will be much more careful.
I set the pen down for a moment, then grab my diary and turn back to the page with the kiss mark and I go down the stairs. Two women were laughing in that hushed way women do, obviously gossiping about someone who was absent from their gaze. My problem, is whenever two women or girls talk, it is far too fast for me to understand so I have to take a minute to slow it all down to a comprehensive speed.
I at last enter the room, and their conversation slows down a little. They begin talking about me, as though I myself am absent, despite the fact I am watching them keenly from the sink. Not surprisingly, they bring up the incident yesterday.
“I swear Catherine, his body feels so good, it’s just so built up. I mean his arms feel so muscular and generally I felt safe with him.”
“His dad was like that, with the arms around your waist like that, and the way his fingers touch the spine...”
“Exactly!” Rose replied with increased anxiety and confidence. I was not amused.
“So you gave birth to me then? I was always under the impression that I was ADOPTED!” I say, smirking. Mum whips around, scathingly glaring at me.
“Yeah, but I still know your techniques with women.”
“She is my first, and more to the point, how the hell do you know these things?”
“That is for me to know and you to find out William,” she says, appearing to grow impatient, Rose has been smirking for some time now, “And since you two are such good friends, I will leave in peace ‘till I get a shower.”
She gets up, moves over to the sink, dumps the coffee she has been sipping into the sink and moves out of the room. Rose and I take seats, this time ones opposite each other. Not beside each other, as I have no intention to enter the same incident less than a day later. She has next to no clothing on her, and is wearing a red, silky dressing gown. She wears no shoes, thanks to the heating.
I set my cereal and tea on the table and sit to converse.
“I’ve a madwoman for a mother.”
“Play nice William, she’s not mad. Not by my standards at least.”
“Still, do you reckon she did that deliberately? Leaving us alone like that?”
“Yeah, I had asked her to shortly before you came down.” She says, flashing her lashes at me. I cock my right eyebrow.
“Thanks for reminding me, care to explain this?” I ask scathingly, showing my neck to her so she could see the mass of bruise-like marks.
“Ah, yeah, sorry about that William,” she said, looking slightly downtrodden facially, “I did not think it was so bad at the time. Sorry...”
My stomach wells up with guilt, but I still need explanations.
“And what about this?”
I show her the kiss mark on my journal.
“Well, what is so bad about that?” she asks, “I mean it’s not like its obscuring anything.”
“I’m only curious as to why, and I thought you women had manners, for someone who speaks so freely about men having small brain capacities to one’s face- Yes, I noticed- you have a bit of nerve to go and loot through someone’s private possessions without permission.” I pushed.
She seems almost paralysed at this.
“Don’t be thinking I am deliberately patronising you, I just want a few answers.”
Her jaw drops slightly, no doubt considering her next few words carefully. The guilt becomes unbearable so I continue in a caring tone.
“Sorry, I should be less patronising. Forget I said anything.”
“No. I’m sorry; I should not behave this way. I’ll try to change but it will take some time.”
Her words seem oddly familiar, as though I have heard them before. I swipe the thought aside.
“So how are you managing as ‘the new girl?’, I would have expected you to ditch during the first few days.”
“Strangely I like the school. The teachers are nice provided you don’t get on their bad sides and do the work, as I am sure you know too well William.”
“Yeah and I get that gut wrench when a friend is getting spat at.”
She laughs briefly. I notice it is a nice laugh, not maniacal like a few of the girls, or annoyingly nasal, but just…--Nice really. Caring, soft, a pleasure to hear. It is oddly fitting, and at times like this I find her a little too perfect. Too good to be true as some may say.
A thought occurs to me.
“Rose, pardon me for asking but what age are you again?”
“Sixteen in two weeks. You?”
“Sixteen in about one.”
“Damn. Looks like the hotel will have to wait.” She says looking down, but not in despair.
She bolts upright.
“When is your birthday?” she asks with newfound energy.
“Today; next week. Why do you ask?”
She crosses her legs the way most women do.
“Well, I was just thinking, but if you were planning on going somewhere…” she pauses, to think her words through.
“Go on…” I reply.
“Well… If-If you don’t mind that is, perhaps we could… go somewhere together.”
I was shocked at this. I had never really been asked out by a girl, let alone gone out at all.
“Only if you want to though, I mean if you don’t then-”
“I would like that.” I reply, cutting her off slightly.
“Wow. R-really?” she says, sounding a little shocked herself, “Er-I-I mean, Yeah. Yeah that would be cool.”
She sounds oddly uncertain about herself. I don’t like it. Its as though she was not really expecting me to say yes. It seems almost like a prank.
“Are you okay William?”
“You were staring at me weirdly. You’re not-”
“Good god no. I mean, I just sort of- y’know- Phased out.”
“You were staring at my chest William.”
“WHAT?” Had I actually been daydreaming and looking at her chest? She finds this somewhat humorous and undoes her dressing gown, exposing her full body in my view.
“Want some?” she asks.
“No thanks Rose. As uh-‘Tempting’ as it is I have a fair amount of homework to catch up on and not much time to do it so…”
She poses next to the chair to my right and pulls back the gown, licking her right index finger and slowly brings it down her neck, chest, cleavage, followed by her exposed abdomen and begins to move her finger into her lower underwear suggestively.
“Okay Quit it.”
She moves her right hand into the underwear and begins undoing her chest wear. That drew the line.
“Rose, STOP!” I almost yell, losing patience with her games.
She bursts out laughing at my foolishness. She would never have actually stripped in broad daylight in full view of those across the street. I feel embarrassed.
She calms down and punches my arm.
“Come on will, I was only winding you up.”
I am still a bit flared up but I calm down shortly and look at the time.
“Quarter to eight, we better get ready.” We go upstairs to change.
Mum offers us a lift down to school. She had not forgotten about the little incident earlier and begins making a large yet embarrassing conversation all directed at me. She even resorted to calling me a night stalker. Not necessarily a mythical creature on that note. I say nothing, lest I dig myself a hole. Rose is unusually quiet, and she appears lost, deep in thought. This is noticed by mum.
“What’s the matter Rosie?” she says, intruding as usual.
Rose almost bolts upright as though she suddenly noticed her lack of thought.
“Oh, sorry I think I forgot to do my geography homework.” She says uncertainly.
“Don’t worry, Mr Leneghan’s a legend. He won’t take it the wrong way.” I say to her comfortingly.
“Plus all new bees get a first offence.” Dermot replies. He actually seems polite.
“Thanks guys.” Rose says quietly. I gaze at her for a moment.
“What’s the matter William? No words for your woman?” mum asks in that annoying smart-aleck tone.
I’m surprised I did not blow a fuse there.
I turn to face the window as something slaps me. Rose had said she forgot to do her geography homework but she doesn’t do geography for GCSE. She does history. Why would she lie? Why would she need an alibi for something so small and insignificant?
Now I feel as though there is someone intruding into my mind, because I could swear I feel a voice saying “Yes, but they don’t know that now, do they?”
It seems like more of a statement than a question but I feel as though the voice was Rose. However, it was cold and slithery, more serpentine than anything.
Nonetheless, I shiver at its ring.
Mum drops us off and we walk towards the school. Rose and I walk slower as we hold hands. I take her to the side of the school by surprise and into the shade where I kiss her.
She makes her suggestive groans again.
“Mmm, William, Aw William, not in public.”
I pull out because I need answers. I wait a moment to catch some breath before I speak.
“Sorry Rose but I had to ask you, why did you lie to mum and Dermot about geography.”
A look of realisation creeps across her face. She sees now I used the kiss as a distraction.
“Sorry William. You’re great an’ all but I don’t quite feel comfortable enough with you to open up that much.”
She gives me a kiss on the lips and walks off. I find her little excuse hard to believe. If she is comfortable enough to strip and almost-do it-with me, why is it so hard to tell me the truth about something?
My thoughts course through me the whole day at school, constantly pounding against my head like a beast in a cage. I end up going to the chaplaincy to clear my now throbbing head. I am not however the only person present.
Earlier I said that Veronica Midnight was a scary loner, there are multiple reasons for this, one is that she has a strange tendency, or rather-ability- to predict things before they happen. Why I noted her as a friend-simple- I have know her for as long as I can remember. She is a bit of an outsider to our little group of friends, that is- she is rarely seen in the mall at break or lunch. This is because she spends most of her time at the school chaplaincy and as I later learned, she leads a very strict Christian lifestyle. Quite a lot of the time she is remarkably Philosophical, and she speaks in riddles frequently, which makes it hard to converse with her. Then there is the scary part. Despite her religious lifestyle, she claims to have seen visions of the apocalypse and other such things. Her general appearance is strange too. She has flame/crimson hair, which is never tidy and rarely brushed, she is short, average body, and most strangely; she has marble grey eyes. That seems fine, as plenty of people have such eyes, but she is different. She never closes them, the left one is normally bloodshot, and neither of them have pupils.
I enter the triangular shaped chaplaincy. A wave of warmth washes over me, and the frankincense’ scent assails my nostrils. My head ache disappeared. Veronica is in one of the rows. Today in class, she was very unusual, shivering madly and shuddering uncontrollably. Yet here she is, her shivers warmed and her shudders stilled. At times like this I swear there is something special about this small hall of worship.
I cross myself with the holy water and take a seat beside her.
“Hello Veronica, what about you?” I ask her friendly.
She does not respond immediately, unlike everyone else.
“William.” She states in a whisper, in her cold echoing voice. She did not even turn to face me.
I sit still, my fingers interlinked. I say a quiet prayer to my angel guardian within myself. I too am a very religious person.
“Do you ever wonder, William?” she asks me, her eyes fixed on the crucifix, “Why those who pray to their guardians, always seem to be untouched by the dangers of life. When Dermot crosses the road, you hold him back from an oncoming car? When a car crashes, those who pray are usually untouched, and when they are touched, or hospitalised, they always pull through? When Rose attempts to kiss you, you pull away as though aware of some unknown danger?”
I remain still, because I know she will answer momentarily.
“It is as though something, or someone, always intervenes to prevent injury, or casualty. You know this, as something within you simply wills you forward to grab Dermot. It is as though something wills these actions by passing through us like the wind through cloth.”
Her riddle to an extent makes sense, but I dare not speak. The same spirit seems to tell me not to talk.
I try to leave but she grabs me. Something has changed in the room. I look around the chaplaincy, the room appears darker, more sinister. Veronica begins shuddering again, and shivering. The ground appears to melt itself into a black mass. The candles blow out by no apparent wind. The crucifix turns itself upside down, and the Paschal candle blows out, which means that God is no longer present. The world blushes a red tint to my eyes, the walls melt downwards, extinguishing the light from the windows. Then I hear it, the screams. Screams of those burning, their shrieks of agony in the depths, their continuous wails like the echo of a funeral bell. Hands reach up from the ground, the souls of the damned. They writhe and swipe each other, seeking nourishment from their eternal punishment in this fiery muck beneath me. I look to veronica, she is smiling wickedly, as though all her teeth had been sharpened like a knife, and her eyes, those cold emotionless eyes, now blaze with a black inferno. Then she speaks with a voice that is not her own; Or voices- hundreds of them all saying the same words like a legion of possessed soldiers.
“The sun is blotted, the greenery burned, the sea deserted, Life has departed…”
The holy objects now bleed, the red liquid drips from the misshapen face of the lord, and his hands, and his feet. The chalice fills with it, and the golden sculpture melts away to a boned hand holding a baby’s empty shell of a skull, with the blood oozing out of it.
“The light torn asunder by a violet whip, the shadows blurred by a crimson flare…
The heavens are breaking, the underworld is rising. He who commands the darkness is awakening. He who will bring Armageddon is arising… He who breaks the midnight silence with howling is coming.”
I tear free of her grip and try to run, but my legs fail to obey. They wobble, cripple, they are torn at by the souls beneath me. One stares me dead in the eye, with its faceless, flesh torn face and speaks with a woman’s voice.
“Let the moonlight be your guide, the beast awaits outside.”
I have to get out. I am terrified.
The souls still swipe at my clothes, even as I run out, they writhe about like misshapen, deformed beings. I dare not dip my hand in the water, as it is replaced by a dark red fluid which I have no intention of exploring.
I bolt out the door, and dart to the stairs, I have to get out. But my legs are still gelatinous, I fall and the dark netherworld creeps towards me, and a dark figure emerges. A huge figure, with two large pointed ears, hands with fingers much larger than any I think possible, and they are pointed. It stands on two legs, both of which are abnormally large. It is covered in hair, as I can tell from its silhouette, and it has a tail, swishing loosely from side to side in no particular fashion. It comes towards me, slowly, the way a predator would to its unsuspecting prey. I attempt to shuffle away, but I feel as though my legs have broken, and are fixed in place.
It draws ever closer. It bends down so I am staring into its face, its mouth opens, revealing rows of ivory white teeth, its breath hot and acrid upon my nostrils. At last I look to its eyes, they are closed. It draws them open, and I yelp. Its eyes are a dark, luminous red like the fires from the deformed chaplaincy.
My eyes are wide with horror as I realise a truth.
The creature bounds forward, scarring my left hand with five gashes, each far too close to my tendons, and I scream in pain.
I can hear footsteps, quickly pacing up the stairs. They do not reach me, as the world melts away; my senses flicker for but a moment. I try to keep my eyes open, but the void’s dark maw swallows me whole.If anyone enjoys what i have written, i would very much appreciate any comments or constructive criticism you may have to offer. thanks very much.