Her step mother was evil. She just knew it. The way her eyes narrowed where ever she looked, the way her dark red velvet dress dragged on the ground and the way she would lie about things every day. Annabel had seen what she had done to her favourite cat. She had to be a witch, or maybe she was just insane? Annabel prayed she was only insane.
Annabel’s father was an extremely wealthy man; she had grown up in a huge mansion looking over a massive lake. The lake was where Annabel’s stepmother drowned her cat.
Annabel’s father was never usually home, he went on endless trips and would leave her alone with her awful step mother. Annabel always got this odd feeling that she was always watching her, as if Annabel knew something she shouldn’t.
One day, Annabel was reading a book in the library, when she heard an awful scream. She froze waiting for another sound, but only silence. Annabel rose from her chair and looked out into the hallway. There was nothing there, to the untrained eye, but Annabel could sense it, something was very wrong. She looked to the dark wooden floor and there it was a single drop of blood. Normally a person would not have noticed it, but Annabel was not a normal child.
Annabel crept down the hallway, she had gotten half way down the hall when she heard a groaning. She looked to where it was coming from which was behind a large wooden door that led to her father’s study. She reached out her hand and began to push it open.
There on the floor was the dead body of her maid, and crouching over her was her step mother. Annabel froze in shock. Her step mother not noticing her sat up, Annabel could now see the knife lying beside her and the cut across the neck of the maid. Her stepmother then picked up a cup and held it to the maids neck. Annabel watched as it slid into down slowly into it. She said some strange words that Annabel couldn’t understand and then she drank it. When she had finished, she glanced to the right and saw Annabel. Annabel’s eyes widened as she saw her step mother’s wrinkles even out and the grey in her hair disappeared. She didn’t say a word, an evil smile stretched across her blood stained lips. Annabel had not noticed that the step mother had picked up the knife and was hiding it behind her back. Then she attacked….
A raven squawking brings me out of the memory I have half created. I look at it perched on the monstrous oak tree; it looks at me unblinking, like it knows me. A cold chill goes down my spine and I shiver. I look back to the grave and can’t breathe again. My head feels heavy and my throat tightens as I try holding back my tears. My vision blurs. I look up to the dark gray sky and squeeze my eyes firmly shut.
I don’t understand, why her? Why not me? Then it’s back. The memory begins to unfold once more.
I push the steering wheel sharply to the left, my jaw clenched. I feel my body being thrown to the side, my shoulder slams into the door but I hold on through the pain. There are screams. Then I hear the sound of screeching metal and then darkness.
I smell petrol, smoke and blood. I open my eyes; my head is on the steering wheel. A warm, sticky liquid runs down my nose and as it reaches my mouth I taste iron. I try to move my left arm, but I can’t. I panic as I continually try to move it but it won’t budge. My right arm however, I use to wipe the blood from my damp face.
As I do so I look to my right. I want to scream but no sound comes out. My little sister is looking at me, terrified. She gives a deep rattling breath. She moves her lips a little but she can’t seem to form any words. Oh god! I think to myself, as I see the blood forming around the tree branch that’s pieced in her chest. I squeeze my lips together and take a breath as I use my good arm to take her hand which is firmly by her side. It’s going to be fine I tell her, she only blinks in response.
I look frantically around but there isn’t anyone around not even the little girl. I try to move, try to free myself but there is no way, my arm is firmly stuck. I look back at my sweet, little, innocent sister and let the realisation that she will probably die here sink in. I can’t cry or break down I think to myself as I take her hand back in mine and just talk to her. She listens and tears fall down her cheeks as I tell her stories of our childhood. I know that these funny stories don’t dull the pain but I hope and pray that it’s enough to keep her strong.
Her breathing starts to get shallower and shallower by the minute and her skin is beginning to drain of colour as the blood on her chest spreads and spreads. I love you I say when I know that the time has come to say goodbye. Her mouth twitches, her eyes flicker and she lets out her final breath like a sigh and she’s gone.
It’s like a nightmare. I remember this path, the site, the smell. Even though I’ve only physically been here once in my life, I’ve been here hundreds of times in my dreams. As I get closer the old oak tree comes into view, the one that’s stands beside her grave. I stared at for what seemed like hours the day of her funeral. It looks exactly the same. The branches are thick and twist in and out of each other. I still remember following the lines on the branch of the tree that hovered above my head. There are no leaves on it; just old decaying moss. It leers over me and casts shadows all around me. Dead leaves litter the ground underneath it; they crunch under my feet as I get closer and closer to her.
My chest starts to feel tight and my heart is fluttering, I take a deep breath but it doesn’t relax me. I stop a few paces in front of it; I can barely make out her name on the grave. Out of everything in this god forsaken place it’s the only thing that’s changed. The flowers that were once bright and vibrant are gone and in its place, long, sharp weeds. I would have guessed, if I hadn’t known myself that no one had visited for years. The marble isn’t white anymore; the moss has changed it to a yellowy, green colour. The rain has weathered away the words but they’re etched in my mind.
Loving daughter and sister’
And just like that, it’s back again, that horrible moment of impact.
The music is always the first thing I’m aware of, my sister’s favourite song at the time. She is singing along laughing as I turn to look at her just for second. I give an over exaggerated groan in pretend disgust. I turn to look at the cracked road, my hand tight on the steering wheel. I sigh as I start to think about the large amount of work I have to do this weekend. I can feel the strain in my forehead as I frown. She asks me what’s wrong and I tell her it doesn’t matter. She is quiet after that.
Suddenly there she is, the little girl. I’m never sure if I actually saw this or if my mind made it up. She is standing on the side of the road. Her blonde hair is being tossed behind her by the wind. Her dark blue winter coat and her blood red tights are the only vivid colours that I see. The background behind is just black and gray. Then she darts out in the road. All I see is a blur as we get closer and closer to one another. I feel my heart freeze in my chest as slam the brake on. I see her eyes, those bright blue eyes widen in fear for just a second.
After class I realised I was bursting for a pee so I headed down the dark corridors to the toilets. I had used this bathroom many times before but this time when I pushed open the swinging door the room felt different. My senses seemed heightened, the hairs on my hairs were sticking up and I could hear every sound. The familiarity of the room was gone, I felt like I was now in a strange place which didn’t feel safe anymore. As I walked past the cracked mirrors that hung above the dripping taps, I looked at my reflection in one of them and but it was split in half. The mirror was now cracked right down the middle; the crack was so perfectly straight that it could have been cut. I studied it for a moment realising it hadn’t been like that before. My eyebrows wrinkled up in confusion, my eyes squinting as I thought of what could have done such a thing. Suddenly feeling the urge to pee again, I headed to the stall that was at the end of the sinks and closed the rusty door, it clattered with a bang. I pushed the lock as hard as I could because I knew from experience that the locks were stiff as hell and no way did I want someone bursting in on me mid pee. I had just sat down on the loo when I heard a movement getting closer and closer. I froze, holding my breath in as the sound of shuffling reached the front of the stall, there was a large shadow underneath. Suddenly the door ripped off and I stared into the eyes of a huge stranger, he or she had the angriest eyes I had ever seen. Suddenly instead of feeling scared like a normal person, I felt this surge of anger run through me like fire. Suddenly the fire I felt inside seemed to leap from my body and fall upon this angry person. The angry eyes turned to frightened eyes within seconds and they stumbled backwards screaming. I pulled up my clothes and raced from the room still needing to pee desperately.