The Darkness ~ The End For Now!
(Due to there being a longer gap between the last episode and this one because of the holidays, I have decided to put the whole story of ‘The Darkness’ below in this post. Each section is clearly defined with my final piece for now at the bottom, I hope you enjoy and would really love your feedback at the end.)
The Darkness #1
The heavily varnished purple door of the Victorian building started to swing towards the glinting sunlight. Chubby fingers with scraps of pink glittery varnish wrapped around the centralized brass acorn shaped door furnishing giving it a hefty tug.
Sophie’s face scrunched up with the effort of it all as a click was heard. The heavy wooden exit partially closed, separating her from Edward being nursed as usual in her mothers arms, she had achieved her goal.
Mossy green eyes glanced towards the early Sunday’s rays as irises constricted, blinking pale red lashes whilst the eight year old’s body descended the stairs, making headway towards the pavement.
It was one of those mornings, having a slight cool breeze in the air. Yet the sunshine was dazzling against the night’s rain that had splashed upon the mish mash of broken and new paving stones.
One after the other her patent red shoes came in to view, stamping upon each Autumnal leaf that dressed the ground. She twisted with vigour before moving to the next, as if squishing out frustrations or anger. ‘Why did things have to change?’ crept through her thoughts.
Sophie was fed up of life at home, ‘There must be more to existing’, questioned her young mind as fingertips’ scrunched against the white cotton dress chosen by her mother for Church.
She felt like a meringue, cheeks were still red from the morning’s hissy fit at not being allowed to wear her red trousers. The youngster moved down the empty pavement, no one to be seen even as the smell of freshly baked croissants from the bakery down the road filtered in to her nostrils
Sophie’s tummy grumbled as a wisp of air made her light fringe tickle against furrowed forehead, one hand lifting to rub the itch as it then grasped the pink band out of her braid. “From now on I do my own hair” she announced forcefully to an empty audience as the pink elastic circle dropped limply to the ground.
Small shoulders’ rounded fleetingly against the sudden onset of a chill as her feet came to a standstill, a dark shadow akin to a thunder cloud taking the sparkle out of the rain splatters upon the pavement.
Instead a shadowy form appeared, moving slowly over and infront of her vision, a large circle with a thin attachment from which seemed to spread wings, wings that spanned from one side of the road to the other, wings that became real as they cloaked the young girl until she was gone….
The Darkness #2
The morning sun bounced against the double layered cotton curtains, decorated with butterflies that adorned the eight year old’s bedroom.
All was silent in the room until light footsteps almost unheard stopped between window and bed. Fingers’ gripped the material’s hem, eagerly snatching them open as the sun sang in joy, streaming heartily to stroke upon every surface it could find, including Sophie.
Disgruntled noises could be heard from the young girl’s bed as a shape formed akin to a mole going underground. Duvet lifted, covering now scrunched up face which contorted as if in pain.
“Wake up sleepy head, time to get up!” came her mothers’ cheery voice. The response was a languid guttural moan, one easily mistaken for a wounded animal had she not known a child was buried somewhere within.
Sophie curled like a wilting flower, head buried upon her knees enjoying the darkness within her makeshift cavern. Yet she wasn’t enjoying the seemingly sun lured pain, palms clamped around pulsing temples as if holding fragile plates of her skull together.
One thumb moved to touch where people said one’s third eye was, faltering whilst nearing, could something be there?
An iron pole was surely pressing here, trying to enter her skull, the intense torment dissipating as quickly as it came as daylight once again assaulted her senses mixed with a lingering headache.
“OWWWW, Ow ow, no mummy please, my head hurts,” came Sophie’s voice in agitation as sweaty hands snatched upwards grappling in attempt to pull back down the lifted bedlinen.
“Get up sleepy head, you have slept for ages, maybe you didn’t drink enough water yesterday” she chimed, whilst tossing the bed covers to the floor. Her mother’s sweet scent of jasmine filtered through young freckled nostrils, soothing the young girls’ senses momentarily. Both mother and daughter reached to enjoy a morning embrace, the floral scents swiftly being replaced by the insulting smell of stale baby milk.
Sophie’s head wriggled in revulsion, moving her chin upon the soft fabric of her mothers’ shoulder to pull back a touch. Eyes’ unseen yet as dark as black shiny marbles checked for where the offending spillage might be. Confusion entwined through the young girl’s senses like a festering disease as red locks floated downwards within view, presenting her cheek to rest cosseted upon her mother’s lap as a serpent shiver moved up her spine.
“Maybe you are under the weather a little, go and have a shower, I will toast some crumpets for you.” Palms’ cupped the pale cheeks of her daughter “You do look pale sweetheart” the words lovingly muffled by a swift kiss to the forehead.
Sophie rose robotically, her whole body feeling stiff, alien to her as sole’s slid heavily upon the wooden floorboard. She approached the bathroom, head down, spotting her mother’s toes as they dashed out of the bathroom. The soft thud of their descent down the stairs was droned out by the pounding of water, like the Niagara falls, abusing Sophie’s earlobes as shoulders’ drew together in a wince.
There was a furrow as deep as a ditch developing between the young redhead’s mossy eyes upon which bunched knuckles rubbed feverishly. The water struck upon presented body, rhythmically, hypnotising the girl in to position.
Questions ran through dazed mind as the events of the day prior came to the forefront. Arms now hung lifelessly by her side, her thoughts’ pensive, deep in turmoil ‘Did I dream this, what happened?’ went over an over like a stuck record grating at her nerves yet with no answer.
The kitchen lay directly beneath the bathroom, the aroma of crumpets would have been smelt had Sophie been in this world, but she wasn’t she was somewhere else, in a place where time seemed to stand still.
A thudding came up the stairs followed by a slightly irritated yet concerned voice. “Sophie what are you doing, you’ve been in there twenty minutes running the water, remember we are on a water meter now, get out please!”
The footsteps became louder and closer, then stopped to a standstill. “Ohhh Sophie what ARE YOU DOING?” Annoyance now penetrated each syllable, “Your still in your pyjamas, soaking wet, you’ve not even washed.”
A lengthy sigh escaped as the door swung open, Sophie’s head snatched up in shock. “Wha, what, what, oh mummy, what?” The girl’s sodden girls arm already being guided out of the shower, young throat started to constrict, knot forming, a burning upon her eyelids, threatening tears of confusion.
“I WON’T, I won’t” came an outburst from her pale bloodless looking lips. ‘I wont cry’ she thought fighting the urge.
“You won’t WHAT young girl? Don’t start being defiant” came her mother’s retort from misunderstood statement. Maternal demeanour changed as a warmed towel from the rail was brought upon russet locks, drying rather roughly in speed and agitation. “OWw mummy it’s hot, it hurts” Sophie exclaimed in vain.
“Don’t be silly you have this all the time Sophie, now we need to get on with the day”.
Cold wet pyjamas stuck like a second skin were stripped from her body “silly girl” came a mumble, followed by a quick rub down as yet another frock was thrown over her head.
“Come on downstairs now Sophie.” came fading instructions, her mother’s footsteps already having left, departing towards the kitchen, Sophie in tow. Nobody had looked in the mirror, no need to, nobody noticed the words, words perhaps written by a young girl, perhaps not and a face or was it, appearing from under the condensation.
Sophie’s senses seemed to clear a little, the smell of crumpets tickling her nostrils. Lips’ twitched in an attempt to smile at the gurgling Edward whilst passing him playing upon his colourful play mat.
Hitching herself on to the chair, bony elbows’ rested upon the breakfast table. A plate of crumpets with melted butter and jam invited her to eat as they slid upon a plate in to view.
Butter dripped over the glittery ragged polish as Sophie dived in to the softness of her breakfast, enjoying just for a moment a fraction of what seemed happiness in days. The confusing events or dreams being forgotten momentarily as is so easily done from the young child’s mind.
The serenity was shattered like glass in to a million pieces as Edward shrieked, a blood curdling sound, arms and legs flailing all over the place, knocking the hanging toys from side to side.
“Ohh Edward my poor love what’s the matter?” came her mother’s response, as if, he would answer.
Sophie looked absently towards the window, hoping to drown out the offensive sound and sight of her brother.
The light streaming through the aperture suddenly disappeared as a black figure outside shot past. The girl’s pupils’ darkening once again to those shiny black marbles, as dark as the darkest night, all unseen by busy mother and baby.
The knife however, was not unseen as it sat ready for the day upon the counter, Sophie’s headache starting upon her once again…..
The Darkness #3
Confusion spun through the room like a necrosis, actions and sounds mixing in the cyclone of events about to happen.
“Put that down” came distant words “Put that down Sophie” came louder command; “SOPHIE NOW” came a shout.
The headache moved with shrill force between the frontal lobes of the girls mind as if moving the plates apart. Pale feet twisted in slow motion as did her hands, towards the sound as clawed fingers looking riddled with rigor mortis gripped upon the knife’s handle. The motion slowed just a touch, the feeling echoing through Sophie’s arm as if something soft had been met.
“SOPHIEEEE GODAMN IT” came a scream of shock and fear that awakened the youngster from whatever spell was upon her. Green eyes drew down the knife’s length, still within grip, the tip now painted red, her vision lifting as a sickening twist contorted recently fed stomach.
Chubby toes came in to view “Noooo please no” she whispered as the sound of offensive weapon jangled a ting ting bounding upon the floor. Tip and handle alternated the sounds of guilt that swiftly made the young girl crumple to the floor.
Her chest tightened, sobs tried to escape, coming out in short sharp bursts. The words “Edward, I didn’t mean to, mummy, s s s sorry, sorry, I am so sorrrrry” followed as hands lifted to wretchedly pull at russet locks. Tears flooded down red cheeks that looked like a red delicious against such a stark pale pallor.
She didn’t feel the sweaty hand placed upon her head “It’s just a nick Sophie, you didn’t hurt Edward, it was me, my arm, it’s alright, it’s alright, calm, please, let’s sort this mess out. I really don’t know what has gotten in to you today, today’s a complete mess, come help me please” Her mother’s words came out in cajoling tone, trying to instil some sense of calm in to her daughters’ understandably distraught response.
Blood shot eyes with a return of mossy veneer looked up, to see the small slit upon her mother’s arm. Pale lips opened, the sickened gut returned at seeing her mother’s injury be it slight. “Go and get me a plaster please Sophie, no one has died, but you do know not to touch knives don’t you?”
Sophie nodded, her wobbly legs moving towards the drawer, pale fingers with now blue tinged tips opened the drawer. “I don’t know what happened mummy, I don’t remember, I don’t” her lip trembled as tears threatened to burn down swollen cheeks once more.
The plaster was retrieved and placed upon her mother’s cut, daughters face expertly wiped, diaper bag packed and festive bottle of ginger wine ready in Sophie’s mother’s hand. Edward had been placed in the baby carrier and now slumped upon mother’s chest, card was placed within Sophie’s grasp as they readied to head out, having been invited to lunch next door.
The neighbour’s door flung open, the family was greeted by a wide smile, the plumage of over dyed hair upon Valerie’s head coming in to view fast and furious as did the smell of febreeze which accosted Sophie’s nostrils.
“Lovely to see you folks, come in, come in, don’t stand out in the cold, you look freezing Sophie” came the neighbour’s overly polished voice. The false pearls dressing ample cleavage shone against the shards of light from the gauche chandelier that adorned the hallway as she ushered them in.
“Oh so lovely to see you Valerie, thank you for inviting us over for a pre-Christmas lunch, so kind of you, where is Emelie?”
A quick peck upon each women’s cheek was answered with “She’s just coming down, she was just erm wrapping something up!” with which blonde halo turned and shrieked up the stairs. “EMILIE OUR GUESTS ARE HERE, COME DOWNSTAIRS PLEASE” swivelling swiftly back upon clattering heels, dressing her face once again with a plastic smile.
Sophie found herself sneering inside, the negative emotion washing away all the turmoil from earlier. Young eyes scrutinised the neighbour with suspicious appraisal, having her suspicions, one including the sincerity of friendship towards her mother.
Lunch was served, a feast spread upon white linen of Marks and Spencer’s culinary delights. Visitors tucked in and banter ensued like the events of the past seventy two hours had not existed.
Michael Buble tinkled his dulcet tones in the background as Valerie said “How are you getting on Emma, you seem to be on your own a lot these days?” Sophie muted her conversation with the quiet Emelie, turning her gaze upon the hostess with a squint of cynicism and growing hatred, a thud thud starting to makes its presence known upon her temporal lobes.
“Oh he has to work away so much these days Valerie, such a shame with poor Edward being so young, but hopefully he will be back for Christmas”. Valerie responded “yes it must be so hard for you, you are so brave I don’t know how you cope with two young children and no man about the house. I am so grateful to have Henry around to cope with Emilie.” Her lips parted to reveal bleached teeth as the thud thud upon the young child started to compound. “Oh Emilie, be a good girl and give Sophie her present will you dear” came the hostess’s voice with an air of disdain.
“Yes mummy” came Emilie’s simple reply, reaching to retrieve said item from across the next chair, lifting a perfectly wrapped box, covered in white shiny paper decorated with glittery silver angels, placing it within her friend’s grasp.
Sophie smiled “May I open it mummy?” Her glance was hopeful, ignoring the thud thud like a slow army of horses approaching. “Yes of course, go on, just this once” came reply. “We don’t normally open presents this early” she said by way of explanation to the hostess. Sophie glanced towards Edward sleeping peacefully, then to Valerie, no emotions upon pale features as each piece of sellotape was prized away, finally lifting the wrapper to divulging prized possession.
The redhead’s hand reached inside, lifting up the gift as it was revealed like a blossoming flower emerging from the turrets of glittery tissue. It was a beautiful angel, the finest of any she had ever seen, its plumage white, real feathers, the face pure as if just sent from Heaven.
Thud thud THUD went her headache, grateful lips attempted to curl as a thousand metal hooves trampled upon each and every nerve fibre within her arm, sending an inferno of pain from fingertips to shoulder. The angel fell from grace, leaving blue tinged bloodless nails which grappled in vain to stop its plummet from the Heavens.
Swoosh went the red wine, thrust without intention towards Valerie, splashing with vigour over her starched white Ralph Lauren shirt. “Ohhh oh no” exclaimed Valerie reeling back from the table. Sophie’s mother retrieved the gift before it met a sorry fate upon the table, “I am SO sorry Valerie, so sorry, let me get a cloth, this is beautiful, such a lovely gift, apologies Sophie has been a bit distracted as of late, please let me take that to the cleaners later”
Her mother swivelled turning towards her daughter “Sophie to the bathroom, get some tissue, pronto, quick”, daughter rose without a second to spare ignoring Valerie’s echoes of “No need, really no need.”
Swish swish went Sophie’s dress, rushing in to the bathroom escaping from what she did not know. Emblazoned cheeks rested upon the cool white wall, the thud thud started to diminish as her hand went to press up the middle of her forehead, meeting a dip, a soft dip as one single black downy feather fell before her vision to the ground…..
The Darkness #4
Crouching with movements akin to an elderly person, chubby fingertips grasped the black feather, noting a tiny speck of blood on the tip, a frown of curiosity grew between darkening eyes. The purpose for why she was in the bathroom was totally forgotten as the youngster made way up the stairs, dark eyes scouring for Emelie’s bedroom door.
Idly she found her fingers sweeping the feather across her cheeks enjoying the sensation as black marbles for eyes searched for a mirror, but found none, saying in snipped tone “I guess Emelie doesn’t care how she looks”, the rather unpleasant words meeting the ears of a quiet girl stood behind.
Sophie sensed a presence and swirled “oh Emelie I didn’t know you were there” the hot red cheeks of what must have been upset making its presence known upon the girl’s face. Thud, thud, thud came the hooves, the feather now tucked within russet locks , the visitor mumbled “urgh my head hurts, everything hurts Emelie, my body feels odd, everything does, I need a mirror, do you have one?”
Rubbing a sweaty palm against creviced forehead she awaited an answer, moving from foot to foot in agitation. “Yes mummy has a full length one, let’s go in to her room, let me show you” came Emelie’s sweet voice tinged with curiosity and shyness. Sophie’s focus became blurred for a moment, little body swaying as she followed like a meandering river behind the oppressed girl.
Opulent furnishings hit Sophie’s eyes with a putrid glare, the decor not a surprise, yet still offensive to this young girl’s mind “urgh” she let slip as she entered. Emelie swivelled towards her guest, one hand gesturing towards the long mirror “Here you are Sophie, what are you looking for?” came a question of unusual boldness. “I don’t know, but well everything feels odd, please can you undo my dress and look at my back, please? Came the out of sort’s girl’s reply.
Slowly button by button until five were undone to give enough leverage for an inspection was complete, tentative fingers peeled back each side of cotton like opening a secret envelope “ohhhhHhHHh” came a tremulous exclaim from Emelie, who moved back faster than a hunted Giselle.
Sophie turned, her face pale, veins taking on a bluish tinge as her dark eyes blackened like the darkest night stared as if boring in to Emelie’s soul. Emelie spotted those eyes as tears bubbled in fear forth from glassy blue irises. “What, what is it, get me another mirror, quickly, I want to see” she snarled, the THUD thud thud having been present for some while now, yet the horse hooves thundering over her mind almost like a familiar friend now.
Emelie lowered her head as if not wishing to catch the obsidian glare, obediently another mirror, this time handheld was fetched, offered and snatched away “Your mother is a vain horrible woman Emelie, don’t become like your mother, don’t” she commanded without thought for her words nor care, the tone far more grown up than her years would indicate. Emelie mumbled a sound in acknowledgement yet stood head down, hands clasped and wringing behind her back, chest rising in what appeared to be panic.
Sophie turned, heels lifted, perched beautifully upon tiptoes as she glanced upon the reflection within the handheld mirror, the sight not abhorrent but curious yet she knew would provide possible danger to her if discovered, an instinctive reaction. Onyx eyes roamed over her once hidden spine that seemed to protrude like the tips of mountains from her once healthy looking skin. This skin now that looked clouded like a storm was about to paint her body, yet a darkness bled out from every vertebrae, that darkness upon the touch of her elongated arm that stretched, curling about her shoulder to examine turned out to be the softest of down.
The crescent shape of her arm relaxed, turning to Emelie in almost serene fashion she said “Do me up, quickly, go and tell my mother I don’t feel well and need to go home, quickly.” The young girl’s blue eyes remained fixed to the floor, slender feet scooting over “yes Sophie” came minimalist reply as if wanting no more from this girl who frightened her so.
Once done, a claw like finger rose to press under the girl’s chin, forcing ice blue eyes to glance upon her own ebon ones, Emelie’s knees buckled momentarily like she might faint “I won’t hurt you Emelie, just don’t tell anyone what you saw, I will make your life better, I promise, you will see” came odd remark. Blue eyes met black, Emelie feeling like she was sinking in to a dark hole, swirling and spinning until something spat her back out, she jumped “yes, yes, not a word, promise” came reply as she spun to do as told, descending the stairs rather weakly.
THUD, thud, thud came the hooves upon her soul, a darkness shot across the room, this time she did not jump, but moved as if unseen force beckoned her to gilded drawer, now prized open by curious claw like fingers.
From the drawer a nauseous sweet smell of expensive perfume wafted from La Perla lingerie, every type imaginable, thousands of pounds worth. Her nose wrinkled as dark eyes searched as if knowingly, fingertips grasping on to a red envelope, that envelope tucked inside her dress, hidden away, just as the door opened.
Leaning against the dresser her eyes downcast, palm pressed against her forehead, mumbling in quiet tones “mummy I don’t feel good, please can we go, I feel sick.” Both Valerie and mother rushed in, a wha whaaa came from Edward obviously left downstairs to fend for himself. Valerie’s now snipped over polished tones said “Catherine, I think she looks like she might be sick, you best take her home, let me go down and see to Edward, whilst you get everything together.” “Yes of course” came Sophie’s mother’s reply unable to get her daughter to lift her head, she took her gently by the hand, leading her downstairs “oh you do feel cold Sophie, poor dear, straight to bed”
Sophie glanced back once surreptitiously to Emelie dithering a few steps up from her as she descended only to lower it once more. Baby, seemingly sick girl was gathered and ushered out of the house as fast as Valerie could without causing offence, the door gave a hearty slam as the words of “Don’t look at me with such horror Emelie, I couldn’t have her being sick on my nice new carpet, could I?” Emelie mumbled “It wasn’t that, it wasn’t that” as she returned back to her bedroom to contemplate recent events with trusted bunny tucked by her face for safety.
Catherine worked swiftly, used to dealing with everything on her own. Edward was placed ready to wash and Sophie taken to her bedroom to undress “No mummy I can do it, I will just go to bed, I need to sleep” came words coated with earnest. “Alright darling, I have left the angel for you by the bed, it might cheer you up, come to me if you need anything, I will be bathing Edward then getting him to bed, ok?”
Sophie nodded in reply; the thud of the door closing was heard as fingers prized the red envelope from her dress, the seal not licked the contents were easy to retrieve. A Christmas Card it was, innocent enough until fingers opened it up, revealing the words ‘Darling Robert, I can’t wait until you return, I cannot stand a minute longer of being with Henry. I want it to be just you and me, I can’t pretend any longer that this means nothing, I know you love me like I love you, our time will be soon. Your heart, Valerie xxxx’
Sophie wanted to be sick, her stomach twisted and knotted, the bile rising as her fingers cut through the card in anger ‘how could she, how could he, her father, with that woman, what about mummy, what about Edward, that woman is pure evil’ came her thoughts screaming from ear to ear. The youngster’s mouth opened to scream, yet nothing came out, her body convulsed in a sob yet it was silent, then the Thud, thud, thud came to calm senses, soothing now not hurting anymore.
The sounds of Edward gurgling in the bath could be heard as bedroom door opened just a slit, the young girl slipped in between, moving like a ghost to her father’s study, once in, placing the envelope to lean against the family photo which rested upon the mahogany veneer, her fingers moving for a moment over the grand desk before she returned.
Sophie lay in her bed, the moon’s light just glinting through the crack in the curtains as one hand reached out to open the box, that box with that angel. Lifting it out the pain shot through her arm, yet she bore it, wincing just a touch as the white feathers darkened with the shadows of the night or was it? Glorious offering slipped from fingertips as darkness descended, her blackened pupils lifting, perhaps a curl of a smile, as He arrived, wings outstretched, the darkness encroaching…..
The Darkness #5 Finale
Christmas Eve had been just a tad fraught. Catherine and her children had gone next door for lunch, yet Sophie’s behaviour had proven to be odd all day. All seemed calm now back home. Edward had been bathed and put to bed, and cursory glance had been taken in to Sophie’s room just before Edward’s bedtime. The shadows loomed inside as the night made its’ presence, yet it was quiet. Mother took all to be well as she waited for her husband to return from his travels.
Presents had been bought and wrapped, all ready under the tree. The Christmas meal was semi-prepared and the tree decorated except for the one final piece, the gifted angel, which she would leave for Sophie to put on the next day.
The evening had made its’ presence fully known as mother finally relaxed. Catherine’s heart leapt at the sound of key within the front door, a small glass of red wine swiftly found it’s home upon the coffee table as she leapt up, rushing towards the sound. The familiar smell of his aftershave hit her nostrils causing waves of delight to rush over soft stomach, emerald eyes swept over handsome features as her husband appeared through the doorway. Chiselled features’ dotted with the shadow of unshaven ruggedness made her heart melt, he looked tired, yet happy to be home.
His cases dropped to the floor with a thud as they embraced as if young lovers, the affection evident as unseen eyes watched intently.
Time passed gloriously as husband and wife re-united together, both updating each other briefly on events, eating, then retiring to bed. The vision a tangle of limbs entwined together, two merging to one as they fell in to a deep sleep.
The hours passed through the night, the full moon’s radiance basking over the local church, the sharp contrast of the inky dark skies painting a magnificent picture for all of those night owls who might be awake to see.
There was one night owl awake, one that we might have known as Sophie. She was fully awake, alert to every nuance of what might be going on around her, seeing in to rooms not entered, feeling hearts covered with scars of life’s trials and tribulations, seeing others’ minds churning thoughts and emotions of what has been, what is and what might be.
Marble eyes as black as the inky night, shiny enough that life might be reflected upon them roamed without body through what seemed a secret space, a space that would allow just vision to go where it wished, whenever it wished. A tender glance washed over her tangled up parents, still the vestiges of gentleness tugged at her heart, her travels then taking her next door. ‘He’ was still there, beside her, waiting patiently until she was ready to leave this mortal plane.
Unseen eyes watched as Emelie awoke, early as most youngsters might do on a Christmas morn. Adorned in a white frilly nightdress akin to something from Victorian days her legs lengthened out of her warm bed, soles stretching upon the wooden floor as hands reached to her bedside dresser for the one thing she knew she must not do without. Fingertips rolled around one single pearl of the many strung upon the necklace that was her uniform, her mother’s approval, as it was clipped expertly about her neck.
Footsteps were as quiet as a ghost, tiptoeing with intention towards the front room, at this time of year called the Christmas Room. The door to her father’s study shone a crack of light through it’s opening as she spied her mother listening at the wall which bordered next door’s main bedroom, Sophie’s parent’s room, to then pace backwards and forwards, the child’s shadowy figure not seen by neurotic parent. A gentle snoring filled her ears from her father’s port ridden night as feet swept with the grace of a swan down the stairs, in to the Festive Room to see what excitement might lie within.
Warm fingers pushed the door to partially close as pale blue eyes swept over the perfectly wrapped red and gold presents, all stacked uniformly in rows as if standing to attention. Nude lips swept in to a small smile as her attention lifted, skimming over each matching bauble, her fingers suddenly twitching as a desire to mess them all up itched at her mind. She shuffled from foot to foot a moment hating the order and starchiness of her life, a frown developing within pale brow.
The tip of the tree is where her glance stopped, and stopped suddenly as eyes widened in shock, looking at an angel, ‘the angel’ that had been presented to her friend next door. Lips parted in to an O as if to silently question, taking a step forwards like she might reach its glorious wings, though she would fall short of such a challenge as the tree towered over small frame.
Her head started to gently thud as a shadow cast over her mind and too it seemed the angel, its wings darkening before her very eyes, a blackness bleeding like spilt ink through each downy tuft as Sophie’s eyes lifted to those eyes.
A small noise like a harvest mouse escaped young lips, a cold dread sweeping over her small body, the now blackened eyes of the angel gazing it seemed down upon her, boring in to her soul, just as the day before by Sophie.
A voice intruded in to her mind, it seemed to come from nowhere, an urge to look around, but all efforts futile as she knew from where it came, though deeper, she recognized the voice and held the gaze back unable to snatch them away as words it seemed gifted seeped through her mind.
“You are protected Emelie, have no fear, I am not here to hurt you, but time is short, you must listen and listen well. I am to be no more as you know me, but I will always be watching you, you now have the gift, don’t resist it, you will be with me again someday, perhaps soon, a better place as will my brother, soon Emelie soon Emeli…”
The voice was stopped short as a shrill voice exploded in vileness upon her ears, her mother shrieking “WHAT are you doing in here so early, get upstairs you know the rules, back, back to bed, go on.” Emelie turned, the smell of her mother’s perfume that usually appeared to be inoffensive, was now making her gag in its sickly sweetness “yes mother” she replied, almost curtly as the thud hit between her eyes, making her falter a moment, mind swirling at what had just happened.
A small hand clutched at the door, exiting it as the other grasped at the pearls, tugging them hard, hearing as each one went ping ping ping on the floor, her mother would be following shortly behind, her stilettos grossly inappropriate for this time of the day perhaps making a swift meeting with each shiny bauble, mother would meet the floor, if Emelie would have her way.
Meanwhile the dark gaze was back home, drinking in her last final moments, the change had taken place, the pain of this replaced in equal measure with a sense of comfort and belonging at what her life was about to be.
‘He’ had now renamed Sophie, Prudential, meaning wisdom, she had much to do, many to find as her wings stretched out as if to take first flight, drowning out the morning light of Edward’s bedroom and casting a dark shadow to take its place.
Sharp talons clutched around the end of the cot, balancing her now much larger agile frame, her body a hybrid between what seemed girl and angel, or was it, would anyone know?
An arch of feathery darkness passed over Edward’s body, he seemed content as she said her goodbyes, her body now gone, there would be nothing and no one to see.
Catherine had risen from bed, the reality of morning now upon her, all the things one needed to do. The children seemed quiet, Edward’s door open a crack, she glanced in, he was sleeping soundly, an arched eyebrow of surprise yet contentment rushed over her busy mind. Next was the office, a few last gifts to collect to be placed under the tree, her moves swift with purpose before slowing to see ‘that red card’. Her lips twitched in to an ecstatic smile, mind swirling ‘he is always full of surprises so thoughtful, I must get his card ready’.
Fingers grasped the contents, flipping it open, to reading those words, bit by bit as life seemed to slow up to still, a cold glazier crushing her body each letter piercing her heart, it read, ‘Darling Robert, I can’t wait until you return, I cannot stand a minute longer of being with Henry. I want it to be just you and me, I can’t pretend any longer that this means nothing, I know you love me like I love you, our time will be soon. Your heart, Valerie xxxx’
Tears burst like a damn from her eyes, a faintness sweeping over her body as nails clawed at the grand desk, steadying herself, sucking in deep breaths to bring some calm. Thoughts swirling ‘would she ruin Christmas, the children would be crushed, she should keep this to herself until tomorrow, or the next day, it surely can’t be true’ as she left, pushing open the door to Sophie’s room.
The room was full of the morning’s light, the curtains open and the window unusually open, letting in gusts of fresh air, yet it was void of child. This did not register at first, a circus of sensations and thoughts firing through Catherine’s mind “good morning Sophie, Happy Christmas” came gentle words “come on where are you?” She crouched to look under the bed, the wardrobe, ‘she must be somewhere in the house’ came re-assuring thoughts in vain.
Leaving the bedroom mother woke father, the search began, no words exchanged except what was now relating to it seemed a missing daughter. Meanwhile all Emelie could hear from next door were the sounds of a name being called, which increased in pitch, urgency then desperation, “Sophie, Sophie, where are you Sophie” “Sophie, Sophie” from both mother and father as a thud, thud, thud started to replace these sounds, the sounds of hooves invading her mind….
© Justine Nagaur Eclecticoddsnsods.com
Thank you for those of you who have read the whole of this and for those commenting over the last few weeks, being my first story that I have actually ‘written’ for years, it has been great to have encouraging support. I used to write a lot of fictional stories when younger, but nowadays it seems they remain in my head to be swiftly replaced by new ones and in turn the prior ones forgotten.
I have learn’t from this experience that it is very hard to write weekly this type of content, the deadlines have been hard and I have not met them all. Trying to write during the Christmas holidays for me was impossible, hence the delay, though I set multiple times aside to do so they always got replaced.
I have however, really enjoyed finally getting one of those stories out though, on to virtual paper, however ‘next’ time I shall be more organized and write the whole story before posting it, even be it in sections.
I would love your feedback on this story, what you thought of it. I have left the ending not completely closed, semi-closed, would you someday want more or perhaps a different story, or should I stick to photography? haha