The Creature

Scratching sounds on the tile floor.  Long nails go back and forth making the horrible sound.  Black thin marks are everywhere all over the tile.  Its coming for her.  She knows there is no denying it.  Sweat comes down her face as she packs her things to try and make an escape.  Deep growling sounds come from downstairs.  Instead, she’s thrown to the wall.  Sloshing sounds come from her bedroom as the big black slimy sharp nailed creature gets on top of her.  She screams as it eats her, the blood covering its already slimy mouth.  Because of the blood it becomes stronger and hunts for more in the house.  Thinking everyone has been killed it leaves and morphs back into human form, its bloodshot eyes searching the streets to make sure no one will see him leave the house.  He doesn’t see the little girl hiding in the bushes.

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………

Once I get back home I’m exhausted.  That is definitely enough interaction for one day.  I jump onto my couch.  Its nice to be distracted from thinking of him for a while.  I turn on the television and watch random crime shows.  Then the telephone rings.  In an unsually happy mood I walk over and its the girl from church.  

“Hi!  Uh I was wondering, if you wanted to come over from a bbq on Wednesday?”  She asks uncertainly. 

“Sure, its not like I’m doing anything on Wednesday” I say

*Wednesday*

When I get to her house its only her and what I’m assuming is her boyfriend’s car parked in the driveway.  She says her boyfriend is nice.  When I ring the doorbell she opens the door almost immediately with tears in her eyes.

“Please don’t hate me but I lied to you” she says.

I shift uncomfortably.

“I don’t really have a boyfriend, I was just trying to fit in a little until I could tell you” she infrorms me.

“What are you trying to get at?” I ask her.

“I have….  a girlfriend” she says looking at the ground.

I respond immediately “that’s okay!” I say truthfully. 

She breathes a sigh of relief and invites me in then tells me the whole story.

“I joined the church because I like the religion but I didn’t think about it being against gays or lesbians.  So when I invited people to the barbeque I planned to tell everyone.  I only told you about the boyfriend thing.  So when they found out they freaked out.  Apparently they’re totally against gays and lesbians.  I guess I just didn’t think about everything before I made the plans.  Its just that they seemed SO nice!  But now they hate me completely!” She finishes out of breath with tears in her eyes.

I feel horribly for her.  What a horrible thing to happen, everyone just being against you because you like something different.

“Well I don’t hate you” I say.

She smiles. 

“Okay well we have lots of food” she says, twirling around with her hand up.

We head into the kitchen and I meet her girlfriend Maddie. 

“April where’d you put the remote?” Maddie asks.

“Oh, uh, top of the tv I’m pretty sure” April says back.

“So what’s your full name?” I ask.

“April Ann Arlington” she replies smiling, “my parents thought it’d be cute to have all the A’s, yours?”

“Jillian Marie Turner” I reply.

She nods, “that’s a nice name.”

“Thanks, so is yours” I say.

Once I leave April’s house I can’t help but wonder what its gonna be like for her with the whole church kind of turned against her.  I mean there are only like five people that don’t go to that church.  Everyone knows each other.  Word is definitely going to spread fast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safe

A picture is worth 1000 words. This safe has been through a lot. Tell its story. Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

 

1941:

After Pearl Harbor, they knew the Americans had it.  The documents and cures to the incurable.  Everything that mattered most to our government was in that safe, and the Japanese had found it. 

________________________________________________________________________

So I clicked on that Inspiration thing just for funzies and when I saw that safe that was the idea I thought of.  I don’t know if it’s good or not but it was my first thought.

Should I continue or not?

~Jade :)

….

When I look to my left I see the home phone’s blinking light, I peek at the tiny screen that lets me know how many messages I have.  28 messages.  Wow, people must really feel bad for me.  Maybe it’d be good to listen to the messages, I mean maybe it’ll help me heal.  So I press the yellow blinking button on the answering machine and brace myself.

“Hey, its Erika, I’m really sorry about what happened.  Call me, everyone is really worried about you.”

Really?  You’re all worried about me?  WHO?  I have no friends anymore.  My old best friend lives in Europe and we’ve been out of touch for years.  No one liked me in school really.  I wasn’t exactly the most popular.  They all care now but they didn’t care when I cried in the bathroom about how I had new foster parents every three months.  About how I wished my mother wanted me.  I cried because no one liked me.  I cried because I wanted someone to finally care.  And now, the only person who ever cared, left me just like everyone else did.  Yeah, he left me in a different way but it hurts just the same.  I can’t even think about his name or say it anymore.  I just don’t want to think about it.

“Hey its Ashley from high school, I hope your okay.  You haven’t been talking much.  I’m really sorry about everything.  Call me back.”

The machine moves on, most of it is just people from high school I was acquaintances with that knew my fiance telling me they’re sorry.  I hope they have good lives, I’m sorta happy I listened to the messages.  I guess it just reminds me that people care.  Almost half of the messages are people just trying to sell stuff.  Its comforting to know that people cared though. 

My stomach grumbles and I realize I haven’t eaten yet.  Or gone out to buy food.  I sigh and rush to my room to take a shower and put on my clothes.  I jump into the car and head out to the local walmart.  Since I live father out it takes me thirty minutes to get into town.  Once I get into the store I realize I really don’t want to be there.  Its a small town here in Wisconson.  We all know each other.  Sympathetic looks, well more stares are all directed toward me.  I distract myself by picking out food to cook with.  I buy raw chicken breast, potatoes, pasta and sweets.  A little girl looks at me with her mother and smiles.  I smile back and realize its the first time I’ve smiled since he died.  When I go to check out I’m relieved and think its the last of the awkwardness.  Of course I’m wrong.  A woman comes up to me, I don’t really recognize her.  She hands me a flyer and when she does, I feel like I’m about to break down.  Its an invitation to his favorite Christian church.  I’m not Christian, I just believe in what I want, but he was.  I didn’t mind that he was, he didn’t mind that I wasn’t.  We were happy together.  Occasionally I’d go to Sunday service but not too frequently.

After the cashier finishes scanning all my groceries I leave as fast as I can.  Maybe I should attend the service, I mean he did love it there.  It could help I guess. 

*Three Days Later*

I forgot what it was like here.  I haven’t been here in so long.  People stare when I enter the church.  No one dares speak to me.  I sit alone eating my breakfast.  I guess its nice to be out of the house.  A woman argues with someone at her table quitely and then walks up to my table and sits down.

“They’re all afraid to talk to you” she says.

I smile, “that’s okay, I don’t know if I want to talk to them either.”

“I think its stupid that they won’t, you’re a human being not a monster.  So, would you like to join me later for dinner?” She asks me. 

Her bright green eyes are so happy.  She has an interesting personality.  I like it.

“Sure, its not like I’ve got anything better to do” I say smiling.

One by one, more people join me.  People I barely know, that seem to want to get to know me.  Obviously they feel bad for me but I’m good with that.  It takes my mind off things.

 

.(continued)

Sure enough when I lift up the carpet, there they are.  The prescription drugs, the bags of white powder and leaves.  It broke my heart.  To think I thought she was actually getting better.  I turn, get out of her car and shake my head in tears.

“You are nothing to me” I say to her.

Then I walk to my car, grab my phone, dial 911 behind the steering wheel without her seeing.  She stands there infuriated, not knowing what to do.  Not knowing what will be coming within minutes.

“911 what’s your emergency?”

I pretend I dropped something and dip down below the steering wheel.

“A woman is at my house, she has drugs on her and I don’t know what to do other than report her” I say.

I barely hear the rest of the conversation between us.  Me giving the address and then, minutes later, I hear the sirens.  Judy Marshall runs to her car, I sneer, I used to call that woman mom.  I get out of my truck quickly.

“Oh no you don’t!” I scream at her. 

I sprint to her and pull her out of her drivers seat.  Blood fills my nose and I feel like I’m drowning, but I don’t give up despite the metallic smell flooding my nose and filling my mouth.  I take her down to the ground.  She’s weak, but not as weak as I thought.  She can definitely still throw a punch.  My heart pounds, she stays on the ground, pinned down.  The police run over, I explain that I know her, that she’s my birth mother.  I explain everything I know.  They take it from there.  Hours later, they’re gone.  Judy’s car is gone, she’s also out of my life now.  Hopefully she won’t be able to bother me any more.  I walk inside to our home.  Pictures hang on the wall.  Pictures of him. 

Its then the tears flood back into my eyes because of all the memories associated with the photos.  I make a horrible choking sound.  Who cares any more?  No one will see me cry here I remind myself.  And so, I fall to the hard wooden floor.  A thin layer of dust covers it.  I’ve obviously not mopped in a while.  There is screaming and tears. 

“Why?  WHY!?!?!?!”  I scream up toward the sky. 

My hands fly up toward my face.  I get on my knees, tears continue to stream down my pale face.  I loved him.  Correction, I love him.  I hold my stomach, I’ve been crying so hard that it hurts.  I can barely walk, I stumble repeatedly until I make it into our room.  I can’t help but think, I’m all alone now. 

I’m not as strong as I seem to others.  In reality I’m just a woman, who lost her very best friend and love.  Anger overwhelms me.  Why was he taken from me?  I empty the soothing bath salts into my hot bath and step in the porcelain tub.  I lay in there and drift off.   

He sneers at me, his brown eyes show his feelings, complete and utter disgust.  I thought he loved me, but he doesn’t.  There are few things worse than that feeling of complete and utter rejection.  Rejection of the person who supposedly loved you for years.  I never loved you he says.  Soon I’m in the battle field with him, he tells shows the man a picture of his fiance.  Its not me.  Horror takes over me.  I scream for him, he’s distracted by my scream.  Next we’re at the lake and he takes another girl’s hand.  He kisses her.

And then I wake up from my nightmare.  I scream.  It may not seem horrible, but the feeling of him not loving me like I did him was horrible for me.  For the next week nightmares continue.  None like the one where he hated me though.  I just watched him get killed.  Twice in hand to hand combat, three times I dreampt he was shot and then the other two times he was blown up.  The ones where he was blown up were the worst.  Body parts being flung everywhere.  After that week of nightmares I realize that the reason I might be having those dreams, is because I didn’t know how he died.  Maybe it was my mind sorting through all the possibilities.  

My hand dips into the soapy water, I stare blankly while moving the sponge in circles on the already clean plate.  Nothing is the same anymore.  Everything has changed.  One of the worst parts of someone being gone, is the reminder of it.  Well at least for me anyways.  Everywhere I look in my home, I see the photos of us, and I’m reminded of the fact that he’s gone.  He’s gone forever.  Its never ending.  I stopped answering the phone.  Why?  Because everytime I pick it up I hear about how great of a man he is.  Its then I cry because I KNOW.  He was a great man.  He was so kind.  WHY?  Now I have to use past tense.  Why did he die?  There are so many others, ones that probably deserve death, but it seems every time someone dies, its a good person.  A person who did extraordinary things.  Then there are those people, the murderers who kill just for fun.  That is what angers me.  Its not what angers me the most but its something I think about often. 

 

 

. (continued)

The doorbell rings and I make my way to the front door and there is the man I’ve always dreaded seeing.  He hands me the envelope and I don’t even have to read it to know he’s gone.

*One Week Later*

Rain pours down and clouds cover the bright sun.  The day matches my mood, its depressing, perfect to make a funeral even more depressing.  We were supposed to have the funeral a few days ago but I was crying too much. Whew, here we go.  His casket is draped in the American Flag, and then I have to say goodbye.  Its then I break down.  I take off my heels and run across the cemetary to my truck.  As soon as I get into the driver’s seat I realize I can’t cry at all.  I’m trying to hard to cry, I’m not sure why I can’t, I feel like I need to, as if it’s my duty, but I can’t.  Once I heard a quote from a movie based on World War two, one of the women serving as a nurse said something among the lines of “What do you do when you have no more tears?”  My answer to that at that exact moment was scream.  I screamed, I hit the steering wheel multiple times.

I hadn’t screamed in so long, since I was in middle school probably.  My screams were just heartbroken screams.  While I screamed I was teary eyed and while my throat felt like it was closing.  Those screams were nothing like the ones from middle school.

After thirty minutes I look to my right just to notice people are leaving because the service has ended.  After everyone has left I walk over to the casket and just talk.

“Do you remember the first time I met you?” I ask my dead fiance.

There’s no answer, I don’t need one.  I just go on about how we met at the high school.  How he planned to enlist, about how excited I was to get married.  When I’ve finished every single detail, trying to answer every question he asked me that I didn’t get to respond to.  Its finally time for me to say goodbye, and saying goodbye was the hardest part of all.  I tell him I love him, and go on talking again about how much I’ll miss him.  Three hours later I’m on my way home, my stomach feels like it’ll just fall out of my body.  Soon I’m overcome with exhaustion and can’t wait to get out of this black dress.  Once I get home I see my mother’s car waiting there and I can’t believe it.  My mother left when I was young and didn’t come back into my life until I was 17.  He was there for me that whole difficult time.  After age 18 she left again, but she’ll occasionally visit to come ask me for money.  He was always there to tell her no, to help me through everything.

“Hi!” She says happily, as if she’s not here to ask me for something.

“What the hell do you want?” I ask her angrily.

Black eyeliner and mascara are smeared across my pale face.  My black hair is down a little past my shoulders, its messy and wavy.

“What happened?” My birth mother asks me.

“Don’t act like you care, I asked you a question, I expect you to answer” I say hatefully.
“Well, I wanted to just see you and talk to yo-”

“No you don’t cut the crap!  I’m not giving you money or anything else!”  I yell back.

She rolls her eyes, “so selfish, you know I’m just trying to talk and you bring up money again!”

“The only reason why you’re here is to take the little money I have for yourself!” I scream, and throw one of my black heels at her.

Its a good shot, it hits her in the leg.

“Well I just need a little of money okay!” She screams.

“I’m not giving you any money,” I say with an angry scrunched up disgusted look on my face.   “My fiance died a week ago the funeral was today, and you come to ask me for money?  You disgust me, he was nice to you, he may not have given you money but he tried to help you.  He offered to help you in ways that could help you get money and you decided, hey I’ll just show up and take something else from my daughter!”

My mother shakes her head “I didn’t know he died but since he did, I mean I know this is so hard for you, you might just have some room in your heart for me and I heard he went into the military, so maybe, you’ll have some extra money as well” she stutters through the whole thing.

She obviously didn’t know he had passed away, but this is horrifying.  I walk closer to her to get in her face and tell her straight to leave.  The smell hit me, it was like running into a solid brick wall, it was just so strong.

“Have you been smoking?” I ask her.

She looks startled, “N-no of course not.”

“Mother, have you been smoking weed again?” I ask.

My mother left when I was eight to go do “great things” well she messed up.  She ended up being a part of a gang, became addicted to drugs and even became a drug dealer herself.  Well now ever since she found me again, she’s been lying to me.  Saying she quit ect.  How could she?  We paid for special treatment just because she seemed like she needed to quit.  Like she wanted to.  Well she quit for what, the two months she was there?

“Look don’t you judge me, saying I’m smokin-” She starts but stops because I’m running toward her bronze car.

I yank the car door open and it reeks of smoke.  I climb into the seat and pry the door open with my leg.  I stretch my neck so I can see the trunk, its covered by carpet.  Oh so she’s gotten somewhat smart now huh?  So I pull the carpet off and there is a little handle to pull up where she’s obviously hiding the drugs.