- November 18th, 2012
So, this time the piece must include this in some way:
The house at the top of the small hill was made of brick, crumbling to dust in many places. At some point, it had been painted blue, but the color had flaked away in wide swaths, revealing the original red of the brick beneath. The windows along the front of the house were either broken or boarded up, and the ground around the foundation was littered with fallen bricks, pieces of splintered wood, and fragments of glittering glass. Several boards were missing from the front porch, and the ones that remained looked decidedly rotten. Something had smashed into the chimney's right front corner, leaving a large ragged hole, and imparting a precarious lean towards the house's interior.
HER FINAL CHOICE
The dusk was rolling in along with thick fog which covered the meadows in a gray soup. Her footsteps in the dewy grass were completely silent, only accompanied by a lonely owl's howl somewhere down by the trees in the valley. Shimmering occasionally above her was the half moon, partially covered by clouds sweeping across the dark blue sky. The house at the top of the small hill was made of brick, crumbling to dust in many places. As she made her way towards it she savored the wet licking of the strands of grass against her bare ankles and feet. Her dress was flowing around her in the wind, heavy at the bottom with dew where the white fabric had turned a darker shade.
The deep silence of this newborn night felt magical to her as she closed in on the decaying house. Everything here was as she remembered it, even the smell and the sensation of the small gusts of wind from the west. Although it was peaceful and serene here it was not without sadness to her heart seeing this place again. It held so many memories. Treasured memories, which had always been imbedded in her longing mind. Longing to go back. Back to where everything was right, when life had seemed brighter and much more playful and innocent.
The grass started to thin out a little and she could feel the slight pricking sensation of rough gravel under the soles of her feet as she reached the wall of the house. At some point, it had been painted blue, but the color had flaked away in wide swaths, revealing the original red of the brick beneath. Smiling a melancholic smile she let her hand slide down the flaky wall, causing a rain of old paint to fall down in front of her feet. It landed in the wet grass like frosty dew. Her smile faded a little as she started to walk slowly along the front of the old house. Her mind was struggling to control all the glimpses of her past here which were exploding in her brain as she let her eyes wander. Glimpses of smiling faces, her mom knitting in her chair on the porch bathed in sunlight, her long lost golden retriever barking with joy when she came home from school in the afternoons, her darling little brother...
The windows along the front of the house were now either broken or boarded up, and the ground around the foundation was littered with fallen bricks, pieces of splintered wood, and fragments of glittering glass. Several boards were missing from the front porch, and the ones that remained looked decidedly rotten. Still she could clearly see herself embracing her mother right there in the sun, exchanging kisses on the cheek and chatting away. It seemed like Utopia back then, at least in retrospect. Of course everything hadn't been perfect... But in her mind it had been as perfect as anything could ever be. Especially compared to what happened on that fateful night in mid august so long ago and the following aftermath. With a soft sigh she looked up at the roof with its now gaping holes here and there and loose roof tiles. Something had smashed into the chimney's right front corner, leaving a large ragged hole, and imparting a precarious lean towards the house's interior. Blinking a few times she had another flashback, this time not of laughter and sunshine but pure horror. The August night that had changed her life forever. A cold tear began rolling down her china white cheek.
She suddenly found herself back in the little bedroom along with her younger brother, Jacob. He was always complaining about the draft from the window as he lay in their shared bed, hugging his duvet tight. She was never annoyed by his complaints though, because the blonde little boy wasn't exactly 'polstered' as herself or their mother - he was a skinny little one ever since he came down with the rickets when he was only five. So she would get up and close the window as tight as she could before crawling back under the duvet and warming his shaking, fragile body. It had been a routine almost - and then she would tell him fairytales and stories of faraway lands and mystical creatures. He had loved that. But then on that august night the bedtime story had been abruptly interrupted by a deafening crash and rumble of bricks sliding down the roof. Both herself and her brother had jumped up in shock as it felt like the whole house was about to tumble down on top of them. She remembered clearly that she had grabbed his tiny hand in her own and hurrying to get outside she had called out for her mother, who was in the living room, usually knitting or quilting. But as she had opened the door to the living room the scene that met her had scarred her for life. He was there. The stranger, the creature only talked about in the worst of horror stories. He had come crashing down the chimney in his deluded state of insane hunger and bloodlust. She knew what he was. Frozen in her tracks eyeing the predator and her disemboweled mother she managed to whisper for Jacob to run as she protected him with her body as a shield. The creature's glowing eyes pierced her as a crooked smile spread on his pale, deformed face and she knew that he could read her mind. In a split second Jacob was torn away from behind her and the nauseating sound of blood gushing and bones breaking echoed throughout the valley along with her terrified scream. Then it was her turn.
With a gasp she blinked again and removed her hand from the paint chipped wall. The dew by her feet was growing colder and the moon had already readied itself to set. With tears streaming down her face she walked with heavy feet to the east end of the house. Here she gazed at the meadows which seemed to go on forever. 'Forever'. The word echoed in her mind, spoken by the creature itself even though he was now gone. She had finally taken her vengeance and killed him by her own hand. A plan that had been brewing ever since that fateful night where he didn't even show her the mercy of having a choice. She never got to choose. But tonight she had decided to take fate into her own hands, escaping her past, her life and mostly herself. Either way she chose she would be dead in a few weeks for what her new so called 'family members' considered as a heinous crime. Killing her own. But she wanted to choose now, no more nodding heads and carrying out orders. She was the soldier of her own fortune now. A sad smile decorated her lips as a small glimmer of light started to appear in the horizon. Chipping off more paint she let herself slide down the wall to sit down on the moist grass. It was time. The moon had said its silent goodbyes and had slipped away, clearing the way for the sun's infant rays. Folding her hands in her lap she couldn't help but marvel at the spectacular array of orange shades illuminating the horizon. It was glorious. It was so beautiful and she had longed for this moment for years and years and finally today it would be fulfilled. Blinking as the light grew stronger a little hint of fear started to curl up as a knot in her stomach, but she sternly dismissed it. This was her moment. She quietly whispered the name of her little brother as the rays of light finally exploded from the edge of the meadows. Her skin started to sear in the sunlight and she began to chip away just like the paint on the wall behind her, flakes of ashes blowing with the wind from the west. She saw her mother on the porch... and her brother hugging the duvet... Closing her eyes the roaring flames engulfed her.