This is just a one-shot story. It's based off of a dream I had a few months back, though some details are added to have the story make sense. I wrote this mainly to get the images out of my head, so pieces and parts of it might not really make sense. But feel free to comment.
No one knew the curse that had been put upon me, their normal, mundane lives so simple compared to the challenges and constant paranoia I suffered every minute of everyday. But I canít take out my jealousy on them, for it isnít their fault for what they donít really see about the world we live in, and that they donít know what I have to run from everyday because the plans my ancestors set in place didnít go accordingly.
I had a sister once. She was a couple of years older. Lily, she would have had such a bright and successful future. She would have been famous if we hadnít been involved in all of this. I curse my life everyday that I live when I know that I should be dead along with her, but itís the will of man to try and survive, which is why I also bless everyday that Iím breathing one minute longer.
My family, the Thornbriges have a very dark and bloody past. One which my loving grandfather hid from my sister and I for as long as possible. He tried his best to keep us away from the fate our parents and other relatives had already set for us. We had lived with him since we were young children, our parents having given us up quite easily, not that Iím complaining. He was always a role model, someone we cherished a long with the rest of the small dock village we lived in.
Our hometown was small, part of it resting on the shore, while the other half was built over the marshy area of the bay. All the inhabitants were well off, though from the looks of the town and the old fashioned wood buildings you would never be able to tell. We were protected for the most part from the summer storms that blew off the coast, large mountains surrounded us on three sides, so we were in our own little hiding place.
My best friend, next to my sister was a boy two years older than me by the name of Brendan. And as time went by I developed feelings much stronger than friendship for him, and I suspected he was the same way, though we never did anything about it. As my sister and I matured into fine young women, our relatives seemed to gain more and more interest in our activities, which in turn seemed to make my grandfather more cautious than usual.
It wasnít until just before my twentieth birthday that everything seemed to get out of hand. I had opened my own hair salon a year before, which was doing relatively well, while Lily worked at the market down the street. After we had closed up for the evening, we left for home, and immediately we knew something was wrong. Our grandfather usually always had the porch light and living room light on, but that day there was neither. Worried, we entered the house only to have our fears confirmed. Grandfather was gone, and from the looks of the disarray all over, heíd been taken against his will.
The village spent lots of time and money to help us search for him, but every time, we came up empty handed. For months we searched, until finally we just had to give up, though somewhere in our hearts we still wanted to keep going. But deep down, Lily and I knew that he wouldnít be coming back, and somehow we knew that it was because of the way our family had been acting.
Over the following months, our relatives again showed up unexpected and seemed to be sizing us up for something. Until one night, they took us from our beds. We donít know how long weíd been out, but it must not have been long, because the moon was still straight out in the eerily clouded sky, casting a reddish glow on the trees around us.
Coming too, my ears picked up the sound of waves crashing against rocks, and I knew that we were no longer in our little bay home anymore. Opening my eyes, I was careful to stay still, in case there were others nearby, but from the looks of it, we were in some kind of shack. The moonlight barely lit the inside, so it took me a few minutes to finally find the curled up form of Lily. Whispering her name, I eventually got a faint groan in response. It didnít seem as though our kidnappers were trying to keep us in one spot, since neither of us were bound, which seemed to strike an uneasy cord in my thoughts, which I buried for the time being. When she regained all her senses, we both got to our feet and looked for the door out.
We were expecting something a little more difficult, but were surprised to find the door was unlocked, allowing us to leave. Again the uneasiness seemed to get stronger in my mind as a knot began twisting its way from my throat to my stomach. Lily and I looked at one another and passed the same thought. Something was definitely not right. Taking a few steps away from the cover of the shed, we looked around at our surroundings. We werenít really sure where we were, which worried us even more. Looking back at the hut like building behind us, I froze, my eyes staring at what I saw on the door. Grasping for Lilyís arm, I turned her around and showed her what I found.
Written in what could only be assumed as blood was the phrase, ďTake the young women as our sacrifice to your powerĒ. For a split second I thought this must be some kind of joke, but my knowledge from my grandfather told me otherwise. Suddenly there was a rustling of the bushes behind us. Whipping around, we grabbed one another and watched with terrified expressions for the new arrival to show itself. Seconds passed by before a small figure seemed to appear about fifty yards away.
It held the appearance of a small child and for a moment both of us thought that maybe they had been taken too. Suddenly the hair on the back of my neck rose as it drew ever closer. Its face slowly grew more detail, until I was able to make it out. Though I wished I hadnít. Its expression was deformed, as if its jaw had been broken, so it hung off to one side, while his eyes were two different sizes. The left was small, as though his eyelid was half closed, and the right was the opposite. There wasnít enough skin over the eye, which gave him a horrified/surprised look.
We knew instantly that this thingís purpose was to harm, and possibly even kill us. But we were going to do everything we could to get away from it. Just as we heard eerie whispering surge through the air around us, we turned and ran. Neither of us had any idea where we were going, but we knew that we just had to get away. I donít know how long we ran, or for that matter what direction we ran in, we just let our feet move where ever they wanted. My mind was in hysterics as I squeezed my sisterís hand in horror.
When we stopped running, our legs tingly and just about to give away beneath us, we took in our new surroundings. Trees covered us on all sides, and there wasnít a sound to be heard. As air gradually returned to our lungs, and our wheezing eased away, we finally did pick something up. The sound of waves. Looking at one another, we shared the same thought. Gathering up the strength we had we once more took off, and hoped that we would be getting closer to our escape.
We were in luck, for the time being as seconds passed by and we broke free of the forestís hold and were greeted by the sight of the ocean. By then my legs were already feeling like jelly as I stumbled towards the waterís edge. Lily was now a feet ahead of me as she splashed into waves full force. When we reached a depth where we could swim, we dove in, fearful to look back. But I did, and I wonder if everything would have turned out the same if I hadnít. Standing at the waterís edge was the child monster, its face shining in the moonlight. Horrified, I accidentally swallowed a big gulp of salt water and gagged. Refocusing, I turned my attention back out to the open water and swam as fast as I could to catch up to my sister.
It was then it dawned on me. The creature wasnít going to stop coming after us just because we were in the water. If anything, it was going to be even faster. Stopping, I struggled to stay afloat and yell to Lily. But she heard me too late. I can remember the look on her face before she was taken. It was pure terror as the echo of my name rung in my ears. Iíve never felt pain as I did at that moment. I couldnít stop to weep though. Survival mode kicking back in as I back tracked the way weíd come and couldnít stand to look back. Iím not sure why the monster didnít come after me after getting Lily, but during the rest of the trek back to the village I didnít hear or see anymore of it.
I locked myself up in the house for a few days afterwards for two reasons. I was terrified that the kid was standing out there waiting for me and I was grieving over the loss of my sister. It didnít seem real. In a matter of seconds I had watched my sister slip out of reach, her life taken away long before it should have been. Sheíd had so many goals. She hadnít even gotten married, or fallen in love. I felt that I should have been the one to die. Lily was such an amazing person. For hours I cried, lying on the floor curled up in a ball. I left all the lights on in the house and covered all the mirrors.
Everywhere I turned, I saw its disfigured face watching and waiting for the right time. I couldnít avoid it forever, and I knew that eventually I had to leave what I thought was the safety of my own home. Everyday I stayed locked up behind walls; Brendan came over and sat right outside the door trying to coax me out. The village didnít know the truth about what had happened. The story that had been passed around was that Lily and I had been late night swimming and she had been pulled out in the rip tide and drowned. Her body was never found. Brendan tried his best to make me feel better, but he didnít know the truth, so he didnít understand. I canít say that I blame him for not succeeding, Iím glad he was at least there to keep me company.
Five days later I finally emerged from my hole. But I was not the same person, and it was clear to everyone around. All that remained of Briar Thornbriges was a hollow shell. Iím grateful for the kindness the villagers showed towards me, I know that if they hadnít been there the first few days I went out I probably would have stayed inside and withered away.
A week after the death of my sister, I was cutting a young womanís hair. The images of the monster child had started disappearing and I thought for a short time that I might be safe. That was my mistake. Glancing back at the clock that sat in a glass cabinet, my eyes locked onto the disfigured face and my whole body froze. When I finally blinked it was gone, but the damage was done. It sunk in right then and there that this creature was not going to let me go until it finally had me. Quickly, I finished my customerís hair and closed shop early. Contacting Brendan, I told him that I needed to see him as soon as possible. I had to tell him the truth. I wanted him to know what really happened when I died. I wanted my family to pay for what they were doing to us. He mustíve heard the urgency in my voice because he left his job immediately.
We met at our usual spot on the dock leading out to the marsh. I stood leaning against the railing looking at the levees that stopped anything from entering the small community that shouldnít be there. Then I caught sight of movement. Turning to it, goose bumps rose across the tops of my arms as I feared the worst, but instead I was greeted by nothing but cattails swaying in the gentle breeze. Brendan showed up a few minutes later. I couldnít help but throw my arms around his neck and hang on him. He let me for a few minutes, leisurely stroking my hair. When I was finally able to get myself under control, I pulled away and collected my thoughts.
ďI have to tell you something important. And please donít interrupt or ask any questions until Iím finished,Ē The words seemed like rocks coming out of my mouth as I looked into his eyes. He looked puzzled, but I cut him off before he could speak, ďYouíre probably going to think that Iím completely insane after Iím done, but I have to tell someone. And I know that I can trust you.Ē
He did as I asked. Brendan did not say anything until the very end. I could tell that he wasnít sure how to react. I didnít know either, the story Iíd just told was too incredulous to be real, but I prayed that he would believe me anyways. Letting him soak it all in, I turned and looked out across the water once more. The sun was setting, casting an orange pink glow on everything. It would have been beautiful if I hadnít seen the monster kid standing there on the levee watching me. I bit my tongue to stop myself from screaming. Holding my hands over my mouth I squeezed my eyes closed and stood that way for a moment.
Slowly opening my eyes the kid was no longer there, but I could sense it. It was under the water, slowly making its way towards me. Brendan mustíve seen that something was wrong because he placed his hands on my shoulders. I turned to face him, with tears in my eyes and hugged him.
ďIs it here?Ē He whispered the words into my ear and I didnít know how to respond. Finally I nodded my head and wrapped my arms around his waist tighter, knowing that this was a goodbye. I didnít want to get him pulled into all of this. I didnít know if this monster would take him too, and I couldnít stand it if his life was wiped out as well. Releasing my hold on him, I stood on my tiptoes and kissed him lightly on the lips. Before he had any time to react, I turned and ran. Building up speed I saw the ledge of the dock getting closer. Leaping off the edge I looked down to see a giant black hole greeting me instead of water.
I fell, and continued to fall, a black abyss surrounding me on all sides. Suddenly I felt a pull on my ankle and looking down couldnít help but scream as the monster childís grip burned like fire on my skin. The pain was overwhelming and knowing that this was it, I took my last glance at life. Above me was the opening of the hole Iíd jumped into and I saw Brendan looking down at me, his hand extended as if trying to reach for me. I didnít have long to react because a split second later the opening closed and all that was left was terror and pain.
ďBriar! Please come back to me!Ē