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Name to be decided

by What do the eyes of the dying see? 

Posted: 16 November 2004
Word Count: 2784

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She placed an eerie foot in front of her. The floorboard of the old twentieth century house creaked in pain from the pressure of her foot. She did not pause to listen for if she had she would surely have heard her sweet young brother stir and slightly moan in his restless sleep. The night was sinister and diminutive light was given off from the moon, any dull glow that seeped through a window was slightly magnified by the sharp blade Rose held behind her back. As she crept surreptitiously toward her parent’s bedroom she tried to think, clear her mind of all ravenous thoughts that clouded her already beleaguered mind. There was little light and quite often she ran into miniature things such as the stone cat her parent’s had brought during one of their many infamous trips to some far away country that Rose had forgotten about.

She walked past her dear sister’s room and suddenly stopped. Tonight was not going to be the night she would succeed in dispatching of her parents and running far away, something she had longed to do ever since she had been taught the meaning of the word “murder” by her elderly tutor whom Rose’s parents paid $500 an hour to teach Rose of the world without Rose actually experiencing it. Her parents prohibited her interaction with other youths her age, whatever that age may be. She had not been told her age and only knew her birthday to be in the month of October and the day changed each year. But the reason tonight was not the night for her evil doings was the noise that came from her older sister’s room. Hushed voices could be heard but the words were too faint to make out. What Rose was sure were two voices, one female (Her sister, Camellia) and a husky male voice, which she had never heard before. The note of tenderness in this voice made Rose stop and listen. She stood there, just looking at the two doors that guided you from the corridor into a whole new world, her sister’s world, as if merely looking at them would magnify the male voice which Rose needed to hear. The desire to bust through the double doors into her sister’s “world” was growing inside her. It was something about the carefulness of his voice, each word (or what Rose thought to be words) were so…well she didn’t have the vocabulary to describe the way she felt she just knew that it almost made her melt. Giggles could be heard, then the sweet “Shhh” of the male. After that there were no more sounds to be heard. She let herself wander closer to the door Careful, oh Rose please be careful she thought to herself, one wrong step and a creaky floorboard could mean the end of the sweet voice. She leant a little closer towards the door now, careful not to breathe to hard for that would surely be the end of the voice.

The next few seconds seemed to be a dream for poor Rose. Just as she had gotten close enough to the door she became greedy and put her full weight against the cold hard maple wood door. The door had not been shut properly and even with the weight of Rose’s small frail body, the door had swung open, reviling her sister sitting on her bed holding her hands to her mouth, chocking back the laughter that threatened to break through and shatter the silence of the sinister night. Her male acquaintance leaped around her room, trying hard not to fall and make a noise that would surely wake the dead from their soporific dreams. Rose fell through the door and instantly Camellia thought that she and Logan had been caught out by her overbearing and over protective parents, not that they were doing anything “immoral” as such. But the sight of her sister’s head of white hair settled her nerves until she caught a glimpse of the blade. Rose looked at the man, the intruder with the voice of all heavens angels. He looked as if he had walked out of both Rose’s and Camellia’s dreams and into their life. But Rose couldn’t stay and dwell on the image of loveliness that God had bestowed on her this night. Her sister had caught sight of the knife Rose held and during Rose’s fall she had accidentally made a slight cut across her wrist. Blood was flowing and the look on her sister’s face suggesting she feared for her life and that of her lover, so Rose got up and smiled to the man then in an instant she fled.

In her room Rose watched as the blood slid down her wrist, across the back of her hand and off the end of her thin, slender fingers. So this is pain, Rose thought. Sure she had felt mental pain but because her life was so sheltered she had never felt true physical pain. Each drop of blood connected to its relation and formed a small pool of blood on the floorboards. Two lingering questions passed through her mind preventing her weary eyes from getting what they wanted, sleep. The first question was: what will I tell my parents about my wrist? The answer to that was easy. It was probable that her parents wouldn’t be there when she woke. But the second was more alarming: What is Camellia going to do about that little episode back in her room. As Rose had pondered that question a flood of others came. What shall I do if Camellia mentions it to anyone? What if she decides to stay quiet? What do I do then? Forget about it as well? The thing that scared Rose the most was the fact that she knew Camellia was not going to forget seeing her sister with a knife in the middle of the night. Rose felt weary; she couldn’t deal with all these questions just this minute. Rose closed her eyes and almost instantly the soft soothing voice of when her mother was young filled her head:
Tired eyes rest now, sleepy heads time to sleep now
Tired eyes rest now, sleepy heads time to sleep now…

Rose woke at 10 am. The window with the thick curtains which her 4 poster bed faced let no light past. She got up and changed from her satin pajamas into her black tunic. She sat on her bed and pulled her stockings on. That’s when she heard the soft footsteps of her mother. Her parents had not left this morning! Quickly Rose climbed into bed, throwing her pajamas on under her covers. She quickly licked the dry blood from her wrists. She was pleased that she had cleared the blood from her floorboards last night just after returning the butcher knife back into the kitchen. There was a tap at her door and before waiting for an answer her sister walked through the door. Quickly Rose closed her eyes, pretending to be asleep, something she had almost perfected over the years.
“Rose I know your awake”, there was pressure on the end of her bed. It was Camellia. There was no use pretending to be in a deep slumber if she had already been caught out. One bye one she opened her eyes. Her sister, Camellia, sat on the edge of her bed. Rose expected to find the fear and terror in her sister’s eyes from the night before but there was no evidence of any of emotions in her sister’s eyes. Camellia was still in her night dress, her bare feet under her. The look in her eyes was not that of fear but that of concern for her younger sister’s well being. When she spoke her words were merciful and almost forgiving but straight to the point. “Who were you on the verge of killing last night, was it me?”
Rose considered her answer carefully then finally whispered “I’ll tell you what you want to know if you tell me what I need to know” A smile crept onto her face.
And so the story was told.

“Firstly Rose, let me draw your curtains, it’s far too gloomy in here and I can barely make you out.” Camellia uncurled herself from the position in which she sat but her sister’s hand grasping her arm stopping her from going further.
“It’s fine, just tell me what I want to know” Rose was starting to get impatient, a feeling she did not enjoy experiancing, bad things happened when the lovely Rose got impatient. Things went flying across the room when Rose got impatient. People got hurt when Rose got impatient. Camellia sighed; this was neither the time nor the place for Rose to be finding out about her past. “Well, I guess I should start by telling you that Casey and Gavin are not your real parents. Your real mother took part in an experiment that Casey and Gavin ran a while back. The chemicals that your mother were given somehow caused her to fall pregnant.” Camellia sighed once again, all of a sudden her energy had vanished but Rose pushed her, willing her to continue this heartbreaking saga. “The lady, Chelsea, was Christian, falling pregnant before marriage had caused her to feel that she had been breaking her Lords rules. She was sure your white hair had something to do with the devil, her little burden for falling pregnant before she could marry. She was so frightened. She left you on our porch along with a very nasty note” Camellia looked at her sister. Rose too looked as if the life had been sucked out of her.
“Camellia, last night I kept hearing a voice. It scared me but what it said, what it felt, was that of which I was feeling and thinking.” She looked anxious.
Had nothing Cam just said sunk in?
“Rose, do you understand what I have just said, you don’t belong!” Camellia looked at the hurt she had bestowed on her sisters face then quickly moved to embrace her. Rose was so cold, it was almost like she was…dead. Camellia shook her a little and Rose simply blinked at her sister, tears of blood fell down her face. Camellia screamed and jumped from the bed. Surely it isn’t blood, is it? Camellia’s arm reached out and touched one of her sister’s tears. It looks like blood but does it taste like blood? She thought. Gradually she lifted her finger towards her mouth. She hesitated then stuck her finger in her mouth. It tasted metallic, almost like blood, almost not. Camellia screwed up her face at the taste the red liquid presented her. Rose simply sat, letting the tears run down her face. Camellia herself had begun to cry, how could this be happening to her? “Rose” there was no answer, just a blank stare and yet more tears shed. “Rosy?” Nothing still. “Rose! You will answer me! I’m sorry for what I said but it’s true, you don’t belong.”
“Well help me to belong, who was that man who was here in the darkness? Introduce me to him, let me be a part of what you do and I’m sure then I would belong” she was pleading, desperate to be apart of the life that was never hers.
“Hm…what man?” At first Camellia was in the dark about what her sister was talking about then she remembered “Oh, Logan? He’s a friend I met….a couple of years ago. If you really want to meet him…I guess come by my room tonight, he’ll be there. Just don’t tell Casey, you know how she is about outsiders” Casey had forbidden the children interaction with normal people, she said only heartbreak would come if they did meet someone they truly liked. Uncertainty was creeping up on Camellia like shadows creep up on unmoving objects. Why did she want to meet Logan? “Now tell me, what were you doing with that knife?” The elation of being accepted quickly evaporated from Rose’s eyes. She hung her head, her pure white hair forming a cloak of security around her head, her own little desolate niche to reside to. She thought about telling the truth but that could only lead to screaming, a pitch of voice Rose never cared for. She looked up to her sister, the blood had gone. “there was a spider, I couldn’t find the broom so I used a knife instead.” It was definitely a improbable story but her sister let it slip.
“Rose, were you crying blood before?” Camellia asked, noting that her sister’s face was wet with salty tears now, not blood. Rose was bewildered by this question and it must have shown on her face because her sister simply shook her head and left.

Rose got up and walked towards her mirror. She had not done this for quite sometime, each time she had she’d seen the words “kill” written in blood on the mirror. There were voices in the corridor then they walked off, more than likely her mother and Cam. Rose looked back to her mirror. The last time Rose had looked in her mirror was…last night actually. Rose had almost forgotten about that. Last night the mirror read “Do it NOW!” So Rose had obeyed them, to an extent. She had grabbed her mother’s favorite knife and headed towards her parent’s bedroom but she never really got to her parents bedroom. But now the words “Do it NOW!” were no longer there instead the words “It’s too late” were written in cursive script. There was a knock on the door and her mother walked through. She was an illustration of innocence. Her blonde hair hung down to her shoulders and today she wore a black dress, one of which Rose had never seen. All Casey need now was a set of wings to add the finishing touch. Her mother smiled to her and hinted for her to sit. Rose walked to her bed and sat. “Honey, are you okay?” asked her mother in a soft voice she used when she wanted something from the children. “Sure mummy, why wouldn’t I be?” Rose smiled a fake smile, I hate you I hate you I hate you! Her mind screamed.
“Cam told me she had been talking to you about your past” Casey said smiling. Rose began to get very, very angry. “Yes she did. And mother, I intend to find my real, biological mother, will you help?”
Casey wasn’t smiling anymore but her tone did not change “I’m sorry honey but that won’t be possible. She was dreadfully allergic to the drugs we used and soon after she conceived you, she died”. Rose let out a yelp. This was not good, not good at all. Rose began to rock back and forth. She hung her head and once again she found herself in the niche she often found herself dwelling in. Casey, who had her hands behind her back the whole time, walked slowly towards her daughter. She sat on the bed and in one quick movement had Rose pinned to the bed with a knife to her throat. “Rose honey? I’m sorry but your…what should we call them, powers? Are getting too strong and strength is not something we encourage in women”.

Terror filled Rose’s eyes and mind. If she was going to die she wanted to put up a bit of a struggle first. Rose quickly scanned her room and found what she was looking for. The mirror! She willed the old style mirror to fly across the room. It took a few attempts as it was not weightless and after the fourth attempt the mirror flew across the room at a rapid pace. It stopped above Casey’s head then fell. But Casey was too quick. She rolled herself and Rose off the bed just in time. During the roll Casey had accidentally forced the knife through Rose’s neck. Blood came from the wound and also from Rose’s mouth onto Casey’s dress. Just as well I wore black today isn’t it? Casey commented and pushed the body that had fallen on top of her away from herself from her daughter’s dead body. She stood up examining the lifeless body. Casey picked the limp, motionless body up and stumbled towards the bed. She dropped Rose on her bed and carefully pulled the blankets up to her daughters chin then kissed her forehead. Casey walked towards the door and paused in the doorway, looking at the small in adamant object lying in its bed “Love you sweetie” then she left.

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Comments by other Members

juleschoc at 20:04 on 16 November 2004  Report this post
Have you been reading 'Carrie' by Stephen King? This story reminds me of it.

Poor Rose. I feel quite sorry for her..she doesn't seem to belong anywhere!

I think one thing you need to establish is your protagonist's (who I assume to be Rose?) goal. What does Rose aim to achieve in this story? It is not quite clear to me. At one point I thought it was the love of Logan. This might be something to think about if you want to develop the story or push it in a new direction. In any story your main character must have a goal/want/need/desire that the audience/reader want to see resolved.

I'm not quite sure which genre this story is either. I take it to be a horror/historical/romance because of the names religious references and romantic elements.

If you want it to be a modern story I'd avoid words such as bestowed. I'd also swap gotten for got unless the story is set in America. If it is you need to be more consistent and use more American slang.

You seem to repat things or use redundant words. In the first paragarph for example you tell us that there was little light in a number of ways. The reader only needs to be told once.

Also I'd think carefully about your choice of words.

e.g. 'She placed an eerie foot in front of her'

Are feet eerie? You could overcome this by saying something like 'her feet looked eerie on the floorboard of the old house.'

Whe you say her 'dear' sister do you mean it with sarcasm on Rose's part? If not then I'd avoid it.

Also 'there was something about the 'carefulness' of his voice.' Another word such as precision might be more appropriate.

I'd also avoid ''The first question was'. It would work much better if you wrote 'What could she tell her parents about the blood on her wrist?' this makes the sentence less passive and more active. In writing it is always better to try and avoid the passive voice. Writing with an active voice gives more impact.

I loved 'Giggles could be heard then the sweet 'Ssh' of the male.' You obviously have the art of showing and not telling. This is essential in a good story.

Also loved the romantic elements. You reinforce the idea of romance with props such as clothing and the bed.

'One wrong step and a creaky floorboard could mean the end of the sweet voice'...that's beautiful writing.

It seems as if I have criticised a lot, but I hope I have been helpful. I notice that you are very young, but I definately think there is a spark in your writing. Did you know that writers don't reach their peak until they are in their 60's?

Only you can develop your writing by reading and writing more. look at other short stories with a critical eye..try see what works in them and try it in your own writing.

This is worth doing because you certainly have a talent. It is up to you how you develop it.

Looking forward to more of your writing..It would be even better if you decide to develop this little piece.


juleschoc at 20:05 on 16 November 2004  Report this post
P.S. What do the eyes of the dying see? I think it must be life and the colour of it fading......

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