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Rosie Young, only child, 14 years old. She was nothing special, she wasn’t a genius or stupid, but neither was she ill mannered or rebellious. She was quite plain and simple, she was not religious nor did she have any commitments at all. Except attending the dire annual family reunions, where she got was “Oh my, you have grown.” So like I said, she was nothing special.
There was a light breeze that autumn morning, golden leaves floated gently to the ground. The grass was jewelled with morning dew and the smell of bonfires hung in the air. Rosie kicked the leaves out of her path, cursing quietly to her self as the sodden undergrowth stuck to her white socks. She glanced up and sighed, the sun was rising higher; the bus would be there any minute.
“No it was like, proper huge” Rosie emphasized,
“But couldn’t it have just been like, a really big house?”
“No, it was absolutely massive”
“Ok” Zoe said uncertainly.
“It was “Rosie insisted. It was 3:30 after a hard day at school Rosie and Zoe were knackered and were so glad that school was over and weekend had just started. But Zoe was fed up, Rosie had been talking about this ‘vision’ all day and she was sick of it. She glanced up at Rosie, admiring her chestnut hair and deep blue eyes. Zoe sighed; Rosie had always been a stunner.
“It’s dark, so very dark here” Rosie murmured in a strange quiet voice. Zoe looked at her in surprise, it was broad daylight, and they were outside. Rosie’s eyes looked odd; her pupils Zoe realised had turned from black to a reddish brown. “Rosie? Rosie, are you ok?”
Rosie looked back at her blankly
“Yeah course I am, why wouldn’t I be?”
Zoe shook her head, thinking she had miss heard, thinking it must have been a trick of the light.
“Never mind, I’ll see you tomorrow then yeah?”
Rosie answered her best friend before turning left, up her garden path. It was an old cottage she lived in. It had a Rose arch entwined with ivy curving across her old oak door. She unlocked it and walked in. suddenly, she keeled over, the room was spinning, and Rosie got the feeling she wasn’t alone.
She sat up and steadied herself, but the banister she had hold of for support was no longer the familiar wooden post it was a cold stone statue. She ran her fingers across its face; its beady eyes followed her as she walked towards the narrow staircase.
“Rosie, Rosie love?” Paul gently shook his daughter, a worried look overcastting the usual twinkle n his eyes. Rosie slowly opened her heavy lids. “How did I get here? Why, how?” she stammered, looking about her room. Her old teddies were all lined up on the shelf. Everything was just as she had let it.
“Ro, I found you in the hall, on the floor, what happened? Did you fall?”
“Oh yeah, erm, must have slipped, sorry, didn’t mean to worry you”
“But are you sure your ok, do you want to go to the hospital, you could have a broken bone.”
“Dad, honestly, I’m fine. What’s for tea?” Rosie changed the subject, Paul’s shoulders relaxed.
“Bangers and mash, 15 minutes”
What had happened Rosie didn’t know. But the statue and the stairs, she had recognised them. She had known where they led.
That night, Rosie had the same dream again; it haunted her thoughts and danced in her eyes. The music was coming and it was getting louder. Rosie climbed out of bed, her eyes were wide and her face pale. She heard the soft violins building the tension, the symbols were crashing and the drums beat in a steady rhythm. He was coming up the stairs, and he was coming to get her.
She awoke suddenly, sitting bolt upright in bed, her hands were cold and shaky, sweat beads rolled down her face. Her heartbeat gradually slowed as her eyes became used to the light. |t was morning, it was ok, it was only a dream, just a dream.
“More like a nightmare” she said to herself getting dressed.
Rosie decided not to tell Zoe, usually she would tell her everything; but this, this was weird, too weird. It had been one of those days, it had started raining at ten and the weather had just dampened Rosie’s mood. They were at the bowling alley when it happened again. Rosie’s eyes changed colour, Zoe noticed it, hell, everyone noticed it. Rosie didn’t though. She didn’t know why everyone stared; neither did she know why she felt that icy spark of fear in her heart. But she did.
Knowing that she had to find out what was wrong with her, she went home early, determined to search the internet about her condition. Was she going mad? Surely not. She ran into her bedroom and locked the door: She definitely didn’t want dad walking in. As she tapped ‘visions’ in to Google, She felt herself slipping into another place, perhaps even another world. The Castle. She was there again. She looked back at the laptop; it read – ‘upstairs, go upstairs.’
Rosie didn’t want to go, she was wrapped in a blanket of fear, she wanted to go home but she didn’t know how to get out. She walked towards the door, her feet dragging her along the musty floor. It was like she had no control, suddenly, the music was there again and her feet were marching along in time to the drums, the piano softly playing in a minor key. To Rosie’s surprise, the tiled floor she was treading on lead to steps, a long winding staircase that hadn’t been there before.
She glanced back; she wanted to run, to hide from the towering stairs, the glistening cobwebs. But onwards her feet took her, she began to ascend. Around half way up, she saw a glimmer of light, a flame maybe. It looked warm and cosy. Like Christmas. It looked safe. She hurried towards it, picking up her pace, her feet barely touching the solid steps.
The music was getting louder. It was following her. Getting faster. She reached the fire; it was in a strange room. The ceiling was high, and old oak beams supported the roof. But what was odd, was that there were sheets, about ten of them. They were all hanging up in lines; she could see shadows behind them, they looked like, like puppets. She reached towards it, compelled by curiosity; her pale hand touched the sheet. It was smooth; dust settled on her fingers.
She clasped the fabric, and pulled. The rip echoed around the empty room, the music had stopped long ago. She glanced at the figure. She gasped, stumbling backwards, the shock was overwhelming, her hand covered her mouth, it was horrific, this creature, she knew it, through the transparent skin and the narrow bones. She saw her dad, Paul; the best father in the world. He had a mouldy rope pulled tightly over his neck – a noose. His face was grey and his eyes dead. She slowly got up, trembling, she touched his dangling hand. It was cold.
She looked up at all the sheets. She didn’t need to see the others. The face of someone long dead was not something anyone should see. It would haunt her forever, those glassy eyes, and the loose rotting skin. She let out a wail, crying out loud, petrified and alone she stood up and grabbed blindly at the nearest sheet.
It was worse than the first. A lot worse, for the creature she saw dangling from that old dusty rope, was herself. Her eyes widened, her heart bounced off the walls. She forced herself to look at the corpse. Eye to eye. She noticed then, that the fire had been replaced by a mirror, an old dusty mirror. She walked over to it and peered in.
Her face was dirty and her palms were covered in grime. But she was alive; she pinched her arm just to check. Yep, definitely real. Suddenly a thought occurred to her, Rosie realised that if her corpse was dangling there, but she was definitely over here, that meant that dad could be still alive too. Relief washed over her. But, she was still confused. How could she be real, and they, disgusting though they were, be real to?
She looked in the mirror again. To her right were the bodies. She spun around just in time to see Paul’s eyes closing. What was going on? She wanted to go to him, to check that he was dead. But she couldn’t, she was glued to the spot. Then the music started. Thunderous and booming, it screeched through the door.
Rosie looked for somewhere to hide, but there was nowhere but behind the sheets. And there was no way she was going there. A thought sprang to her mind. Behind the door, get behind the door quick, she leapt into position. She thought about the horror films she had watched, she was like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But she was missing something, what was it? A weapon, that’s what, she looked around in panic. There was nothing. Suddenly, the mirror vanished, just as the fire had done, but this time it was replaced with a single knife. She lunged at it and gripped it in her sweaty hand.
Rosie sat on the floor, it was just like her nightmare, she could hear the music, and it was getting louder, the creaky stairs giving away the silent intruder. The music man. The footsteps got louder; the music was pounding in her ears. Her eyesight was foggy, she had to get out, he was coming, and he was coming to get her. Her heart pounded, her pulse quickened. She seized the knife. Its deadly silver blade shone, reflecting the dim light. “You know what to do, you dreamt it” A voice whispered in her head. She stood next to the great oak door, the bolt slowly slid open. Click. The door swung open. The huge black figure stood tall. She opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out. She lunged and stabbed. The music abruptly came to a halt. He staggered, and then fell. Relief washed over her once again.
Suddenly she was back in her room the curtains were drawn. Her face drained of colour as she followed the blood stain on her fur rug. Her Dad lay on the floor, the cup of tea he had been carrying still hot on the tray. The knife was embedded deep into his chest.
He had been killed; murdered, instantly.