Standing outside, the silence echoes in my ears. The dense fog surrounds me in a wavelike motion. Walking up to the small window I peer through a hole in the dust just big enough to see most of my room. My white crib lays against the wall where it had many years before. A little girl stands in the crib, tears rolling down her frightened face and one by one falling into the cream carpeting below. Her cries of terror break the thick silence surrounding me.
"Shhh, it's all right," I whisper as if she can hear my words. Pressing my hands to the dirty window I try to reach out and comfort her.
Suddenly a bright blue and yellow light flash ran through the the still air. Then, as though time has no bound, the girl is older. I watch as she climbs over the railing with no effort. Tiny feet touch the ground and take off in a frenzied panic to the closet. She steps through the door and into a pitch-black closet. Following a hidden hallway she runs her hand down the side opposite the piles of boxes and numerous piles of cloths. Finally she reaches the connecting door to my parents' room. Stepping to my right over a pile of weeds I make my way to the window looking into my parents' room. I watch the little girl as she stumbles into the hulking four-poster bed and squirms under the heavy down-filled covers.
Heart pounding, I walk around the corner of the worn house past the the old oak tree warning me of its strength with branches outstretched. I stagger toward the doorway, fly up the stairs to the entrance and push open the bulky wooden door. Stepping inside, I recognize the family room and shudder at its remains. Pushing the cobwebs out of the way, I glance about the room noting the deep red brick fireplace to my right, a lamp teetering in some unfelt breeze to my left and the dark brown shag carpet now a lighter shade because of dust, beneath my feet. Continuing down the hallway I double step over the familiar creak in the floor. My breath quickens as I turn the handle to my room. I continue to step inside the dark emptiness. A chill runs down my spine as I hear the hollow cry of the young girl in the now-deserted room.
Lightning flashes, lighting the room for a few seconds, then returning it to its former greenish glow. Quickly I move to the closet, step through the door and come face to face with a wall. In distracted confusion I back out and cross the hallway in search of the girl. Turning the knob to my parents' room my heart begins to pound in time with the ticking of my wristwatch. Peering around the door into the room, I'm again greeted with emptiness. In a frantic trance-like state, I look around and begin to sob. Lost and confused I unconsciously stumble to a jagged piece of broken mirror left carelessly upon the floor. Looking into the glass I see a scared frightened face covered in tears. What I see is the little girl. 1
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.