As Autunm Dies

March 15, 2009
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She lays on the bed, her hair fanned out on the pillow. She looks like an angel. Calm and peaceful but most of all, innocent. You wouldn't believe the thing's she's gone through, the thing's she's seen, the thing's she's done. Her life has been more tragic than most, but right now that doesn't matter. None of it matters, not to him. All he sees when he looks at her is another girl who lost her way. Another girl with hate in her heart and blood on wrists. Another girl who needs to be saved from herself.
As her eyes open, the sun streams through the windows, the light dancing on her skin. She is beautiful. Her long blond hair has hints of red and her eyes are the brightest blue. Her small frame and porcelain skin make her look fragile and defenceless. She can't be more than 16 and yet she has the air of someone much older. Maybe it's what she's been through, the things she had to live with, that make her see the world differently. She stands up and looks down at herself. Her clothes make a huge contrast to her beauty. Her skirt is ripped and torn, her t-shirt covered in the dirt from countless ally ways and street corners. This is the first time in months that she has slept in a proper bed. She turns around and jumps as she sees him standing in the doorway.
'Hi, feeling better?'
She just frowns. She doesn't know who he is or why he is in her room, although that is nothing new to her.
'I'm Coby, by the way. I saw you come in last night, you looked pretty rough.'
'Yeah.' Her voice is shaky, as if she's forgotten how to use it.
'I'm in the room next to you so, if you need anything...' His face is slightly hopeful, he wants to be able to help her.
'Thanks, but I'm good.' She was never going to accept his offer, she had learnt for herself that nothing in this world comes free, you had to get by on your own because no one was going to come and rescue you. There was no such thing as Cinderella and prince charming, there was no such thing as a happily ever after. Not for her anyway.
'You didn't tell me your name.' he points out.
' I know.'
'I told you mine.'
She sighs. 'You aren't going to leave me alone are you?'
'No.' He grins.
'Autumn. My name's Autumn.' She smiles back.
Chapter 1
She lay on his bed, with her headphones on, listening to a CD. He had made it for her birthday last week and she hadn't stopped listening to it since. Coby had written all the songs on it, they were amazing. At least she thought so. As the last song finished he walked in. The second he saw her it made him smile. It was a reflex, he couldn't help it. Even if he was angry, seeing her would make him forget everything.
'Hey. What you listening to?'
'You know what I'm listening to.' She replied, getting up and making room for him to sit next to her.
He sat and put his arm round her shoulders.
'Where've you been?' she asked him, he hardly ever went out without her.
'Trying to get a job. You should too, we can't stay here forever.'
'Yeah, I know. Six months at most, wasn't it?' They were living in a shelter for the homeless. It was set up by a guy called Andy Deneal, who was trying to help them get clean, get a job, whatever they needed. He tried to help them do what they couldn't on their own. They could only stay at the shelter for six months though, because so many people turned up. There were so many homeless people in London, usually all the rooms were full.
'Yeah, and I've been here for four.' He sighed.
She stood up and grabbed his hand. She loved the feel of his skin on hers, it felt like there was electricity rushing through her veins. They had been going out since she arrived here seven weeks ago and they still weren't tired of each other. They never went a day without talking and although they were young, they both knew they had found something special. Something loads of people never get a chance to have.
She led him next door, to her room. They sat on her bed with their arms around each other, in that moment nothing mattered but them. The rest of the world didn't exist.
'I love you.' The words escaped her lips and almost instantly she regretted it. It was stupid, she was stupid. Now she'd ruined everything. He wasn't going to want to spend the rest of his life with her. She couldn't live without him but he didn't need her. As she thought this, she could feel her heart shatter.
'Sorry.' She whispered, and pulled away from him.
'I love you too, you know.' His voice was so low he wasn't sure she'd even heard it. He held her face in his hands and kissed her. It wasn't their first kiss, but it was their best. It was long and passionate, the kind of kiss they have in the movies. Then he looked deep into her eyes. 'I love you so much. I'll never leave you, never.'
Tears ran down her cheek as he held her tight in his arms. He didn't want to ever let her go.
Chapter 2
Two weeks later they were both still at the shelter. They had become even more inseparable, if that was possible. Coby was sat in her room writing songs while she slept. She'd fallen asleep about an hour ago, and he had decided to write a song for her. Not just anything, but something special. He wasn't that good at love songs though, so it was taking him a while. He sighed. Reaching for a new piece of paper, he decided to start again. That was when he saw the book.
It was pink, with silver lettering. It was in a Chinese, he thought, or Japanese. He couldn't read it anyway.
Opening it, he saw photo's, stuck on every page. Pictures of Autumn, him, and quite a few were of people he didn't know. There were some of four little kids. Five pages of them. The same kids in every one. A baby, two toddlers and a girl of about 6. He saw their faces, over and over again, staring up at him from each picture. The last photo of them had black marker scribbled across it. It blocked out three of the kids faces. The baby and the two toddlers. As he looked at it, it began to unnerve him. He noticed how the girl's blonde hair had hints of red, how her face seemed perfectly proportioned, how she had a scar running down her leg. He noticed how the girl was almost identical to Autumn.
Then he saw another picture with marker scribbled all over it. It was two people standing in front of a house, with a newborn baby in their arms. Even through the marker he could see the look of disgust on the parents faces, the way the mother held the baby, awkward, as if she was about to drop it. The baby was crying, it's face the only one not blacked out.
Going through the book he found newspaper clippings, loads of them hidden at the back.
Five dead, one missing
At 4 AM on the morning of Friday 17th august a neighbour reported screaming coming from a property on canyin road. When police arrived at the scene they were greeted by a horrific sight. The bodies of two adults were found, covered in stab wounds. A further three bodies were found in the kitchen. It was confirmed earlier that they were those of Mr and Mrs Riley and three of their children, Rayne, Anna and Jason. Autumn, their oldest child, is missing. If anyone has any information of her whereabouts they should call 01225 668692.
She has blonde hair and a scar on her leg. Blue eyes and is only 6 years old. Please, if you see her call.
'Where the hell did you get that?' Autumn's voice was right next to his ear, he hadn't noticed he wake up.
'I just found it, I didn't know what it was.'
Tears began to fall from her eyes, she grabbed the book back from his hands.
'I'm sorry. If I thought you didn't want me to see it I wouldn't have looked. I'm really sorry. But... what is it? That's you, the little girl?' He was curious, what had happened?
'My family was murdered, okay.' She really didn't want to talk about it, but see could see that he wasn't going to let it go.
'Yeah, but...' He sighed. 'Look, I don't want to upset you but you have to talk about this. I don't want us to have any secrets, and this is a massive secret. You don't have to hide from me.' His voice was soft and it calmed her down. She felt like she could trust him. For the first time in her life she felt like he wouldn't let her down. So she told him. She told him everything.
'I hated my family. They hated me. It was hell living with them. I just snapped. I don't know what happened. I just remember screaming at them. That's it. Then there was red. I knew it was blood and I saw the knife in my hand. I killed them.' By now the tears had turned into sobs. They were the type of tears that hurt your stomach and burned your eyes.
'I just ran. I knew what I'd done and I knew what would happen to me if I stayed so I went.'
She just sat there, the sobs racking her body, the salty tears causing her mascara to run down her cheeks.
'You never went back? They never found you?'
'Do you think I'd be here now if they had?' Seeing him sitting there, tears glistening in his chocolate brown eyes, she knew she had made the wrong decision. She should never have told him. He was going to abandon her, just as everyone else had.
She was right.
'I can't do this. You killed your parents, your brother and sister, your baby sister. How could you do that?' He stood and walked out. Without looking back. Once again she was alone in the world. She reached for the knife.
Chapter 3
As Coby went back to his room a thousand things were tumbling through his mind. He loved her, he loved more than anything. But she'd killed her family. How could someone do that? He should tell someone. The police. She shouldn't get away with it. He wanted to keep her safe and never let anyone hurt her. He wanted to never see her again. All his thoughts and emotions were conflicting with each other. He didn't know what to do. So he just broke down. He sobbed as much as she did, He just wanted to rewind and go back to six weeks ago, when he was happy, when he had had nothing to worry about.
Chapter 4
As the sun streamed through the window, the sun danced over her skin. He was stood in the doorway, his heart shattered into millions of pieces. He watched the sun sparkle on her hair, her eyes, her blood. The floor was a river of red, wherever he looked it was there. He knew deep down, this was his fault for leaving her last night. She had taken a knife to her wrist and cut all her pain away. As he saw her corpse, he died inside. As Autumn died, so did he.

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