The Sacrifice

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Usually it was noisy at the orphanage, its shadowy candle -lit hall bubbling to the brim with gossip about parents and new adoptions. But today all the house keepers seemed to be upset about something, they usually covered the orphanage with a happy façade, with smiles and kind words. The smiles they all received yesterday were a thing of the past. A chilly feeling drifted over my small shoulders. My freckled nose scrunched. My long brown hair seemed to pull heavily at my head. Why was there so much darkness to day I thought, so much hate, I added while I watched a small boy being beaten up.

His shoulders slumped as blood flowed in a thin stream from the corner of his mouth. The large rather obese boy continued to beat on him. I yearned to do something badly but couldn’t besides, guys like that eat girls like me for breakfast. I shuddered at the thought of him throwing punches at my small body. It’s not the way I wanted to die but it seemed a lot better than living in this rat hole. By the time I was out of my train of thought the boy was laying crumpled on the ground and the heavy set giant was no were to be seen. I walked over to him. He was lying between two dark granite pillars and sobbed profusely. “Are you ok?” I whispered. No answer came back from the shivering figure. I looked around and still not seeing the chubby boy stooped down to examine the badly beaten youngster.

Raspy breath came from the little figure whose close were tattered and worn down to almost bare threads. “Hey I’m talking to you the least you could do is show me some respect! Now what is your name?” I suppose I was never the most patient person it was one of my strongest flaws but I accepted it. The boy’s eyes grew large as diner plates at the sudden harshness of my words and he cringed. “Oh settle down.” I said impatient once again. “Come on ill help you up.” I said in a tone a notch softer. I bent down and pulled his arm towards me and his legs followed. The little boy was still weak on his feet. “Now what is your name?” I asked again. “Sam” he said answering my question with one furious look as he jerked his arm away from my grip. He turned to limp away. Oh well I suppose he deserves to keep what dignity he has left after being beaten up and helped by a girl. I simply shrugged it off my shoulders and went to the dining hall to eat a nauseating pea and carrot soup for supper.

As I made my way down the hall the smell from supper nearly rubbed my stomach raw. But I had to eat and if I didn’t I would surly die, after all I can’t just eat on Fridays when they have only stale bread which was the best thing they served by far. The cold wind roused my hair, and the leaves around me rattled against the court yards shabby stones. I stumbled over the thresh hold that led to the dining hall. I sat down next to my half friend half enemy Maggie. “Hi” I said and flashed a quick unreal smile. “Mm” she said and scooted over to clear a spot for me.

I finished my super quickly as to get it over with and headed to the row of beds that served as most girls rooms. I strode along until I reached the second to last one. I bent down and grabbed my thin cold night gown that was a hand me down form several older girls. I slipped out of my day dress in a hurried fashion. And jumped into bed eager to enjoy a peaceful slumber, that wasn’t a hand me down it was all my own. But before I could slip into a sleep I heard the care takers whispering and talking hurriedly amongst them selves. “Lets give Sam to him, he is just a useless boy that is getting beaten up and eats our food.” My ears grew sharp as I eavesdropped on what they were saying, pulling all my attention onto that center point. “Very well” the other replied. “Remember to have him in the attic alone before midnight or…well you know just as well as I what would happen.” “This is wrong and cruel!” The other chimed in. “But what choice do we have?” the other wheeled with a harsh reply. “Ill go get him” She sighed. The snappy lady tuned to the other. “And remember no stray children out of their beds tonight.” “Yes maim” the other replied, I crept out of the covers and under the bed skillfully without a sound, as I had many times before.

The ladies still chatted about in the coroner opposite to me, but their closeness did not matter all I knew is I had to save the small boy and for some strange reason I felt like his protector. Almost as if I had taken an oath the second I set eyes on him, even though he made it clear to me that he didn’t want me near. I crawled under all the beds of sleeping children, when I arrived at the end of the bed chain I stepped up and tiptoed out the doors and into the dark frigid corridors. I walked down the opposite forbidden side were the boys dwelled. I sneaked past the older boy’s dormitory but found to my unfortunate luck that the giant boy was eminence around the corner.

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. And perspiration dewed at my temples. I gasped and stepped back. “‘Ell how do you do lil miss? Arn’u in the wrong part o’ the orphanage?” He said mockingly. He obviously spoke bad English. “I am in the right part and the commerce of why is my matter so but out, I’m in a hurry, move.” A current of obnoxious laughs erupted from the fat figure. “Don’t laugh at me I’m serious!” I said offended at his sense of humor. “’m sure ya are serious bu’ eitha way ya don’t belong ‘ere.” This fat tall redhead was really getting on my nerves. “Buddy this is life or death, move!” I said and scowled at him. I would have shoved him a good one but not even the strongest man on earth could move this boy. “I will move on one con’ishon, you got ta’ tell Maggie I like er.” He said. Figures he would like her everyone did her long blond hair as strait and soft as corn silk. How I envied her so. Not for this giant brute’s affection but for the fact that she actually got attention from anyone, I was simply just brushed aside. “Ok. Deal” I said. He smiled and let me pass.

I ran to the young boys area and snooped along till I found the small boy with a red swollen lip and new that this had to be him. I taped on his shoulder and no response came, then I shook him harshly and he flinched. His Green eyes peered out from under his black hair that had grown long enough to conceal his eyes. He also was in terrible need of a bath. But this was too crucial of a time to be picking on appearances I told myself. “Get up!”I said still scared about what the caretakers were talking about before. “And don’t make any sounds” I added in haste as their foot steps thudded down the hall. “Quick get under the bed” I said in a shaky tone. I pulled him down with me. My hand clasped around his mouth and stifled the scream of shock he made. We lay on the filthy and cold concrete floors and held our breath. My shoulders tensed, as I attempted to swallow the ever growing lump in my thought. A nervous tear slid down my face as the tension doubled as the caretakers entered the room.

They walked over to where we lay, and looked at the empty bed. “Were might he have gone?” They whispered, “We need to take another then or the whole orphanages life’s are at stake. Lets get Bobby he’s small and defenseless and wouldn’t give much a fight.” They said and grabbed the tiny five year old boy out the small bed in which he lay, so defenseless in a balled up fetal position. They walked with the still sleeping Bobby out the door. “Poor Bobby” I said in a soft voice. “What’s going to happen to him? Why are you here?” Sam asked. “I’m not sure but I came here to warn you that they were going to take you to the attic and lock you up. But now they have Bobby and you got to help me get him away from them. I’m scared Sam.” As said as my lip quavered into a small frown. “No use in crying lets go help him!” he said with a surprising jolt of enthusiasm. I had to admit his encouragement made me feel better.

We scurried out of the room like hurried little mice exploring corridors for a Crum of bread, but we were on a different mission. This time it was life or death, not an afternoon craving. We waited behind a large pillar until the caretakers had come out of the attic and then stealthily jogged up the stairs to where Bobby was. I pulled a bobby pin out of my hair and began picking the lock. My clumsy fingers fumbled a bit but I got the job done. But I didn’t seem to do it fast enough.

I burst through the door to find a strange dark figure that looked in human and Bobby’s body headless on the floor. My jaw dropped at the sight of the little boys crumpled decapitated body twitching on the ground. Blood soaked the wooden floor bored which was a dark chestnut color before the deep red blood touched its surface. I swallowed the bile that rose in my throat, just as the tall dark figure tuned to look at me. As he looked at me I felt a dark soul travel and explore my every vain and soaked my blood stream with a river of fear and adrenaline. Only his eyes showed and they did enough to scare the daylights out of any one. The rest of his pitiful shadowed face was just a dark shaded black but yet it still outlined his figure. It seemed to me that this thing this creature of darkness was almost like a symbol of death it’s self. My eyes strained to keep their focus from fogging over in wet sloppy tears. I groaned regretting I had ever come up to the attic in the first place.

All my efforts to save Bobby and Sam were in vain now we were all in danger. He turned and leapt up through a hole he had made on the way down from the ceiling. We heard a crunching sound form above us and looked up. The figure plopped back down with a noiseless jump. It felt cold to be in the presence of this thing, even colder than it was on a winter night like this. It was a terror that ran up the small of your back and chilled you to the very bone. This chill was enough to send a grown man away screaming with fright. But I couldn’t move I was so fear stricken it almost didn’t seem real. Time had ceased and my life would soon also.

The thing of living death continued to pace closer to me. My insides churned as a stench aroused from Bobby’s dead body. The Figure walked in soundless motions until he reached Sam. He placed his dark hands on his head and began to rub it as if Sam was just a piece of meat on a rack. “You need to run, I’m not going to make it I’m going…I’m going to die get yourself out” Sam said in breathless gasps. I swallowed as I turned and walked slowly away. I turned just in time to hear Sam scream as the monsters mouth closed around him. I walked even faster now attempting not to make a sound. But the soles of my shoes squeaked annoyingly at the old floor boards. I ran down the attic steps. I wanted nothing less that to be safe from this creature of the night.

Then he spoke as he followed me in a quick pace to the top of the stairs. “No matter where you go I will find you. And whomever you tell about this will die with you in a most pain full death. You are never alone my eyes are always watching you, even in the dead of night.” His threat hung in my mind like a heavy piece of fruit that the branch could not bear. I looked around and not seeing the black figure I headed off to what the orphanage considered a bed room. I was scared for my self, but mostly for everyone else. How long this would continue I did not know but I made a vow on my life to stop it. I crawled into bed. Even though there were still splotches of Bobby’s blood on the bottom right corner of my night gown. But I didn’t have the time or courage to deal with a mere stain now.

I closed my eyes and tried very hard to get some sleep. After all I would have to wake up early to sweep and mop the floors. Eventually after several hours my eyes felt so droopy it was almost as if weights had been attached to the bottom of them. I began to have terrible dreams. These dreams were not about adoptions or any such happy sort. These dreadful dreams were about this horrible thing. I dreamed it grabbed my arm and pushed me against the wall, my brown hair matted with blood and sweat. Then I felt him drool down the side of my face as I was surrounded in the darkness of his mouth.

I awoke feeling like my body was plastered to the sheets. I was sweaty and hot. The stickiness gave me a sort of uncontrollable itch. I longed to scrub it off in a nice hot bubbling concoction of soap and water. But I had neither. I suppose you never really realize how lucky you are until every thing was gone. I knew this all to well. I was brought up until the age of three in a large mansion but my parents died of scarlet fever and I was left to the orphanage, with the understanding that I had no living relatives. Life is a pain but I’ve found the best way to deal with it is by throwing away your past. However the ghostly shadow still stayed in my head. I sat up and picked up my pillow to adjust it. What I found underneath put thick dry spot in my thought and choked me up to the point that I started a coughing frenzy. It was Sam’s bed clothes. They had a sloppy and thick letters that formed words. A message. A threat. That was written in a mess of cold, metallic scented blood. Its red was more a brown now but had not reached the complete old affect it would soon get. No this blood still had a small sheen to it, I noticed as I began to read.

If you do not meet me in the attic by twelve o’clock someone will die then I will find you anyways there is no were to run to Katharine Mitchell

I felt completely unreal, like my life was a voodoo doll that is constantly being thrown around. It was almost like what was happening now was in a play and I was just simply watching it from afar aghast in fear. But none the less this was no joke. This was a time when I felt like a nihilist, nothing in life mattered. I was a null, a non important being sent onto this earth to suffer. I felt like I had no choice. I was going to the attic weather I liked it or not. The day whizzed by in almost a lightning quick speed. It was lunch before I knew it, then dinner. I stooped low while I ate what would most likely be my last meal. Tonight I would be sacrificing myself to die in the place of everyone else. I was the sacrifice that would hopefully end the inimical streak of this in human beast.

I remembered what the redhead wanted me to tell Maggie so I scooted close to her and whispered this usual bit of news in her ear. There wasn’t a soul I knew who hadn’t fallen for her. This giant was just another in line to bow at her throne. I finished the small handful of wilted salad and went on my way to the bedrooms. My last day was quiet I hadn’t talked much and no one seemed to care. It felt as if I could do this and no one would notice my absence.

I shakily slid into my night gown and my fingers barely held the cloth in place as I got dressed. I lay in bed, eyes bloodshot with built up tension. No one really wants to die but I had no choice. My eyes were so wide I just couldn’t blink. After the lights went of and the lumps in the bed were sleeping children began to snore I silently crawled out of bed. My muscles felt cold and clammy, they were also stiffened and twitchy. Every movement I made felt unnatural to me. I stumbled past the door and into the drafty hallways. My legs didn’t feel like they were functioning right and tried to turn around, but my mind said different. I had to confront my fears. I hated being out of options.

The feeling of utter powerlessness surged through my body. I climbed the rickety attic steps until I reached the top. The door opened automatically for my and I unconsciously gravitated to the inside of the room. The door slammed shut behind me. I looked forward and saw no one. Just as I was about to turn around to check behind me, an ice cold hand grabbed my shoulder. I shuttered and my knees buckled. I landed in a kneeling position in one harsh thud. I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand upright. I wanted to fight back but couldn’t find the courage. Whatever this figure was, well it had defeated me already and it knew it. It seemed to anger him that I didn’t want a fight. I decided to give him what he wanted. I arose and looked into his glowing green eyes. I glared back. “You monster how can you kill innocent blood like that?” The thing just laughed. It grabbed my arm and twisted it back. I heard it crack and hot steamy tears ran down my cheeks, but I refused to scream. I wouldn’t give him that triumph. “Small frail human” He chortled in laughter at the sight of my pain.

A demonic chant came from him. It kept a steady pace and grew louder. I had never taken a care to religion but I figured that this thing could possibly be a follower of the devil. Perhaps even the devil himself. It grabbed my arm and shoved me against the wall. This time I screamed. Thick sweat matted my hair. I felt one bloody tear roll down my cheek. I could feel darkness close around me. I felt alone. I could see nothing but a ever growing shadow. I felt my nerves cut off as I sank into the abyss.

The next day my cold dead body was found on the ground. I am telling you this in a warning of what is to come. After all there really aren’t any happy endings.





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