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More Unusual Things
On this ominous night, in late summer; mid august I would say, a storm rolled in. Popping out boldly from behind the mountains where it had been hiding for days. The thunder raced through the sky and the lighting quickly but not quietly kissed the ground. It shook the village of, Knightley, and our house along with it. I would say it to be impressive reason being that we were around ten to twelve miles away. It would only be in a matter of time before we would be leaving our home town and moving somewhere new, somewhere better. At least this is what they, my family, were trying to convince me. Being the stubborn fourteen year old girl I was, I did not want to move. It was never my idea to go somewhere “better”, Knightley was already a dream, I was living the high life and they wanted to take that away from me. There was nothing I could do now, our stuff was loaded into our wagon and we were to leave at the crack of dawn.
As the sun inched its way over the mountain we were on our way to a “new beginning” obviously one I clearly did not want.
“Sarah I know you will love it, there is so many opportunities awaiting you at the new house” mom said in a warming voice, “your brother agrees very much with this decision and he is quite excited to go on a new adventure, I am not seeing why you are all of a sudden acting up like this.” She exclaimed.
“You do not get it and I strongly believe you never will. You expect me to throw my entire life away and leave it in shreds behind me.” I cried out, now in tears. Mother tried to comfort me in the best way possible. Nothing, I thought, nothing will work, it will never be the same! The voices inside my head were terrifying, my emotions were on fire; every time someone tried to “help” It only felt as if they lit another match and threw it into, what was already, a raging fire. What would I do in this new, unfamiliar area? All of my friends were back in Knightley. I would be all alone with nobody but my parents and my peculiar brother, Jimothy. This, you should know, Jimothy is a very unusual child, he is what I would say, uncommon or, rare. For an example, he absolutely despises the sun, he refuses to eat items with any sugar at all, and he is a vegan. His skin is extremely pale, it looks as though it would blend in perfectly with fresh, clean white snow. He has black hair dark like the sky on a moonless night, a rather frightening sight. His eyes were blue, crystal like. The clothing items he chose to wear consist of the same odd things, a black knitted sweater vest with a white shirt underneath, black/brown shorts that would fan out due to his skinny legs and, black knee high socks. He was short, frail and always had a vile odor. My parents offered way more protection than what he really needed.
The drive up to our new home was absolutely dreadful. I was informed moments earlier that the town we were destined to go to was named, New Castle. It would take around two days to reach our destination.
The ride was long, bumpy and scorching hot. I spent most of my time in the back of the wagon I still was not happy about the move. I sat there often falling into deep thought. Sometimes I found myself building on assumptions about the new house. After all mother did say it was quite beautiful. She said it was rather large, about triple the size of our previous house. I would be able to get my own room, which was one thing I was very happy to receive. At least there was one good thing in this move. It was heaven in my mind, Jimothy would be on the right wing; I would be on the left. His room was on the second floor and mine was on the main floor. Which I thought was nice.
Our two long days finally came to a close, we had arrived in the town of New Castle. We did not stop there. The house was located four miles away from town in the middle of the dark evergreen forest that thickly covered the outskirts of town. So on we marched. When we arrived to the house it was early morning, my stomach was in deep pain, for we had eaten very little in our traveling time.
I stepped out of the wagon into the dazzling sun. The air was cold and dew coated the grass which reached all the way around the house. After standing in one place for a short amount of time, I took a look around. Mother was right! The house was astonishing. For it was very large; some may even say it was a mansion! It was adorned beautifully with flowers that stretched all the way around the house. The scent they gave off was truly amazing. The other portion of the yard was shaded by magnificent trees which swayed lightly in the cool, soft breeze. The morning was fresh. The birds sang softly, harmonizing with the rest of nature. I now regret protesting against this decision. This was going to be amazing I just knew it. My heart leaped with excitement. I dashed into the house, it was just as beautiful within as it was without. Everything was so open, windows were everywhere, it all was so bright and beautiful. The vintage furniture was stunning! Only wanting to explore more, and more of the house I raced to my bedroom. As I entered, my jaw dropped. It was a big as our previous house. Opportunity and ideas flowed through my mind while I paraded through the foyer. Right next to the king sized bed lie a swing. A swing? How could life get any better? In the far right hand corner, a dome ceiling with striking rich paintings sit untouched for decades. The history they show was absolutely brilliant. The walls were painted a dark green while crown molding bordered the top and bottom of each wall. As I walked over, right across the area that my bed sat in was a vast walk-in closet. I thought I could just live in there alone! There were large windows in every area they could be placed with long, heavy curtains that draped over every window.
As the sun began to fall behind the mountains the forest darkened, the fireflies lit up and flew throughout the maze of trees as if they were playing Hide-and-seek. Cotton candy and peachy colors filled the sky, the trees blackened, and the wind whispered its secrets as the sleepy town was now at rest.
This was our first night at our new house. I would have to admit, I was really scared. My brother and parents were not even close to where my room was. I was alone. The only way to get to my family would be to go down a long eerie hall. There were only five light fixtures that lit up the hall. I was not willing to take that risk, I do not believe I would be able to make it.
That night I was suddenly woke up by what sounded like someone dancing and singing. It was light but loud enough to wake me up. The sound got closer to my room. When it did, it stopped right in front of my door. I froze. What was this thing? It’s not Jimothy, obviously it sounded like a girl, about my age. But how did it know I was in here? The lights were on in the hall, I could tell because of the light shining through the cracks of my heavy wood door. The big heavy wooden door slowly opened. In an instant, I threw my covers over my head. To scared to look, I began to violently quaver. My emotions got the better of me, I was crying uncontrollably although, I managed to keep it silent. I felt a cold object sit down on my bed. I held my breath.
The object spoke in a soft voice, “You know, you do not have to be afraid of me.”
I responded in a faint whisper, “But I am.”
The girl drew back my covers and revealed herself. Her skin was grey and her hair was a kind a of brown-blue. She wore a tattered light blue dress and had no shoes. She gave off a vile odor and her breath was cold and smelled earthly. I guessed she was around my height and age. Again, she spoke, “My name is helena, this is my house and my room, you and your family are not welcome here.”
I was startled by her abrupt comment, my eyes widened. Her face was now inches away from mine. I breathed heavily, and sat there, completely thoughtless. After a few moments of silence I finally spoke with confidence,
“ This is my house now, and this is my room. It is you who is not welcome here. My family owns this place and I sure do not appreciate the impolite way you are speaking to me. I suggest you leave this instant!”
Helena was now very angry. Her face expression spoke for itself. I now regretted everything I had said. She had her arms folded and her emerald green eyes revealed my worst nightmares. I spoke again in a more softer voice, “ I do not understand, why are you here?”
The girl replied in heated tone, “ Can’t you see? I can not leave, I am stuck in this town forever. I have been in this house alone for five decades, people like you are just too selfish and foolish to help me.”
Just like that, gone more quickly that she had come. I was too tired to be scared, it was three a.m. and I had no reason to get up and go after Helena. In a sudden moment, I fell back, pulled my covers up to my neck and fell into a deep heavy sleep.
The next day I said nothing to my family about what had happened the previous night, nor was I planning on it. It killed me to keep it to myself but I somehow was able to do it. On this day, all we did was unpack and rearrange. It was boring for the most part. Although, in the distant shadows I could have sworn I saw Helena standing there, watching, waiting, listening. Just like yesterday, the sun rose and was now coming to a close. Tonight I told myself, is not going to be a repeat of last night. Let’s see if we can fool her. Honestly, I was secretly terrified of her. I had a magnificent plan. I would stuff some clothes in my bed sheets and make it look like I was in the bed. After doing so, I dressed in my nightgown, and put on a warm coat and some boots. I grabbed a lantern from a storage box, lit it and proceeded outside. In the not-too-distant trees I crouched behind some undergrowth.
When 2:30 a.m. rolled around I watched from outside in the warm night air. I saw Helena dance down the hall, displayed by the multiple windows, and enter into my quarters. She drew back my covers following the pattern she had done the night before. Not surprisingly, she was shocked. She left my room and to my surprise, she left the house. I assumed she saw my lantern, I stood up, my back was arched in an effort to crouch. Leaving my lantern I slowly backed away. She was coming my way I turned into the woods and ran. To make things better, while I was running I looked back for one second, when I flipped my head back around I was falling, I fell of a small cliff around eight feet tall. I landed on my left leg, I heard a snap then instantly fell to the ground. As a reaction to the incident, I grabbed my shin, my leg was in immense pain. Instead of lying on the ground, I forced myself to go on. As I raced through the forest, my heart was pounding against my chest, my lungs were begging for air. I looked back to see if she was following me, she was not there! For the slightest second I felt almost fortunate that she was out of sight. Realizing the consequences to this only moments later I cringed and fell to the ground beneath a large crowd of bushes. Panicking was the last thing I needed to do, I needed some time, any time even if seconds would be the only time I would be able to grasp. In a matter of minutes, I heard a faint snap trying my best to send comforting thoughts I tried to persuade myself into thinking it was only an animal passing by. I could never have been more wrong. Helena Grabbed my shoulders and turned me over facing her.
“What are you doing?” She asked in an infuriating shout.
“Getting away from you, obviously!” I roared.
“I thought you would be the one to help me. You would be the one to set me free, but you are just like all the others. You’re afraid of me, all you can think to do is run and hide from me.” She cried.
I was silent, she turned away and vanished into the darkness of the night.
All the way home I was limping and crying. I cried so much I could have filled up the Mississippi River. When I got back to where the lamp was I picked it up and made my way back to my room. Where I crawled into my bed and cried myself to sleep.
Early in the morning I went outside and staged my leg injury by “falling out of a tree” so my family would not find out what took place last night. My shin was bruised and my legs and arms were scratched up. After mom heard my cry for help she raced outside and took me into town to see a doctor “right away”. We soon found out that it was broken and I would need to be on crutches for at least 6-8 weeks. It was a long time but I would do anything to get rid of the pain in my leg, no matter how long it takes.
On the way home I got to thinking about what Helena had said to me. Me be the one to help her? What does she mean? What in the world would she need help for? When we got home I saw her in the dark corner, I hopped over there and got the courage to say, “I have been thinking about what you said last night, and I believe I want to help you.”
“Oh how wonderful! Thank you so much, I did not know if or when you would come around.” She carefully whispered with excitement.
“But, what is it I am helping you with exactly.”
“My apologies, if you have not figured out by now, I am dead, dead as a doornail. When I was fifteen I tragically died in the forest, not to far from where you fell. See I was playing hide and seek with my brother I tripped and fell off the cliff, just as you did. Only, I landed on my head. Everything went black, I had no control over my body. I woke up in my bed and everyone was gone, I was able to move my body just fine and my head did not hurt anymore, that is when I knew.” Her voice was low, it was hard to make out her words.
“You knew what?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“That I was gone.”
“How can I help you?” My voice was full of concern.
“When someone who has unfinished business dies, they stay in the area they died. That is my case. They only way I can leave and return to my family is if someone finds my body and gives my a proper burial.”
“Simple, just lead me to your body, I can bring my parents later and we can have a proper burial for you.”
“Thank you Sarah, I don’t know how to thank you!”
“Well you could leave Jimothy alone, he doesn’t say anything about it but I know you are tormenting him.”
“Fine, but for this reason only.” Helena giggled.
“When should we go?” I asked.
“We shall leave at midnight, meet me out front by the rose bushes.” Helena then faded away.
I had waited in bed all day doing nothing but reading. When the clocked chimed at midnight I rushed out to the rose bushes. Waiting there just as she had promised, Helena motioned me over and we walked across the yard into the forest. We had walked, around twenty minutes until we had reached our spot, we could have gotten there much faster but we went slower due to my recent injury.
“Look down.” Helena said.
In doing what she told me to do, I looked down. When I did I saw a decaying body. I was nearly scared half to death. The sight was frightening and the smell was wretched!
“Me? Yes, yes it is.”
“In the morning I will fetch my parents, I can have them call the police and we will have you properly buried right next to your family, if possible.”
“Do you really think so?”
“I know so.”
On our way back to the house Helena discussed with me all of what she wanted at her funeral. She wanted nice music, as many people as possible and she wanted me to give a brief speech about her. I agreed to try and achieve this short list of things for her. We stepped out onto the lawn under the silver moon and headed back inside.
When the sun climbed its way up into sky, I awoke and gathered my parents to show them Helena’s body. They were merely confused but went along with it anyway. After struggling to get back up to the cliff, I finally showed my parents the corpse. They were shocked, as a result, they called the police, just as planned, and they to showed the officers the corpse and ordered a proper burial. I was overjoyed, they had fulfilled my requests and now Helena, after five decades of waiting, would finally be able to reunite with her family once more.
One day had passed and Helena’s funeral was planned to be held at noon. I had my speech prepared and Jimothy had picked a nice song. The mortuary prepared Helena’s body and had her in her coffin all ready to be buried.
At noon, the sky was cloudy and the air was cold. When we arrived, I was taken by surprise, more than half the town showed up to the funeral, everyone dressed in their finest black attire. This was better than I could have ever imagined. After sharing my speech and singing the song, there were few remarks until the casket was lowered. She had finally had a nice funeral. The one she always dreamed about, a speaker, a song, some people to attend it and most important, to be buried right next to her family. All of her wishes had now become a reality.
I would be the last person to leave the graveyard. While I was sitting on the grass placing flowers around Helena’s brand new sparkling headstone I heard a voice echo in the wind, “Thank you, Sarah.”
That was the last I ever heard Helena’s voice. Back at the house everything was quiet, it was as if time stood still. Life went on as we know it and the memory of Helena was always be in my mind, somedays I would still hear her singing beautifully around the house. She was gone, all was at peace and there was no power in the world that could ever change that.