Author: Raven's Hymn PM
If someone sees something no one else does, are they crazy? Charlotte "Charlie" Gramm says she isn't, but are the things she sees all in her head? Or is everyone else blind?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Mystery/Suspense - Chapters: 6 - Words: 10,600 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 02-16-13 - Published: 01-24-13 - id: 3095006
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'm staring out into nothing. I can see trees, land, but not much else. I can feel the bumps in the road when the car goes over them, the one that is now leading me to my new life. Compared to the one I had before, the one people think I threw away, this one might be just a little bit better.
No one in the place where I am going knows me, or what I did. For me that is a blessing. I can be happy now, I guess. I don't have to live the way I used to, and yet I am not overflowing with happiness. I think I know why joy has not reached me: it's because there is always the same doubt, the same fear that hangs like a cloud over my head. I know more than anyone else as to why it's there, and there is nothing that will take it all away, not unless I had a time machine to make sure nothing ever happened. But I don't, so I can't. So here I go, with a new name and a new life ahead of me in a new place filled with new people.
But no matter where I go, or who I become, my past will always be there, haunting me every single day of my life until I keel over and die. Something tells me that when these new people find out about my past and who I really am, and that might be really soon, just like everyone else, they will make sure that their feelings about what happened, about what I did, would be heard.
I don't know much about this place; I've lived in the same small area of Southern California all of my life, and even then I did not pay all that much attention to the history and landscape. My mind was otherwise occupied.
I look at the man who is my uncle, staring at the road ahead. His is not young; his face is that of a man much older than his almost forty years. Stress and late nights have taken their toll not only on his face but his weary form. His shoulders sag as if in defeat, his hands tremble slightly, and he walks everyday as if he were marching to his death. He hasn't spoken a word to me since we met. He cannot even look at me for very long before he has to look away. Maybe, after all that he's been through, what he sees in me is too much for him.
The car slows down as a large, metal fence comes into view. He stops when we are in full view of an iron gate that surrounds what seems to be just more forest. The wrought iron of it all reminds me of a prison, a thought that sends shivers down my spine. My uncle takes no notice to my distress; he instead speaks to the man guarding the gate. He shows the man his identification and explains why we're here. The man looks at a small clipboard and at my uncle's identification.
"If I might ask," said my uncle, "what's with the security?"
"We've had a few attempted kidnappings this past year," the guard answered. "Never caught the guy, so we're on the alert. Can't be too careful, especially when you consider the people living here." With that he opens the gate and lets us through.
Trees so tall they seemed to reach heaven dots the landscape of perfect lawns worthy of a millionaire's private getaway. This scene continues until little by little the pale grey of a building comes into focus. The car stops at a driveway, a white stone fountain encircled by grass several feet away. A woman in her late forties, hair untreated with products hung loosely past her shoulders, stood close to the glass and metal entrance of the building, no doubt waiting for us. Her jeans and pastel blouse fit her in a way that showed her femininity. Silver jewelry on her wrists and neck shone in the light, rhinestones from a cross catching the light and reflection onto the nearest object.
When the car stopped and my uncle and I got out, I could easily see the piercing blue of her eyes, eyes that seem to smile even in the worst of times. I don't look at her for very long for certain reasons. She either does not notice this or does not say anything. My uncle walks over to the woman with me close behind. The woman introduces herself as Hanna Thomson, the director of this private establishment.
I look around at the people I will be living with for what just may be the remainder of my life. Someone is tossing a ball into the air and mumbling something to no one in particular, two people are arguing about something, and a woman is sculpting the hedges into something that is yet to be finished. Hanna notices my staring and smiles.
"You don't have to worry about anyone here knowing who you are, Charlotte. We don't show the news here, since some of your residents can't always handle what's being shown."
My fears have nothing to do with being discovered. If she had any indication of what I am truly afraid do, she would not be smiling.
She leads my uncle and me around the facility, talking to employees and residents in the same manner as anyone else. The other places I have visited didn't treat me well; that is why my uncle wanted me to live here. As much as he might resent my existence, he still does not wish me to feel inferior to anyone else.
After the tour, I'm lead to where I will be staying. It reminds me of a studio apartment I spent a few days in once, before things changed. There is a small kitchen area with a stove, a microwave, and a table, a small area with a desk and chair, and a bed.
"I hope you will be comfortable here, Charlotte," said Hanna. "When you're ready, I'll introduce you to some of the other residents. I'll just leave you two alone to say your goodbyes."
She leaves me with my uncle. But she is mistaken: there will be no tears, no lasting embrace, no apology for what I have gone through or my illness, and certainly no goodbye.
My uncle looks at me for only a second before he looks down at his shoes. There are no words for us; words are reserved for loved ones.
"I hope you will be happy here, Charlotte," he tells the ground. With that he walks away, not once looking back. There will be no letters, no phone calls; all there will ever be is a care package every once in a while, filled with things he thinks will interest me.
I never said a word the entire day.
He played around with the liquid color on the tips of his fingers: a bright red that held a metallic hint in its scent. It always amazed him at how such trivial things such as colors and smells could have such an effect on people. The wrong color on a wall could make a couple fight for hours and an odd smell in a room could drive a man insane. Humanity had no limits to the chaos it could create over such little things.
So many of them were such hollow, soulless things, never once thinking about anything or anyone but themselves. They never once bothered to take a look and smell the blood-stained roses they helped create. That's why they need someone to help them, and for a long time he tried his best to do just that. Then the unthinkable happened and he had to stop. Now he was given an unimaginable gift, a miracle from above. Now he will be able to fulfill his destiny as the giver of hope for the world.
He already had the people he wanted to punish for their crimes against the world and those with the souls he deemed as pure, those with broken hearts that he would heal with his truth, true justice in the best sense of the word.
They told him that he was insane, and maybe they were right. Maybe he was insane, and maybe he was the one who saw more than the rest of the world dared to. But that was for God to decide, and if he truly was insane, then he will take his punishment like the monster he is. But if he wasn't, well, then the world will be the ones punished. There was just one thing that he needed to do before he set out on his much delayed journey: chose the first to be shown the light.
He wiped his fingers on his sky blue shirt, revealing the small red line on his thumb. He ignored the pain as he picked up the dozens of photographs of those who deserve justice, the innocents who have paid dearly for the crimes of the guilty. Once all of the photographs were laid out before him, mirrors of those who he hoped to avenge, he twirled his index finger around in a circle, quietly humming to himself.
Let the song of those in need call to me, their angel, he sang in his mind. Let their cries for justice be heard by me, their savior. Let all who dare to harm those who are pure, the monsters, let them feel the wrath of their victims suffering with each and every drop of crimson that falls from their veins, the hero of them all.
As the song in his mind ends and his finger rests on a picture, he smiles to himself. This will be the one who will soon have their day to celebrate justice. Already the gears in his head started to work their magic, fueled by the blood of the ones who he will avenge.