Secrets

The sun was shining. And somehow, it seemed terribly unfair to Gavin Lombardi that it was sunny on his father's funeral.

He watched bitterly as his stepmother stepped up to the podium afore the freshly dug earth to deliver a eulogy.

His stepmother, a petite, classically beautiful red-headed woman who, even at her father's funeral, managed to not give up on her dress-suit brands. The ones that cost more than their apartment.

She started out with a 'heart-wrenching sob' and opened up her wide blue eyes, swimming with tears. It was all perfectly choreographed. She then looked everyone in the eye with her 'holding-in-the-tears' squinty look. The she shuddered, dabbed at her eye with a black lace handkerchief.

Gavin wondered how black lace could soak up tears, but decided that this was not the time to ask.

« I met *sniff* Horatio Lombardi at a bar in New Mexico. Y'all know how he loved his whiskey, » she paused for the murmurs of agreement.

Gavin tightened his fingers on the cuffs of his crisp long-gleeved black shirt. He was a fucking drunk. That's what she meant.

« We talked a little. It was one of those love at first sights... »

Gavin rolled his eyes as she muttered on and on and on...

Silently, he retreated and slipped back into the funeral home. There, in all it's glory, sat a bottle of deep red wine, lying untouched, unflawed in the cooler upon the table amongst the oeur-deuvres.

He slipped it into his jacket and made a run for it. He ran through aisles of graves, thought he heard someone call his name, but he ignored it.

He didn't stop running until he'd reached Pan's Hill. A hill that really wasn't a hill so much as an orchard. He didn't stop until he'd reached the largest of them all. From here he could see all of vancouver, the softly rippling water that seperated his slower-paced world from the slightly faster-paced world of the city.

There he sat, with some difficulty he removed the cork and took a hearty swig. He spilled soome down his front, but didn't care. This was his life. It was ending one minute at a time.

********

Twins.

Nobody will ever truly understand the meaning of that word. No one will ever truly understand what it is to be a 'twin'. It has nothing to do with friendship, and even less to do with psychic matters.

It's about compromise.

You have that half of the closet, and I'll have the other half.

You die your hair blue, I'll die mine red.

You get the top bunk, I'll have the bottom bunk.

You break your leg, and I'll break mine too.

Sometimes these compromises date back to the days of the womb.

You can be the boy, and I'll be the girl.

You can go out first, and I'll come out second.

You can screech, and I can hyperventilate.

You'd think that once you'd reached puberty it wouldn't be an issue any longer.

But heed this warning : IT NEVER ENDS.

My name is Rhina LeFay. My brother's name is Zhea LeFay.

I love him very much, I promise you. But sometimes the contemplation of murder is allowed, if only under certain circumstances. Circumstances he provides everyday.

Like when he wakes up at three in the morning and starts playing guitar. Or if he gets an idea at FIVE in the morning and starts to type loudly on his dandy little laptop.

Or if he starts stealing my clothes, cuts them up, and uses them to turn them into little dolls. He loves making dolls, odd hobby for a boy, I know, but he honestly has them everywhere, all over his top bunk, all over his side of the closet, inside his pockets, his backpack. They are all colourful, and they have facial expressions. They're all about three and a half inches big. And they like to sneer.

Sometimes they have accessories. Like guitars or sombreros. Maracas, fruit baskets, wine. Machine guns.

Sometimes they are angels or demons.

And they are everywhere.

« I also hate it when he gives them to me for my birthday or christmas or valentine's day. I have a drawer especially for them. It's FULL.

I don't need them, they are not particularly useful. If I wanted one, I'd just take one, but I doubt he'd miss them.

Although, yes, he would.

I remember once, whenn we were thirteen, he went all frantic because he couldn't find « Ophetta ».

Ophetta was a little african princess with short cropped dark hair, large gold earrings, and a little bright red wrap-a-round dress.

He's absolutely insane.

He always hums old beatles songs and dave matthews. He scarcely talks.

My mother says it's a faze. This faze has been going on for the last five years.

So today, I am going to put a stop to it.

I have located all his dolls. They are going straight into the basket, the one leftover from easter, and then down to the attic.

They don't fit. He has boxes and boxes and boxes of them. They're everywhere, all over.

They will continue to be all over unless...

Eventually I haul them all down to the basement, I hide them deep in the depths of our father's beer cases.

When he enters our bedroom, I am sitting on the bottom bunk, reading a cosmopolitan magazine. »

He ignored her.

He walked into the closet, stared into his empty space for twenty minutes, then turned to stare at his bed. Well-made. He looked through his drawers in his slow methodic way until it dawned on him that they were nowhere to be seen.

He ran out of the room. From upstairs, Rhina could hear his frantic searching.

He reappeared in the room, flushed and almost...frightened.

« Where are they ? » he asked, his voice dangerously low.

The glint in his eye brought chills to her spine. « I don't know what you're talking about. » she said.

He snarled and turned, pacing like a caged lion. He fisted his hands in his hair, scrunched his eyes shut then opened them again. « Where are they ?! » he cried.

« I don't know. » Rhina said calmly.

« What do you mean you don't know ! You fucking live in this room ! Only you ! What the fuck did you to with them ? » he screeched (yes, a screech. If not a manly, masculine screech).

« I don't know ?! » she screamed back. He was scaring her. She'd thought he'd just... accept it....

He grabbed her arms, fingernails digging into the flesh of her arms. « What did you do ? » he screamed.

She couldn't say anything. She just started sobbing.

Then he did the incomprehensible. He slapped her across the face. She was shocked. And when she opened my eyes enough to see his face, she saw that he was too.

« They're downstairs. » Rhina sobbed.

Shaking he let her fall. He ran out of the room. Rhina could hear his feet thumping on the stairs.

She curled up on her bed, then felt the wetness seep around her hair.

Surprised, she touched her neck. When her fingers came away, she saw that they were dripping blood. When had he cut her ?

She hadn't much time to wonder before her vision wavered and everything went black.

What her parents found when they got home from work that day were an unconscious girl lying on her bedroom carpet bleeding profusely, and a boy sitting in the basement amongst piles of little dolls and overturned boxes, crouching in the darkness, rocking back and forth and sobbing.

They couldn't have known it would happened. And even when they did, there will still secrets.

********

There was indeed a girl with short cropped dark hair and ebony skin. Her name was Phyllia.

She was tall and gangly. Thin and small breasted, yet comfortable in her own skin. Her smile was quick and wide, and her eyes smouldered into a serious penetrating black gaze.

She could have been an african princess, if she didn't live in north america.

There was nothing she wanted more than to be a reporter.

So, when her mother hesitatingly allowed her to tag along with her to work one day, she was ecstatic.

She even dressed especially for the occasion. She even went so far as to don her bright red turtleneck, and her knee-high black skirt and black suede boots.

Classy, she thought.

This was her world. Making her way to the top so that she could bring her ideas and stories to the world. And impressing as well as awing all on the way.

With a quick bite of buttered toast and a goodbye to her cat, Finicky, she rushed out the door and climbed into the passenger seat of her mother's red sedan.

The mental asylum was a huge stone building that spanned near an acre of land in facilities, rooms, testing rooms, gardens, and extracurricular facilities.

It surprised her, just a little, that it was so quiet.

A few people blinked at her, one asked her if she'd like a little red circus to go with that pretty white hair of hers, but she said no thanks.

« Where to, first, mum ? » she asked.

« Well, first I need to see LeFay. Which is never fun because he always gives you the distinct feeling that he knows absolutely everything about you. »

Phyllia blinked at her mother in surprise. « You mean you actually get unnerved. »

Her mother scowled, « I'm not perfect, Phylly. »

Phyllia returned the scowl, « I know that. »

She wanted to say something more, but she faltered when she saw the boy that walked through the doors. His general complexion was pale. His face narrow, and strong. His eyues were coal black, and fringed in nthick dark lashes. His hair was a glossy jet. His full lips were turned up into a sadistic rendition of a smile.

« I suppose that's LeFay. » she whispered to her mother.

« Yes. Hello, Zhea. »

The...creature didn't answer him. His eyes swept over Phyllia, then turned to her mother. « Mrs. Dhoumbia. » he said, giving her a wide grin, « To what do I owe the pleasure of your company ? » he asked.

« Sit down. » directed Ophelia's mother curtly.

He wrestled himself from the arms of his guards and sat down, hard.

He leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. « Am I in trouble ? » he asked softly.

« Yes. » said Phyllia's mother. « I heard about what you did to Emerett the other day... care to elaborate ? » she asked with a raised eyebrow.

« No. » he whispered.

« Okay. I'll tell you. You stole a kitchen knife and a toothpick, unpicked your lock, then smart-assed your way around the guards, then picked the lock to Emerett's room and stabbed him thirty-two times... Under no provocation whatsoever. »

He leaned back further, his eyes squeezed shut.

« It was under provocation, just ask Emerett.. » he said. His features relaxed, though his eyes were still closed.

« We can't ask Emerett. Emerett is inches from his life. » said Phyllia's mother.

« Emerett will live. I made sure to place the knife so that it wouldn't puncture anything vital to Emerett. I would never kill anyone. » he said.

« The damage you did to his spinal cord could paralyze him for life. »

His next action chilled Phyllia. He shrugged. « That's what happens when you mess with my family. »

Phyllia's mother sighed deeply. « How did he mess with your family ? » she asked.

« He threw something at my sister. » said Zhea.

« Did he ? What did he throw at her ? » asked Phyllia's mother.

Zhea's eyes hot open. They burned in anger. « A doll. »

« A doll. » said her mother, contemplating. « What was the doll's name ? » she asked.

His eyes slid across the room to Phyllia in the back of the room. « Ophetta. »

********

« Phyllia ! Are you alright ? » asked her mother.

« Remember when I was a little kid and I always wanted you to call me Ophetta ? » asked Phyllia breathlessly. « Because it was my middle name ? »

« Yes. » said her mother. « It could just be- »

« It's not coincidence ! » Phyllia shrieked. At the worried gloances she was receiving she lowered her voice. « It's not. It can't be. »

« Listen, Phyllia, you know what he was saying about his sister ? » asked her mother.

« Yes ? »

« His sister is in a coma. She's been in a coma for a month now. He did something to her. »

« Like what he did to Emerett ? »

« Yes. » said her mother, pacing. They were in her office now. « Except we don't know what he did to her. » she said.

« I need to talk to him. » said Phyllia.

« No. » said her mother.

« Mother... » Phyllia moaned.

« He's dangerous ! » screeched her mother. « He's only been here one month and he's already hurt thirteen people ! Each of them are in a coma. He never kills. Never ! »

« Thirteen's an unlucky number. » said a voice. A soft, cool, soothing voice.

Her mother didn't even turn around, « What are you doing outside of your room, Zhea ? » she asked.

Phyllia lifted her eyes. Behind her mother was the man-boy, with a knife, already bloody, pushed up against her mother's back.

« I don't like games. I hate it when you play games. »

« Put it down. »

« My parents played games. And now I'm going insane. »

« Put it down. »

« Now I'm playing games with you, and I'll do so forever »

« Put it down. »

« You'll never ever win this game, you've already hit rock bottom. »

« Put it down. »

Tears began to stream down his cheeks. « One day when I was twelve, I went home and saw my father. »

« Put it down. »

« I really did try screaming, in the end I didn't bother. »

« Put it down. »

« I never found my mother's face, despite how hard I sought her. »

« Put it down. »
« And so I payed him back for it, I took away his daughter. »

« Put it down. »

« The funny thing about this is, he though I wouldn't notice. »

« Put it down. »

« He thought he'd get away with it, a crime as heinous as this is. »

« Put it down. »

« He took a different lady, and gave her mother's face. »

« Put it down. »

« She really walked and talked like her, she could've had first place. »

« Put it down. »

« And now you think I'm crazy, you think I'm going insane. »

« Put it down. »

« But why ever would I go through all that trouble to be named ? »

Phyllia's mother was sobbing now. Great deep heavy sobs that wracked through her entire body and made her weak.

Zhea's silent tears didn't stop.

« And now you know my story, yes know you know the truth. »

Sob.

« Now my words are spoken, and your fate is up to you. »

Sob.

« What will you do ? »

Phyllia's mother turned around and said, « You need to write all that down so that I can report it. » she said through tears.

« Good answer. » said Zhea. He dropped the knife, then proceeded to faint.

********

A/N - Wow ! My first attempt at horror ! Well. no. But my first attempt on fictionpress, yeah ! *does a happy dance*