The small boy looked up at the hushed voice, in time to see a girl, about fifteen or so, standing at the foot of his bed. His eyes widened and he stared at her. How did she get into his room? Who exactly was she? He was only five, and he didn't even stop to consider that maybe she was dangerous. Someone older would have screamed the house down at the sight of a girl standing at the bottom of their bed in the middle of the night, especially if she looked like this one. It wasn't that she was particularly spectacular looking; she was fairly pretty: willowy, with long brown hair. But her hair was lank and greasy, and her body seemed to lack almost any feminine curves usually prominent in a girl her age.
However, he soon disregarded the aspects of her personal appearance at the sight that met his eyes, once he cast them further down.
The bloodstain across her chest was old; it looked like it had stopped actually bleeding. She was smiling pleasantly, so it wasn't like it was hurting her. It was horrible, a large black-red blotch on her white shirt, and while it was no longer bleeding, the blood was still wet, but at the same time, looked like she had had it for a while.
Jamie blinked at this unbidden thought, as he gazed, transfixed, at the wound. It did look like it was a part of her, like she had always had it, but at the same time, it looked ugly and out of place, awkwardly placed upon the pristine whiteness of her shirt, the red staining her innocence.
He had been so preoccupied by the blood, and her eyes, that he only noticed what was in her hand when he caught sight of the moonlight glinting off it. He switched his gaze to it, and stared in mild interest.
It was a knife; long and lethal looking, dry blood crusted up the blade, wet blood dripping on the floor. She was clutching the handle loosely in her hand, the blade aimed towards the floor.
"Mummy says you shouldn't play with knives," Jamie informed her. "She says you can get hurt if you do."
"Yeah, well," the girl said, sighing slightly, and strolling out to the side of the bed. "It's a bit late for that, isn't it? Besides, I don't play with it. But your mum's right, kiddo. She's smart, you should listen to her. She knows exactly what's best for her kids." The last part was said so sarcastically, Jamie would have winced, had he understood sarcasm.
"So," she said, cheerier this time, "What's up?"
Jamie shrugged. "Nothing." Jamie was silent for a moment, before piping up with, "Who are you?"
"Me?" she asked innocently. "I'm Jade."
"Really?" Jamie was confused. "I thought that was a stone."
"It is," she confirmed. "It also happens to be my name."
"So, kiddo," Jade said, tucking the knife, still dripping blood, into one of her belt loops, and perching on the edge of the bed next to him. "Tell me, how's your mum?"
Jamie blinked, taken aback. "Uh…she's fine. She and Daddy are getting married next week. She's really happy. She's been really been really nice, and she made me pancakes!"
Jade raised an eyebrow in surprise. "They're actually getting married?" she asked, and when he nodded, she swore, with such a look of disgust on her face that Jamie giggled.
"Um, you said a rude word," he exclaimed, and she rolled her eyes, wearing that long-suffering look that his mother often wore when talking to her son. The resemblance was remarkable.
"You look like Mummy," he stated, then immediately wished he hadn't. in one movement, she reached down, grabbed him by the collar, and pulled him close to her face, distorted and twisted with fury. For a moment, the briefest fraction of a second, something happened to her face, something disgusting and horrid – like the skin had been burnt off, leaving her flesh like mincemeat.
"Listen here, brat," she hissed. "I look nothing like your bitch of a mother. Understand?"
Mutely, he nodded, and was very grateful when she let go, allowing him to fall back against his pillows.
Straightening up, her face smoothed again, she smiled pleasantly at him.
"Good." There was a brief pause, during which Jamie stared at her, and then she grinned mischievously. "Hey kid," she said, looking like a little child that had just thought of a prank. "Wanna see a trick?"
Jamie nodded excitedly, all fear forgotten at the prospect of this new entertainment.
Still grinning, Jade jumped up, and dashed over to his chest of drawers. Picking up the glass snow globe Jamie had had since birth, she raised it over her head and brought it down with a crack. Jamie flinched at the sound of the glass splintering, but didn't move. Idly, Jade picked out a shard of glass, and marched back over to his bed. Grabbing his wrist, she pulled out his hand, palm up. Taking the glass, she tore the jagged edge right through the middle of his palm. He let out a gasp of pain, and felt tears welling up in his eyes, however, she glared at him so ferociously, he swallowed the salty lump in his throat and silenced his whimpers.
Dropping the bloodstained glass on the covers, she pulled his hand forward, until it made contact with the large gash in her stomach. Jamie winced at the unpleasant feeling of having his hand in her insides, but imagined that was nothing compared to the pain that she must be in. He could hardly imagine the feeling of your stomach churning in painful protest at having someone's hand in it.
She finally yanked his hand out and brought it close to her eyes for inspection. It was covered in blood now, dripping the crimson liquid onto the covers and floor. Jamie thought his room must be looking quite the mess no, with the scarlet trails going from his bed, to his dresser, back to his bed, and all over the covers. He wondered vaguely how he was going to explain that to his parents.
He watched in morbid fascination as she let go of his hand, and brought her blood soaked fingers to her lips. Licking off the excess, she smiled at his look of disgusted horror.
"It's an interesting taste, human blood," she told him. "Metallic. Sort of…coppery," she paused to take another lick. "Yeah, definitely coppery." As she reached her verdict, she stood and strolled around the room.
"You should get some sleep," she told him, then noticed the look on his face. "What? Aren't you sleepy?"
He shook his head, although he was quite tired now he thought about it. However, he didn't want to girl to leave, and was afraid that if he fell asleep, she would turn out just to be a dream.
She tilted her head to one side, furrowing her forehead into a frown.
"What do you usually do when you can't sleep?"
"Mummy tells me stories," he informed her, and she snorted.
"Well, stories aren't exactly my thing."
"Oh." His face fell; he'd liked the idea of her telling a story. Seeing his disappointment, she thought for a moment, before eventually coming out with a tentative idea.
"I was quite good at singing," she suggested. "I could sing you something."
Jamie nodded, pleased with this, and dived under his bloodstained covers. Curiously enough, the pain in his hand had gone, leaving a dull sting.
He nodded eagerly, and she began to sing a lullaby. Her voice was clear and pleasant, and he dozed off to the sound of her crooning.
When Jamie opened his eyes, it was to see sunlight streaming in through his bedroom window. Slowly, sitting up, he looked around in dismay at the realisation that he had fallen asleep and allowed Jade to disappear.
As the memories of last night's events came flooding back, he bit his lip at the thought of what his mother would say when she saw all the blood.
He didn't quite dare to look down at the state his floor was in, so he dived back under the covers, and stuck his hand out to examine the wound. To his great surprise, it was to find only a scar. It hurt quite a lot when he prodded it, but Jade's blood had disappeared.
Peering over his covers, he saw no blood on the floor either. His room was spotless. It was as though the crimson liquid had been absorbed into the carpet.
Tentatively crawling out of bed, he slowly made his way across the floor towards the door. His bare feet padded down the hallway and he pushed the door to his mother and father's bedroom open. He could see the two figures huddled under the duvet, so he shuffled over to them.
Pulling himself up onto the mattress, he crawled over his father, and shook the lump that belonged to his mother.
"Mummy?" he asked.
"Mmm?" was the mumbled reply.
"It's morning," he informed her. "Can I have breakfast?"
"It's Saturday," she countered. "Let me sleep. Go watch cartoons or something."
For a moment, Jamie considered telling his mother about his curious visit from Jade the night before, but decided against it. Not because he didn't think she would believe him; he was five and saw nothing so unbelievable about having a blood soaked girl visit him in the middle of the night. No, that wasn't the reason. He wasn't even sure what was the reason, other than there was just something telling him not to, something telling him that it had to be kept a secret.
The mark on his hand grew fainter, but the pain intensified into a dull, persistent, furious ache.
When his mother asked him why he was using his left hand to eat instead of his right, that voice urging him not to tell reared up.
He said he banged his hand on the side of his bed.
The mark faded completely.
A/N: Right. Now I have finally got the main aspects of the plot sorted out, I'm going to start posting chapters. I can't promise speedy updates, though, as I've got important exams looming. Feedback is appreciated.