Help Isn't Always Living
I blinked at the tears that threatened to fall. I couldn't move from the scene before me. Two bodies lying still on the formerly white tiles soaked in a solid sheet of crimson. A horrible smell lingers in the air, the wretched stench of death. Two people I knew very well, gone in the time I was absent. Their personalities so filled with life like a flickering flame, are snuffed out. My world left in darkness. When I arrived here I couldn't speak. Too shocked for words, is how it could be described. No thoughts other than. Who did this? How did this happen? And why would someone do this? My parents were good people, they followed the letter of the law, never even had any enemies.
Truthfully, their only enemy could be me. Did I cause their death? No, I wasn't here. I never got caught doing anything bad. My enemies wouldn't strike this low. They're too 'high and mighty' and lost in their own worlds, to commit such an act as this. Murder. Homicide. No matter how you say it, it all means the same thing.
My parent's whom I supposedly hated are now soaking in their own blood on the floor of our kitchen. And I'm devastated. If I hated them as much as I thought, I wouldn't be holding back tears. I wouldn't be feeling a stab in my chest whenever I see the corpses lying in front of me. I wouldn't be feeling like puking whenever I breathe in the metallic stench of their blood. If I hated them so much, why do I care that this happened to them. I shouldn't care but I do.
I feel something constrict in my chest and warmth on my cheeks. A tear, last time I cried was when I was five and my godfather babysat me. It was almost ten years ago but nothing scared me more.
Tears flowed freely from my emotional turmoil. Their bodies did nothing, but lay there as corpses should. But it wasn't enough, they needed to get up. Tell me everything's okay. Tell me to wipe my face and eat the cake waiting for me on the kitchen table. A cake that reads Happy Birthday Violet. Is that a joke? Why didn't the person who killed them just eat the cake? How can they expect me to have a happy birthday when the only people who bother to celebrate it are dead? I have no friends to celebrate and if I got to choose I would skip this horrible day altogether. Why celebrate being a year closer to a timely or sometimes untimely death?
I need to get out of here, away from the ever stronger scent of fresh death and the gory scene assaulting my eyes. My feet stumble as my legs felt like jelly. It didn't help that the floor beneath my sneakers was slick with blood. I tripped once, successfully giving my white tee shirt crimson stains across the front. Big splotches of a deeper crimson stained the knees of my jeans. Just perfect. More tears slid down my cheeks as I stood from where I fell. The smell of fresh death now hung upon me.
I really needed to get out, before police officers and the like, show up to ask me questions I can't answer. I stumbled out the front door and began running at top speed. The cold fresh October air was a distinct change from the suffocating heat and death smell inside my home. Or what used to be my home. I can't go back there, ever again. It would remind me of the scene I saw tonight. I would go insane if forced to live in that house, it's no longer my home.
The dark metal gates of the abandoned cemetery gleamed in the moonlight. A feeling of peace temporarily slowed my thoughts as I passed the cold metal plate that read; Parkinson's Cemetery. I passed the graves in silence, a melancholy smile forming on my face as I passed my only friends. But I wasn't stopping at any of their graves tonight. Tonight I was heading for the hidden grave beneath the weeping willow tree, Felicity Wilde's grave.
I pushed the leaves of the tree away as I went towards the trunk. Below the warped bark near the knotted old roots was a crumbling grave stone stating Felicity's name, birth date and death date. I liked her the most of all my friends because she was only 27 when she died on October 13, 1967. A single red rose rested by the stone, a sign that she was ready to listen to me.
I talk to her whenever I have problems, she always responds through roses. They are left in the same spot every time, balanced on the root closest to the old stone. I moved the rose before sitting in my usual spot, leaned against the root where the roses are left. Pulling my knees up I recounted what I saw to my friend. The wind rustled the tree lightly as my story came to a close, and tears were once again rolling down my face. The only sounds breaking the still peace of the dead were my sobs.
A sudden cold feeling on my cheek made me look up from where I had buried my face in my hands. A young woman stood before me, dressed in a long elegant white dress. The entirety of her being was slightly transparent. She used her thumb to wipe the tears from my cheeks. Her touch was cold but gentle. She smiled at me. "Honey, it's going to be alright." Her voice was soft, her tone reassuring but I still doubted her words. I shook my head sadly letting out a barely audible, "No it's not."
Before I could respond she wrapped her cold ghostly arms around me in a hug. I remember when I was little whenever I had a nightmare my mom would hug me like this. Another tear rolled down my cheek. "Shh, it's going to be alright. Everything's going to be okay. Violet it's all going to turn out fine in the end." She murmured repeatedly in my ear as she rubbed my back. I cried into the front of her ghostly gown. I grew tired of crying and I guess the events of tonight manifested into fatigue because before I knew it. I was falling asleep in Felicity's embrace.
"Hey, are you alright?" A low voice called to me. Something was shaking me. I grumbled and turned slightly to show I'm not getting up anytime soon. The thing grabbed my shoulders and shook me harder. My eyes opened in surprise, the feeling grew when I saw the boy in front of me. His light blonde hair that caught the light of the sun shining between the branches of the tree above us and his sky blue eyes seem familiar. Wait was I asleep? Maybe I dreamed all the stuff about last night. Yeah it was probably just a dream. I'm going to walk home soon and my parents are going to yell at me about being out all night again.
"Hey, I asked if you were okay. Could you answer me? I really want to hear an explanation for having blood all over your clothes and sleeping in a cemetery." His voice was serious. I looked down at my white shirt and the blood was still there. That means the blood is real and everything was real. The world starts to spin in front of my eyes and I squeeze them shut. The boy's hands are still gripping my shoulders and I use them to help me stay upright. I answer him when I feel the world stay in place again.
"My parents were murdered last night, I think. I came here to clear my head. I guess I fell asleep." My voice is hoarse from my crying last night.
"Oh my gosh, you're name's Violet right?" His blue eyes portray pity.
"Yes, my name is Violet. How do you know that?" my own eyes narrowing suspiciously as I took in the boy in front of me. He looks my age; I swear I've seen him before.
"The police were looking for you. They were investigating the crime scene and were asking people if they knew where you could be found. Apparently no one knows you enough to know you'd be in the old cemetery down the street." His eyes still hold pity, and his face is still familiar.
"How did you find me? I don't believe we've ever met. I don't even know you."
"I was going to my grandma's grave and saw someone asleep next to it." The realization hit me like a speeding train. His face is familiar because it's very similar to the woman's who comforted me last night.
"You're related to Felicity?" My voice sounded choked even to my own ears. He nodded in response before smiling at me. It was the same as Felicity's, giving off the same feeling of ease and comfort.
"My name's Tristan, by the way." I smiled back at him as I stood up. A sudden flash of my parent's lifeless bodies flashed before my eyes. I squeezed my eyes shut against the escaping tears, trying to rid my brain of the image. Tristan's hands grabbed my face between his hands, which were as gentle as Felicity's but his were warm with life.
"Hey Violet, are you okay?" I opened my eyes and some tears rolled down my cheeks onto his hands. Before I could respond to him he pulled me into a tight hug, crushing my face to his chest. More images of their pale corpses soaked in crimson flashed through y mind. I started to tremble violently. The tears were like rivers down my face, which I buried in Tristan's jacket.
He held me tight as I cried. For once I felt glad for a human's concern. It was comforting to know I'm not all alone. When I stopped trembling and my tears stopped, he still held me close. I looked up at him to see his expression; it was confused for some reason.
"Tristan?" I called and he looked down at me; then looked back up at the tree's branches.
"There are roses in the weeping willow." I looked up and there were in fact roses there. Roses of every size and color, even the rare black rose were all settled snugly in the branches of the weeping willow.
"Felicity is listening to us. This is how she communicates." I stated reaching up to a red rose to pluck it from the bunch. "She visited me last night when I ran here. She let me cry on her and lulled me to sleep." I twirled the rose in my hand watching the petals turn.
"She visited you?" his blue eyes were wide with surprise.
"Yes, she's a nice woman;" I looked up at him "You're lucky to be related to her." I smiled still twirling the rose. He looked scared and shocked for a moment realizing I was serious.
"Well that's nice to know." He smiled at me, though I knew he didn't take me seriously. Anyone I told wouldn't believe me. I'll just not tell anyone else. I smiled at Tristan.
"Violet, do you have anywhere to live now?" He looked as concerned as his tone implied.
"No, my parents and all my relatives are dead or live far away." I looked back down at my rose realizing again that I'm all alone in the world.
"Well, you could stay with me if you want. I declared independence from my parents a year ago, so I live by myself." His eyes portrayed hope, something I hadn't felt for a while.
"That would be great Tristan." I smiled at him and he smiled back.
"Well, c'mon then let's get going." He grabbed my hand and started to leave the cemetery. Before leaving I took one last look at Felicity's tree, silently thanking her for all the help she's given me. I saw a flicker of white in that direction and a smile crossed my features. She's watching us. I think this was her intention, for her grandson to show up and offer to let me stay with him.
A warm feeling of acceptance flooded my chest. It's been awhile since I was this happy. Strangely it took the death of the only people who care for me, and a run in with a mysterious guy to make me feel this way. Usually it takes a while for me to trust anyone. But he seems different. He seems to have my best intentions in mind even though he barely knows me. It really makes me want to rethink my view on humanity. Though that wouldn't happen, pretty much everyone living except a select few are complete imbeciles.
Tristan leads me by the hand out of the cemetery. The air is chilly in just my tee shirt, even in the bright morning sunlight. I rub my hands on my bare arms to try and warm them.
"Are you cold?" I run into Tristan's back before I realize he stopped. Looking up at him I notice that he is taking off one of the two jackets he's wearing. He has to take both off to remove one of them. He hands me the black hoodie and puts the denim over jacket back on. Most guys would look ridiculous in them but he looks, kind of hot. Oh gosh I'm being such a girl, I usually think guys like him are Neanderthals, but he seems too intelligent to be classified as such. I'm contradicting my own thoughts! Time to stop thinking.
"So, Tristan where exactly do you live?" I spoke up to keep my thoughts from wandering again.
"I live in an apartment building by the high school." His gaze is on the stretch of sidewalk ahead of us. His hand is still holding mine, even though we're walking at the same pace and he's no longer leading me. I moved my fingers slightly and he, seeming to finally notice the unnecessary contact released my hand.
"How do you pay for it? You said that you live alone. Do your parents send you money or do you have a job or something?" A smirk crossed his tanned face. That look worries me…
"Something like that, but my parents are happy to not have to worry about me. We were never really close. They were always gone when I was a kid, so we never really formed that strong parent-child bond. They still care about me, but not in an overprotective way, you know?" I nodded my head in understanding. My own parents were pretty overprotective, but I understand what he means. My parents used to leave on business trips for extended periods of time when I was little. My godfather was supposed to take care of me while they were gone.
His definition of, "taking care" of a child was much different than what my parents' was. The last time he watched me was when I was five. I had been wary of him then, because the previous times he stayed in my house left me terrified of him. The minute my parents left the house his cheery smile that had been plastered on in front of them had disappeared into a disapproving frown. He told me t0 get out of his sight. Well if I said he 'told' me that I would be lying. He had practically yelled it in his low scratchy voice. To my young ears it sounded like a monster from my nightmares. I had been plagued with them back then, all the monsters my imagination showed me had that voice.
I had been too scared to move fast enough for his tastes, so he slapped me across my face. It stung like crazy and tears had welled up in my eyes. When he saw the tears he hit me again, this time harder. My small frail body was soon thrown to the floor as I was bombarded with kicks and punches.
My parents were gone for an entire week that time and he beat me every day. I shuddered at the memories and clutched my right wrist to my chest. He had broken my wrist during that stay and had left countless cuts and bruises. I still have a scar on my stomach; it's a long and noticeably white, inch thick cut reaching from the top of my ribs on my left side, down to my right hip. That had been when he had gotten drunk and threw a broken beer bottle at me. It had bled for a long time and I had passed out from blood loss.
I woke up in the hospital the next morning. I guess he had shaken himself enough from his drunken stupor to see me dying on the floor.
"Hey, we're here. Are you okay?" I look up at Tristan and notice that we're standing in a clean modern looking living room. The couch and walls are a pristine white and the floors are covered in navy wall-to-wall carpeting. A good sized TV sits on a white movie cabinet, the contents of which seem to be quite squished in the small space.
"Nice apartment." I state looking up at him with a smile. He smiles back and tells me to stay put till he gets back. I wait as he goes to another room down a short hallway to my left. He returns with a pair of dark green pajama pants and a black tee shirt. I give him a questioning look when he hands them to me.
"You probably need to get the blood out of your hair and change out of your blood soaked clothes," He says firmly, answering my unasked question. He pushed me towards the nearest door in the hallway. Opening the door and revealing a light blue colored bathroom he gestured towards the shower, "You'll probably need a shower so I brought you some clothes. They'll probably be too big though."
"Thank you. I still don't understand why you're going to all this trouble for someone you've just met." He sent that knowing smirk my direction before pushing me into the bathroom and shutting the door. I removed my tee shirt, the blood feeling heavier in my hand. I dropped it onto the light blue tiled floor along with my blood stained jeans. My reflection surprised me when I glanced in the mirror. My usually pin straight light brown hair was messy and clumping together, the tips stained reddish brown from blood. A disgusted expression showed on my light tan skinned face. My nose was wrinkled, hiding the light dusting of freckles that rested there. Bright green eyes seemed to glow. I stuck my tongue out at myself before stepping into the shower.
I made sure to wash my hair thoroughly to get rid of all the blood; which made the water pooling shallowly by my feet turn a reddish color. Once the water pooling turned clear I deemed myself free of my parent's blood. It was a triumph and a painful revelation rolled into one. A sigh escaped me as I dried off with a towel I found in a cabinet underneath the sink. I grabbed my used underwear since understandably, Tristan had none for me. They had remained fairly clean during the ordeal, so I didn't mind.
As predicted the pants and shirt were way too big. The pants luckily had a drawstring so all I had to do was cuff the legs so I could walk without tripping. The shirt was big enough that I could use it as a dress if I needed too, a short dress but a dress nonetheless. After rummaging through a couple drawers by the sink I found a hairbrush. I smiled at my luck and made myself somewhat presentable. After doing all of the stuff I needed, even finding an unused toothbrush. I stepped out of the bathroom.
Tristan sat on the couch, watching some weird cartoon. I walked over and sat next to him. It seemed so normal. It felt like I had been here before and that this was something I did a lot. My staying here probably won't be a problem for either of us. We already seem to have adjusted to a routine that usually takes a while of living together to establish.
One Month Later:
It's my turn to get groceries again, so I passed the apartment after leaving school. Tristan and I have adjusted to sharing his apartment. He told me I wouldn't have to do anything since I was there thanks to 'devastating' circumstances. I'm still really sad that they're dead, but I'd feel awful if I didn't do anything to help. My parents raised me to have good manners, though a little over a month ago I would have said it was annoying, I find the things they taught me useful now. Life's funny like that I guess.
A few weeks ago Tristan and I went down to the police station and I was asked questions about my parent's death. I told them all that I could but I left out certain details, like where I was during the killing and where I went after it happened. If I didn't know any better I'd have thought that I was a suspect for the murder. I assured them that, though I would have grudgingly admitted it before all this happened I loved them. I would never want to kill them. Okay a few times I thought about it but that was just morbid musings in my brain. I never would have actually committed the murder.
The police assured me as we left that they would find the killer. I doubt that they will, but I won't stop them from trying. From the evidence that was revealed to me the killer looked highly skilled. As if the killer was a hired hit man who was skilled in the art of leaving no incriminating evidence behind. But things like that only happen in movies, right?
My parents were given a funeral and buried in the same cemetery as Felicity. I don't know why, but I think it had to do with something that was in their wills. I never got to see their wills. I just know that my godfather is supposed to be my legal guardian until I'm eighteen and can collect their savings and life insurance. My godfather is in a mental hospital and won't be released for another few months. Even when he gets out he'll still be under careful watch. I was very happy to hear this news since that meant I wouldn't have to live with my nightmarish monster of a guardian. I also received word that as long as my grades are kept up in school I'll be allowed to stay with Tristan. We were both happy to hear this news since we've grown quite close in the past month.
I guess my parents' death wasn't the end of the world. Though at the time it felt like it was. This all feels like a dream. It's turning out too well to be reality. But no matter how many times I pinch myself or fall asleep, I always wake up to find Tristan telling me that it's time for school or the smell of breakfast cooking. We go to the cemetery to visit Felicity and tell her how things are going. She always leaves two roses now, both crimson red or sometimes there will be a black rose laying there along with crimson. I can't help but feel as if the colors have some meaning, but then that wouldn't make sense. Could she be trying to tell us something? If so, then what? I ask Tristan from time to time what his opinion is. He always answers with an 'I'm not sure', but the knowing smirk he has suggests that it's not true. Could he be hiding something from me? No, he wouldn't hide anything from me. I'm just being paranoid because of my parents' death.
I arrive at the store and pick up the supplies we need along with an extra twelve pack of chicken flavored ramen noodles. I smile to myself as I wait in the checkout line. The old lady in front of me is taking her time to get out money, so I figure I'll be here a while. They sell a lot of gum here almost four full rows of different flavors are stacked by the register. Who needs that many flavors?
"Violet Thames, what are you doing here, freak?" A snobby high pitched voice assaults my thoughts. I look to the side and see the girl who makes my life a living nightmare, Rachel Walters. Her bleached blonde hair and almost orange tan scream fake. Well at least they portray the truth. There's nothing original about her, she's your typical annoying rich girl who thinks the entire world revolves around her. And she especially hates me for some strange reason. I decide not to grace her with an answer to her question and ignore her. This is extremely hard to do since her voice sounds like-
"Don't ignore me, stupid!" –Nails on a chalkboard. I clench my teeth resisting the urge to rip out her vocal chords. I know it's impossible but it's a biological hazard to keep those things in working order.
The old lady finally finishes her paying, turning to apologize to me for taking so long. I smile at her as she leaves. What a nice old lady. I put the contents of my shopping cart on the counter and get out my wallet as the cashier scans the items. I ignore the screeching insults from Rachel as I pay. She practically screams at me when I leave the store. I carry all my shopping bags to the apartment and find the door unlocked. Tristan must be home.
"Tristan I got the groceries!" I call out. The silence that answers is unnerving. After putting away the bags and items, I grab my keys and leave the apartment. It's getting kind of late and the cold is starting to settle in for winter. I walk for about twenty minutes before I see the tall metal gate. I pass the sign reading: Parkinson's cemetery.
I go to the weeping willow and find Felicity's grave. A single rose sits on the root. I pick it up and see that the petals are in a strange arrangement of two different colors. Black and crimson. I knew there had something significant about the colors. I twirled the stem in my hands like I usually do when I'm examining a new rose and feel strange ridges on it. I hold the stem up to one of the rays of slowly fading sunlight remaining. The ridges look like letters. I hold it closer to my face so I can make out the words: The Rose Is Key. The rose is key? Key to what?
There are no more words on the rose but there are more ridges. These are in random designs going down the stem. I look at Felicity's headstone, silently asking her what it's talking about. I read her headstone looking for possible clues. Felicity Wilde, born December 27th 1940, died October 13th 1967, Free as the roses she loved so dearly and dead by the snakes she so longed to protect. The phrase on the bottom has always puzzled me. It doesn't make much sense in my mind.
I ran my head over the engraved words and I felt something strange at the end. Where the period at the end of the phrase is, it's deeper into the stone than the words. I run my fingers and feel the uneven surface of the small hole. I twirl the rose in my hand absentmindedly feeling the uneven surface of its strange stem. Wait a second here… I stop in my twirling and move the end of the stem opposite the bloom towards the hole. They're the same size. I wonder what would happen if I… I quickly slipped the rose's stem into the hole. It was a perfect fit.
I turned the stem when it could go no further and heard a slight cracking noise. I looked at the back of the grave stone where the noise was coming from and found a large square crack. I maneuvered myself behind the stone and pulled slightly on the crack's edge. It slid open to reveal a small compartment housing a small leather bound journal.
I lifted it gently from its place and held it gently in my hands. The Cover of the journal said: Felicity. I opened the journal gently as to not mess up the yellowing pages, to where it is marked by a crimson red ribbon. On the ribbon it had a picture of a snake, it looked like a cobra. Outlined in black but the scales of the snake were a deep red, like the color of blood in low moonlight.
The page marked held only one sentence:
Welcome to the secret organization of the crimson cobra.
Is this what Tristan was hiding from me?
_ Line Break_
Hope you guys review. This is what I turned in for my English asignment. I was told it was good and I really want to add detail and lengthen it. Umm Please review and tell me any ideas. Cuz, I'm drawing a blank and need help!