The sound of sirens fill my ears. A shit tonne of blood from the gash in my stomach, seeps through the spaces in my fingers. Who called the police? It doesn't matter. She's already gone. Gone with everything I have. Had. My mother is somewhere in the house. She could be dead. She probably is. It would take all of my energy to call for her. I need to stay conscious... I need to stay conscious. I need to stay alive. The throb on the side of my head reminds me that she hit me with the handle of the knife. Hard. I hear the crunch of footsteps. Policeman? I see the reflection of their torches. My eyelids shudder as they try to close, and I struggle to keep them open, so I can see what's happening. The police call out, checking for life. I move my lips weakly, but no sound escapes them. The officers split up, going in opposite directions. I can hear footsteps growing softer. No… no! Come over here. To me! I'm here! I'm alive… A single police officer stumbles into the lounge room. Will he find me? I'm concealed behind the smaller couch next to a wall, only visible if one happens to go past into the kitchen. With all my strength, I cough, letting the blood that filled my mouth flow out. It leaves my mouth with a strong taste of iron. A hand invades my vision. He's yelling, but I can't hear him. My brain has blocked off my hearing. It closes over my shoulder, shaking me lightly. Another hand pulls over and both lift me, my blood covering his sleeve. The couch moves forward, allowing him more access to my body. He calls out to the others.
'I found someone! A girl!'
And suddenly I can hear everything. He shifts me in his arms and walks past the lounge room door and out of the open front door. I'm gonna make it. I have no idea if my mother is still alive because I'm being carried out into my front yard. My mouth makes unrecognisable noises as I try to ask for my mother. The police officer carrying me looks at my face, a worried look on his.
'It's gonna be alright, ma'am.' he says, placing me on a stretcher and other people move me into an ambulance. As soon as the door closes behind me, a mask is on my face. Either from drugs or pure exhaustion, I pass out.
My eyes flicker open. Where am I? Judging by the tubes sticking out of my arms, I'm guessing I'm in a hospital. I try to move but the pain from my abdomen is too much. My hands clasp my stomach, my eyes squint in pain. Once the pain slowly simmers away, I look around the room. The sun's up and shining, presenting the opposite emotion to what I'm feeling. Why am I here? I suddenly sit up, ignoring the manic pain that throbs from my stomach. My mother. Is she alive? I need to know! I have a... thing over my mouth. An oxygen mask? Why would I need an oxygen mask? I can breathe just fine without it. I rip the mask off of my face. Without thinking it through, I slip out of bed and my feet hit the floor, causing my stomach to sting with pain even more. I decide against going out of my room, seeing as I can't even walk a single step. My eyes flick to the familiar device that calls a nurse, as I've seen in many movies. My fingers press the button and I climb back into bed. A few minutes pass and a jovial, dark-skinned nurse bounces into my room.
'Ahh, you've woken up Miss Amarez!' She says cheerily. 'What is it-'
'Is she alive?' I say, my voice filled to the brim with panic. 'My mother...' I lower my voice, 'Is she alive?'
'Honey...' Her face is filled with empathy.
'Tell me!' I snap. 'What happened to her?'
'She died.' She sighs, averting my eyes from mine. She pushes a wisp of her black hair behind her ear. 'She was found dead. I'm sorry, miss.'
I sit back onto my pillow, the thought slowly registering in my mind. 'She was my only family…' I whisper, looking down at my lap. 'I have to get out of here.' I start trying to untangle the tubes running from my body to a drip. I attempt to pull it out of my skin.
'Miss, please leave those in. It's necessary in your recovery-'
'How will I ever be fully recovered when everything I've loved has been torn from me?' I snap at her again and continue to try and get out.
'Miss, if you don't calm down we will have to resort to drugging you.'
'Drug me, kill me! What have I got to live for?' I realise what I've said and lie down into the bed. What happens now? The nurse looks taken aback and I lie there silently.
'Anyway, right now we're worried about getting you healthy again.' She starts reading a document on a clipboard. 'You have several bruises and the wound on your stomach will take at least 2 months to heal, but there seems to be no damage to your organs... The bruise on the side of your head doesn't seem to have injured your brain, but might be a bit painful to touch for a while.' She finishes, closing the clipboard. My eyes evade her, glaring at the ceiling. It's not anger I feel. What is this feeling? I can't even describe it. It's like I'm angry at the world, but I'm so sad at the same time. 'Buzz if you need anything! Goodbye dearie, I really am sorry.' She squeezes my fingers gently, before turning and exiting the room. I barely take any of what she said in, though. Everything's sinking in. After hospitalisation, what am I going to do? I don't want to live alone. Not in that house. Do I have any friends who will care enough to visit? Who about me at all? Will they visit? This whole thing is making me doubt my friend's loyalty. The mere thought of going back to school haunts me. I will be the main gossip by tomorrow. Vanessa Amarez, the girl who was stabbed and molested. I don't think I can go back. I remember what the nurse said. I have two months before I have to go back to that hell-hole. They'll either overwhelm me with questions. Or talk about me about my back, spreading rumours. To forget about it, or at least try to, I fall asleep.
There she is, her smile widening, much like the Cheshire cat, knife held out in full view. She smashes through the window with her fist, using the knife sweep excess glass from the sill so she could climb through safely. There I am, squatting down in front of the couch so I'm not visible. How am I there? I'm here, in the doorway of the study, the room in which she entered from. She hears the TV. She knows I'm there. She stalks past me, as if I'm not there and goes into the hallway. She enters the living room and then the kitchen. She doesn't notice the girl in front of the couch. The other-me crawls briskly over the arm of the couch. We both hear movement. She ducks down, cuddling her knees. I see the killer. She's just in the doorway of the kitchen. I can tell she heard the other-me. Suddenly the couch contorts until it's nothing. I'm not in the lounge any more. I'm in the hallway. But it looks different. The walls are melting, paintings cracking and the faces are drooping. There I am. Tiptoeing over to the front door, which is crooked and bent. There she is. Her shadow swallowing the other-me. An easy target obviously. She's very quiet, her feet barely making any sound as they creep toward me as she sneaks up to the other me, knife at the ready, hand raised to cover my mouth to stifle the scream. Everything seems to go in slow motion as she grabs my mouth with one hand and stabs my stomach with the other. I hear the muffled scream. She pulls out the knife and blood flows at an impossible rate, creating a crimson puddle surrounding my feet.
'Anyone else in the house, sweetie?' she rasps into my- the other me, at least's ear, her face contorted into a smile. I can hear it like it's my ear. It echoes.
'M-my papá! He's got a g-gun!' I splutter, 'H-he'll kill you!'
'I know you don't have a dad, lovey. I know you. You have a mother. She's not Latina like you, no. She's got blonde hair and blue eyes. She's probably here, right? Upstairs, taking a nap, oblivious to everything? I'll just go pay her a visit shall I?' She drops me and I scramble on the floor. She bends down to whisper, 'Maybe once I'm done with her I'll come back here and give you the same treatment.' Before she stands up, she gives me a swift hit on the side of my head with the handle of her knife. I can't see my face, underneath the mop of hair that covers the tears streaming down my face. Suddenly I'm me. The girl who was stabbed. I wait for her to be safely up the now twisted stairs, before crawling over to the hallway door which is wide open. I pull myself in and close it softly. The TV is disconnected but the screen is flashing with monstrous pictures. I crawl to the smaller couch and slide behind it. I have no chance in running. Hiding is my only option. I hear her scream, instead of pain from my stomach there's pain in my chest. I'm about to yell out, 'Mum!' When I wake up. I sit up fast, panting, sweat covering my body, soaked into my bed sheets. It's night time. I run my hand through my hair, still breathing very hard.
I notice something out of the corner of my eye. I look to my door frame. There watching with just an eye showing, is a little girl. Long plaits cascade down her back, her face pure and peaky. Her skin is pale and freckled lightly and her eyes a bright blue. She has a sort of... magical aura to her. She hides slightly when's she sees me looking. I would shoo her away, send her off to her bed. But I'm curious.
'I won't hurt you.' I say, quietly. She moves into the door. She's holding a teddy bear under one arm. 'I'm not ill. You can come in, if you want.' She lightly steps into the room, moving as gracefully as a ballerina. My breathing has calmed now that my minds on something else. When she's a metre away she shuffles forward, still worried. I hold out my hand, she walks up and holds it.
'Why were you crying in your sleep?' she asks, concerned, 'Are you sad? I can give you my teddy if you want.'
'No, that's fine. I just had a nightmare.' I tell her calmly.
'I have nightmares too. At home they're about vampires and zombies. But here they're about the monsters.'
'Monsters?' I ask.
'You know,' she says, looking me directly in the eye. 'The ones with the white coats.'
I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of this story. It would be lovely that if you did enjoy it, you would leave a review. And keep leaving them, so I know what you think through out the chapter. Anyway, thank you for reading and keep on reading.