Freakshow; prologue + ch. 1
Posted August 2nd, 2018 by Zelda
in a perpetual predicament
A/N: Am i breaking my own rule about posting first drafts? Yes. Yes I am. and i'm going to look back at these chapters and cry out of embarrassment for how bad they are. But that's okay, because this is Kidpub, and Kidpub is a place of (*cough* low traffic *cough cough*) learning. Also, Sy posted like a week ago about how KP has had a serious drop in posts so, uh, here's a contribution, I guess?
Anywho, thanks for reading, and I hope you at least sort of like this trash fire that doesn't have a well-planned plot yet :-?
| Prologue |
I learned the hard way that I hated the feeling of blood on my skin. The warmth of it as it slipped down my cheek was sickening that first time, and every time after. At least I don’t retch anymore. Throwing up would kill me if I did it now, so despite the layers of blood splattered across my skin I choke back the bile and press on. I have to keep going, I’m the only one left and if I don’t make it out, this will all be for nothing.
I take a sharp turn, gasping against the pain that razes up my side. Damn, I think I tore my stitches. In the next instant, my worry disappears, because looming a mere fifteen feet away is the exit. My feet pound the concrete floor, my heart can barely keep up. A little farther, I can smell the fresh air. Come on, come on, come on.
I stumble, my lungs stutter. From the shadows of an intersection close to the exit emerges the image of my nightmares. He strolls out in front of me, blocking my path to the door, I have to put on the brakes hard to keep from crashing straight into him. The wound in my side screams bloody murder. The shadows hide his face, but I already know he’s grinning.
“Where are you going?” he breathes, in spite of the smile, his words are empty of emotion.
“Please,” It’s all I can get out over my own labored breathing. “Please, please…”
“Aaliyah, you can’t leave,” he tucks his hands in his sweater pockets, “This is your home now.”
| Chapter One |
Never in my life have I died. I’ve never had a freak accident where my heart stopped or my lungs forgot the taste of oxygen. I’ve never been cracked over the head too hard, in fact, I’ve never really been mishandled. Unfortunately, the ghosts don’t seem to care about my undeadness.
Yary’s on the ceiling of the ward room again, staring at me. Doctor Fenton says she’s not real, that I don’t need to be afraid of her. I keep telling him I’m not afraid. I blink at Yary and slowly pull the itchy hospital blanket over my head. Maybe I’m a little bit scared…Just a tiny, eensy weensy bit. But only because Yary is angry at me for not talking to her. I huff, my frizzy hair settles over my face, tickling my nose. It’s Doctor Fenton’s fault I’m not allowed to talk to her, she should be angry at him, not me. He told me not to talk to her, or Yael, or any of the other ghosts because they aren’t real and I shouldn’t talk to things that are not real. Then he gave me a pill that tasted like chalk and old asparagus and sent me back to my room.
Secretly, I think Yareli and Yael are real. But I don’t want to get in trouble by not doing what Doctor Fenton told me, because then I’ll have to stay in the psychology ward longer. Yuck. My stomach flips at the idea of staying another six months. I roll over and squish a pillow to my belly to stop the butterflies. I miss my room at home, I miss my mom. My bottom lip shakes, biting it doesn’t stop it. She hasn’t visited yet today, she visits every day but today she’s late. I want her here. I want her to take me home like she promised.
“Soon,” she said last week, “Doctor Fenton says you’re doing very well and you can come home in two weeks.” Then she kissed me on the head and tucked me into bed.
One more week, I think to myself. In one more week, I can talk to Yary again. I hope she won’t stay mad for too long.
A knock at the door startles me out of my thoughts.
“Come in!” I call, throwing the blanket off. Finally! I can’t wait to tell mom all about the game we played in group today. The door opens, but it’s not my mom who stands on the other side. It’s Doctor Fenton in his brown suit, and behind him is a bald man with a secondface that flashes giant pointy teeth and teeny black eyes. I flinch, and stare at Doctor Fenton instead. I’m used to his secondface with its melty folds of flesh that hide all his features.
“Where’s my mom?” I ask, stepping off the bed. She should be here by now. Doctor Fenton frowns with his real mouth, and steps to the side to let the bald man in.
“Aaliyah, this is officer Sachar, he’s here to talk to you,” he says. I freeze in place, suddenly I can’t keep my eyes off the bald man’s face.
Is this about last year? I thought it was over, I thought there weren’t going to be any more police officers or judges or anything. Mom said I didn’t have to go to jail. Mom said after I stayed here a while I could go home and everything would be just like normal.
Officer Sachar smiles at me, his real teeth are much nicer than his secondface teeth, “Hi, Aaliyah, how are you?”
“Okay,” I mumble, rubbing my arms. I don’t want to go to jail.
“That’s good. Okay, Aaliyah, unfortunately, I have some bad news for you,” he kneels so his face is level with mine, “If you wa—”
He doesn’t get to finish his sentence before I scream. I know what he was going to say. I scream and scream like I’ve never screamed before. Until my throat hurts and I can’t breathe except in hiccups. I curl up on the floor of the ward room, tears and snot running down my face and into my gaping mouth. My mom’s cold hands rub my back soothingly.
“Shh, msichana yangu,” she whispers over and over while I sob. Moments before when officer Sachar kneeled, she was standing behind him, as transparent as Yareli. Her secondface is the only one showing now, like all the other ghosts.
I scream again.
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