Purple's Platitudes

nothing but words …

she was there

08 March 2014

 

 

“Is that it?” Susanne asked incredulously and I nodded silently. From the safety of the car it looked innocent enough, a dilapidated, long since forgotten old house.

 

The yard, if you could call it that, was still peppered with more small boulders and rocky outcroppings than grass. Fallen branches littered the ground, the broken bones of two large trees flanking the house to the front and side. They were dead years ago, bare, leafless, and yet somehow still possessing that sinisterness they always had before.

 

Surprisingly, what grass was still there was green, but not over grown. It had never seemed to grow, even back then.

 

“Do you want to get out and look around?” Susanne asked tentatively, knowing all that I had shared with her about this house, the memories and nightmares I had never escaped from, even after twenty years. This time, I sat silently and didn’t answer her. She touched my arm gently, tenderly, and I shrugged. It was the only answer I could muster at the moment.

 

Everything about the house seemed the same, although time had taken its toll on it. The roof was curling upwards in places, the outside was pockmarked, pieces hanging off or simply missing. The cement front steps leading up to the porch were eroding, while a scattered few potted plants were thriving on both the porch and the balcony directly above it.

 

Most of the windows were still intact, even curtained, all except that one.

 

It had been my room.

 

Susanne opened her door quickly.

 

“What are you doing?” I demanded, more abruptly than I intended.

 

“I want to see if it’s open is all, just to peek inside.”

 

I knew telling her no was pointless, she was far too strong-willed, so reluctantly, I started to follow her.

 

“You sure honey?” she asked without any hint of teasing or challenge. “You don’t have to go with me you know.”

 

Again, words would not come out and I shrugged and nodded simultaneously, probably trying to convince myself more than her.

 

At first, when I initially shared with her my memories of those final days in that house, she playfully chided me, teasing mercilessly. But in time, when the nightmares became something I shared more intimately with her, she became understanding, supportive, even though she remained a skeptic at heart. There were too many unexplained happenings to dismiss, occurrences which she witnessed – it’s always difficult to argue with personal experience.

 

Standing on the front porch she glanced at my face, waited for some sign, permission to proceed perhaps. I gave none, but she reached for the front door and …

 

“That’s all I really remember,” I said, my voice trailing off. The officers looked at one another, then me. I kept expecting the guys in the white coats to come through the door of the interrogation room.

 

“Tell us one more time about the little girl you saw in the window upstairs,” one of them demanded, his voice hardly disguising his suspicious disbelief.

 

I suddenly remembered. Everything happened so fast, but I ran, terrified, back to the car, jumped in, locked the doors, started the car, threw it into reverse, and floored it.

 

She was there, peering out my bedroom window, the eyes that stared at me, that face that haunted my troubled sleep, that smile, usually the last detail I remembered before I woke up screaming. She was there! Maybe I am going crazy, maybe I have always been slightly mad, but I know one indisputable fact. She was there and now Susanne is not.

 

 

(written for Kellie Elmore’s FWF)

 

 

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8 March, 2014 - Posted by | Fiction | , ,

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