Author: TwilightSickness PM
Strangers in the Night Contest Entry by McSexie Movie Title: PoltergeistRated: Fiction M - English - Words: 9,636 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 3 - Published: 10-24-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7491647
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"Strangers in the Night" Writing contest hosted by
Movie title: Poltergeist
Title of the story: Generations
Twitter name: greeneyedgurly
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and all its characters.
How do you explain the mind-numbing terror when you know that it's your father pounding through the house hunting you? Renée curled further into herself, her face buried in her mom's old leather jacket. The scent was comforting, and it distracted her from the screams that had long since stopped coming from her parents' bedroom.
At first, she had thought that her mom was simply having a nightmare, like she so often did, but the screams were different. They weren't panicked, just woken up screams; they were screams of pure terror. Hearing them, Renée had gotten up and darted into the hallway, looking for any signs of her parents. Finding none, she darted into the closest hallway closet, shuffling and fumbling until she was buried beneath a pile of unused luggage and old hung up jackets.
While her ears still rang from the screaming, she hoped that her mom would find her, comfort her and tuck her back into bed. That wasn't happening though; she was still in the closet, listening to the painfully loud footsteps that came down the hallway every few minutes. When she began to call out for her dad, something inside her stopped her, leaving the name to die on her lips.
"Renée, Daddy needs to see you, baby. Where are you?"
She listened as his footsteps went from one end of the hall and into her bedroom. The pounding steps came running back into and down the hallway, not pausing at the door to the closet she hid in.
"Hush little baby don't say a word, Momma's—"
"Renée! God damn it, where the hell are you?" Hearing his voice and seeing the shadows from his feet under the doorway brought her low singing to a stop. He was angry, angrier then he had ever been, angrier than he had been when she left all her homework and toys out on the sofa. He didn't move from the other side of the door and neither did she. She held her breath and waited, burying her face further into her mother's jacket. She clutched the jacket with her fists, unprepared when the hanger snapped and toppled the jacket onto her.
The door slammed open and she was jerked out by the foot, her head smacking painfully on the large pieces of luggage that were supposed to be a barrier for her. He had found her and now she couldn't help but cry out.
"Daddy, stop!" Renée sobbed, clawing at the floor to stop him from pulling her. She wanted to get away, but he was holding on to her too tightly, nowhere near ready to let her go. He dragged her past her bedroom and into his where everything was almost too quiet despite her sobs.
"Shut up, it's not that bad. Now go wake up your mother." He dropped her foot and motioned towards the bed, where Renée could see her mom apparently sleeping. She got up, not wanting to make him any madder, and walked towards the bed. Her mom was completely covered, despite the messy hair that peaked above the covers; Renée could barely see any of her. Her eyes were drawn to a stain spread across the back of the sheets near her mom's hip. She jumped back and hit the wall, her ears ringing as her eyes began to sting.
"I have to go potty." Her father was simply watching her, taking in the way she had reacted. She didn't know what to do but she definitely didn't want to find out what that stain was.
"Potty? Seriously?" He looked angry again and Renée flinched, almost too afraid to breathe. "Fine, but leave the fucking door open."
She ducked inside the bathroom, not closing the door, but trying to keep out of his sight as much as possible. There was blood on the bathroom floor, blood that she hadn't noticed until she slipped in it. She squeaked and went down hard, crying when she felt the liquid seep into her nightshirt.
She couldn't just stay there, considering the fact that he was on the other side and very angry. She slid onto her knees and tried to reach the door. She prayed that the sirens in the distance were coming towards her home. Renée caught sight of her dad, now sitting on the edge of the bed, his shoulders slumped. He didn't look angry anymore, he looked sad. Either way, she slammed the door shut and reached up to lock it before he was able to shove it open. She was little, only seven, while he was fully grown. If he wanted the door open, he would get the door open.
"Renée, you little fucking bitch, unlock the goddamned door!" Renée couldn't get far enough from the door, cringing away from his yelling, in the corner.
"Leave me alone!" She screamed at the top of her lungs, listening as the sirens got closer. They were just down the street from her home.
"Fucking bitch!" The door crashed in under his foot, shrapnel flying into the small bathroom and cutting Renée's exposed arms, legs, and face.
"No, Daddy, no!"
He gripped her by the neck, dragging her out of the bathroom and back into the bedroom, where her mother still lay. The hold he had on her neck tightened to the point where she felt as if her eyes would pop out. Screaming wasn't a possibility. All she could do was kick, slap, scratch, and punch at him, but he didn't seem to notice.
"You ruined everything, you and your whore of a mother."
Spit rained down on her face but she couldn't feel it. Everything was starting to go numb; her face felt like it was on fire. Her eyes looked up into her dad's blue eyes—once so much like hers—turned nearly black.
"Let the girl go!"
"Show me your hands!"
"Shit, he's gonna kill her!" Shouts called out in the distance.
A shot rang out in the bedroom, and suddenly she could breathe again. Spots danced in her vision, and breathing was painful, but Renée couldn't mistake the shocked look that came over her dad's face as he slumped to the side, crashing loudly against the carpet.
"Mommy!" Her voice was garbled, scratchy from the injuries to her throat, but she pulled herself up with the help of one of the newly arrived officers.
"No, baby, you can't go over there." The officer carried her from the room, away from her mother, and back into her own room. Her stuff had been tossed; by her dad she had no doubt. She looked up into the face of the officer, recognizing him from several of her dad's parties.
"Are you okay, baby?"
"What about Mommy?"
"Let's worry about you right now, okay, sweetie?" His concern was etched on his face.
"I need to know if she's okay. He's never been angry like this before."
"Let's get you checked out first, okay?" He picked her back up and carried her down the stairs straight to the arriving paramedics.
"We have to get her to the hospital; her neck is seriously damaged."
Renee didn't exactly listen as the paramedic spoke and checked her out. Her eyes were glued to the front door of her home, where several more police officers were walking inside. She recognized several of them, but she ignored the pitying and sad glances they sent her way.
"I'm so sorry, sweetheart," The officer whispered. He pulled out her mom's pretty locket and dropped it in her now open palm. "You should get her out of here before they wheel them out." He murmured to the ambulance driver that was watching over them.
"Can you put it in my room?" Renée said.
"The locket . . . can you put it in my room?" She held the pretty gold heart-shaped locket back out to him until he finally reached out and took it.
"I'll make sure it gets there." He tucked it safely in his shirt pocket, patting her hand in what he hoped was a comforting gesture.
"What happened in there?" The paramedic asked, noticing several of the officers with tears in their eyes.
"He was an officer, over eight years on the force . . . he just snapped." He shook his head and stepped away, heading back inside and away from Renée. She was loaded inside the ambulance, ready for the quick trip to the hospital. As the engine started, two bodies were wheeled out of the house, hidden in the thick black bags.
Her heart began to speed up; the quiet state she had been trying to force herself into would no longer work. As the ambulance pulled away from her once loved home, Renée began to scream. She couldn't stop screaming no matter how much her throat hurt.
-Thirty Years Later-
"Happy Halloween, baby girl!" I cringed at Charlie's robust outburst. That wasn't exactly normal; he was usually quiet like me.
"Dad, tomorrow's Halloween." I laughed awkwardly as I hugged him, trying not to get knocked over by other passengers departing the plane.
"Practically all of October is Halloween, just tomorrow, it's official." He had a point, I shrugged and grabbed the bags before he could and followed him out of the airport and towards the cruiser.
I hadn't been to Forks in nine years, since Renée decided that she had found herself for the time being and I could come back home. I had spent a whole year in Forks, which I had surprisingly loved despite Charlie's much loved fishing weekends. From my seventh birthday to my eighth, I had made a home in the small town, actually finding my own little niche of people, but Renée had been insistent on me coming back home and I couldn't exactly abandon her, though she had abandoned me first. I left with her, back to our new home in Phoenix, and never really got the chance to look back.
"Bells, are you hungry?"
"I was going to stop and pick us up something before we head home."
"Nah, I'm not hungry right now."
"Are you sure? My kitchen isn't all that stocked right now." He blushed slightly, so much like my own habit, and pulled into the nearest fast food drive thru.
"I guess I could eat some fries."
The ride home from the Port Angeles airport was surprisingly quick. Eating took up most of the time, thankfully.
"School's all ready for you tomorrow, just in case you were wondering about it." I could see Charlie's house from the stop sign we had pulled up to. It was the same as I remembered, though a bit older.
"That's cool . . . my first day of school and everyone will be wearing costumes. Maybe I should buy a mask or something?" We pulled to a stop in front of his house and I got out, taking in the smell of grass, moss, and rain.
"If you're worried about it, you can always stay home." He held one of my suitcases in his hands while holding the door open for me. He seemed too casual, as if he was hoping I would take him up on his offer.
"Who are you and what have you done with my dad?" I couldn't help but laugh, suggesting skipping school was so unlike him. He was a cop after all.
"I'm just saying, it's a Monday, so it shouldn't get too lively around here."
"What's the difference if it's tomorrow or Tuesday? Tomorrow shouldn't be too tough though, maybe some candy or something. At least, that's what it was like in Phoenix." I followed him up the stairs and dropped everything in my room, which looked the same as it had when I left nine years before.
"Fine. It's getting late. Do you want me to wake you up for school tomorrow?"
"I'll use the alarm clock. Thanks though."
"Okay, goodnight, Bells." He left my door open and headed into his own room. It took only ten minutes to unpack all my stuff. I quick shower had me feeling groggy, the effects of the flights catching up with me. I hadn't called Renée yet and I wasn't particularly in the mood to. I was mad at her still over the way she just dropped me in Charlie's lap without really discussing it with me. I was given the old, unused luggage and a plane ticket and told that I would be spending some time with Charlie.
I wasn't mad over being stuck with Charlie—I had missed him, but the fact that I was given no real choice just pissed me off. From the moment she dropped the ticket in front of me, I had stopped talking to her, though I should have called and told her how my flight went. I changed into my pajamas and curled up on my bed, pulling the old quilt over me and making a promise to myself to call Renée as soon as I got home from school the next day as I fell asleep.
I woke up to the sound of rattling in the kitchen, instead of my expected alarm clock. I had set it for 6:45 but it hadn't gone off and it was nearly 7:30. I cursed, probably loud enough for Charlie to hear, and stumbled towards my closet. I dragged on a simple pair of jeans and a t-shirt before slipping on my new boots and pounding down the stairs.
"Why didn't you get me up?"
"I thought you set your alarm?"
"I did, but it didn't go off."
"Hmm . . . must have malfunctioned or something." He turned back towards his coffee quickly, downing the rest of it before looking me over. "Ready?"
"Crap, I forgot to brush my teeth." I turned back for the stairs, stubbing my toe inside my boot as I accidently kicked the stair.
"I'll be out warming up the car." I brushed quickly as I heard the front door shut, before quickly brushing and pulling my hair back in a claw clip. My backpack was all set up as I finally made my way through the door and into my dad's cruiser. It was embarrassing, but I was hoping that since it was still somewhat early—not really—in the morning, no one would notice what I was being dropped off in.
"Have fun today, I guess. Call if you want to come home early or anything." I raised an eyebrow at him. We were parked in the back of the parking lot and only a few stragglers were watching my dad.
"Is it just me, or are you eager for me to skip today?"
"Of course not. I just don't want you to be uncomfortable or anything." I smiled at him and got out of the cruiser, closing it and waving as I made my way to the office. Schedule in hand, I had time to figure out where exactly my first class was.
"Where's your costume?" A boy who was entering the class just behind me asked. His neck had two metal pieces hanging out each side while his skin was faintly green. With the letterman jacket, I was guessing that he was a teenage Frankenstein monster.
"I don't really have one." I shrugged and handed my schedule to the teacher, who was also wearing a costume. From the long black skirt, perky tail, and black ears, I assumed she was a cat. As more students came into the class, I realized that I was one of the few not wearing a costume. I felt my cheeks burn as more eyes turned to stare at me.
"Welcome, Isabella. You can sit up front between Tanya and Jessica. Today's going to be a pretty simple day; we're just going to watch a documentary on Halloween." I nodded and went to my seat, trying to ignore the stares of the students.
The student population seemed to dwindle after first period, with each class I went to getting smaller and smaller. I didn't complain, just sat back and did the usually simple tasks that they assigned. By my final class, Gym, the number of students was down to ten. When we were told that we were just going to watch a movie, I tried to find a comfortable spot on the bleachers, though where I ended up sitting was behind Jack, his partner Jill, and their friend, a sexy "bee."
Thankfully, the movie wasn't another Halloween documentary but the movie Poltergeist. I had loved it growing up, watching it a ridiculous amount of times when I had stayed with Charlie the first time. Renée never approved of scary movies, which is why—at the age of seven—Poltergeist was my first true scary movie. We didn't get to finish it in the class, only making it to the part where they send the son away before the teacher let us out for the day.
Charlie wouldn't be there to pick me up and taking the bus home wasn't a very good option. Cutting through the forest was always a possibility, and if I was lucky enough to not have Charlie find out, I wouldn't have to worry about being yelled at. I slipped in my earbuds and headed towards the solid wall of trees.
Halfway through my favorite album I realized that I was completely lost. There had been a path when I had first entered the forest, but somehow I had managed to deviate from it. I tried to find my way to the roadway, trying to follow the sounds of the log trucks that I heard pass by every once in a while. What I didn't expect to hear was the loud round of giggles and laughter that came from not far in front of me. I headed towards it, hoping to find another group of wandering students. What I didn't expect to find was a house; a sage green two story that seemed to have been swallowed by trees.
From the disrepair of the old driveway, I figured that it had once been a part of the close by-road, or even a neighborhood, but now it just seemed to be forgotten. I stared at it. On the outside, over all the sage green paint, was ivy and lots of dirt. It was old, no doubt older than Charlie's house, but it was far worse off than his.
"Discovered Forks' little claim to fame, have you?" I turned towards the voice and met the small group of students I partially remembered from school. The three girls I remembered from my English class as Jessica, Tanya, and Lauren. The boys, I didn't know at all.
"Uh . . . sorry? I was just trying to find a shortcut home." I moved to leave but the boy who spoke before blocked me, leaving me with nowhere to go but either through them or towards the house.
"Well, we were looking for someone else but I think you'll do." He nodded to his friends, and before I could really process it, two sets of arms wrapped around me and dragged me towards the house. I fought the arms that kept mine to my sides and the hands that kept my legs together. I yelled out but they just laughed harder as they ripped the door open and shoved me inside.
"God damn it, let me out!" I pounded my hand on the wood door that they had shut as they laughed their asses off on the other side. I didn't exactly understand how the whole thing was funny, since the house looked completely normal on the inside . . . even with the grandma-like décor.
"This isn't fucking funny!" I screamed at the top of my lungs, but they were already gone, their giggling quieting down the further they got from the door. After a few minutes of testing every door and window, I gave up to them being locked. They were gone, and Charlie would probably be out all night, considering it was Halloween.
The only real hope I had was for one of them to come back, whether out of guilt or even boredom, and let me out. I left the final door I had tested behind and found myself in a family room, with several floral-print couches, and settled down with a book I had borrowed from the school library. It wasn't exactly my ideal Halloween night but I couldn't find it in me to object; at home I would have been doing nearly the exact same thing but with less dust. Several chapters into the book I let myself slip out, my eyes closing of their own free will, and the book dropping quietly to the dusty floor.
A soft breathing on my face woke me up in slow degrees. At first I thought that I had fallen asleep at home, but considering the ancient flowery décor, I knew that wasn't a possibility. I jumped up and looked around, no longer feeling the breath on my face but the hair on the back of my neck was standing on end. It was getting dark and the house was almost too quiet, not even the white noise of running water could be heard. That's when I realized that it was quiet around the house too, not a single bird or animal made a noise nearby.
"Hello? Tanya? Lauren?" There wasn't a single acknowledgment so I got up from the couch, trying to find something to give me light. There was a drawer by the door filled to the brim with candles—simple white ones—and matches. I lit several and kept one in my hand. It was getting dark faster than I was used to. Going up the stairs didn't seem like a real viable option, it was probably darker, so I headed for the kitchen. It was dark in there, too, but with more windows so I could see a little better. It was a small space, roughly the same size as Charlie's kitchen, but it seemed so cold.
A pantry was off to my left so I headed towards it. I assumed the electricity was off since I couldn't hear the low buzz of it. The candle lit up the doorway as I pushed the pantry door open, seeing nothing but really old dusty cans inside. I stuck my head further inside and stopped dead when the candlelight lit up the face of a man. I stopped breathing and stared, taking in his cold blue eyes and too pale face. Suddenly it started to stretch, the eyes bugging out, and something grazing and burning my arms. I screamed as I fell back, the candle falling and going out, and slammed my head on the floor. I looked up to the pantry, no longer seeing the man's face, and passed out.
"Why are you laughing so much, jackass?" I continued to stare at James, who had been laughing a lot with Laurent and Tanya. I didn't know what was so funny about stealing candy bags from kids; I had skipped out on the bag snatching.
"You seriously missed out on the funniest shit, Cullen." James got up from where he had been sitting and sprawled out across from me on my bedroom couch. I didn't exactly like having them all around but I couldn't just say no when they showed up out of the blue on my front doorstep. I was sick, hence my missing school, and that put a serious damper on my usual Halloween plans.
"There's this new girl, who didn't show up in costume. Well, she cut through the forest and walked in on us in front of the Higgenbotham house—"
"And we locked her inside it!"
"Damn it, Tanya, couldn't you just let me say it?" James said. He kicked her foot, sending the bowl of candy that had been beside it spilling onto the ground.
"What was her name?" I didn't know anything about a new girl; Alice hadn't even mentioned it when she got home from school. That was odd.
"That's the thing! She's Chief Swan's daughter, Isabella Swan!" James erupted into more laughter, along with everyone in the room but me.
"Bella?" I knew her, had played with her for a whole year, and had crushed on her for two years even when I was caught up in thinking that girls had cooties. I hadn't even been able to say goodbye when she had up and left with her mom.
"Yeah, whatever, she has absolutely no idea what went on in that house. I would pay anything to see her face in the morning." Tanya was the main giggler now, sliding up alongside me, her tits pressing against my sleeve.
"Huh?" Five sets of eyes turned towards me, all in various range of confusion.
"Get. The. Fuck. Out." I jumped up, knocking away Tanya's grasping hands and tore through my closet.
"God, Cullen, what's up your ass?" Tanya hissed before getting up and stomping out of the room. Lauren and Jessica followed her like lost puppies. I was left with James and Laurent, who were just starting to look pissed off.
"Seriously, are you guys fucking deaf? Get the hell out!" They finally turned and left, stomping down the stairs and slamming the front door so hard the wall rippled. As their cars started and sped off, I finished getting dressed, carrying an extra jacket in the duffle bag that I pulled out. I loaded in water and flashlights before finally heading to my Volvo and speeding off.
Locking people in the Higgenbotham house was a Halloween tradition. I had had to stay the night when I was a freshman but I couldn't sit back and leave Bella there. My stay in the house couldn't have gone by fast enough. I had cringed through the smashing and stomping and the breathing in my face, but that was the worst of it; nothing as bad as some of the stories I had heard over the years. Ten years before, around the time that I had met Bella, a girl had been locked in the house for the night by her older brother. When he had let her out in the morning, she had refused to talk about what happened, how she had been covered in bruises and scared straight.
I pulled to a stop at the edge of a once popular neighborhood; it was now quiet. No trick-or-treaters even approached the neighborhood anymore. I grabbed my duffle and followed the broken-up driveway to the old two-story house. I couldn't see any light inside, despite the mass of candles that someone had hidden inside it. The trees around the house blocked out even the moonlight, let alone the streetlights.
I didn't bother knocking on the door, just reached forward and pushed it open. It was unlocked, which surprised me since when I had been inside everything had been locked, even the windows.
"Bella?" I grabbed a flashlight from my duffle and turned it on. Shining it around the front room, I could see a simple orange backpack on one of the dusty couches. It was Bella's, unless there was someone else in the house. I flashed the light up the stairs but decided to skip those, I had refused to go up there when I had been locked in.
"Bella?" I followed the hall into the kitchen and jumped at the site of the small form on the kitchen floor. It was definitely Bella, though she was different from when I had last seen her. She still had the same pale skin and dark hair, though it was a lot longer now. "Bella?"
"Charlie?" Her eyes opened and immediately closed until I lowered the flashlight.
"Sorry about that, are you alright?" I set the flashlight down low enough that it still provided light but didn't blind either of us. Her eyes opened again and looked up at me, the same chocolate-honey color. I couldn't help but let out a sigh, feeling like such a nerd for having my stomach flip over the sight of them.
"Who are you?" I flinched slightly, upset that she couldn't remember me at least a little bit. I reached out and helped her up, handing her a second flashlight from my bag.
"I guess it has sort of been a long time. I'm Edward Cullen." I smiled and pulled her completely to her feet, steadying her somewhat. She looked up at me, her eyes wider now than they had been before.
"Oh . . . I remember you, Eddie."
"Oh . . . I remember you, Eddie." I was hoping that he couldn't see the blush that spread across my cheeks, burning a bright, painful red. His lips curved into a smile, and I was glad that the flashlight managed to illuminate his green eyes.
"I'll let that one slide, since it has been, like, nine years?" I nodded and looked at the ground, shocked by how different he looked. I had met him my first week in Forks, when I was barely seven and he was eight. Back then he had been scrawny, the same height as me, and obsessed with all things video games. Now he was tall, over six feet, and definitely no longer scrawny. His body was lean but there were definitely muscles hidden under his jacket.
"Yeah, it has been a long time. Are we going to leave now?" My head was pounding, and I was too freaked out to ponder over what I had seen in the pantry. Something dropped upstairs, dragging for a moment before getting up and sprinting down the stairs. My eyes went wide and I slammed into Edward, feeling like a total dork as I started to whimper. The kitchen had become so cold it was freezing and I was terrified to take my eyes off the close proximity of his chest to look around us.
"Bella?" His arms wrapped around me, rocking me slightly as the kitchen began to warm back up. I took my eyes off his chest and stared up at him. I couldn't really fight the building tears anymore.
"I'll find us a way out of here, just stay close, okay?"
"Alright . . . wait, how were you able to get in? Everything was locked." He grabbed my hands and walked in front of me as we headed towards the front door. I was too freaked out to look at the stairs so I focused on him some more, holding my flashlight up to help him see.
"The front door wasn't." That was the first thing he checked and I was giddy until I noticed that it wouldn't budge under his hand. "I swear the damn thing was unlocked when I came in."
"Is there a lock somewhere on it? Maybe it's at the bottom or the top or something." Our flashlights split, mine going towards the floor and his going towards the top. No locks to be seen.
"Then how the hell is it all locked?"
I could only shrug, wanting to give up and just sit. I turned away and sat on the couch, waiting for him to join me. He finally did and I was a little bit tongue tied over what to do.
"So what do we do now?" I asked, shining the light everywhere but on him. The house was quiet again, except for us.
"Might as well make small talk . . . what brings you back to Forks?" He grabbed a handful of the candles that I had used earlier and lit them, scattering them across the coffee table. I shut off my flashlight alongside his.
"My mom is on another journey to find herself, only this time she has a new boyfriend. I was pretty much handed a ticket and sent on my way." I tried to appear casual, but what she did still fucking hurt.
"Did you go back with her nine years ago?"
"Yeah, she showed up the day after my birthday, after the party your mom arranged, and took me home. Charlie got in a fight with her over it, but I thought the best choice was to just go with her."
"My mom is a pretty odd person . . . she doesn't trust people easily and I couldn't just leave her by herself. I knew that Charlie could take care of himself, but I doubted how well Renée would do."
"That sucks. I never really got to say goodbye."
"I barely had time to say goodbye to Charlie, but I did try to convince her to let me see you and Alice. She wasn't very excited over wasting time."
"Sorry that your first day back in Forks is spent locked in a haunted house."
"Well, at least I can't complain that it's boring." I laughed with him but stopped abruptly when a door slammed upstairs. There were no resounding footsteps but I still crowded close to him, wishing that tonight would just end.
"Since you're new to town, I should probably tell you the story of this house." He didn't object to how close I had gotten so I stayed where I was and nodded, waiting for him to begin.
"Well, the house belonged to a Port Angeles police officer and his wife with their daughter. They were the Higgenbothams. It was reported that he was already abusive, but nothing ever came of it. On Halloween night, thirty years ago, he came home and went on a rampage. His wife died first—she didn't even realize what he was planning—and the daughter hid when she heard her mother scream. He tracked her down and dragged her back, eventually into his room where he was trying to strangle her when Forks police came in. They had to shoot him to make him let her go. He died but the little girl was alright, though badly injured. Some of the people in charge of the case thought he was possessed with the way he looked."
"What happened to the little girl?" I had grabbed a hold of his hand, feeling how cold the room was getting.
"She was adopted out, changed her name, and was actually raised in Forks. I can't really remember her name; I heard the story from my cousin Emmett when he locked me in this place freshman year." He rested his hand over mine and rubbed his thumb slowly back and forth across my wrist. Considering where we were, I felt embarrassed over the butterflies in my stomach.
"They locked you in here?"
"Yeah, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"What happened while you were in here?"
"Stomping upstairs, noises, and couple times I felt something breathe on my face." Despite my frequent naps today, I was feeling tired again, so I rested my head back against the couch.
"Hey, why weren't you at school today?" I changed the subject, blurting out the first question that had come into my head.
"I was sick; some bastard gave me a cold." He rested his head back next to mine and let out a yawn. Now that he mentioned it, I could feel the excess heat coming off his skin.
"I'm tired." I bit back a yawn and fought to keep my eyes open.
"Me too." He answered, before letting loose another yawn. I let my eyes slip closed and rested, my hand still covering his.
I woke up slowly, feeling waterlogged as I realized that I was curled up beside Edward. He was still sound asleep, drool slightly visible. I had to go to the bathroom but had no idea where I was going to do that. I slipped out from alongside him and stood, grabbing my flashlight and heading for the absurdly creepy stairs.
It was definitely dark but it didn't look too overbearing. I made my way up the stairs slowly, cringing every time I heard the creak of a floorboard. I entered the upstairs hall and saw four different doors. The first one I came to appeared to be a child's bedroom and the next was the master bedroom with a bathroom connected. I ignored the panic running up my spine and hurried to refresh myself, which definitely wasn't easy with no running water.
I left the bathroom when I was done, giving in to the urge to run from the bedroom. I could go back downstairs but I didn't want to wake up Edward, he had looked really tired earlier. I entered the child's bedroom I had come across before. It was definitely a little girl's room, filled with pink and bunch of old broken dolls.
I turned my flashlight and it cast a glint off something, reflecting back to me for a moment. I stepped forward and spotted the locket resting across a pretty picture frame caked with dust. I picked up the picture frame, the locket sliding to the tabletop, and wiped off the dust. The little girl beside the woman was familiar to me with her brown hair, blue eyes, and pink tutu. It was my mother, without a doubt; even before looking at the woman I knew it. I dropped the frame and stepped away, feeling a full blown panic start to step in.
"Renée." The voice was soft, rustling the hair that covered my right ear. I spun around and felt my butt connect with the table. Nothing was there but I could hear it breathing, causing me to stop completely. A growl broke the silence, closer to that of an animal than anything human. I couldn't breathe and I couldn't back up any further. The growling shot to the side, slamming into a broken doll house before ricocheting into the closet mirror. It was gone as the shattering of the mirror echoed through the room. I ran out of the room, down the stairs, and right into Edward, who had just woken up.
"What the hell was that?" He asked, grabbing my arms. I couldn't look back and I was gasping for breath.
"My mother; my mother was the little girl."
"How do you know?"
"There was a picture, and I'm pretty much the spitting image of her, even when we were younger. It, something up there, said her name. It growled and slammed into the mirror, and all I could do was run."
"Give me your hands."
"Bella, give me your hands." I held them up for him, gasping when I felt the searing pain in my right hand. With the adrenaline rush of what happened, I didn't realize that I had grabbed the locket; the locket that was currently cutting deeply into my palm. Edward pulled it off my hand and tossed it away before sliding his arms around me. "We need to get this cleaned up."
"I didn't even realize what it was doing." I followed as he pulled me back towards the kitchen, pulling a bottle of water out of his duffle, and pouring it onto my hand. I bit back a cry and watched as the excess water took away the blood down the sink's drain.
"We should just steer clear of upstairs completely." He was still bent over my hand, wrapping it with a ripped off piece of his shirt. When his green eyes met mine I smiled sheepishly, hoping that it was dark enough that he couldn't see my blush.
"What are we going to do now?"
"It's been nine years since we last saw each other, and considering the lack of television, iPods, and cell phones, maybe we should resort to twenty questions." I settled back in beside him in the front room, casting a wary eye at the stairs.
"What do you want to know?"
"Everything." His statement was simple, and he looked like he truly wanted to hear me blabber about myself. I nodded and waited for his question. "Would you have said goodbye if you had had the chance?"
"Where are you planning to go to college?" I asked him, sprawled out on the opposite side of the couch from him. Things had been quiet in the house, no footsteps and no slamming doors.
"I'm applying to a bunch of places, mainly out here and Chicago, a few places in New York, too." I was stuck looking at him, not really able to look away. He really was good-looking, even for a teenager, with angled jaw and now very scruffy face.
"Fancy, what do you plan on studying?"
"I believe that it's my turn to ask the question." He smiled at me and I couldn't help but smile back before ducking my face further down into my side of the couch. "Did you have a boyfriend in Phoenix, Bella?"
"No!" My face started to heat up for the hundredth time that night as I jumped up from the couch, tripping over Edward's feet in the process. "I mean . . . why would you want to know?"
"Bella, I've had a crush on you since you fell out of Charlie's fishing boat . . . the day I met you." I cringed at the memory. It had been my first weekend in Forks, and I had been so focused on the group of kids on the banks of the pond that I had fallen in. When Charlie had managed to fish me out, I had been crying. It wasn't exactly one of my best moments.
"You laughed at me," I whined. He had laughed though he stopped when he noticed how badly I was crying. I had seriously hated fish when I was a kid, which was why I put up a hell of a fight when Charlie decided to take me with him to the lake.
"I felt so bad afterwards." Edward was now sitting on the couch, facing me as I stood. He reached forward and gripped my hips and I went willingly, my hands resting on his shoulders.
"I didn't talk to Renée for a week after she took me back to Phoenix . . . I was so angry with her." It was the truth. Though I had made the decision to go with her, I wasn't happy about her showing up out of the blue. I finally met Edward's eyes and smiled. They were an army shade of green, reflected by the candles we had replaced only few minutes before. I was starting to feel like we were on a date, and that was definitely new for me.
"Hold still for a moment." He breathed against my ear and all I could focus on was staying still, except for the slow gripping and unclasping my hands were doing to his shoulders. I waited, trying to keep from bouncing on my toes, when I felt hands grasp lower on my thighs, near my knees. My eyes snapped open to focus on his confused green ones. In less than a second it all went to shit. My knees were yanked out from under me and I slammed my hands on the floor. I looked up at Edward, not sure what the hell had just happened, when the grip on my knees came back, dragging me quickly towards the stairs.
"Shit, Bella!" He was chasing after me as I was pulled—screaming—up the stairs. The rush up the stairs only took seconds and I caught one last glance of Edward running up the first few stairs before I was dragged into the bedroom and the door was slammed.
I knew that things had been going too well for too long, the past hour or so of quiet was all just a ploy to get our guards down. I heard Bella scream and cleared the stairs. I had never been scared so shitless before in my life. The look of utter confusion and panic in her chocolate eyes had been mirrored in my own. Every door in the hall was open except for one, the main bedroom. It was freezing and I felt the hair on my neck stand on end.
"Bella!" I reached the door and shuffled the knob, feeling no give in it. I heard more than one thing moving around on the other side, along with Bella's crying. I had to be going crazy, shit like this only happened in movies. I leaned back and kicked the door, my converse making a decent mark in the old door.
"Edward!" Her voice was nearly drowned out by the whispering and snarling on the other side of the door. I was panicked over what was in the room but not enough to just leave Bella. I slammed my leg into the door again, relieved when it really started to splinter. I slammed my foot one more time and it went clear through the door, wood shards slicing into my jeans and skin. I entered the room but couldn't see Bella.
"Let me out! Oh my God, please, I never wanted a part in any of this!" She was full blown shrieking, I could hear her fists slamming against the bathroom door. I reached forward to grab the knob, and as my hand came in contact with it, a searing pain coursed through my palm. I jumped back, and the skin of my palm was bright red and had the imprint of the handle burned into it. I stared wide-eyed at it, at a loss for what to do anymore.
Whatever the thing was had locked me in the bathroom, surrounded by broken shards of glass, splintered wood and broken bathroom appliances. Everything on me was hurting, my jeans were ripped to hell and I had several scratches and bruises to my face and body. Resting on my knees was getting too painful so I reached for the wall and pulled myself up, hearing Edward on the other side of the door.
"Let me out! Oh my God, please, I never wanted a part in any of this!" I slammed my fists against the door, crying out when they started to turn a fiery red. Whatever was keeping the door closed was burning me, leaving my hands raw. I kept hitting the door, hearing Edward and seeing his shadow on the other side. I started to sob, slamming my shoulder into the wood. That's when it stopped. The door swung open without much complaint.
"Edward?" I tripped in the doorway and landed beside him on the floor, both of us gasping for breath.
"Bella, are you alright?" He reached over me, checking my hands and letting out a hiss when he saw how red and slightly blistered they were on the sides.
"I can't do this anymore, just waiting for something else to happen." I forgot all about being squeamish and wrapped my arms around his neck. Feeling how solid he was, left me feeling a lot more grounded. His hands slid around my waist and I tucked my face into his neck.
"I'll be over soon, I'll get you downstairs." I could definitely get used to Edward Cullen carrying me around everywhere. I was tired as he held me going down the stairs; everything in the house just seemed to sap my energy. He tucked me onto the couch and lay alongside me, fitting his front close against mine.
"Have you ever thought about it?"
"Thought of what?"
"Dying?" He stared at me in confusion and I couldn't help but mirror his look. I had never paid much attention to dying, it had just never bothered or worried me, but stuck where I was, I couldn't take my mind off of it.
"We're gonna get out of here. As soon as its morning we'll walk out those doors and straight to my car outside." He rubbed small circles with his thumb on my wrist, away from any of the burns. I wanted to believe, but nothing was certain.
"How do you know?"
"We'll get out of here. I don't care how we do it, but we'll get out of here." I let out a breath and held onto him, smiling despite myself when his hand tangled in my hair.
"Bella, what happened when you were in that room?" I couldn't face him if I was going to tell the story and I was getting tired so I needed to tell it quickly.
"It dragged me up there, I could hear it stomping, even heard it speak. It kept calling me 'Renée' and a 'little bitch.' I couldn't exactly kick at it but it dragged me into that room and slammed the door. I felt it, him, sitting on my chest. I could barely breathe enough to scream but I tried to fight. It was gone just as quickly and I was dragged by my hair into the bathroom. That's when you eventually got into the room." I cringed when every door upstairs slammed shut, shaking the windows.
"You can sleep, I'll watch over you." I smiled a watery smile against his neck and closed my eyes, calming down as I listened to him breathe. After a few moments, I felt my eyelids droop before closing completely.
Listening to Bella talk in her sleep was painful, considering it was mainly about her mother. When she started to scream my blood ran cold and I pressed a kiss to her forehead, feeling her tense brow relax. I noticed every cut and burn when I carried her downstairs. Her hands were bad but the burn on her shoulder looked nasty. Her nails were destroyed and the cuts to her face were looking pretty bad as well.
There was no doubt that I was going to kick James' ass when we got out, stupid pony-tailed bastard. I gave in to my need for sleep, watching the relaxation come across Bella's face. As I yawned I started to plan on how to get her out on a date, something lacking any possible scary moments and horrors. I smiled and buried my face in her hair, letting my body relax into sleep.
The sky was still a dark blue when I finally woke up, curled around Edward completely. He was passed out asleep, his brow crinkled. Other than that he looked young, like he didn't have to worry about anything anymore. It had to be close to dawn, but I couldn't tell for certain.
"Bella?" I looked at Edward and noticed that he was talking in his sleep, his hand running up and down my arm. I shifted slightly so that I could climb over him without waking him. The first thing I grabbed was my phone, which still lacked a signal but at least it told me the time. It was definitely morning; we had less than an hour until we could go. It was quiet again, which left me seriously uneasy.
"Bella, why are you awake?" I turned back towards Edward, smiling when I saw his eyes open, staring at me.
"It's almost time for us to go; at least, I'm hoping that it's almost time for us to get out of here. I think I would give anything right about now for a hamburger or a simple tootsie roll." I shoved all my stuff back into my backpack before kneeling—my knees were seriously protesting—beside him.
"I think I might be able to provide those, but you really need to go to the hospital first." I huffed but nodded when I saw how concerned he was for me, staring at the burns on my hands and shoulder.
"I'll go if you go . . . and maybe if I get my hamburger and candy afterwards." He laughed, actually laughed, and it felt so damn good to hear it. I slipped my arms around his neck again, which was slightly awkward with him lying down, and pecked his cheek embarrassingly. He froze and I dropped my arms, wanting a sinkhole to come up and swallow me.
"Sorry." I kept my eyes glued to the floor, even when he reached forward and nudged my chin, trying to get me to rise up and look at him. When I finally did, he smiled, and leaned forward, his lips pressing softly to mine. I was the one who froze this time but the heat in my stomach kicked me into gear, opening my mouth underneath his. I moaned loudly when his tongue touched mine. He pulled away for a second before pressing small kisses along my mouth and down my neck.
"Should we check the door now?" I bit back a groan, not wanting him to stop but really wanting to leave the house way behind me. I helped Edward up, handing him his duffle before heading for the door.
"Wait, I'll check to see; I don't want you getting hurt any worse." I frowned but shrugged, letting him pass in front of me and approach the door. He grabbed the door handle and turned it, cursing when nothing happened. It stayed fucking closed. I had to fight the childish urge to stomp my foot and cry. "Fucking house, I fucking hate it here!" He screamed, kicking and smashing into the door. I hurried towards him, thankful when I couldn't see any burns beside the one he had from upstairs.
"Edward?" I pressed my hand to his back and waited for him to calm down.
"I'm so sick of this house's bullshit. All this stuff happening, I feel like crap and you're hurt and all we can do is wait for the fucking door to unlock itself? It is total fucking shit!" He kicked out at the door again, not exactly expecting it to break outwards, sending him falling forward.
"You got it open!" My knees were killing me so I couldn't jump up and down but I did help him up and hug him, pressing an eager kiss to his mouth. He smiled against me and pulled back, carefully holding my hand and leading me out of the house. We were out, and heading towards a car. I needed to get away; I wanted the damn place to burn, for what it had done to me, and for what had happened to Renée. I felt guilty for all the times I had been angry and hated her for her decisions. I guess they made some sort of sense in her world.
"My car's this way, I'll carry you." I couldn't complain when he swept me up, taking the weight off my protesting knees. I would agree to go to the hospital, just to get some sort of medication for the pain. I looked back over his shoulder, finding someone standing in front of a window in the second story. It was a small woman, about the same size as me, with dark hair. I could see her smile sadly at me before raising her hand in a silent wave. I clutched Edward tighter when I saw a man drive her away, the same man I had seen when I had first entered the house, in the pantry.
"Charlie's gonna be so pissed." I groaned, wondering what he was possibly doing at the moment.
"Just try to remind him that I had nothing to do with this, I really don't need an arrest on my record just when I'm getting ready for college." He placed me in the passenger seat of his car, buckling me in despite my protests.
"I'll protect you." I laughed as he sat in the driver seat and started the Volvo.
"Good, then I'll make sure you get that hamburger and tootsie roll as soon as you're ready." I laughed and looked out the window, at the splattered pumpkin remains that littered the streets. We were heading towards the hospital but I didn't feel my usual sense of annoyance or fear, I actually felt comforted, having Edward beside me. I couldn't even find it in me to care when ten years later, on Edward's and my third wedding anniversary, Charlie called to tell us about the act of vandalism that had burned down the house to merely ashes.