First off I would like to tell you that this story is based on a challenge from Evilevergreen called Ashes in the Wind. Since I was already doing a story based on the life of Pariah Dark I thought it would be fun to do one about Ember. Just like my other story, this one will be from Ember's point of view.
Emily "Ember" McLain
Born 1968 Died 1990
We will always remember
That's what my tombstone said anyway. Reality was so much crueler. No one remembered the rock diva Ember McLain. After I died my songs stayed on the charts for a few days and then no one listened to them any more. It was like I had never existed.
This was probably why I became a ghost. I was so obsessed with making my name known that I just couldn't move on. After I died I watched everyone I knew invisibly and realized that I was not going to be remembered like my tombstone had promised.
I guess the need to be noticed started when I was a little girl.
"Emily! Come here and help me clean up this mess." My mom called to me from the kitchen of our small house, but I didn't respond. Ever since I had been born my father had called me Ember because of my "fiery personality". I was about nine now and rarely responded to anything else.
"Ugh why did your father ever give you that silly nickname? Ember, please come help me!" I stood up from where I had been sitting playing with a toy guitar and walked into the kitchen.
My mother was eight months pregnant with my baby brother. She was extremely round so I was always the one bending down and getting things for her. Mom told me that I had to be her helper, and most of the time I had a feeling that she was just being lazy.
I hated my brother already. The nine years where I had been an only child was bliss, but now that my brother was on the way it was like I was fading away into the scenery. Even my dad had forgotten about me. Now he always made sure that Mom was perfectly content.
Maybe that's why I clung to the name Ember. It was the last bit of proof that I had once been cared for. Once my dad tried to explain that mom had had a miscarriage a few years after I was born, and that he had to take care of mom really well and make sure that the baby was okay.
As the day for mom's pregnancy to end grew closer I was yelled at more and more. My little toy guitar, which didn't make songs well but was fun to play anyway, was broken by my mom when I had played it just a little too loudly.
Although my father never admitted it, I was positive that he wanted a son more than he wanted a daughter. My room was small and cramped while the baby's nursery was large and bright with sunlight. How much room does a baby need anyway?
Finally my mother went to the hospital. My dad left too and I was stuck at home with a babysitter.
When my brother finally came home I was once again simply a part of the furniture. They fussed and picked at the thing and kept talking about how cute he was. He burped and they giggled. He farted and they laughed. He drooled down his chin and they complimented him.
Now, I understand that most of these feelings were natural for the older child to feel. But something was different about my brother and I knew that my parents were in denial. He rarely moved at all and as he got older he still couldn't even roll over.
Finally my parents seemed to realize that they could hide the truth no longer. "Ember, there's something we need to tell you about your brother." I looked over at where he sat in his little chair with disgust on my face. He had drooled all over his bib and I watched as it continued to soak through.
"He's… physically retarded." I blinked. If physically retarded meant really gross, than yeah, he was. "Physically retarded means that he can't move very well, so were counting on you to take care of him."
I looked up at my parents as if they were crazy. The last thing I wanted was to take care of the person who had taken my parents from me.
We both grew older and I noticed that he always was appreciated more than me. He always got straight A's, because although his body didn't work, his mind seemed to be working over time.
The only thing I was good at was singing. My report card had mostly B's and a few C's, with the one A from chorus. My mother glanced at both of the cards and always told me that I should put more effort into school work instead of singing.
"You'll never amount to anything if you stay on the same path that you're going on." My mother told me after a particularly bad report card.
"Ha Ha, Emer stinks at school!" My brother mocked and teased me to no end. He couldn't pronounce Bs, so my name was a weird cross between Emily and Ember. But in front of my parents he was a darling angel. If I even said one thing mean about him I was slapped.
When I was about fifteen my father died and then things really got bad. He died of lung cancer and my mother went into a deep depression. I was stuck feeding and bathing and taking care of my six year old brother.
During her depression my mother screamed at me all of the time. "Why do you hate me Emily!" she screamed one night. "Why can't you get good grades like your brother and care more about this family!" she burst into tears and I simply stared at her.
We lived in a crowded neighborhood and neighbors often called and asked if my brother and mother were okay. Never did they even mention me, and I wanted to slam the phone down every time someone called.
Then one night I asked my mom if she loved me. I had just received another phone call asking how my brother was and finally became tired of being ignored. "Love! You want love! How can I love you when you don't love me! Everyone hates me! Your father even died to get away from me and this stupid family!"
She stood up and stormed past me into the bathroom. The door slammed and I heard the lock click. For a few hours I enjoyed the silence and listened to the radio without fear of being yelled at by my mom. But eventually I became worried and crept downstairs.
My brother glanced up from the couch with a worried expression on his face. "Emer, where were you? I tried to call you but all that you could hear was the radio. Something bad happened to mom! She screamed once and then it was really quiet." He tried to move and only succeeded in rolling off the couch.
I felt the blood drain from my face and ran over to the bathroom door. "Mom?" I pounded on the door and screamed her name. Only silence answered and I slammed into the door as hard as I could.
My shoulder ached but still I kept slamming against the door. Finally it caved in and I ran into the bathroom holding my shoulder.
Blood was smeared across my line of vision. Everything I saw was covered in the dark red fluid. The air had a sickeningly sweet smell that I assumed was the blood, and it also smelled of something else. Death.
I noticed that the curtain in front of the tub was closed. My hand shook as I moved forward and pulled back the white blood stained cloth. In the tub sat my mother up to her waist in her own body fluid.
How long she had been dead I did not know. She had slit her own wrists by the sink and then had sat in the bath tub waiting for death to claim her. I threw up on the already dirty floor and ran from the room.
A few days later we had been taken to an orphanage. None of our relatives wanted to associate themselves with me. The first thing that my brother said when I had told him mom was dead was, "It was you!" his eyes widened. "If you hadn't been messing around with your stupid music then mom would be alive right now!"
Everyone blamed me for my mother's death. "You weren't supposed to be listening to the radio that loud anyway! You should have been watching over your brother, and then you would have heard the scream too! You knew that your mother was emotionally troubled, so what made you just leave her alone in the bathroom!"
Their words haunted my restless dreams where I saw her blood all of the time.
I grew up in the orphanage as, 'The Killer Girl' and when I was finally eighteen I left. Instead of college I decided to continue with music, since I had been repeatedly told that I was no good at anything except singing. All of the times that I had been called worthless, stupid, murderous, all of that was going to change.
Somehow, someway, I would prove that I was worth something, and the name Ember McLain would be heard across America.
This was a terribly gruesome chapter. I wonder if it has something to do with wrighting about the lives of ghosts that causes me to get so disgusting. The rest of the story will be about Ember's struggle for fame, based on the song Remember, but I had to start with this because I wanted to show just how deep Ember had been scarred.