Screaming These Lies
A/N; I haven't written fic in years, so you're going to have to forgive any lack of pallor on my part. This chapter is lacking a bit, I'm sure, but it's just something to get me back into the swing of things. It will get more interesting in upcoming chapters, I promise. As is always the case, reviews are always welcomed and appreciated; and sadly, I do not own any of the characters in the following. If I did, well, I wouldn't be sharing.
"I'll be right back down, dad. I forgot the other camera…" Lydia said quickly, giving her bag one last shove into the dark recesses of her car before slamming the trunk shut.
"Did you get those prints out of the living room? Oh, and that sweater your aunt sent over. It was in the dining room last, wasn't it?" Her dad quipped, carelessly tossing his daughter's laptop onto the backseat.
Lydia grimaced as she watched the computer bounce off the cushion and land haphazardly on the seat opposite. "Yeah, dad. Got all that last night…" She mumbled, turning and heading back towards the house. Truth be told, all her belongs, aside from the essentials; namely her camera and laptop, had been packed days ago. As much as she loved her father, she couldn't have been more ready to leave the old Connecticut house and head back for the city. Heading through the front door, she managed a small glance at Delia.
"Heading out so soon?" She asked sweetly, watching her stepdaughter's retreating form as she headed back up the stairs.
"Yeah, early bird catches the worm." Lydia replied in the same sweet tone, her voice oozing sarcasm. Both women knew the truth of it; Lydia was dying to get out, and Delia couldn't be happier to see her leave. Both managed to put on a false front for Charles' sake, but when it came down to it, they really couldn't stand each other's company for more than a few days. A few hours, even. If their relationship had been rocky when she was a teen, now it was a total cataclysmic nightmare. It annoyed Lydia that Delia still pried into her life at every opportune moment, and it annoyed Delia that Lydia no longer had to give in to her every whim, seeing as she was no longer a little girl. Simply put; they were both happier when not in each other's company.
Trailing her fingers along the railing, Lydia made her way back up to her bedroom. Her camera was right where she had left it, cushioned nicely in the center of her bed. She swooped it up in one hand, and stood for a moment, staring out the window. That was one thing she would miss about this place; it really was beautiful. She'd been here for nearly five weeks now, and even though she'd been convinced that she had exhausted all the photography opportunities as she had grown, she had still managed to go through eight rolls of film in and around the old house. Sighing, she turned and made her way for the door; she'd arrived just in time for Thanksgiving, and now that Christmas had past, it was time to head home.
She made her way down the main hallway a little slower than necessary, nearly coming to a halt as she walked by the attic door. The Maitlands had left a few days prior, with the simple explanation that they had things to 'attend to' on the other side. Lydia didn't ask questions, and they didn't offer any further information. As it was, their relationship was nothing as it had been when she was a girl. In all honestly, it hadn't taken long for the novelty of living with two ghosts to wear off as she was growing up. To her, it was more like having a second set of parents nosing around; only they could walk through walls and such. This made their nosing a bit easier, and her life a bit harder.
In that regard, her father must have been glad that she was going. As far as she could tell, the Maitlands rarely made their presence known when she wasn't around, choosing instead to leave the Deetz family to their own devices in the lower levels of the house, while they confined themselves to the attic. Very rarely did the two couples ever intersect each other, and when they did, Charles would simply have the decency to startle at their sudden presence, and then mumble some small talk until they went on their way. He seemed to think of them as the occasional tenants who took up residence in his attic, and over the past few years, no one had ever heard him speak of ghosts, or poltergeists, or the 'incident' that had occurred years prior. No. To him, and everyone else, it was much easier this way.
Lydia's eyes fell to the railing her hand was resting upon; the same railing that had miraculously come slithering to life under the very same touch years ago. "Damned snake…" she mumbled, removing her hand and looking back to the attic door. She hadn't been up there in a number of years, choosing instead to allow the Maitlands to come down of their own accord. Not like she had to go looking for them, anyways. They were always there to greet her at the door with her parents when she showed up for the holidays. One big, happy family. She thought, reaching for the doorknob.
The cool metal turned easily in her grasp, and for a moment, she was surprised that it had. A few seconds after that, she was surprised that she had found herself so surprised. Why had she been expecting it to be locked? It's not like there was anything to hide anymore.
"Hello?" She called fluidly, her voice floating up the staircase and into the grayness of the upper level. She hadn't expected the Maitlands to be there; for they had told her they would not be back by the time she left. Still, for some reason she felt she needed an excuse to go up there, and the pretense of saying goodbye to the ghostly couple seemed good enough to her.
"Adam, Barbara?" She said calmly, ascending the staircase quietly. Why the charade, anyways? She knew they weren't there, and no one would care that she was in the musty old attic, anyways. She shuddered as she reached the top, pulling the zipper on her hoodie up. The temperature in the attic was easily fifteen degrees colder than that of the lower levels. She half expected to see her breath as she looked around the dingy space. No sense in heating up here, she thought. Ghosts wouldn't really mind the cold, would they?
Her boots sounded a bit too loud as she made her way across the musty floors. Small puddles were left in her wake as the snow melted away from her feet. She found herself drawn to the opposite side of the attic, where the impeccable replica of the town sat serenely under a snowy window. That too, looked the same, aside from some small changes Adam had made over the years to keep up with the small town's growth. She wondered how he knew about the changes, and how he got the pieces and parts he needed to continue working on it now that she was no longer around to help.
She traced a cold finger along to top of one of the small tombstones that dotted the model's graveyard. She pulled it away just as quickly, shuddering as she remembered the exchange that had occurred between herself and him. Her eyes narrowed. Had he ever come back? What had happened to him, for that matter? She had found herself with similar questions running through her head in the wake of 'the incident', and had even questioned Adam and Barbara heavily on the matter. Where was he? Was he even still alive, in a sense? They had assured her that it had been taken care of, and that he wasn't going to be able to hurt her anymore. Juno had taken care of it. Nothing more, nothing less. She on the other hand, wanted more. She hadn't been afraid of being hurt, she simply wanted to know. She was utterly fascinated by what had happened, and only when she got the feeling that they were beginning to think her a bit too interested in the whole thing had she stopped with the questions. Eventually, even brief mentionings of the incident were ceded, and before she knew it, everyone had begun to act as if the whole thing had never happened.
"Betelgeuse?" she questioned into the nothingness, before she even had time to stop herself. Her hand quickly shot up and slapped over her mouth. Oh fuck, she thought, frozen, her eyes wide. She stood there for a moment, every nerve in her body tensed. She more than half expected the poltergeist to make some type of appearance at the mention of his name, even if she had only said it once. She was almost certain the temperature of the room had dropped, but as she stood there, shocked with herself, the feelings subsided. She was just being stupid. Minutes passed, and nothing happened. She shook her head. This is ridiculous, she thought, annoyed with herself. The Maitlands had told her he was gone, hadn't they? What had she been expecting?
"Absolutely nothing…" She mumbled to herself, annoyed, as she turned to head back to the stairs. It was this lack of expectation that caused her to shriek as she turned, finding herself face to face with grinning Betelgeuse. Both hands covered her mouth and she tripped backwards, nearly falling over an old side table. It took a few seconds for her to realize that she wasn't staring into the wild, emerald eyes of the spectre, but instead into the dull, lifeless eyes of a large chunk of marble…
Delia's stupid statue.
"Lydia, everything alright?" Her father's voice floated up the stairs.
The girl rolled her eyes. Utterly ridiculous. The pushed past the shelf that the statue was
situated on, stirring up some of the dust that had collected there. Obviously the family had chose to slowly dispose of all evidence of the happenings a few years prior, but even Delia didn't have it in her to completely rid herself of her own 'artwork'. Instead it had been banished to the attic, along with the two ghosts.
"Coming!" She replied quickly, rolling her eyes as she grabbed her discarded camera from the couch and took the stairs down two at a time.
All this childish nonsense.
She couldn't wait to be back in the city.