There was a soft knocking at the door of my bedroom, which I figured could've only been Catherine, this conclusion being drawn based off of that fact that mom would've rammed her fist against the wood until I bothered to acknowledge her existence, and grandma would've walked right in. This was more of a gentle tapping that was barely audible beneath my blaring iPod.
"What do you want, Cathy?" I demanded, throwing a distasteful glance at the door as it slowly opened. Cathy poked in her head and looked at me with wide, calf brown eyes that were full of fear and wisdom all at once.
"Nat?" she whispered, closing the door as she entered and coming to sit beside me as fast as her skinny 9-year-old legs could carry her. A few tears streamed down her face, and I realized that something was up.
"Hey… what's wrong…?" I asked just as she attached herself onto my shoulder. Through my worry, though, I had to sigh in annoyance as I remembered how long it took to get her off of me the last time she acted up like this.
"Natalie, there's something in our house," she said. "I heard it talking."
I rolled my eyes, finally getting what this was about. "Cathy, really, it's just one of those bad dreams of yours, or maybe even this cruddy air conditioning system we had. Something rational like that."
I don't mean to be harsh, I just can't stand it when Cathy acts like this; when she's scared and weak. I have to be brave whenever she starts it up, every time, when the truth is that I'm never brave. I'm just as scared as she is.
"It's not! I swear, I heard voices and footsteps. I felt something in the house. I'm scared, Nat."
"There's no reason to be," I said calmly, picking her up and balancing her on my hip as I stood shakily. Of course, I did feel a nagging bit of fear in the back of my head, but I'd rather die than let that on. "Come on, you'd better get back to your packing." Yeah, changing the subject. One of my specialties.
Cathy kept her eyes on the floor as I brought her down the hallway and into her room, plopping her down on her bed and next to her half full suitcase.
"I don't want to leave," she said quietly.
"What are you talking about?" I demanded, knitting my brows. "If anything, you should be glad to get out of here. Dad's got a nicer place… a nicer job…"
"I'm not leaving," she declared.
I gave an exasperated breath. "So that's what this is about. You're not hearing noises! You're just projecting you're fear and anger onto something else so that you don't have to face the facts. Don't be pathetic, Cathy, you're better than that."
Cathy stood up and stomped her foot. "I am not! I did hear them!"
I just shook my head and turned to leave. "Stop scaring yourself, Cathy. Just… just stop." Repeating myself when I had nothing better to say; another one of my great talents.
Cathy was crying. "Why are you so mean and cold? It's like you've given up all hope on the world. You used to be better than this."
Please don't say what I think you're about to say.
"Shut up," I ordered.
"Ever since Abby died—"
I was fast in running back up to her and slapping her across the face. "I said shut up!"
She said it.
She turned away and started crying into her pillow as I looked at her in anger. As ashamed as I am to admit it, this wasn't the first time I'd acted like this. Whenever anyone mentioned Abigail, I'd become unhinged. But, with my own sister, it made it all the more of an assault.
I know, I know, it was wrong anyway. I've never hit her before, not once, but she'd set it up for herself. Half the time she's only trying to help me, and I just throw it back into her face. I'm horrible. I'm appallingly awful.
"I'll be glad once you're going to live it dad's!" I shouted down to her, wrinkling my nose in disgust. "The only bad thing is that I'll have to see you're ugly face when you come here on weekends. I hate you!"
No! Why did I say that?
I turned and threw open the door, anger boiling up inside me, and burst past mom, who had come to see what all of the ruckus was. Cathy cries grew loud as my awful words struck at her core.
I'm sorry, Cathy. I'm so sorry.
Being in my room didn't make it any better. Our thin, walls didn't much help to block out the screams, and I don't mean Cathy's. I had my head buried in a pillow, half hoping it would suffocate me as I shrieked like a three-year-old. I hated this, all of it. My stupid life, my stupid family, stupid Abby for doing this to me… and that truck! That horrible hit-and-run truck that ruined my life… that took my best friend away from me. Damn it! Damn it all to Hell!
In the other room, I can hear mom quietly talking to my sister, slowing the cries as she offers to read a bedtime story. "In the great green room," I hear her begin, "there was a telephone, and a red balloon…"
I pulled the covers over my head, thinking to myself that I can't be so vicious to Cathy. She's small and needy, and if I treat her like this now, I don't know how she'll have the will to go on in the future.
I am so sorry.
It was a short while later that I awoke in the dead of night to screaming coming from the other room. Without even pausing to think, I jumped to my feet, knowing that the only one who could possibly have a reason to scream at 2:30 in the morning would be Cathy. My anger that I felt towards her was long gone, and now replaced once more by a sisterly caring and love.
I bolted out of my room and into my hallway, trying to fumble my way down the short corridor and into Cathy's room. The only thing that went wrong was that I tripped over something in the hallway, and, as soon as I came into contact with it, it began to move.
Weird, I thought to myself, blinking in the darkness, and for a moment I considered going to look around to see whatever animal that was in me house, but I kept Cathy in my focus, who, by now, had stopped screaming and probably just started trembling and crying.
As soon as I threw the door open, there was a soft padding of paws and claws against the hardwood floor, and something dashed past my feet.
Okay, now this was making me nervous. These things were big; like, small dog sized. I hoped to God that they weren't rats. Vermin of that size would be freakin' terrifying.
My hand goes toward the wall, and I flick on the lights before shutting the door and going towards my sister. "What's happened?" I asked as she looked up at me in fear, tears trickling down her soft, milk chocolate colored face. "What's wrong?" I demand when she doesn't answer. I guess I was mostly ticked that she'd taken time away from my sleep.
She grabbed onto my hand and held it so tight that it began to lose color. "There was something in my room…"
"Yes, I know, I think we've had an infestation or something. God, it didn't bite you, did it?" I was nervous, racking my brain of possible diseases that giant rats could carry. Weren't they the ones to blame for the Bubonic Plague, or whatever?
Cathy looked at me, not seeming to even hear my question as she searched the air around us for something solid to steady herself on. "There was… there was a voice, Nat. It was talking."
I blinked a few times, trying to take this in. "Don't be silly, Cathy. You were only dreaming again… You have to have been. Animals don't talk."
"Then it must not have been an animal," said Cathy, quivering as she spoke.
"That's crazy talk," I said, denying her the chance to get caught up once more in her psychopath ranting.
She shivered as though it were cold, and my face softened. "Alright," I said, pulling her into a hug and deciding just to humor her. It was just too early to get into an argument now. "Suppose that it was talking. What did it say?"
She looked up at me with shining eyes, this, apparently, not being the question she had been hoping I'd ask. "I… I'm not sure. I was nearly asleep when it first started muttering to itself." She trembled, hugging herself as little shivers shook her body as if she were a shimmering reflection on the surface of water.
Seeing that this was one of those sister moments where, once again, I had to be the brave one, I picked up my little sister and pulled her into my lap, thinking that maybe I could hug her until she was alright. But that wasn't what happened.
Cathy immediately stood up again, traces of fear still in her eyes that were becoming quickly overwhelmed by determination. "Nat…"
"What?" I asked impatiently. If she didn't want a hug and didn't want to be alone, then what more could I do for her?
Shifting her weight from foot to foot, Cathy looked down and blinked back tears. "Could we… could we go see what it was?"
I was taken back. I mean, ever since Cathy was little, she never had a taste for adventure. A lot of the time, she was barely curious. I'd never expect her to be willing to charge into something she didn't know.
"What?" I repeated, still trying to wring out my mind that seemed to collapse in on itself. "Why would you… why would we want to do that? If anything, we'll find it in the morning, unless the rodents know what's good for it and make an escape. Trust me, they're nothing but some animals that found a way in through the basement or something."
Cathy looked at me as if I were an idiot. "No, they're not. Please, couldn't we find them. I want to talk to them. They obviously came to us for some reason."
"You're head is full of dreams, Cathy," I said, flinching at the possibility that my dear sister may be going crazy. "I promise you, they're just dumb anim—"
Cathy wasn't even listening. She walked across the room and out her hand on the doorknob, probably about to peek out. I have to say; the little Pandora will end up getting us all killed with her curiosity one of these days. It's clearly one of her weaknesses.
I could've stopped her, using all of the skill that I picked up from football camp and any other restraints I could find, but I figured that maybe this would be for her best. I mean, really, if she's ever going to grow up, she's got to drop these fantasy worlds going on in her head, and obviously just telling her did no good. Maybe if she saw for herself…
Still, I stood, not wanting her to get bit by a rat or anything. I wasn't too worried about that, though. We'd had animals in our house before; mice in the walls, squirrels in the attic, and cats in the crawlspace. We get along pretty easily, and try to get rid of animals as best we can, but, if this animal was as big as I perceived after tripping over it in the hall, it could impose a threat.
"Come on," I said, bending down for her to get on my back.
Together, the two of us made her way out, her trembling and cling to my shoulders, and me watching where I stepped.
As soon as my feet creaked against the floorboard, there was a scrabbling of claws try to run for cover, and they were obviously trying to keep as quiet as possible. There was a swishing of drapes as the beasts tried to take cover behind the sofa. Stupid, ignorant animals.
I dashed across the room to the far wall and snapped the lights on as quick as possible, not getting much comfort from the dark, and Cathy gasped.
Our furniture was ripped to shreds and soiled. The ugly drapes were torn and on the ground, and, I don't want to go into too much detail, but it was pretty disgusting.
Cathy started trembling again, and, when I looked back, her eyes were misty and faraway, and she was crying again. Her breathing became ragged, and, as I brought her forward, she began mumbling under her breath, and I went into a panicked spasm. Not because of what she was doing, though; she did this all the time. What scared me more was a voice. In my house. Behind the sofa. Saying exactly what she was.
"As two worlds become one, a war begins,
Angels brought together to pay for their sins."
She was crying—sobbing, really—into her hands right there in my arms. I was crying too. I was terrified now. Why were there voices in my house? Thee shouldn't be. That voice, that thing behind the couch, had no right to be there. And it didn't quit. It went right on moaning, not crying like we were, but in pain.
For a while the insanity continued, until, slowly, it died down. Cathy and I crouched on the hardware floor, hugging, listening to nothing but the breathing of ourselves, and the two things behind the couch.
Finally, the bravery side of me came into play. I knew that whatever fear and pain I was going through, it was going to Cathy sevenfold, and no good could come of her if she's going through that. I kissed her on top of the head to give her courage, and whispered, "I'm going to see what it was."
She looked at me worriedly, trembling as she loosened her grasp. I stood up slowly, making my way towards the couch. My footsteps were like mallets on the souls of all of us, and I reached the sofa all too quickly.
Then I held up three fingers to Cathy. Two. One.
Without a sound, I ripped back the curtains and looked over the edge of the trashed couch.
I couldn't believe what I saw.
It was insane.
It was not possible.
But it was there.
It. Two its. Two rabbits: a gray one and a brown one, sitting there behind the couch. They stared at me in terror, and the gray one bolted away, screaming back over his shoulder. "Fiver! Come on!"
I didn't follow it. I didn't even watch it go. I just sat there, stupefied as I turned what I had seen, these senseless creatures that defied all that I knew, over in my head, staring at the small blue-eyed buck that refused to move. Rabbits. Talking rabbits.
And ones that I knew, too.
Ha! Glad a finally got this done! Okay so here's pretty much what this story is: My own spinoff of the series, where the characters have been divided up with their equivalents. Of course, me loving Hawkbit more than anything, I made it so that the main character was Hawkbit's equivalent: That's right! One of those angsty teens, just like Hawkie! (Ahem)
Anyways, this is my new account. I made it to mainly focus on Watership stories, and one shots, and stuff that's not quite the stuff most people expect when they're on my other account (Journalist793). So, here it is, the first chapter of...
-Broken Biscuit, aka Amy XD
Please review! It's really a great feeling to know that someone has taken the time to tell me their thoughts on my story.