Starting next chapter, the name will be changed to I Hurt Too.
I sighed, laying back after setting the plate aside. The food was absolutely wonderful. The water felt like a wave of relief passing over my entire body. But most of all, were his kind words. I smiled, pulling the blankets up over my arms to my neck, my gaze finding it's way to the window. Sunlight beamed into the room, slowly painting the room in light.
Was this what life was? Was this what I had lost all that long ago? Or was it something different? My memories were foggy, like I was still in a dreamworld. Perhaps I was dreaming. This world was too perfect for reality it seemed. I closed my eyes, but I couldn't sleep. With a huff, I turned and tossed around in the bed.
But I just wasn't tired at all. I gingerly inched out of bed, feeling for the ground below with my toes. Contact. I yelped before pressing my weight onto the foot, then the next. I wobbled and tripped over air as I stepped to the window and stared out it. The sun was rising higher and higher into the air, growing yellower and brighter still. Below it laid a large town.
The roofs were damaged, the streets littered and crawling with people totting brooms and dust pans. Children ran back and forth, carrying small objects and trash bags. I felt guilty. I had brought this town to the brink of destruction. I had wanted these people to suffer and die, all for a three centuries long grudge. I sighed, pushing away from the window and inspecting the room from a newer angle.
Across the walls were drawings and photos of monsters and beasts, ghosts and ghouls. And the random 'Frankenstein', whatever that was. I smiled a little, feeling just a tad more comfortable. Not from the monsters, but because I knew if someone could hang those on their wall, perhaps just maybe, I could find acceptance too.
But I thought back to what Norman had told me earlier about being the town freak and frowned. He had lived in this world longer than I had, I'd literally just gotten here. The world I knew was long gone and near forgotten, the witch trials falling into near mythology. I wandered into the hall outside his room and looked around. Two directions. "Which way..." I mumbled, picking to go left. I found a new hall and almost frowned, but I heard faint voices nearby.
I followed the sound into a kitchen, across from that door was where Norman laid sleeping on a couch as he called it. I looked back into the kitchen and crept in, fearing I was intruding on something. "Oh, Agatha," I flinched at being addressed so quickly, as the blonde woman strode across the room and knelt down near me. "You're awake." She said, instinctively fixing my hair back behind my shoulders.
I nodded, "Thank you, Mrs…?"
She laughed, waving her hand and standing back up. "Please, call me Sandra." She went over to the table and pulled out a chair, "Would you like to sit with us?" I stared for a moment, losing myself in my thoughts...before nodding and walking over. I sat in the seat, stifling a yelp as it was pushed up to the table for me. "Me and Perry—my husband." She gestures to him. I looked over and he waved, which I returned.
"We were wondering if you wanted to-" At this moment I decided to start vomiting. Well not consciously. In the middle of Sandra's talking, I felt my mouth fill with stomach bile and food from earlier.
"Oh dear..." Sandra said as I failed to keep my stomach at least in my mouth. She ran around the table and held my hair back, "Perry, trash can!" And just as I started to let loose, a can was pushed under me.
I finished, my throat burning and sore. I coughed before saying, "Sorry..."
Sandra smiled and rubbed my back, "It's fine, dear. Don't worry, I'm used to having kids in the house. The occasional throw up is to be expected." She pat my shoulder lightly, "You feelin' alright?" I nodded. "Good, now..." She walked back over to the other side of the table, "As I was saying, me and Perry were talking. You don't have a family, Agatha. I'm sure you know that."
I nodded and started to talk, "But," Perry interrupted, "I'm not a heartless man. And Sandra isn't a heartless woman. So we decided…" They shared a glance. "If you want, you could stay here. As long as you need to."
I stared, glancing between them. "Stay?" I blinked, "You want me to stay?"
"If you want to that is." Sandra said, sitting down. "You're more than welcome here, Agatha." I glanced back into the living room, some part of me thinking of Norman. "And I'm sure Norman would agree."
"Even if I'm… Not normal?" I turned back to her, "I… I tried to destroy the town. I was a horrible m-… monster." I thought back to the drawings on Norman's wall.
"Look at Norman, is he normal?" Sandra gestured to the living room. "Everyone's different, Agatha. I'm not the same as Perry, nor is he the same as me. Norman and Courtney are incredibly different, as is everyone on Earth." You pointed at me, "You just happen to be different in the same way that Norman is. Which isn't a bad thing at all, it makes you special." She looked past me into the doorway, "Just like Norman is special for it."
Perry just sat in the corner of the kitchen, which Sandra noted. "Which isn't to say everyone will see it that way." She sighed, "Sometimes… When people are scared, they say and do horrible, mean things. But that doesn't make them bad people."
I thought back to when I was lashing out against the village elders. "Look…" I turned to Perry, "I'm not going to even pretend to understand any of this." I giggled a little, pushing a bit of hair out of my eyes. "You? Norman? Up until a couple days ago, I thought my son was insane." I frowned a little at that. He sighed, rubbing his forehead. "But I'm wiling to try and accept it, because I know Norman is a good kid." He chuckled, "And from what I've seen so far, you are too."
I smiled. "I'm nothing much." I waved, scratching the side of my neck. I sighed, looking at my hand again. "But… Thank you both, so much." I looked back up at them. "If you will have me here, I'd love to stay." I paused, "So long as everyone is okay with it."
They nodded. "I'm sure everyone will agree." Sandra said with a bright smile.
I laughed, "Okay. If you're sure." I licked my lips, tasting the worst thing ever. "Can I have a glass of water?"
I twitched, laying back in the steamy hot water. I let out a noise of content, "Wow..." I sighed. Of all the modern conveniences Sandra and Perry told me about vaguely, an in door, heated bath was certainly the best one so far.
They're good people. They're kind, caring and just… Nice people. I shifted my hand through the water, playing with my flowing hair underwater. I let my thoughts wander, to Norman. To Perry and Sandra, the town—I brought my hand up—to why I'm even alive? Does this hand represent my life?
I shrugged, dropping the hand down to my side, staring up at the ceiling. "Nothing ever makes sense anymore." I splashed in frustration. "First I died and…" I was alone for a long time. When I slept, I never dreamed. I just woke up to be put back to sleep again. For three hundred years, I had nothing. "And... Now I'm alive..." But nothing makes sense now. Everyone is nicer, everything is different. Women aren't accused of witchcraft anymore, boys are polite—even toilets don't look the same! And they're inside!
Did anything stay the same? Does anything stay? My arms wrapped around my stomach—will I stay this time? Will I be forgotten again? Or remembered as another monster? I closed my eyes, afraid to open them and see that I'd woken up to that old man smelly again. But it was the ceiling, which somehow left me even more afraid.
Things were simpler when I was dead, I just… existed. I didn't have to feel bad about things, I didn't have to worry about everything. ...I didn't have certain tall haired boys on my mind in the bath either. I closed my eyes.
The world flashed into light, the dying forest blinking away and being replaced by a lush green. To my left lay a grassy field, and my right were a wall of overgrown trees, beams of red sunlight peering over the horizon to say goodbye. "Mommy?" I asked the pale woman in front of me.
She smiled, wandering away towards the setting sun. I turned back for only a second, Norman was gone, and ran. I ran and ran, tripping and stumbling, but never giving up. "Mommy!" I cried as she became a silhouette in the sun.
But I fell and she left. "Mommy..." I whispered, staring after her from the dirt. I sobbed, staring down at the ground as tears blurred my vision.
I looked up. "...You..." I said, staring at Norman's hand through a thousand tears. I reached, cringing at his touch.
"Are you okay?" I shook my head. "Here… Let's go sit down for a little bit." He led me, hand in hand, through the fast forwarding forest. Days past in blinks, weeks in moments, and months in seconds.
"Where are we going?"
"To talk for a while." He said, squeezing my hand a little. "When I was little, my mom used to tell me stories." Trees grew and died, the grass rotted and grew from the ground up. In the distance, giant metal birds streaked the skies, and even further forest fires blazed. Across the world, nations rose and died, wars were fought, people died. I blinked and it left me.
"She would tell me about a big mean giant. He would stand hundreds upon thousands of feet tall, his thumbs gritty and the under side of his finger nails caked in blood and gore." I stared in awe as the moon and sun seemed to dance in the sky, running past like racers in a great race across the sky. "And any time someone he didn't like would show up, he'd just use his giant hands to smash them to bits." I frowned.
"But he wasn't really all that mean." We sped up through the forest, leaping logs and rivers like deer and wild coyotes.
"She said he used to hold the moon in the sky with his back, and with his hands he helped carve out a great kingdom. He would grab up the animals and cut them up for the people who lived there." Then we slowed, "And he would protect them from invaders. ...I'm afraid the point I'm trying to make is being lost on you."
I shook my head lightly, then thought better and nodded. Norman chuckled, "What I'm trying to say is… The giant was big and scary, he could destroy everything, any time he wanted. But he didn't." I saw my tree as we stopped. "And sure, he would hurt the bad guys. But that was because he was protecting his kingdom and himself in a way."
"I just think you remind me of the giant." I raised an eyebrow at him. "You have so much power, Agatha. You can bring a town to madness, willing to tear their own apart." I sighed, as did he. "And you can look really mean and scary when you want. But… That doesn't make you a bad person."
We sat, staring at our feet. "It doesn't make me a good person either."
"My Grandma always tells me that a good person isn't who they were. It's who they want and try to be." He smiled. "And I think if you really want to be a good person, you'll be amazing at it."
I opened my eyes, staring at the ceiling. "A good person?" I asked, bringing my hand back up and staring at it.
I smiled, but immediately frowned. "I don't want to go, Norman."
He frowned too, "Well… Everyone has their time, Agatha." I nodded, "But with all your power, who knows? Maybe you could just…" He waved his hands. "Stay here, with me and my friends. It might be a lot of fun."
I smiled, "It might be. But..." I brought my pale hands up, closing them into fists as I closed my eyes. "This power I have… I shouldn't use it anymore. I've done enough with it."
He didn't respond. "What was your mom like?" I looked over to him, my eyes opened in confusion.
"She was really nice."
I glanced over into the corner of the room, staring at the small, black, hazy figure who'd been watching me since I woke up. "…For what I did?"
I sighed, lying back against the tree. "I guess you should leave." The world turned back, night falling as we left the dream world.
He glanced behind himself, the voices of his family calling out for him. "...I think I do." He turned back, "But I'll be back to visit you later, I promise." He smiled at me, not past me, not just near me, but he smiled at me. "We're not done talking."
I smiled back to him. "I'll count on seeing you soon then, Norman."
He nodded, waving as he left. "See ya' later, Agatha!"
I paused. "Aggie!"
He too paused, staring me me for a moment before grinning and nodding. "Aggie!" He then turned and ran back to his family. "Mom, Dad, Courtney!" I heard him cry in the distance.
"Do you think I'm a good person?" I asked the thing. But it only wordlessly stared at me. Part of me felt wrong about the spirit staring at me bathe, but the other argued that I couldn't really stop it. Nor was it even a full spirit. They were splintered, a mere fragment. ...I think.
And I chuckled. "Maybe you do, maybe you don't. But I enjoy your company anyway." They nodded—I think—and left, to which I snorted. "What a jerk." I laughed at my words, splashing happily in the water before starting to scrub my hair. "Just like me."
"It's impossible to move, to live, to operate at any level without leaving traces, bits, seemingly meaningless fragments of personal information."