The reason I wrote my life story for you was in the hopes that you, or possibly anyone could read it, and believe me. Everyone else thinks I’m a liar and a traitor, but in truth, I am someone just like you. I know what it is like to be human, but they don’t.
My name is Nabilah. It supposedly means, ‘a person born to goodness’, but no one seems to care. I have spent the last two years on the run, trying to blend in, hide from what people think I did. They think I savagely murdered my own family, my sweet adoring family of two brothers, a baby sister, my parents, and a tabby cat.
The night they died, I wasn’t home. I was off in the market on a stinging cold winter night. I was getting some bread and a few pieces of fruit. I had to spend it sparingly, for we didn’t have much to pay for it. Judging by the length of the lines, I would have to bargain for lower prices.
When I finished bargaining with the stall owners, having gotten two loaves of bread and three apples (Enough for about a week), I started heading home, but a street guard stepped into my path.
“Come with me, quickly!”
I had no choice but to follow his bulky form. I started thinking myself into a panic. What if I got arrested? Will they take my family? I did do some wrong things, but I couldn’t have gotten caught. Could I? What if they caught me, and are going to torture my family to death? What if…? Could it…? Why me…?
The guard led me into an alley, the one I lived in, and he strutted up to my door and slammed it with his fist. Rude, impolite, street thugs who think they can own my family and me. I mentally scolded myself. Watch your thoughts, or it’ll end up causing more trouble than you want.
He pounded again, and I couldn’t hear anything inside. I started getting worried. My parents would’ve peeked out by now, saw that there was a street guard, and opened the door.
The street guard got impatient and kicked the rotting door off its hinges in one powerful blow. I peeked over his shoulder and gasped. The small amount of possessions we had were broken and battered, scattered across the room like a tornado had blown through. But the worst sight of it all was my family.
They laid in a heap on the floor, just tossed there like rejected rag dolls. If dolls had fatal wounds covering them head to toe, oozing pus. If dolls had glazed over eyes that once were full of life. If dolls could break your heart and tear it to shreds at the sight of them.
My whole family was dead. Gone. Forever. I couldn’t believe it. They had to just be small wounds. No one would kill my family. There was nothing against my family, I had made sure of that. I didn’t understand, and I couldn’t process what was happening without breaking down, and that isn’t what my family would want. I had to be strong. For them. Keep our family secrets.
The guard looked at me and said, “The door was locked when you left, and no one came in or out. Do you have any idea who did this?”
I shook my head. I didn’t trust my voice right then. I was afraid I would break in front of the officer. I couldn’t let that happen.
The truth is that I do know who did this, though he left no evidence or trace. He was someone the police couldn’t handle. Only I could bring him to justice. And I needed to avenge my family and our legacy.
I must have let some of my anger slip out, and the guard looked at me and said, “Miss, I’m going to have to take you into custody until the trials. It is customary.”
“No. I can’t leave them. They are my family.”
“They are dead. And for the better. Less peasants for our gracious king and queen to deal with. They have enough already.”
I stood straight up at that. No one insults my family and leaves unscathed. This guy was going down. I got into a fighting stance, light on my feet like a cat, sturdy like a wall. Then I attacked.
Letting my instinct take over, I swiped and dodged, careful not to cause too much of a commotion, and careful not to give away my secret.
"It is not time yet," I told it.
It sank deeper into my soul, and stayed just under the surface, as the fight dragged on, the guard sweating hard and breathing heavily, even though I had not even broken a sweat. The next strike knocked him hard enough that he fell, unconscious, and probably with no memory of the fight.
I made a makeshift trailer that I could drag, and used it to gingerly bring my family to the nearest unoccupied plot of land, which, unfortunately, was miles away.
Instead of telling you all about the journey where I walked and slept, I should tell you about the family secret. It was a gift to my great-times-a-lot-more-greats grandmother. It was a gift passed on to only the women in the family, but not many of them. The half that got the gift were usually not disciplined, and let the secret loose, causing them to perish and die, but not just because the royalty saw us as threats.
This gift was the power of possession. It may sound a little creepy, and believe me, it is. The girls from our family know they have it when they are able to feel the energy of people around them, and they can grab and take hold of it, dragging themselves spiritually inside of the other person. Disgusting, I know, but I am one of the “lucky ones” who can do that. I rarely use it, for fear someone might notice, and it also requires you to leave your body in a safe place, in which I have never found one.
After I buried my siblings, parents, and cat, I had to keep moving. Only my furious grief led me. I trekked along as three days went by me, but I still didn’t stop. I needed to get my revenge on him.
The him that I am telling you about has been an enemy of mine for years. His name is Fabian. Though his name apparently means ‘he who farms beans’, he doesn’t have a bean farm, and neither does his family, who is also dead. Fabian is not the most charming, to say the least. He is also dubbed ‘the crazy old man’ in his village because he talks to ghosts all the time, but no one else can see them. Except me.
I can rarely see the ghosts, and they are only ghosts from, like, around the ice age. They are pretty old and useless, so I just shove them away and pretend I don’t see them. I actually can’t communicate with them, but Fabian can. He is an imbecile and loves to play pranks on people, especially me.
“Hey! You there! Stop where you are and put your hands up!”
Everyone on the block scrambled to get their hands in the air. We knew the consequences of disobeying orders. The guards swarmed me, tying my hands up, gagging me, and dragging me away.
“You are under arrest for the murder of 5 persons and attacking a person of the armed forces.”
I was confused. I didn’t murder anyone, and attacking the guard was self defense. Right? I figured it was time to be a little possessive.
I let my body go limp, and I tugged on the energy of the rear guard and possessed him. He dropped his piece of rope and screamed at the top of his lungs, causing everyone to cringe and the other guards to drop me and run to him. I sucked myself back into my own body and slipped out of the ropes with ease, running away as fast as I could.
After I ran, one of the guards spotted me, and sprinted to catch up. I am not dying like this. I chanted under my breath. I ran for an hour with the guard chasing me until I finally lost him in a busy crowd. That’s when I found myself at Fabian’s doorstep. I walked up and knocked, formulating different plans and escape routes while waiting for him to answer.
“Hey! Cousin Nabilah! Watcha doin’ today? Causing any trouble?”
I rolled my eyes. Yes, he was also my cousin, but that doesn’t matter right now.
“Why did you do it, Fabian? We used to be on the same side. Why did you send them to murder my family, who I loved and cared about? Why?” I asked, sadly, and somewhat furious.
He looked at me blankly. Then understanding dawned in his beady, black eyes.
“I see how it is now. You killed your family in hopes that you could frame me for that prank two years ago!” He started laughing so hard I thought he might explode. Like I said, annoying, impractical, and heartless. He was obviously trying to frame me so he didn’t get in trouble, and also so he could laugh at me later.
The “prank” he mentioned occurred two years ago, during one of our family reunions. He told me that we were having the party at his house, when he really took everyone out to the restaurant across the street. They all watched as I wandered around for hours, and no one thought to check on me. They dined away, drinking, eating, and talking about what they had done in the past years. It would’ve been fun, except for the fact that I was left out of it. I had wandered about the whole day, and when I finally gave up on the search, I was ambushed by my other cousins, who were alive at the time, and taken to the restaurant, where I was the butt of everyone’s jokes. I have never forgiven him. Even now.
I remembered all the times when I had been pranked and joked about. It all came to me suddenly, without warning, and I saw every bad thing that had happened to me that was caused by him. This gave me newfound strength, pushing me to launch myself at him. I caught him by surprise, but as we engaged in a deadly battle of swinging fists and kicking feet, I could see that I was losing my edge. It was time to do things my way.
I grabbed onto Fabian’s energy, and let myself be absorbed into his consciousness. I made him grapple with himself, letting him loose his strength. He slowly fell to his knees, and I made him bend forward. Suddenly, he struggled up, against my will, and grabbed a porcelain dish from a nearby counter. He stumbled back to my limp form, and raised his arm.
With all my will, I tried to stop him, but his body was not responding. I left his mind and raced back to my body, trying to get away before he dropped the dish.
I got back just in time, barely avoiding the impact. One of the shards stuck itself in my thigh, another in my forearm. I winced from the pain, and rose to my feet. I swung at Fabian, and he didn’t have time to dodge. I hit him, and he went down on the ground. Hard.
I didn’t hit him hard enough to kill him, but it knocked him out. I knew I didn’t have enough time to baby my wounds, so I opened the back door, preparing to make a stumbling run for it.
What I didn’t expect to find when I opened the door was a whole squad of street guards surrounding the place. The last thing I remembered before I went down was getting smacked with the butt of a gun.
I woke to a dark space, the only light coming from the window in the corner. I looked around and realized that I was in a cell. The window wasn’t barred, but it was just above my reach. As I was searching for an exit, the weight of the day bore down on me. I broke into silent tears, grieving for my close family. I tried to hold onto everything I had from them, but it wasn’t much. All I had were memories.
While I was wracking my memory for the good days with my family, a door slid open from a random spot in the wall. A food tray was slid in, holding a small sliver of bread, a bite of meat, and a spoonful of broth. It wasn’t much, but it was sufficient. After I ate, I started formulating a plan to get out. I ran through it in my mind a couple of times before acting.
I slid the tray over to the window, which was unbarred, and turned the bowl over on the tray, forming a stand tall enough to reach the window. I jumped onto the sill, and broke open the window. I was free!
I jumped out and started running. I didn’t stop until the sun was far below the horizon, and I found an alley in a nearby town to rest in. As I slept, I dreamt about what I would do now that I was free from bonds.
“Hey, you! You seen this person?”
I startled awake at the sound. I looked up to see a street guard shoving a picture of my face in an innocent person’s. The poor guy shook his head, and I knew I would have to run. They wanted me. Dead or alive.
I scaled the side of the alley, barely finding footholds, and hopped onto a roof, and from then on, my life was a constant, never-ending chase through streets and alleys, woods and rivers. Only once did I stop, and that was to find this journal and pencil.
On these pages, I wrote my story. I wrote it in hopes that when I died, someone would find it and take me seriously. And you came along to fulfill my hope. Thank you.