A short story written by Wren St.Madden. (Trigger warning)
I miss you, alot. Mom, like actually doesn’t speak. Since the accident. Dad can’t stop drinking. Aunt Lindsay is out of her mind. But I guess writing to a stone with your name on it is not going to help right? Dahlia if you're hearing me. Let me know. Cause you’re killing me. Just give me a sign. Also I’m sure mom and dad would want me to tell you they love you.. They’ve sort of forgotten about me. I think I’m gonna go live with Aunt Lindsay. Okay? I miss you Dal.
I was walking down the stairs, my father stumbled in front of me, drunk. His eyes got wide and he froze.
“Your mum, she told me the news about you moving in with Aunt Lindsay.”
“I’m sorry, Devica.”
“Yeah well sorry don't do anything. Now that Dal’s gone you have nothing left do you.”
“That’s not true!” He yelled, pointing his finger at me, with a small bottle of whiskey clutched in his fist.
“Yes it is. And you know it is.”
Aunt Lindsay waited at the door.
“Charlie. Let her go.”
He stared at Lindsay with sadness. She put her arm around me and helped me out the door. My suitcase dragged behind. For now, in that house, that used to be my home, there are two forbidden rooms. Rooms nobody was allowed in. Not even Dal’s ghost herself would dare to do something my father had restricted. Even when Sober he was cruel. Mom was like a puppet.
Lindsay started the car, drove off. I looked out the window at the house. Overgrown with weeds, paint was chipping.
I have to start a new school tomorrow. I layed in bed thinking about it all night. I overslept that morning. I woke up around eight forty five, school starts at 9. “CRAP! AUNT LINDSAY? HELLO?”
It was quiet.
“HELLO?” I yelled running down the stairs.
There was a note on the fridge.
I was called to California for some work training. I’m sorry I didn’t really get to give you a tour of the place. I think you'll settle down here just fine though. There’s an extra set of keys under the doormat. The neighbors are pretty nice, if you need anything they’re there to help as well. Sorry again Luv.
I sighed, and ran upstairs. I brushed through my hair, put on some mascara a black eyeliner. I rumbled through my suitcase. Threw on black tights and an oversized dark red sweater, and my chestnut colored, worn out, Ugg boots.
The school bus was outside, I darted out the door, slamming it behind me. I jumped onto the school bus. Walking down the aisle, kids whispered and stared.
“Hey that girl looks familiar.”
“Is she new?”
“Yeah, OH MY GAWD! She’s the girl from the news that’s sister died.”
“Oh yeah, what happened to her sister?”
“Died of some car accident I don’t think they ever figured it out.”
I rested my head against the window, I remained quiet. Everyone else continued talking. One girl got on the bus at the next stop. She had short blonde hair, and was wearing straight baggy jeans, and a pink tank top. Every seat was taken, she walked over to my seat.
“Oh, go ahead.”
I moved my bag onto the floor. She sat down and took out her phone and plugged in earbuds.
She then looked at me and took the earbuds out.
“It’s your first day isn’t it.”
“I grew up here. But I’m not sure if Rockburry is the school you wanna be at.”
“A Lot of the kids here are toxic.”
“Oh, well it’s no different from my old school then.”
The bus got to school, the bus driver yelled at us to get out.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a somewhat worse new girl.”
She got up and walked out the bus door. I collected my things and got off last.
“Have a good day.” I said to the bus driver.
He gave me a weird look as the door shut. “Or not?”
I turned to the school doors, tucked my hair behind my ears and walked in. The cafeteria was straight ahead, two hallways to the side. Kids ran through hallways and pushed each other. Shouted out curse words at each other. I just wanted to find that girl from the bus, I need someone to help me find my classes. I tried pushing my way through the crowds. My bag fell off, my notebooks spilled out in the hallway. Right before a huge giant wooden staircase. Kids jumped over the fallen notebooks. A pair of white sneakers came up to me. Then knelt down and handed me the notebooks.
“It’s been five minutes and you’re already messaging me huh? I told you, new girl.”
She began to walk away.
“Wait! Mrs.Hayes class?”
She grabbed me by the arm, “c’mon new girl.”
“I have a name!”
“You look like a Lilly.”
“Oh, I’m Lilly.”
“Cool.” I said awkwardly.
She grabbed my arm again, “c’mon new girl.”
The bell was moments from ringing when I made it into class.
“Devica?” Mrs.Hayes asked.
“Yes, that’s me.”
The girl walked in and sat next to me.
Mrs.Hayes stood up, “we have a new student. This is Devica Ford. Devica, would you prefer any nicknames?”
“Uh, you can call me Devie.”
“Why don’t you tell the class why you moved here.”
Lily looked up at me. She looked concerned. That’s when she realized where she knew me from. I was that girl from the news.
“Hi. I’m Devica. And I uh, well I’m gonna be honest. My sister died from an undiagnosed illness. Yeah I’m that girl from the news. You all know me. The one who was rescued from the bridge. The day I tried to jump off. My parents are addicts, so that’s why I’m here.”
Mrs.Hayes looked concerned.
“If you don’t mind, Devil. Could you tell me what happened with your sister?”
Memories flashed through my brain.
It was a Sunday. It was storming out, and I was out walking the dogs. Mom and Dad had gone god knows where. And the phone rang, and I picked up. But little did I know. That was the phone call that changed everything.
February 24th (flashback)
The phone rang, Devica went to pick up the phone.
“Mr. And Mrs. Ford?”
“Um, no, Devica Ford. My parents are busy right now. May I take a message?”
Devica plopped down on the couch with a pen, ready to write on her wrist.
“It’s about your sister.”
“What? Is she okay?”
Another call came in, from Dahlia's best friend.
“Can I call you back in a second ma'am, I’m getting another call.”
“Alright, please don’t be long.”
Devica transferred calls.
“Jayden what’s wrong, what happened.”
She was sobbing.
“It’s Dalhia, we were riding our bikes and she got really overheated. And there was a car coming. And she didn’t see it, and I tried to get her to the side in time. I got her to the-the-the”
“STOP CRYING JAYDEN TELL ME WHAT HAPPEND.”
“I got her to the hospital. But not in time.”
“I have to go.” I said, in shock. Transferring calls again.
“Devica Ford?” The woman from the hospital asked.
“I’ll be right there.”
Devica slowly lowered the phone.
I looked around at the class.
“She got hit.”
Lilly was looking up at me, very upset. I sat back down. The teacher looked just as upset. As she looked at her watch.
“Oh, uh, it’s period one guys. Have a good rest of your day.”
Lilly got her bag and started out the door.
“Hey Lilly? What’s your first class?”
“Ah cool, I have English too.”
She continued walking, holding the door for me. Kept a sad expression on her face.
“Hello everyone, we have a new student. This is Devica Ford.”
Lilly sat down next to me.
“Today’s Friday, so free read Friday everyone.”
The class cheered and opened their books, some students having their phones hidden between the pages.
Lilly handed me a note.
I have to talk to you after class.
I nodded, and took out my book. When I looked up from reading, my English teacher asked me to go out in the hallway.
I walked out.
“I didn’t get the chance to introduce myself. I’m Mrs.Hatfield. And I heard about your sister. I’m so sorry. If you need anything, a drink of water or a break during class I’m happy to give it to you.”
“I’m fine actually, I don’t really like the special treatment thing.”
“Ell just if you need it, Devica, ok?”
“No really, I don't need pity. Thanks though.”
Mrs.Hatfield put her hand on my shoulder. “If you need to talk. I’m here.”
I walked back to the classroom. I don’t know how to make it clear. I don’t want pity. Like at all.
I met Lilly in the hallway after class. “I just wanted to say I’m sorry. About you know, everything.”
“There’s nothing you could’ve done.”
“No actually there was.”
I looked at her confused.
“I gotta go to History, I’ll see you in art?”
That statement shook me, what could she have done? Nobody could’ve saved her, not Jayden, not mom or dad, or the doctors. Not even me. Perhaps she knew something, which is something I fear. Because if someone knows something, they have something to do with it. And I promised myself I would kill the person who hit her. It wasn’t an accident. Because Dahlia had her issues, her list of things she’d done wrong. We all have lists, but Dahlia's list was longer. Of course they weren't serious crimes, but they were there, and forever tied to her.
Dahlia may have made mistakes, and though she was accused of stealing rare and precious jewels from the most expensive store. She never did that. Ever. And I will make sure they know that she never did such a thing.But I do know that someone did it, someone killed her, on purpose. And I will figure out who. And it may not be because of those little crimes and white lies. It may just be a sociopath's urge.
I saw Lilly again in art class. She sat down next to me again.
“Hi, so uh I’m just sort of confused about the whole thing, there was something you could have done.”
“I really do not want to talk about this anymore okay?”
Lilly plugged in her headphones.
She passed me another note.
I went to my locker at the end of the day, and a sweatshirt fell out. It looked very familiar. I held it out in front of me. It was the sweatshirt that Dahlia was wearing the day it happened.
I immediately thought that it was a sign from angels, or her ghost itself.
When I got home, I had left the sweatshirt in my locker. I didn’t want Aunt Lindsay seeing it and getting all upset. I got the spare key from under the doormat, and unlocked the door. When I walked upstairs, the sweatshirt was laid across my bed.
“What the hell?”
I was frightened by how the sweatshirt got to my room. And I was sure it was the angels. It’s got to be a sign from the spirits. I thought, it has to be!
I moved the sweatshirt into my schoolbag again. I went to sleep that night around midnight.
As my twilight zone kicked in around 3 am, when I woke up from my phone dinging.
I thought I had heard footsteps as I was checking my messages. Lilly was texting me.
“Lilly? It’s 3 am?”
“Why are you awake??”
The phone light shined down on my chest. I had a tank top on before bed, but now, I was wearing a sweatshirt. This was the third time it had appeared. It was a faded tan color, oversized.
I looked at myself in the mirror with it on.
I heard the door open downstairs, I ran down with a glass vase from my room. I held it above my head ready to throw. It was Lilly. She was wearing black sweatpants and a black sweatshirt with her hood up.
“What the frick Lilly??”
“YOU SCARED ME!”
“Sorry. My parents are fighting, I don’t wanna stay there.”
“It's fine, just come upstairs.”
We walked upstairs and I gave her a pillow.
“I’ll get some blankets from the hall closet.” I said.
She nodded as I walked into the hallway and got the blankets. My phone went off. She jumped.
Ï walked in with the blankets.
“Chill bro, it's just my phone.”
I looked at the message, it was a news alert. Saying they found the murder to my sister’s death. And that it wasn’t an accident.
I looked up, “It was you. You freak!?” I said in shock, as I tried to run down the stairs. Screeching in pain as she pulled my hair.
I ran into the bathroom, and locked the door. I turned my back to the door. To see her standing in front of me, with the bathroom scissors, and a pillowcase.
“I don’t WANT to do this. But I have too. One. Last. Kill.”
“WHAT DID YOU HAVE AGAINST MY SISTER?”
“Nothing, she was in my way. Bikers make traffic go a lot slower.”
“I should've known better, thatś why you said you’re sorry, but you’re not.”
She tilted her head. “Awww you’re a smart one aren’t you.”
She put the pillow case over my head. As I raised my hands to try and get it off. She grabbed my hands and tied them together with rubber bands.
“Move and you’re dead. You hear me Ford??”
I sniffled. “I hate you Lilly.”
She laughed, “I. Don’t. Care.”
“Why did you have the sweatshirt? Why did you return it?”
“There’s a weird joy I get from revealing myself as the killer. But of course I have to kill them too.”
They put the tip of the siccors under my chin. As she talked in a baby vice with her boom lip stuck out.
“I guess that means I have to kill you too, right?”
There was a figure behind her, that I could sort of see through the pillow case.
I heard Lilly fall to the floor, as my hands were set free from behind my head, and the rubber bands were taken off. The pillow case was taken off my head. Lily was passed out on the floor.
Aunt Lindsay was holding a cast iron frying pan, with her suitcase in the back of the bathroom. She hugged me. “We’re moving to California. Tomorrow.” I was still shaking,
“Anywhere but here I’ll stay.”
I won't be able to visit every week anymore. But I think leaving this place will help me let go.
I kept my promise to you, I found the killer. Mom and Dad are in recovery, I got a phone call from dad this morning. EVerything he said made sense. It was weird.
I miss you Dahlia.
_Written By Wren St.Madden.