The Calling

Nobody is safe anymore, there's nowhere to hide, nowhere to run, the fate of humankind is set in stone, so how will you protect your soul? ...Not everyone gets The Calling but The Calling will get everyone...

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2. The Beginning of the End

I clicked the door handle and pushed it back, stepping out into the open and being immediately hit by a cool breeze, it played with my hair, and convinced me this would be my first amazing summer. I reached back in to pull out my bag, straightened out, and shuffled round to the back of the car, I pulled open the boot and grabbed my suitcase. Although it was a rather small suitcase, I had managed to fit all my possessions in, I didn’t have much, Kirsty never bought me much if anything, I never got birthday presents from anyone, apart from two each year. I usually got £30 from my grandma in New York, and a CD she wanted herself from Kirsty, which always ended up in her cd rack. I trundled up to the front door, and waited to hear the soft click of a key in the lock, Kirsty was stood around for ages, and convinced she’d lost the key already. I knew exactly where it was, on the ring still in the ignition, I could tell by the gentle purr of the engine just four metres away from us. She was forgetful like this all the time, the drinks had messed with her head, and who knows what stuff she snuffs and smokes after she’s had a few. No one, not even her probably. Eventually I got bored of her fiddling, and trudged back to the car, reaching through the half open window, I plucked it out of the rusty slot, and walked calmly back towards the door. I shoved her aside and did it myself. The door creaked open to reveal a large entrance hallway. It had a fairly high ceiling; painted mustard yellow, with red/brown splodges covered in mould patches that were peeling off at random intervals along the passage. The walls were a harsh combination of the same, grim yellow as was above our heads, and grimy green striped wallpaper, ripped in jagged clumps from above and below the shabby pink dado rail. Everything splattered with a thick crusty red paint. As I peered further into the darkness of the room, I could see the same rip pattern all along the wall, and there was clearly only one thing that could have caused this damage. Finger nails. Shocked, my tired eyes widened in their sockets and I almost forgot to breathe. What was this hell hole? Intrigued, I shuffled forwards, and felt Kirsty hobble in behind me, without diverting her gaze from the tearing, she propped the door open with a rock so it wouldn’t blow shut in the wind. I continued to tiptoe further in, my sandals tugging on a loosely woven rug, I looked down, the floor and the rug were also coated in this red paint. But as I tilted my head forward, and my eyes grew accustomed to the low light levels, it became clear to me this wasn’t paint, it was blood. Thick splattered blood. Kirsty whimpered behind me. “Honey there’s nothing we can do, we have no money, none at all, we’re going to have to live in this..” I turned to face her, and blinked in astonishment, the shock of the surroundings vanished and was replaced by a feeling of safety, love and caring words. She spoke again in a soft tone, for the first time I could ever remember, she sounded like a mum. A mum normal people have, a mum who laughs at their precious child’s jokes, however un-funny, who is interested to know what’s troubling their offspring. A real mum. She told me to go sit in the car whilst she searched the rest of the house, I looked into her prematurely wrinkled face, her hazy eyes, bags under both, and for once in my life I felt sorry for her. I still hated Kirsty, the constant violence, the verbal abuse, I hated her for the way she treated me. I barely got enough food, there was nothing on me and I was literally a bag of bones. I felt the loose material of my cardigan brush against my wrist, irritating the scars. The scars which made me feel better, the scars that pretty much cut through to the bone, there wasn’t much flesh for the bad spirits to escape through, a single drop of blood, that’s all that was needed to free them and clear my body. The more blood the better. That was another reasoning I hated Kirsty, the spirits came from her. Somehow. But this wasn’t Kirsty I was looking at. She was my mother. And I knew instantly what had happened. The spirits which dwelled beneath her flesh had been controlling her for so long. She had such bad vibes which is why they liked her, but now we were in such a horrible place, they felt better at home here. It was better than Kirsty, so they had all left her, leaving behind the weak and shrivelled mum I never had. My wrist burned, so I looked down and tugged at the cloth, bleeding, drips of blood were falling one by one to the floorboards. The spirits in me were escaping. Finally I felt free. I straightened my neck to see mums horrified face. “How long have you been doing that?”  She took my arm in her wrinkled hands and marched me back to the car, pushing me gently onto the drivers seat, she took out the first aid box from the glove compartment and pulled out an antiseptic wipe. I opened my mouth to speak, but words failed me, it felt slightly wrong to call her Kirsty after our brief moment of love, but I never had a mum before, could I just say ‘mum?’ I shut my mouth and winced slightly as the pad brushed over my scars. She finished bandaging me up, and rolled onto the balls of her feet, still kneeling, but closer to me, nose to nose, “Watch your back” that’s all she said, rocking back onto her heels, she stood tall and slowly walked towards the house. It didn’t last long. I had lost her again, I could tell by her drunken hobble as she walked away. I stayed put, too much had happened in the last five minutes. I sat there thinking for a while. I had had a parent. Someone in my ‘bubble’ and for the first time, I was almost a whole person, I stood up and followed her into the house, I didn’t see her go into a room, so I took the first left, I crept in, shoving gently past the suitcases me and Kirsty had left in the doorway, she was still Kirsty then, I think. The door creaked as I stroked the peeling woodwork. I pushed it forwards and walked slowly into the room I was presented with. The same worn out floorboards, the same wall paper and yellowing ceilings, but no blood, and no clawing on the walls, I took another step in and felt a gush of cool air rush past my face. There was no furniture in the room, just a steamed up bay window at the far end. Dare I? I stepped back out the door and flicked the light switch, the bulb flickered, and rattled on its wire adjoining it to the flaking roof. Bits of plaster and paint showered around me, leaving me covered in a thin layer of white dust, which tickled and scratched at my nostrils. It grew increasingly painful, my vision blurred but I couldn’t walk away from it, it was an addictive feeling, more fulfilling than anything Kirsty snuffed. It was different, this was pain beyond anything I had felt before, a nasty allergic reaction I told myself as my eyes began to run. The bulb carried on, reeking havoc with my senses. I leant forward, the pain was taking over my entire face, it wasn’t pleasant at all now, just painful, it grew and grew and grew, the room continued to rattle for some minutes but I stood, fixed to the spot waiting for it to stop, eventually it did, I took a deep breath and carefully trod forwards, wiping at my burning face as I went. I don’t know why I didn’t just double back and run then, it wasn’t right, the room was shrieking at me to jump from the window, down onto the dusty pebbles and rancid water of the deep, deep well beneath the outside window panels, my brain shrieked the same, telling me to get out, but my soul wasn’t listening to anything, so I continued towards the window, I gained confidence with every step, when I eventually reached the glass, I wiped at the condensation with my aching forefinger, leaving the latch in place, there would be no jumping today. The garden was perfect. No monsters out there, it was fresh, it looked healthy, all be it over grown, the trees and bushes rustled, the woodland creatures scuttled around, going about their daily routine. The grass was long and laden with moss, a bright green growth of defined blades, toying in the breeze, the whole garden was alive, accept one clear cut path, leading directly from a bare part of the wall, straight into the depths of the woods. Slowly I turned, half expecting to see something written across the wall in blood, or the thick paste dripping from the corner of the room or to find the door tightly bolted or a single finger tapping at the dangling bulb. But there was nothing, so I took a deep breath, crept back across the room and back out into the bloodstained hallway. I emerged from the room at the same time as Kirsty did from the doorway opposite me. “This rooms fine, just a dodgy bulb and lots of dust, you?” she eyed my dusty figure, “What have you broken?” Kirsty had come back. There was an edge of sharpness in her tone, I had lost my mother. But I still felt more of a whole person, it may only have lasted a few minutes, but I had felt the warmth of her gentle hands on my arm, soothing me. I was content. I glared at her, but collected myself and spoke through my dry lips. “Same here..” still in shock, I could feel my wrist oozing below the bandages “just a light and a window.” I could tell she wanted no more conversation, so we just nodded and walked towards the next door together. This time when I flicked the light on, I insisted, much to Kirsty's impatientness, that we waited before opening the door, looking nervously at the bloodstained gap between the floor and the door itself, watching the flickering of the shaking bulb as it rocked back and forth on its fitting. When it eventually stopped, she twisted the handle, and the door creaked ajar. She entered slowly, I stood with baited breath, and was relieved to hear her sigh, she poked her head back out and pushed the door entirely open whilst assuring me it was fine. I took a step forward, it was just a kitchen. It looked new, the walls had been re painted a sleek cream, the worktops recently re done, reaching around the skirts of the room, stopping halfway round to form a breakfast bar. In front of me directly was a modern glass topped dining table, and a set of flimsy looking chairs.. I walked confidently in, and twisted through past the table and chairs, past the breakfast bar. I knew there was nothing there, I mean, I had survived the other room. I was convinced at that point nothing was wrong with the house. A new couple must have moved in or something, I heard the click of Kirsty’s heels across the hall, and out to the car. They had probably began to re fit the kitchen, but moved out. The hallway was just decorated over from Halloween or something.    But as I turned to face the new stove, I stopped still. Frozen on the spot for what seemed like ages. I felt horror wash across my face. It was exactly what I had pictured waiting for me in the first room. Why was I still stood there? I continued to stand and stare at the large pool of fresh, red blood, trickling from the inside of a worn drawer which didn’t look like it fit with the rest of the room. The blood seemed to be an endless stream of horror, dripping steadily onto the wooden floor staining. The drawer began to pluck itself free, inviting me to reach in. My stomach twisted but I couldn’t stop myself slowly I began to walk towards the open drawer, my arm jerked out, twisting unnaturally into a backwards position, my body was locked. My upside down fingers tensed and opened out wide before being forced down into the cutlery with such power that four large droplets of warm blood trickled out accompanying such pain as I’d never felt before. My hand began dragging itself through the metal, scraping, ripping tearing. Eventually it rested for a few moments, enough for me to stumble backwards a few steps, my eyes went hazy, I felt them glazing over, I whipped my hand up to my face, trying to keep my head upright on my shoulders. I stumble again, tipping the table, shards of glass skidding across the flooring. Every step I took crushed the splinters further into a glittering dust. I balance myself on a chair, but it wouldn’t take my weight, the stool tipped, taking me down with it. There was an almighty crash as it hit the floor, spraying yet more jagged bits of glass across the room. My head smashed onto the side of the upturned chair, and I rolled onto the glass…      

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