Snow angels

I find myself alone on the streets all at once, it seems. I run from home, from my mother, and a threat which i fear. My only companions are my dog and a scar.

Desmond, of course he's here again- the beautiful stranger. His face like a knife and his words that stick in my mind. I know, he's special. He knows things that nobody should know.

This is my story. A story of love, loss and temporary insanity. Read if you please.


6. Blood bond


I don't do anything but stand for a second. It's the truth of Desmond's word that make them so cruel.


This has happened before. 


A cruel comeback would be in order. I'm angrier than I have ever been at him. But he is already gone, off into his world of shadows. I don't know where he lives, or his number or his last name. I can never find Desmond- He always finds me.


I sit on a cold wooden bench out front of Basil's. It is missing a few planks of wood, making it uncomfortable, but I don't think I can stand at the moment.


There are reasons why my father so far hasn't been mentioned. Whenever I make a new friend, a question they usually ask at some point in time is; ' Where is your dad.'


It's a question that I avoid invariably, coming up with vague responses. Maybe Desmond and I aren't that different after all.


My dad, though tall, looked absolutely like a kid. He was nearly 5 years younger than my mum, but his round face and curly-shaggy hair made him look even younger.


I didn't call him 'Dad.' That would be silly when his name was so beautiful. When people asked me what my daddy's name was I would say "Basil."


They would ask, "Like the plant?"


And I would reply, with much pride; "Yes."


I know that him and my mom didn't get along always. They were always either deeply in love, staring into each other's eyes and whispering little phrases of love. Or they were hating each other. 


Really, they were still getting to know each other. When I was born they had only been together for a year. I know that without me, they would have moved on and forgotten one another fairly quickly. But I was the tacky glue that held our little family of three together. 


He loved me, a lot. I don't remember everything that we did, Basil and I. But he was the best father I could ask for.


 I loved his shop, running through the asiles and pointing out my favorite things. He wasn't supposed to give me any candy from his shop, as my mum disaproved of it's teeth rotting qualities. But every now and then, I would reach into my bagged lunch and find a salt water taffy or a few pieces of chocolate.


However, his shop caused more problems than they solved. Some months he would make only a little revenue, and sometimes he wouldn't make anything at all. I don't know any of the details, I was little after all. But i heard them fighting sometimes, Basil and my mom. And I always got scared that one of them would leave me.


When I first met Desmond, I believed what he said. My six year old mind was gullible enough to believe anything a stranger would tell me.


I had lost my mom at a summer carnival. I expected it to be a lot more fun than it was, but it was a clam festival and the entire place smelled of seafood and disappointment.

I had wandered off to go look at a pair of ponies, and when I turned around, I was alone in the crowd.


I called out "Mommy!" Over and over, each word becoming more and more whiny. I didn't cry, however- I prided myself in never crying.


Then someone froze in front of me. He could have been either a boy or a man. As small children are, i was bad at reading ages.


"Are you a prince?" I asked him. He looked like he could be a prince.


He stopped being frozen, and knelt down. "Rylee?" His smile was gentle.


"Yes." I said boldly, standing up strait. "Who are you?" 


"My name is Desmond." He said. "But you can't tell anyone about me, okay?" 


I was young and innocent. I didn't think anything could go wrong- thankfully, he didn't hurt me or anything. He just said a few words.


"Rylee, your daddy is going to die."


"No he isn't." I shook my head. "His name is Basil." I added proudly.


"You might be able to save him, Rylee." He said gently. I started to believe him, and my eyes grew wide. "Tomorrow, at 1pm he will go hiking. It will start to rain, and while he attempts to run down the mountain, he will slip and fall to his death."


"NO!" I screamed, putting my palms firmly over my ears. "I screamed and screamed until i felt somebody grab my chubby wrist.


"Mommy!" I squeaked, hugging her tightly. I didn't tell her though, about Desmond. I did  whine and scream that Basil couldn't go hiking or he would get hurt. They didn't believe me, of course. They laughed, and worried behind closed eyes, but mostly laughed. 


Basil's death was inevitable, but terrible none the less. They didn't find his corpse until the next day. My mother had insisted with following the police to find him, but she never let me see his body- I'm glad she didn't.


I didn't cry for a very long time. Little children, they cry when denied candy or when told to do their work. This, was beyond crying. I remember my mother- she was in hysterics. She shook my shoulders so hard at his funeral, and screamed at me;


"Why aren't you crying!" 


I didn't answer. But i didn't cry because i wanted to stay strong. I prided myself in never crying.

I didn't fully understand it really- death. I just thought that Basil had gone away for a while. It was months later, when I asked where he was, over and over, was when i had to swallow the truth.


It's horrible how he died. In a freak accident, something unusual. Instead of being forgotten in the sea of sickness, I was reminded by his name repeated on the radio. His name, somehow, became twisted into ghost stories and local legends


I have to not really listen, when still now I hear people whispering his name. Sometimes people will come up to me and say; "I'm sorry. He died so young." 


I hate that. I hate it so much. It's as if they think i don't know.


I tense the muscles in my legs, out of anger and pain. I turn to look at the shop that once belonged to my father. It's closed- It only opens when the tourists come around. I see through the window shelves that used to hold magic, but are now stacked with tacky shit. 


As if a cruel bit of irony, after Basil died his shop grew in popularity. He became a local legend, passed around with tactless snickers.


Not achieving anything, I stand and kick the shop door as hard as I can. I'm not crying, I'm shouting. Shouting words of hate at an empty building.


But i don't cry. No. I pride myself in never crying.





I don't hate my mother.


So far, everything I have said about her seems severely negative. But really, in the long run it seems that the negative things are the ones that you remember.


On a day to day basis, our family of two is quite happy. She works during school hours, but other than that we have enough time together. We have a mutual respect for each other. She lets me dye my hair or stay out late if i feel so inclined. I don't poke around in her work things. We get on well, most of the time.


We don't have dinner-long conversations, or help each other with our work, or play games together like Hailey's family. But i would say that we are a fine family. 


I remember, after Basil's death, she drifted in and out of depression. One day she wouldn't leave the couch. The next she would go to work and be really happy, tricking me into thinking it all was over.


When I was eight, she told me about her Agoraphobia- the fear of not being able to escape. That helped me to understand her panic attack and Basil's funeral. But the attacks came less and less, and now they haven't happened for a while.


Suddenly, this rush of sympathy for my mother fills me. She must be panicking at home, feeling completely useless in bringing me home. I have to wonder if she is out here with the police looking for me, like she was while looking for his body. 


All the useless feelings of family and nostalgia fill my lungs and throat and I have to hold my breath so i don't cry out. Angel looks up to me sadly. Dogs have a eerie ability to sense human emotion. He sits next to me on the bench and nuzzles at my hands until i pet him.


I feel cold and annoyed, nostalgic and a little bit sad. But most of all, hungry.


All at once, i remember a public telephone, just around the corner. It's a terrible idea, i know, but i rush over to it. It is old fashioned and british looking- the only bright red thing on the boring grey streets.


I pick up the phone nearest to me. As an instinct, i check the coin holder to see if anyone left any change. The answer is no, as always, so i dig through my backpack in search of quarters.


I'm not sure why my hands are shaking when i put in the coins and dial home. It rings once, twice, then somebody picks up.


"Hello, Megan Goodridge speaking. " Her voice is sweetly happy, which disturbs me. She has passed over the initial depression, and has moved numbly on to a mask of happiness.


She says Hello twice more before my shaky voice replies. "Mom?"


Obviously it is her, but i feel tentative. There is a rustling noise on the other end of the line, like she dropped her phone.


"Rylee? Honey, where are you? Are you okay? Where are you? Are you hurt." 


It takes me a second to process all of her questions. "I'm fine mom," I say. "But i can't come home right now. Don't worry, this will all be over soon."


She asks me more and more heartbreaking questions, and she starts to cry. I've never heard her cry before. "Rylee, where are you? Where are you sweetie?"


She takes a commanding approach. "Rylee, come home this instant."


I pull the telephone closer to my cheek. "I need to go, mom." I murmur. She will call in for the police to track the phone, i'm sure. Hailey and Zahra would have contacted her my now. This is hardly helping me look sane. 

"I love you!" She chokes. I hang up the phone too quickly for me to reply, but instantly i wish i had. I search my backpack for more quarters. I need to call her again. But I understand that I need to run. I'm a fugitive for a crime that nobody commited. 


"Angel!" I call my dog, who has been wandering aimlessly. "Here dog!" 


We walk through the streets as they slowly become tourist infested. So much for not crying.

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