Madness & Morrison

This is a story I wrote a couple of years ago - and just found on my computer. I rather like the way it starts out, but I'm not 100% pleased with the ending. I think I can justify this by making it clear that I wrote this at age 13 though, can't I??

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5. #5

I stared at the gates. Weren’t they taller than they had been earlier? I was sure they didn’t tower so far above me. These looked impossible to climb, especially with a fragile skull in a thin fabric bag.  I had to try, I wasn’t staying in this cemetery all night, and my parents mustn’t know about my little excursion. I pulled at the iron gates once more, to check they were in fact locked, and to my surprise one of the opened slightly. The lock was looser than earlier, giving just enough room for a slender boy like me to slip through. I got out easily, and looked around. Now, where had I come from? I didn’t know. The metro station was nowhere to be seen, but I recognized the street leading up to the main entrance to the cemetery, a long road we had dragged ourselves up earlier, not realising there was a metro station close by. I felt refreshed, full of energy, so I decided to go down the street looming before me – at least I would know where to go from there. I stole a quick glance behind me, and made my way down the street, walking fast, almost running. I walked past dark stores that were closed for the night, their windows covered up with revealing metal grids, small cafés with the shutters down. I heard the wind playing with the shutters behind me, sending a chill down my spine, and setting my mind racing. I checked behind me, turning a full circle. The street was empty, so why did I feel so followed? I kept walking briskly, but I was becoming more aware of a heavy breathing close behind me by the minute. I walked past an alley, glancing down the dark passage. It was completely without light, being in between buildings. At the end there was a small pool of moonlight though, and in the split second I was looking, I was certain I saw the silhouette of a small child with pigtails, looking in my direction. I turned my head, searching the alley, but the child had disappeared. I shuddered. I walked on, feeling a warm breath on the back of my neck every so often, making me swing round in panic. Soon I could see a large square in the distance, through the light, grey fog that lay close to the ground. It must be Place de Bastille, in the centre of the old working quarter. I knew there was a metro there. I broke into a run, ignoring my pounding heart, holding the bag tightly. I became aware of rushed steps behind me, but I knew that if I looked I would see nothing but a deserted street. I kept running, but the square ahead never seemed to come any closer. It was as if I was running on the spot, yet I saw the shops and cafés flying by beside me. The steps behind me had stopped, and I became painfully aware of this. I turned around slowly, and this time I saw something. It may be far away, but behind me in the midst of the fog, stood a child. A little girl with big brown eyes, staring at me intently, watching my every move. She was standing with her shoulders back, belly forward – a typical child pose. Her arms dangled by her sides, her blue frock blowing in the wind. Her hair was dark and in pigtails. She looked harmless, cute, but I was certain that she knew. She knew what I had done, and she did not approve. She looked me directly in the eye, and I had to drag my gaze away from her. She reached out a pudgy hand, beckoning me towards her, her eyes on mine, emotionless. I turned around and started running. No steps were behind me, and I figured she wasn’t following. I came closer to the square, closer to the metro, closer to my escape. I was running so fast, yet the distance to Place de Bastille only slowly became smaller. I was so tempted to look behind me, see if the little girl was still staring at me, and I had to put all my concentration in not turning. At last it became too much and I stopped, heaving, my pulse racing, and turned around. I looked in the distance – there was no child. I was about to turn and continue on, when I glanced down. Directly in front of me stood the girl. How had she done it? How had she come so close? She made me jump, but something about her made me stay, instead of running away. She was about as tall as my thighs, and she was looking at me, her feet only about half a meter away from mine. She was searching my face for something, frowning, yet her face unreadable, with no emotion whatsoever. Her small, red lips were placed in a concentrated pout, as she looked. Her dress was frilly and knee-length and she was wearing patent leather shoes over woolly white tights. She looked out of the ordinary, almost as if she was from a different time altogether. I looked at her, unable to take my eyes off the little girl. Why was she out here on her own? I reached down to her, unable to resist. I was about to stroke her pigtail, her eyes still on mine, but when I was nothing but a few millimetres from her dark, glossy hair, she started backing away, avoiding my touch. She stopped a few meters away and tilted her head, looking at me intently. Then, without taking her eyes off mine, she opened her mouth and screamed the most deafening, blood curdling scream I had ever heard, and then she was gone. I blinked in confusion, her scream still ringing in my ears, not understanding how she could disappear in the blink of an eye. I stood for a while, looking around for her, before turning around and continuing towards the square. I had to get home, this town was going mad. 

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