Just wanted to go ahead and say that the first half of this story is copied from the movie "The Uninvited" but this story will NOT end when the movie does. I'm sure a lot of you have never even heard of the movie, so it won't be that big of a deal. I just wanted to go ahead and tell everyone so if somebody HAS seen the movie they won't be spreading hate about this story. I worked really hard to write this and where the movie leaves off is where I'll pick up to writing something totally original. This story gets much, MUCH better. I promise. Enjoy! xx
I'm at a party, but I just want to go home. Alex is almost to drunk too notice my absence. As I walk through the woods I hear something ruffle in the trees. I stop and wait for it to pass before I continue walking. When I hear it again I begin to pick up my pace and when I'm almost home I see it. Three white trash bags lay in front of me on the dirt. I almost ignore them but I stop myself from leaving. Curiosity gets the better of me so I start to open of the bags. But before I can fully open it a dead little girl with reddened hair falls out and my mouth goes dry. I want to run but my feet stay put. My heartbeat quickens when I see her move. She's dead, her body is already decaying. But she moves. Her head turns around to look at me.
"Go get help." She whispers.
I take off running, clearly unsure of what just happened but I don't stop. Then I hear mom's bell. I go to find her. When she got sick we moved her out into the boathouse. That's where she wanted to be. When I open the door I see she's alone. Her hand lay slightly off the bed, dangling her bell. She's not supposed to be alone. She gasps while trying to say my name and I know it's urgent. I run back up to the house to find dad.
There's something wrong. It doesn't feel safe. I walk through the dark house with only a few candles lighting my way. I see crows walking on our kitchen table. Something evil is in the house. I walk slowly to dad's door only to find blood dripping out of the keyhole. I stare at it for a moment before it happens. A candle lit lantern falls, liquid from the watering can that I was holding is spilled and I see my mom's face in utter shock as the entire boathouse explodes.
After telling everything about my dream I watch as the therapist writes down my every word. I pick at my nails while I wait for him to speak. Does he think I'm crazy? Everyone is a little crazy I suppose. Still he writes in his little notepad with his eyebrows scrunched together.
"One way or another these dreams seem to be about trying to get out of the woods to get back home."
"Yeah. And when I get there it's-it's like mom's trying to tell me something. But I can't understand what it is-what she's trying to say."
"Well we've talked about the little red headed girl, but now there's a new detail." I nod while he continues. "the watering can. Why do you think you were holding it?"
"I don't know I-I really don't remember."
"Maybe you were trying to put out the fire." I nod.
"When my mom first got sick she said that she'd always be there. Could be a stray cat or just the sound of the wind-it would always be her. She'd always protect us, you know? But..but the night of the fire I couldn't protect her."
"If I'm so smart why can't I remember what happened that night?" The therapist puts down his notepad and repositions himself in his chair.
"Okay, here's what I think. We survive by remembering. But sometimes we survive by forgetting. You lost your mother in a tragic fire. Your life was changed forever by what? The broken fuel valve? Maybe it's not such a bad thing to forget."
"But what about the dream." I cut in.
"It's a dream. You'll figure it out or you won't. That's how it all works; it's a process Amara. What's it been? Ten months? And you're almost finished. But you're not gonna get there in a place like this." I look up with hope apparent in my eyes.
"Do you think I'm ready to leave?"
"What else do you want from me? Go home, kiss a boy; get into trouble. Finish what you started."
I smile to myself before leaving his office. I never could remember the middle aged man's name. I might actually miss seeing his scruffy beard every week. This is it, I get to go home. I run through the hallways as quickly as I can to reach my room. I take a photo of mom, Alex and me off my corkboard and put it on the top of my packed duffle bag. I hear a horn honk outside and when I look from my window I see dad stepping outside his car to greet me with a wave. My smile grows and I wave back, anxious to get home. I mouth 'one minute' and he nods from below. When I turn back around I'm startled.
"Pretty little Amara going home sweet home. I'll be lonely."
"I've really gotta go." When I try to move past the woman she grips my wrists tightly and stares at my scars.
"There was so much blood, wasn't there Amara?" I stare at my wrists but don't say anything.
"Do you really think they fixed you?" I stare at her greasy, unwashed blonde hair while a nurse pulls her away from me.
"C'mon honey, let her pack her things. What have I told you about wandering in here all the time?" The tall woman with dark circles under her eyes doesn't take her eyes off me as she's pulled towards her room across the hall.
"They couldn't fix me." Of course they couldn't fix this woman. She's actually psycho. Or seems to be. I grab my bag from my old bed before turning the light off to my room for the last time. When I start my walk back down the hall I hear her speak again.
"Who will I tell my stories to?" I glance back at her but decide to just ignore her question.
I rush down the stairs and out the entrance to embrace my dad in a long awaited hug. I've missed seeing him every day. We start our long drive back home and I can't be more trilled. I wonder if anything has changed? I miss the littlest things about home. Not having to worry about a time limit on my showers or how often I get to eat.
"I've got a surprise for you. Look in the glove compartment", dad breaks the silence.
"Tell me it's a cheeseburger?" I tease. He laughs and I do as I'm told. I open the glove compartment to find dad's newly written book.
"You finished it", I smile.
"Look inside." Open the book to the mentions page. For my daughters Amara and Alex.
"Thank you dad."
"You're very welcome."
"Is it any good?"
"Well I don't know but I'm sure you'll tell me." I turn the book over to see my dad's smiling face on the outer paper cover.
"I know something that's good." He reaches down into the floorboard of the back seat looking for something while trying to focus on the road. He hands me a tin can and once I open it I see it's filled with fresh chocolate chip cookies.
"Oh awesome, thank you!" I exclaim. I've gotten used to only being allowed to eat bland food so this is incredible for a change. I instantely take a bit out of one.
"Yeah, Beth made them." I stop chewing to look at him.
"She wanted to come today but I told her I wanted you all to myself." I'm glad.
"She's been great Amara, really great. I mean I don't know what I-I would have done withou-"
"Dad, you've got me to yourself", I cut him off.
As we pull into the driveway I decide not to eat another bite of Beth's cookies. The mention of her name has spoiled my apetite. I get out of the car quickly to stand in front of the house I grew up in. It looks the same, but somehow different. I run inside and smile while taking in my surroundings. So far so good. I jog up the stairs hoping to find Alex.
"Alex!" I call. Nothing. I decide on just going into my room and collapsing on my bed. I've probably missed my bed the most. I hug my pillow tightly and enjoy smelling the clean sheets.
I hear a splash so I walk over to my window to see a figure swimming in the crystal clear water. Alex. I quickly dig through my drawers to change out of my dress. I find a simple floral top and brown shorts to cover my swimsuit and add some converse. Before making it out the back door I see her. Beth. She's drinking a bottle of water and looks to me in athletic attire. Make that slutty athletic attire. Her yoga pants are skin tight and her breasts are practically spilling out of her zipped up shirt.
"Amara you're back-you're early. I'd hug you but I'm a mess." She motions up and down her body while panting slightly. She must have gone running.
"Welcome home. You look so great; you look so skinny! I think I could use some time at that place. My first order of business is fattening her up." I stay quiet as I hear dad enter the room from behind me.
"I've already started with him", she points towards dad. Her humor doesn't amuse me.
"Yeah she's been cooking all day. Making..what are you making?", dad adds. I wish Beth would stop talking. She's trying too hard. I just want to go see Alex already.
"Beef stroganoff-you're favorite", she says to me.
"So you have a house full of women now mr. writer. Did your dad tell you my idea?"
"About the party. We thought we could throw you a welcome home Amara bash."
"Ah yeah okay, maybe."
"Well everyone's been asking about you. We've got all summer, there's no rush." Dad cuts in. Beth nods her head.
"O-okay. I'm gonna go down to the water." I walk past them and hurry for the door.
"I blew it." I hear Beth whisper to herself.
The sun is shining and the slight breeze feels great against my skin. I look down the hill to the boathouse, I push back the terrible memories and focus on the crystal clear waves crashing all around the house. It's beautiful really, how perfect everything can seem around you. I don't see Alex right away but I go to the boathouse door. I walk slowly, taking everything in. I missed coming out here whenever I pleased. Back at ridgeway you didn't go outside hardly at all. If you did you only got 20 minutes to an hour limit, depending on your behavior. I peak into the door window and I instantly see mom in her bed, ringing that bell. Trying desperately to get help. I turn away quickly, not wanting my mind to go back to where it used to be. I walk around the porch to another window. This one being much bigger with no curtains in the way. I rest my forehead against the warm glass and stare at my darkened shadow staring back at me.
"It's just like it never happened, huh?" I jump in surprise. Alex.
"Alex! Oh I missed you so much." I waste no time in hugging her.
"So what do you think? You know, he had them working weekends so it would be finished by the time you got back. Welcome to your new ward." Alex leans against the porch railing.
"Better food, crazier people." She quickly adds.