"The bodies were found only this morning after having been discovered by a local..."
I peel my eyes from the screen as the news reporter's voice drills on. I grab the remote and press down hard on the power button, putting an end to the misery and distress of society. Running my hand through my dirty blond hair i exhale softly, tilting my head up towards the ceiling. I close my eyes and listen to the whir of of an ambulance, the drone of cars that choke as their owners drive them steadily along the road outside. The odd scream of a child goes by unnoticed as their mum drags them into their cars, their school bags hanging limp at their sides, while they stand rooted to the spot. The mother picks up her child, throws them into the back and secures the seat belt. She slams the door closed and locks it before the child can break free in the rush of the school morning. My breathing becomes shallow as i think of silence and imagine a time when life wasn't so hectic. If only.
Reluctantly, i come out of my reverie, and stare at the window. I imagine the sun cascading rays of light across the floor, feel them warm my feet and shine on me like the warm embrace of a mother and her child. I imagine the trees swaying delicately in the breeze, as on a summer's day. But i am wrong. As i look out, the sky is overcast and the first drops of rain bead in the grey clouds above the allotment of houses. Inwardly i shiver, and bring my focus back to my thoughts. Pulling my legs up to my chest, i bury my face in them, ignoring the shooting pain in my stomach. My stomach aches, grumbling a second time but i know i can't do anything about it. There is no food. I sit waiting for my father to come back, bags brimming with food as he will make his way into the kitchen and cooks up a dish, giving me a warm smile and ruffling my hair, the way he used to. I know that won't happen. He isn't out shopping. My sub-conscious chimes in. I'm right. He will probably come back near midnight, and i'll ask him about the food, as he staggers in, slurring his words and aimlessly throwing around a bottle of alcohol, the sadness evident in his eyes. He will tell me again how 'sorry' he is and that he will never do it again, and i will forgive him. Despite his mistakes i foolishly believe his false promises and forgive him for all his stupid mistakes; because i am weak.
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK
I bring my head up harshly and stare at the blank TV screen before there is once more the harsh sound of a fist connecting the front door.
I stumble forwards, walking towards the door. I stop suddenly as the sound of 2 male voices ring through the house.
"MICHAEL! SHOW YOUR FACE YOU COWARD!" Michael? Who's Michael? My breath hitches and slowly i creep back, cautious of making a sound. Suddenly i stop, unable to move further. My jumper clings to the the door hinge. I tug at it. It won't budge. The door rattles violently; i tug harder. I throw my weight backwards but my leg jerks beneath me. Everything happens in slow motion as i hear the rip of the fabric and my hands grapple for something to hold. Plastered with sweat, they slip across the counter before catching the telephone and i send it crashing down with me. The phone rattles to the floor and i screech as my head collides with the same force.
I am dazed. The next minute is filled by an ineffable silence. I look outside for a moment to see a Robin rush to another tree carrying a ball of fur in it's beak. I note the way it's feathers move against the light breeze and the way it's head arches as it lands on a thick branch. Suddenly time speeds up as the door tares from it's hinges and the the sound of boots becomes increasingly more audible. An unshaven man wearing completely black clothing, and hair, just as black to match, makes eye contact with me and strides forwards. His muscles tense as he draws close and though my blurred vision i can make out the faint trace of a tattoo at his neck and from under his leather jacket i can see that a sleeve of tattoos line both arms. If i wasn't so scared i would have thought he was attractive, thin, yet lean and the stubble lining his chin made him at least 5 years older...25 maybe?
Slowly i slide back, ignore the stabbing paint shooting through my head.
"You don't want to do that" The intensity of his words keeps me rooted to the spot and i can feel the sweat bead on my forehead; my breath becomes rapid and harsh. He leans over me and kneels. His hand aggressively clasps my face as he turns it left and right. I stare into his oak-brown eyes as he glares at me, pinching his eyes together in thought. He smiles, showing a full set of perfectly straight, white teeth. He lets out a callous laugh before cupping his hands in his face, casting a look my way and laughing harder. The touch still burns my cheeks and i reach for my face, holding the back of my hands against it softly, relieving at least some of the pain. I shift backwards again.
"You're not going anywhere" My eyes dart to his face as he continues to laugh. I open my mouth but i can't find the words and i close it again. What did he mean? He looks down at me again, eyes blazing with...what? Delight? I continue to watch them travel ever so slightly to the spot above my head. I turn.