(Short story)
Rhiannon Turner hasn't been to the Cornish village of Pur Lowen in years, not since her Grandfather died. In that time a lot has changed, and Rhiannon has found himself, and become Ryan.
When Ryan returns to Pur Lowen for the summer holidays he finds himself oddly drawn to Raven June, the beautiful girl next door, who's unsettling past keeps her, and her sister Mapelli, silent most of the time.
But Ryan knows a thing or two about overcoming challenges, and he's determined to reach Raven, despite her selective mutism.
What Ryan doesn't realise is that there's more to Raven and her sister than that which meets the eye...and Raven has a secret


12. Chapter 12 ~ Raven

To say Mapelli was angry would be a massive understatement, she was furious. She yelled and yelled and yelled, not letting me get a word in edgeways. She half-dragged me up the stairs, throwing a pillow and some bedding into the attic, and although I pleaded with her to understand, to see things from my perspective, she shoved me in there and slammed the door, naturally no re-attaching the doorknob on the other side. And just like that, I was trapped.

Alone in the attic.

She brought me up a dinner of bread and luke-warm soup, as well as a bottle of water. She didn’t even make eye contact with me, she just placed it down, turned, and left, as if I didn’t exist, as if she were feeding a ghost. I drank the water but left the food, not in the mood for eating. I lay on my back and stared out of the window, ignoring my growling stomach as I thought about the day I’d had. It had been amazing, truly brilliant. I’d felt like a normal person for once, instead of the village freak. I realised that, if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing. I didn’t care that I was locked inside a cold attic all alone, it was worth it. This made me smile, and I turned over to lie on my side, pulling the blanket up over me and curling up all nice and tight. Despite everything, I fell asleep smiling.

The next day Mapelli came up and let me out, a little bit calmer than she had been before. She led me downstairs and sat me down in my window with a book to read, at an angle where she could watch me at all times. I noticed locks on all the doors that led outside, prohibiting me from leaving until I earnt a key. I tried to ignore my sister’s gaze and the tension across the house, putting all my mind’s focus into reading the novel. It didn’t change much the day after that, and today is pretty much identical too. I just sit and read, I don’t dare try to do anything else.

Staring out of the mesh curtain, I don’t see people, I just see little thin black shadows and shapes, moving around, going about their day. They almost look like ghosts to me when the move, whisping back and forth, floating across the landscape. I can’t identify them, I can’t even see them clearly, but I still watch them intensively, longing to be out there with them, moving around out in the open...paddling on the back of a surfboard.

There’s a crash’ sound from upstairs, and Mapelli sighs, rushing on up to either join or end the argument. I pull a blanket up over my knees and return to my book, ignoring the muffled yelling, glad that they’ve found something to fight over that isn’t about my ‘irresponsible’ and ‘dangerous’ actions. This house is full of people who are like family to me, but like family, we don’t always see eye-to-eye.

I jolt in surprise at another sound, knocking at the door, I freeze where I sit, barely able to breathe.

“Raven?” It’s Ryan, I recognise his voice. As badly as I want to cry out to him, to rush to the door and tell him how I’m locked in here, grounded, unable to step a foot outside for the next decade...but I know I shouldn’t, I know I can’t. “Raven it’s me, Ryan. Raven are you in there? Raven?” He continues to shout, not giving in. I peak through the curtain, he’s standing at the door, frustrated and confused. I look away, knowing that if I don’t I won’t be able to help myself from calling out. I hear a buzz from the kitchen counter where my phone is, inside Mapelli’s bag. Checking to make sure she’s not on her way back downstairs, I walk over to look at the message.

Ryan: Haven’t seen you in a few days, you know where to find me when you’re ready.

I sigh, wanting so badly to send him a reply, to tell him to come over and reason with my sister, maybe even find out the truth about this house...but I place the phone back in my sister’s bag and return to my window. I peak through the blinds once more, but Ryan is gone.

A part of me is sad, regretful even that I let him go, but I also know deep down that this is how it should be, even if I don’t like it, it’s better this way. He’s happy, loved, and confident, he’s surrounded by people he can replace me with...and me? I’m just the village freak, a seventeen year old girl without a voice. Mapelli is right about us, we wouldn’t be accepted if we ever showed the world who we really are, we’re freaks, we’re standouts, we’re misfits.

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