Fragments

Her demons kept her from living. But what everyone didn't know....was that she needed them to survive.

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7. Chapter 4

 

Her eyes were wide. They glistened under the kitchen lights from their dead stare and tore away at my already broken mind. What once was her body is now bones and innards mixed within a thick coating of whatever remains of her blood. I stare at an organ that threatens to spill out from under her ribcage. Several white fragments of her bones stick up awkwardly, waiting to be removed or used.


Titch, where’s Lucille?

Lu lays in her safe place, she doesn’t want to see the pretty lady. Isn’t she beautiful now?

Titch. You’re fucked up.


I watch him wring his hands repeatedly before staring at me intently and raising them. My stance remains the same as I watch him inch closer, his hands getting closer to my throat. Just as his thick and strong fingers clasp tightly around it, I see him fall.


Lu won’t let me. 

Because she fucking needs me more than she needs you, Titch.


He curls into a ball outside Lucille’s door to the mind and cries to himself while sucking his thumb. It’s a bitch move to do that to him but I need to concentrate, and he’s a distraction I can’t afford. In a few hours he should be fine but for now at least he’s out of my hair and mind. My shoulders slump in defeat as I stare at the mess in front of me. I had my work cut out for me.
******

Ya sure you got everythin‘?

It’s all I can hope for not to have missed something, Titch. I’m pretty sure I wiped away all of our prints. I even wore her slippers the entire time so they couldn’t find footprints! You’re sure you told me everything you touched?

I think..

‘You think’ is not going to help. I need fucking certainty.


Everything in the kitchen was wiped down with bleach I found under the sink. Thankfully, there was a pair of gloves next to it. I left all the blood and the body but I wiped down the areas around them. When I was through I wiped down the wall and floor leading to the bathroom. Thankfully, the bathroom itself was small and easily cleanable. Then for good measure, I wiped down the bleach bottle to remove any fingerprints I left in grabbing it.


Did you go upstairs at all?

……

TITCH!! Did you -or did you not- go upstairs?!

I can’t remember Ro, your yelling is scaring me..

Ugh! I’m going to have to look for myself.


Leaving the empty bottle of bleach in the sink, I walk up the carpeted stairs and slide my gloved hand along the banister. The house smells of the chemical I scrubbed it down with. My nose is raw from breathing it in the past few hours. When I reach the top of the steps, the smell has dwindled to a drift in the air and it’s a welcoming change.

The wide but narrow hallway leads to five doors, all of them in different sections of it. I stare at two that reside in front of me at the end of it and wonder which I should start with. The door to the left seems to call me, with it opened just a crack I can see the closet inside. 

Did you go inside, Titch?

I can’t remember..


My hand pushes the door open and we stare inside at the clean and organized room. The king size bed that they more than likely shared, covered with a light blue comforter. The closet door opened and exposing Veronica’s risqué wardrobe and lingerie. The room seems untouched, but I stay instead of looking at the others. Something about her clothes pulls me toward them and has me running my fingers along the fabrics.

A soft pink gingham dress keeps my gaze for longer than the others. My hand runs along the length of it and I play with the pockets on the sides. 

My mother used to wear gingham dresses. Hers was green and a bit longer, but it’s basically identical to this one.


‘ “So, have you been told why I‘m here?” Veronica asks, pulling her left leg over her right and making her dress rise up along her thighs. 

“No. Should I have?” I ask, watching my mother leave her kitchen as we talk in the living room. Veronica smiles at me and looks at a paper in her file. My mother walks up the stairs and leaves her apron in the kitchen with her pineapple upside down cake. 

Something she’s never done before.


“Mom?” I call out to her, but she’s already up the steps and out of ear shot. Veronica clears her throat and brings my attention back to her.

“How are you, Lucille? Is everything okay in your life?” She asks, a pen at the ready.

“I‘m fine, I guess. But, define ‘okay‘ because everyone‘s version is different.” I bite back. My hand fishes in my pocket for my smokes. I pull my lighter and the pack out with just two fingers.


“Are you good with your hands?” Veronica asks, watching my movements and scribbling something down on her paper.

“I guess. It could be because I write so much. They‘ve developed muscles that most people never use.” I explain, lighting up one of my cigarettes and inhaling deeply.

“Would you like one?” I offer. She smiles and leans forward to retrieve one from the almost empty pack. I can feel her foot slide along my leg and at first, think nothing of it.

“Thank you.” She says with a smile and takes my lighter from me. I watch her light it up and pull on the end of the cigarette with her burgundy colored lips.


Unconsciously, I clear my throat and look away as I bring my feet up onto the chair with me. I curl them in under me and tighten my thighs to stop this feeling I’m having. These thoughts are so vulgar I can’t believe I’m having them. What would mother say if she knew? 
*****

“Ms. Minix?” I hear in front of me. Blinking, I look at my surroundings and see things have changed. Veronica is gone and an elderly woman is talking to my mother to the left of me. 

“Ms. Minix.” She says again. I stare at this young, blonde haired woman with wide, rounded eyes and  a careful smile. When did she get here?


“Yes.” I finally answer, careful not to show how confused I am. This has been happening so much lately and I don’t understand what I do that causes it.

“What did you just say?” She asks, staring straight at me with a calm and practiced face. My first instinct is to find a clock, to see how much time has passed since I offered Veronica a cigarette. 

“What?” I ask, her question not reaching my ears like her face has reached my eyes. I look away from her and stare up at the round clock hanging above her head on the wall. 


“Stop!” She shouts, standing to get my attention again. I watch her eyes sink down to a determined gaze at me and shrink a little in my chair.

“Without looking at the clock, without looking around you for assistance. Tell me: What was the last thing you said and what time is it?” She says, her tone careful and demanding. I gulp down the fear I suddenly feel and shake my head in response to her questions.

“I don‘t know.” I say honestly.


“The last thing I remember is offering Veronica a cigarette. Then, it was going on noon. I remember because my mother had just said her cake was going to be done soon.” I continue, thinking back to this morning. She sighs and sits back down in her seat, writing something down just like Veronica did. Where was she and how did I end up here? ‘


That was the day we first got signed into the hospital. That seems like so long ago, Cil.

I know. Which is why I really wanted to go home..

I’m doing everything I can to make sure that it’s still possible, okay?

Okay, Ro.


I close up her closet and leave the bedroom. After searching through the bedrooms and finding nothing out of the ordinary, I go back downstairs. My clothes in the bathroom are surprisingly enough, not caked in blood. It’s then that I remember, I hid in the bathroom with them before Titch took over. After dressing I grab my shoes and walk out toward the kitchen. Lucille hides back into her part of the mind as I walk through it.

I slip off Veronica’s slippers and leave them by the door before walking out onto her front porch. Leaning against the house for support, I slide my boots back on. I guess we’re walking back to the hospital. It’s colder than it was earlier but I push myself forward.


Cil, I’m going to need you to explain what happened okay? You can sell better than I could.

But, what exactly did happen? 

Just say that we were with Veronica and when we went to the bathroom, her place was broken into. We heard her screaming and slipped out the back. That’s it. It’s happened before and besides, it’s not like we could do anything. It’s the sixties, what can they expect us to do?

Why do I have to tell it, Ro?

Because I can already hear it in your voice how upset you are. We need your tears to sell how traumatized this affected us. Besides, Titch and I are supposed to be gone…remember?

Okay..

They’ll probably keep us in the hospital for a little while longer. Just to make sure this experience hasn’t broken us down again. So we more than likely won’t make it home for Christmas.

Oh Ro….

Dammit, Cil! Stop crying!


We’ve just left Veronica’s neighborhood and can see the city lights ahead, when Lucille’s heavy tears blind us. My neck arches and shoulders pull in as she takes over. Anyone within a mile of us can hear her loud sobbing. I still fight for control over her legs but it’s too late, she dominates us and sinks our knees down to the cold pavement.

Cil, you’re a stupid shit.

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