Claw Marks and Corridors

Felicity saw something she shouldn't have. A dead girl in the bathroom at school. Not just any girl, Robin Cross, the head girl. Since that night all she's had in her head is images of a creature ravaging her body. But Robin was just stabbed excessively, right?

Felicity's life is shattering as she struggles to find the truth and anyone who will believe her. Even the corridors start to not feel safe anymore.

*First Draft*

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Author's note

This is a first draft, meaning that a couple of the chapters are going to be changed/need serious editing at some point! Please bare this in mind.
AA

40. Thirty-Nine

 

I miserably walked to Ric's house later that day. I hadn't been able to shift the dreadful feeling inside of me that I'd ruined someone else's life. First April and now Abi-Rose. Even though my intention had always been to help, to work out what happened to Robin, it just seemed to be effecting people in a bad way, rather than good.

"Hi," Ric started when he opened the door and then frowned. "Where's that Abi girl?"

"She's not coming," I replied quietly as I walked in and followed him into the house.

"Oh... why not?" he questioned as we started to climb the stairs. We entered his bedroom and he looked round at me. "Did something bad happen?"

I debated with not telling him but I felt like he would get it out of me eventually. I explained the situation that I had found at school, about how hectic she was, about how Parker had warned me to stay away from her now. I thought maybe that was the best thing now.

"It's not your fault though," he told me and sat next to me on the bed. "You didn't force her into anything, she helped willingly." He sighed slightly as I still looked miserably back at him. "You aren't the reason she's feeling upset right now. You never have been and you never will be. That's not down to you, okay?"

I didn't want to but I slowly nodded. Ric got up from the bed again and grabbed something from the desk. "Now, are we going to this house or not?" He smiled at me.

I nodded again and stood up, trying to focus on what we were about to do, and not on Abi-Rose. We were about to walk to the door when I stopped and grabbed his arm. "You're a good friend," I told him and he smiled slightly. It was true, he always seemed to have this continuous belief in me and whenever something bad happened, he made me feel better. It was nice to know, I wasn't alone.

"I'm not sure that's entirely true," he replied but didn't protest again as we left his room and began down the stairs.

"Does Matilda know we're coming?" I asked.

"Yeah, I phoned her earlier." Ric opened the front door and let me through first. He slammed it behind us and said, "it's not too far away. It's up on Bramble Road."

We began to walk in silence. It was sunny again today, causing my face to sweat slightly as we moved. I had no idea how Ric was wearing a black t-shirt in this weather.

Ric broke the silence again and pulled something out from his pocket. He passed it to me and I unfolded it. It was one of his drawings from when he was younger. I looked round at him slightly.

"That's the one thing I saw that was remotely like a bird," Ric commented. "Maybe that is what we're after."

I looked down at it again. There was definitely some kind of wings, a beak, yellowish eyes. Obviously it wasn't a completely detailed drawing. It was a drawing by a young kid in black and yellow crayons. It did somehow resemble some kind of bird.

"I see what you mean," I replied as we turned a corner.

Ric was kicking at the ground as we walked. He looked almost sad.

"Are... Are you alright?" I asked, faltering on my words slightly. He didn't raise his head but he nodded. I sensed that he wasn't telling the truth. I swallowed slightly, and added, "you didn't expect Amanda to say that did you?"

He shook his head slightly and sighed. "No. I didn't." He looked round at me. "I thought for once in my life, that someone might actually describe something I saw. If she saw any of the monsters I did, I wouldn't feel as crazy."

"You're not crazy," I quickly replied.

"I don't know, Fe," Ric muttered and sighed heavily again. "When we find the truth, and it's not what I want, I don't know what I'm going to do... I really thought we'd find something... Something bigger than this. I didn't think she was going to tell us it was some birds."

"But we don't know the truth yet... It doesn't make sense," I tried to sympathise.

"I know. It doesn't make any sense at all." He stopped suddenly and pointed to the left of us. "Anyway... this is it."

I took in a big breathe as he opened the gate and let me through it. We walked up towards the door and knocked. After a few seconds silence, it opened slightly and someone peered out at us. Large brown eyes, almost exactly the same as Amanda's. She was exactly like I had seen in the picture, but had slightly more grey hair I noticed as she pulled the door back more and I saw her clearly.

"Hi, Matilda, it's Cedric James again. This is my friend Fe," he started when she just stared back. "I called this morning."

She nodded and gestured us inside. "I don't know what you think you'll find," she muttered dully and then pointed to the stairs. "Third bedroom on the right was hers." She paused and looked me up and down. "Don't I know you?"

"Um, I don't think so," I replied with a small frown. The first time I had seen her was in a picture in Fiona Barn's office.

She continued to look at me and then shrugged. "Maybe not."

Ric began towards the stairs and I followed.

"I'll make some tea, if you want any," Matilda suggested and I nodded.

"That would be nice, thank you." I smiled back but she didn't echo that expression. She just hobbled off through a door on the left of the stairs. Ric and I continued up the stairs.

"Doesn't seem like a very happy person," I commented quietly as we got to the top.

Ric nodded. "Yeah. I know." We began down the short landing. "I think it's the past, it seems to haunt her. She doesn't like that they had to lock her sister up. She thinks it was a knife-crime but she said the other day, there was always something odd about the whole thing."

He pushed open the third door and we entered slowly into the room. Dust billowed in the sunlight from the large windows, illuminating the various cardboard boxes which had been filled with her stuff but never taken away. The bed was still laid out with a duvet and sheets but looked completely un-slept in. The desk was bare, holding a box which probably contained what had been on it in the past.

"Where do we start?" I asked slowly and Ric sat down on the floor in the middle of them.

"I guess, we just get a box and start looking," he suggested and pulled one towards him.

I nodded and sat down too, ripping off the tape of one next to me so I could open it. "I think it might be a padlock key, it's a smaller size but I don't know, it could open anything."

"Okay," Ric replied, "I'll keep that in mind." He was already riffling through a box of clothes.

I peered into the box I had opened, various books inside. I pulled some of them out, flicked through them. The pages were yellowed with age and some I'd never even heard of. Nothing out of the ordinary though and nothing which needed to be unlocked with a key. I moved onto different boxes, some more filled with clothes. Others random items, toys which kids might have had in the years that she was a child.

Half way through our searching Matilda came into the room with a tray of tea and placed it on the desk. She lent against the wall and watched us. I felt her eyes on me and I looked up at her, half way through flicking through a colouring book I had found.

"You went to see my sister didn't you?" she asked, still looking at me.

I nodded slowly, replacing the book back in the box.

"Cloverview phoned me, said a group of kids had broken in and spoken to her," she told me and I felt my hands fumble slightly. "That must have been you."

I couldn't really lie about it so I nodded again. Ric looked up from what he was doing.

"We just needed to speak to her, about what happened," Ric commented.

Matilda nodded. "I know. I was the one who gave you the address. I knew you would go there." She looked more intently at me. "I went to see her this morning. She wouldn't stop talking about a girl. A girl which seems to match your description. She said you would find the other one."

"Other one?" I questioned.

"She didn't explain it," Matilda replied and she sighed loudly. "Just that you would find whatever the other one is." She stopped leaning on the wall and edged towards the door. "I wouldn't think much of it... I don't think she really knows what she's saying sometimes." The door shut behind her.

I shared a look with Ric.

"She said find it, when she gave me the key," I said quietly and pulled the key out of my pocket. I got up and put it on the desk, staring around the room. "What does she want us to find? And what does she mean by other one?"

Ric shrugged and went back to searching the boxes. Instead, I poured out a cup of tea, thought about what Amanda had said. I then opened the box on the desk, pulled out some of the items. Pencils, pens and under an old newspaper a metal tin. A metal tin with a padlock. I placed it down on the table. Was this it?

"Ric," I called and his eyes jumped up. He came to stand next to me as I picked up the key and tried to put it into the lock, but it wouldn't budge.

I swore and Ric took the key, tried it to but it clearly wasn't the right thing. Then something lit up his face and he scrambled back across the room, pulled something out of a pile he had been looking through. Another key.

"Maybe she meant this," he suggested. "The other one... Another key?"

I breathed in a shaky breathe as he tried the key in the lock. It fit. He clicked it round and pulled open the lid. We stared into it. There was a notebook inside; black, non-descriptive, nothing which made it seem unusual. Apart from it was in a locked tin. I slowly pulled it out, flicked it open.

Black scribbled writing filled most of the pages. I began to read, Ric peering over my shoulder at it.

My name is Amanda Carrington and something terrible happened to me. No one will believe me when I say what attacked me. They say I'm mistaken, that I was terrified and hurt and I don't know what I saw. I know what I saw. It was some rooks, five, six, maybe even ten of them and they were large. They were so much bigger than normal ones. They seemed angry. They seemed like they wanted to kill me.

I didn't even have a chance to run because I didn't know they were coming for me. It was so quiet. Then the second I heard the door they were in the room. All over me, hurting me, ripping at me and all I could hear was my own screams. They just kept going till I heard this voice, someone called out and then they vanished. I couldn't see properly, there was too much blood, everything hurt too much. But there was definitely someone there too.

The police said they'll look for a man. It was a low, gruffly voice. But that doesn't explain the rooks. That doesn't explain anything. They were mad. They were so mad. There's something wrong with them.

I gulped as I got to the bottom of the page and shared a look with Ric. He reached out and flicked on to the next page. The writing was more sparse here and less neat. She seemed more distressed, like she was hurrying to write it.

They don't believe me. No one does.

They must be cursed. That's why they attacked. That's why they're wrong.

I left the hospital and they're everywhere, all over town. They're always looking at me. They must be. They must be waiting so they can hurt me again. Till that man curses them again and tells them too.

I flicked to the next page.

They always fly East. They head East.

I stared at the rough drawing below it. Lines for roads and green spaces, squares for houses but none of it was clear apart from the bright red arrow pointing right towards another bigger green splotch. I quickly flicked to the next page. What did it all mean?

They're cursed. They're evil.

And the next one.

Going East. I must find them. 

Then on the next page.

Barn.

The barn is cursing them.

I could hear them screaming.

The man.

Then the rest of the pages were blank.

I flicked back through the pages again, stared at each word carefully. She was fixated on the rooks, about them being wrong, being cursed. Then she seemed to have tried to track them. Maybe the arrow meant that they seemed to go towards the East. Maybe she followed them, went in that direction and it led her to a barn.

I sunk into the chair next to her desk as my legs grew weak. She must have found something out. Maybe she found out where these rooks were. There was some barn, a barn where she heard screaming? But what barn? What was inside it? Was that where the rooks were? Is that where they go to get 'cursed'? There was a man too, she mentioned a man. She heard a man's voice on the night of her attack, and when she mentioned the barn, she mentioned 'the man'. Who was this person?

What did it all mean?

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