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.
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32. Thirty-One

 

I was in the kitchen, everything around me slightly hazy. There was no sound, the light was dim and I had this sense of being there but I also wasn't. I had a knife in my hand which was flashing light into my eyes as I moved it up and down, chopping some green kind of thing. It was relatively calm, nothing seemed off yet.

I moved to make another cut when suddenly there was a loud noise. A crashing, breaking noise. I turned. A mess of feathers and claws and beaks had come breaking through the ceiling. I screamed, fell backwards as it moved towards me, everything blurred but was clear at the same time. The creature was real but seemed to have too many feathers, too many eyes and beaks at wrong angles. Wings flapped and it moved towards me. The knife launched from my hand into the centre of the creature.

Someone screamed. The creature had transformed. Into Robin. Blood oozing from her as the knife stuck out from her chest, but she was just smiling at me, this twisted look on her face. Look, what you've done now. Her voice echoed but she wasn't moving her mouth. It was just going round and round my head.

I scrambled backwards as she moved forwards. Out of nowhere I flung another knife at her. Then she changed again. A flash of ginger, it was April. She was screaming and crying at me as the knife pierced into her and she bled and bled. So much red. Right on to her yellow dress, spreading and spreading till she was all red and blood and screaming.

I screamed. I screamed again.

Then my back hit something hard and I spasmed out. Hair was in my face, something was restricting my legs and I couldn't stop breathing fast. No, no, no. Where's April? She needs help. My brain was in a panic. I couldn't get the things off my legs, my whole body was hot with pain and fear. I scrambled about blindly. Where is she?

Lights sprung on suddenly and voices were saying things but I couldn't make them out at first. Someone grabbed my arms and I tried to struggle free. The restriction around my legs loosened. The voice got louder.

"Fe! Felicity!"

My hair got pushed back from my face and someone swarmed before me.

"Felicity, it's alright." It was mum.

My eyes focused and I realised where I was. I was in my bedroom. There was no blood.

"Felicity..." Mum said warily again.

I looked up at her. "I-I'm fine." My voice shook as my breathing was still erratic and my heart was pounding.

She helped me up off the floor and I winced as my back throbbed with pain. My eyes were sparkling with tears and I hastily dabbed at them, sitting down onto the bed. Mum picked the duvet off the floor and put it back on the bed, pulling it up over my legs. She then frowned at me.

"Bad dream?" she questioned and she nodded. "Are you going to be able to get back to sleep?"

I slowly nodded but honestly, I didn't know. I was afraid if I closed my eyes I'd have to see it all again. The creature, Robin, April; dead. Tears stung in my eyes as I thought abut it all again and again. I threw that knife at her. I hurt her... I shuddered as I squeezed my hands together tight. It's not real. It's NOT real. You wouldn't do that.

I felt mum pat my head for a second, say something before she walked back to the door. The room went black again as she switched off the light and shut my door. I still sat upright, lent against the headboard, blinking rapidly as I tried to get my eyes used to the darkness again. My back still stung from the impact, my wound searing with pain which made all my skin feel tingly and numb at the same time. I rubbed at my eyes, pulled the duvet closer and tried to steady my breathing.

It was just a dream. You didn't hurt anyone. It wasn't real. I tried to reassure myself but there was just something about it all unnerving me. The creature was definitely some type of bird in the nightmare, claws and beaks and beady eyes, all mixed up with feathers. What if that was really what we were looking for?

I pushed myself into a different position, clutched a pillow tight in my arms. It was just a dream. Dreams aren't always real, I told myself but I couldn't shift the fear inside of me. I lay there with my eyes wide open for the rest of the night. Minutes passed slowly and hours elapsed, when slowly light starting showing through the curtains. It was morning again. I heard mum get up at around seven, run a shower, pad back to her room and then go down to the kitchen, start banging around with pans and plates and cutlery. Dad got up shortly after her and did the same. 

After that I groggily rubbed at my eyes, pushed myself from my bed, wincing at the ache of my legs and my back, and just everything. My body was tired and slow as I tried to find some clean clothes, and made my way to the bathroom. I pulled off my pyjamas and turned my back to the mirror over the sink, looking over my shoulder. The large dressing pad which the doctors had stuck there was still there, but spots of blood had seeped through and dried over the hours it had been on. I reached to slowly peel it back swearing as it pulled at my skin. Below it were a mess of scratches, two especially deep, pulled together with stitches. The others were still raw and red and when I reached to touch them, stinging pain shot through them.

I remembered the pain when it had happened, the grip of the rooks claws as it had struck at me again and again. I turned away from the mirror and tried to clear the memory from my head, switching the shower on. Yet I couldn't not think about it as I unfurled the bandages from around my legs and looked down at them. The scratches were less harsh but still painful, covering my calf's in a crisscross of red lines.

The warm water stung my skin as I climbed into it, drenching my hair and my body. I washed as quickly as possible and got back out again. I rustled around in the bathroom cupboards to try and find something to cover my sore back again but had to resort to sticking layers of toilet paper over it with some plasters round the outside to keep it down. I then covered the cuts on my legs up with some larger plasters, and pulled the clean clothes on, staring at myself in the mirror. I looked atrociously tired, with huge bags under my eyes and still straggly wet hair. My expression was sullen which exactly mimicked how I felt.

Why don't you just tell them what happened? Why don't you just tell them about your theories? I asked myself but I shook my head and turned away. I couldn't tell my parents everything, they wouldn't understand. They'd probably get even angrier if they knew I had been hurt and it was probably all my own fault. Instead, I left the bathroom and went to get breakfast, not saying a word to either of my parents as they stared at me. There was still that disappointment from yesterday lurking behind their eyes and in their expressions.

I finished my cereal and dad told me to get my shoes on and get in the car. As we drove he was talking about the youth offender people I was about to go and see, how they would asses what actions to take, what diversion programmes I needed or what they thought was best for me. I just kept nodding and remained quite. It's not like there was anything I could do to get out of it and I knew it was better than a proper arrest and prison.

I watched as the fields flashed past. I rested my head on the window and thought about everything in my head. I felt truly awful. I was in pain, I still couldn't believe what had happened to me and I was still utterly confused about the monster, about how on earth we were going to piece it all together. But was I ever going to be able to investigate again? Was I still going to be able to help work things out? What if my mistake meant I was now going to spend my spare time at diversion programmes and with my parents breathing down my neck?

I wanted to cry again but didn't. I knew I had messed a lot of things up and this was probably what I deserved. No matter how I had that knife for protection, it wasn't going to be an excuse for these people. I knew it was bad, I'd just felt so scared, and like I needed to have it, to protect myself from the monster out there. Whatever evil thing it was. Once it was over, I wouldn't feel the need for knifes and protection anymore, would I? When I worked out what hurt Robin I could go back to normal, couldn't I?

I sighed and focused back on the scenery instead of the circling thoughts in my brain. It was all getting too much to think about. I knew couldn't do anything about the monster now, I was in a car going to meet youth offender counsellors, I had to focus on getting through that. Outside the window it had turned into housing and large buildings of the city of Bartwell. I sat up straighter in my seat as dad muttered something about almost being there.

​He pulled into a car park in front of a four floored building. We stared out at it for a few minutes before dad rustled around and produced me a piece of paper, some type of form.

"Give this to the person at the reception," he told me and I nodded, slowly getting out of the car. I looked back at him and he nodded at me in encouragement. "Go on. It will be fine." I tried to nod back. "I'll pick you up in an hour."

I swallowed hard and slammed the door. I tried not to limp too much as I approached the building, aware that dad was still watching me from the car. The double doors at the front opened automatically and I walked my way through into a large reception. I instantly felt out of place, feeling the eyes of people on me as I stepped towards the reception desk at the back. Chairs were on either side and in some of them were teenagers, some younger than me or a similar age; mean expressions and shaved heads, piercings and dyed hair, Nike trainers and Adidas shirts, the smell of stale smoke and alcohol. I couldn't help but think that it was slightly stereotypical, that they all looked and seemed like youth offenders. I didn't think I did at all.

I finally reached the desk, internally hating that the room had to be so quiet and awkward. The lady behind the desk lifted her head and stared at me, not saying anything, her eyes expectant. 

I hastily passed over the form dad had given me, feeling like every single person was listening to me, as I muttered, "um... I'm here for the youth offender thing."

The lady scanned the paper with her eyes and recognition passed through her features. She then grabbed a pen and scribbled something on the bottom of the paper, tapped something on her computer and looked back at me expressionlessly.

"You're going to be seeing, Fiona Barns today. For a kind of assessment," she told me and then nodded her head towards the chairs. "Go and sit down, someone will come and get you in a bit."

"Okay, thank you," I replied and the lady seemed almost taken aback that I'd said it. I guessed maybe she didn't get many thank you's.

I turned away and shuffled to a seat, trying to keep away from any of the other people. I felt some of their eyes turn and look at me again, some kind of judgement passing across their faces. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat, anxious thoughts swirling in my head. What was this assessment going to be? What was going to happen?

It could have been hours before my name was called. I followed a man through a door, down a corridor and up stairs to an office. He opened the door for me and nodded me inside, saying that Miss Barns would be with me soon. I edged my way to the chair and sat down slowly, taking in my surroundings. The office was fairly plain, grey walls, a window behind the desk which had a computer and a pencil pot and a picture frame on it, facing away from me. I reached to pick it up, wondering if I could get an idea of what the woman looked like before I met her.

The frame almost fumbled from my grasp as I turned it around, and on the other side I saw someone I recognised. It was April's family. Three ginger haired people smiled back at me; her mum, someone who I guessed was her sister and April, looking younger than she did now. Her dad was on her other side, his blonde hair contrasting to all the bright hair. In the backgrounds was mountains and I slowly remembered a holiday that April had once described to me. This was on that holiday, with her Aunt, who I guessed was going to be the Fiona Barns I was seeing.

I felt sick as I looked back at April's smiling face. The dream was swarming in my head. I couldn't help the shake in my hands. I put the photo back on the table and stared at the wall. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. I tried to calm myself down again. I didn't hurt April.

Instead, I tried to focus on what was about to happen. Fiona Barns would be assessing me, but the idea of that only made me curse to myself. Just to make my experience more mortifying, she was related to April. Not only would I be reminded of my dream every time I looked at her similar looking face, April could find out all about me being here from her, how I had got myself into trouble, and I didn't want that. It was bad enough when I had been escorted from school by the police, now this.

I jumped as the door banged open and I turned my head. The second ginger female from the picture walked into the room. I knew this was 100% not going to be fun.

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