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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34. Thirty-Three

 

The rest of my meeting with Fiona passed fairly quickly. She didn't approach the topic of monsters, probably too uncomfortable and disbelieving about it. She continued to talk about diversion, made sure I had noted all the right times. Then I left, passing back through the building, back past people still waiting for someone to come and get them.

I actually had a smile on my face as I climbed back in the car. I reeled off everything about the meeting to dad as we drove back home, leaving out the part about the number in my pocket. I hoped if I 'behaved' well enough, my parents might let me have my phone back. I needed it to call Matilda Carrington.

As we parked up into our drive way, I saw a surprise on our doorstep. April was standing there talking to my mum. I lost the smile on my face as I didn't think the interaction was going to be a good one. When I slammed the car door she looked around at me. She said something to mum and then came back down the garden path towards me. Dad edged his way inside and left April and I in awkward silence.

I didn't know what to say but I couldn't stand the silence. "Thank you for phoning me, about the exam," is what came to mind.

She shrugged and looked at the floor. "I half expected you not to be here... I thought they'd arrested you," she said quietly.

I shook my head quickly. "No... I didn't do anything wrong." I tried to reassure her, I didn't want her to think badly of me.

"I didn't come here for excuses, I just needed to drop some things from our history teacher off," she replied and started to turn away slightly. "Just some predictions for the next paper... if you even care."

I didn't want her to go. I reached out, held on to her arm. "April..."

She pulled it from my grip and her sad eyes met mine. "I know, Fe. I know about the youth caution. The youth offenders programme... My Aunt called my mum about it. She works for them."

I swallowed hard. I'd feared this.

Her eyes were so sad as she looked at me again. "What's happened to you? I don't know who you are anymore," she whispered and tears had started to sting my eyes. It hurt me to hear it.

"I'm still me," I replied slowly and quietly. I stepped forward towards her again. She stepped back.

"You don't understand, Fe. You've changed," she told me and she looked suddenly angry. "At first, I tried, I really tried to support you... but I can't. I couldn't when you got so... so hectic." She swallowed hard. "I can't handle that."

"I'm sorry," I mumbled and more tears were stinging my eyes, my body was searing with pain at having to stand for so long.

"There's something wrong with you," she continued. "You can't get it out of your head... This stupid monster. I know that's why you had that knife. As soon as my mum said about it, I knew in my head why. You were probably hunting it weren't you?" She took in a large breathe but didn't leave me time to reply. "And that's stupid, so reckless and stupid... And violent!"

"It's not stupid." Anger flared inside me, my eyes stung more.

"Maybe it's not stupid," she snapped. "But it's not right. It isn't your job to save the world! Or to investigate this. I kept telling you that."

"I just want to know," I raised my voice. My anger was flooding into me more. "I want to find the dreaful thing out there... and I want it to pay."

April drew back. "That's exactly what I mean... That's not right. That's not you!"

"Well, maybe you just don't know me!" I realised I had screamed it.

My back suddenly stung with more pain and I cursed, putting my hand to it. April was drawing back even more, almost scared by my anger. I felt something warm on my hand and when I pulled it back round in view I saw red. My cuts were bleeding again.

I saw April's eyes go wide. "W-what?" She was breathless. "Why are you bleeding?"

I swore again to myself, started to turn but I was dizzy with anger and pain and tears. April came closer, held onto me suddenly. I felt her lift my shirt and gasp.

"Why are you bleeding?" she asked again.

"It doesn't matter," I tried to mumble off but she'd already gripped my arm, was walking me to the door.

"Come on, you need to clean it," she told me but I didn't want to go inside. I didn't want my parents to see.

"I-I can't go in there," I stammered, weak against her trying to force me. "My parents can't know."

April sighed and she sounded slightly annoyed but she was also still panicked. When I focused on her face I could still see some kind of friendly look in them, something that meant she cared about me bleeding out.

"Fine," she replied and she unzipped her hoodie, wrapped it around me so that the back of my blood stained t-shirt was covered. "Now go."

I opened the door and April hurried me through the door, to the stairs, giving my mum a sheepish smile as she poked her head out of the kitchen. We went into the bathroom and April turned me around, was fumbling around in the cupboards. I pulled the toilet paper off and cursed as I looked at it in the mirror. Part of the stitches had come out and the cut was opening up again, bleeding out.

April's eyes were wide as she looked at my back, some tissue in her hand to dab at it. "What... How did you do this?"

"Something attacked me," I replied, and winced as she got water and was trying to clean it.

"I think you need a doctor," April said worriedly but I shook my head.

"It's fine, I'll just bandage it." 

My parents would need to drive me to the hospital and they couldn't know about these injuries. April sighed angrily again but then went back to cleaning it. It stung as she dabbed cream on and tried to fashion a new patch of toilet paper to fasten over it.

She pulled my t-shirt back down and I sank to sit on the edge of the bathtub. Dizziness was still making me feel weak.

She stared at me, and I couldn't tell if she was more angry or worried anymore.

"What attacked you?" she sounded scared to ask. She sat down on the closed toilet lid.

"A rook," I replied.

April frowned. "What?"

I winced again as my back throbbed. "I know... it sounds stupid, but it's true."

"Why? I.. I don't understand." April seemed confused on what to say. I was as confused about it to.

"I don't know why..." I replied. "But it has some part in all those animal attacks... At least I think it does."

April nodded slowly. "But... Robin," she paused and swallowed. "She can't have just been killed by a bird?"

I shook my head. "No."

April still looked confused and emotional and distressed. She rubbed at her eyes. "I don't understand, Fe. How did it happen?"

"I was in a field, between Picket and Rook Valley. It just... It just came at me, attacked me, I don't know why," I explained. I had been trying to make sense of it too.

"But... It wasn't... It wasn't a monster, it was just a rook?" she asked and she looked back at me, almost fearful of an answer.

"I don't know... It was just a Rook, it looked like one but..." I broke off. "I don't know how it fits in, April. I don't know... but there is something more to it. Maybes it's connected but I don't know. There is a monster, April. That's why I had a knife, that's why I've been acting weirdly. I'm scared. I just want to find out what it is."

April rubbed at her eyes again, was silent for a long time. Then she moved her hands away from her face.

"I..." She tried to speak but broke off again quickly. I hated how worried and confused her face looked.

I widened my eyes. I just wanted her to say something.

"I'm scared too," she finally replied and then she got up. Fear was swelling in her eyes. "Of you."

I felt like someone had stabbed me in the heart.

She stumbled to the door and looked at me over her shoulder. "I don't believe... I can't believe you," she replied desperately. I tried to get up, to stop her but she shook her head, opened the bathroom door. "There's something wrong with you." She backed away. "You're crazy."

"April, please!" I reached to grip her arm

"No... Just please, leave me alone." She pulled her arm from my grip.

"I can be better... I can go back to normal. Please. Just after I've worked it out," I told her desperately. I may have been acting strangely now but after this was all over, I could be like the me she wanted me to be. We could be friends again, couldn't we?

April was shaking her head over and over again. "You don't understand, Felicity."

Tears stung at my eyes. "Please... Don't be like this."

I could see tears in her eyes too. "I don't think I can be your friend anymore... Not after all this. Not after everything you've done." Her eyes swarmed with more tears. "That man, who crashed into us, he's in a coma. He got hurt because of me... but because you made me stop there."

I felt like I couldn't breathe.

"I don't want to be near you anymore... I can't because all I think about is death and fear and monsters which aren't even real." She cried some more, her tears thick, her voice raspy. "You're not the person I used to know, and I can't deal with that." She backed away again, she was nearly to the top of the stairs. "So please, just don't even talk to me ever again. I don't care if you work it out, I don't care if you want to fix everything...  because things won't just go back to normal, Fe. They won't. You can't fix everything." She swallowed hard. "You keep going on and on about a monster... but all I can think about is how all this, everything... is turning you into a monster."

Breath stuck in my throat again, I choked on my own tears as I watched her turn around.

"P-Please, don't go!" I called after her but she was gone. Down the stairs quickly and out of the front door, away from me. I sunk to the floor, pulled myself back into the bathroom in tears, slamming the door shut. I had hoped we could work things out. I didn't know she felt that way. I didn't realise how much she hated me. I didn't realise I had changed so much.

I curled into a ball and gripped at my hair. Her words were echoing round my head. I was a monster. I was a monster. I was a monster.

Maybe I hadn't hurt anyone physically, but April, I had hurt her. I had ruined everything between us and I wasn't getting that back. I had been so persistent, refused to take notice of her warnings, and now I wasn't getting her back. She didn't want to ever talk to me again.

I cried out. I wished I'd never gone into that bathroom. That's where everything started. And now here I lay on another bathroom floor. All I had done so far was act manically, get myself in trouble, ruin the best friendship I had. I hadn't done anything good. I hadn't solved anything... But I had the number in my pocket?

I pulled it out, gripped it in my fist tight. What good was it going to do? Would it even help at all? Whilst I sat crying in this bathroom, there was something deadly going on out there and all I had was a number. I was useless. I was just useless. I had been useless all along. I couldn't help Robin from the beginning. I couldn't save her from her death. I couldn't do anything but ruin my own life.

The monster had ruined Robin's, but the only person I had to blame was myself. I was the monster who had ruined my life, but I wasn't dead. Robin didn't deserve to die, she never did anything wrong but I did. I did do things wrong. I deserved it more. I deserved that monster coming after me.

I pushed myself up from the floor suddenly, my breaths ragged and my tears fierce. My hands shook as I opened the bathroom door, approached the stairs. Anger was swirling in my chest but only at myself. I edged towards the front door, quietly trying not to attract my parents attention. I closed the door and went to get my bike, my body aching as I started to peddle. I didn't care though. I needed to go, I needed to go back to that field.

Finally, I reached it, crawled back through the hedge. I walked up way to the middle of the muddy field, collapsing onto the ground in tears. I curled myself into a ball and whispered, "come and get me."

I didn't care anymore. Maybe the monster would come and get me now. Maybe it would destroy me completely. Maybe that would prove to everyone that there was one. I didn't know.

Hours passed. The sky soon faded to black. I leaned back so I was laying looking at the stars and I immediately felt a pang of guilt in my chest. Ric. He believed me. He had always supported me but surely, I was just going to ruin our friendship too. If I ruined one, I could ruin another. I felt tears run down my face and sadness swell in my chest. I was a monster. I needed to be stopped. I wanted something or someone to come here. Something needed to come and get me.

Tears clouded my vision and I shut my eyes, the thud of my heart loud in my ears as I waited. I waited and waited. And then there was a noise. My eyes edged open. Light swarmed into my face and through the darkness, I didn't see a monster, I saw the figure of a person.

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