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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21. Twenty

 

I'd never been a fan of biking but when your parents pick you up from the hospital and won't give you a lift anywhere, you have to resort to other options. They were determined that I should go and lay down to recover from the shock... but I couldn't sit still. Not when the monster was still out there. Not when I needed weapons to be ready. So, when they were busy trying to get Kitty to be quiet, I chose my moment to slip out of the house unnoticed. I took the keys from the kitchen and routed around in the garage to find a bike, an old one my dad used to use to get to work when the car had been broken.

I tried to pull it out from behind some boxes when it caught on the corner of one of them and sent the box at the top of the pile toppling over. I swore as I bent down to put the things away again when my eyes fell on the knife which had dropped out onto the floor. I passed my hands over the photographs and medals as I put them back into place, realising this must have been some of my grandad's old things from when he was in the war. The knife was a combat knife he'd used, I remember him telling me about it and mum quickly putting a stop to the conversation. She didn't want her daughter learning about knives.

I picked it up, pulling off the casing and staring down at the silver blade, slightly rusted. My heart was loud, beating in my neck like it was going to explode out; but I knew I needed a weapon. It wasn't safe around here anymore and if I found the monster, I would need this. I quickly put it in my rucksack and continued to pull the bike out of the garage. It was probably quite lucky that it was so messy. I'd knocked a paint can over and found the printer I needed, I knocked that box over, and found a weapon, which I also needed.

Once I'd locked the garage again, I set off towards Rook Valley. By now the sky was dark and I had to use a light on the front so I could see the road ahead clearly. It had been a while since I had ridden a bike so I wobbled around a bit to start with before I got more used to it. When I started to approach the corner where the crash had happened only hours before, I stopped and stared at the place where I had seen the blood. It was still there, seeming darker and more ominous in the lower level of light.

I gripped the handle bars tighter and got off the bike. I didn't want to think about earlier, how I had caused that crash, how it was all my fault and my best friend hated me, but that was all that was in my head. I rested the bike down in the grass, taking my bag from my shoulder to route around for a torch. I clicked it on and looked down at the knife again. My heart beat was louder, like before, as I stared at it. Was this really right? I shouldn't be carrying a weapon... but it was protection. I reached in and grabbed it, taking the casing off again and zipping my bag shut.

I turned to the hedge again, lowering the torch light to the hole in the hedge I had created earlier. I gripped the knife in my right hand and took a deep breathe in as I dropped down to crawl my way through. I know I hadn't seen more blood here earlier but it was a place to start. 

I cast the light over the uneven ground as I walked slowly forward. My feet made a light crunch against the dry surface, spattered with wild grass which obviously hadn't been cut, left to dry out in the sun. Under the glare of the torch it looked a lighter, more yellowy shade this time. There was still no red in sight. I walked and walked, circled the field but it was empty. No track marks, no blood, no nothing.

I started to walk back towards the hedge when there was a louder crunch behind me, that hadn't just been my footstep. The breathe tightened in my chest as I turned back around, clenching the knife harder in my hand. I moved the torch around but I couldn't see anything, nothing to indicate where the noise might have come from.

I jumped, my breathe faltering again as I felt buzzing in my pocket. I transferred the knife to my other hand as I pulled my phone out, seeing that mum was calling me. I declined it and put it back in my pocket, stepping forward again. I wasn't going to be clique and call out in the dark. Maybe I hadn't heard anything at all... but then there was a crunch again. I sucked my breathe in and started to walk forwards.

Grass, grass, more grass and mud. It couldn't have been nothing that made the noise. I quickened my pace. My phone started buzzing again but I ignored it. Then my eyes caught sight of something ahead, a small mass moving in the dark and two eyes. Glowing eyes. My breathe hitched and I gripped the knife hard as I slowed down, holding out the torch.

I could feel the heart beat in my chest, hear the blood rushing in my ears as I edged closer and then finally, the light reached the mass. I swore and let out my breath again. It was a cat, pawing at the ground. I almost rolled my eyes as I turned around again. It was just a cat. Would I have preferred it if it wasn't? If it had been more, I could have proved my point, that there was a monster... but if it had been more than a cat, what would I have done? I had a knife but would that have been enough? Would I have even survived?

I shivered slightly as I made my way back to the hedge and through it. My phone buzzed again and I was almost annoyed before I pulled it out of my pocket and saw it was Ric, not mum again. I answered, holding it to my ear. 

"Hey," I started.

"Hi, I heard about the crash, are you alright?" he rushed off and he sounded anxious.

I wanted to smile a bit, it was nice that he cared. "Yeah, I'm fine."

"And April?" he questioned and I swallowed hard.

"She wasn't hurt," I replied, as I was shuffling my bag about to put the knife away. I stood the bike upright again, propping it against my leg.

"How did it even happen?" Ric asked what I had feared.

I looked at the floor and took in a deep breathe. "It was my fault."

"I'm sure it wasn't," he replied in a soothing voice but I sighed again.

"It was, Ric." I paused slightly and he didn't protest again so I pushed on. "We were arguing and I asked her to stop, I wanted to show her the blood on the side of the road... I wanted her to believe my theories."

Ric took in a breathe at the other end of the line. "Sometimes people just don't believe in the same things."

I nodded. "I know."

"But I still believe you," he continued quietly.

"What about Dalton?" I questioned.

Ric sounded sad as he replied. "He... He has different views on this. He doesn't want us to keep investigating."

"Why?"

I thought I heard something waver in his voice. "It's hard to explain."

I was about to ask for more information when my ears picked up the sound of the cat again. It wasn't just mewing quietly, it was positively screeching. I turned around, the bike falling with a metal clatter against the road.

"Fe, what-" I heard Ric's voice but I lowered the phone, fumbling for the knife from my bag.

"I-I've got to go," I stammered into the phone and hung up, dropping down again to the hole in the hedge. The cat was still screeching as I crawled through, my breathes quick and panicked. I stumbled forward and cast the light ahead of me but I wasn't close enough. There was one last strangling screech before the silence echoed around me.

I swore under my breathe as I continued forward, frantically whipping the torch this way and that, but there was nothing there. Not even the cat... but it had sounded like it was attacked? It had to be here somewhere? There had to be something?

I stumbled around for a few more minutes before my eyes caught sight of something on the ground. Blood. Deep, dark red. I wanted to be sick as I stumbled backwards and looked ahead of me but there was nothing more there. No sign of an attacker. I swore again, and pulled my phone out, snapping a photo of it. It came out in bad quality due to the low light levels but it was still unmistakably blood.

I rushed back to the hedge and threw the things back into the bag, pulling the bike upright again. I began to peddle again, back the way I had come, my breathes loud in my throat. I didn't understand but I was also scared. I had been so close to that cat, there had been something else there. Something had attacked it and just left blood. I had been so close to it. Why didn't it hurt me?

I dropped the bike at the end of the garden path and walked back up to the house on shaking legs. I pushed through the door and instantly mum burst through from the kitchen.

"Oh my god!" she screamed at me. "Where have you been?"

My hands shook as I took my backpack off and was trying to get my muddy shoes off my feet. Mum rushed to my side, held onto my shoulders and shook them.

"Why did you just run off like that?" she demanded to know.

"I-I needed some fresh air," I stuttered out as I stood up straight again.

Mum glared at me but there was a bit of relief on her face also. "You should have told us before you left!"

I saw dad behind her as she enveloped me in this breath restricting hug.

"Your mother is right, Fe," Dad added with a stern expression. "It's dark out there and dangerous, you shouldn't have gone out alone."

"I'm sorry," I mumbled off as mum released me and I edged my way to the stairs. I could still feel my heart thudding along in my chest, my hands shaking.

"Don't do that again. There's people out there who could hurt you!" mum exclaimed as I started to make my way up the stairs. "Promise me, Felicity?"

I nodded as I began to climb. I just needed to be alone, needed to lay down and stop the fear rushing through me. There was no way I was going to tell them about what I had seen, about how I probably was in danger out there. Something had attacked that cat, maybe if I'd still been in that field at the time, it would have hurt me too.

They called after me but I continued to ignore them, shutting the door behind me and sliding down to sit on the floor. Tears burst in my eyes as I pulled my phone from my pocket and stared down at the photo. It had been so close and I hadn't seen it... but it had attacked that cat, I knew it did.

I called Ric again, waiting with baited breathe.

"Felicity?" he said instantly and sounded worried. "Why did you hang up so fast?"

"It attacked another cat," I said slowly and quietly.

Ric breathed in fast. "What?" He paused sligtly, as I felt more tears on my face.

"It was there, Ric. It was right in that field next to me." I gripped at my hair. "It was so close and I didn't see it!"

"Felicity, slow down," Ric said and he sounded confused. "What are you talking about? What happened?"

"The monster," I whispered back and I heard him in take breathe again. "I went back to the field next to where I saw that blood on the side of the road, and there-there was a cat." I paused to take in a shaky breathe. "I left the field and you called me, then the cat started screeching, like it was being h-hurt. But when-when I went back into the field it was gone. There was only blood left in the grass."

Ric was silent after my explanation.

"It was right there, Ric." I rubbed at my tear stained cheeks. "Why didn't it hurt me too?"

Ric was still silent for a few minutes before he spoke. "I...I don't know, Fe."

"I'm not crazy, Ric," I quickly continued. "I did see a cat and then-then it was gone. The monster took it."

"I didn't say you were crazy," he replied quickly. "I believe you."

"It's out there," I said darkly as I rose shakily to my feet, went towards my window. I looked out into the dark village. "We have to find it. We need to get rid of it." I swallowed hard.

I heard Ric swallow too and then he slowly replied. "We will."

I felt a smile creep on to my face. "We will," I echoed. I was glad that it wasn't just me that believed in my theory. It also wasn't just me that wanted to end this, wanted to kill whatever it was hurting people and animals. I wasn't crazy, I was determined. Determined to find this monster and stop it.

"Come over tomorrow, after school," Ric's voice came back to me. "I've got something to show you."

"Okay." I smiled again and slightly took my ear away, ready to hang up but I couldn't quite do it yet. I put it back to my ear. "And Ric?"

"Yeah?"

"Thank you."

"For what?" he asked.

"Believing me."

I thought I could hear him smiling. "Why wouldn't I?"

I sighed. "April doesn't."

"I'm not her," he replied and sighed gently. "Just because one person doesn't believe you, doesn't mean everyone else will."

I nodded, slowly. "You're right." After a few moments pause an idea slowly popped into my head. "Maybe we could get more people to believe us."

"Fe-"

I cut across him. "I've got an idea." I grinned. "I'll see you tomorrow." Then I hung up before he could get another word in. I rushed to my desk, grabbing some paper from my desk and a pencil.

Slowly, I started to sketch out a drawing, a loose image of a dark black mass and eyes. And below it I wrote in capitals: BEWARE. Below that I scribbled some more words: 'There is a monster at large nearby. It killed Robin and it's hurting our animals. Please stay safe. If you see or know anything call: 07594 67242.'

I sat back in my seat. Ric was right, other people could believe us. Other people could have seen something, know something, we just needed a way to find those people. I would photocopy what I had drawn up, plaster them across school. There had to be other people to help. There had to be other people which believed in monsters. There had to be more puzzle pieces to put in place, and if I could get more people on my side to help work it about, then April might believe me too.

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