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*


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.

31. Thirty


My parents were the angriest I had ever seen them. I couldn't get a word in, but it wasn't like I would have been able to stem the flow of disappointment from them both. It continued from the police station to the car, on the way home and then from the car, to the house and to the lounge. They sat me down and just kept on lecturing me. My body ached still, my eyes stung with tears and I really wanted to disappear into the floor. As their words washed over me, all I kept hearing was the repeated lines of 'we're so disappointed in you' and 'what has got into you lately' and 'why did you get yourself in this situation.' They didn't seem to understand why I had a knife, they were absolutely mortified by the search warrant and completely livid that the police had to give me a youth caution.

I expected it, as I had waited for them to collect me, I had imagined what they might say in my head. It just didn't feel nice actually being on the receiving end of it all. I would have liked not to cry but I couldn't help it. The cuts on my skin were still sore and everything my parents said to me just made me feel a whole lot worse.

Finally, they broke off; silence passed over the room. They'd obviously exhausted their disappointment and anger for now. Instead, they took my phone, banned me from going out and sent me up to me room. I knew they were probably going to have a discussion about me. I didn't mind that as much though, I needed to lay down, and at least I didn't have voices raining down on me. I slumped on to my bed and cried, large tears painting down my face. I had much anticipated this moment.

I had cried during the attack, I had been pretty tearful in the hospital, and all whilst in the police station I wanted to cry, but now I could really let it all out. No one was around to see my disgusting crying, so it all just came out properly and in full this time. It physically hurt my throat, my chest; my whole body was on fire like it was burning. Maybe you are a bad person. Maybe they're right to be disappointed. The words kept going around my head until I could practically think of nothing else. I was a bad person. I'd got myself hurt. I'd got myself in trouble with the police. It was my own fault. I'd messed up. I'd ruined my friendship with April. I'd caused anger in the people around me. I'd pressed and pressed to find out the truth, and what did I really know so far? Nothing concrete. I was still so confused. And I hated it.

I hated that I didn't know. And more than that, I hated myself. 

But there was still one part of me that kept a hold on the fact that, I only had a knife because I was scared. Everything that happened, wasn't out of a general bad sense of character, it was because the fear had made me do things I wouldn't normally. I'd had a knife, I'd sat in a field at night, I'd kept on believing in my theories. Despite my parents warning me to be careful, despite April warning me time and time again that I was going too far, I didn't stop. I didn't stop looking for the answers... and maybe that had somehow impacted badly, but it was for the greater good wasn't it? Once I got to the bottom of it, everything would be okay.

I rolled over onto my stomach and buried my tear-stained face in my pillow. I didn't feel like things were going to be okay but I tried desperately hard to keep telling myself that it would be. My parent's disappointment would eventually dissipate, April would eventually understand my behaviour and why I had to keep searching, and there would soon be proper answers found. I tried so hard to keep that small positive part of my brain the most prominent so I didn't dissolve into a ball of self-hatred and regret again.

I spent most of the afternoon crying before my tears just seemed to dry out and I was just a puffy faced mess of a person. I sat in bed, and looked at the ceiling, the thoughts swirling and swirling round my head. I should have got up and got pain killers for the pain from my wounds but I couldn't bring myself to leave my room. I didn't want to see anyone else right now. I just wanted to wallow in my own feelings.

The room started to get dark but I didn't move to turn the light on. I lay in the dark and closed my eyes, until there was a knock at my bedroom door. I pushed myself upright against the pillows, winced, and dabbed at my face with my sleeves.

Dad came into the room and flicked the light on. "You may be in trouble but you don't need to sit in the dark," he commented and he looked across the room at me. I blinked to get my eyes to adjust and watched as he lent against the door frame. I quickly had to look away from his stern looking eyes. I guessed that mum and dad had probably had a discussion over which parent was going to be sent up for another 'talk.'

He continued to stand there silently and I felt this overwhelming urge to say something. I hadn't tried to protest my side of the ordeal earlier and I wasn't about to now. I just felt like I had to at least say something.

"I'm sorry." It came out quietly and hoarsely.

Dad sighed and crossed my small room, sat himself in my desk chair and faced me. "I just want to understand, Fe. What's going on with you?" He frowned. "I never expected my daughter to get caught up in something like this. Police investigations, weapons possession... And not to mention all this sneaking around you've been doing." He sighed again. "Please... Just explain it to me, somehow."

I swallowed hard as a large lump had formed in my throat. I shifted uncomfortably in my position. 

"I don't know," I finally replied. My voice was still hoarse.

Dad rubbed at his eyes like he was tired. I felt bad about it. I was clearly causing him distress.

"It's too hard to explain," I added and sighed a little. It was partly true. How could I tell him everything that had happened? The monsters, the investigating, why I had the knife, the attack... They weren't things I was ever going to explain to him, so I couldn't just suddenly decide to now.

"I know teenage life is hard, 17 is probably especially so, you're starting to grow up. You'll be 18 soon and you'll have to make big life choices... I get that that's stressful," Dad said and he sounded awfully like those parents who really tried to portray how much they 'understood' their kid. "Is it just that? Is the stress from school getting to you?"

It would have been easier to nod but that would have been untruthful. I wasn't stressed in the conventional ways a teenager might be. I was stressed about a dead girl I had seen, the monster lurking in the town, the fact that I couldn't work it all out. It was distressing and horrible and I just wanted it to be over.

"Or is it us, me and your mum?" he questioned and he looked desperate. "Did we do something? Are we not helping you enough?"

I shook my head quickly. They hadn't really done anything wrong. They'd only tried to warn me to be safe. They'd only done their job as a parent to try and make sure that I was okay. For all the disappointment and anger they showed, they really just cared didn't they?

"It's not you," I assured him and shook my head again.

Dad sighed and rubbed at his eyes. He looked at me sadly. "You're a good kid. The teachers were forever saying that. You try hard in school, all your reports have been fine," he said. "So, why has this ended up happening?" He sighed again. "We spoke on the phone to Mr Sevan. He told us about your erratic behaviour. Shouting in the canteen, you were late for an exam... and then the knife."

"I didn't hurt anyone," I told him quickly and he nodded back.

"I know," he replied quietly. "I know that... But why did you have it in the first place? Why are you acting like this... like this girl that I don't know?"

I stared back at him. Had I really changed that much? And had he ever really know me that well? Had my parents ever really known me?

They probably didn't as much as thought they did. They saw it from an outside perspective. School reports and general things in my life, glimpses, that's all they had. They didn't really know me. Only April did... but I had managed to push her away.

I took in a deep breath and gulped back the tears that threatened to break out of my eyes.

"I'm scared." It was short and quiet but at least it was something.


I nodded back. "I... I can't help thinking there's something terrible out there."

Dad got up from the seat and crossed the room. He sat down at the foot of my bed and reached to grasp my hand.

"You're safe," he told me but I couldn't believe that. I wasn't safe. No one was.

"I know it was bad, having that knife... I know I've been doing things which I wouldn't usually. Like walking around at night...  but I-I just had to," I continued and at this point the words flowed freely. I actually felt this and I didn't have to lie. "I'm scared but I also just want to know."

"Know what?" Dad asked me, his eyes sad.

"What... what killed Robin," I replied quietly and dropped my eyes to my lap.

Dad squeezed my hand. "Maybe we haven't talked about that enough, about Robin... I didn't realise how much you were thinking about it."

I shrugged. "It's fine.... I'm fine... I just I-I..." I broke off not finding the words as tears clouded my vision.

Dad lifted my chin so I was looking at him. "Fe, you didn't have to bottle this up. You're clearly upset, this has affected you more than I realised."

"But it's not bottled up," I said. I knew it partly was but all the investigating, it was a way to channel my feelings.

"Then why is this the first discussion we've had about it?" Dad questioned and I lowered my eyes again. I just hadn't felt like speaking to my parents about it... Not when so much of what was in my head was all about monsters. Things I knew they wouldn't understand.

I remained silent. Dad spoke up again. "You need to see the school counsellors okay?" He paused and then pressed me, "you will do that, won't you?"

I slowly nodded.

"Mr Sevan said that would be a good idea," Dad commented and sighed. "I wish I could help more... but maybe counsellors will be better at this stuff."

I nodded even though I didn't think he was right. Who would really listen seriously to me if I told them what was in my head? They would think I was crazy, that I was acting out in madness... I wasn't.

He squished my hand one final time. "You're going to be suspended from school for a week. You can help your mum and I with the business. Spend some more time on revising. You've got to meet those youth offender people tomorrow. You've got to really think about the mistakes you've made recently, and get yourself back on track okay?"

I just nodded again. That was the best way to make sure he didn't start asking more questions, get me to spill more. He made it all sound so easy. It wasn't easy. I wasn't just going to get back on a normal track. Not until I knew what was going on in the town, what was really lurking, why a rook had attacked me, how and why Robin had been killed. Instead, I just kept on nodding at what he was saying.

"Just talk to us okay... If you need to, just talk about it, whatever is going on in your head," dad urged me.

"I will." I knew it was a lie.

"Good." He finally smiled slightly and I was relieved. He let go of my hand and got up. "I think I've said enough for one day."

I watched him cross to the door again and look back at me. "Dinner will be ready soon."


Then he was gone again. I let out a long slow breath. No matter how much I knew I wouldn't tell them the absolute truth about everything, it was nice to hear it from him, that they would listen if I really needed to. They were clearly still angry and disappointed in me but a lot of those feelings stemmed from not understanding. I didn't expect them to understand so it wasn't a surprise.

I laid back down on my bed and sighed. I was starting to feel numb from the pain somehow, my eyes were all dried up. It was almost like I was too overwhelmed with everything, that I had cut myself off from trying to think too hard about it, for the time being at least. I remained like that for the rest of the evening. I ate my food quietly, went back upstairs and laid on my bed in the same manner. I finally slipped off to sleep, the blackness of my eyelids almost calming. Until an awful dream found its way into my head.

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