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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36. Thirty-Five

 

The rest of the week was fairly calm. I spent most days revising in my room, occasionally helping my parents at the vegetable store when they needed me. On Wednesday I went to the group session where I had to do crafts with other teens who seemed completely bored with the whole idea. I spoke to Fiona again on Thursday. I spoke to counsellors on Friday. I stuck to focusing on getting through the programme.

On Saturday it was the Victim Awareness talk which was as awful as I knew it would be. We heard from a few survivors of knife attacks and siblings whose brother or sisters had died as a cause of stabbings. All I felt was utter sympathy for all of them and I understood why they had these classes. It helped people see how their actions effected others, how dangerous knifes can be. I felt totally awful about having the knife. If I had hurt someone, even by accident, I never would have forgiven myself.

Once I left Bartwell and reached home again, my parents sat me down again. They said they were pleased with my improvement. I seemed to have engaged with the diversion programme, I didn't seem as hectic anymore and they thought I could be trusted again. They gave me back my phone but warned me that they would keep a close eye on me. I didn't blame them, they only cared about me. That was nice.

By the time Monday rolled around, I felt better about myself but I knew it wasn't going to be a good day. The last people had seen of me was being escorted out by the police. My week exclusion would probably have intensified the rumours. I knew people were going to think that I murdered Robin but as I packed up my bag and got into the car, I kept reminding myself that I wasn't a bad person. I didn't murder her. They were only speculating. All the voices were wrong.

I slammed the car door shut and took a deep breath in as I walked up to the school. As expected when I entered, eyes turned to me, whispers erupted but I kept on walking. One foot in front of the other. I finally reached the common room, sat in a corner on my own. I watched as people filed in and caught sight of me. Some were disgusted at my presence but then others confused. She couldn't have killed her, otherwise she wouldn't be back here. I focused on that idea because it was true. 

When I caught sight of Abi-Rose, I felt something tug in my chest. She had reported me, I knew it had to be her... Yet I didn't feel angry. I felt sorry for scaring her enough to go to the headteacher. She'd just been scared about the knife, rightly so.

I slowly got up and approached her. People looked round and stared as I stopped in front of Abi-Rose. She was sat in between two boys who glared at me when I spoke.

"Hi," I started. The one on her right stood up, his jaw clenched.

"Can we help you?" he asked gruffly. He crossed his arms tightly.

"Um, I wanted to speak to Abi-Rose," I replied quietly and tried to keep calm. I met her eyes and she looked crossed between scared and confused. 

"I don't think that's a good idea," the guy said but Abi-Rose slowly stood up.

"It's alright, Parker," she told him slowly, and tugged on his arm so he stopped looking so protective.

Parker still narrowed his eyes at me and I tried my best to smile back in a reassuring way.

Abi-Rose fixed me with a look and nodded to the door. "Come on, we can speak somewhere else."

"I'll come with you," Parker quickly said and tried to follow but Abi-Rose shook her head, pushed him back.

"It's fine," she told him. "I'll be fine."

We slowly made our way out of the common room, more whispers going around and around. Then we stopped a little way down the corridor, Abi Rose turned to face me.

We both started to speak at the same time and then gestured at each other to go first. I shook my head and gestured her a second time.

"I'm so sorry!" she exclaimed and I was a little taken a back. I didn't know what reaction I was going to get.

I stared back and she rubbed at her tired looking eyes.

"I reported you... that was awful of me," she said and she looked truly upset about it.

"It's fine," I told her quickly. "That's not why I wanted to talk to you, I don't need an apology. I wanted to say sorry to you." I swallowed hard. "I shouldn't have had that knife, I was acting unlike myself, but I... I've done lots of thinking and I think I'm calmer now. I won't be carrying knives around."

Abi-Rose suddenly reached forward, gripped each of my shoulders.

"I didn't mean to get you arrested... I never really thought you killed her," she told me desperately and she was now shaking. "I was just so worried and scared and upset... I hardly know what I'm doing anymore." Tears pierced her eyes.

I reached to grip her shoulders again. "It's okay. I understand that. I feel that too." I tried to smile. "But it's okay."

Her lip wobbled and more tears fell down her face. "It's not... nothing is ever going to be okay again."

I physically sensed her pain and it was horrible. I edged more towards her and she suddenly dived into my shoulder. She sobbed there for a few very long seconds.

"I just want my friend back!" she wailed. 

"I know," I replied and patted her back gently. "I know."

"I loved her," she mumbled into my shoulder. "I never told her... but I loved her." She sobbed some more.

I held her tighter. It was horrible to hear her pain and it made me even more determined to find justice for Robin. It wasn't just about me knowing, finding the answer, it would help her family, her friends, all the people who loved her.

After a few more minutes, I led Abi-Rose to the counsellors office, feeling maybe they were the best people to deal with it. She hiccuped and sobbed as she went through the door but then she looked back at me.

"T-Thank you," she stuttered and tried a weak smile. I tried to smile back as the counsellor shut the door.

I turned away and made my way to my first class. I knew I did the right thing, taking her to them. She was obviously extremely grief stricken, that's why she had acted manically, just like me, and that's why she reported me. I didn't really have any anger in me for her, because I understood her actions. The fear and grief had made me manic too.

During break-time, my phone buzzed and I quickly pulled it out of my pocket.

I know where Amanda is! I spoke to her sister. 

I almost stopped breathing for a second. My hands shook as I read the message from Ric again and again.

Where? I typed out my reply.

I'll explain later, come over after your lessons. 

I couldn't contain my excitement, or my anticipation, for the rest of the day. I kept checking the clock like that would make it go faster, when finally the bell for the end of the day rung. I rushed my day down the corridor towards the entrance, almost tripping up over a tiny Year 7 who got in my way. I was at the door when I heard someone call my name.

"Felicity!" Abi-Rose was rushing towards me. She looked less tearful now, more composed. "You look in a hurry... Is everything okay?"

I grinned at her. "Ric knows where Amanda is."

Abi-Rose looked surprised but then smiled back. She followed me through the entrance door. "I'm coming with you."

I didn't protest as I grabbed my bike and wheeled it along with me. We made our way towards the centre of town. I pushed my way through the front door of number 5 and to the reception where Ric was sat behind the desk. The first few seconds of the interaction were filled with annoyance as he looked at Abi-Rose, obviously annoyed at her reporting me. I said it was all okay, urged him to explain and he seemed too excited to continue being annoyed. He started to speak. 

"Right, well I called that number and spoke to Matilda Carrington. I said I was writing an article on past Valley Rooks students and I wanted to speak to her," Ric said, "I went to see her this morning, at her house, and well at first she really didn't want to talk about her sister but I mentioned Robin, the possible connection and she seemed to slowly trust me. She told me more about her sister." He paused briefly to take in a deep breath. "She said Amanda was never the same... Her face was heavily scarred, she was extremely paranoid. She kept having nightmares, screaming fits... And apparently she kept talking about some curse, something being cursed, but her family, they could never get anything out of her that was that coherent." He paused slightly. "So, they admitted her to a psychiatric ward when she was about 19, a year after the attack and she's been there ever since." He pulled out a small rectangle card from his pocket and passed it over to me.

'Cloverview' it read with the the words 'Private Psychiatric Hospital' under it.

"Matilda doesn't think we'll get anything out from her. She said she doesn't talk much anymore, hardly says a word... but we have to try right?" he continued and I looked back at his eager face.

I nodded slowly. "We have to try."

Abi-Rose nodded too. "I agree." She took the card and looked at it. "I can drive us there, but aren't these places, like really secure. How will we get in there?" She paused and looked between me and Ric. "We're not family relatives... I can't imagine they'll just let strangers in there."

She was right but I didn't want to admit that. I looked to Ric and he looked back at me. I saw something change in his eyes and I wondered what was going on. He looked sceptically at Abi-Rose before, he said, "I was a patient there once." He swallowed as Abi-Rose looked shocked about it.

I knew he'd been in a psychiatric ward but it was almost an amazing coincidence that it was the exact same one as Amanda Carrington.

"You could have seen her once," I said slowly.

Ric shrugged. "Maybe... I don't know. Most of the patients are kept in their own rooms, higher care and help that kind of thing. Only certain people are allowed to mingle in the like common rooms, I guess."

"But... how does that help us get in there to see her?" Abi-Rose asked suddenly.

Ric almost looked like he was going to smile. "I know the place well, I walked around there a lot. I know the entrances, the exits, some of the ways in that aren't as heavily guarded. Some of the cameras, they have blind spots or there's parts where there isn't any security," he explained and my eyes widened slightly. It was impressive that he knew all that, remembered it all.

"I could draw a map of it, I know it so well," he added.

Abi-Rose stared back at him, still confused but I could also see she was impressed. For a few seconds, I could see the cogs working in her brain. Then she finally said, "I'm in." She nodded her head as extra confirmation. "We need to speak to her."

They then both looked at me. I had remained silent for quite a while now. I was thinking it all through in my head. We'd technically be breaking in, going into a private place which we weren't allowed. Surely, that wasn't right? I could get myself in trouble again. I'd said I was going to act sensibly now... but how could I say no? We were close to speaking to Amanda, I couldn't back out now. She was a vital piece in the puzzle.

I finally nodded. "I'm in."

"Good." Ric smiled.

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