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.
AA

23. Twenty-Two

 

It could have been an hour before I moved from the floor, but in reality, it had been about 5 minutes. I felt pathetic, as a 17-year-old getting this upset over an argument with a friend, but it hadn't just been a simple argument. She thought I was crazy. She still didn't believe me. She didn't think my posters were a good idea. It didn't feel right, when she was usually the one I saw eye to eye with. Now she just didn't. Now she didn't want anything to do with me, and it hurt. 

"You better change into some dry clothes, or you might get a cold," Ric's voice brought me out of my own head. We'd moved to the kitchen where he'd washed the grazes on my arms and given me some ice to put on my ankle.

"Oh, yeah... good idea," I stumbled out a reply, trying to keep my voice steady. I looked back at him, stopping the glazed look which had just been in my eyes. He gave me a slight smile, but not in the happy way, it was more sympathetic.

He nodded towards the door and said, "come on, you can borrow some of mine."

I pushed myself from the stool and hobbled after him, still feeling sore from falling off the bike. That wasn't helping my emotions either. It was like physical pain was trying to match my internal pain now.

"They might be a bit big though, but I think I've got some older stuff somewhere," Ric explained as we reached the small landing at the top of the second set of stairs. He pushed open the bedroom door on the right.

The room was quite big, adorned with a grey, black and white colour scheme. I felt like it matched his look very well, the black hair, the usual white t-shirts and black jeans, the occasional grey jumper. There wasn't any posters or decoration, it was fairly plain apart from that. A desk sat on the left side of the room stacked with old newspapers and a laptop. On the right there was some sliding doors which opened up into a small storage room where he seemed to keep his clothes.

He was routing around in a box on the floor before he found a old white t-shirt with a superman logo on the front, some grey jogging bottoms and a darker grey sweater. He passed them over with a slight sceptical look on his face. "Er, this is all I have that's more your size... I could look through Dalton's stuff if you want."

I took it and shook my head. "No, it's fine." I tried to smile. "Thanks."

"Bathroom is the door opposite if you want to change in there," he informed and pointed back towards his bedroom door.

I nodded and went to change. I felt a little awkward when I emerged in his old clothes, which were still too big for me but it would have to do. It was nice of him to help me out, he obviously didn't have to, but he seemed to care enough to. Once I'd walked back into the room he took my pile of wet clothes and draped them over the heater by the window. He stood and looked across the room at me.

"So... are you going to tell me what happened?" he asked and I lowered my eyes to the floor. Ric rushed to speak again, "I mean you don't have to I just, I er I thought you might have needed to talk about it. There has to be some reason you were peddling in the rain?"

I sighed and sunk to sit on the end of his bed, a little hesitant. He came and sat next to me. I was busy counting the floorboards before I knew I really had to speak up. I'd only said I'd fallen off my bike but that wasn't the full story.

"My best friend thinks I'm bat-shit crazy," I whispered out and raised my head slightly to look round at him.

He frowned slightly. "I keep telling you, you're not crazy."

I shrugged back at him. "I know... I just really think she means it this time." I lowered my eyes back to counting floorboards. "She hates me."

"I'm sure she doesn't really," he replied trying to sound reassuring.

"I don't blame her if she does." I felt tears prick my eyes. "Maybe I am going too far."

"Look, Fe," Ric started and I felt him touch my shoulder. I moved my head up again and looked back at him He looked sad and determined at the same time. "Being curious about something and trying to get to the bottom of it, doesn't make you crazy."

I sighed. "Then why do I feel like it?"

"Because people don't share your views right now. When that happens, it's easy to feel like your opinion is wrong," he commented back and sighed heavily. His hand dropped from my shoulder and he stared at the floor like I had been. I watched him carefully. He seemed sad and I felt like again, there was something more to his words.

"I put my posters," I explained, "to ask people for more information, see if anyone could tell us anything... but April ripped them down."

Ric still stared sadly at the floor. Then slowly he moved his head and looked at me, like he'd known I'd been watching him inquisitively. "Can I tell you something?"

I nodded slowly at him. "What is it?"

"It's... It's something about my past," he replied and he sounded hesitant.

I tried to smile back at him nicely. "Well, you can tell me if you want. You don't have to."

He shook his head. "I want to." Then he took in a big breathe. "There's a very big reason I believe you, why I was so-so eager when you first spoke about it."

I felt my hands shaking slightly, probably from anticipation. I didn't interrupt.

"I've seen things before," he continued and I couldn't help the clenching in my hands and body. "When I was a kid I saw things. I mean all kids think there's monsters under the bed but I... I saw them. I saw monsters."

He dropped his eyes to the floor and looked sad again. I could feel my increased heartbeat in my chest.

"My parents ignored it for a while because they thought I was just a stupid kid saying things because I was scared of the dark. But then it kept happening, I'd see things in the fields or hear things at night," he continued to explain. "I was older by this point and people started to think there was something wrong with me. My parents they-they thought I was crazy." He paused and I could still see the swirling sadness in his eyes, it's like I could see the torment in them and it saddened me too. I slowly reached out a hand and held onto his, squeezed it gently. He squeezed it back and continued. "I guess for a while I didn't see anything but I was still convinced what I saw was real. I kept on saying it was... Then when I was 13 I saw something again, in the garden, only for a few minutes but it was there. My parents didn't believe me of course and they thought I was hallucinating. They thought I was schizophrenic. They got me tested, I dropped out of school for a bit and they admitted me to a psychiatric ward." I could feel his hand shaking slightly in mine.

I felt like I needed to say something, forcing words out. "I'm-I'm so sorry that happened."

He slipped his hand from my grasp and sat up a bit straighter. I admired him for trying to act so unaffected, you'd never know something like that happened to him without asking. He'd seemed so normal, so happy when I'd first met him. Now I could see all his hurt and pain from the past.

"It's why I work for dad really," he said quietly and wouldn't look round at me again. "I didn't get very good grades in school after a couple of years out. I doubt you ever remember seeing me about."

I shook my head. This now explained why I didn't recognise him from school. 

"The drugs they put me on, they didn't put me in a good mood so I didn't really attend much school," he commented and sighed as he looked around at me finally. "And I know I'm not a schizophrenic because the drugs, they did nothing. I still saw things when I was on them and I know what I saw was real. That's why when you told me what you thought, about a monster, I believed you, because I-I guess it made me feel hopeful. It makes me feel like I wasn't as crazy as everyone thought I was."

"You're not crazy," I told him gently.

He shrugged. "Sometimes I don't know whether I was. I did see a lot of things that don't make any sense, and I never saw anything twice. Maybe I did make it up... But I was always so convinced I didn't." He sighed and cracked the bones in his fingers slightly. "And I guess the last few years, I haven't seen anything anyway but I still know I'm not a schizophrenic, I don't actually take any of the medication anymore." He paused slightly. "My family don't know though. That's why Dalton was anxious about our theories. He thought it was because I'd gone off my meds and that I was going to have some kind of relapse into how I was before."

I was still in shock from his story. It was a lot to take in at once but it slightly made more sense now, why he had believed in my theories so quickly, why he had kept saying I wasn't crazy. I guess if he said I was crazy, he'd have to admit he was too, and he seemed so sure that what he had seen in the past was real. Just like I was so sure there was a monster around.

"You could have seen it," I spoke up after a few minutes silence.

"What?"

I cleared my throat and said more clearly, "you could have seen the monster before. The one that attacked Amanda and Robin."

Ric's eyes widened slightly. "Maybe." He looked slightly excited as he got to his feet and started to lean down to get something from under the bed. "Before I-"

He was cut off my a shout from downstairs. "Cedric!"

Ric swore and stood up straight again. "That's dad." He sighed. "I'm still supposed to be working."

Mr James yelled again and Ric swore a second time before yelling back, "I'm coming!" He then turned to me. "Sorry, I'll be back at the end of my shift." He rubbed the back of my his neck awkwardly and then pointed to the desk. "You can watch films or whatever on my laptop, the password is 6094." He stumbled to the door as Mr James shouted again. "I'll be back later and we can talk more."

I just nodded and tried to smile as he disappeared through his bedroom, and I heard him hurry down the stairs. I then got his laptop from the desk, sitting back against his pillows, staring out across the room. I was still thinking about what he had said and how I had given him hope. My theory had given him hope that what he saw when he was younger was real. And what if he had seen the same monster? I shivered slightly, opening up the internet browser.

I began a search into monsters, delving into weird pictures of gruesome looking beings and recounts of stories. About a hundred Youtube videos and blog posts later, Ric came back into the room and I realised that it was now 5 o'clock. I'd been so absorbed in the many tabs I had opened, the time had passed quickly and I had hardly moved at all.

I closed the tabs and sat up straighter, my back cracking slightly. Ric smiled at me and handed me a plate of cookies. "Dalton made them," he commented before he dropped down to the floor beside his bed and was reaching under it. "Sorry, if it was boring being here on your own."

I just shrugged, placing the plate of cookies on the bed beside me and got up to put his laptop back on the desk. When I turned around again Ric had dumped a large shoe box on the bed. He sat down next to it and gestured at me to sit next to him.

I slowly slid back onto the bed and watched as he pulled the lid of the box off.

"I used to draw what I saw," he commented as he pulled out a hand full of scraps of paper and passed them over to me.

I flipped through them, seeing childish drawings drawn in crayons of all kinds of creatures. Ones with wings and black beaks, others with furr and fangs and nearer the bottom more detailed ones in black pen of something large and black with yellow eyes.

"You saw all these?" I questioned and hated how disbelieving it came across. I didn't want it to sound like that, I was just shocked.

He nodded at me and took them back from me, spreading them out on the bed. "Well, I thought I did... or something like them. It was usually always dark when I saw them or they were too far away to see properly." He sighed. "But yes, I did see these."

I passed my eyes over them again. It must have been scary to see things like this as a kid.

"I drew a map," he spoke up again and pulled out another piece of paper from the box, unfolded it. He tried to smooth out the creases as he put it down on the bed. It was a roughly drawn map of Rook Valley with some red crosses marked on in felt tip. He pointed to them. "These are the places I've seen things."


I stared down at it, passing my eyes over each red cross and then back to his face. He was staring at the map too like it would suddenly form a mouth and give him answers.

Suddenly, I turned my eyes back to it. "Wait..."

"What?"

"I think... I," I could hardly get words out.

"What?" Ric pressed.

I pulled the map closer towards me. "These crosses, some of these places, they're where past attacks have happened."

Ric's eyes widened as he looked back at his map. "You're right." He got up and rushed across the room." I don't know why I didn't think of that before." He was shuffling paper around on his desk. "I guess I just hadn't thought about it too much for a while."

He turned back around with a large piece of paper in his hand. He laid it down on the bed in front of me and my eyes widened. I looked up at him as he grinned slightly.

"I was working on a map, that's what I wanted to show you when I spoke to you last night," he explained. He pointed down to the printed map of Rook Valley, also with red crosses felt tipped on. "I was marking on where attacks have happened."

I pulled out the hand drawn map from underneath. There were definitely some same places marked on both the maps.

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