I’m so happy I hate him so much ❤
I finished it sooner than I thought I would, or else I wouldn’t have posted that preview. Oh well.
Warnings: It’s a horror story, so…
Mother was always the secretive type.
She was for shit at hiding presents or keeping her opinions to herself, and if she was angry at Father, everybody heard about it, but Mother kept her secrets just fine.
Mother used to teach preschool, but had gotten married and twice pregnant in the span of four years, and became a stay-at-home mom instead. This was supposed to mean that childrearing was her new job, but unlike her stint as a preschool teacher, Mother didn’t seem to take this job seriously.
Still, the house was kept, the children fed, the dogs maintained, and because her moods were usually intolerable, her company wasn’t exactly missed when she took to her room and didn’t come out for hours at a time.
Nor did anyone complain when she left the house in the early afternoon without so much as a goodbye, only turning up again at dinner time, each hand clutching a greasy paper bag filled with cold food.
The kids – two of them, ages 7 and 8, both girls and neither possessing of any true fondness for the other – rarely even noticed her absences. They had their toys, TVs, books, dogs, and imaginations to keep them busy. Since they didn’t much care for each other, they kept to themselves, and so neither was able to engage the other in any speculation in regards to Mother’s whereabouts, or bond over their shared disdain for the woman who had, for whatever reason, given birth to them.
After a while, Mother became a concept, really, just a formality. Someone to heat the frozen dinners and sign the permission slips.
It was a perfectly fine arrangement, until Father fucked it up.
“I’m a very new person to the cooking world so I just want to make sure. I’musing raw wings and they will cook fine if I just bake them?”
I fuckin’ guess? For most of my writing samples, I always get Stephen King… except for that time I got Bram Stoker.
My ROR fan fiction tends to get me Mark Twain or Margaret Mitchell, though. They must be turning in their graves.
October. The sneaking onset of darkness suggested a much later hour, but it was early yet. Too early for her to be in bed already, but what difference did the hour make anyway? She’d been lying there for days…
The light patter of rain tapping at the roof muffled his footsteps as he crept down the hall to her room. There was no reason to be quiet. But there was no reason to rampage through the house like an asshole, either. So he was quiet. Stealthy. Sneaky. Moving soundless toward the door to her room, and the only noise to be heard was the endless ticking of that weird little clock she kept beside her bed, even though she’d never bothered to set the time.
“What difference does it make?” She’d asked, and he’d shrugged his shoulders in response, because he wasn’t going to argue with her over a cheap thrift store cast off she shouldn’t have bought in the first place. He’d shrugged his shoulders, and left her alone with her useless clock with the hands keeping track of some alternate timeline, in another universe where maybe she gave some semblance of a shit, but probably not.
The room was dark. The heap of blankets in the middle of the bed was motionless, but he knew better than believe it.
She was awake. She was always awake. She hadn’t slept since the night in the basement. Nightmares on both sides of her eyelids now, but at least the ones while she was awake could be contained.
So he hoped, anyway.
Her skin had taken on a vaguely gray pallor, and her eyes stared at him, unblinking, from heavy, sleep-bruised lids. He could still see the faint stains of unwashed makeup crusted in her lashes, and her hair looked both dry and greasy. He imagined himself trying to touch it and having it tear away from her scalp, stuck to his fingers in clumps and tangles, raw strips of skin still hanging off the ends. A real horror show. Movie-worthy.
He shook his head to clear his thoughts. It was a strange kind of perversion to think about his sister that way. Disturbing and filthy and unkind.
He just wanted to touch her. He knew, even before he reached out to her, that her old black shirt would be sweat damp, but she wouldn’t kick the blankets off. Even when they were kids, she had to have the blankets pulled up to her chest. The sweltering heat of summer couldn’t dissuade her; she’d just lie there and boil in her own sweat. Nobody fought her on it, because it was the only area of her life where she showed any determination.
So they let her suffer.
Looking at her now made him sick. She had to be miserable, lying there on her dirty sheets with her dirty hair and her bloodshot eyes that never closed. It had to be maddening to lie there and listen to the clock ticking and tocking as it sat there on the nightstand, lying about the time.
He didn’t talk to her as he gently touched her shoulder. He didn’t ask if she was hungry, or thirsty, or bored, or completely fucking insane, because she wouldn’t answer, and what difference did it make, anyway?
He didn’t say I’m sorry, or It was an accident, or I didn’t mean to. She already knew all of that. She had absolved him that same evening, tucked his hair behind his ear and kissed him softly on his forehead (just a feather light scrape of dry lips across his brow, because he wasn’t her favorite, wasn’t his twin, wasn’t her dog) and then she’d gone to her room to lie down and hadn’t gotten back up.
Instead, he just stood there, with his hand on her shoulder and felt the wet heat radiating off of her, felt her breathing even though he couldn’t hear it over the ticking and the pattering of the rain and the violent bloodstorm in his own head.
There was nothing to be done now, nothing that would make any difference. He just stood there, and stroked her hair and though it was almost gummy with filth, it didn’t detach from her skull in thick bleeding patches, and he let her suffer.
I like how John and Natasha are kind of like a gender-flipped Mulder and Scully. I love that you seem to be keeping their relationship platonic, too. I haven’t really explored Desiderata Valley, but I’ve always viewed John and Natasha as being best friends who like to irritate each other moreso than potential romantic partners.
I’m probably just not looking hard enough, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone actually explore Erin’s “psychic” persona, so I’m excited. I can’t wait to see her become more involved with Natasha and John.
I love the story so far. Chapter 4 sounds like it’s going to be amazing, I love when the various neighborhoods mingle.
Chapter 3, one of my favorites! Hope you all enjoy. 🙂
There were very few things Natasha would stop halfway through painting to see. A freshly made grilled cheese or John doing something stupid made that list, and seeing one of her old friends from Sim State was another one.
“Erin, you’re here!”
“Yup! Thank you so much for inviting me down.” Erin giggled. “I needed a break from the other girls. Sometimes it’s too much living in that house!”
“Well feel free to make yourself at home. Are you hungry? I could make you a grilled cheese.”
“Forget that Nat, I want to meet John! Didn’t you say he’s like a secret agent or something like that?” Erin smiled, blushing a bit. She had always had a thing for mysterious men.
“Uh, well, something like that.” Natasha mumbled. She already knew John was going to be mad at her for…
View original post 2,599 more words
Fandom: Rule of Rose
Summary: A child goes missing without explanation; Eleanor resolves to find her. Also available at ao3.
It was vicious cold outside on the balcony, but she didn’t mind so much. It was just as vicious cold on the inside where Diana and Meg skulked and slithered; where Miss Martha the cleaning witch scolded and complained; where Mr Hoffman petted and whispered and slipped into the dormitory to watch them undress, insisting that he was simply there to keep them on task.
Hurry up and take off your dress, there’s no time for dawdling. When was the last time you changed your underwear, you dirty little wretch? No mummy and daddy is ever going to want a child who can’t take care of themselves. Give them to me, I’ll take them to the filth room for you…
Where everyone stopped what they were doing to point at her, the new girl, and hiss and snipe to each other as they stared at her with open distrust. The new girl, as if though she’d done it on purpose.
There’s a nail in the door
And there’s glass on the lawn
Tacks on the floor
And the TV is on
And I always sleep with my guns
When you’re gone (x)
Sand and gravel crunched beneath the tires of her old, beat-to-hell sedan as she turned into the unpaved parking lot of the Deadtree Inn, the only motel she’d seen since she’d passed by the rusted sign that read “Welcome to Strangetown”, population: [ bird shit ].
Even with the windows rolled down, the hot wind of the unfamiliar desert night had her boiling in her own sweat, and she was relieved to have finally found a place where she’d be able to stretch her legs and maybe, if she was lucky, sleep for a couple of hours.
Warning: There is some mildly questionable content this time around (nothing visual). If you’re particularly sensitive, you might want to tread lightly.