Fours walls surround me encasing me in this prison as I sit at the table looking forward in a daze. My mind races with thoughts, not a single one is coherent as I continue to be unresponsive. I can see the person in front of me, are they trying to get my attention by sitting across the table? Their lips move as if trying to produce words but my ears are deafened by my lack of caring. As my mind brings back the reality a ringing starts to lighten my ears up, I can faintly hear the voice.
“Mr.Cambridge…” The voice said from across the table as he looks down confused at his clip board. “Mr. Cambridge?” The voice sounded demanding this time as if I had no choose but to answer him.
“Hm…” I have a voice but as I began to try and speak the tongue inside ties down to the perplexity of nothing at all. An itch on the right side of my face began to irritate, shaking my head trying to get the thought out of my mind. Becoming furious, the burning urge inside to scratch became unpleasant and soon overwhelming. Leaning my head to the side using my shoulder as a post I drag my skin across the surface reliving me of the distraction.
The attention of my eyes soon after lurch forward towards the man sitting in front, he looks almost agitated. Did I take to long with the scratch? My body turns from side to side looking around the room for a clock of some sort. How much time did I waste scratching my face? “Shane, shall we begin?” The statement comes off as more of a demand rather than a question as he uses my first name.
“Uh…y-yea.” My voice low as it finally escapes from the chains that had shackled them at the back of my throat. The struggle was there though in the stutter of his tone as he tired to make sense of the situation. The breathing coming from me heavy with a sort of rhythm. The man wrote in his clipboard for a moment or two giving me time to myself, time to think.
“So, tell me Shane, what happened?” I look away from him as I try to process, I thought this was going to be new questions, not redundant ones.
“I already told another person everything.” The sound of scribbling echos through the room as he slides the pen across the paper. What the hell was he writing? Shane Cambridge brings up valid point? That better be what he’s writing.
“I understand that, but I want you to tell me what happened.” My arms pulsate as both slam down onto the table as my eyes stare at him. His words stung against my skin as frustration bubbles up inside. My head falling down in defeat, the will to fight seemed to be forever fleeting.
“Fine…” My words come out cold as if the only reason they are being allowed to leave my lips, is because of the stupidity of the situation. “I’ll tell you everything that happened.” Eyes looking down at the table focusing on the shine that the light above cascades onto the surface. My mind faded to the memories I was meant to re utter to the stranger across from me.
I don’t remember when it started, Susan became distant to me so quickly that my mind couldn’t grasp the idea properly. Our marriage seemed fine to me, but me being a guy I admit I may have been oblivious to the obvious. We joked around and we laughed with each other, out relationship was beautiful in my eyes. I had heard horror stories about marriages that just crashes and burned after a year, our marriage seemed strong. Our daughter just turned six before everything just stopped…Susan just stopped, seeming as if her emotions were ripped from her body. It started a year ago, I had no idea what to do with the sudden denial in our love, in our life together.
I lost my job about a month ago I had all of this new free time to do whatever I wanted, whatever I wanted. I mostly just sat around, cleaning some places of the house most days though came with a cup of unmotivated sludge. Walking down the steps listening to the wood creak under the weight that I had put on from the lazy days. My eyes peered into the kitchen seeing her sit there with her cup of coffee, walking silently in not wanting to break what didn’t want to be broken. Making a cup of coffee quickly I turned noticing the room was now empty.
Nothing, no goodbye kiss, any acknowledgment of my existence never showed in Susan anymore and I have yet to realize why. My hand slammed down onto the counter, the bottom of the cup broke open like a pinata spilling the warm brown liquid splashing it onto myself. The hot sensation of the liquid burned as it touched my shirt, a small huff escaped my lips as I cleaned it quickly before running up the stairs.
My eyes moved towards my daughters room before heading into mine to change from this drench sensation. My head tilted looking into the small crack into her room, her room was usually closed when she was gone, or at least it had been the last year. I stood there for a moment in the silence waiting for a sign on whether I should venture in or not. Nothing came, my feet moved towards the door the creaks few and far in between with my large hesitant steps.
With one single push the door opened wide as if inviting me in to explore what it had inside. The walls still covered in the blue that it had been painted, we were sure that it was going to be a boy. Trying to make up for the mistake pink stenciled birds and flowers littered the walls in a decorative fashion. Emily seemed to like it, it always put a smile on our faces when she said it. Looking around the room though I could feel something was wrong, something was different. The closet had been barricaded by a chair with all of her stuffed animals on the seat or around the legs of the chair. As if they were guarding whatever was inside, the silence grew as my movement became still.
My look of utter lose most likely consumed my face, I laughed shaking my head for a moment trying to calm the strange nervous feeling. Taking the toys I placed them around the room evenly, nicely. I wrapped my fingers around the back the chair as if it was a handle and yanked it back to the desk. My eyes moved from the desk back to the door of the closet slowly, what was this fear? I had to ask myself multiple times as it bubbled in the pit of my stomach.
My foot steps unwillingly moved me forward until my hand was close enough to wrap around the doorknob. The cold metal chilled my hand sending a shiver up my spine causing me to shake lightly. Turning it I could feel my breath quicken as I pulled the door open with a speed that would impress a cheetah. I peered into the darkness seeing nothing, cloths hung on hangers and shoes scattered about. My nervousness dissipated as I shut the door finally walked out of the room.
The day dragged along as I walked around aimlessly and alone, nothing but silence sat stale in the air. A creak every once and awhile broke it but not for long until it came hovering back. Walking around in the kitchen my eyes rose up and noticed the green time of the microwave. It was close to four which mean that sh…I was in mid thought when the front door swung open. What followed were little foot steps running up the stairs, the pitter patter of her across the floor and the door hinges squeaking.
A scream echoed through the house in a blood curtailing sound, causing me to panic and freeze all at once. I heard her feet again, frantic this time different than before. As she moved down the stairs she did it with such swiftness I thought surely her feet would betray. I could see the tear soaked face move near me as she yelled, an inaudible group of noises meant to sound like words. Coughing as she tried to talk between her childish cries, snot starting to run down her face.
Her cheeks were now puffy from the intense fit that had been thrown around the room randomly, what happen? “W-who opened m-my closet?” The question almost buried by the whines that had accompanied it. I had listened closely to her as I always have and took her hands into mine. Her hands shook with such uncontrollable nature that my normal grip did not help it subside.
“I did sweetie I’m sorry.” My hand reach up and brushed against her face before moving a renegade strand of hair from her face tucking it behind her ear. My smile warm and inviting towards her as I tried to calm the frightened child inside.
“You let the monster out.” The word escaped her lips quickly followed by stronger sobs that shook her body completely. My gaze towards her was that of sympathy, but inside all that was there was confusion. I crouched down to meet her at eye level, as I placed my hand on her shoulder she fell forward onto me. Her arms wrapped around me best that could and squeezed.
“I didn’t see anything.” My voice was soft as I tried to ease her tantrum as gentle as could.
“It’s very good at hiding.” Her voice matched the softness of mine, she was done crying new tears. She sniffled multiple times trying to dry up her face from the fluids that had been drenching them. She was calmer, but her voice shook me to the core as if she was trying to get me to understand.
I kept a hold of her as long as she allowed me to, she moved back once she felt better I lifted my hands wiping away the remaining tears before standing up. She smiled at me lightly, I would like to think it was the smile of forgiveness. She walked her way over to the couch picking up the remote and turned on a kids show.
Dinner came quickly as I fixed up some parts of the house that needed tending to, I made sandwiches for Emily and I. Susan came home around seven that day I believe, I sat at my laptop looking at jobs as the door opened and closed. Emily still sat on the couch watching her shows, I glanced over at her every now and then. Susan walked into the kitchen and upon seeing the television on gave a confused daze of a look in my direction.
“Emily is watching some shows.” The words seemed to penetrate some kind of armor that she wore, she looked at me shocked in some sense. Her steps quick as she snatched the tv remote from the couch and turned off the program. My eyes met Emily as I motioned for her to go up stairs and watched as she walked around her mother and up to her room.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Her voice was rough as it spoke to me, her gaze unrelenting. I was feeling defensive, I didn’t appreciate her yelling at me.
“You’re the one who can’t talk anymore, you’re suppose to be strong for her and yet you’re a mess.” My gaze unmoved from her as she shook with frustration pumping through her.
“There is nothing to be strong for anymore,” Tears welled up in her eyes but behind the shimmering pools was not anger as I expected, only sadness. They fell down her face leaving a glimmering trail until they fell off her cheek. Turning from me she walked to the stairs without letting me say a single word.
Swearing softly under my breath I sat at my computer for an hour longer trying to finish any applications that I could possibly do. The annoying clock of the microwave flashed at me the time, it was close to ten. I shook my head lightly, before watching as the computers bright screen go to black allowing me to close it. My hand traveled along my face rubbing my eyes gently, the tired nature taking over.
I climbed the stairs taking them two at a time trying to move to my bed as quick as I possible could for the comfort of sleep. Silence was common as I finished my climb of the stairs. A small sound came from my left, I couldn’t make out what is was suppose to be. Maybe it was just there to grab my attention, to startle me maybe, my head turned seeing my daughter room open fully this time. She sat on her bed something causing her eyes to glisten in the nightlights faint illumination.
I don’t remember moving, but I blinked and I was beside her bed kneeling down to get to a face to face perspective. I gave off a slight smile as I rubbed her back comforting her from all that was troubling. She returned the smile, except I could see that it was cracked and placed falsely. “What’s wrong?” My voice flew out in a calm tone towards her small ears. Her head shook as if not wanting to answer, I continue to move my hand in a circular motion on her back.
Her breathing steadied as she opened her mouth to speak but rethinking her words she closed it again. Concerned I asked her the question once more my voice less calm this time. She looked at me with her small green eyes like emeralds in the small amount of light. Her lips parted once again but this time sounds followed the effort, words started to form that I could finally pick up. “I think there’s something under my bed.” Her voice shaking as she produced these words for me.
My gaze fell downward to the floor that met the shadow her bed was casting, looking back at her I smiled calmly and told her I would check. As I inch my way downward I quickly began to get more anxious as time slowly passed. My left hand was planted firmly on the wooden floor while my right was tightened on the cushioned bed. I slid onto my knee to allow the bend needed to look under, the creek of the floor bringing a new kind of eerie. I listening to it and while doing so was filled with a whole knew panic, I was too far though my eyes were already peering into the darkness.
My eyes began to adjust forming a shape, a shape that shouldn’t have been there in the first place. I noticed the dress that hugged the body of the imposture, a short sleeved white blouse that ran down to mid stomach. When I had found it at the store It almost looked as if the blouse had been permanently stitched into a blue skirt. The fabric felt as if it was made from some soft jean material. A bow was decoratively placed on the side of hip almost looking as if it were a belt. Whenever wearing this dress my daughter would ask to have a white headband in to complete the ensemble, she had it on as well.
That thing was not my daughter, my eyes left the beautiful dress and traveled around noticing the rotting arm that was in view. Bugs crawled around with their tiny feet, barely audible over the silence. The skin on her face was deteriorating exposing the jaw bone, the bottom layer of her teeth just barely visible. I looked at her hair for a moment trying to figure out the color in the details the darkness allowed. It was brown, the same as Emily’s. Ratted that is what the hair looked like, tangled in a mess that could only be appropriate for the dead.
The whole time I had been looking I had forgotten to breath, I didn’t want to breath. Reluctantly air slowly moved to my mouth and into my lungs, I tried to prevent it from entering my nose. As the smell invaded my sinuses I became overwhelmed by the feeling of disgust. I closed my mouth tight as the hand from the bed moved trying to keep whatever I had for the day down where it belonged. The smell of bacteria and gas filled the air around me, all of it decaying every second.
I closed my eyes tight not wanting to look at her any longer, as my vision was constricted I listened to the sounds of crackling. I was mortified about what was happening, it was moving. I continued to hear the faint sound of the brittle bones on the hard wood floor. As my eyes finally opened in an insanity of courage I looked in horror at the corpse, now staring at me. It wasn’t my daughter, it couldn’t be, she was sitting on the bed alive and healthy.
The image in front was so convincing, I couldn’t look away from it. I was mesmerized in fear and confusion, as I looked into the silent eyes. The bed moved as my daughter adjusted to a more comfortable position to look down at me with. The head of the corpse snapped back up to where it sat before in a disturbingly quick motion. My skin crawled as I heard the bone of the neck snap slightly. I rose quickly out of my temporary paralysis, I looked at Emily and as I opened my mouth to speak I felt a sudden pinch of dread.
The fingers of the corpse wrapped around my left arm as best it could, my eyes looked up at the ceiling before closing. I dared not look down to witness the contact that had been made to me. I opened my eyes after a brief moment, I looked at my daughter with some fake sense of security. “There’s nothing down there.” I finally was able to get out, the hand slowly unraveled from my arm and moved away. I leaned down and kissed Emily on the forehead before moving backwards out of the room.
I had left the door open even though she protested it, I stood in mine a crossed from hers and watched as she turned and fell into deep sleep. I could see the entire scene, she lied there on her bed unaware. The corpse stayed in its position the entire night, I didn’t sleep. I toyed with the idea of going to bed but couldn’t risk something happening to my little girl. Morning seemed to take forever to shine its way through the drapes that we had in our home.
It seemed to go by quickly as I moved through the house in my exhausted nature, I watched as Emily left for school and Susan off to work. Neither of them talked much so I didn’t have to worry about trying to speak. Well I was able to speak, but honestly most of what would have come out would have been gibberish.
I had a plan, I was going to walk into my daughters room and search for the corpse. You can call me a coward if you want, but as I walked up those stairs I stood at her door frozen. The only movement my body allowed was that of a retreat, I rushed into my room and before sitting on my bed I crouch to look. Nothing was hiding under, I looked up and whisper thank you to whatever might be listening.
I sat on the bed for hours looking at Emily’s door, my imagination continued to wonder through that time. I saw the door swinging open with a fury and the corpse running towards me, I saw that many times. Others I saw it crawling with a speed that seemed inhuman. The worst was seeing it drag itself across the floor and listening the bones as the scraped along the hard surface. None of which happened, the door stayed shut while I remained afraid. I must have fallen asleep, when my eyes awoke darkness encompassed me. I looked over to see Susan sleeping in her side, I looked around the room in a confused haze.
As my eyes made its way to the door I could see into my daughters room, completely terror filled my body. The corpse was standing, looking at Emily, its back was turned to me but I could see the rotting flesh on the pieces not covered by the dress. I got up from my bed as quickly as I could, the door to the room slamming shut with such forces. I could hear Susan trying her best to realize what was happening, I wasn’t facing her but I saw as light illuminated the room.
I ran to the door slamming my shoulder into the frame, bouncing back from it being locked, I pounded before starting to yell. My wife yelled behind me wondering what the hell I was doing, why I was trying to go in there. With one final slam the door busted open sending splinters of wood forward scattered on the floor.
The hideous smell once again invaded my senses as my daughter no longer accommodated the bed. I stood there frozen as my wife moved past me her hand covering her nose an mouth. The same sickly feeling bubbled inside as my wife screamed before looking at me with dread and running from the room.
When my feet started to tingle again I moved around the room in a storm, I searched every inch every crevice. She wasn’t in the closet, or under the bed, I even checked the group of stuffed animals she always had in the corner. She had disappeared, replaced by the corpse sitting in her bed.
I could hear the sirens coming from the distance, but I didn’t care. I walked over to the bed expecting the corpse to move again, yet it lied there still. It’s eyes sitting wide open glazed over saying nothing, like a doll. My fingers gripped around the shoulders moving deeper breaking the frail skin. Deep down I could feel myself shiver from disgust, but my appearance was consumed by anger. I shook violently tears falling from my face as I screamed.
“What did you do to my daughter?” Over and over even as I heard the front door open and footsteps move up the stairs. I continued to shake until I was pulled forcefully off, frantically I wailed looking for some confirmation that everything was ok. Nothing about the situation was ok though.
“I just want to find my daughter.” I look around the floor trying to find something to focus on. As a tears falls from my face landing on my pants leg it bleeds into the fabric.
“So that’s what happened?” The man wrote across the board looking at me for a confirmation of what I had just said.
“Why wont you all let me find my daughter.” I try to move my arms apart by the restraints cause them to stay bound. The jacket wrapped around causes the itching that I feel to be agonizing. His look cold towards me but almost sympathetic as I tilt me head trying to figure it out.
“Mr. Cambridge…” His voice somewhat soft and inviting in its tone, my ears perking up at the sound of it. “Your daughter died a year ago…” My eyes widen as more tears fall out, shutting them tightly I shake my head frantically. No, it couldn’t be true, she was alive I saw her a couple says ago.
He places pictures on the table of the funeral, of her funeral. My mind starts to light up remembering the day, my heart sinking in my chest. “But, I saw her.” My voice said in a whisper, a whimpering cry following it.
“A couple of days ago her grave was dug up, her body was stolen.” Numbing feeling consumed me as I continue to look at the photos. New ones beginning to appear of a grave, then of it dug up desecrated. “Her body was stolen, the police couldn’t find it until that night.” My body shaking lightly from the thoughts of what I must have done, but she spoke to me.
“I’m sorry…” I said as my head fell to the table my sobbing still uncontrollable as I tried to speak. “I’m sorry..” My voice almost silent as I spoke to myself hearing to continuing pen on paper from across the table. “I should have told you what was under the bed.”