The One Destined For Him - On Hiatus

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Ch.2: Be Kind To the Elderly

💙 Sienna’s POV 💙

I ran out of the house, still buttoning up my work uniform. It consisted of a blue button-up, mid-thigh dress. Attached to the waistline was a black apron. I was due for a five am shift, but had slept late, and now I was about to be late. Again.

Rob couldn’t wait to get rid of me. He was my boss and seemed to always have it out for me. He always gave me those shifts, expecting me to be late so he would have an excuse to give me a piece of his mind.

Realizing I had missed a button in the middle, I cursed as I went back to unbutton everything. My black sports bra met the cool breeze, but I didn’t care. We lived on the furthest outskirts of town.

There were no houses nearby, only the forest was our neighbor. I hated the quietness, craving the noise of the city and its chaos. I had only been there a handful of times with my dad, but I loved it. The people themselves seemed more alive than this sleepy little town full of superstition folk. Now the memories of the outside world have become as distant as my father. I yearned to go back, but I was tied down.

I rushed to climb into my old pickup truck, struggling to pull open the rusted door handle. The truck was on the verge of the end, but mom refused to get a new one. We had the money, but it was her love for all things weathered by time. One of those days, I will be late to work because of the damned truck.

I was soon driving down the dirt road in the rusted hunk of metal. I wasn’t embarrassed, such old trucks littered the town. You couldn’t go somewhere without spotting at least a dozen. Despite living in the present, the town looked as it belonged to the past. I think it had to do with the higher population of older folk. The smarter younger kids left when they got the chance.

I clocked in seconds from being late. Rob was there, waiting by the back door of the diner. His face donned a distasteful expression, but mine was smug. I brushed past him and got to work.

As we had the usual morning rush, the time flew as we ran around, serving costumers. As my section of the diner emptied, I went to clean some empty tables. The sound of the bell chimes over the door jingled.

For some reason, my heart filled with dread. An uneasy feeling settled in my gut as I looked up at the person who had just entered. It was an old lady who seemed to be in her mid-eighties. Despite the heat of the summer, she wore a long fur coat that came down to her feet. I noticed her feet were bare and bony, the fingernails long and curled. Her head balding, only a few strands of white hair remained. She definitely wasn’t a regular as I’ve never seen this woman around town before. If I did, I would never be able to forget her.

As my hazel eyes met her beady black ones, I gasped and looked away full of unexplainable terror. I prayed to god that she wouldn’t sit in my section. I didn’t want to come closer to her, but it seems god wasn’t on duty today. Hearing the patter of bare feet on the weathered grey tiles come my way, I internally grimaced.

“Hello, dear. Won’t you take this old lady’s order?” she said, her voice dripping honey, but there was something behind it. Something cold and vicious.

After a moment of hesitation, I walked towards the table the old woman had chosen—careful to keep my eyes off her. I just wanted to throw her order at her face and get her to leave. I don’t know why I felt so threatened by her, even when I had only just met the woman.

“Welcome to Mary’s, what can I get for you today?” I asked using the automatic voice I often used for customers. The whole time I kept my eyes down on the order pad I brought out from my apron pocket. Waiting for her to say what she wanted was torturous. She kept making these strange noises in the back of her throat, almost like growling. They sounded inhuman.

“I want the pancakes, dear. Tell em I want lots of syrup.” She said in her honeyed voice. I grimaced as I could almost taste the overly sweet taste of the pancakes. I wasn’t one for such sweet things.

“Coming right up, mam,” I said, Jotting her order down. I was about to leave when boney fingers wrapped around my wrist, holding me tightly. I winced as the hold seemed to tighten and tried to prey her hands away from me. “Mam, please let go. You’re hurting me.” I said in a pleading voice.

“Don’t forget to tell them about the syrup, ok?” The old woman said, bringing her face closer to mine.

I caught a whiff of something dead and rotting on her breath. I shivered in disgust but kept my eyes down. Her beady eyes were too horrifying to stare into. Terrified, I just nodded.

“Don’t make me wait, dear.” She said, letting go of my wrist and patting my hand. I rushed away from her as soon as I could and gave her order to the cook. I let out a sigh of relief as soon as I was out of her sight. However, that feeling of relief didn’t last long as I knew I would have to deliver her order.

I looked at my coworkers. Each of their sections was full, and they had more than they could handle. I couldn’t ask them for help, and I would never ask Rob for help. Not that he would want to help me anyway.

Rob had it out for me ever since his wife, Mary, accused him of giving me inappropriate attention. She was the owner of the diner, and he was the manager. To prove himself to his wife, he always treated me like complete shit. I knew I was on my own for this one.

Picking up her order from the counter, I slowly walked towards her table, my eyes focused only on the food. There was a slight tremor in my hands, that increased as I walked closer to her. My heart pounded against my ribcage.

I set the order down on the table. I turned to quickly leave but stood frozen in midstep as I heard growling noises. They were louder this time and more animalistic. Against my will, my eyes flickered to the old woman, and I let out a scream before falling backward. She now resembled the kind of monster that I would wake up from in my nightmares before I would lay eyes upon.

The coat she once wore was now her actual fur—running the length of her face, which was now the snout of a wolf. Her eyes were yellow and gleaming against her black fur. Her arms still looked human, but they were boney and overextended. Her nails were talon-like and curved. Deformed and misshaped, her legs creaked under her weight.

A pair of arms grabbed me from behind, shaking me as I stopped screaming. I looked up to see my coworker, Lexi, standing behind me with an expression of concern. “Sienna, what the hell happened?” Lexi asked, helping me stand up.

I turned to point where the monster once stood only to see that it was gone, without a trace.

“There was something there! old woman she came in just and ordered. She turned int-” I tried to explain but realized how absurd I sounded and shut my mouth.

“What do you mean? We haven’t gotten any new costumers for the past half hour. I would’ve heard the door, my section is closer to it.” Lexi said, looking at me strangely.

Looking around me, I noticed everyone’s eyes on me. They looked at me like I was some asylum patient who had escaped and murdered a whole family only to blame it on a rubber duck. Lowering my head in embarrassment, I rushed behind the counter and into the kitchen.

“I swear to god if you’re on drugs, Sienna, you will be out this place faster than you can say the word ‘out.’” Rob hissed, grabbing my arm as I tried to pass him.

“I am sorry ok? But I am not on drugs. I thought I saw something and got spooked.” I said with a sigh, wanting nothing but to finish my shift and get the hell out of here.

“Take this as a warning Sienna, don’t go being bat shit crazy on my costumers.” He snapped before pushing me back to the front of the house. “Go back to work.” He said in an annoyed voice.

Releasing a deep sigh, I smoothed my uniform before going back outside. For the rest of my shift, I served costumers, occasionally looking back at the table where the old woman once sat.

I kept worrying she would come back but mentally slapped myself. No one else saw her, which meant she wasn’t real. She could only be the product of my imagination, but the pain of her grasp was all too real. As real as the one that grabbed my leg at the waterfalls. I shivered, remembering the sensation of drowning and the helplessness I felt.

Instead of wallowing in my dark thoughts, I tried to think of something happier, something that I was in control of. I reminded myself that my birthday was right around the corner. There wasn’t much to do or look forward to in this sleepy town. The distraction worked, and soon I was filled with excitement, and my worry disappeared.

I clocked out and said my goodbyes to my coworkers. Making my way to my beat-up pickup, I noticed something strange. Sprayed out on the hood was what looked like a pile of black hair. It was arranged in a way to represent letters. I was creeped out as I read the message.

You will never ascend as queen

Confused by the message, I wasn’t sure if it was meant for me. However, the fact it was on my truck couldn’t be ignored. Perhaps someone wanted to play a prank on me.

I quickly brushed off the hair from the hood of the truck with my sleeve, not wanting to touch the suspicious black hair. Whoever did this was mistaken about one thing. I was just a small-town girl with nothing going for her, a plain jane. I didn’t know what sick joke this was, and I didn’t want to get involved with whoever left the message.

Suddenly I heard the sound of growling, sending a shiver down my spine. I didn’t dare to turn around to look as the growls sounded awfully similar to the old woman. Hearing heavy footsteps approach, I quickly fumbled with the door handle, yanking it. Of all the days to be difficult, it had to get jammed right at this second.

A stupid old rusty heap of junk!

She is not real. She is not real. She is not real.

No matter how many times I chanted this in my head, I couldn’t shake off the feeling of pure terror. She is not real, my ass.

Just when the footsteps were meters away, I managed to throw open the door and jumped onto the car. I slammed the door shut and rushed to put the keys in the ignition. I failed miserably to get the key in the hole, my fingers trembling.

Suddenly the truck lurched to the right as a massive body slammed into the driver’s side. I screamed as the impact broke my window, but luckily I was not struck by the glass.

The truck tipped over to lean on the right side’s wheels before falling back on all four, bouncing as it balanced. I couldn’t see what hit the car as the culprit had run away, their heavy steps getting further away. I had no words, my mind completely blank.

I finally managed to start the car and drove out of there as fast as I could. My heart pounded in my throat the whole time as I drove home. I pulled up to our driveway, noticing mom gardening in the front yard. She was trimming the weeds from the lawn.

As soon as I stopped the car, I ran towards her wrapping my arms around her slender frame and burying my face in her long black hair. Just being this close to her, steadied my heart and calmed my breathing.

“What happens, sweetheart?” My mom asked, her voice soft and full of concern. She took off her gardening gloves and put her hand under my chin.

I opened my mouth, ready to spill everything to her, just as I did when I was a child and had something upsetting me. Something stopped me, and I found no words to describe what happened to me. How could I tell her that I think monsters are attacking me? I didn’t want my own mother to look at me in the same way that the people at the diner did.

She had expressed to me long ago, that she doesn’t believe in the superstition nonsense that many of the town inhabitants swore by. Other than thinking me completely crazy, my mom would not believe me.

“I...missed you. It was... a long day at work.” I lied, diverting my eyes from her hazel ones.

“You ran to me like someone was chasing you.” She said, narrowing her eyes at me. Nothing ever gets past my mother, she was great at reading people.

“Someone was aggressive with me today at work, I couldn’t wait to get home,” I said, telling the half-truth.

“Oh, sweetheart, tell me they kicked out.” My mom said, getting angry.

“Oh, they left before anyone saw,” I said quickly. It was technically true.

“I would have hoped they would face some repercussions for messing with my little girl, but it can’t be helped now.” She said with a sigh. “If something ever bothering you, just tell me. I am your mother, and we only have each other, Sienna.” My mom said with a comforting smile on her sunkissed face.

Oh, how badly I just wanted to tell her, but I cant. My lips won’t make the words. How do you tell your own mother that you hallucinated an old lady who turned into a ravenous monstrosity? You can’t.

Instead, I say, “Nothing happened, mom. I am starving, I’m going to go start dinner.” I left her standing in the front yard, her saddened eyes following me.

“What the hell happened to the truck?” My mom yelled, looking at me with astonishment.

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