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By MinaB All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

I should have listened

Emma Thanes was a rational, petite woman, with dark red hair and emerald green eyes. When happy her eyes used to change colour and turn almost a sea king of colour. She used to think it made her unique, now she thought it made her seem like the worst kind of freak. And, above all else, Emma was a sceptic. Her mother had been for the duration of a year living in a mental hospital due to her adamant and repeated claims to seeing ghosts and other unnatural creatures. Her mother had always told her, when they would visit her grandfather in the cemetery, that by her old grave Lisa Cartwright – a five year old girl killed by a freak accident in her bathroom – was waving and asking to play with little Emma. The girl at that time had smiled and said as she usually did that she couldn’t that day. It had gone like that until one day when her mother attacked their neighbour and her husband, Emma’s adoptive father, finally admitted her into an asylum. Emma had been 12 years old and she had promised herself to never let her mind fall prey to these absurdities.

Typing another sentence, Emma is overwhelmed by a gust of wind, cold and eerie. She shivers and her eyes dart to the window cursing whoever let it open to seven hells and back. Her bones ache from the chilly air and she can feel her teeth already starting to chatter.

She falls silent, however, when she see it bolted shut, the blinds drawn. She gets up. Taking a step, then two, then three forward, she reaches it, eyeing the wooden frame and hazy glass covered by the red drapes. Peering through the blinds, Emma stares confused at the closed window, her hand coming to rest on the handle and pulling to make sure. Nothing. She turns back.

The dark red hair and deep black eyes draw her in, as the figure standing not even 3 steps away raised its hand to get hold of her. Emma steppes back, scared eyes wide and shining with unshed tears, her delicate hands clenched into fists, her mind yelling at her to run, her feet refusing to work. She gasps when the figure gives a hint of a smile, mouth curving at the seams.

Her similar coloured hair falls to her eyes, blinding her momentarily so she hastily brushed it away. Her emerald green eyes shine as she sees the disfigured creature do the same. The hunched back form and the pale, white hands, covered in blood and cuts and bruises make her tremble as she sees a smile to curl wider on those fleshy, wrinkled, black lips. It's mirroring me, Emma thinks terrified, taking another and another step back until she reached the front desk. Scared, she bumps into the corner, the computer screen shaking violently, her hip now pulsing in pain and her legs unsteady.

Even as Emma put more and more distance between herself and whatever is in front of her, the figure keeps coming after her, always with its hand raised, trying to snatch her by the wrist and pull her in. Where exactly? Emma fears the answer more than anything before in her life. The figure, baring the resemblance of the woman herself, does not raise its head, blackened eyes never leaving the floor.

"Leave me alone!" Emma yells and searches frantically for anything on the desk she could use to hit it with, but finds nothing. Her voice was strong even if her legs began to give out from under her. And she's thankful for it. Her heart beats quickly in her chest, the booming echoed in her ears and pulsing through her body.

"Please" she begs, the first tears making their way down her cheek and splashing onto the ground beneath, tainting it grey. In the deafening silence they were like bombs hitting a pasture and leaving behind only a broken world, devoid of kindness.

Emma closes her eyes, breathing in and unwinding her muscles.

“Eeeemmaaaa! Eeeeeeeeeeeeemmaa!!!" it drawls in a corpse like voice, melodious and soft like a lullaby, coming somewhere from deep within its chest. The name stretches out into nothingness and echoes throughout the room, resounding through every nook and cranny, maddening. Emma wills her eyes to remain closed, that green never to meet pitch black, the red not to shine onto red, that rosy flesh not to brush against white ghastly one. The figure is now infinitely closer, so far so that the woman can smell its rotten breath on her mouth, taste the dead flesh on her own. Emma thinks she can feel the bloodied fingers brush her hair, thinks she can feel more crimson fluid fall onto the floor from the open cuts disfiguring the other. She almost chocks on her own nausea as the smell engulfs her senses entirely. She’s going to die of suffocation soon if it doesn’t draw back. Maybe that’s what it wants, she thinks, to kill me.

"Please..." Emma whispers a second time, begging for something she, herself, doesn't know, and, just as suddenly as it had begun, the creature leaves and Emma finds herself back in her seat. She lets her eyes open, slowly, tentatively. Looking around, she finds the empty office, calm and as silent as ever. There is no more echoing, no more ghostly whispers. Emma falls forward onto the desk, her head into her hands, sobbing, her body shaking under the pressure of the tears.

Against her better judgement, her mind goes to her mother's old stories of the “white girl with bloody hair and demon eyes” Her mother used to warn her against letting some ghosts inside, in a shaky voice begging the young girl to avoid the girl with demon eyes. Emma used to promise her eagerly as this story scared he more than Lisa Cartwright coming over and throwing her doll away. Emma can't help questioning whether her mother had been telling the truth all along as she turns off the computer, saving her work and runs out still trembling and crying.

The girl mirroring her return the next night at the foot of Emma’s bed and this time Emma does feel its fingers – around her throat, tightening impossibly hard onto her skin – and she can’t breathe because of the smell. Her father visits a few hours later and finds her dead, her neck marked with bruises and her hands bloodied and cuts from where she struggled. Inside the asylum her mother gives a high screech of agony and never speaks again.

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