The night was quiet, spare the few cars that were out at the late hour, but this didn’t bother her. She had a long day today, or was it yesterday? Didn’t matter. A full shift at work and then having to take an extra shift at the shop that morning had left her drained.
It was late, yet for some reason she was still awake, kept that way by a weird feeling that something wasn’t right, that she was missing something. She was currently glancing up at her ceiling, slightly illuminated by the moonlight that was seeping through the curtains in her room. The thirty-three year old woman sighed, running a hand through her messy, dark hair, knowing she would have to take a shower in the morning. Luckily, she didn’t have to worry about waking up at four in the damn morning this time, no shop today, or is it tomorrow? She glanced over at the clock on her bed stand, the glowing red numbers telling her it was twelve forty three, and her body telling her it was time to go to sleep.
She felt another wave of fatigue wash over her and decided it was time to do what her body was begging her to. She tossed the covers loosely over her body again and snuggled down, ready to close her eyes and finally get so rest. She was comfortable, and the strange feeling that she was missing something vanished. Relaxed and ready for sleep, she closed her eyes at last.
Everything was peaceful.
A crash startled her out of her sleep, causing her eyes to spring open and her body to jolt up at the noise. It had come from the kitchen, maybe a raccoon had broken in? It couldn’t have been a robber, the neighbor’s dog prided itself with barking at every living, or non-living, thing it saw, even at the ungodly hour of the night.
But what could’ve caused it? She lived here by herself, knowing that her late husband died in a car accident. She had a daughter, but there had been an unfortunate...accident, and was now six feet underground like her father. She didn’t like to think about it.
Deciding to get to the bottom of it, she crept out of bed and headed towards the door, careful to not make any sound on the hardwood floor of her bedroom. She opened the door as quietly and carefully as he could, biting her lip in fear. The door was open now, and she stealthily moved down the hallway to the small kitchen that rested just beyond it. As she neared the kitchen, she heard what was in there before she saw it.
“Mama, mama, come find me,
Underneath the little old tree.
Where stone does rest and you do cry,
Your little yell was your last goodbye.”
The woman gasped softly. She knew that voice, the soft voice of a child that rang throughout the room and in her ears. Tears sprung to her eyes as she heard the child sing, and she shakily put a hand on the wall beside her and continued to walk. She was then at the corner to where the hall entered the kitchen, bracing herself for what she might see. She swallowed thickly and turned into the kitchen to find…
Nothing. The room was bare of human life besides her own. She sighed and held her head in her hands, think that her lack of sleep was getting to her. She lifted her head from her hands and stared ahead for a second, scanning the room, finding everything in place. She furrowed her eyes in confusion, she must of been imagining the crash too.
She paused, body stiff as a cold presence seemed to materialize behind her, wrapping around her skin making goosebumps appear on her arms. She slowly turned around, her body shaking, unknown if it was due to fear or the sudden chill. Her body finally turned fully around to see...nothing again. Her lip twitched, and a light laugh escaped her body, only to turn into full blown laughter. I’m going insane! She thought, I’m going insane!
She turned around again, more relaxed, but this time there was something. What was left of her mirth disappeared and she jumped back in fear, almost falling on the tile floor. Her arms sprung up to her face as a weak chance to protect it and a small scream escaped her lips. Her grayish blue eyes were wide as they stared at the figure before her.
It was something-no, someone she knew well. She knew that face and the figure’s small, thin body and head of messy, blond hair. She remembered that pale, yellow dress, the frayed ends, the tears and rips in the fabric. She knew that stuffed rabbit, with the mismatched button eyes, uneven patches of fur, and thread that somehow held what was left of it together. And she knew, too well, the figure’s wide, child-like eyes that were the same shade as her own. No, no, no… It can’t be…
“Mama, mama, why did you do it?” The child said.
“Ah, uh, wh-what do you m-mean?” She said.
“Why did you kill me?”
The woman gave a shaky laugh and tried to smile. It looked more like a grimace. “I-I didn’t kill y-you. There-there was a very, very evil man and-”
“Why did you kill me?”
She froze, knowing she was fucked. “W-well, sw-sweetheart, you have to un-underst-and, m-mommy has some...anger issues a-and couldn’t control herself-”
“You killed me.” The child said, taking a step forward.
The woman backed up a step, holding her hands up in front of her as if to show she meant no harm. “Now, now, pl-please. L-let’s not do anything drastic.”
“You killed me.” Another step. The woman finally noticed the other object in the child’s hand. A knife, almost as big as the small girl’s forearm, glinted in the moonlight.
The woman’s eyes widened even more. “W-where did you get that?” She asked fearfully, pointing to the knife in the small girl’s hand.
“You killed me.” Another step. The woman took another step back, only to lost her footing and fall to the floor. She hastily began to back up until her back hit something hard. She was cornered.
“Please, please!” Her voice pleaded. Her arms were covering her face, body curled up into a ball. Tears pricked at her eyes.
“You killed me.” The child was close, the knife flashed dangerously beside her.
“Please no! Please no!” She sobbed.
Then the child was standing over her, and the woman was able to look up to fully see her supposed daughter. The child’s eyes was open, the right one revealing a slightly empty socket and the remains of an eye. Her jaw looked like it was broken and her left cheek was cut open, the skin dangling uselessly. Stab wounds littered her body, over her stomach, on her arms and legs, and a fatal marking right over her heart that still looked like it was dripping crimson blood. What was left of the yellow dress clung loosely to her, hanging off her battered frame, and her hair was matted with dried blood. The woman looked down again, not wanting to see the child any longer.
“No! NO! Stay back! Stay away from me!”
“NO! JUST STAY BACK!”
“MAMA!” The flash of metal. A scream pierced the night.
Then it was quiet again.
Police sirens wailed and flashed as they neared the house. Other police cars were there already, along with ambulances that were just sitting idly by. Neighbors peered out their windows at the scene in their small cul-de-sac. A lone stretcher was being carried out of the small flat, the jacket of the person pulling it said “Coroner” in yellow, stitched on letters. Police officers and investigators were talking to the paramedic team.
“What did you notice?” Said one of the investigators, notepad in hand.
An officer shrugged. “It looked like a suicide to be honest, nothing was missing and there was no trace of a struggle. Other than that I’m stumped.”
“It looks like it happened last night, somewhere around one maybe.” Said one of the emergency crew. The officer nodded.
The investigator turned back to the officer. “Are you sure there was no sign of a struggle? Not even a little bit?”
The officer shook his head. “Nope. None. There was only a single stab wound too, right over the heart if I’m correct.”
A paramedic nodded in affirmation. “He’s right, sir.”
The investigator pursed his lips, his jaw set. His job was all about finding the facts and bring the right people to justice. He needed the cold, hard facts, yet this was different. There was something...not right about this. A thirty-three year old woman, who was financially and mentally stable, suddenly committing suicide by stabbing herself? It was certainly strange indeed. The detective sighed, knowing that the information he had now was all he was going to find.
The detective flipped his notebook closed and pocketed it along with his pen. “I guess that’s it. What about funeral arrangements though?”
“She had no other living family members; her husband died in a car crash seven years ago, her parents have already died, and had no siblings or cousins.” The officer said.
The investigator furrowed his eyebrows. “Didn’t she had a daughter at some point?”
The officer nodded. “Yeah, but last year something...happened. They were playing a game apparently, hide and seek I think, and as girl was running, some bastard came out of nowhere and killed her. Brutal too.”
The paramedic’s eye’s went wide and a look of disgust crossed their face. “A child murderer? What sane person could do such a thing?”
The officer shrugged. “Don’t know. My friend was put on the case and is the reason I know anything about it. Kept saying something wasn’t right though.”
“Where did they get the information from?”
“The kid’s mother actually, the woman who was just carried away. When she wasn’t sobbing, kept saying she saw a man running away and her daughter lying on the ground covered in blood.”
The investigator shook his head. “The funeral.” He said, steering the conversation back on track.
“Oh yeah. There are plans being made to bury her with her daughter, you know, under that little old tree by Mango Drive? Anyways, Smith is taking care of it, got in contact with an old friend of hers from college or something. Should take place next week.”
He nodded. “Well,” He said, “I’m getting back to the office if that’s all there is for me here. I’ll be in contact if you need me.”
The investigator turned away and pulled his phone out of his pocket. The date November 18th, 2014 flashed at him. His lips pursed, the same date the girl had been murdered as well. He guessed that would make more sense in a suicide case, with the woman not being able to handle her grief after one year of not having her daughter. Still, something didn’t add up, yet he didn’t know what. He shivered as he felt a breeze of cold air hit him and pulled his jacket tighter.
He was almost at his car when he thought he saw something. He looked up over his car, across the street, and saw a small girl in a yellow dress, a stuffed rabbit in hand, staring at him. Her eyes were hollow of emotion, but the slightly crooked smile threw him off. He blinked and rubbed his eyes, then opened them again thinking he would see the girl once more.
But she was gone.
He took a deep breath, his job was starting to get to him. The investigator got in and started his car. As he drove off down the street, he swore he heard child-like laughter ringing in the air around him.
“Mama, mama, come find me,
Underneath the little old tree.
Where stone does rest and you do cry,Your little yell was your last goodbye...”