The Haunted Town

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#4 - Strange Messages

“Simone, honey are you up?” She heard her mother’s concerned voice and squeezed her eyes a bit before opening them up. She was in her bed and three faces were bent over hers.
“What the hell?” She grumbled as she looked at them.
“You screamed and then you fainted.”
“Nathan carried you here upstairs, I had no idea what to do.”
“Why did you scream anyway?”

Everyone asked the questions one after the other but she was too stunned by the presence of the boy from her locker to acknowledge anything else. What was he doing at her house and in her bedroom? Consciously, she pulled her blanket till her neck. Only her face was visible and she was still looking at Nathan, her eyes narrowed.
“She is shy.” She heard her brother say mischievously.
“I’m sorry Simone. I was just passing by your house when I heard the scream. I didn’t know it was your house but I rushed in anyway to check if everything was ok.” Nathan said sheepishly.
“Honey, why did you faint? Did you see something?” Her mother inquired, sitting down beside her. Did I see something? Simone wondered but she could not recall.
“I don’t know. Where was I? I don’t even remembering screaming.” She mumbled, trying to recall last few hours of her day but she could not. There was nothing. Her mind was blank.

“You sure?” Her mother asked, her forehead creased in concern.
“Yeah. I am. Where was I and what was I doing?”
“Oh my GOD!! She doesn’t remember! Are you suffering from amnesia or something?” Jayden asked in a horrified tone with his eyes wide and mouth hanging open. Simone bit her lower lip as she looked at one face to another.
“I found you in the kitchen. You were collapsed on the floor and your mother was trying to wake you up.” Nathan said, confused as he studied her.
“Thanks for you help, dear. Jayden will see you to the door.” Her mother said to Nathan, forcing a smile in his direction. Thank God, her mother had recalled that there was a boy in her daughter’s bedroom. Uninvited one at that. As Nathan followed Jayden out of the room, he stopped at the threshold to give Simone an apologetic smile. She just nodded absently, her mind still trying to grasp what had happened to her.

Later that evening, Simone sat down on at her desk and took out her daily diary. Last entry was three days ago. Never before Simone had missed more than a day or two of entry but this time, she had missed three days in a row. Sighing, she held her head in her hands. She hated this place and everything about it. Nothing made sense and her mind was blank. It was just like it had been the night before. Feeling helpless and annoyed, Simone wrote down about her evening.

༼;‘༎ຶ ༎ຶ༽༼;’༎ຶ ༎ຶ༽

A week passed without any incident. After her fainting episode, Nathan had taken it upon himself to walk her to every class. She hated it and had requested him to stop doing it but he had shrugged and had pretended as if it was nothing. It should have been nothing but it was. She could feel everyone’s eyes on her. Simone often caught Brianna and her friends watching her. She could not read their expressions but she knew that they did not like Nathan’s attention on her. When asked why he was doing it, he had simply stated that because she was a new girl and someone he wanted to know better. Simone had scowled and left him in the hallway as she had ditched into the girls’ bathroom.

She still believed that she had hallucinated the shadows of her parents and from the night they had shifted into Elmdale. It was on Wednesday when she got another letter. A note which read:

They’re onto you.
- M

Simone still didn’t know who it was. She had kept the previous one and that is where she saved this as well. Two days later, she found a strange entry in her daily diary. One she couldn’t remember writing but it was dated the previous night.

I can’t sleep, she’d written. I am sitting down in the window and looking out at the dark trees. Cool wind is blowing. Winter is coming. My neighbors are awfully punctual. At exact 9PM, they are turning off their lights and pulling the curtains. I should turn off my bedroom light too.
I turned it off. The only light is coming from the street lamp outside. Its a beautiful night. Now looking at the road, I’m sure that I’d hallucinated the shadow there. I must really hate this town but not at night. Its beautiful. I want to..................... SHADOWS! HUNDREDS OF THEM. ON THE STREET. A WOMAN.....

That is where the entry was ending. She had scribbled the last words hastily. She could tell. Just what had she seen? Why the hell she couldn’t remember? She decided to stay up this night as well. This time with a camera.

༼;‘༎ຶ ༎ຶ༽༼;’༎ຶ ༎ຶ༽

Come morning, her head felt very heavy and she was sneezing. Her muscles ached as if she had ran miles the night before which she didn’t recall. As usual. When her mother came to wake her up, seeing her condition she told her that she’d be calling her school for a sick leave. Simone was grateful to her. When she was gone, she drifted back to sleep.

Hours later, her mother woke her up for breakfast. It was 11AM.
“I need you to take some medicine, shower and eat. Staying in bed won’t help you get better.” She endorsed. Simon wanted nothing but to stay in bed for her head felt like a boulder on her shoulders but her mother only left when Simon had started showering.

After brunch, she sat pondering over strange entries in her daily diary. She realized that she had written about the shadows once again and had written that she had recorded last night’s events but when she checked her camera, it was empty. Confused, Simone sat down on her bed and re-read the entries. It couldn’t have been a prank for she recognized her own handwriting. It was then when her mother peeked inside her room.
“You have a visitor.” She said with a secret smile. Simone frowned.
“Who is it?”
“See for yourself.” Her mother chuckled, opening the door wide for no one other than Nathan. Simon scowled out loud.
“Wow. Why do I feel like you didn’t want anyone to visit you? Let alone me.” He grinned from ear to ear as he made his way towards the chair.
“Keep the door open kids.” Her mother said and left.
“I’m not suffering from cancer or dying that you had to visit me and ditch your classes in doing so.” Simone said in an acerbic tone. When Nathan flinched, she regretted it a bit. He was looking out for her and he had been her only friend in two weeks she had been here.

“I just want to be your friend Simone. To know you better.”
“Is it because I’m the new girl?” She asked politely this time.
“Yeah, its part of it.” He said, scrunching up his nose. In that moment Simone realized that he was cute.
“And the other part?”
“Well, you’re pretty and not like other girls your age in this town.” He said, scratching the back of his head nervously. Simone laughed out loud.
“Guess not many girls talk to you the way I do.” She smirked at him.
“You’ve seen them. They pretty much want to worship the ground I walk on. It makes me feel uneasy.” He smiled and then pointed towards her diary which she still had in her hand.

“What’s that?”
“My daily diary.”
“Have you written about me in there?” He asked sheepishly, making Simone roll her eyes. Ok, he was cute but annoying.
“As if. I write about the stuff that bothers me. Not the details of every minute of every day.” She said, placing it away. Nathan kept looking at the diary, a soft smile on his lips. Simone wanted to ask what was he thinking that was making him smile when Brianna barged into her room followed by Vanessa and Jenna.

Simone’s eyes widen in surprise as Nathan’s narrowed at Brianna.
“Hey sweetheart. Learned that you got sick.” Brianna said, ignoring Nathan glaring holes into her.
“And you are here because....?”
“Of course we wanted to check up on you. Here, we brought you something.” She clapped excitedly and pulled Vanessa forward. She was a girl with sleek light brown hair and small eyes. Simone wondered if she was Asian.
“We didn’t know which one was your favorite so we got Brianna’s favorite instead. Hope you’d love it.” She said with a wink as she passed on a box to Simone. Mumbling a thank you, she opened it up. It was a cake. Plain chocolate cake with ‘GWS’ written on top of it. Simone hated chocolate so she had to force at smile for Brianna who hugged her.
“It was so boring without you today.” Jenna said as the girls flopped down on her bed around her.
“I don’t remember putting up a comedy show or something in the two weeks I’ve attended Elm High.” Simon said sweetly, making Nathan laugh so hard that Brianna threw him a look.
“No, sweetie its not. You are new in town. The last new person moved here three years ago so you are special and having you around is different. Refreshing.” She said with a wink. Simone raised her eyebrow heavenward.

“Anyway, let Simone rest today. She needs it.” Nathan said, standing up and shouldering his bag pack. Brianne rolled her eyes at him but said nothing. One by one the girls hugged her goodbye and were gone. The room felt warmer all of a sudden. Just then Jayden wandered in, still in his school uniform. He waved another envelope at Simone to jumped off the bed in haste to read it.
“I think you’ve got an admirer. I really appreciate the old style of sending the messages.” Jayden winked at her coyly. Simone smacked his head and pushed him out of the door.

‘Stay away from them’
- M

That was all the note read.

༼•̫͡•༽ 。・:*:・゚༼•̫͡•༽,。・:*:・゚༼•̫͡•༽

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