Chapter 1 ~ Caetlyn
And today, Brett, we have ourselves a car accident on I-95 between a semi-truck carrying some oil, and a small grey Honda Accord containing three small children and two adults.
Crazy stuff, Shannon. You know, I hear there have been more incidents around these here parts, more than ever before! Could be those new cars out there.
Is that right, Brett? Well, now, I don’t know about you, but it could be this weather. These past few weeks have been so weird, even the scientists cant figure out what is causing the weather to go abnormally haywire.
Yeah! I mean, we haven’t had a day of simple sunshine, and it hasn’t rained in a long while, even though there are dark, swirling clouds out there and harsh winds like never before!! Just the other day this nasty, nasty fog came up out of nowhere, right after that crazy wind. Starting to make me wonder what’s going on.
That is true, Shann- The radio cuts off. We have been hearkening to it for a while since the taciturnity of this treacherous journey has nettled me. Dad detests those curious souls, though I relish every trice of it. They appear to obtain the solitary light I possess in my world anymore. They can be oh so entertaining, notably when I require a bit of amusement. They aren’t mistaken regarding the weather, however. Ubiquitous we have gone thus far, the weather has accompanied, bringing dingy, bitter, desiccated days upon us. Weather-men are seldom accurate anymore, with this unpredictable pattern (not that their prognostications were ever really close anyway). We never know when those writhing puffs may do something spuriously, causing an inclusive community to conform into a frenzied fit.
There are moments, I must confess, that I wonder what it would be like if it wouldn’t be merely him and I. Would it be serene? No, it couldn’t be. I can effortlessly recall how it happened amidst my mothers’ presence, back when I was innocent. It was never amicable, invariably some comparative tension in the room; it wasn’t quite as bad as it is now, I suppose. It isn’t like he attempts to reestablish blissfulness. Conceivably, exercising the old fashion single-fling-hook-up route would be good for him. He is always excessively invested in his work (which has never been discussed). He shuts it down immediately when I inquire. Imagine that, a sixteen-year-old who doesn’t even know what her father does for a living!
I must acknowledge, there would be no “giving someone a chance” since we relocate inconsistently. Just the other month, I was in northern Montana, attending school, wishing I’d be able to designate it home for once. I was crudely mistaken, as presently we resign in Key Gate, Texas. On the opposite side of the flipping country! On our move to Texas, we would rent small houses and apartments so I could keep up with my studies. I affirmed it unnecessary, but he declared we needed to. I’ll never understand this man, this man in which it is mandatory I call father. He does give me food and a place to sleep at night; I suppose I can’t complain too much.
I honestly wish we wouldn’t move to Texas, though, especially this place that I learned was to be ”forbidden” or “forgotten,” I was never allowed near it. Just a bunch of old-people wanting to get a kick out of scaring young children with their sickly bedtime stories, I say. But as we get nearer and nearer to the town, every corner we turn, I begin to perceive a feeling build in the pit of my stomach. Then, as we enter, I feel a newfangled tingling that almost pains me with the amount of force and sharpness of each pang crawl up my spine. I shiver involuntarily.
We pass many houses that all seem comparable. They’re all petite and quaint; they have short, vibrant green, square yards, with small gardens lining the bottom trim, that vary in color and the number of gnomes. The color of the shingles is the only thing that is different from the structures.
After another hour or so of driving around, we are finally here. A large house, about three stories high, and with many, many windows. All the windows are obstructed with iron bars that have sharp arrows on the upward ends. Occasionally, there are windows with small balconies that have the same bars around the platforms. The place looks blood-curdling, to say the least; it sticks out like a sore thumb in these neighborhoods, and the houses encompassing it seems vacant, based on the condition they seem to be in. “Hey, dad?
“Yes, Caetlyn?” His words laced with frustration, exhaustion, and sarcasm.
“Why’d you have to pick this house?” My words escape my lips with a little more rudeness than I had anticipated.
“Is there a problem?”
“N-no. I’m just curious, I guess...” My voice trails off towards the end, nearly a whisper, as I put my head down and fiddle with the hem of my shirt. I know he won’t see the fear I feel, as he is still watching the road and the few pedestrians on the opposite side of this glum street.
“Well, then, does it matter why I chose it?”
“I ... I don’t know,” I respond peering up, only to notice his expression is unsympathetic as he looks at me through the rearview mirror on the windshield. I immediately force my expression-filled features to go devoid of emotion, not desiring to give him that satisfaction he yearns. I see the corners of his lips turn up a little bit into a dreadfully distasteful leer, on his clean-shaven face. His dark eyes that seem to have a red tint to them and the look of ash when he is angry, along with his robust body, and dark, clean-cut locks cause a shiver to run through my spine (and not the good kind!) just looking at him. I instantly filled to the brim with fear, knowing I crossed a line. What line? I do not know, but most things are “crossing a line” when it comes to him. I avert my eyes, hesitant to continue to study him, as I await the impact.
“Well, it doesn’t matter. Do you have any other questions?” His words come out of his mouth a hiss, with his dominant, death-defying glower, and demonically deep voice with an accent I have never apprehended. He didn’t always possess the articulation. It used to be a natural southern accent, for raised in good old Georgia. Boy, various things modified since mom bequeathed. I’m astonished I didn’t get smacked. Alas, he presumably holds something different, like additional tasks for me to fulfill, as retribution for challenging him.
“No,” I say in an utterance. I want a single sound discussion, just one damn conversation that can be deemed satisfactory. But nothing in this life comes easy, I suppose. He’s just so reserved. I mean, he has always been distant; following the incident, it has grown way graver and only proceeds to escalate.
“Get out and get your stuff. Get unpacking. You have work to do.” I had a feeling that was what he was planning for me to do; an alternative to belabor me for the public eye to witness. I mentally equip myself for the workload ahead.
As I retreat from the car, I receive a more commendatory aspect of the dwelling. It could utilize a paint job, feasibly having a few slack screws. I could almost say it appears Victorian. Almost. From my examination, I’m stunned that figure persists. Everything resembles a date significantly further back than an unspecified contemporary haven. A ghastly vibe runs in waves off of it, and that doesn’t typically transpire. So why is this house so aforementioned to other residences?