Sunday, October 30, 2011
This student has come to the Seven Golden Secrets to Writing Class for three years. I am so proud of her that a) that she keeps coming and b) that she loves to write. She has developed many pieces over the years, but this is her first completion of larger project – a short story. There are some grammatical mistakes in this piece but it seemed to flow with the voice of a 14-year-old so they are still in this piece. Here, with a supernatural flare to fit the season, is: No Marks, No Traces, Nowhere. Happy Howling on pumpkin day -- Diana
No Marks, No Traces, Nowhere
By Veronica Gray
The one time I left her house, I didn’t know that it would be the last time I’d see her the way she use to be. Some people say she died; others say she was captured.
I still don’t know. I still don’t know what to believe.
The last night I saw her alive the moon was covered by clouds. There was no noise while Nancy and I walked down a dim street. There was an eerie kind of feeling hanging in the air, but it always feels this way in the area where we live: Black Gate.
My friend, Nancy, wasn’t the most social girl on the block. Some people had problems with her. She dressed in all black and had the quote “weird piercings,” unquote. She had a weird tattoo of a dark house, it was her house, stained into her pale wrist. I asked her what it stands for, but when I did, she’d shut down and her pale face paled even more. She’s had that odd tattoo as long as I can remember.
We were best friends since second grade. Well, not really. In the beginning, we were enemies. Unfortunately, I was the prissy, rich girl and I hated her, but one day my parents gambled away all of our savings and we became dirt poor. So none of my so-called “friends,” wanted to hang out with me anymore.
It was then Nancy started to talk to me.
I was sitting alone eating a sandwich watching my “friends” gossip, probably about me.
Nancy came up to me and sat on the other end of the table. I saw she had a pudding cup and I got jealous. I asked if she wanted to change her pudding for my fruit cup. She said no, but continued to talk to me. I got tired of ignoring her so I kept the conversation rolling. Besides, no one else was talking to me.
All through lunch and after school we talked.
“Do you want to be my friend?” she asked me. I got scared by that question. Everything was going by so fast. I didn’t talk to Nancy for three days after that. For those three days I was so lonely. I decided to talk to her again. I gathered up my stuff and walked towards her.
“Do you want to be my friend?” I asked her.
She replied with a huge grin, stretching from ear to ear.
“Yes,” she squeaked.
Now, I am 14 and after our last fight yesterday, I stormed out of the house.
We fought about the stupidest thing. After history yesterday, during passing period, she didn’t wait for me. She left for her class. I got so mad and disappointed that I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say until I saw her. I slowly exploded.
“So, where were you after 5th period?” I asked.
“Umm, I left to 6th period,” she said looking out into the horizon as if I didn’t exist.
“I was looking for you; you usually wait for me,” I looked at her. Her eyes met mine.
“Sorry, I had to go, I was going to be late,” she veered to the right heading towards her front porch. I followed her. She seemed so aloof.
“Well we all have to make sacrifices,” I said. She slipped the key into the lock and the door flung open. We dropped off our stuff.
Finally, she started to explain, but by now my irritation was expanding just because she was acting as if she didn’t care.
“Well, if I walked with you and waited for you then I would of gotten lunch detention and I think 30 minutes of lunch is better than two and a half minutes or passing period,” she threw her hand in the air.
I couldn’t think of a good comeback. If I said “still,” then I would lose. I just picked up my stuff angrily and left hoping that it would be a good enough “burn.”
I fled her house as it started getting darker. It wasn’t very cold or very hot, but I was sweating. My heart was beating so fast. I didn’t notice anything unusual because of the creepy feeling that I usually get. The only thing I did notice was that I didn’t have a shadow. Then an odd sensation crept over me. I was sure someone was watching me as I left – and it wasn’t Nancy.
I stomped home and ran into my room and listened to “Smoke” by Suicide Silence. That was a Monday.
On Tuesday, Nancy didn’t come to school. I thought that was odd because Nancy wouldn’t miss Taco Tuesday.
I went over to her house when school ended and found it boarded up and a calamitous uproar going on along with flashing lights. The house was hugged by caution tape. Even, the trees had caution tape. It looked almost as if someone t.p.'ed her house with caution tape. The police were there doing whatever police officers do alongside paramedics. Channel 4 news was there with the field reporter who has a peculiar moustache. There was something about him that bothered me, it must have been his nasal voice or the fact that he reminds me of my English teacher.
“Wa-Whats going on here?” I tapped on a police officer’s shoulder. He didn’t look down; I tapped his shoulder again.
“Little girl, please leave this for people who are supposed to be here,” he said. I left and tried to break into the back. There was nothing to block my little secret “breaking-into-Nancy’s-house” spot. I snuck in only to find a stuck up police officer: “ Young lady, this is a crime scene not a playground,” she spat out. “You need to leave now.”
My gut told me this was bad, more than bad. I raced home and turned on the news.
“Good evening,” said the same guy with a weird moustache that I hated.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here at Black Gate where a 14 –year-old girl has been reported dead. Nancy Cartwath apparently dropped dead in her home. Adding to the mystery is that her mother, Donna Cartwath, was brought to the police station for questioning, but dropped dead before she walked in the doors. The Coroner’s Office will do autopsies on both the girl and her mother. They don’t expect any answers for at least a week.”
I turned off the T.V. and dropped to the floor and just laid there on my stomach. My arm fell asleep under me, but why should I have move it. Nothing last forever. Everything dies.
“What are you doing on the floor!” my mom asked me as she peeked into the room.
“I like it here,” I mumbled quietly. It sounded more like a grunt.
“Jess, get up,” my mom ordered.
I got up from the floor and turned on the news for my mom. The story was being reported over and over again on every station.
“Oh, my gosh, Jessica, I am so sorry,” as she tried to hug me --- but I backed away and ran into my room.
I slammed my door. My room smelled like sweat and Sharpies. My cycling pants and shirt shabbily were strewn across the floor stinking up my room. I kicked them aside only to find a rotting sandwich. It probably tastes like dog food because it looks like dog food. I couldn’t stand it. So I walked out the door and got on my bike to ride to our secret park – mine and Nancy’s.
Our secret park is a piece of grass and a big, green, lush oak tree across from the graveyard. I got off my bike and laid on the grass thinking about nothing but Nancy. I heard a noise and I looked up across the street into the graveyard. I saw Nancy behind the gate grabbing the bars and looking right at me like she was stuck there. She looked frightened.
I ran to Nancy and I got to the gate. It was starting to get dark.
“Nancy! Nancy! ‘’ I screamed I was so happy to see her.
“Shhhh,” she put her fingers to her lips. She then turned around and walked away from me across the graveyard. The flat land was filled with nothing but rotting stacks of bones six feet under. The farther she got away from me, the more blurry she became.
I raced after her. The moon moved behind a cloud and she vanished. I started to freak out.
I didn’t know what to do. Why is she there? Didn’t she die? I almost passed out. My heart was beating super fast, my adrenaline was pumping. I wanted to jump the gate and hug her, but how can I hug her? She is dead.
I just jumped on my bike and cycled home. I opened my bedroom door, the same awful smell greeted me as I walked in. I grimaced on my journey to my bed. My scrapbooks were all over it. I was wondering how they got there, probably my mom put them there.
I collapsed on my bed looking through the interminable amount of embarrassing baby and family photos of me. Then came the section of me and Nancy:
Me and Nancy in second grade.
Me and Nancy in third grade.
Me and Nancy in fourth grade and so on until ninth grade.
Nancy and I went everywhere with each other. Mavis Park, cousin’s houses, even dental appointments. The only time we didn’t see each other …or stay in contact…was when we were showering or asleep unless it was a sleepover. The most awful moments for us was when we both had something else to do so we couldn’t see each other. That’s why it was strange that she didn’t pick me up after class. We were inseparable.
My favorite photo of the two of us was when she actually was smiling at the camera. In all of her school photos, she never smiled let alone looked at the camera.
When I came to my favorite photo of the two of us, my face was scratched out. As I went on flipping pages, the only person missing was me. I was torn out of each page. What had happened? Who would do that? I couldn’t blame Nancy. She was dead. My mother would never have done that. I didn’t have any sisters or brothers to blame.
I closed the book and stared up at the ceiling. My heart was beating so heavily and quickly that I could feel it pound in my toes. I jumped out of bed and ran outside to the safest placed I used to know – Nancy’s house.
I ran and ran and ran without stopping until I got there. The place was still boarded up, but one window was broken. There were lights on and I heard laughing like a family. I saw two shadows in the window. The day was gloomy and the sun began fading like the day I stomped out of Nancy’s house for the last time. I went to the window and looked inside.
There was Nancy and her mom sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, watching Tosh.0.
“Hey Jess, come inside,” Nancy said. Her mom was cracking up about a comment Daniel Tosh said about a YouTube video, almost like everything was back to normal. I climbed through the window trying to look as casual as I could, almost like I climbed through broken windows of my dead friend’s house everyday so I could eat popcorn with her.
I sat down on the couch. It looked normal, but I felt that sensation again like someone was watching me. I stayed there even though I was beginning to freak out. I fell asleep and woke up the next morning.
“Oh my God, school! I have to get to school! I shouted as I jumped up. “My mother is going to kill me if I go back to get my backpack. Oh, no I forgot my homework.”
I started freaking out.
“Hah, ha, ha…It’s Sunday sweetie. You don’t have school,” Donna gloated.
There was something different about them like something dead or evil. I couldn’t stand being in that house a minute longer. I opened the door to go outside. I was surprised when I opened the door that the house wasn’t boarded up anymore. The trees, grass and plants were dead and all the shadows quivered toward me – as though they were attracted to me
All the trees and houses in the back and front to me were burning and fell apart into a white background. I was cornered in the house. I walked back in.
‘Sweetie, you can’t go outside. They will get you,’” Donna said with a giggle and a twinkle in her cold, brown eyes and a big smile showcasing all of her white teeth.
I opened the door to step outside again, but there wasn’t any outside, only inside. “Only an inside,” my voice repeated over and over.
It’s a house in an island of white sea with no way home.
I’m stranded in a house of my dead friend. The same house tattooed on Nancy’s left wrist. She held up her left arm as a gesture to sit down on the couch. There was something different. She didn’t have the tattoo anymore.
“Where’s the tattoo? I asked, quivering with fear. I always hated that thing.
Nancy giggled, more and more, and then so did her mother until their laughter began to echo off the walls, hurting my ears.
I sat stunned as it slowly crept into my brain that we’d all been sucked into Nancy’s evil tattoo. I was never going home. There were no marks, no traces of where we went. We were nowhere —except in a house stranded forever on a white sea.