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Hi. I enjoy writing, reading, learning, drawing, and planning murders. I am always on the hunt for something new and interesting. I hope you find something interesting in my writing

Not an Original

January 10, 2018


The sound of laughter drifts up from the street below, making me feel very alone in this town. Laencaster was a dull town in which you couldn't see the sky because of the thick layer of fog that blanketed the small city. Of course, I'm not saying that it wasn't an attractive town. There's something calming about seeing different colored lights that shine from each building, fighting to be seen through the thick fog. And there were always the children that flocked the streets from dawn till dusk, introducing themselves to strangers and asking politely for money to buy candy at the popular candy store called "Fiore Delicato Candy", a charming little store around the corner from my apartment. 
 Marcus Castillo, my roommate, calls up to me "The toilet is clogged again!" I sigh deeply and ponder the best course of action from here. 
"Coming Markie! Which toilet?" I holler back, but not before cursing in English. Luckily for me, no one in this town speaks very good English, which gives me the freedom to spew curses at a rapid pace. 
"The hallway one! Again! What has Stella been doing all of these years?" He mutters to himself, referring to the landlady who owns the major apartment complex that we live in. She has a few on the other side of town, but she doesn't visit them very often. I make my way down the hallways, trying to ignore my claustrophobia as I look around the mold-encrusted hallways. They even look fuzzy, although I doubt they feel that way. I open my mouth and breathe deeply, tasting the stale air of Laencaster. Marcus manages to jolt me out of my observations of the small hallway and the rancid smell of the mold growing on the walls. 
"What should I do?" He asks, an adorable pout on his lips. I don't say anything, instead opting to push him aside and grab the plunger, shoving it into the toilet. I struggle to ignore my intestines, which are trying to rearrange themselves in my stomach. Two minutes later I remove the plunger and shove it at Marcus. 
"It's your problem now, buddy," I finally say "Rinse it off and leave it on the balcony to dry. After that, wash your hands like there's no tomorrow. You'll get ill, and I'm not going to care for you because you poisoned yourself with nasty toilet water," I grumble. 
Marcus nods to show he's heard me, but doesn't move. "NOW!" I urge him. He scuttles down the moldy hallway and disappears behind a corner. I walk to the bathroom sink and use half of the bottle of Deruta Lemon Hand Soap. After I decide that I am no longer contaminated with germs, I head to my small bedroom and look through my closet, pulling out my Royal Blue Dress and donning it, relishing the feeling of cheap velvet, a combination that reminds me of my days as a rich young lady in America. As I think about my past, I sink through a fog of memories. 
I laugh at my friend, Charlie as he tries on my mother's oversized heels. 
"Don't I look swell Tanya? I feel like some rich prince!" Charlie grins. 
"Yeah, but you don't look like one! A prince should look manly and he should have a mustache! Like Daddy! He wouldn't wear heels like a girl," I taunt. "Everyone knows that! If you want to be my prince, you should wear Daddy's crown," Reaching down, I hand my best friend the gold rimmed, jewel-encrusted diadem. I hand it to Charlie and watch as he fumbles to situate it atop his head. Sighing at my friend's incomitance, I lean over and place the crown on his head, making a dent in his hair so the crown would fit properly.  
"Thanks Tanya! Now I really feel like a prince! Crown, stallion, and all! Now all I need is a damsel in distress! Come on Tanya! Be my Princess!" 
"Silly Charlie! I'm already a Princess! The Heiress to Spindletop-Gladys Oil Company! I'm certainly more important than you, Prince Charlie Hickerson!" 
"But of course, madam. I am but a lowly servant boy, who caters to your every whim and wish. Nowhere close to being able to talk to royalty... yet here I am," Charlie shoves me lightly in the shoulder and I laugh. 
"Point taken, Charles. Hmm... what else could you put on to make you seem manlier?" 
"You're going to be late!" Marcus calls up to me and his voice jolts me out of the fog of my memories. Glancing at my clock, I jump up and finish pulling the nice dress and run out of the abysmal apartment, pausing only to grab a pair of heeled booties and my wallet. 
"Bye Markie! I'll see you later!" I shout up the stairs at him, before bolting to catch my bus. 
I sit in the comfy lounge chair and stare vacantly, looking everywhere but the face of Dr. Matthews, my psychologist, who is trying to gain my attention. 
"Mrs. Hickerson, are you ready to begin?"  
"My name is Ms. Gladys. And yes, I suppose I have no choice in the matter, you'll force me to talk with your creepy phycologist magic," I respond, glaring at the ceiling and wishing death and despair upon everyone in this miserable town. 
"Why are you here today, Ms. Gladys? Has something happened?" 
I laugh humorlessly. "You could say that," Dr. Matthews stares at me intently. "I've been having dreams. Nightmares, actually. About my childhood," I elaborate in the hopes that Dr. Matthews will stop trying to burn a bottomless pit into my soul. 
"And why is this? A trigger from your past is coming back to haunt you?" Dr. Matthews inquires. 
"That's a tad bit dramatic, Dr. Matthews. Not haunt, just... ensure that I don't forget what happened." 
"Please, call me Gian. I am here for you, so let's forgo all formalities. Now, Ms. Gladys," I sigh, thankful that he is at least using a "Ms." in front of my name "What are you not allowed to forget? And who is forcing you to remember?" 
"Charlie. Charlie Hickerson, my late husband. I don't know, he won't leave me alone! Every time I close my eyes, he's there. Every time I smell something familiar or see something that reminds me of America, I freeze and just... remember everything. I moved to Italy to get away from Spindletop-Gladys Oil Company, but Charlie is still here." 
"What happened to Charlie?" Gian asks. I wonder how he cannot see that he is prodding an open wound inside my heart. 
"I don't want to talk about it." 
"And let us give a warm welcome to Ms. Tanya Gladys!" My father jokes. 
"Hush Daddy! Everyone knows that a woman has to take time to make herself beautiful." I giggle, stretching a hand up to pet my father's velvet overcoat. 
"Uccello, you don't need time to make yourself lovely. You already are the most beautiful creature in the world! Your mother on the other hand..." Daddy winces as Mother slaps his head. 
"Keaton! How dare you?" My mother laughs and clings to his arm, also rubbing the velvet overcoat. "You should treat all women with respect. Especially your wife!" I smile at my parents, thinking how radically different they are from other couples we know. They speak as equals and boldly show affection to each other in public places. I love them deeply. 
"Oh Anita! You know I only jest. You are as lovely as the sun and all the flowers in the world. Je t'aime, ma petite columbe" My father hooks his large hands underneath my mother's knees and lifts her into a bridal style carry. My mother shrieks with laughter. 
"Put me down Keaton, we will be late to the ballet!" She wiggles out of Daddy's grasp and floats towards the front entrance. And then, disaster strikes. The large doors fly open to reveal a tall man, shadowed in black. Worst of all, he holds a gun tightly in his hands. One shot, two shots, and Mother is down. Daddy turns to me. 
"Run Tanya, run and don't look back, even if you hear something scary," He shoves me and turns to face my mother's attacker. I turn and flee up the stairs, taking care to duck my head to avoid bullets. My father roars as the tall man fires bullet after bullet at me. All I can think of is Daddy's velvet overcoat. How soft it is. A grunt sounds below, followed by a thud as someone tumbles to the ground. Without even turning around, I correct myself. How soft the velvet overcoat was.  
I run around the corner, straight into Charlie. He takes my shoulder in his hands and shakes me. "Tanya, what is it? I heard gun shots!" 
"A man, Charlie. A man is in the house with a gun. Daddy told me to run," I say, pushing past Charlie to continue my getaway. 
"What? There is a man? With a gun?" He turns around and gestures to a servant boy who stands in the darkness. "Go Jordan. Call the police! Quickly now!" Jordan turns and runs back into the darkness. Charlie stiffens and his fingers dig into my shoulders. "Do you hear that?" 
"Hear what? I don't hear anything," Then I realize that I can't hear anything. Where are the gunshots? Where is the man shrouded in black? Without another second, I turn and race back the way I came, peering over the hand railing as I go. I stop in the main hall and stare at my parents. They lay in the same position they died in. My father had made his way over to Mother when the tall man got to him. Daddy is draped on top of my mother and neither one moves. 
"Daddy? Mommy?" I whine, feeling like a small child again, instead of like the responsible 14-year-old I am. Charlie catches up to me and throws his arms around me, resting his large head on mine.  
"Hush, Uccello. It's okay." I don't know why he's saying that it's all okay. It isn't. Not at all. 
"Hey, what do you want for dinner? I was thinking pizza, or maybe that good bakery down the street. You know, the one that sells jelly and jam rolls?" Marcus walks into my room. He immediately seems to regret it. "Uccello"  
Hearing my old nickname sends a spark of rage through my body. I pick up the nearest thing to me- an old vase- and throw it at Marcus' head. It shatters, raining shards of pottery all over the plushy carpet. One shard, the largest one, impales itself into the ground, sticking straight up, glinting off of the lamp-light.  
"Get out!" I sob, flinching at the loud noise of pottery shattering, my eyes stuck to the large shard, feeling as though it had impaled me instead of the carpet.  "Go away!  Don't call me Uccello!" I turn around as Marcus flees the room, looking confused at my outburst. His flight from my room remind me of how I fled the Entrance Hall 15 years ago. The door slams behind him and I'm alone again. It's the worst feeling in the world. 
Twenty minutes later, I've stopped shuttering in anger and regret and so I deem myself safe to interact with other humans. I totter out of my room and look around for Marcus. He's vanished, but he was kind enough to leave out leftovers out for me. I sit down at the table and devour them, savoring the rich Italian spices and the amazing bread crust on the pizza. I never liked pizza in America, but it's fantastic in Italy. 
After I finish eating, I begin to wonder where Marcus has disappeared to. Maybe he went job-hunting like I've been telling him to. As I was looking, the doorbell rang. I pause, confused because Markie never rings the doorbell. He has a key and doesn't need to. Besides Marcus and the landlady, nobody ever stops by the apartment. We are practically off the radar to the entire town. Shaking off the uncomfortable nagging sensation in my gut, I go to answer the door. 
As I near the chipped door, I slip off my shoes and walk down the stairs barefoot, making sure to skip the creaking step as I make my way to the door. I heft a nearby umbrella above my head, ready to defend myself. I peer through the small window on the front door. The sight I see isn't terrifying at all. It's a teen with long brown hair and Caribbean eyes, holding a box of cookies. You can't get more innocent then that. I open to door and prepare to let the girl down gently when the glass on the door explodes. 

"Get her! She is a danger to herself!" A burly man roars, muscles rolling under his tan jacket as he held a bat in his hands. A logo on his shirt reads "Lincon's Control and Containment for Mentally Unstable". Unstable? I blanch. He thinks I'm crazy! The innocent looking-teen whips out a tazer and aims for my stomach. I kick her in the shin and she collapses. 
I ran for the stairs, slipping on broken glass, but another man appeared and grabbed my ankle and yanked me down the stairs. I shriek and turned around to hit the man. He hardly grunts under my fists, just pulls me closer to him. I aim and kick as hard as I can and the man doubles over, releasing me at last, but the other man takes his place as his friend recovers. This time, he grabs my wrists so I can't punch them anymore. I wiggle my legs, trying to free myself, but stop in shock as I see Dr. Matthews standing with his arms crossed over his chest. 
"Dr. Matthews? What are they doing? Help me!" I wail. 
"I can't do that. You see, I was the one who called them. It's for your own safety." Dr. Matthews makes a twirling motion with his wrist and the men bundle me into the back of a nice car, making sure to tie a bandana around my mouth so I can't scream. I start to chew the fabric in hopes of biting through it. No luck. The bandana is coated with something slimy and gross that causes me to choke on my own saliva. I stop chewing. 
"I'm sorry Katerina, but you are a danger to yourself and others. I suppose I ought to thank your roommate, Marcus. He's been ever so helpful to us." Dr. Matthews moves aside to reveal a figure that I've missed throughout the fight. Marcus stands in a similar position to Dr. Matthews, hands clenched across his chest. I see regret swimming in his grey eyes, but the wind blows his long hair into his eyes and the look is gone. 
"I'm sorry, but I had to Katerina. Dr. Matthews is right. You aren’t yourself. I don't know who Tanya is, you've been Katerina since Kindergarten when you moved here. Come back to us Kitty!" The car doors slam, encasing me in darkness. Despite the dark, I can still hear Marcus' voice echoing in my mind 
I don't know who Tanya is- Come back to us Kitty- Since Kindergarten- Katerina. Who am I?  
I don´t know how long I´ve been in this car, but the air is rancid and I still am tasting that slimy thing, it taints everything that I feel, taste, or smell. It tastes like all the pollution in the world has been squeezed into a slimy bandana that has been slapped on my mouth. The men are sitting across from my seat but they don´t spare a glance at me. Instead, they converse among themselves in French. I can only understand snippets of their conversation, but they all jumble around in my head, conflicting with what Marcus said before. I am in deep turmoil and I feel as though Tanya is shattering. I think of Katerina. Who I apparently am. Why can I suddenly remember a whole other life? A life that surely cannot be mine.  But then I remember skating down the hill outside my parent's house. My parents who lived in America before my Grandma moved me to Italy. So many memories. How have they been gone for so long?  
The men have finally stopped talking to each other in French, instead, they turn to me and untie the gag. 
"Are you okay?" The man who I kicked asks. I am shocked by his kindness. I attacked him, but he is still treating me with care. I am unfamiliar to this type of treatment. My Grandma (at least the woman who I think is my Grandmother) always had the philosophy that everyone has to fend for themselves. She would never help anybody, but defended her family to the death.  
"Yes, I think so. Where are we going?" I inquire, after the man has moved his hands away from my mouth, probably trying to avoid me biting him. I am so tired of fighting so I let him. 
"A place where you can get help, Ms. Katerina. You're going to be okay." 
Two Months Later 
I sit in the cafeteria with my best friends, Maya and Chris. Chris is busy trying to eat his fork. When he's not thinking up ways to escape the psychiatric hospital, he's very pleasant company. Maya yanks the fork from his hand and sets it on the table. 
"So, Kat, how was Visitors Day for you? None of my deadbeat parents or friends could come, but you seemed pretty into that one guy who came for you. Is he your boyfriend?" Maya asks, a giddy look on her face. 
"That was Marcus. He was my roommate before I came here. He stops by every week to see how I'm doing," I reply. "He was telling me that he was finally hired. He wants to be a lawyer." 
"Sounds great. At least he gets to breathe fresh, real air," Chris huffs 
"It's okay Chris. We can be happy here. It'll be great," I smile, finally content where I am, here in a safe place, free from Tanya and her past. 
"Who ya talkin' to?" A security guard asks. I turn around, but Chris and Maya are gone. I am alone. 


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  • CreativeAngel


    over 2 years ago

    All I did was read the end and it still made me sad

    almost 3 years ago
  • Glytch Montoya

    ...And here I thought the end was going to be happy...

    ...Also, I am incredibly confused.

    almost 3 years ago