Being the child of divorce parents is never fun; especially when you have to move to a new home, while the parents get everything settled. The road was zipping on by as I looked out the window of the car. I was moving to my cousin’s house while my parents were going through their divorce. Both of them thought it would be best that I live with a relative till this whole thing blew over. In that case, I might as well move in permanently with my cousin.
My cousin, Vivian, owned a large mansion on the edge of a small town. She inherited after the disappearance of her older sister, Alexandria. Alexandria disappeared without a trace about six years ago. Nobody has received any word for her, nor has there been any sign of her. If you ask me, I think she was either murdered or kidnapped; but who cares what a sixteen year old girl thinks.
When the car pulled up in front of the house, I gave a solemn sigh. My cousin waited for me at the bottom of the steps. Compared to her sister, who was a natural beauty, Vivian was very plain looking. She had a calm, blank look. Her eyes looked emotionless and empty. She was the complete opposite of her sister. To me she looked like a sociopath.
I got out of the car, and my suitcases out of the trunk. “No need.” Vivian said. With the wave of her hand, servants came and took the suitcases from me. I didn’t want them to take my things, but I let them without a fuss.
I followed Vivian and the servants into the house. It was huge and beautiful. The house looked old, but in perfect condition. As we went of the stairs, Vivian was talking to me without even turning around. “You are not allowed to go into any other bedrooms except for your own. Do not socialize with the maids, and other servants. They need to do their job, and by distracting them you’ll only get them and yourself in trouble.” Vivian said. Vivian suddenly stopped and turned around in the hallway. “And in the garden, do not touch the red rose bush. If you do, you will not eat for three days and will have to clean every inch of this house. Understand?”
“Understood.” I said. “Wicked bitch.” I muttered under my breath, so she wouldn’t hear me. When we reached my room, I stood in amazement at the beauty of it. It was absolutely beautiful. Vivian left and I went over to the bed and laid down. I closed my eyes, and drifted off to sleep.
The days in the mansion were quite boring. You would expect that someone as loaded as Vivian would have things such as a pool, big screen TV, and other things like that. All Vivian really has is a rose garden and a library. Since there is nothing else to do, I read books.
One day, I decided to go out to the rose garden and read. I sat down in one of the chairs that surrounded an outside table. It was warm and peaceful outside; the perfect time to read a book.
I got into the book rather quickly. So much that I didn’t even notice Vivian when she came out. I stopped reading for just a moment and she was just there. Dressed up like a gardener with a hat, gloves, and everything. She had one of those squirt bottles that had water in it that people used sometimes to water the plants. She was spraying the red rose bush with it.
For some time, she only sprayed the red rose bush; Vivian didn’t even looked at the other white rose bushes that were surrounding her. “Is there a reason you are watching me?” Vivian asked without looking at me.
“Nothing in particular. I’m just wondering why you’re only spraying the red rose bush. Do you not like white roses?” I asked.
Vivian chuckled and cupped one of the red roses. “My dear, it’s not that I don’t like white roses; in fact there is not difference between a white or red rose. All a red rose is, is a blood stained white rose.” Vivian said. She sighed, and for the first time since I’ve been here, I saw her smile. It wasn’t a good smile though. It was one those creepy smiles that you usually see on murderers, psychos, or sadistic people. “No, I only take care of this bush because it has sentimental value to me.”
I swallowed really hard. Vivian was weirder than I thought. A white rose is a blood stained red rose? What type of analogy is that? Something was sending alert bells off. “Then why do you have all these white rose bushes in the garden?”
Vivian went back to her solemn self. She frowned really hard, and for the first time, I actually saw emotion in Vivian’s usual empty eyes. It wasn’t a good type of emotion. It looked like anger. “Alexandria put them here. I don’t care for white roses. Too pure for my taste.” Vivian said, her voice having an emotion I couldn’t identify. “Erica, there is something you should know. Nobody, or anything in this world is pure. No matter how pure they may seem they are not. Not even these white roses. One day they will become red roses, covered in the blood of their sins.”
I nodded my head and left; wanting to get away from my crazy cousin. I went back into the house and up to my room. When I fell upon the bed, I thought of all the things Vivian had said. I was starting to think that Vivian had a part in Alexandria’s “disappearance.”
For the next few days, I did my own little investigation. According to what I’ve heard from family, and family friends, there was not investigation about Alexandria’s death. They had said there was no signs of foul play, so there was no point to assume that there was a murder. Even though Alexandria was responsible, and not the type to just up and run, people accepted that was what happened. I wasn’t going to accept that theory.
According to the maids, and other servants, Vivian and Alexandria had a good relationship when they were kids. They always played together, and they seemed like they had the perfect sister relationship. It wasn’t until they were older, that they seemed to grow apart.
Vivian was always compared to her beautiful and talented sister. Though Vivian was good, and still is good, at hiding her emotions, there were times the maids and servants thought that Vivian resented Alexandria. Vivian never talked with anyone, especially after the death of her parents, who Vivian also despised. This made me think that jealousy was the main motive for Alexandria’s disappearance.
If I wanted to snoop around to look for more clues, but it would have to be at night when everyone was gone. I would look around Alexandria’s room while Vivian was asleep. I wanted to find out the truth, and damn it, I was going to.
That night, I quietly crept through the hall. It was around midnight, so Vivian should have been asleep. Down the hall, according to the maids that I’ve talked to, was Alexandria’s room.
As I stood in front of the door, my heart began to race. It took all I had just to control my breathing. The door opened without a making a noise. I slipped into the room and immediately began to search it. The room looked untouched for years, literally. It looked like the maids haven’t even been here for the six years since Alexandria’s disappearance. Vivian must have made it forbidden for even the maids to enter this room.
Dust was everywhere, collected over the years of not being cleaned. I searched through the drawers, which still contained Alexandria’s clothes and other belongings. I didn’t find anything. I searched around the bed as well, thinking that maybe Alexandria, or Vivian had dropped something. Still I found nothing.
I got on my hands and knees and searched under the bed. There was nothing there except for dust. I sat up and sighed, thinking that I wasn’t going to find anything. But there had to be something here, otherwise, Vivian wouldn’t have made it forbidden to enter this room.
I had to think about this logically. There was something in this room that would tell me what happened to Alexandria. If Alexandria was murdered, then it was in her own bedroom. Now the question was, was she awake or alive when she was murdered? It had to be after the maids left, so she was killed between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. Alexandria was most likely asleep when she was murdered. If Alexandria was murdered in her bed, then there would have been blood splatter if she was killed by a knife. I ruled out strangulation for the fact there would be little to no evidence.
I looked around the room once more. If she was killed in her bed, blood would have splattered everywhere. Somebody, Vivian, had cleaned up the blood. But everybody made mistakes. There was truly no such thing as a perfect murder. I looked at the nightstand. If there was blood splatter, then nobody would probably think to check to see if there was blood behind it. It would be covered up, so there would be no point.
I stood up, my legs cramping from sitting on them for so long. I pushed the nightstand away from the bed. My heart pounded with fear and excitement with what I saw. On the wall were blood stains. Vivian really had murdered Alexandria.
I heard clapping behind me, and my eyes widened with fear. I felt like my heart was going to burst in my chest from fear. “Very good Erica. You found out my little secret.” Vivian said. I turned, and stared at Vivian, who had a wicked smile on her face. She started walking towards me; with every step she took towards me, I took a step back until I hit the wall. “Poor Erica. It looks like now I have to kill you.”
Vivian reached out to grab me, but I dodged and ducked away from her hand. I ran out the door, and down the hallway. I looked behind me briefly to see if Vivian was going to pursue. That was what cost me though. For that brief moment that I turned, I didn’t notice the stairs. When I got to them, I began to tumble down them. I blacked out before I even stopped falling.
When I awoke, my head and body were aching. I was lying on the rug next to the fireplace, which had a fire burning in it. My body hurt as I sat up. “I’m glad to see that you’re awake.” Vivian was sitting in the chair that was in front of the fireplace. She was twirling a knife in her hand.
“Why?” I asked.
“Why did you kill Alexandria?”
Vivian grimaced. “You know why.”
I swallowed hard. “Because you were jealous. Tired of being compared to your sister by everyone, including your own parents.” I said.
Vivian cocked her head to the side, which made me think for a moment of a bird. “In laymen’s terms, yes. Everyone thought she was this perfect, pure white rose like the ones in her garden. Eventually it was that ‘purity’ that led to her own demise. She was a white rose that was eventually stained with the blood of her sins.”
“Sins? What sins? Alexandria never did anything to you. According to everyone, she loved you. She loved her little sister more than anything.”
Vivian laughed darkly. She had stopped spinning the knife, and tightly gripped the hilt of the knife; she gripped it so tightly that her knuckles turned stark white. “That bitch made my life a living hell. I was always in her shadow.” Vivian sighed. “Now it’s time for you to die Erica.”
“You’re going to kill me in cold blood like your sister? Do you think you’re going to get away with murder again? Bury my body and cleaning the blood just like what you did with Alexandria? You’ll get caught Vivian.” I said.
“No Erica, I’m not going to kill you like Alexandria. I don’t want to deal with the hassle of cleaning the blood and burying your body. Besides, one red rose bush is enough for the garden. No need for two.”
“Then how are you going to kill me?” I asked, standing up. I almost lost my balance, and everything hurt when I moved.
Vivian gave me another wicked smiled. “I’m not going to kill you Erica.” Before I could act, she stood from the chair and grabbed my wrist with her free hand. “I was asleep all night, and came down the stairs to find my dear cousin lying dead in front of the fireplace. How horrified was I to find that my cousin had committed suicide. But children of parents getting a divorce is a common thing, so people won’t find it strange.”
Vivian took the wrist that she had in her hand, and slit it with the knife. I screamed in pain. I heard Vivian laugh, as she watched my horrified face. The fire made the blood on the knife glitter crimson. Vivian tried, to grab my other wrist, but I pushed her away and fell backwards. I ran into rack that had the fire pokers in it. Everything fell out when I fell into it.
Vivian charged toward me, and I knew that she would finish the job if I didn’t act quickly. I searched the floor and found one of the pokers. I closed my eyes and held it up. I could hear and feel it go into Vivian’s flesh. When I opened my eyes, I saw Vivian with a wide eyed expression. She dropped the bloody knife, and gripped the poker. She made gasping sounds, and blood started coming out of her mouth. Bloody was dripping down the poker, and the warm liquid flowed over my hands. As I let go of it, Vivian walked back and fell into the chair. I stared at Vivian’s lifeless form as I tried to control my breathing and my racing heart.
I stood in front of the red rose bush. Touching the velvet petals of the bloody roses. This was Alexandria’s grave. It has been days since Vivian’s death, and the investigation took place. I looked at my bandaged wrist that Vivian slit. I replayed in my head the things that Vivian said to me.
She had said that Alexandria had died because of her own sins. Alexandria was a white rose. She was truly one of those people who really were “pure.” Alexandria was not blood stained by the blood of her own sins, but by the blood of Vivian’s sins. Envy was one of the seven deadly sins, and that was what cost Alexandria her life. A jealous sister.
People are going to say that Vivian killed her sister out of hate and jealousy. The jealousy I would believe, but not the hate. I do not believe Vivian hated her sister. Red roses in most cases represent love. Though Vivian had her own crazy way of explaining what a red rose was, it was also used to represent that she loved her sister. Also by the ways he took care of the rose bush, and said it had sentimental value to her. Even though she was jealous and even killed Alexandria, she still loved her.
“Vivian, your sister was stained with the blood of your sins. Alexandria became a blood stained white rose, while you became the rose’s bloody thorns.”