Her eyes snap open. The grating noise, like fingernails on a chalkboard, comes again. She flinches at the sound, wincing, long eyelashes brushing her thin cheeks. There is fear in the green eyes as they look for the source of it.
(screech) The window. She can only just see it in the darkness. A treebranch in the yard outside scraping against the glass in the wind. Yes, yes that is it. Getting up, she walks to the window- still, she must check. Pressing her palm against the glass, she peers out. There is the edge of the rocky cliff beneath her, and the stormy, crashing grey waves of the sea at the bottom where vicious rocks poke through the seafoam. There is no tree, however. She stands, frozen at the window, for the longest time.
(screech) Right beside her now. No, behind her. She whirls, facing the dark room. No, outside! Right outside the window. Through the spidery cracks in the glass she can see the stormy sea yawning beneath her, churning, reaching, licking at the rocks lividly in the dark. Faces, faces in the dark. Soul-less faces of shadow. Ghosts. She leaps back from the window. Silence. Utter silence. (screech) She starts. Now she is shivering, shaking, curling in on herself, her mouth in an "o" of horror, her eyes haunted. She cowers against the side of the window as the faces press up against the glass. Balling up her fists over her eyes, she presses into the corner. There is no more screeching. Just the crashing of waves and the moaning lament of the wind on the moors. Her breathe comes in short spurts. Slowly, she lowers her hands, which remain in fists without her knowledge, staggering to the window. "I am not well," she wails quietly. Her voice shakes with her hands, and the green eyes are horrified. As she approaches the glass, she peers out. The water is red. No, no, it's the glass that is red, a bloody handprint on its surface.
(screech) "What is this? Who? Not well, not well..." gasping for air, frantic. She hums, trying to calm her nerves, but cannot seem to keep the tune in her distress. A childhood rhyme, that will calm her. She will feel better with a familiar comfort. "Jack and Jill went up the hill," her voice shakes, raspy and thick. She cannot remember the words. "Jack and Jill, Jack and Jill...Jill...tumbling..." she is sobbing now. She stumbles to the window once more. A ghostly face stares at her, smears of red around the green eyes. She brings her hand to her mouth in horror. So does the ghost in the window. Something is on her hand, it is wet... She pulls it away, all red and slick. The girl in the window also stares at her own hand, which shakes and drips red into the sea beneath her. " No. No, it isn't..." she whispers in horror. With dream-like slowness, she raises her hand to the print on the window where it fits perfectly. A drop slides down the glass and the girl in the window cocks her head to the side, watching it with an odd, fascinated expression.
(shriek) This one doesn't
end. It is a different sound, a tearing, painful sound full of
fear and madness. No, it isn't a branch, someone is screaming!
She clamps her hand over her mouth, trying to muffle the sound, shaking her head back and forth, but pulls it back in horror and disgust as the blood touches her lips. Frantically, she rushes to the basin in the corner, scrubbing, scrubbing her hands. But they will not come clean. "Out! Out damn spot, out I tell you!" she yells at them. "Jack and Jill," she mutters. "Jack and Jill, up the hill..." the sing-song voice is eerily out of place in the forbiding supulchral blackness. "water...pail of water..." she's getting frantic now, scrubbing until her fingers are raw. "pa-pail of water... tumbling after...broke his crown...tumbling... TUMBLING!" she shouts, knocking the basin to the floor, where it makes a dull thud, bleeding red water that seeps into the carpet. Her breathing is ragged as she once again rushes to the window. "Help me!" she pleads, but the girl there only mouths her words dumbly. "Please!" The figure on the other side of the glass only presses her palms to the windowpane, as if trying desperately to say something. "She mustn't hear me." She pries open the window, but by then the girl has vanished into the night. "This isn't a time for a swim!" She says, exasperated, to the maliciously sharp rocks below. "Come back!" she whines, like a child. Sighing, she carefully removes her necklaces, laying them calmly side by side on the window sill. "I'm not mad," she says conversationally to them. And then she throws herself over the edge into the stormy sea. White hands grip the rocks until the ocean water is red, but are finally engulfed by the waves.
(screech) Now an owl lands on the sill of the open window beside her jewels, cocking its head to the side as it stares at the jagged rocks below. (screech)
And suddenly, rain pelts the sea, churning it, with such vicious force that it seems alive. Given power by the rain, the water reaches up and swallows the razor sharp rocks that rise from it, whole.