Haunted by life

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


A girl looses her family in a day, and lives in pain, guilt and sorrow, unfortunately death was beyond her reach, she was haunted by life.

Submitted: September 29, 2017

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Submitted: September 29, 2017

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The night, she feared. For it brought back memories she dread. Memories of moments of horror, pains, tears and loss. Now and then she wondered, if she should jump for sheer delight that death had chosen to spare her, or curse her existence. For life brought her nothing but pain and sorrow and guilt.

How excruciating had the elements of life turned against her, time the ultimate healer of wounds, had done her no healing but reopen the sore wound on her already bleeding heart.

Memories.

How she wished they could disappear.

How many more paths would she take to annihilate those memories. How many more bottles of Whiskey, Brandy, strong wines, wines with caustic tastes that tore the soul of man apart, with only but a sip, would she drink. How many tons of cocaine would she sniff.... how many more.

None. A stern answer, swam from the depths of heart to the surface of her mind. Those were useless remedies that worsened her frailness and haunted her with unending dreadful nightmares. Real memories, memories ingrained on her pathetic soul.

A curse on her being.

For same memories haunted her with life, same life that brought her pain, sorrow and guilt. She craved for freedom, freedom from life, freedom from those haunting memories.

Freedom to death.

For that was her only panacea.

Of memories that flooded her soul, like a rushing wind.

********

'Rach!' Jamie called his elder sister excitedly from the living room, with the TV remote in his left hand and eyes glued to the television. He was watching his best musician perform on TV, he threw his hands in the air, jerking each sides of his waist, trying to keep up with the dancers' move.

'Oh my, Rach! You've got to see this dance moves!' he exclaimed happily, dancing with all he's got .

'Coming Jamie, I'll be with you in a jiffy!' Rachel called back from the kitchen, where she he'd been baking cookies and making gingered apple juice. She grabbed a kitchen towel from the hanger and dried her hands keenly, like the cook she was. She picked up the tray of cookies and opened the fridge to grab the jug-filled refrigerated homemade gingered apple juice, which she placed on the tray of cookies cheerfully, though a bit wearily. She yawned as she closed the fridge, grabbed two glasses and headed for the living room with the tray of cookies and juice.

'Happy birthday!' Rachel exclaimed cheerfully, revealing her beautifully white set of teeth.

Jamie froze at the sight before him. He had danced his bones out and had tired himself already. But with the pleasurable sight before him, a new burst of strength coursed through his veins, his favourite delicacy before him for the taking. His sister had deluded him, telling him she wanted to brew some coffee. He stared at his sister with a look of love, appreciation and respect. She had made his birthday he'd thought would turn out boring, gracious.

' My lord, you ogle a lot... ' Rachel said, reminding him, he was staring longer than usual. And with that, Jamie smiled and rushed to help with the tray, he took it from her and placed it on the coffee table, earning a broad smile from his sister for his sense of propriety .

'Thank you' Rachel murmured appreciatively.

'You do things to me sis, one minute you delude me, another minute you suprise me, and the next you amuse me... Thank you, sis ' Jamie stated thankfully, reckoning each actions with each of his fingers in a hilarious way that made his sister crack her ribs with laughter.

'Okay, okay Jamie forgive me, yet you would have to please accept this from me, since I couldn't afford to bake a cake. Anyway I'm sure mom and dad would take care of that...' she sighed ' By the way, they've taken longer than usual or could they be buying the whole shopping mall ... ' Rachel observed, glancing at the wall clock. It'd been over four hours, since they left to buy gifts for Jamie's twelfth birthday. Apparently, they'd been too busy to remember. And today they'd promised to celebrate it at a beach, five kilometres from them, even though Rachel was against the promise. She dreaded waters and didn't dream of taking swimming lessons. How she took her bath in a bath tub. Was a question, she asked herself daily.

'Rach, you've no idea of how happy I am... but you forgot something...' Jamie noted with a sly smile.

'Oh?' She grimaced, trying to figure out what she'd forgotten. She couldn't. 'Alright, Jamie, what have I forgotten ?' She made a pretentious whine.

'You forgot to sing for me ...' He reminded in a loud whisper.

'Oh God' she groaned. 'Darling I'm sorry it must have escaped me ...' she apologized and sang a birthday song for him, one she composed.

Jamie smiled and applauded Rachel with a thunderous clap that echoed in the enormous living room.

'Don't be mischievous, Jamie' she chided jokingly. 'Now that I've sang a birthday song for you with my dying-frog-voice, I hope we can commence with the mastication and wolfing and gulping and ...'

'Hey sis, careful you're going to crack my ribs!' Jamie exclaimed between paroxysms of laughter 'And whoever says your voice is like the one of a dying frog... Even with your low voice range, you sing better than most singers, I'm certain you would be a great singer if you want to - ' Jamie encouraged. Rachel rolled her eyes and shook her head at her twelve year old brother who automatically sounded like a thirty-five year old music instructor advising a seventeen year old upcoming singer.

' Yes Pa ' She saluted, stamping her left foot, cladded in a brown flip flop, on the black marble tiled floor.

' Oh c'mon ' he groaned, sitting groggily on an armed chair. ' I think we should just start the ' mastication ' madame, I wish you were twelve and I seventeen it could've been gracious. Now, I'll just have to manage my twelve ' he wailed.

Rachel broke out with laughter and threw herself on the armed chair beside her brother's. ' That serves you right... yet you should always have it on your mind that no matter your age, height, demeanor, you have a huge place in my heart forever. Now, birthday boy I'll advise you to grab some cookies and pour yourself some juice before they'll have no choice but exchange temperatures. Hurry now ! ' she said cheerfully.

' Yeah, yeah I got it '

' You know what ... I should get it since you're the birthday boy... ' Rachel decided thoughtfully.

' Says the big sis to her kid brother, why don't you just let me... '

' No, and that's it for today '

' Yes madame ' Jamie saluted and allowed his sister to do the serving, with a smug smile on his face. He felt regal.

Rachel served her brother and herself, feeding Jamie with more cookies and juice, with Jamie murmuring a 'thank you' .

' Yummy! ' Jamie exclaimed with a mouthful of cookies, earning a smile from Rachel.

' Like it? ' Rachel asked casually, concentrating on the Tv show. Actually, she was feigning to be absolutely engrossed in the Tv show. She was trying not to glance at her brother , cause if she did she was sure to fall into the temptation of exposing her little secret to him. She had baked the cookies with the help of a friend that had come through the back door.

' Love it. Seriously Rach, you're a bunch of talents ' Jamie commended.

' You might change your opinion after taking a sip of the juice, you should try it, then and then you could call me a bunch of talents' Rachel warned, earning a grimace from her brother. Without wasting a second, he took a sip... No, not a sip. Actually, he emptied his glass.

' Err... looks like you've emptied your... err... glass, perhaps you could have mine, since ... ' Rachel offered.

' Perhaps you were right, my opinion has changed... ' he spoke thoughtfully, staring at the glass cup as if it were a crystal ball and he, a psychic that could see and foretell the future.

' Oh? '

' Uhhmm, well my dear sis... I think you not a bunch of talents anymore, but a star, shining brightly amongst others ... '

' Happy birthday! ' Rachel and Jamie, turned abruptly, startled by the sudden presence in the room. Mom and dad were back, with shopping bags, draped over their shoulders, and they had come through the back door. She hoped they hadn't seen Nadia, that would be choking.

' Welcome Ma'pa ' Jamie greeted casually, beaming at his parents. No matter how he fought to conceal his curiosity, he failed because Rachel knew him more than anyone. He only managed to control the urge to hijack the shopping bags and rummage them.

' Welcome Ma'pa, looks like you've spent eons picking gifts for Jamie. Anyway ... '

' Wait a minute Rach, what's in that tray ?' Her dad asked, his eyes accessing the tray on the coffee table hungrily.

' Errm... ' Rachel began.

' Oh my lord, how come I never noticed! ' Their mom exclaimed, walking to the coffee table. She was about to grab the one cookie on the tray, when their dad hacked it from her ready fingers and straight into his mouth. Mom was too stunned too speak, her eyes were bulging from their sockets, staring at their dad in absolute astonishment and her mouth agape.

' What the ... ' Their mum managed to begin but ended with her words mumbled in her throat. Their dad had ended her words with a kiss. Jamie shook his head in disbelief, but Rachel smiled and cleared her throat, of course she knew why her dad did that. Their mum was about use a swear word in Jamie's presence again. ' Sorry about that kids, you know at times, your mum and I need to do ... Err... you know the PDA thing' Their dad defended with a wink. A wink directed at Rachel. ' So darlings, you should dress up, we will be going to be beach in an hour and be back in no time' Their dad announced cheerfully.

' But dad, what about the gifts !? ' Jamie queried in a wail.

' After the beach!? ' he answered in a wail.

' Oh Rach darling, I know you hate waters. But we all have to go for Jamie. Ok? ' Mom coaxed, observing Rachel's suddenly hardened countenance.

' Ok, but we won't go close to the waters, we will only watch the waves and ... '

' No way sis, I'll plunge into the waters.' Jamie interrupted. ' Sorry but that's what I want ' he apologized without a taint of emotion.

' J...a...m...i....e don't be selfish, common Rach has agreed to come with us. Must you plunge into the waters? ' Their dad asked, rolling his eyes. ' Common Jamie ' Their mom pleaded. A wave of mischief seemed to pass through Jamie's eyes, but he agreed.

' Thanks ' Rachel appreciated irritably.

' Whatever, could we go prepare now? ' Jamie asked nonchalantly.

' Sure ' Their dad replied.

And with that Jamie rushed to his room, leaving Rach with their parents.

' I'm sorry about ... ' Their mum started.

' Never mind I'm ok with the beach, I'll be back in thirty seconds '

' Sure dear, thanks for your understanding ' their dad acknowledged.

' You're welcome ' she replied with a grin. She left them to her room.

The beach was beautiful, the air crisp and sun, mesmerizing. Women moved in bikinis, men, shorts and t-shirts and some pants and singlets. The beach was intriguely filled by people. And the music that played, made it heaven. Yet, they all crawled under Rachel's skin, the blue waters made her uneasy, even though she tried her best to summon courage and behave normally.

' Oh my, this is glorious, this could be part heaven, you know !' Jamie exclaimed loudly, his voice rising above the roaring waves.

Their parents laughed at his exaggeration, yet not a smile broke on Rach's hardened countenance.

' Want some ice cream? ' Their dad suddenly asked.

' Sure, sure! ' Jamie agreed cheerfully. ' Want something else, Rach? ' Their mom asked worriedly. I want to get out of here!, she wanted to scream. If there was anything she longed for, it was their leaving.

' I'm okay with ice cream ' She answered , managing a smile.

' Alright , your mom and I will get it, but you musn't move an inch from this spot okay ?, remember your promise Jamie' They both nodded in acquiescence. And with those words Rachel and Jamie were left to themselves. They were fifteen metres away from the sea itself . Silently watching the waves.

Jamie seemed to be comfortable with the roaring of the waters. But Rachel cringed at the sight, swallowing and wincing at every sound it made. They kept watching the waters in silence, seconds passed, minutes passed and Rachel thought they will never speak to each other till they had their ice creams.

' Why do you hate waters ? ' Jamie asked softly with a voice of concern.

' uhmm, what did you say? ' Rachel asked distractedly. His words jolting her to the present.

' I said, what's it about waters you hate?' ' Oh' ' Well I don't know ... It's just terrifying, perhaps its because I can't hold my breath for long. or because ... I don't just know ' She answered with her head hung low as she realized her reasons were defenceless. And she should be ashamed displaying cowardice in Jamie's presence.

' Or perhaps, you're scared '

' Jamie, don't start now, I know you to be a great swimmer, and I not. You, mom and dad love waters, but I hate it, and you have to forgive me for ruining your birthday, and you're right I'm a scaredy cat, maybe you should be seventeen and I twelve, it would have been awesome or perhaps you all could just go and swim and leave me to face my dilemma in peace. Just stop blaming me for ruining your birthday, okay. ' she spoke vehemently, almost bursting into tears.

' I can't remember blaming you for ruining my birthday, even though it's the truth. It's your conscience that blames you and not me! ' he yelled at her, causing her to gasp in suprise.

' How dare you speak to me in such rudely a manner ' She yelled back raising a hand to hit him in the face.

' Really sis, go ahead, get on with it, hit me because you're older, do it because mom and dad aren't here to stop you' he challenged with a glint of tears in his eyes. She didn't. But turned her back to him.

' You know what, I think you should just do whatever you want!' She decided bitterly... no she didn't want him to do whatever he wanted, she loved him and she was hurt.

She turned to face him, to take back her words, though she knew it was impossible. Perhaps an apology could defy them, and make them the friends they once were.

She gasped.

Too late, Jamie was gone.

He had left her, now she couldn't take back her words. On the contrary, her words had traveled beyond the world of apology.

To the world of regret.

She gazed about, trying to sight her brother before he did something she would regret. ' Oh God! What have I done! ' She groaned in pure panic. Her stomach growled as she sighted her brother in a speed walk. Apparently, trying to get away from her as far as the dark blue waters. She had to get him before he got to the sea. It was all her fault. She started to run like an athlete, racing after her indignant brother. She ran like a devil, yet she was no athlete like her brother. Her brother who glanced his shoulders and picked a momentum she could defy only if hell could freeze.

She wanted to die for been a klutz...

Or rather, her lack of nimbleness.

' Jamie! I'm sorry! ' she screamed after him in total frustration.

She could have sworn she heard something like ' Go to hell ' or was she imagining words?. It was incogitable. Jamie never swore. She must have touched the sore part of his heart.

' Forgive me! ' she screamed again, at the brink of tears. Actually, her sight went blur with the tears that clouded her eyes.

Before she realized she was falling, she had already landed face first in shingles.

' Rach! '

Rachel, ruled by frustration abandoned herself to the ground. She wanted to stay there forever. Her wish wasn't granted as she felt strong hands pulling her up from her peaceful dilemma. And before she could utter a word, she was crushed into an embrace. And the scent she inhaled gave her real peace and shield. Her dad had come for her.

' Rachel, oh my dear, what has happened? ' Her dad asked with worriedness etched all over his features.

' I don't know! ' She gasped staring into space, like she'd been teleported to a different planet.

' Rachel !? ' A knowing voice called in pure panic and all she could understand was that she was in her mum's arms, sobbing and crying like a lost child. Her mum stiffened. ' Rach? Where Jamie? ' Her mum asked staring into her daughter's eyes, alarmed at the answer she might get. Her dad was staring the same way. And she felt her soul cringing as eyes peered into her soul, searchingly, suspiciously and judgingly. She wanted to disappear.

' I ... I ... err... we had an argument and... '

' AND!? ' Her mom and dad thundered, making her flinch, they looked like hungry tigers ready to devour their prey. Her.

' He ran, and I've lost him, I was trying to catch up with him, then... then ...' She babbled.

' Then ? ' Her dad sputtered.

' Then I fell! ' She shrieked in frustration.

Her mom and dad exchanged knowing glances and nodded, sending Rachel to a world of bewilderment. ' You provoked him Rach and you must accept your fault, he must have gone swimming, if not diving ' Her mom spoke amazingly gentle.

' We'll have to go closer to the sea and see if he'd shed his clothes before swimming. We could be creating a scene here. ' Her father spoke softly. Yet she could sense him concealing a sly smile. Of course going closer to the sea was her punishment.

She nodded in acquiescence, and before she realized what she had done they were moving closer and closer to the sea, with the roaring sound of waves soaring in her ears. She shuddered.

' Those are his clothes! ' Her mum shrieked, indicating the denim pants, baseball boots and t-shirt that laid few metres away from them.

' Alas! ' Her dad sighed in relief.

But Rachel was more than disturbed, perhaps it was because of her allergy to big waters. Goose bumps decorated her skin as she gazed at the unending horizon.

' We should sit and wait for him, he spends no less and more than thirty minutes in water, he'll be out soon.' Her dad stated proudly.

Yet, she was shaking.

' Sit, Rach! ' Her mother scowled. And like a pet dog, she sat obediently, awaiting her brother.

Seconds became minutes and minutes became hours as they waited for Jamie. Clearly, uneasiness was finding its way into their souls.

Her mum and dad exchanged glances again and glared at her as if she were a devil.

' We have to find him, this is unlike him' her dad suggested in pure panic.

' No way! I can't swim! ' Rachel shrieked, leaping up in both panic and terror.

' NOT YOU ! ' Her parents exploded.

' Of course' She sniffed. ' God guide you ' She prayed and turned away from them and before she could stop them, they'd dived into her greatest fear. Abandoning her to hell.

' NO! '

If Rachel hadn't been in her body she could have sworn the whole word had just shrieked. She swirled and saw three barrel chested men in security uniforms, goggling from her to the sea, shaking in pure terror. Confusion seemed to replace frustration.

' Young lady, who are those to you ?' The taller of the men asked sternly, glaring at her.

' I...I don't understand ' she stuttered, her eyes moving from one of taller man to the others.

The man shook his head in both pain and anger.

' Young lady, sharks are on the loose in this waters, all our divers are dead. So is any human in the waters '

' Nooooo! ' She let out an unlady like scream, one that seemed to reach the heavens and shake the earth. For her worst nightmare unfolded before her. She started laughing, laughing like a maniac.

' Did you say my family is gone, I mean like I would never see them again, and gone like gone, gone, gone, gone, Jamie oh you crazy kid, so you're gone, Mom oh you tigress of a mama, daddy oh you you you... Youuuuuu my papa oh yes nooooo, you're gone ... ' Rachel laughed crazily, blurting whatever came to her head, she'd practically turned insane. The world spinned rapidly, as her entire system went numb. One of the barrel chested security men made a quick motion of grabbing her arm, which he regretted as she clawed his face, drawing blood and before he or anyone could react. She dived into the forbidden waters.

The earth trembled with Screams, knowing screams of pain, frustration, loss. From the ones that had seen her throw herself to doom.

A doom of lost. A doom of death. A freedom from life.

There was nothing more delicious than the awful sting on death. How ironical, did she love this sting dearly. A sting of freedom, freedom from life's turmoil.

Freedom to everlasting freedom.

The waters were cold and stinging, ruled by darkness. And for a moment she smiled at her resolve, for it was right in her eyes. She would go with her family. No one could bear the guilt and impropable agony that soared through her soul beyond unthinkable heights.

She had done the right thing. And the last words she mouthed were ' I'm coming home' smiling and welcoming, fully the beautiful hands of death. She only feared that she might not be accepted into the gates of heaven.

She feared that life and death already condemned her. She could sense it, feel it deeply, beyond the depth of her being.

Deeper and deeper did she fall into the abyss of darkness, without the notion of wariness, rather, distracted by her weariness. She could feel her soul battling against the hands of death, doing its best to survive, taking steps her heart couldn't comprehend.

Yet she knew the sense of guilt washed through her veins, as fear sat at her table, grinning and spelling the actual.

She feared this saviour she'd chosen.

If she'd ever thought life to be cruel, well death was too.

Death had taking her family, unwillingly.

And she was...

Wait... What was she doing ...

Serving the tyrant that had judged her family mischievously.

No she wasn't going to do that.

She would defy him, by living, living to the fullest.

Lies....

She wouldn't... couldn't live to the fullest.

Darkness engulfed her being as she sank below the dark waters. Darkness of death. She was drowning, though her soul lamented but her heart smiled ruefully.

She was dying, slowly.

Slowly ...

--------- Her body stilled, yet her mind wasn't. It was animate. She wasn't holding her breath. She could breathe. Strange ... She thought.

Of course it was, no one could breathe under water, except marine creatures. And she wasn't one. Or had something happened, perhaps the mermaids and mermen had transformed her to one. Or perhaps she'd deviated from the road of death to a world of sinister.

She wasn't dead.

But she was still in darkness.

Strange whispers filled her ears as she ruminated. She tried to opened her eyes but it was as if a lead had been tied to her eye lid.

She winced as her eyes opened to a mesmerizing light, almost blinding her.

It was the sun.

' Where am I ? ' She whispered slowly and confusedly, squinting to recover from the brightness of the sun. Her mind coiled, her brains seemed to be engulfed in mud. Her teeth chattered, her hair in an amazing disarray and her tongue, heavy as lead. She could have sworn, she was alive in hell. Her body, she knew no more.

' Welcome back young lady, I must admit my absolute sympathy towards your tremendous predicament ' The shortest of the three barrel chested security guards greeted dryly.

Her head seemed to have forgotten its duty. She wanted to explode, but realised she had no strength.

Weakness had overcome her being.

' Madam, you're under arrest for, suicidal attempt ' a uniformed man informed harshly.

And that was when her mind shattered with memories.

She had failed on her mission to meet death.

Now, she was haunted by life.

For same death she craved, cast himself beyond reach.

' Madam, you were unconscious...! ' The uniformed man sputtered gruffly, jerking her roughly from the shingle she laid .

It took her moments to realize, she was being arrested for attempting suicide.

O' life what has my being committed, that thou hast plunged my soul into the mist of a boiling tempest.

With painful reluctance, she managed to stand, teetering at a point.

Her soul was crumbled.

And she knew it.

She hadn't realized she was following them until she fell face first into the beach sand, again. But this time, there were no gentle hands to pull her up, the only hands that pulled her, were rough, harsh and stinging.

Tears she looked for, and couldn't find.

Death she wanted but was haunted by life.

' Get up you witch!, you'll spend at least fifteen years in jail!, you knew they were sharks in this waters and you made your family dive! ' he snorted, grinned wickedly and brought his face close to hers for her to inhale his foul breath.

' You my dear, have caused the death of your family and you can run nowhere because we the police would make sure you pay for your sins, got it ... ' he broke off with a maddening scowl. She'd slapt him.

She could have sworn the earth quaked to its foundations.

It was her head.

He had let out his fury by punching her in the head.

And blackness followed, for all she saw were stars.

******** Years in prison did nothing but create a chasm of horror in her heart. Days, weeks, months and years of torture by life and its elements. And sometimes she wondered if her creator had erred by making her human. She could have been better off, if she were a monster. Or not being at all.

And the pictures, those pictures she'd seen in the newspapers. The pictures that questioned her sight and sanity. There were the last pictures of her family. Pictures of horror, of her family, pictures of proof, a proof that her family were gone forever. Even though their eyes and legs were missing. She knew them. And she knew she'd truly lost them.

Forever. Darkness she cherished, for it hid her obvious pain, guilt and sorrow. All she wanted was darkness. Darkness of death. To hide her pain forever.

But it never came.

Life, was what haunted her. For no elements of life gave her a reason to live.

And one question that haunted her too was ' When would she be free from the contemptuous, temptuous and haunting hands of life ?' .

The End.


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