Bloodstained Walls

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


Angel is a teenage girl whose life was shaken up by the mysterious appearance of blood stains on the wall of her room almost every morning. At the same time, her mother's rapid recovery from grief
due to father's death left her baffled and angered as her mother met a new man. As the relationship progresses, the blood on her walls kept appearing day after day.


Angel opened her eyes to greet the sunlight. It was Saturday. She revelled in the satisfactory sweet deep sleep by stretching her body on the bed like a freshly-awaken cat. She blinked her eyes and smiled as a gratitude for being able to wake up after twelve. The bliss of weekends -  no schools, no rules. She then went on to lie longer on the bed while planning her day.

The little paradise was soon lost, however, once she rose up from the bed. A blood red stain as big as a tennis ball stared at Angel like an evil eye and stripped her of the morning bliss. The smiles and the brightness on her face faded when she saw a dead bird on the floor, right under the blood. A sense of fright came over her as she tried to figure out how a bird is found dead in her bedroom.

Angel plodded slowly towards the dead bird with her weak legs. Her hand was trembling when she picked it up with two fingers. She wanted to let out a shriek but held it back not to alarm her mother. With her arm stretching as far as she could, she headed for the window, opened it and tossed the bird out to the backyard. She grimaced and closed her eyes the whole time but that was unnecessary, for the tears welling in her eyes would have blurred her vision of the dead bird anyway.

After washing the bird off from her hand, Angel paced around the room, trying to figure out a way to take care the blood stain. She couldn’t wrap her head around how the bird came to be in her room.

Out of the sudden, a knock woke her up from the brain rack. She halted her pace and bulged her eyes at the door.

“Honey, I need to clean the room.” Her mother’s soft voice was heard from the other side of the door.

Angel’s heartbeat picked up. She turned to the blood stain and realized that she couldn’t let her mother in if she didn’t want any questions that she didn’t know the answer to from mother.

Hearing silence, mother knocked again. “Honey? I’m coming in.”

She instantly darted to the door and leaned on it, pushing with her back as hard as she could even though the door was locked.

“It’s okay, mom. I’ll clean the room myself. I’m a big girl now,” she answered with a slight quiver.

Angel couldn’t take her eyes off the smear of blood. She knew that she desperately needed to cover it somehow. She knew she couldn’t lock herself in the room forever.

“Are you okay, honey?”

“I’m fine, mom. Go clean the kitchen or wherever. I’ll clean it myself,” she said while trying to sound as calm as possible.

“Alright. I’ll leave the mop outside.” The sound of the wood from the mop hitting the wall travelled to her ear. “I’m proud that you decided to be independent.”

Angel rolled her eyes and mumbled under her breath. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you. You don’t have time to do anything for me anymore.”

Angel lived alone with her mother. Her father had just died six months prior. Ever since the passing of her husband, Angel’s mother had been burying herself in house chores - sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, brushing, scrubbing... Every day, without fail.

Every day until yesterday. Angel came home yesterday from school to find her room in the mess she had left it with. Usually, when she arrived home, her bedroom would be radiant in spotlessness, her bed would be neatly made and the smell of chlorine would be prickling her nose. When she was met by the unwelcome sight of an upturned blanket on her bed, she was baffled.

She walked into her mother’s room slowly, puzzled at the sight of her mother in front of the mirror, swaying and dancing while holding her favourite red dress still with the hanger up against her body with a wide smile and gleaming eyes.

Softly, Angel asked, “mom, what are you doing?”

“Oh, honey. You’re home!” Her mother was surprised to see her daughter and placed the red dress on the bed with the other dressed and sat on it to hide them from being seen by Angel. It was useless, anyway. Angel already registered the whole Cinderella-getting-ready-for-the-ball routine in her brain.

“What are you doing, mom? You didn’t clean the house today. That’s odd.” Angel asked again.

“Oh, I have a date, dear. Someone...” Mother hesitated. “Someone I met in the supermarket.” She then giggled, giddy like a teenage girl.

“Oh,” Angel was shocked to hear that from her own mother but tried to be supportive anyway. “Do you need any help?”

“No, honey. Go to your room. I’ll clean it later,” her mother said and returned to the mirror. She never cleaned anything that day.

Angel locked herself in the bedroom, battling her feelings. Her father had just passed away six months ago and her mother had already found someone new? How little respect did she have for him? She was grieving, wasn’t she? The obsessive cleaning. That’s what Angel thought. Now that she’d stopped cleaning, did it mean that her mother had stopped grieving for her father?

Another part of Angel thought that she should be glad that her mother was happy. She’d never seen her smile in a year since her father passed away. Her logical brain tried to convince her that but her emotional heart was rebelling against the acceptance of her mother’s betrayal towards her father.

Today she didn’t even have the time to think about it after seeing the blood stain and the dead bird. She didn’t have time to even process her mother’s late arrival home last night after the date. The blood stain had occupied her mind and pushed out any other thoughts.

Once Angel was sure that her mother was no longer at the door, she unlocked it and pulled in all the cleaning instruments her mother left behind.

Angel filled the bucket with water and detergent. She then took the mop and soaked it in the bucket. Vehemently, the scrubbed the wall with the wet mop. Drops of sweats started to fall off like rain from her forehead. They flowed to her eyes, gathered there as if she was crying. Maybe she was. She didn’t know and didn’t care. She just wanted to get rid of the stain.

Her effort was futile, however. Minutes after mopping, she dropped to the floor after realizing that the stain had seeped into the wall. She didn’t give up. She tried every conceivable method that day. Scrubbing it with different combinations of detergents, with toothpaste, with bleach, with soap, but to no avail.

She decided to paint it over, but how could she ask her mother to buy a paint without showing her the red splash. She spent the whole day locked up in her room trying to think of a way to cover the blood. When the night fell, she tried to sleep on it but she felt as if the stain was glaring at her, even with the lights off, so she ended up gaping her tired eyes the whole night.

The next morning, as soon as she woke up, Angel left the room to escape the blood. She grabbed a bar of chocolate and stuffed herself with it in front of a TV while her thumb continuously pressed on the “next” button on the remote control. Her eyes were fixed on the TV but her mind was fixed on the significant blood stain in her room.

Abruptly, she stopped the channel flipping and rested on a kid’s program. An unusually cheerful lady was showing the kids how to make a candy wrapper purse. Her face lit up right then and there. She finally knew what she could do to counter the fright of the blood. We fight dark with light and fright with delight. The delight just happened to be on her hand, a friend she always counted on when she’s sad, a friend she’s had ever since childhood and a friend that she was counting on to distract herself from the horror in her room.

In the afternoon, Angel went out and bought all the candies she loved, chocolates that had accompanied her through bad times and every gum that she enjoyed chewing on. She had herself a lonely candy eating party in her room. For the first time since she woke up to the blood-stained wall the day yesterday, she was lively. The candies floated her up from the fear she was drowning in.

When the darkness dropped, Angel fell to the sweetest sleep in her life. On the wall, the blood was no more visible. Instead of blood, there was now a figure of a small yacht made from candy wrappers which she had bought earlier. She was now sleeping soundly with a smile that didn’t seem to fade for the whole night.

Unfortunately for Angel, that was not the last time she would be reacquainted with the horror. Next Saturday, she woke up to another stain on the wall, now it was next to the candy wrapper yacht. Only this time, there was no dead bird - just the red coloured smear. It was again concealed in the evening after she indulged in the candies. The high from them distracted her from the problem. The yacht now had an island in front of it.

The horror went on from weekly to almost daily as time went by. She would wake up to blood on the wall, questioned the source, the candies then became the diversion from the question and concealer of her fear. It was kept on repeat without her realizing it. She even felt often sleepless and dozed off in class more often as the stress and exhaustion from the stains took its toll on her. She had withdrawn herself from her family, her friends and her life altogether.

By the time Angel was seventeen, the walls of her room were fully covered with candy wrappers. That didn’t stop the materialization of blood as the splashes started to appear on the wrappers. She covered those with another layer of candy wrappers. Every time after she concealed the stains, the curiosity of their mysterious occurrence from just fled her mind as if she had buried it with the splashes behind the wrappers.

One evening, as Angel was finishing covering up another blood stain on the candy-wrappers wall with another layer of candy wrappers, a knock at the door startled her. She hurried to the bathroom to wash her hands then headed for the door. Once the door was opened, Angel was shocked to see her mother and Frank standing at the door, wearing the widest grin you could imagine.

Frank was the date mother met in the supermarket which blossomed into a romance. Six months after the first date, the guy moved in. He worked as an executive in some firm. Every day, the man brought back chocolates for Angel. Then, he would go on to spend time with her mother. Angel was used to being alone by the time she was seventeen. Independent, as her mother said. Her mother had paid less attention to her once Frank moved in. Angel didn’t think much of it. Her mind was too occupied with the blood stains to care.

“Angel, honey...” Her mother put on her caring mother tone. A tone she hadn’t heard in months. “We have something to tell you.”

“Yes, mom?” Angel stepped out of her room and closed the door behind her. Mother had not seen the candy wrappers on the wall. Angel didn’t want any unnecessary questions from her.

“Frank and I...” She brushed her hair, smacked her lips in excitement and took a deep breath. “Frank and I are going to get married!” She exclaimed and showed Angel her finger, adorned with a sparkling diamond ring.

Angel looked at the ring and her mother’s face repeatedly while trying to figure out a response. Her eyes were open wide from the shock of the news. She tried to smile but her muscles refused to do the work.

After a while, she just uttered, “oh, mom... Are you sure?”

“I’ve never been as sure as I am now about anything in my life!” Her mother cried out in ecstatical inflexion.

Those words were newly sharpened daggers in her chest. How about marrying Dad? How about having me? Were you less sure? She rebuked at her mother in her head.

Angel put on a happy mask. “Congratulations then, mother.” She faked a smile as convincing as she could and stormed back into the room and slammed the door in her mother’s face.

Her mother knocked the door again. “Honey... We were going to invite you to dinner. Why don’t you get dressed?”

Angel glared dagger-eyed at the door. How dare she.

“I’m not going, mom! I have homework,” she yelled.

Angel figured that her mother had left door as everything fell back into silence. Angel sat down at her desk, frowning at the news she had just heard. Her face was tensed and her jaw was clenched as her eyes were staring blankly at the laptop screen while her mind was wondering the abyss of self-consolation. Angel felt betrayed by her own mother. She felt that her mother betrayed her father.

The thought suddenly digressed into the memories of her and her father. She was reminded that her father was a sensitive understanding man. She would want her mother to be happy. Clearly, she was happy. The smile she was displaying could never be faked. Abruptly, a smile began to form on her face. A genuine gentle smile.

She sprang up off the chair and headed for the door and opened it. Angel peeked out of the room and said, “mom, wait for me! I’m getting ready!”

“Okay...” Her mom answered her room.

A few hours later, they were at dinner and then the cinema. Everything was pleasant. From outside looking in, they looked like a normal family. Angel was truly accepting of the engagement. She even started talking about wedding plans with her mother. For the first time in the many months since Frank moved in, she felt close to her mother.

The next morning, Angel opened up her eyes slowly, as she always did every morning, fearing that she would see another blood stain in the room. That day, it was one of the few lucky days. The cheerful-looking room gave her the warmest good morning she could ask for.

As she washed, the thoughts of her great time with mother last night kept putting up a grin on her face. She was pleased that the engagement had brought them closer together. She was glad that she had learned to accept the engagement. She was grateful that she took the effort to know Frank.

Once she was done with her morning routine, Angel left her room and walked down to the kitchen. Mother was sitting on the kitchen counter, alone. A phone was gripped tight in her hand and her cheeks were wet. Her red puffy eyes were staring blankly at the phone screen while her head was supported by her arm by the forehead. Once she saw Angel walking into the kitchen, she rushed to Angel and gave her daughter a hug, a squeeze and she started wailing.

Clueless, Angel rubbed her mother’s back. “What’s wrong, mom?”

“Frank...” Her voice quivered.

“Did something happen to Frank?”

Her mother nodded her head. Angel couldn’t see but she could feel her mother’s chin touching her shoulder multiple times.

“What happened?” Angel asked in shock.

“That was the police...” Her mother broke the hug and tried to dry her tears with the back of her hand. “Frank...” She sobbed and uttered slowly “Frank got into an accident... He’s dead...” and broke into another louder wail.

Angel couldn’t believe her ears. She had just started to take to the man. Now, he was gone. The next day, the police came to inform them that the brake cord of Frank’s car was cut. They came in again the next day to question Angel and mother, separately. After that, Angel never heard from them again.

Her mother was locked on the bed for a few days after the police’s last visit. Once she was out, everything returned to normal. Normal as before she met Frank. The sweeping, the vacuuming, the mopping, the scrubbing, the brushing, the waxing...

Angel’s life had changed after the tragedy. For one, she’d never felt closer to her mother. (As close as she could be considering that whenever the woman cleaned, she was detached from reality.) Also, she no longer woke up to blood on her wall. Only, she didn’t realize it. She was overjoyed in return of her mother to even remember the bloodstained period of her life. A period to which she herself hasn’t found any explanation.

#

Angel sat at the bus stop with a grin as wide as her head. She was on her way home from college. That would explain her cheerful disposition and starry eyes. She kept tapping on her bag to a tune in her head while waiting for the bus back home.

Her mother didn’t know that she was coming. That was why she looked so excited. A surprise, that was what she wanted to give her mother, even though she had just talked to her on the phone last night.

When she saw the neon number six on an approaching bus, she leapt up and clapped. Her luggage was picked up and she rushed into the bus as soon as it stopped like a child into an ice-cream store.

Once she arrived home, she quietly unlocked the door and pushed it slowly. Like a cat hunting a mouse, she sneaked in slowly and pulled her luggage carefully not to announce her arrival. Once inside, she closed the door slowly and released a deep sigh. Home sweet home...

Angel padded her steps as she headed for the kitchen to check if her mother was there. She peeked in and saw no soul. So, she went into the living room. No one was there either. Mother’s car was outside. She was sure that she was home.

Angel ascended to the upper floor. She figured that her mother would be in the bedroom. Maybe napping. As she was approaching her mother’s bedroom door, she heard mother’s voice. Mother was shouting as if she was in pain. Moaning. Angel’s heart pounded hard. Is mother sick?

Quickly, she turned the knob and pushed the door open. Angel saw her mother’s naked back. Under her was a man who was clearly enjoying his time judging by the tilting of his head backwards and the little moans he let out. The man then moved his head forward and opened his eyes to look at the woman on him and suddenly screamed. He saw Angel standing at the door with gaping mouth and widening eyes.

“Mother!” Angel shouted and sprinted out of the room.

Her mother turned her head, puzzled by her daughter's voice. She caught a glimpse of Angel before the door was slammed. Hastily and confused, she climbed down the bed, put on a robe and rushed out of the room.

“Angel, honey? Why are you home?” She shouted out while stumbling out of the room while tightening her robe. She went into her wrappers-covered room but she wasn’t there. She walked down the stairs and saw her daughter leaving out the door.

“Honey, wait!” Mother cried out while descending the stairs.

That grabbed Angel’s head. She halted and turned to her mother. “What, slut?”

“That’s not how you talk to your mother!” She raised her voice as she stood face to face with her daughter.

“Who’s that?” Angel asked while shooting a glare at her mother.

“That doesn’t concern you! Aren’t you supposed to be at college? What are you doing here?”

Angel raised her voice higher than her mother’s. “Doesn’t concern me? He’s in our house! Why didn’t you tell me that you’re seeing someone?”

Her mother had turned red. “What? And risking you killing him too?”

As soon as that was uttered, mother covered her mouth. Her eyes bulged out. She knew she’d said something she wasn’t supposed to.

Angel was stunned. “What?”

Her mother tried to deflect. “Never mind,” she huffed and turned away.

“No... No... No! What are you talking about?” Angel followed her mother into the kitchen.

Her mother refused to speak. She just marched into the kitchen, shaking her head, hoping that the mistake she had spoken would miraculously go away.

“Mom! Talk to me!”

“Frank! That’s what I’m talking about. You killed him.” Her mother said as she sat at the kitchen counter. She put her hand on her forehead, supporting her whole body.

“Frank died in an accident, mom!”

Mother’s wet and weary eyes gazed at Angel. She pressed her lips hard as if she wanted to reply but decided against it.

“Mom, seriously, I didn’t kill Frank,” Angel closed in on her mother, trying to hug her.

“It’s fine. It’s been years now,” Mother said while letting Angel hug her. Once she wiped away her tears, she asked Angel the reason she was there at home.

“I quit,” Angel answered as she sat down next to mother.

“What?” Mother stood up. Her face turned red again. “Why?”

“Law isn’t my thing, you know? I couldn’t get into it. I only went to law school because of dad, anyway.”

“If law isn’t ‘your thing’, what’s your plan, genius?” Her mother leaned in on her, shooting her a sharp look.

“I don’t know... I’d like to take a year off. Figure things out... That kind of thing.” Angel answered her mother’s cold look with a warm smile.

Her mother sat back down on the stool and sighed heavily. “Whatever. It’s your life. Do whatever you want with it.”

Angel stood up and gave her mother a kiss. She then made her way out of the kitchen. Abruptly, she stopped halfway and turned back to face her mother who was looking down at the table with her hands supporting her forehead, looking weary in messed up hair.

In the evening, Angel was introduced formally to her mother’s new boyfriend, Eddie. Angel learned that they had started dating since Angel was still in the house. Her mother decided to keep it a secret. The reason why she did that eluded Angel, but she didn’t care.

After an awkward dinner, Angel retreated to her jolly-looking room and tossed herself on the bed. Angel recalled her mother mentioning that she didn’t want to risk Angel killing Eddie. Angel still couldn’t get her head around it. Why would mom accuse me of such a horrendous thing? Killing Frank? I liked Frank.

After a few hours of contemplating, Angel switched off the light and threw herself back into her bed. She was exhausted. Walking in on her mother, the fight, the dinner... She thought that she would surprise mother. She never thought that she’d be surprised too.

The lamps in the room suddenly started blinking wildly. Hearing the buzzing of electricity, Angel opened her eyes. Baffled by the behaviour of the lamps, she got up to the switch to flick it. It didn’t stop the blinking. Instead, it blinked more violently.

Angel blanched once saw a stream of blood leaking out of the gaps between the candy wrappers on the wall. Her heart started to race and she felt her skin crawl. Quickly, she hurled herself back into the bed, covered herself with the blanket and hugged her knees tight while her hands trembled like a wind-blown leaf.

She felt her heart heavy and pressed. She tried to shout but her voice was muffled. She tried again and again but her voice didn’t seem to be able to escape her lungs. After a few more tries, she felt as if veins were popping in her head.

The pounding of her heart became more violent. The fear sprinting through her veins rendered her restless. Angel peeked out of the blanket and was stricken by horror when she saw her walls were all red in blood. She tried to stand up to leave the room, but she couldn’t seem to move her feet. The light kept blinking and the sea of blood from the walls was flooding up her room.

She shut her eyes as tight as she could and prayed in her heart that the horror would stop. The pressing in her heart became tighter and heavier as she prayed. The tears in her eyes started to flow like a river as she prayed. She prayed for it all to go away.

Angel opened her eyes and sat up on her bed. She was bathed in sweat. Some of the sweats flowed down her forehead and made a well around her eyes. She felt as if a cry was going to break out. She still felt the weight in her chest. She wanted to break into a cry to lighten it.

She gazed around the room. No blood, no blinking light. It was already morning. The candy wrappers on the wall gave her the warmest welcome she could wish for. That still couldn’t flush away the terror she had just experienced from the nightmare she just had. Her hands were still quivering.

After washing, Angel stepped out of her room and headed to her mother’s. She wanted to tell her mother all about the dream. She knocked on the door but there was no answer.

“Mom? Are you there? I have a nightmare,” she said in a pleading voice.

There was silence. Puzzled, she tried turning the doorknob to see if the door was locked. It wasn’t. So slowly, she pushed it.

“Mot...” Angel’s face turned white once the door was opened.

Her mother was on the bed lying next to Eddie. Both of them covered in blood. The white sheets had become red and even the floor carpet had been soaked with blood. Angel sprinted towards her mother and started to bawl.

“MOM! Who did this to you?” She shouted as tears came rushing down her cheeks. “NOOO!”

For two days after her mother’s death, Angel couldn’t bring herself to sleep, to eat and to bathe. Police had been coming in and out of her house for two days. They had questioned her multiple times and she told them everything that she knew.

Angel got herself a hotel room not far from her house. The house had been a crime scene and she wasn’t allowed to be in there as they upturned every corner of the house. They said that her mother and Eddie was stabbed ten times. The police believed that they were stabbed in their sleep.

Angel buried herself in front of the TV even though she only stared at it with a vacant look. She needed the distraction. She kept it on as she would start picturing the horrible scene of her mother’s death if there were silence. She didn’t want to even think about the horror she witnessed. She wished she could just cover it with candy wrappers like she always did.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Angel tightened her robe and walked to the door through the piles of candy wrappers, ramen cups, and bags of chips. Two police officers were standing in the hallway when she opened the door.

“Oh, the police,” Angel’s face lit up. She thought that they had news about her mother’s murderer for her. “Anything I can help with?”

Coldly, one of the police officers pulled out a cuff. “Miss Angel, you are under arrest for the murder of your mother...”

Angel didn’t hear the rest of sentence as she felt the cold steel from the cuff touched and wrung her wrists tight. She was brought into a fluorescent-lit room and chained to the table in the middle of the room. The two police officers came in after a few hours and stood right in front of her.

“I wouldn’t kill my own mother! You guys got it wrong!” She screamed at the sight of them.

“Miss, we have proof,” one officer said sternly.

“Bullshit! I was sleeping the whole night!”

“Miss, you might as well confess.”

“Confess to what? I didn’t do anything!”

“We found the knife used to stab your mother in the backyard, with your fingerprint on it,” the officer explained and showed her a file with the picture of the knife with red blade covered in dirt. “Together with it, we found a lot of small bones... Animal bones... From birds, cats, dogs... How do you explain that?”

“I’m framed! Someone must’ve broken into the house last night and killed them.”

The officer leaned in on Angel. “Miss, you know as well as I do that no one broke into your house that night.”

“There must be! You should be out there catching the real killer. Not wasting your time accusing me!”

“We already have the real killer, miss.”

The battle of hysteria from Angel and collectedness from the officers continued for hours. Eventually, due to indisputable evidence and lacked alibi, Angel was charged with the murder of her own mother and Eddie.

She never admitted to the murder even after she was sentenced to life imprisonment by the court. During the mildly followed trial, a video of Angel cutting the brake cord of Frank’s car in front of her house was unearthed. Angel denied that it was her but a blind man could have easily identified her in the recording. All Angel ever said after that was, “I didn’t do it.”

 


Submitted: January 13, 2018

© Copyright 2021 C. L. Wira. All rights reserved.

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