Babylon

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

Chapter 14 (v.1) - 14

Submitted: July 13, 2018

Reads: 109

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Submitted: July 13, 2018

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The house was silent when he got back, and Jake had momentarily forgotten that Mona had taken Robert to the doctor's.  He glanced at his watch, seeing that it had been hours.  She had left shortly after he did, so that meant she had been gone for more than seven hours.  He wondered how bad it had to be for them to gone so long.

 

Stopping with one foot in the parlour, Jake looked up at the ceiling, remembering what George had said about things in the attic.  Jake changed his direction as he undid his tie, going up the stairs two at a time.

 

He tried the sub attic this time, and was pleased to find fewer boxes.  Bending because the low ceiling, he fumbled for the light, which showed words haphazardly scrawled on the boxes around him.  Getting on his knees, Jake shoved them around until he found one marked Mona.  It was mostly toys and games.  The ones with the worn edges were usually puzzles or mind benders, the metal hazy from over use.  There were some drawings of flowers and a six legged cat, name Moriz, apparently.  He decided it was a misspelled Morris rather than Maurice.

 

In the bottom, there were some pictures, the features of the children just familiar enough for him to guess who was who.  Mona was a gawky child who never stopped smiling it seemed.  In most of the pictures she was barefoot and usually topless.  In the one she was fighting with a frilly dress, Robert blurred as he was walking towards her, already bent to stop the four year old from stripping in the church.

 

In the last picture, it was about a decade later, and he stopped at it.  Her hair was cut extremely short and she was wearing a sort of shift that hung loosely around her knees.  This one she wasn't smiling in.  She had dark circles under her eyes, her mouth turned down slightly at the corners.  She looked beyond tormented, her dead eyes turned on the camera.

 

Jake flipped back to the other photos, looking at the dates on the back.  Every one of them was dated before she turned five, so that left about eight or nine years for something traumatic enough to turn a happy child into a walking corpse.  He stacked them back in order and replaced everything, looking for another box which hopefully had more pictures in it.

 

He was moving things around when he saw one marked 'Mona med'.  He hadn't come across a different one marked with one of her sibling's names, so he figured this must be the right one.

 

Opening it, he took the file that was on top, flipping through it to see what he said, stopping as certain words jumped out at him. 

 

Possible sexual abuse, evidence of physical abuse, antisocial behaviour, extreme caution needed when physical contact is instigated, possible psychotic tendencies.

 

He read it most of the way through, and he couldn't take it any more.  He put it back in place, ready to close the box when he saw what looked like a child's rendition of flames.  Against his better judgement, Jake pulled on it, and found out that it was on the bottom of the box, stuck to something.  He took everything out and saw that it was a drawing book of some sort.

 

There was a greyish thing in the corner of some room, and it took him a moment to realize that it was between the wardrobe and the window in Mona's room.  He began to flip through the pages, surprised to find out that it was like one of those old flip-books.  He bent it under his thumb and watched as the Watcher moved and devoured the artist, sending them to hell.  Jake stopped before he reach that part, unable to stomach it.  He wanted to burn it, and he was just about to throw it back in the box when he noticed the annotation above a white chair.  Rev 20:11.

 

It took him a moment to realize what it meant.  He looked at the rest of the picture, and saw that chapter and verse was put over each item that supposedly had relevance.  It wasn't in Mona's hand, it was Lynn's flowery script.

 

At some point, Lynn had gone through the flip-book and ascribed religious connotations to the insane pictures.

 

Against all reason, he flipped to the back to the last picture, where a naked burning woman dominated the centre, sitting on the back of a hydra.  Above the woman's crown was a single word: Babylon.

 

He shut the book and set it back in the box, unsure of what he just learned.  The haunted girl in the photo could never have been his Mona, and that garbage couldn't have been hers.  And if it wasn't, whose was it?

 

He ran his hands over his face.  Peering in at the skeletal thing in the corner of her drawn room, Jake decided he had accept that she had made it, but the odd, religious quotations added by her mother added another creepy layer to the whole thing.  He remembered the prayer Mona had written with bloody fingers in the back of the wardrobe.

 

Mona wasn't religious, in fact she had told him once that people who were made her nervous, and whenever her mother began to speak about higher powers and stuff like that, Mona always began to fidget, waiting until the subject changed.

 

Lynn had always struck him as controlling, often talking over Mona or outright speaking for her, shaking her head for Mona to stay quiet.  That with Robert's outbursts and harsh demeanour, it didn't look good to him.

 

Closing the box, Jake heard a rumbling sound, and guessed that Mona had returned.  He quickly replaced everything before going down the ladder and replaced the trapdoor.

 

Going downstairs, he heard the sitting room doors roll shut.  Walking past the staircase, Mona didn't even notice him, twisting her fingers as she watched her feet.

 

Jake followed her before calling out to her from a safe distance.  Predictably, she jumped at the sound of her name.  She turned, and he could see she had been crying.  He could also see a small bruise starting under her left eye.

 

"You've been in the attic?"  She asked, her voice hoarse and strained.  She was looking down at his legs, and Jake saw that his knees were all dusty.  He slapped at one half-heartedly, giving up immediately.

 

"What did the doctor say?"  He asked, and her crumpled a little as she fought to keep from crying again.  He went over to her, taking her in his arms.

 

"Any day now," she barely breathed, her fingers tangling in his shirt.

 

In the reflection in the picture glass behind her, Jake saw another new bruise starting on her upper back; this one a clear print of a hand.  It would have been impossible for her to reach the spot herself.

 

Speaking comfort in a low voice, he wondered why she would be so torn up over someone who did this sort of thing to her.  All he could do was be thankful that the bastard was going to die soon.  All he could think was Robert wasn't suffering enough.


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