Escaping My Fate

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Abandoned
Susan O'Shea is going through some changes and not all of them are normal for a fifteen-year-old girl except maybe in Danberry.

Submitted: January 15, 2019

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Submitted: January 15, 2019

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You ever step back and look at the direction your life is going and see how it will all play out?  If you did would you do all you can to avoid what life has in store for you or would you charge head first into it.  I rebelled and I had a lot to rebel against.

Let me start by saying I’m Susan O’Shea and if you are from Danberry you will know of the O’Shea’s.  The town bears the name of the family that originally owned this whole valley, but the O’Shea’s built the town and have run it since the beginning.  Or that is what my dad would have people believe.  The truth of the matter is the O’Shea’s have always held office, but it was never for the benefit of the town or it’s people.  Our fortune wasn’t earned with hard work, but from skimming money from the town.  Cheating and stealing from the citizens of Danberry.  The only thing those O’Shea’s of the past were got at was hiding their dirty laundry.

Back to my story.  My parents sent me away the summer before I was to start high school.  It was a private camp that all the best families of Danberry sent their kids.  By best I mean the families that have lied, cheated and stole to make fortunes and now pretend to be respectful up right citizens.  I hated it at first, but if I had learned anything from my parents it is you have to make the best of any situation.  I made friends and by the end of the summer I was one of the popular kids.

I didn’t plan on ditching my old friends, especially Mickey, but it just happened.  It started small, having lunch at the table with the popular crowd and soon I was just completely ignoring my friends.  I also learned to ignore the bullying and harassment the other popular kids loved to dole out.  I wasn’t happy, not really, but I was content.  We got special treatment simply because of who we were.

I guess my discontent with it started when I made the cheer squad.  I had tried out because the head cheerleader had asked me to.  There were other candidates with more skill then me, but I was picked.  At first, I just accepted it.  I guess I had started seeing it as a simple fact of life, I’m an O’Shea so I deserved whatever I wanted.  It was my mom who brought my happiness to a blazing end.  She was so excited for me, but then she started talking about her time in high school.  The more she talked the more I saw myself following in her footsteps.

If you are from Danberry you know my mother or of her at least, because I think on a few people know her really.  She wears a mask in public, a mask that makes everybody think she is perfect and cares about everybody.  The truth is my mom cares about no one.  She takes pills to do everything from waking up to going to sleep.  She drinks morning, noon and night.  Oh, the house is taken care of and meals are served, by the maid.  I think she is just unhappy and don’t know how to be happy any longer.  You can see why when I saw myself following in her footsteps I got scared and sick.  I didn’t want to end up in a loveless marriage drugging myself numb just to get through my day.

I was scared and sick, but I didn’t think I had any choice at this point.  I had ignored my old friends for so long I didn’t think they would talk to me again.  I thought that I was trapped so I tried to just make the best of it. 

I should explain something for you if you don’t know about Danberry.  Strang things happen here.  We have ghosts and monsters.  The people of the town ignore it or try to, but if you look closely you can see the evidence everywhere.  Me, I didn’t seem to have a choice in seeing the evidence or the monsters.  It started small just a weird creepy feeling at the base of my skull.  A chill down my spine, or an itch that I couldn’t scratch.  I was able to ignore it at first, but it grew and as it did, I had no choice but to acknowledge that I could see the things others couldn’t.

By the time summer vacation started I was on edge all the time.  I was seeing ghosts and other things, evil looking creatures all the time and I think they started to notice me watching them.  I wasn’t sure if I was going crazy or what.  I couldn’t tell my new friends, they would have just turned on me.  My parents would have made sure I quietly disappeared.  They wouldn’t want to have their image ruined by having a crazy daughter.  I felt alone even when surrounded by people.

It all came to a head on the second day of summer vacation when I was going to meet Becky Summers.  She was one of my new friends and I really didn’t feel like going, but I had to maintain my image.  I was cutting across the town square, a park called simply The Green.  Standing in the middle of it was this huge oak tree that is said to date back to the founding of the town.  I was trying to keep my eyes down since this part of town had the most things in it, but I looked up, just for a second and I saw them.  Hanging from the tree was bodies, hundreds of bodies dangling from ropes.

This was too much I just turn and ran.  I don’t know where I was going just that I had to find someplace safe.  Maybe it was fate or maybe it was just dumb luck but running blind through the streets I run right into Mickey Jones.

Mickey Jones is a short skinny boy with dark hair and these deep-set eyes that always have this look in them like he is about to snap.  When he did snap Mickey didn’t care who it was, he would take on boys twice his size.  But he is also the sweetest, nicest person you could ever meet.  Once he accepted you as a friend you had a friend for life.  It may sound cliché, but he is the kind of friend that would do anything for his friends.

So, I ran into him and we both went tumbling.  I just laid there trembling until he wrapped his arm around me.

“Sue, are you ok?”

I don’t know why but I had to tell somebody.  “No.  I think I’m losing my mind.”

He helped me up and over to a bench.  “Talk to me Sue.  You can tell me anything.”

I started crying as it all spilled out.  The things I was seeing, how trapped I felt with my new friends and how much I missed him and the others.  I must have sounded like some pathetic cry baby because a lot of what I said was my fault.  I had brought it on myself, but he sat there with his arm on my shoulders as it all spilled out.

I guess you can only cry so long, before you can’t any longer and when I reached this point Mickey just smiled that crooked smile of his.  “Sue this is Danberry.  Everybody knows there are things here, things in the shadows that we don’t see.  You aren’t crazy Sue, you just see things the rest of us don’t.”

“That is great, but how can I make it stop?”

“I don’t know, but we will figure it out?”

“Who me and you?”

“Your real friends.”

“What real friends?  I have been a total bitch and they will never forgive me.”

“It may take a little time, but they will come around.  For now, it will be you and me.”

I should tell you I have always had a thing for Mickey.  At first it was just a friendship, but of all my friends he was the one I felt the closest to.  So, hearing him say them words to me made me for just a little while forget about all the things that was wrong with my life.  I knew he didn’t mean it the way I wanted him to, but I girl can have her fantasy even if it was for just one summer afternoon.

I found out later he had been headed to Brad’s house when I ran into him, but he spent all day with me as we wandered the town looking for someplace anyplace where those things weren’t.  I could deal with the ghosts, they didn’t seem to see me, but the monsters with their jagged teeth and claws could.  I could see them watching me as I watched them.  It was like some staring game you play when younger, but I could feel these things wanted to eat me.

It is crazy, but the one place in the whole town there was not one of those invisible monsters was the cemetery.  It is kind of weird, I could see tons of ghosts and even feel that some of those in the graves were still there, but no monsters.  We sat behind a crypt as Mickey smoked just relaxing as the sun drifted towards the horizon.  It was only later as I laid in bed that I realized that was the most relaxed and comfortable I had felt in such a long time.

It became our place, someplace the two of us could be alone.  He brought Maggie along a couple times.  The first time she showed up with him she hung back glancing around like something was on her mind.  I thought it was because we were in a graveyard, but as she joined me and Mickey she just blurted out, “Sue I’m a lesbian.”

“Okay.”

“I like girls.”

“I know what a lesbian is Mags.”

“I’m one.”

“Okay and I see dead people.”  It just came out.

“I’m serious.”

“I know you are Mags, I have known for a while.  I never said anything because I knew you would tell us when you were ready.”

“So why make that crack about dead people?”

“I do Mags.  Not only dead people but other things.  Ugly little monsters.”

She looked at Mickey, who nodded to her unasked question.  Suddenly she was hugging me, and I hug her back.  It was like we had just spent the summer away as we sat down and talked about all we had done since we hung out.

Summer hanging out in a graveyard might not sound fun, but in Danberry the weird is sometimes the normal so that is what we did.  It wasn’t until the first day of school that I realized I hadn’t seen any of my new friends that summer.  I had seen my old friends or at least three of them, Brad was still avoiding me.

The first day of my sophomore year and I was on my own.  My new friends had deserted me and my old friends didn’t know how to treat me.  Worse was my ability to see things.  I don’t know if it was getting stronger, or if they new things had just started visiting the town.  The little ones I had started thinking of as gremlins, mainly because of that movie.  The bigger ones though all I could think of when I saw them was demons.  They were everywhere in the school and I guess that was what distracted me so I didn’t pay attention to what was being said until after lunch.  When I heard all the stuff people were saying about Maggie, I tried to find her, but she was gone.

I did notice something.  The monsters seemed to gather arounds those who were causing the most pain and misery.  Becky Summers had a whole posse of them following her around as she did started rumors and started gossip just to make others suffer.  When a fight broke out, I saw five of the big ones standing there licking their lips until a teacher broke it up.

I felt sick by the end of the day as I had watched them things climb over each other just to get near those I had only last year thought of as friends.  Everybody had a few around them, but the popular kids all had ten or more and when they sat at lunch those things were packed around their table like an audience at a concert.  I couldn’t believe I had been part of that once.

Mickey called me that night and told me what had happen with Maggie, but I knew most of it already.  Rumors and gossips are good for something, but only if you don’t believe most of them.  We sat on the phone discussing what to do until late and I got up late for school the next day.  So, when I walked into the office, they were already there sitting in chairs waiting to have their schedules changed.

Stan smiled and Mickey gave me a little nod.  Brad just glared.  “What are you doing here?”

“I’m here to get my schedule changed.  Mags needs some support and you boys will get distracted by the first girl that smiles at you.”

“I would never let my friend down like that.”

“I did once, left them all down and I’m not going to do that again.”

“Yeah, right.  You are probably just doing this so you can mess with Mags.  If you do, I swear I’ll…”

I waited for him to finish, but Brad may have not liked me right then, but he couldn’t bring himself to finish that statement.  I didn’t know what to say at that moment that wouldn’t have made things worse, so I just sat down and waited.

Only Brad had a problem changing his schedule, but when his mom was called, she gave her approval.  We were back together, but Mags was missing which worried all of us.  I finally called her house between classes and spoke to her mom.  She explained Mags was considering home schooling and when I told the boys they felt as angry as I did.  That is when I saw the things gathering around us and I looked at Mickey.  He must have seen something in my eyes because he was beside me with his arm around my shoulders.

I guess Brad still didn’t trust me because he didn’t suggest they go see Mags until Saturday morning when I wasn’t with them.  It was Monday when I learned of Mags coming back when I saw her trying to wipe the stuff written on her locker off.  I grabbed a hand full of paper towels and helped her clean it.  By lunch time we were all friends again.  There was still some tension, but I felt things were going to get better.

Did I change what life had in store for me, I don’t know.  I wonder if maybe this was how things were meant to happen sometimes.  Maybe it all was part of the path my life will take, and I really hadn’t changed my fate at all.  But I do know that I won’t be like my mother when I get older.  My parents aren’t very happy with the changes in me this year, but I am or at least some of them and that is all that really matters.


© Copyright 2019 Ian D. Mooby. All rights reserved.

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