Evening Bells

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story of psychological epidemic and self destruction at the hands of an invisible love.

Submitted: January 24, 2008

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Submitted: January 24, 2008

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And then she heard it beckoning. The sound of the bells. In the sheer silence of that dark night, the rippling DING-DONG cut through the air. She threw down the knife, turned quickly round, and ran, her sneakers leaving imprints of blood. Faster and faster, her hair lagging behind, barely keeping up even considering it was attached, her chest heaving up and down, hoping to digest a little bit of good air, hoping like hell her heart might slow down, might not burst.

But she... She could care less. If she died before she arrived at the bells so be it.

She did not die. Not then. She made it to the big brown door, felt the ice cold handle on the skin of her palm and pulled the door back and quickly ran up the stairs.

No matter how many times she'd been here, she was surprised at the way the spiral staircase twisted and turned, the way light played with her mind and sometimes left her in complete and total darkness. Tens of times she fell, numerous splinters entered her skin, her knees were skint, her tights ripped in places. But she ran on. She needed to reach the bells. Needed to be in their prescence while the sound was still going. Finally she arrived at the top of the staircase.

Pause. A breath, and with her newly splintered hand she pushed the door open. An intense ringing filled her ears. She walked to the center of the room and stood still letting her eyes adjust to the dark, hoping the sound of the bells would replace this God awful ringing. But they did not. But the silence did.

She opened her eyes wider and wider, trying to become super human, vainly hoping for there to be something.... The bells! Those beautiful bells. But they weren't here. She heard them, heard them calling her. She collapsed to the floor. Those bells were the only thing that kept her alive. And now, 100% sure, they were gone. An illusion, something she'd dreamed up as a foolish girl. As she clasped her own arms, she jumped in pain and looked down at the fresh cuts. She'd almost forgotten about the self mutilation she was committing when she heard the sweet promising sound again. Either here or there, she would hurt. She would bleed.

Curled into somewhat of a ball, she pulled a little bag of pretzels out of a bag she had around her shoulders. She hated them, pretzels, their name, their smell, their salt. But she hungered. SHE HUNGERED. Inside the disgusting things was a bit of peanut butter. More filling, that was the plan, no doubt. But nothing could fool her or satisfy her hunger. The hollow bland thing was a hollow bland thing no matter what you filled it with. She nearly choked as she heard it again.

The bells! Here eyes lit up, she dropped the bag, but before she could stand her eyes became aware of something in the darkness. Dozens of bleeding girls, walking towards her with their very own knives. They were in the beginning stages, she could tell. They still saw the bells. The whites of their eyes were blood shot and a certain death surrounded them. Slowly, they formed a circle around her. She tried to stand but they were so close now....

One girl, who looked somehow familiar to her, reached forward, the blood red of her eyes a contrast to the brilliant blue of her iris, stretched out her hand and jerked the necklace from her neck. She gasped and began to cry. The other blood-eyed children surrounded the one girl and looked at the new treasure she had taken. On a bit of string a tiny, tiny sleigh bell. None of those could be found anymore. They knew this.

At once a high-shrilled screaming filled the earth, and the circle formed again and they all swept forward with their tiny knives. Maltreatment would satisfy what the self mutilation could not. In her last moment alive, she did not scream. She did not fight.

Silent and still, she still waited to hear one last bell.


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