Dead but alive, a young woman awakens to find herself lying on an old bed, she doesn’t remember anything at all so she is completely unaware of where she is. She slowly moves her legs until they hit the unnatural cold floor. She then lifts her upper body and is now sitting on the side of the bed, looking around the dark cold room, able to speak but unsure if she should. The only glance of light is coming from the small rectangular window just below the ceiling. She stands up and begins to walk, stumbling as if she’s two years old again, learning to walk. She exits the room through the rusty old door which leads to the dingy old stairs. She slowly takes her first step up, holding onto the unstable railing as she makes her way up the stairs. The stairs make a final creek as she finally reaches the top; she slowly opens the door and is still unaware of where she is as she looks around the dirty, fly infested kitchen. Everything seems old and worn out, the stove is rusty and has what looks like burns on the sides, as do everything else in the kitchen. She walks to the next room which looks like the living room but, much like the kitchen, it looks old and much of the furniture has burns all over. She feels it’s been a long time since she has seen what she looks like, so right now she’s curious. She picks up a small cloth from the dusty table and she wipes the dust from the mirror. Her reflection leads her to gasp; she has bruises all around her face, scars that look as if they were stitched, just above her left eyebrow and below her lip. Something else in the mirror leads her to gasp, she sees an old lady who looks to be around 60 years old, short but fat. She wears a long gown that looks as if at some point it was white, but now, is mostly grey because of the dust that takes over the whole gown.
“Oh my…I’ve been waiting for you,” the old lady says suddenly. The young woman quickly turns around; for a second there, she actually thought the old lady was a ghost. “You must be starving…come with me to the kitchen.” She follows the old lady to the kitchen. “Can you speak at all child?” The old lady asks as she searches through the cabinet for a pot. The young woman licks her lips, still a bit confused and scared, she gulps and tries to speak.
“I believe so,” she says quietly, barely audible. The old lady goes to the sink and fills a glass with water.
“Here, drink this,” she says as she hands her the glass. The water looks dirty, as if it came directly from the river, but she drinks it anyway. “You don’t remember anything do you child?” The young woman looks up to the old lady and shakes her head. “Well…your name is Abigail and you are my daughter. My name is Norma but you can call me, mama…that’s what you called me before it happened.”
“What happened?” Abigail asks, still speaking quietly but now a bit more clearly.
“You hit your head pretty hard when trying to escape the fire…the fire that did all of this to my home. But it’s still beautiful isn’t it?” Abigail takes another look around the kitchen and slowly shakes her head yes. “Now eat your soup and then we’ll get you back to normal.”
The next few months has gone by quick for Abigail, she’s getting better as far as talking and moving goes and is getting used to living in a burnt up old house but her memory has no sign of returning. She was saddened by the news of her father and brother dying in the fire and even more saddened to know that she will never know what they looked like because all of the pictures were destroyed in the fire. Every night, she would look outside her window and wonder what’s out there, her mother doesn’t let her outside for reasons unknown. But on this night, after months since she had woken from the coma, her curiosity gets the best of her and she quietly sneaks out the back door. As she steps out the door, a huge smile appears on her face. She sees an owl sitting on the tree in the yard; she always wondered what was making that awkward noise every night. She picks up a rock from the ground and throws it at the owl, she missies but the owl flies away. Abigail watches the owl fly away and she waves goodbye, hoping that it never comes back. She hops over the fence and starts walking down the street, not knowing where to go but happy to finally see what’s outside her home.
Abigail makes her way down the street and sees something that looks familiar, a diner. She walks inside and is quickly amazed by what she sees and what she is hearing. Everyone stares at Abigail and they laugh at how pale, dirty and beat up she looks but Abigail doesn’t seem to be aware of it. She takes a seat at the counter and begins to swing her head back and forth. “What is that I’m hearing?” She asks the gentlemen next to her.
“Oh that’s Michael Jackson,” the man says, swinging his head along with her.
“What’s a Michael Jeckson?” Abigail replies.
“No, Michael Jackson…you know, the king of pop.”
“Oh yes…I love pop.” The man shakes his head and calls over a waitress for Abigail.
“What would you like Ma’am?” The waitress asks.
“Well I’d love a Michael Jeckson, I heard it was the king of pop. And I’d like this mashed potato…it looks a lot like my mother’s soup.”
“Ok…It should be ready in a few minutes.” Abigail stays seated, still dancing along to the music as the waitress sends her order to the back.
“I haven’t seen you around here before… where are you from?” The man asks.
“I’m from my home,” Abigail replies as she points to the direction of her home.
“I’m Tom…it’s nice to meet you.” He sticks his hand out, waiting for Abigail to shake his hand but instead, she just looks at it and hands him the ketchup that sits on the counter.
“You’re welcome,” she says.
“So what’s your name?” Tom asks.
“My mother says it’s Abigail so I guess it’s Abigail.”
“How did you get here?”
“Oh…I ran...it was amazing!”
“You have a lot of bruises…are you ok?”
“I’m fine…my mother said I took a hard fall when my house caught on fire…I was sleeping for 6 months straight.”
“That’s interesting…do you like this place?”
“Yes it’s very fancy.”
“My wife and I used to come here all of the time…Michael Jackson was our favorite...I feel like she’s here, somewhere close.”
“I’d love to meet her someday.”
“She died…in a car accident.”
“Oh…my father and brother died in a fire.”
“Here’s your mashed potatoes and your Michael Jeckson,” the waitress says as she hands her a plate and a glass of Coca-Cola. “And here’s your bill.” She eats her mashed potatoes, drinks her soda and then throws away the bill.
“Goodbye Tom,” She says as she jumps off her seat.
“Where are ya going?” Tom asks.
“I’m tired…I’m going home.” Tom takes some money from his wallet and puts it on the counter then quickly runs outside.
“Hey wait up!” He yells as he sees Abigail crossing the street. Abigail starts running and laughing as Tom chases after her. “Wait up!” Tom continues to yell until he can no longer see Abigail.
Abigail makes her way home and slowly creeps inside. As she’s passing through the living room, she hears a creaking sound coming from the rocking chair. She slowly walks to the light and turns it on. “Oh mama, what are you doing up?” She asks, shocked to see her mother.
“What were you doing out there? I told you never to go out there!”
“Oh mama, I was just wondering what was out there.”
“I told you never to go out there! You disobeyed me child!”
“Mama please…I was just having fun,” Abigail cries. Her mother stands up from the rocking chair and pushes Abigail with her cane until she reaches the bottom of the basement. “Mama please!”
“Shut up child! You are to never go outside again…ya here?” She slams the door shut and leaves Abigail in the cold dark basement. Abigail walks to the bed and lies down. She’s really tired but she can’t sleep, she can’t stop thinking about the amazing things she saw outside, mostly, she can’t stop thinking about Tom until she finally falls asleep and drifts into a dream.
“It’s so beautiful out isn’t it?”
“Kim, it’s forty degrees and it is snowing like crazy.”
“I know Tom but you know how much I love this weather, this time of year.”
“I love it too but I think I prefer to actually see the road when I drive.”
“Kim…come on Kim…don’t die!”
The next morning, Abigail wakes up, confused and scared. She slides her feet until they hit the cold floor then slowly gets up off the bed, walks out of the room and up the stairs to the kitchen. “Oh my,” she says to herself as she looks around. She walks to the living room then up the stairs. “Hello?” She says as she walks into a quiet room. She never been in this room before, the curtains are burned down as well as everything else, everything but a picture that sits in the middle of the bed. She picks it up and examines it. There are 4 people in the photo but she doesn’t recognize any of them. She turns the picture around and reads the names out loud. “Norma, Dan, Eugene and Abigail.” She looks around the room for anything else, still confused and scared. “What the hell is going on here?” She asks herself.
“Abigail, you know you are not supposed to be in this room,” Norma says, suddenly appearing at the doorway.
“What’s going on? Who are you?” Abigail asks.
“Now child you know that won’t work on me…back to the basement.”
“Don’t touch me! Who the hell are you?”
“Abigail, I am not going to tell you again!”
“My name is not Abigail! It’s Kim!”
“Don’t you yell at me!”
“Where’s Tom? What did you do with him?”
“You are not Kim…Kim died 6 months ago…we’ve been through this.” Abigail’s mother goes to the jure and pulls out a newspaper article. “Read this,” she says.
23 year old Kimberly I. Austin, one of 4 victims of last Thursday’s car accident, died in a coma early Saturday morning. The exact timing of her death is unknown. 25 year old Thomas J. Austin, husband of Kimberly was released from the hospital the day before and is fully aware of his wife’s death. Michelle K. and Drew M. Ellison were both pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Funeral services for all three victims will be held at 9 o’clock on Tuesday morning.
“This isn’t possible…I know who I am,” says Abigail as she finishes reading the article.
“You were given her heart, maybe that’s why you believe so strongly that you’re Kimberly Austin…look in the mirror, you are Abigail Hill!” Abigail looks in the mirror and base on her hair color, she knows that she must be Abigail. “Say it child! I want you to say it!”
“I am Abigail Hill.”
“I am Abigail Hill!”
“Ok…now let me go make you some soup.”
Abigail walks downstairs to the living room and sits in the old rocking chair. As she rocks back and forth, looking out the window, a man suddenly appears outside, holding a newspaper article up against the window, yelling something but Abigail cannot hear him. The man has dirt all over his face and clothes but Abigail quickly recognizes him.
“Tom?” She says. She quickly jumps out of the chair and opens the door.
“You gotta listen to me…you are not Abigail! Abigail died in a fire 6 months ago. You are Kimberly Austin, my wife!” Tom explains, talking really fast.
“Why are you so dirty?”
“I’ve been to a graveyard…there’s nothing in there! I knew there was something up! You were alive all this time!” She jumps on Tom and hugs him tightly, deep inside she knew who she really was. “I want you to come…” A gunshot suddenly goes off and Tom falls slowly out of her arms and down to the floor. Kimberly turns around to see Norma holding a gun.
“You were never a good Abigail…my Abby was smart and respectful, you are nothing but a dumb disrespectful little shit!”
“Let me go! Please! Kimberly cries.
“Now child…don’t you worry, you’re not going to feel a thing…now get to the basement.” Norma slowly leads Kimberly to the basement where she ties her up to the old bed.
“Please let me go! Help!” Kimberly screams as she tries breaking out of the handcuffs. Norma covers Kimberly’s mouth with duck tape and then leaves the room; she comes back a second later with an axe in her hands.
“Calm down child, it won’t hurt that bad,” she says. She takes the axe and lightly lays it on Kimberly’s left ankle as if she is choosing the right spot to hit. “Here’s for the time you disobeyed when you went outside!” She holds the axe high in the air, getting ready to swing. Kimberly tries to wiggle her way out but there’s no use, her left foot is no more. “Here’s for disobeying me when I told you to never open the door! She holds the axe in the air, swings and Kimberly’s right foot is no more. Norma throws both feet off onto the floor with the axe; blood streams onto the bed as Norma holds the axe lightly on Kimberly’s neck. “And here’s for being the worse Abigail ever!” She swings the axe into the air for the final kill, the beheading of the young innocent Kimberly. “You could have been my Abigail,” she swings the axe into the air again and begins to count. “5…4…3…2…1…” a gunshot goes off suddenly and everything is now silent, except for the cries of a young man that fills the room. Norma lies dead beside the bed with a bullet in her head as Kimberly lies on the bed, eyes closed but not dead. Tom holds Kimberly for what may be the last time, as the sound of sirens squeezes through the small rectangular window just below the ceiling.
© Copyright 2016 jakeengel. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Non-Fiction
Short Story / Non-Fiction
Book / Horror
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