The Anniversary Of Death

Reads: 47  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a girl in the early 1900s or late 1800s.

This was a story made for English (We were learning internal punctuation XP) Sorry this was out so late!

Submitted: December 27, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 27, 2011

A A A

A A A


“The Anniversary Of Death”

 

Snowflakes fluttered to the gray-white earth – this was nothing compared to the pounding impact yesterday evening.

 I grumbled. Snow melted in my once-warm snow boots, making squishing sounds every time I walk.

Squish! Squish!

I grumbled. The snow plastered into my hair, making the golden locks cold to touch.

Squish! Squish! Squash!

Suddenly, in the near distance, I spot Grandmother Cyrn’s Inn. She’s not my grandmother. But she allows “dirt poor” people sleep for the night for “dirt cheap”.

I gripped the leather leash of my dog – Hunter: brave, loyal, and strong. He’s possibly the only one who had helped me escape the clutches of those dark woods. Fallen branches, dead trees, and decaying leaves sink into the dirt – causing a musty scent to linger.

An old woman rocked to and fro in her chair, sighing contentedly. She seemed to be a million years old. She has wispy, ratty gray hair, tinged with pale green. Wrinkles and liver spots showed prominently on her withered face.

Hunter growled and jerks forward; He was baring his sharp fangs. “Clam down, Hunter!” I wrapped the leash around my wrist again, tightening my grip on the rambunctious German shepherd. The lady – now sensing us in her view – waved politely and smiled, not opening her drooping eyes.

“Hello, ma’am.” I greeted her with my lip’s edges rotated upwards, it sort of hurt.

 “Splendid to see you Hazel!” The old woman chuckled hoarsely, “I haven’t seen you in ages! You have grown into a very fine woman. And you,” – She reached down to pat Hunter’s furry head – “are so big now! I remember you as a pup!”

“So how about a carton of goat’s milk, cheese, and butter and a basket of sweet berries. Two nights sleep.” I asked (I held up two fingers to enunciate my words), getting straight to the point.

Grandmother Cyrn smiled warily and opened her eyes. Her eyes. Her eyes. I’ve got to see them rarely—and when I do – shivers shoot up my spine and goose bumps prickle my flesh. Her eyes are black. Pure midnight black, the whole eye. Black.

“Of course, darling. But I’ve told you not to pay any longer!” Grandmother Cyrn chuckled heartily, “But thank you.”

I gulped and placed my worn leather satchel off my shoulders and at my feet. I reached down and grabbed a small parcel, which smelled of the dairy farm I had stolen it from. I also snatched a pouch of sweet berries (Also known as straw berries). I placed them in her open palms as Grandmother Cyrn stared out in the vast winter snow.

I picked up my bag, slung it over my shoulder, and entered the log cabin. Warmth – it engulfed me. The wonderful aroma of hot biscuits and tea filled my nostrils.

I opened my eyes – a scowl covering my face. Christmas decorations littered the walls and rooms. A large, old tree sat near the big front window. Tinsel and always-shining ornaments hung proudly at its base, giving the room light in the night. Wrapped gifts were placed neatly at the bottom.

The fireplace was roaring – flames danced and tittered over the wood. Christmas-y cards were set up in an inviting way on the mantel. It was as if they were saying, “Come on! Open me!”

I grunted. Christmas is my most despised day of the whole year. A calendar hung on the far wall near the entrance of the kitchen. The last twenty-three days had been crossed out. Today and tomorrow were circled in red marker. Christmas Eve.

I gripped Hunter’s leash tighter. Today is just an anniversary – of death.

***********

Little eight-year-old me patter down the wooden steps. I wore a lacy nightgown with my blond hair in untidy pigtails. My evergreen eyes are wild with excitement. I screeched in delight, noticing five small boxes under our tree. Each with a pretty bow of a different color.

Sirens sounded suddenly. I gasped – dashing to my parent’s room, my heart in my throat. Two medics were busy easing my parent’s limp, frail bodies onto gurneys.

“What happened!?” I cried, my heart was now stuck in my throat and twisted in knots, “Mommy? Daddy? Wake up! Wake up!!”

“Little girl, they are in heaven. Both of them, together.” One medic with long brown hair placed his hand on my tiny, shaking shoulder.

***********

I unlocked Hunter’s leash, letting the big dog roam in the massive house. Tears welled up in my sad eyes and rolled down my cherry-red cheeks

“Are...are you alright, ma’am?” A strong voice spoke behind me. A hand gripped my tiny, shaking shoulder. I turned around to find a very handsome face. He was about my age, early twenties. The man had cleanly cropped jet-black hair that reached a bit below his ears. His skin – pale. And his eyes glowed a deep maroon in the fire’s light.

“I’m fine. Just fine.” I laughed nervously, “But who are you?”

“I am Alexander Cyrn. Pleased to meet you.” Alexander held out his hand, which was slightly burnt from tending the disobedient flames.

“You must be Grandmother Cyrn’s grandson. I am Hazel Everlight.”  I said, accepting his friendly gesture. Out of nowhere, Hunter bounded into the den and pounces onto Alexander.

“Whoa! Boy, get down!” I heaved Hunter by the collar, before he could tear apart this man’s neck.

“Oh, that’s quite alright. Dogs don’t like me much.” He picked himself up and dusted off his trousers. Hunter snarled and bared his teeth in displeasure.

“Something must be wrong,” I frowned in worry, “He never acts this way.” (Hunter is a very good, well-behaved dog!)

Ding! Ding! Ding!

“Oh! Dinner must be complete.” Alexander’s face brightened up, which is good because he was almost mauled by a huge dog. He guides me towards the kitchen. His hand grasping mine made my train of thought break down. A million smells suddenly flooded my senses.

Grandmother Cyrn waddled into the kitchen, sipping her hot tea in an old mug. “Ah, I see you found Hazel. Today we are going to have a large array of food!”

I helped Alexander serve the food onto the old table. Baked goose and wild duck were sizzling with deliciousness. The sweet berry pie was cooked to perfection. An assortment of pastries was arranged on little plates. I have died and gone to heaven.

“Alexander, dear, go fetch the other residents. We shall feast tonight.” She ordered her grandson gently. Alexander nodded and flashed a bright, white smile in my direction; it looked as though I was staring at the stars. And with that, he strides up the stairs.

I helped Grandmother Cyrn place the china on the table. The glasses and plates hit the oak table with a clink and a clank.

“Dear, you know it’s Christmas Eve.” The woman mused, her weary eyes shut – tight.

“Yes, I am aware. Your point.” I grumbled through clenched teeth. I shuffled from the kitchen to the dining room, trying to notice the minor details in the room: the ticking grandfather clock, the framed crayon scrawling of five-year-olds, even the silly Christmas decorations.

Grandmother Cyrn sat down and sighed, her hands in her lap. She opened her mouth to begin speaking. But only a gasp escaped her lips before Alexander pounded down the steps, three others following suit.

“Miss Everlight.” He addressed me in a gentleman-ly way, “This is Joshua,” – he gestures to short, ten year old boy with a tuft of reddish-brown hair on his head – “And this is Hayden and Camille.” The other two are blondes with sparkling topaz gems in the place of eyes. They were possibly twins.

“Nice to meet you.” I offered a fake smile, “And you don’t need to speak so formal of me, Alexander.”

Alexander gave me another handsome grin and led me back to the dining room table. Dinner was fabulous. I especially enjoyed the cinnamon rolls. It was rolled up in a spiral; gooey, creamy sauce crawled down the little cake. It was topped with sprinkles of brown cinnamon.

After about an hour of sitting with these people, I’ve realized how nice it can be – to have friends again. Joshua is quite the trouble-maker, he told us of his many funny tales and pranks; The reason he is such a mischievous kid probably became so when his mother died not long ago. Camille and Hayden were, in fact, identical twins, and they hail from France.

Alexander had laughed quite a lot. He sat next to me. When those beautiful maroon orbs connected with my green ones, my heart went a-flutter.

“So, Hazel,” He gave my name emphasis, as if testing it out, “Where do you come from?”

“Where?”

“What?”

“Who?”

“How?”

Alexander was so curious, he never once grew tired or bored of my long stories. He was just full of emotion. He frowned when he felt sympathy for me; he smiled or chuckled when I made an accidental joke. And his eyebrows furrowed together when he was upset – it was cute. Very cute.

The small group filed out of the dining room towards their own bedrooms.

“Here,” Alexander pressed some warm sheets into my awaiting hands, “You have room four.” I genuinely smiled at him in gratitude; my feet glided up the stairs.

The room was plain. A twin bed stood next to the big window. A rug covered the cold wooden floor; the same floor that made my toes tingle. I threw on a large night-shirt, fell onto the bed, and sleep slapped me across the face.

***********

The bright sun peeked through the window and onto my waking face. I yawned – stretching my limbs. I leaned down to pick clothes out from my satchel; I chose a dark brown sweater, a pair of jeans, and some fuzzy socks to warm my frozen toes.

When I came downstairs – I was face to face with a gleaming Christmas tree. Joshua had already opened the two gifts for him and began “vroom-vrooming” with his new fire truck. Camille was deeply engrossed in her new romance novel. Hayden was helping Grandmother Cyrn organize the letters and cards.

“Merry Christmas, Hazel!” Joshua  spoke with a toothy grin.

“You too, kiddo.” I said in return. I sat down on the sofa to watch the candles faintly flicker on the tree.

“Hey, you think we would ever forget you? That’s mean.” Alexander said with a smile. He was holding a small green box with a red ribbon on top, “This is yours.”

He placed it in my hands, his touch serenading my soul. I thanked him with a nod and removed to ribbon to open the present. I frowned. A small flower was placed at the bottom. It was pure midnight black – very pretty. I lifted the small orchid from the box and cupped it in my hands.

“It’s so pretty.” I whispered.

And so is the anniversary of death…


© Copyright 2017 wolfiecantdance. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Young Adult Short Stories