An Unfamiliar Place
One girl's struggle to escape the unfamiliar and save herself from something terrifying and confusing.
I open my eyes and stare straight up at the bright blue sky, and the white clouds passing by above me. It takes me a minute to realize I'm laying on the ground. I slowly start to push myself up off the ground and look around. I'm on some sort of sandy dirt path lined with trees. I groan as I stand and put my hand to the the back of my head where it pulses. It feels hot and wet to the touch. I look at my fingers and they're wet with blood from the back of my head. Where the hell am I? I wonder as I look around, shielding my eyes from the bright sun. I look around to see nothing but the dirt path and trees. I turn around and see a house at the end of the path behind me.
I have absolutely no idea where I am or how I got here. Confused, I look up at the house. It looks like it hasn't seen life in years. The windows are dusty, and the light green paint is peeling from the wood siding. I suddenly notice there's someone standing in the top floor window. I squint to try to see them and make out their face but it's too hard to see through the dirty window. I can only make out their shape. I just stare back at them, still confused as to how I got here or who this person is. I think about walking towards the house to ask the person if they saw how I got here, when I see them slowly raise their hand and point. I suddenly feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
I slowly turn around to see a boy standing in the middle of the path staring right at me. He looks young, maybe 16 or 17. His light sandy hair hangs across his bright blue eyes and I can see a light sprinkle of freckles across his nose. His clothes hang loose on his thin frame, covered in dust from the path. Where did he come from? I didn't hear him come up behind me on the path, and he wasn't there when I first stood up. I want to say something to him but I don't know what to ask, I don't recognize him.
My mouth feels dry as I finally say "Hey."
I stop and look down at his hand. His hand is clenched tight around something. It's a knife. I feel my palms become clammy as I look around for something, anything to use as a weapon against this kid, if he decides to attack me. He just stares back at me through his hair. I turn to look back at the person in the window but they're gone.
My heart starts racing as I turn back toward the boy. He's still staring at me, I look of utter hate across his face. I slowly start to back away from him. As I move he starts moving towards me, his pace quickens. I turn and sprint towards the house. I don't look back and just pray that the door is unlocked and that whatever or whoever is inside isn't worse than what's behind me. As I reach the steps to the porch of the house I hear the boy grunt as he lunges at me from behind. He sinks the knife into the back of my calf and I cry out in pain. I turn and kick at him. As I do he drops the knife and suddenly runs from me. I hear a creek and turn to look behind me to see the large front door of the house wide open. When I look back the boy is gone.
I stare into the darkness of the house. I slowly drag myself up, my leg now gushing through my pants from the deep stab wound. I limp towards the open door and lean against the wall and peer in. Did the boy run because he was scared of what is within? Is it more dangerous than him, or only a threat to him? I look behind me at the sunny dirt path and trees and weigh my options. I limp into the house and the door shuts behind me.
I lean against the wall as I wait for my eyes to adjust to the darkness of the house. I look around but don't see anyone. I trace my hand against the wall as I move deeper into the house, using the wall to keep me upright as I limp along. I should probably do something about my leg. I try to find a light switch along the wall. Suddenly I remember the figure in the window.
"Hello?" I call.
I bump my knee off something hard and fight the urge not to curse out loud. I bend over to grab my knee and feel ahead of me in the dark. My eyes finally start to adjust and I can just make out the wooden bench in front of me. I sit down on it and try to catch my breath. I can still feel the blood from my leg soaking through my pants and running down my leg. Ahead of me is a large staircase. The dusty windows provide some light leading up them. I hobble over to them and clutch the railing as I drag myself up them.
"Hello?" I call again, but no one answers.
The house is silent. I pull myself to the top of the staircase. There's a small landing with three doors. I can see a dim light coming from the middle door. I limp towards it and hesitate with my hand on the doorknob. I listen, but still, there's nothing. My hearts racing as I turn the handle and push the door open. The room is empty except for a small bed and a nightstand. There's a thick layer of dust on the room and cobwebs in the corners. Straight ahead is one solemn window. As I go towards it I realize it's the window at the front of the house that I saw someone in. I look around the room but there's no one here.
I peer out the window and can make out the figure of someone standing below in the middle of the path. Their back is to me, but I can tell it's a girl. She looks about my height, with long brown hair. She looks hurt, her hair is matted with dark blood. I squint, trying to see her clearer. As I do she turns to look at the house, and then up at me in the window. I gasp and have to grab the window sill to keep from falling backward. The girl is me. My heart pounds so hard in my chest I feel like it's going to burst right through me. I feel a cool sweat wash over me as I stare back at myself. Suddenly I notice the boy again. He's standing right behind me, as he had done to me earlier, clutching the same rusty knife. I slowly raise my shaking hand to point. But I don't turn around fast enough and he lunges at me. Grabbing me by the hair I can see my mouth open wide as I cry out but I can't hear the screams. I watch as he drives the knife deep into my back over and over again. I scream, watching myself crumple to the ground.
Behind me, the door to the bedroom slams shut. I run to it and try to rip it open but it's locked. I scream and bang on the door, but it doesn't budge. I turn back to the window and look out. My body is still lying lifeless on the ground, blood pooling around me in a dark crimson circle. The boy is gone again. I scream and cry and fall against the wall and slouch to the floor. The dark room closes in around me and I just lay there waiting for it to take me. I look down and see I'm covered in blood. It's my blood. My back is bleeding, I can feel the deep wounds in my back now. I breathe heavy through my tears as I look down at my hands confused, covered in my own blood, and everything goes black.