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by Katerina Charisi
2016-03-13 11:38:31
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It feels weird how my mind can recall the past so easily lately. At times, I try to catch up the memories that flow in my head and I write as fast as I can before they disappear again; but they are always there. They are just in pieces.

 So many years have passed since that part of my the life, and I thought I left it behind me forever but still, I feel like it was just yesterday when I moved in that place; the place that changed everything.

eml01_400I remember the words Emily told me last time I saw her. You must do it yourself, she said. I didn’t know what she meant, I could only feel this urgency feeling burning inside me, I needed some answers. Which was actually weird, because I didn’t need to remember anything before. I was just here, watching time passing by, life overrunning me, while I waited for the end. And then, she came to me and everything changed again.

I think she wants me to tell her story. But I can’t tell hers if I won’t tell mine. She wants me to see, to remember; she wants me to confess. What I did? What I did and forgot in purpose, for not losing my mind. What they all did, in their own way, in purpose or not. Back then, so many years ago, in that big, half burned house that no one ever managed to repair. Where I first dreamed for love and happiness, where I believed I found the family I missed. Emilly wants her story to be told. But this can’t happen if I don’t tell mine. And to tell mine, I also have to tell what I did. I have to face the truth one more time. And I know this could be the end; my end. 


When Marianne asked me to go with her to get the mousetrap, I didn’t know where she meant but soon I found out. The storage rooms were in the back, where the house was once burned and never fixed since then. Just like there was a locked door upstairs leading in the back, there was another one in the end of the hallway downstairs, a locked one too. The last room in the right, was Cornelia’s.  

Marianne got the keys from the chiffonnier and unlocked the door. I noticed how her hands where still trembling, I saw her badly bitten nails again.  “Relax”, I said, “it was only a mouse”.

“You won’t believe what they can do. They can spoil food, chew the cables, destroy your clothes and walk all over you in your sleep”. She shook her head and closed the door behind us. “Oh, come on”, I insisted, still thinking she just takes things too seriously. The hallway continued and doors where at both sides. It looked quite normal. They must had tried and cleaned the mess. It was like someone or something had sucked up all the light. The wood was burned almost to the top, black in the bottom, dark brown as I looked up. It was cold and smelled like someone threw a bucket of water on a burning log. Wet ash; that was what I thought with that smell.

eml02_400Marianne opened the door in her left and I waited outside, looking around. There was nothing to see. The hallway was naked. It was like life had once abandoned the place. Only for a moment I pictured life in Oleander Manor. A big house, full of people, a wealthy family, parents, children and grandchildren, grandparents, servants, workers, I don’t know what exactly I thought about it, I just filled with my mind all these rooms. If it was the same on the upper floor, then the house had at least sixteen rooms. There was a single window in the end of the hallway and it had barriers on the outside. I remembered then that all windows from the rooms were boarded up, as I looked at the place from outside. The glass of that window was dirty and broken on its side. It was just a little hole, only two of my fingers could fit, but I guessed it was enough for a mouse to get in. Although the whole place was old and damaged, so it could probably get in from anywhere.

I heard Marianne moving things, murmuring and swearing as she tried to find the mousetrap. I couldn’t blame her for freaking out. This part of the house was ...weird. There wasn’t any light except for that window in the hallway, and it was facing north in the woods and the tall trees, so the light was poor anyway. Marianne had a flashlight and I could see its ray dancing as she moved around. Then I turned my head and noticed the door on the right the last door, next to the window. There was a mirror hanging. Dark wooden frame with carved curves like branches, just like the chiffonier. I won’t say it didn’t give me the creeps. I took a step closer and I thought I heard whispers and murmurs from inside. A low, deep echoed voice, a rhythmic murmuring like repeating words, but I couldn’t make any sense out of it.

I carefully took another step and heard a creaking sound under my shoe. I looked down and I saw pebbles scattered on the floor. I looked closer. They were just pebbles, all small and white and round like mothballs. Suddenly the murmuring stopped. I stepped back and kicked again the pebbles, the noise sounded awfully loud, I swore in silence, holding my breath.

I felt my cold sweating palms on my sides. The flashlight went off and on twice. I turned my head and saw Marrianne looking at me frightened, shaking her head and her curly hair jumped funnily and her lips were telling me “no. No”. She had finally found the mousetrap and waved me to get out of there. I took another slow step behind, but I couldn’t get my eyes from the door. And then I just felt that someone was standing right behind it. A heavy presence that made me look up, like trying to see it from toes to top. “Go away!” a loud whisper bounced in my head.

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