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Don't Say Good-Bye
The sun had gone down hours before. Hundreds of candles lay scattered around the house making it glow.
The dear boy I once called my big brother had gone missing the week before this. The boy went to the river one day and never came back.
I remember watching his red hair in the breeze. Seeing him stop at the edge then tumble in by my tackle. The water was cool when we hit but we didn't mind. Just him and I having fun.
Our laughter floating on once we surfaced. The river tried to pull us under but we had love on our side. We stayed above the water and tackled each other. All of a sudden he was gone. Under the water. Rushing away.
I sucked in a deep breathe before I had a chance to think. The water down there was much colder but it started to get warm once again. The walls beside me whizzing by.
There! A boy and a young woman clung to each other. The woman smiling devilishly and the boy slipping from reality. I open my mouth to scream at him but water started to flood inside. Going down to my lungs. Making stars dance in front of my eyes. Consuming all my vision until all I can see is stars dancing with me. Telling jokes. Saying everything is going to be okay. Forever.
Hours later I was sitting near my dead body. Well my spirit was. The moon had come out but it was not shining brightly like before. It now shone with sadness. Weeping for the death of me. I have been sitting here with my body since the stars in my vision said good-night. I’ve been watching and waiting for someone to come. To try and help. All the people that have come by have been wolves. They were just passing through but before they left they stopped. Both the male and the female. Both of their heads turned at the same time to stare at me. It was like they could actually see me! I tried to talk but all that came out was water from the stream. Like my body my lungs were filled with water. But I didn’t need to breathe so it was just a little irritating. Then just like when the wolves came they turned their heads and left. Leaving me to wait till somebody would come.
After half an hour longer on the shore near a waterfall I heard a crunching noise coming from the forest. They sounded like feet breaking branches on the forest floor. A voice rose from the forest surrounding the stream. A male’s voice. Approximately 36 years of age and is hunting with his 18 year old son. I jumped up from my seat on the soil and ran to the forest. I stopped at the edge and looked back. My body was just visible under the water and not moving. Probably stuck on a branch or something. I rushed into the forest, following the sounds of the people not far in. I stopped half way to them to spit up some water. More just came flooding right back into my mouth. Typical, just my luck to not be able to ask for help. Not like they can see me anyways. Maybe I can use signs! Draw words into the dirt. Just in the middle of my thoughts a woman jumped from the trees in front of me and stared at me. She was actually not a woman but a teenager. Around 17 or maybe 18 years of age. Her shoulder length ,pitch black hair swaying as she landed.
“Hi,” said the girl with a sweet smooth voice. She was very pretty and looked like the kind of person you could trust. “Are you lost or something?” She asked sweetly. I just shook my head. Relief ran through my veins. She could see me! I opened my mouth to ask her to pull my body out of the water but water rushed through instead of words. She stared at me and at the water on the ground. “Who are you?” The girl asked. Just then the two men broke through the trees. I had been right. Only I missed the part that they were beautiful and sparkled in the sunlight.
“Who are you talking to Darla?” Asked the grown man. He must be her father I thought.
“This girl,” she pointed in my direction, “ but she can’t talk back. Whenever she tries water comes out.” Darla explained, pointing at the water near my feet. The men looked in my direction and I waved. A curious and concerned looking face covered the loving one they had both worn not too long before.
“There’s nobody there Darla. Are you feeling okay?” asked Darla’s dad. My guess would be that he’s a doctor or something.
“Yes, James.” Replied Darla. “ You mean you can’t see her? She’s standing right there!” She pointed at me again. James and the boy looked at each other again. A smile spread across the boys face.
“Prove she’s there then!” Laughed the boy.
“Shut up Darien,” snarled Darla. The name really suited him. The dark curls that framed his face were always in his eyes but I could see from here that they held every kind of feeling. Mostly love. Love for his sister and his dad probably. A strange ache started in my chest where my heart lays.
The family has been arguing about my existence for half an hour now. I just stand to the side and watch them. The father, James was his name, had this weird theory that Darla could in fact see ghosts. Darien would always snort once James said that. I just watched. Not bothering to draw words in the dirt or anything, just studied the family. They really didn’t look like they were related but they did have the same skin colour and eye shade. All of them had pale white skin like Darla and they all had blood red eyes. Really creep if you stare at them long enough.
“But she’s there! I can SEE her! She looks like she might be 12 or 11 years old!” Yelled Darla. In return to her comment Darien just rolled his eyes while James took in a face of thinking and considering. “Why don’t you believe me?” Cried Darla. Tear’s ran freely down Darla’s soft looking cheeks.
“I do believe you Darla but I don’t see how you can see a ghost. If that’s what this girl really is. You could be seeing her or you could be mad about being the only girl in the family.” James stepped forward and out stretched his arm to rub Darla’s arm. Darla swatted it away and looked disgusted.
“You don’t believe me. I can see it in your eyes! You think I’m crazy!” Yelled Darla. I opened my mouth to try to cheer up Darla but water rushed out. As the water rushed out of my mouth and hit the ground they all looked my way. I quickly closed my mouth. James and Darien just stared terrified at the water on the ground. Darla looked as happy as could be. “HA! Told you!” She said enjoying their shock.
“Where did that water come from?” Asked Darien confused and a little scared.
“From the ghost moron.” Explained Darla. She walked over to me and put up her hand. She moved her hand to my shoulder to make contact. But she didn’t. Her hand just kept going through me. Kept going and going till she suddenly stopped near my waist. My eyes went up to her face and saw she had a terrified face on just like the men. She suddenly pulled her hand away from me and looked at me with confusion. I looked from her to the men and back again. I suddenly had an idea. I looked at my hand and imagined a knife. To my luck and my surprise one appeared. It was pretty cool and scary at the same time but I took the knife and walked to a tree. Darla followed right behind me and so did her family right behind her. I thought for a second and began scribbling my letter. The men looked over Darla’s shoulder to see and gasped with shock. Of course for them they would just see a message just appearing on a tree. But Darla saw how tricky it was for me. My message was pretty simple and got their attention pretty quick. I wrote “ My bodies in the river. Please help.” I looked at Darla and found I was crying. It was really hard to accept the fact that I was dead and they were the only things that could help my body. I began to side step so I could go around Darla but I stopped. Instead I went through her. She gave a shudder as I did and so did James and Darien when I walked through them. I started to head for the river but stopped and looked back at Darla. She hadn’t moved but with a wave of my hand she began to follow. James and Darien followed right behind her. Then everything goes dark.
I was found after darkness had hit the forest. My limp body unconscious and different. I had a completely different outfit on. A pink floral dress had clung to me. Wet from the river and dirty from the soil.
It had been 3 hours since I had gone to the river with Jarrod my bother. I somehow survived the river and was pushed onto the shore. They called it a miracle. Not to me. I survived death but my big brother was gone. Torn from me. A strange memory tickled at the back of my mind but I was left with a blank.
My parents didn’t really ever like him that much. They just shook it off like they never even had a son. They were just a little too happy to have still. And they never cried in the middle of the night.
Wishing the creature would have left him to live. Or at least would let him see his family and reassure my heart. Sometimes at night I would sneak off and look. Travelled through the forest and looked for signs of his being there. Nothing. Not a speck was left of him in the woods. When hope at the end of each search fell apart I would go to the log near the house. The one for years Jarrod and I had jumped. Well I sort of never made it. He would always encourage me though. “Come on Cassandra! Push it! You’ll get it soon, I promise.” But that day never came. I still would just bump my knee or leg and tumble to the other side. Tears threatening to be released until Jarrod would joke about how I’m as small as a mouse. Once the growth kicked in I’d be taller then him. The tears then disappeared and laughter would float on the breeze.
I snapped out of my thoughts as a cool breeze caught me by surprise. I was outside and at the log. The entire world came crashing back to me, making me sigh. A pain filled sigh for a pain filled girl.
A twig snapped near by. My head shot up at the sound. I look around. Nothing. Just me in the dark with the moon just above. And a beautiful moon it was. All the colours bursting out of it to brighten the earth. Too bad it couldn’t brighten my mood. And bring Jarrod back home.
Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into dreadful months. Those terrible months turned into years. Two to be exact. The blinding rays and the forbidden moon have been haunting me. Mocking me. And reminding me. The nights alone in my room have been changing me. I no longer look at people like friends and family any more. I look at them as pieces of meat. The only difference is that I can’t stab them with a fork.
Every one of those nights cries are heard from the forest surrounding our house. The cries of wolves. Hearing these cries I normally weep for Jarrod. My body and soul. The loneliness is over powering. Painful at times. The moon has not shone its beautiful face since the cries started. The cries from the wolves and from me. They have been calling to him. Guiding him back home to my waiting arms. To mend my bleeding heart forever in pieces. Begging for him to hold me once more and tell me a story about werewolves and vampires. To laugh at the end when he turns serious and would always look out the window. On those nights the moon is always high in the sky. Big and full. Always. Forever.
My heart has been lying in crumbles ever since Jarrod was stolen. Broken and bleeding. Soon to stop beating entirely.
Gray hairs have now sprouted from my mother and fathers heads. The signs of stress and depression finally breaking the surface. Wrinkles have replaced the fair skin on my mothers face. Theirs eyes as red as the morning sun. Not like it shows its face around here anymore.
Apparently I started off as a small red head. That’s how I earned my nickname mouse. My hair had always been at my shoulders. As shiny as the sun and as smooth as a wood table. Polished and pretty. Now my hairs in wild knots. As long as my waist. My features had grown to their full length in that length of time and had encouraged me to run the forest wildly. Until the day I died.
During one of my days of running a figure had stepped out from behind a tree and into my path. I had screeched to a halt as quickly as possible.
I had always felt different during my running and found out why only a week ago. During this time the wild anger inside of me turned me into a creature not quite human but not quite wolfs either. Both in my opinion.
The figure just stood there. Watching me. Waiting for something. Those features and hair reminded me of someone. The name was on the tip of my tongue.
“It’s nice to see you again Cassandra.” The man in front of me said. Then it clicked. JARROD!
I changed human as quickly as I could and launched myself at Jarrod. Relieve and disbelieve took place inside my heart. When we mad contact he was as cold as ice.
A shiver ran down my body. But still I gripped him harder and harder. He returned the gesture. Squeezing till tears reached my eyes. We finally broke off the hug in a couple of minutes. Too soon for me but I held back and looked. Memorizing every last detail. He looked the same as when I last saw him. Same hair and face. Even the same voice.
“Where have you been?” I sobbed.
“Around. I’ve missed you so much. But I still have something I need to do before me and you can catch up. ”Jarrod replied.
“And what’s that?” I ask. Joy creeping into my voice.
A pain took over the area near my heart. A pain filled gasp escaped my lips. A single tear streaked down his face. I look down to find the source and find a knife sticking out of me. Blood smearing on my dress.
“I’m sorry Cass. But we can’t rest until we’re dead. And so be it.” He explained. Confusion swept over my face as the pain began to subside and a weird light creped into my line of vision. It was the knife glinting in the new found sunlight. He raised it to his throat and whispered so faintly but so clear, “I’ll see you on the other side baby sister.” He kissed my forehead and made the final swipe. Blood gushed from the wound and he soon fell to the earth’s floor with a small thud. I too fall to my knees. Waiting for the end to come and for the peace to finally to wash over me. I lie on the forest floor and grab Jarrod. I pull him close and bathe in the sunlight until the sunlight is all I can see. All I can feel. All that I want. Then my hearts beats grow so faint I can’t see my chest move. Then the suns rays disappear with my hearts last beats.
I seemed to have been floating. Up and up I go. The sun shining so brightly it hurt my eyes. But still up I went. Towards the clouds. The beautiful fluffy white clouds. As I get closer I find I’m staring at someone. A boy. His red hair framed his face and was messy as hell. A cute half smile crept over his face once I was an arms length away. My mind was bouncing all over the place searching for this boy’s name. Then my broken mind finally got put back together. JARROD! A full blown smile spread across my face as I reach out to grab his outstretched hand. Then I suddenly stop. His smile disappears as fast as mine. A frown now spreads across his face. A terrible weight pulls on my legs and brings me to my knees. Fear spreads across his face and he tries to scream something at me but my own screams blocks him out. A painful pull brings me crashing away from him and the sun. Blackness swallows up my vision and creeps down my throat. Choking me. Killing me once again I realise. All my memories come crashing down on me as I fall. Faster and faster. The memories growing and growing. Memories of my mother and father. Of Jarrod. Then of a man standing over me. Looking at me. Staring. His big red eyes scoping out the damage. The world is in fast motion. Then my spirit returns to my body. I open my eyes to see nothing but a dark star glittering sky. I sit up. A pain flares in my chest. My eyes instantly look down and my hand flashes to cover the spot in pain. I momentarily keep my hand there then lift it away. It comes back covered in blood. My blood. My eyes sweep the area around me as my hand lingers on the wound. Jarrod still lies on my lap. Looking as pale as snow. His throat and clothes are covered in blood. Both his and mine. His eyes are still open and are lifeless. How is that possible? I had just seen him not long ago. Then it hit me. I was dead too. I laugh out loud as I think it over. We were in heaven. And I was kicked out for some reason. A lonely tear trickles down my left cheek. I brush it away and lift Jarrod off my lap. I stand but bend over momentarily to close his eyes. There, much better. He looks so much more peaceful when he looks like he’s sleeping. I stand back up and again look back at the lifeless body. Then a thought crept into my mind. What did he mean ‘We can’t rest until we’re dead’? My mind lingered on that thought until a wolf’s cry echoed through the woods. The wolves were out to play. I turned my attention back to Jarrod.
“I’m sorry big brother but I can’t save you from them,” I whispered to the body. I look back up to the direction of the wolf’s cry. I imagined myself in that pack. Running through the woods, free from the world’s hatred. A weird tingle ran through my body just then, a warning that I was becoming one of them. A member of the pack. I let the tingle take over my body. I close my eyes and when I open them again I’m almost half a foot taller than before. My eyes go down to investigate. My clothes I once wore are now on the ground in thousands of pieces. Dark brown hair has sprout all over my body making me look like a giant bear. The moon had been behind the trees but now it has it face out. The sudden light causes my head to whip up. A howl escapes my lips. Ear shattering and filled with joy and pain at the same time. The howl form my throat continued after I was done from the thousands of wolves hidden in the trees. And the thousands more around the world. My new family. Forever. Never to say good-bye.