Something dreadful happens to Rey.
I picked up the pink book and brought it close to my face, pressing my nose into its furry cover. I then sneered and threw the book across the room where it crashed into the side of one of my drawers.
I sat at the edge of my bed, my feet dangling about in the air due to my short height. I always dreamt of the day when I would finally be able to touch the ground without standing up- I didn’t want to be short when I grew up, no, definitely not.
“Mm,” I murmured to myself, clutching the bed sheets tightly. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what I was feeling exactly, but I knew that I didn’t feel good. I could still see Real’s hollow eyes imprinted in my mind. They were so distant and detached that I thought that at that point in time, he must have truly fled from the world. Could he even do that? I wouldn’t know, Real struck me as the type of person who could do the impossible.
Past the wooden floorboards and through the open window where my purple curtains were currently fluttering about in the wind, I could only imagine what was happening in Real’s household. Sheryl was probably sputtering and crying on the floor, her heart shattered and her mind running rampant with disconsolate emotions. I couldn’t comprehend her feelings since I wasn’t old enough to, so I couldn’t imagine the type of pain she was in. Was it a physical pain? Were her bones aching?
I wish I could picture Real leaning over her, his painted fingernails tapping along the side of her back in means of comforting her; I truly wished that I could picture him doing that, but I couldn’t. Real, comforting someone? In a friendly manner no less?
“Nope!” I muttered under my breath, shaking my head vigorously in self agreement. Real was an enigma of epic proportions. Did he have feelings, did he care about the things happening around him, even if those things concerned his very own mother? I hated myself for thinking it, but maybe he was an alien, at least it would explain for his outlandish behavior. Was Real really an alien placed on this earth to torture little girls?
“Nasty,” I said to myself, scrunching my nose in disgust. Deep down, I knew that this thought was stupid and ridiculous, but I couldn’t keep myself from conjuring up strange ideas to add along to the alien one- it soothed me somehow, knowing that right next door, Real was dealing with something very personal.
I stared down at my fingers which were currently fiddling with the hem of my shirt. It wasn’t any of my business to worry about him or his personal matters, but I couldn’t help but feel curious. How was he dealing with his inner emotions right now? What was he thinking, feeling? After seeing his father like that (of course, I only assumed that was his father), what could he possibly be wondering? I furrowed my brow and grit my teeth in frustration.
That’s the thing that I utterly loathed about Real. He was always so closed off and isolated from the world that it was nearly impossible to discern his inner mind and its workings, and I cursed myself for not being apart of it.
“Blahhh,” I sputtered, slouching my shoulders. I let myself slide of the edge of the bed where I landed with a soft thud on the smooth floor below, my back gliding along the mattress like a cruising car. What would Robin do if he were in my situation? Would he rely on his friends help to further aid him? But wasn’t Robin usually an independent character who liked to take care of things on his own, as long as it didn’t harm his friends in any way? I bit my lip and silently wished that I had a Titan communicator with me right now, so I could call someone and tell them to come help me. Who would I call then, certainly not Lindsay.
I got up from the floor and shuffled my way towards my opened window. As I neared it, one of the fluttering curtains brushed alongside my arm and I shivered at its touch. With a yawn gracing my lips, I leaned forward and rested my arms along the window sill, where I then relaxed and let my muscles loosen.
I stared out into the outside world, my eyes drifting over the rows of shrubbery and foliage that surrounded and separated my house from Real’s. What would happen if I were to fall from this very window? Would a nearby bush catch me and save me from further injury? I doubted it; I wasn’t a superhero.
“But Robin is,” I added quietly, stretching out my arms so that they now dangled over the edge of the window sill. I smiled at the feeling of the wind brushing against my exposed arms, sending tiny shivers of frost shooting through my fingers up to my shoulders.
I was lost in the pleasant feeling of the outside wind, what with my hair flowing about my head like a burned out halo and my face nipped and chilled like a hunk of cold ice. My worries from a couple of hours prior all seemed to leak out of me like pee, until a voice disturbed me from my euphoria.
“Don’t make such a retarded face.”
My stomach churned nastily and my eyes were forced open at the sudden voice. The hairs along my arms seemed to stand upright as fear crept its way up my spine. I beaded my eyes around wearily in hopes of locating the direction of the voice, but all my eyes met were lonely bushes and the occasional firefly buzzing near my peripheral vision.
I did as the voice commanded of me and piqued my head up. I wasn’t as surprised as before, for I already knew who the voice belonged to.
“There you go,” Real mused, crossing his right leg over his left. He then proceeded to rummage through one of his pockets where he swiftly pulled out an orange lighter and one of his cherry flavored cigarettes. I gulped at the sight of seeing him smoking, for it disgusted me at seeing such a young person already wasting his life away with the use of flimsy sticks that stabbed you with toxic chemicals every time you smoked one.
“Woah!” I cried, suddenly realizing where he was sitting. “You’re on the roof!” I heard him snort as he withdrew the cigarette from his mouth.
“No, I’m magically floating in the air,” he drawled on lazily, putting the cigarette back to his mouth to gain another puff out of it. “What were you doing with that stupid expression of your face?”
I pulled away from the window and stared up at him with a glare forming in my eyes. I puffed my lips and looked away from him, annoyance already starting to filter out the prior fear that I had felt.
“It wasn’t stupid,” I scoffed, folding my arms over my chest. “I was feeling good.” I looked up at him then, my eyes trained on his. “I felt good.”
“Besides that, what else were you feeling?” he asked distantly, holding the cigarette away from him. He stared down at me and brushed his dyed fringe away from his eyes. “You looked as if you were deep in thought, impossible though it may seem.”
He was probably thinking back to the time when I was thinking about what would happen if I were to fall from my window. Should I tell him what I was thinking at that moment? Would he laugh at me?
“I was thinking something, but it's stupid,” I said evenly, looking away from him. “You wouldn’t wanna’ hear it.”
“Try me,” he replied calmly.
“No, you’ll laugh,” I countered, biting my lip in nervousness.
“I promise I won’t.”
“You’ll break it.”
“Just tell me already.”
For a moment, I remained silent as I swayed back and forth on the balls my heels in thought. I sighed and then decided that I ought as well tell him or else he would never let up.
“I was wondering what would happen if I were to fall from here, from my window,” I began, running my index finger along the dusty window sill. Real remained quiet, save for the occasional puffs that he would take from his cigarette when the need called for him.
“What a gloomy thought,” he said eerily, fixing his eyes on me. I nodded in agreement, but didn’t match his gaze. I averted my eyes downwards, where I caught sight of a lone possum pattering itself along the middle of the street. I stared after it, afraid that if it didn’t hurry enough, it would get run over by a passing car.
“Want to know?”
I looked up at him, his words catching my attention. What did he mean by that? “What?”
“If you come up here, you’ll know,” he explained slowly, taking another drag from his cigarette. I watched as he held the smoke in his mouth for a couple of seconds before he slowly exhaled. The tendrils of smoke drifted away from him until they swirled into nothing but white strings amidst the night’s atmosphere. I stared after them as if they were some spectacle to marvel at.
I squinted my eyes at him, a suspicious feeling settling at the very bottom of my stomach. I had a feeling that his intentions were not as innocent as they appeared to be. What if I went up there, only to be trapped by his mischievous behavior? What if he did something to me, like push me off the roof?
“No,” I said firmly, curling my fingers into the palms of my hands.
I took a deep breath and breathed, “No”.
“I’m not going to do anything to you,” he said quietly, drawing the cigarette away from his mouth. He stared down at me once more, black eyes glittering in the dark. “I promise.”
I tore my eyes away from him and darted them around the darkness outside in hopes of distracting myself. He sounded rational enough, innocent enough. Should I trust him? My mind told me not to, but I couldn’t seem to turn his offer down. I so badly wanted to be a part of his world and to be in tune with his mind. If this was the only opportunity granted of me, then I sure wasn’t going to risk my chances by refusing.
“I can’t climb up there,” I said quietly, staring up at him. “I’ll fall, really, I will. I’m too little to-…”
“Go to my house, I’ll be down there to get you,” he said quickly, and with that, he departed from the roof in an instant. I stood still, my head still tilted upwards in an never-ending gaze. I was scared of his offer, but it was going to be the only one around for a while. I should just accept it, right?
In a hasty flash, I kicked on my shoes and flew out my bedroom door, where I then trampled down the stairs like a kid lured to candy.
“Eh-eh, where you going monkey?” Mom asked me from the kitchen, where she was currently mixing something in a rather large bowl. I halted at her voice and turned to look at her, making my way towards the front door.
“I’m going to Real’s house,” I said quickly, turning my head away from her and placing my hand upon the doorknob. “I’ll be back in a bit, we’re going to play…video games.”
Mom stared at me questioningly, one of her fine eyebrows raised above her head. She then shrugged her shoulders and continued mixing. “Have fun.”
I smiled at her, turned the doorknob, and shot myself out the door (making sure to close it of course). I clambered my way down the front porch steps, where I then scuttled my way across my lawn, jumped over the dividing length of bush, and finally directed my way over Real’s lawn. I was shocked to see that he was already waiting for me on his front porch. He was leaning against one of the pillars, his arms crossed over his chest. He picked up his head and shot me a weak glare.
“Took you long enough,” he muttered, turning his back to me. He then walked through the front door of his house. I gulped and followed after him.
We shot straight towards the stairs, not even stopping to pay respects to his mother. I tried to scan the expanse of his house for Sheryl, but she was no where to be seen. I found it rather odd that I couldn’t hear her cries of mental pain any more. Why was she being so quiet?
After clambering up the stairs and down through the narrow hallway, we entered into his room. Real closed the door behind me and swiftly locked it. I watched him warily as he trailed across his room towards his sliding closet. I stared at his back in observance.
He slid open the closet door in one swift movement- I grimaced as the edge of the sliding door hit the wall with a loud knock. He then proceeded to get in the closet, shuffling his thin body through the many clothes that hung there. He turned around with some difficulty and stared at me, raising an eyebrow.
“Well, come on,” he commanded, slapping a hanging jacket sleeve away from his face.
“What?” I questioned him. “Why are we gonna’ get in there? Are you gonna’ do something to me, ‘cause I’ll scream!”
“I’m not going to do anything to you,” he hissed. “This is just the entrance to the roof.” He pointed his index finger upwards. “The entrance is up there. Stupid girl.”
I shut my mouth and flushed in embarrassment- I never really caught on to name calling.
“Hurry or I’ll leave you.”
I snapped my head up and nodded. I then ran across the room to the closet. He held out his hand, which I took, and hauled me up with him so that we were both standing side by side in the closet. My elbow was pressing into his ribs and I silently wondered if I was hurting him or not. I guessed that I wasn’t since he wasn’t complaining or anything about my close proximity.
I watched as as he lifted both of his hands, ruffling past sweaters of all kinds and shoving past metal and plastic hangers. I then heard a soft knock from up above me. It seemed that he was pushing at something, but I couldn’t see properly since the clothes were blocking my view. I then heard a low click and the sound of something being shoved open reverberated off the interior closet walls.
“I’ll go up first,” he whispered. I nodded solemnly at him as he readied himself. He then stretched out his arms, clasped them firmly within the insides of the opening above, and hauled himself up. I could hear the grunts of his efforts as he continued wiggle himself upwards until all I could see were his feet dangling about in the air. I stared up at him in awe.
“Hand,” he said. I nodded quickly and reached out my hands, where he grasped them firmly within his own. I noticed that they happened to be awfully cold. For the next minute, he managed to steadily pull me up through the opening. Once up, he ungraciously deposited me on the ground, where I landed on my backside with a hard thump to the ground. I glared up at him and gritted my teeth, but I didn’t protest. Who knows what he would do when I was in such a vulnerable environment.
I then proceeded to gather my wits and my surroundings. As my eyes scanned the area around me, I found it to be dreadfully dark and musty scented. I could scarcely see my hand when I brought it to my face in examination. This was certainly not the roof.
“Where are we?” I asked softly.
“Attic,” he replied dully.
“Follow me,” Real commanded and moved his way across the dark room. I trailed close behind me like a lost puppy- I was afraid to get lost in this creepy part of his house. I hadn’t even known that there was an attic to this place, Judith had never told or showed me.
As I squinted my eyes, I could see a faint trail of light shining on the attic floorboards like a flashlight beam. I smiled in delight as I discovered that it was an open window leading to the outside or the roof to be more precise.
Real went out the window first, followed by myself. I smiled cheerfully as the cold wind hit my face, sending tiny shivers running along my arms. The moon was shining down with such a brilliance that I almost got lost staring into it before Real sharply tugged at my hair.
He directed me over the roof tiles until he finally halted at a particular spot where the tiles appeared to be scarce. He sat down and criss-crossed his legs while he rummaged around his pockets for another cigarette no doubt. I walked over to him and took my seat next to him.
“You’re gonna’ die,” I said calmly. I waited for a response, but he didn’t give me one. I turned to him and raised an eyebrow. “If you keep on doing that, you’re gonna’ die, really.”
“What makes you so sure?” he sneered as he lit his cigarette. He brought it to his mouth and took a deep drag from it. He then stared up at me through his bangs and puffed a white cloud of smoke into my face.I coughed and backed away, but the smoke had already entered into my lungs.
“My mom said—“
“I don’t really care what your mom has to say,” he interrupted. “For one, she isn’t Death, and two, she’s not my mom.” He had a point there, but I sure as heck wasn’t going to say that to him. I pursed my lips together and squinted my eyes in anger. He always acted as if he knew everything about the world around him. He wasn’t God, so why did he always have to contradict me every time I tried to voice my opinion?
I turned away from his and pressed my knees to my chest. Then suddenly, a revelation occurred to me. Well, it wasn't really a revelation, but more of a remembrance. Had I already forgotten about his intent to screw with the minds of his past and future victims. Had I already forgotten about his “game”. I widened my eyes and clenched my knees.
“I’m going to stop you,” I said.
Real drew the cigarette away from his face and stared at me in an expecting manner. I didn’t look at him, but I carried on nonetheless.
“I will stop you,” I continued. I stared up at the moon and wondered if I would ever obtain the privilege of landing on it someday. “You’re a mean person and I…hate you.” I gulped and stressed over this last statement. Did I really hate him?
“Because you’re so mean and weird, I’m going to stop you,” I barreled on. I turned to him then, boring my eyes within his own. “I’ll be the last one, I promise that on Anne and Becca.”
Real stared at me with an eerie expression engraved upon his glittering face. His fringe was gently blowing in the breeze, his dark eyes smoldered and smoking with malevolence. “Go ahead and try…”
I stared at him with my lips parted open.
“…but let me promise you this,” he continued, his voice husky and firm. “…you’ll fail. There are other people that Katie doesn’t even know about, people that have tried to stop me but ended up half crazed and delirious. Crazed, that’s what’ll happen to you, I’m sure of it.” He smiled at me, a wicked menace of a smile. “Anne and Becca were only two in a long line of-“
Without even thinking properly, I reached out my hand and snatched his cigarette away from him. I held the flimsy stick between my thumb and index finger where it remained there, smoking away until the fumes became too much to bare.
“I’ll be Robin and you can be Slade,” I said to him loudly, holding the cigarette away from my face.
“Give it back,” he commanded softly, brushing his fringe away from his eyes. This was futile, for they always ended back in the same place as before.
“No,” I shot back, shaking my head.
“Now,” he said again, reaching his hand towards the cigarette. I pulled the cigarette away from him.
“No!” I shouted, biting my lip.
“I’ll take it from you,” he whispered harshly, moving his legs in preparation to attack.
“Take it then!”
He moved so suddenly that I jerked myself back and in the process lost my balance. In my haste to regain my balance, I dropped the cigarette, but I was no longer concerned whether Real had gotten it back or not.
A dreadful feeling gripped my stomach, as if my insides were being pulled into many different directions. I would compare this feeling to the feeling that you get when you’re heading up a steep hill in a roller coaster ride and once you reach the top, you speed downward until all you can do is scream.
This time, I didn’t scream- instead, I called his name.
Gravity took advantage of me, and soon, I was watching on in horror as the tiles slid from underneath me and Real’s figure soon began to distance itself. As I fell, all I could think of was the impending pain that waited for my arrival down below. Would I die? Would I somehow break my neck and furthermore injure my spine? How could this have happened? I was too young to die!
Despite the terrible fear within me, I couldn’t help but smile.
I would always relish the look on his face when I finally hit the ground with a sickening thud.
Review, yeah? Har. Har. Har.