That night she lay awake staring at the ceiling. She tried to sleep, but every time she started drifting off she felt something pulling her back. Wariness, most likely. If I'm vulnerable I'm an easy target. She turned onto her side and rubbed her eyes. I'm an easy target either way, though. We all are. She thought about what she knew about the house. It seemed to enjoy toying with its residents first instead of immediately killing them. I might be safe for now… But that girl. Every time she thought about the commercial she felt a pit of dread in her stomach, and this time it was so strong it bordered on painful. I've been toyed with already.
A crash sounded from downstairs, causing her to startle. She forced herself to go back to lying still and focused the ear not pressing against her pillow to try and discern what could have caused the noise. A few seconds later she heard a "shit," and what sounded like glass being moved around. Someone probably just broke something. It's fine. She felt her heart slowing back down to a more normal tempo and decided to go downstairs and see what happened. The moonlight shining through her windows and reflecting off the light-colored walls illuminated her room enough to where she didn't have to turn any lights on to successfully make her way to the door. She went to open it but thought that if there was broken glass on the floor downstairs, she should probably put on some slippers. After doing so, she finally made her way out of her room and down the stairs.
She tracked the sound of running water to the kitchen, and when she turned the corner to enter it, she saw her sister leaning against the running sink with a slight grimace on her face and her hand held under the water. Catherine moved her eyes down to the floor and saw what appeared to be shards of a broken glass by Violet's feet, along with a few drops of blood. She calmed down immediately.
"Hey," Catherine said to get her sister's attention.
She turned her head to look at her.
"You keep doing that, let me go grab you some gauze," she waited for Violet to give her a nod of agreement and made her way over to the downstairs bathroom. Rummaging around the cabinets for a few seconds, she found an unopened box of gauze inside a first aid kit, and after quickly fixing her messy bun, went back over to the kitchen. She carefully side-stepped the glass on the floor and stood next to Violet.
"I'm guessing this is exactly what it looks like?" she asked with a small smile on her face, which her sister reciprocated.
"No, the glass attacked me," she responded, making them both chuckle. As Catherine started patching her up, Violet furrowed her eyebrows and looked at her. "I didn't realize I was loud enough to wake you up."
Cat glanced back at her. "Light sleeper," she said, forcing herself to yawn. "You probably didn't wake up Mom and Dad though, don't worry."
Violet sighed. "Good. They were tired enough from unpacking all that shit today."
Catherine gave a hum of acknowledgment and scrunched up her nose. "More shit where that came from."
Her sister groaned. "Don't remind me. Did we really need to bring over my fourth grade science project?"
She laughed as she finished working on Violet's hand. "But of course! How else will you be regularly reminded that little miss Patty Blackwood barfed all over your shoes that day?"
"Weak stomach my ass," Violet grumbled with a barely-concealed grin, "she had it out for me since we were eight."
As her laughter died down, Cat glanced over at the glass and said, "You sit on the counter. I'm gonna get a broom and clean this mess up."
"Yes, mom," Violet drawled as Catherine moved around the kitchen and to where she knew the laundry area to be.
As much as she disliked the prospect of housework, once she actually got around to doing it, she found it to be quite calming. She worked in comfortable silence and found herself growing sleepy when Violet spoke up again.
"It's gonna be the same, isn't it?"
She looked over at her and saw a blank look on her face. "What do you mean?"
Violet focused her eyes on her. "School. The girls. The teachers not giving a shit. There's always gonna be a Patty Blackwood, isn't there? No matter where I go or how old I get."
Sometimes Cat forgot how young her sister really was. She was always incredibly smart, even at a young age. She could always keep up with her in a conversation, even though Catherine was technically 25 years older than her. It made it easy to forget that a lot of the issues she had were those of someone so fresh to the ways of the world.
She felt her eyes soften. "You're right. There's always gonna be a Patty Blackwood, but at the end of the day Patty Blackwood's gonna be a sour little brat and Violet Harmon's gonna be a smart, beautiful, and talented young woman."
Violet huffed and swung her legs back and forth. "That sounds like what you think you're supposed to say."
"Maybe so, but it's no less true. The more time that passes, the more miserable people like that become if they choose to stay the same. People like us, though, tend to improve. Time is on your side, Vi," she said and tried to believe that it truly would be this time.
After that, she kept working in silence and when enough glass had been swept aside Violet hopped off the counter, causing Catherine to look at her.
Her sister gave her a short-lived smile. "Think I'm gonna go to bed. I'm tired as hell and should probably get some rest before we go back to unpacking tomorrow."
"Alright. I'll probably come upstairs soon too."
"Thanks for… listening to me tonight," Violet said somewhat awkwardly.
"I'll always listen to you, Vi, you know that," Catherine said as she stopped sweeping.
Violet looked off to the side and half-smiled shyly. "Yeah, yeah," she looked back at her, "Nighty night, sis," she said and started walking out of the kitchen.
"Hey, wait!" Catherine called after her, causing her to stop walking and turn back around. She pointedly leaned the side of her head towards her, until Violet rolled her eyes and quickly moved back towards her. She gave her a drawn out and slobbery kiss on the cheek, causing Catherine to adopt a look of pure disgust.
"Happy?" Violet asked, smirking.
"Very," Cat deadpanned. "Nighty night, sis." she heard her snicker and footsteps leading out of the kitchen.
Catherine sighed, "right," and set to work on gathering the shards of glass into the dustpan, until finally dumping its contents into the garbage bin.
In the peace and quiet of solitude, she contemplated drinking some more alcohol to help her fall asleep, but decided that she wanted to minimize any risks she could, and clouding her mind would more than likely do the opposite. She settled on a cup of chamomile tea instead, and hoped the second day in the house would be less… eventful.