"Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so…"
-John Donne, Death, Be Not Proud
I held my breath.
I was too scared to exhale; I knew it would be visible because it was cold. I sat still and stiff, staring on blankly ahead.
I tried to ignore my mother's occasional sniffs, and my brother's sighs.
We passed the sign, 'Welcome to LaPush'.
LaPush? How unoriginal. I snorted at the name. My mother heard and turned to me, wiping her eyes.
"This move will do you some good, baby," she sniffed, trying to smile, "It'd do us all some good, this move. It's a great opportunity for a fresh new start."
She glanced at the rear-view mirror, smiling weakly at my brother, "What do you think, Jarrod? You excited?"
Jarrod grinned, shrugging his shoulder good-naturedly.
Jarrod was a fifteen year old, lanky boy; with blonde hair and blue eyes. He looked exactly like our father. He had a knack for fixing things.
My mother Sören is a tall, thin woman with long fiery red hair, and long slim hands. She was a dainty woman, and great at anything with fashion.
"Aw, c'mon you guys! Work with me here! You'll like it! You two will be attending LaPush High, it's an…okay school," she grimaced, "You two will go Tuesday. I sent the movers up here a week early…"
I blocked her out, shoving in my earphones and setting the volume to my iPod as I turned to stare outside the window.
There wasn't much to see except for the wet and green trees surrounding the road.
I leaned my head on the window, my breath fogging up the window.
This move was different from the others.
My mother decided on this so we could start anew. Translation: go somewhere where nearly everyone doesn't know what happened.
What happened was, I was recently released from a mental clinic. I guess that embarrassed my mother, or made her worry for me, so she decided on moving. Moving somewhere no one would imagine.
LaPush. A small reservation in Washington.
My mother sent me to a mental clinic back in Spain. She sent me after I confided her with a secret. A secret I kept for eleven years.
I wasn't aware I had this…talent. I was denial at first, thinking perhaps I was going crazy. I was reluctant to tell my parents, I didn't want them to find out and send me to a mental hospital.
Which was exactly what ended up happening anyway. I thought bitterly to myself.
My mother isn't a cruel woman. She just always impulsively acts on what she thinks is best, with or without consent.
It all started when I was six. I went to my friend Zussie Malkovich's house for a tour.
He had bragged to me about it. How his great-great-great-great grandfather had built it, and how his great-grandfather and grandfather used it as a refuge for Jews during the World War.
I was excited to arrive, I remember squirming around in my seat in excitement. I squealed at the sight of it.
It was an enormous house of three floors, with balconies and large windows.
The inside was even better.
There was a chandelier in every room, a colossal rug in the living room floor; every window had a long, fancy curtain, and two long twirling sets of stairs.
I greeted his mother politely, running after him immediately when he gestured for me to follow.
When the 'grand tour' was over, we sat in his bedroom floor, snacking on cookies and milk.
"You wanna see my dad's office?" he asked me, the familiar mischievous gleam in his dark eyes.
"Zus," I sighed, setting my plate aside, "You know your dad doesn't like you going-" "Yeah, but he isn't here today!" he insisted, standing as he wiped off the crumbs off his pants.
"C'mon, Donnie!" he begged, kneeling next to me and clasping his hands together. "We'd get in trouble." I protested.
"Okay fine!" he sighed loudly, slumping his shoulders in defeat. But he brightened up again, the mischief obvious in his face, "Well I have something else to show you, Donny."
"Well let's go then!" I chirped, standing immediately.
It was a small little closet in a corner; I hadn't noticed it until Zus pointed it out. "What does this closet look like to you, Donnie?" he asked.
"Like a coat closet, Zus." I sighed, "What's so special about this anyway?"
"This is where the Jews were all hidden, some even died here." He whispered the last part.
My eyes widened as I peeked into the dark room. I suddenly felt myself being pushed in, and I turned in time to see Zus shutting the door, grinning.
"Zus!" I groaned, knocking on the door, "Open up!"
it suddenly got cold. Very cold.
I shivered as goose bumps appeared on my arms.
I screamed, turning swiftly.
It was a pale man with blue lips and a swollen eye, as if he had been punched. He grabbed my shoulder gently, murmured something in his language while pointing towards the door, and placing a finger to his lips.
I struggled against his grasp, screaming hysterically, "Zus! Zus, open the door!"
The man grabbed me roughly this time, turning me to look at him as he began to yell at me, pointing towards the door and gesturing behind him.
I gasped as I saw what was behind him. They were about ten or fifteen other people there.
They were all dressed in dark jackets. The boys were wearing gray pants and boots, and the women wearing skirts.
They were all pale, some even had blood smeared on their face and neck; and others had cuts. They all wore golden stars on their left arm.
A woman with a baby in her arms stared at me in fear.
"Zus!" I began to sob now, pounding on the door. "Adonica?"
"Mrs. Malkovich!" I sobbed in relief at the sound of her voice. "Adonica! Calm down, baby, I'll get you out of there! I'll just go get the k-"
"Get me out of here!" I screamed/sobbed, pounding on the door as the same man advanced towards me.
I began to gasp hysterically at the sight of the gap in his chest; the blood disguised as dark stains against his dark clothes.
Mrs. Malkovich managed to get the door opened, I jumped into her arms, but not before the man made to grab me but only managed to tear at my sweater, scratching the skin in my back.
Mrs. Malkovich carried me down stairs into the living room, rocking me back and forth as she stroked my hair soothingly as I cried in her arms.
Zus sat next to us, staring at me with his eyes wide and scared.
Mrs. Malkovich yelled at him in their language, scolding him. Soon my mother came, she and Mrs. Malkovich stepped into the kitchen, murmuring quietly.
I sat still and stiff, my sobs subdued. "I only meant it was a joke, Donnie. I didn't know you'd get scared…"
"You swear on your mother's name?" I demanded, turning to face him.
"I swear. " he nodded solemnly.
"Even if she goes to hell because you lied?"
"Cross my heart, Donnie." He nodded again.
I nodded stiffly, satisfied with his answer.
"What happened?" he whispered.
My eyes filled with tears, "There was someone in there, Zussie." I sobbed. His eyes widened as he pulled me into a hug. "There were a lot of people in there. They were all dead." I whispered, scared he wouldn't believe me and laugh.
He frowned, pulling away, "I'll get them out of there for you, Donnie." He vowed quietly, his hand over my shoulder. I leaned into his shoulder, "Thanks, Zus. You're a great friend."
He looked down at me, grinning at me, "Only because you're a great friend." I giggled, feeling better.
He stroked my hair, "There, Donnie…"
I jumped, screaming as I felt a hand on my shoulder.
It was my mother; she was staring at me in apprehension and worry. "We're here, hun." She announced gently.
The house looked like a fairy tale. It was a small, two-story house the color of Spanish Yellow. It seemed cozy against the warm colors of the sunset.
It had two widows on either side of the door, pots of flowers on the porch, and a flower garden surrounding the outside of the porch.
"You like it, baby?" my mother asked, placing her arm over my shoulders as we both stared at the house. "It looks magical." I breathed.
She turned to me, staring at me in surprise before laughing, "You're right. This little town seems magical too."
"I call the biggest room!" My brother whooped as he ran up the stairs. "I'm older, you punk!" I yelled after him.
"Oh, what's that? You're feeling generous today and want me, your handsome and amazing younger brother to keep whatever room I want? Aw thanks, sis!"
"You're funny, Jarrod," I hissed as he came back down, grinning lopsidedly, "You're hilarious."
"Thanks!" he smiled brightly, "It'd always been a dream of mine to become a comedian."
"Will you two please stop and help me put these upstairs?" my mother snapped as she struggled with a box.
Jarrod and I grinned at each other as we shrugged before helping our mother.
Jarrod might have ended up with the biggest room, but I ended up with the room with the view. My room was small and warm, my twin-sized bed set up.
From the window in my room, I could see the beach, the cliffs, the forest, everything.
My brother groaned as he realized his mistake, "Look, why don't we trade? Yeah, yeah?" he elbowed me as he raised his brows at the 'yeah' part.
"I just finished unpacking, Jarrod!" I bellowed, my eye twitching. "Jeez, okay, okay!" he raised his hands in a sign of surrender, but it was this point that he already lost me.
Standing in the corner of my room was a girl around my age. She was wearing a long-sleeved blue shirt with jeans. She had dark skin, and long dark hair and eyes.
She waved uncertainly.
"Earth to Donnie!" my brother waved his long hand in my face.
"Get out, Jarrod." I order monotonously. "Fine!" he sighed dramatically as he stormed out of my room.
I shut the door behind him, trying to calm my racing heart.
We stared at each other for a little before I extended my trembling hand for her to shake, "I-I'm A-Adonica Messiao." I mumbled, my voice quivering.
The girl inched away as I extended my hand, staring at it in fear and apprehension. I let my hand drop down to my side limply.
"What's your name?" "I'm Jenny." She whispered, "Help me."
I flinched. I was now used to this. In the past eleven years, this was all I was hearing from…them.
"It's nice to meet you, Jenny, but I'm afraid I-I can't help you." I replied as calmly as I could.
She stepped forward as I felt the familiar cold crawl around me, making me shiver as goose bumps appeared on my arms. "Help me." She said again, a little loudly.
"I-I can't, Jenny." I whispered, flinching as I backed away.
As she stood closer, I saw it.
I hunched over as my stomach heaved, I hugged my stomach as I gagged.
There was blood smeared all over Jenny's left side of her face, the cuts on her neck looking like bite marks.
"Help me!" she insisted, causing blood to start gushing out of her neck.
"Jarrod!" I called, feeling cold sweat drip down to my forehead.
I was now a master at this façade, it was easier for me to disguise my fear from my voice. Eleven years of practice.
"You called?" he asked as he entered, but he gasped once he saw me, "Christ, Donnie!" He helped me sit on my bed, "What happened? You okay? I'll go get your med-" "No! Don't leave me alone right now." I gasped; ignoring Jenny, knowing Jarrod couldn't see them.
No one can.
"Mum! Donnie's sick! Get her meds!" Jarrod yelled down to our mother.
I heard a plate break, paper rustle and a chair's legs screech against the floor as my mother stood and frantically searched around for my medicine.
"Help me!" Jenny screamed, her clenched fists trembling.
"Donnie, baby? You okay?" she handed me my medicine as she placed her cool hands on my forehead. I shakily popped a pill into my mouth, chugging it down with a water bottle Jarrod handed me.
From the corner of my eye, I saw Jenny clench her fists, making me shiver as the cold crawled around me. She left the room, glaring at us.
"Feeling better now." I nodded, coughing. My mother's hands fluttered over me as I stood.
"It's so cold in here! I'll turn on the heater soon. Did you eat something? Are you eating well, Donnie?" my mother interrogated worriedly.
"I'm starving actually." I mumbled. "We'll go out and eat, baby. Jarrod, go get dressed. We're leaving in exactly five minutes." My mother clapped her hands together, kissing my forehead before she and my brother left my room, shutting the door behind them.
I let out a breath, jumping as I saw Jenny standing in the corner.
"Help me." She whispered. "I can't, Jenny. I wish I could, but I can't." I murmured, keeping my gaze on the floor, knowing that if I looked up, I'd gag at the sight of her neck.
"Look, right now I'm going out for dinner. We'll talk later."
With that said, I grabbed my jacket and walked out.
"Chop chop!" My mother clapped her hands together as my brother got in the back seat.
"So! What are you two in the mood for?" my mother asked cheerfully. "Food." I deadpanned.
"What type of food?"
"Good food." Jarrod explained as if though it were the most obvious thing in the world.
"You know what? I'll just pick what we'll have for dinner." My mother snapped.