Fiction Fragment Friday
This is part two of my October writing exercise to tell the same story from different perspectives. I now also with this weeks story know what my fifth perspective will be. I know what the last story will be, but I’m not sure which of the two possible perspectives to use for next week and which to save for the week after. Hope you enjoy.
“Daddy I’m scared.” The windows rattled under the force of the thunder outside and Benjamin could hear the sound of his dog whining from under the couch. He picked up his youngest daughter and held her close making eye contact.
“Cathy baby there’s nothing to be afraid of. We live in a big house, and it would take a storm five times bigger before we would need to worry.”
“But the Scary Woman comes when it storms.”
The Scary Woman. Benjamin thought that his daughter had outgrown the Scary Woman. Almost as soon as she could talk, she started telling stories and drawing pictures of an imaginary boogieman she called The Scary Woman. He had no idea what inspired her, but it gave Cathy nightmares for years. He hadn’t heard her talk about the Scary Woman in months. This felt like a huge setback to him.
“We’ve talked about this baby. The Scary Woman isn’t real.”
“But Daddy I’ve seen her.”
Before Benjamin could reply a particularly loud thunder struck and the power went out with it. It was only for a few moments, but the house went completely dark, and Cathy screamed in terror. He held his daughter tight as she shook. These were the moments that made him feel most helpless. Even though he had plenty of experience doing so he just never felt like he knew how to comfort her. She seemed to always be afraid of something.
Benjamin met his daughter’s eyes and found the fear gone. Her face was blank with no expression at all. When she spoke, her voice came out monotone lacking all emotion. “She’s here.” He set his daughter down not wanting to admit how much this had disturbed him. At that moment there was a loud bank on the door like something had hit it. Cathy went from blank faced to scared instantly and ran from the living room, down the hall, and slammed the door to her bedroom behind her. There was another sound at the door and Benjamin went to see what it was.
As he opened the door a young woman almost fell into the house. She grabbed wildly at the door frame to steady herself and just barely managed to not fall. He looked down into her face. This woman had showed up when his daughter was most afraid and made things worse. He was angry, but as he looked her up and down, he could see that the woman was drenched and looked exhausted. “Can I help you?” he asked feeling bad for the girl. Her head and the front of her clothes were covered in blood like she had been in some sort of accident. This could be my little girl someday he thought. If it is I would want someone to help her.
“Who are you and why are you in my house?” She sounded angry and he was a little put off by her claim that it was her house.
“Lady I don’t know who you are, but this is my house. I’ve lived here for over five years.” He watched as she looked past him into the house. He could tell she was taking in the family pictures on the wall and for a moment he worried that she was casing the house to come back and rob it.
She looked down at the keys in her hand. “What’s going on here?” Her head turned to look over the neighborhood. She was confused, but the look on her face was unmistakable to him. It was the same look his ex-wife wore after Cathy had been born. She was overwhelmed and didn’t think she could deal with it. She was going to run just like Keri had. He reached out to stop her, but she was already moving.
“Hey, come back, I can help you.” Benjamin yelled after here, but he was pretty sure she hadn’t heard him. She was moving fast and before he knew it, she was gone. He rubbed his eyes trying to focus. It wasn’t like she had just ran, but like after she left the yard she just vanished. He closed the door and turned back to his living room. He could see in the corner that Cathy had drawn another picture at some point. He couldn’t remember seeing her coloring. Looking down at it even though it wasn’t very details he knew what she had drawn. It was the woman from the front door. The clothes were the same color, but more importantly the blood was in all the right spots. He stood there as minutes passed trying to put it all together.
Benjamin knocked on Cathy’s door. “Honey it’s dad. Can I come in?” There was no sound from inside, but the door creaked open. He stepped in to find Cathy on her bed under the covers. She was not shaking anymore though; she was sitting up not moving. He closed the door behind him and wondered for a moment how she could have opened it and gotten back to her bed so quickly. “It’s ok now. The woman at the door is gone.”
“I know.” The voice was monotone again and sent a shiver up Benjamin’s spine. He pulled the blanked back and found his daughter sitting very still. She turned to him with the blank expression on her face. Her eyes looked like they had rolled back into her head because they were all white with no color. “It’s going to be ok now. He’s coming to get her. I called for him.” The voice was clear and sounded too mature for his little girl.
Her eyes returned to normal, and she laid back down on the bed. “Hi daddy. I’m not scared anymore. I am tired though. Goodnight.” He voice was back to normal and there was a cheeriness to it.