Here’s yet another thriller style piece I’ve been working on. I really need to pick a story and run with it. This piece features different timelines and inner thoughts, I’m working out how to avoid making it too confusing but for now, let me know what you think.
25th January 2006.
“Amie, don’t run off,” Saskia caught her arm and pulled her round.
“Get off me,” Amie snarled, snatching her arm away and stumbling in her heels towards the taxi bay. Saskia followed, climbing into a cab after her. “Sas get out,” Amie started to cry. Saskia gave their address to the driver and he pulled away. Amie sat, staring out the window. The light rain falling outside hit the glass and created glittering lines.
Amie thought back to her childhood, sitting with her sister in their parent’s car, choosing raindrops and treating their line down the glass as a race. Her sister usually won. Amie bit her bottom lip hard. Saskia was using her phone as a torch, gathering the loose change from the bottom of her bag. Amie had seen her sister’s white face, watching her amongst the dancing crowd. She had seen her pale, tear stricken face and her long dark hair hanging in wet strands from her head. Amie had screamed but the music had drowned out the sound.
Drowned. Hand reaching out. I’m choking. Screaming bubbles. Take me back to my summer birthday, blowing large oily bubbles into the air. Her mouth is a dark O set into her white face. She slips out of my grip. Out of reach. Falls down down down down. One hand outstretched. Her body is being pulled, the plants on the riverbed snatch at her ankles. I cannot see her. I break the surface. My lungs inhale beautiful clean air.
23rd September 2007
They looked so alike, except for the hair colour. Saskia studied the photograph in its glass frame.
“Penny has been gone for eleven years now,” Amie’s mother said, also looking at the smiling faces behind the glass.
“I’m sorry,” Saskia replied.
“Don’t be. It was an accident. Amie was there when it happened. I can’t imagine how it must have upset her,”
“Well, Jayne, that is what I came here to speak to you about,” Saskia placed the photograph back onto the coffee table. Amie’s mother frowned,
“Yes?” she asked.
“Amie had been acting, weird before her…you know…” Saskia began,
“Attempted suicide,” Amie’s mother interrupted. Saskia shifted uncomfortably in her seat,
“Yeah, she’d been getting upset for weeks. She kept telling me that she’d been seeing her sister, in nightclubs, at work, on the bus, you know,” Amie’s mother didn’t reply, she continued to stare at the picture, “So, I just wanted to tell you, because well I think that might be why she..”
“Tried to kill herself,” Jayne’s voice was a monotonous sound. Her white hands clutched her hot coffee cup and she began to silently cry.
Matching pink sundresses. Mum sewed sunflower buttons onto Penny’s. She promised she would do mine too. The sun reflected on the still water, flashes of golden light.
“Mum said not to go too close,”
“I’m not,” she rolled her eyes dramatically, “God!” Penny sits on the river bank, she pulls her shoes and socks off.
“I’m going to look for tadpoles.” She opens her rucksack with the puppies on it and pulls out a small net and a jar. She’s peeled the label off, the night before the glass had held spaghetti sauce. Now it was going to hold baby frogs.
“Penny, we’ll both get into trouble if you get dirty.” The ground is wet from last night’s warm rain and Penny slips, the back of her pink sundress is now smeared with dark dirt. Mud squelches between her small toes. I look back at the house, it isn’t there. I look back at Penny, she isn’t there.
23rd December 2008
Amie’s mother sat holding her daughter’s still hand. She didn’t squeeze back. Amie’s father sat on the opposite side of the bed, looking at his motionless child, at the tube protruding from her small mouth. He didn’t say anything, just sat and watched her slow rising chest and still body. Jayne broke the silence,
“Beautiful isn’t she?” she whispered. Amie’s father frowned.
“Beautiful?” He looked back at Amie, how could she be? She wasn’t Snow White lying in a glass coffin, she was a frail, deathly pale person hooked up to tubes and beeping machines.
“Don’t you think so?”
He didn’t answer, just continued to watch her.
“Yes,” he finally answered. Amie’s mother smiled.
“Hopefully next Christmas we can be sitting down to dinner together,” Amie’s father snorted in disbelief. “Simon?” Amie’s mother asked.
“Come on Jayne,” he said, a single tear fell onto his bristly cheek.
“Dr Valentine said she has been responding to her tests.”
“She hasn’t tested her.”
“She’s just saying that, to keep you happy.”
“She wouldn’t lie,” Amie’s mother shook her head furiously and stroked her daughter’s hand harder, “Why would she lie?”
“She’s telling you what you want to hear. Or your both seeing things that you want to see,” Simon looked away as his wife began to sob.
“I just want her here,” she wailed, resting her head on the edge of the bed, her hand still gripping Amie’s tightly. Simon looked at her frail hand, with its thin silver wedding band on the ring finger and the blue veins snaking under the skin. Perhaps things would have been easier if he had just let her take the pills, he thought.
Her hands were white and shaking and the tablets had rattled together in her palm,
“I can’t…d-do it any-m-more Simon,” she had sobbed, her chest heaving up and down with each racking cry as tears streamed down her pale face. He had reached out but she snatched her hand away.
“Put them back Jayne, put them back,” he spoke softly, remembering his Police training. He never thought that he would have to use it on his wife. Jayne’s eyes were glazed over.
“I s-see her Simon,” she whispered, “I see her w-walking around,” he looked at her then and his skin crawled. The hair on his arms and the back of his neck rose at those words and he shuddered. He shuddered because he knew she was telling the truth.
“Jayne, if you do this you won’t be able to see her anymore,” he tried to approach the situation from a different angle.
“I will, if I die y-you’ll go and and turn off the machine, I heard you talking to y-your Mum, saying that she’s a v-vegetable!” she threw the handful of pills at him, “You don’t fucking care!” she screamed. Simon backed away against the wall.
“Y-you never h-have, you never told her y-you were proud of her. Never! She’s going to die knowing you h-hate her!” Simon grabbed her hands and held her close, they slipped down the wall onto the kitchen floor, he stroked her hair.
“You know that isn’t true,” he whispered pulling his fingers through her short hair. “You know how much I love her,” he felt Jayne’s head nodding against his chest and her tears soaking into his shirt.
Simon watched his wife now, she was sobbing harder and her grip on Amie’s hand was getting tighter and tighter, he reached over the bed and pulled her hand away, holding it in his own.