When I opened my eyes, Peter was the first thing I saw. He was leaning over me with tears in his eyes, “Oh thank god you’re awake.” I was still on the floor, and my body hurt. My head was throbbing and my arms and legs stung. My stomach felt like I’d been punched several times. I didn’t want to move.
“What happened last night, was it the monsters?” Peter said, “Of course it was the monsters, what am I talking about. Did you see them? What do they look like? Why didn’t they do anything to me, and why didn’t I wake up when they came in?” He said all of this very quickly, and looked terrified.
“Peter, what are you talking about?” I said, confused. “Why am I on the floor, and why does my body hurt? There were no monsters here last night, they don’t exist. I remember having a nightmare about being attacked in the forest, and so I probably rolled off from tossing and turning.”
“No! They attacked you!” Peter grabbed my shoulders and shook me as he said that, which hurt a lot more than he realized. “You aren’t safe here, you need to be afraid of them! Why aren’t you? Every time you sleep at night something happens!”
He was frantic, stood up really fast and started grabbing my stuff out of drawers and putting it in a bag. “You have to leave, I can’t lose you like we lost Aunt Kelly.”
I got up, wincing in pain, but I had to stop him. I took the bag out of his hands and threw it on the bed. I grabbed his arms and pulled him in for a hug, which relaxed him. “I’m not leaving Peter, I will be okay, I promise. It was only a nightmare. Why don’t you go downstairs and get some breakfast while I shower?”
He sighed, kissed my forehead, and left the room. I really don’t know why he thinks it was monsters. I remember vividly the nightmare I was having, and slightly remember falling off the bed, but I guess that just didn’t wake me up. I walked over the mirror behind the door and looked at myself, and gasped. I had cuts and bruises all over my legs, and a line of blood around my neck.
Remember, they come out at night. My mom's words rang in my head. I didn’t understand what was happening. Maybe my mom was right and I need to be scared. There’s a reason Peter wasn’t hurt this morning, and hasn’t been hurt at all. Maybe if I’m scared, I’ll stop getting hurt. I went about my day as if nothing happened, but I was on edge. I didn’t want to end up dead in the well. Even if this was just a nightmare, I wanted it to stop.
I decided to figure out what really happened with Aunt Kelly, because I’ve never asked my mom about it, all I remember is her rambling on for months when I was little, but I didn’t ever understand what she was talking about. After cleaning myself up and putting on clothes that covered all my marks, despite how hot it was outside, I knocked on my mom’s door. I still haven’t been into her room, or even seen past the door since I moved in. She doesn’t let us in and only opens it enough to peak her head through. From what I’ve heard, she has at least three separate locks on the inside as well.
All I hear for several minutes is shuffling and things moving around, and a couple of disgruntled sighs. “Hold on,” she says frantically, and continues to run around. When she opens the door, she looks at me and it looks like she has been crying.
“I’m busy right now, Sarah.” She wipes her eyes to try and hide what was already so obvious.
“I want to talk about Aunt Kelly, I need to know what happened to her.” Her eyes opened wide and she backed up a little bit, looking terrified.
“No, no, no...they will find me. They will find me. They will find me!” She slams the door in my face and locks all of the locks very quickly, and then I hear silence.
“She hasn’t talked about it since you and dad left us,” Peter comes out of nowhere and gently touches my shoulder. “Something happened right after you left, something really dark. I can’t tell you what it is, but you need to know that this is serious and you can’t be snooping around about the well.” The look on his face is different than that of my mom’s. They are both scared, but I can see a sadness in his eyes that I haven’t seen before. Like he can’t escape. Before I can respond he goes into our room and closes the door.
Why should I be scared of something nobody will even talk to me about? I hear movement behind my mom’s door, like a slow shuffle. And very faint, very quiet maniacal laughter.
don’t forget sarah, don’t forget about us.
I freeze. It was a distorted version of my mom’s voice, and as soon as she said that I heard a crash coming from the kitchen. I start moving towards the stairs when Peter yanks the bedroom door open, and steps out. He’s facing down at first, he looks upset, but then he looks up at me and I have to take a step back. His eyes are completely white. He cocks his head to the side and smirks at me. He moves towards the stairs in such a fluid motion that it cannot be my brother. I’m still frozen and my mom is silent behind me again.
There’s the laughter that I hear at night coming from downstairs, and I immediately run into my room and lock the door. I close my eyes and sit against the door with my head in my hands.
“Sarah, what’s wrong?” I look up and Peter is sitting on his bed reading a book, with white eyes.
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