a wlw stort story, by me!
“Mommmm Ali hit me,” Heather shrieks.
“Alicia how many times do I have to tell you, don’t hit your little sister,” Heather glares at me. Blood drips from my arm. Heather stabbed me with a pen. I didn’t even hit her back this time, but
it’s pointless to argue.
I just try to put pressure on my arm where she stabbed me. When we get home I run to the bathroom and grab a bandage Then, I just hide in my room hoping she’ll just leave me alone.
I feel like my body never fully heals from the damage she does. I’ve always got scabs and bruises.
School is incredibly boring. we learned everything we’re doing two years ago and then again last year, but at least it’s easy.
At lunch Claire and Alex sit with me. Sometimes it feels like they’re the only people in the world who pay attention to me.
“Can I have that?” Claire points to one of the hair ties on my wrist. I pull it off and hand it to her. She stuffs into the huge black bag she always has with her. She pulls out a shiny little gold cube and hands it to me.
“It’s Pyrite. Miners used to find it and think they found gold. Sometimes it’s called fool’s gold.”
“Well it looks like gold to me,” I put the Pyrite in my pocket.
Alex hasn’t said a word. She’s just eating her sandwich in silence. “Dude, Alex, something up?”
“It’s all stupid.”
“Ughh, it’s Mr. Pithers.”
“What did he do this time?”
“Those two guys who sit next to me in his class decided to throw things at him while he wasn’t looking. I think they were trying to get him in the back of the head, but he turned around and got hit in the nose with one of those little oranges.”
“What’s wrong with that?” Claire asks.
“It was my little orange. I didn’t even see that they’d taken it, but of course he didn’t believe me.”
“Ugh, that sucks. Did he say what he was going to do?”
“He said after my other infractions that he’d have to think about it.”
“Shit, are you going to be okay?”
“I dunno, the guy already hates my guts.” Alex says staring at the ground.
“It’ll probably just be extra homework or something, that’s what he did last year when I replaced all his dry erase markers with ones that didn’t work,” Claire never seems phased by anything.
We walk to Claire’s house after school. Her parents work late, so we have the place to ourselves. I like being here. Claire’s cats are cute.
Alex sits of the couch next to me. I like how she’s pressed up against me. We’re both doing homework. Claire sits on the floor across from us, a cat sits in her lap. Claire’s reading something.
After a few hours my mom calls and says she wants me home. The walk home is long and the rest of the night is filled with endless dull chores.
“We’re all going shopping for new clothes for your sister.” Dad says.
“I would really like to not do that”
“Alicia you are coming with us. Get in the car.” Nothing in the world sounds less appealing than shopping with dad and Heather, but did isn’t going to take no for an answer. I grab my DS and get in the car.
Minutes pass, it takes forever to drive to the mall. I don’t know how a town with nothing to do manages to have this much traffic. Where is everyone even going?
“Dad, can I have a turn playing games now?” Oh god, here we go.
“What? No, this is my DS. Did you bring yours?”
“Daaaadddd” Heather kicks me in the leg and I yelp.
“Dad she just kicked me.” I say in a momentary lapse of judgement.
“Alicia I swear to God stop making problems and give your little sister a turn.” Dad pounds the steering wheel with each word.
“Ugh, fine whatever” She tries to scratch me as I hand her the DS. I just stare out the window for the rest of the drive.
The store is fairly empty. The florescent lights make squiggly patterns on the tile floor. Heather tugs at my shirt. I turn to look at her. She lobs my DS at the ground with as much force as she can muster. It lets out an echoey crack as it hits the floor.
“Oh my gosh, Heather are you okay?” Dad rushes in. Why does he fall for this every time? Is he really this stupid?
“I’m sorry, I dropped it.” Heather smiles up at him. I rush to my poor DS. There’s a crack across the touch screen. I hold down the power button….and….nothing. It’s dead. That DS was my birthday present last year. In the background dad is still reassuring Heather that everything is fine.
The rest of the trip is just a blur of heather screaming and trying on clothes. She doesn’t attack me again though. So, I guess that’s something.
At lunch the next day, Alex and Claire are in our usual spot. Alex is writing something on a little notepad.
“Velociraptor, easy. I eat my prey while it’s still alive” Claire has this look in her eyes.
“Yess, I win again!” Alex responds, “Oh, oh oh Ali your next.”
“What am I next for?” I ask
“It’s a game. I have a list of questions, and I write down how I think you’ll answer. And then I ask you the questions for real and we compare the results. It’s shows like how much I know about you.”
“Learn anything interesting about Claire?”
“Well I don’t know, but I got 12 of 15 so I must know her pretty well.” Alex says.
“I need to work on being more mysterious.” Claire makes a face at Alex, but I can tell she’s having fun.
“Okay, Ali. Let’s do you. Gimme, a sec to fill these out.” Alex starts scribbling on her little notepad.
Claire takes a grape from my lunch and replaces it with a slice of orange.
“Okay, ready!” Alex looks up from her notepad. “We’ll start with the easy ones. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?”
“Purple. Was that what you had?”
“Yeah, but these are just the easy ones.” Alex says
“Okay, well ask me a hard one then.”
“Okay, okay, According to the infinite wisdom of Ali, what is the greatest song ever written?” Alex has that spark in her eyes. I just want to stare at her, but she’s too much and I look away.
“Oh that is a hard one, umm When September Ends”
“Aw, miss” Alex scribbles something on her paper.
“She’s a sucker for the sad ones.” Claire says between bites of sandwich.
“What was your guess, Alex?” I ask
“Well I wasn’t totally sure, but I had Mr Brightside”
“It’s a close second.”
Two boys walk up behind Alex. “Heyy Alex, It’s goin down tomorrow, you better be…”
“Fuck off, Kyle.” Alex glares at one of the boys.
“Hey, I’m just trying to warn you is all.” He responds.
“Fuck off, Kyle.” Alex repeats. Kyle shakes his head and the two boys walk off. The bell rings. I scarf down the rest of my lunch, and we head to our afternoon classes.
At dinner, mom keeps going on and on about how talented Heather is. She’s doing gymnastics or something. After dinner I have to clean the house. Heather can’t help because she’s “too tired” from practice. Mom finally runs out of things to have me do, and I manage to hide in my room.
It looks like Alex is late again today. We have social studies together, 1st period. I keep waiting for her to walk through the door, but she never does.
Between classes, I decide to wait by her locker hoping to catch her before the next one. Her lock is gone. I open the locker and peer in. The empty locker shocks me a little, did they move her locker? Did
something happen with Mr. Pithers?
I can’t stop thinking about Alex for the rest of the morning.
Claire and I sit opposite each other in the cafeteria. “Have you seen Alex?” I ask.
“I don’t know for certain, but from what I heard a bunch of boys were found with drugs, they told everyone they got them from Alex, and so Alex got sent to juvi.”
Part of me heard Claire, and that part of me knows what’s happening, but I just can’t accept it. I can’t believe it. Claire takes a bite out of her sandwich and it takes an eternity. I keep feeling Alex next to me and then seeing that she’s not there. Some part of my brain is playing her laugh on repeat, and it cuts just a little bit each time.
“We have to help her. We have to do something.” I hear myself say.
“We can do something.” Claire says, her voice doesn’t show it, but I can tell she’s really
“Do you mean like, telling people it wasn’t her?”
“No, I mean making a trade,” Claire’s voice is steady, but I can tell she’s forcing it, “Someone else for Alex.”
“You mean like, tell the cops it was someone else? Why would they believe us?”
“I’m not talking about convincing the cops, or anyone else for that matter. I’m talking about a simple trade.”
I nod in response, but I have no idea what she means.
“Who do you know that you wouldn’t miss?”
The bell rings.
After 4th period, I rush over to Claire’s locker. I have to push passed masses of 8th graders. I feel like everyone is staring at me.
“Busted” Someone half sings at me. I don’t see who it is.
Claire is rummaging through something in her locker, but I can’t quite make out what it is.
“Claire, you said we could make a trade. What did you mean?” I ask.
She looks up, “Bring someone to me after school today. We can exchange their life for Alex. So let me ask you again, is there anyone you wouldn’t miss?”
I’d ask more questions, but I don’t have time. I have to push my way back through the 8th graders, and I probably only have about half a minute to do it.
“Yes,” I say to Claire, “there is”
The moment the bell rings, I rush out towards the Elementary school. Heather is outside waiting for mom. I tell her she has to walk home with me today. She rolls her eyes, but she follows. Around the corner
Claire is waiting for us.
“Do you still want to do this, Ali?” Claire asks.
I nod, I still don’t really know what I’m agreeing to but it doesn’t seem like a good idea to ask while Heather is right next to me.
“Then follow me,” Claire says, she turns We walk out past the football field, into a forest. I don’t think I’ve ever actually been back here before.
“This isn’t the way home!” Heather shouts.
“It’s a shortcut,” Claire responds.
“Ugh why are you here.”
The pine trees and short, just a few feet taller than we are. They’re young and dense. The path between them is windy and narrow. The ground is bright green pine needles caked in red clay.
I keep expecting Heather to run off, or scream at us, but she doesn’t. She just follows.
Pine needles brush up against my arms. I feel like the forest is squeezing us in more and more as we go. Claire marches forward. Eventually we come to a clearing. The trees form a perfect circle around us. I can’t even make out the path we came from. Heather is uncharacteristically quiet.
“Hold her,” Claire grabbing Heather and turning her back to me. I comply.
Claire takes a knife from the pocket of her hoodie. Before I even have time to react, she flicks the blade out,and gashes Heather across the chin. Heather starts shrieking. A splatter of blood hits the ground and the earth beneath us shifts. I’m thrown off balance, but my muscles contract and I dig my fingernails into Heather’s shoulders. Claire is shouting something but I can’t understand the words.
The trees are moving now. Swaying back and forth. My ears are ringing from Heather’s wailing. She kicks my shins, but I don’t feel it. The ground beneath heather opens up to reveal a mass of writhing roots. Claire utters a single ear splitting syllable. The roots rush up and wrap themselves around Heather and wrench her from my grasp. Her skin turns white and she goes silent as the breath is expelled from her lungs.
The roots crush and tear at Heather’s body like a giant mouth. Bits of flesh and bone snap and rip apart until there’s nothing left. The ground shakes and in a wave the earth rushes in to cover the roots. I’m knocked off my feat and I feel my back hit the ground with a thud.
Everything goes quiet. The trees are still. Claire stands over me. “It’s time to go,” She says.
The path back to the school feels much shorter than before. The spacing between the trees is comfortable. By the time we get back to the school the sun has already started to set. I half walk, half jog home.
It’s dark by the time I get home. I figure mom must have realized that Heather is missing by now. I don’t think anyone saw me pick her up, but the thought still gnaws at me. I swallow hard and open the front door. To my surprise, dad is just sitting watching the TV.
“Hey honey.” He says.
“Hey, dad” I respond nervously.
“There’s some food on the counter for you.” He continues. What the fuck is going on. I am actually really hungry. I eat the food at the table.
Cautiously, I walk down the hall to my room. I push the door open. All my stuff is gone, it’s gone. Desks line the room, mom sits at one of them typing on her computer. She spins around to face me. “You were out late.” she says, totally calmly.
“Claire and I were doing homework together.” I respond reflexively.
Suddenly the pieces fall together. We didn’t just kill heather. We erased her.
“Did you want something?” Mom asks.
“I just came to say hi. ” I say.
“Hi, Alicia.” she says, “Hey can you put these in the dishwasher for me?” Mom hands me a plate.
I walk down the hall to what used to be Heather’s room. I take a deep breath and open the door. All my stuff is here. My DS sits on the bed. I press the power button and the screen comes to life. I distract myself with Pokemon until it’s 1am and I pass out.
Alex is standing beside her locker when I get to school. I run up to her and hug her. I feel a weight lift off my shoulders as her arms wrap around me. She’s really back, she’s real.
I kiss Alex on the cheek.
I know I should feel bad about what we did. I should be afraid of Claire. I should probably be afraid of myself. I just killed, no I just erased Heather, my own flesh and blood.
But Alex kisses me back, and I’m happy.