Peculiar

This is the second installment of this short story.

Peculiar

Rebecca Koch, Dedicated Writer

Finally Caroline arrived at her home after a terrifying walk home. After seeing her best friend dead, along with a glimpse of her murderer, she was paranoid the entire walk. She opened the door to a dark house. Since her parents knew that she went to Josiah’s they figured that she was going to stay out for as long as she wanted to. Meaning that they had given up on waiting for her to come back, wanting to welcome her but they knew that was an immature hope given Caroline’s unpredictable return time. Usually Caroline was fine with them not being there but after seeing her friend in the pessimistic state she had, she wanted her parents to be there to comfort her. Yet they weren’t, she began to blame her parents but overall knew that she set the norm of not needing the comfort after a night with her friend.

Caroline needed her parents at this point, she sprinted up the stairs but was stopped by the sound of her mother, 

“Where are you going so fast?” She asked. 

“Mom!” Caroline exclaimed in happiness. Extremely joyed to know that her parents were still in a normal state where as she was paranoid in every way possible after seeing a murderer and a dead best friend. 

She ran to her parents and hugged them like a lasso at a velocity of 20 miles per hour. Caroline started to cry on impact where as her parents immediately passed looks of confusion to each other while still acknowledging their daughter’s embrace.

“Is everything okay?” Caroline’s father asked. Caroline tried to find the courage to answer, to tell the story. She tried to imagine how her parents would react to the story she would tell. The one aspect that was the most confusing to think about was how she would tell them about the person she saw. Yet when contemplating this she agreed with herself that she wouldn’t. Imagining the whole fuss her parents would make over it, and how it would lead to a dead end. In addition, she didn’t want to go through the experience of this storytelling once more in a more painful way of detailed explanation.

After an hour or so of crying and talking, Caroline had gotten through the pain of an explanation. Her parents had believed her, for it wasn’t like she was explaining the monster under her bed. Yet, even after explaining the situation of her friend’s demise and thinking everything was okay, she still felt a strong feeling of paranoia. For the person she saw. She went up to bed alone, per her request, yet she did not actually fall asleep. She imagined the person she saw. She just closed her eyes, worrying that she would open them to see the person first spotted as a murderer.

Finally, Caroline figured she should be brave, she opened her eyes not to see anyone. Until she turned her head to find someone in the window.

“AAHHHH” She tried to scream but her voice was mute. She was more scared than ever before.

Caroline’s eyes popped open, she quickly snapped up from her lying position like an eager reader snapping open a book to read beautiful pages of literature. She looked around snapping her head every which way relieved to not spot the murderer seen before. The girl had woken up to it still being night, a dark room. Not wanting to worry her parents further, Caroline fell asleep once more, convincing herself that it was just a dream, which in a way it was, but there was still a terrifying aspect in what had happened that night. One that seemed all too real for a dream.

Caroline woke up the next morning, relieved to make it through the rest of the night without the horror that befell her in her first dream. 

She walked downstairs to find her parents sitting on the couch and staring at the TV. She walked over and sat on the couch to join them. The news was blaring Josiah’s death. Every word of the news reporter like a knife digging deeper and deeper into her skin and heart. Her mother immediately turned around and headed to their kitchen. 

“Mom?” Caroline asked holding back tears for the memory of her friend. 

“We’re going to go visit Josiah’s house today.” The woman stated. Caroline’s mother was starting to put some fruits into tupperware, then into a basket. She watched as her mother carefully took each fruit from its separate container and then carefully lowered them in a slow fashion to create a beautiful design of color. Each fruit overlapping the other to make a full container.

“Okay” Caroline said so softly she wondered if anyone could hear her at all. Yet her mother showed a slight nod of acknowledgement as her father turned away from the TV to slightly shove her fragile daughter to the stairway to get completely ready for the visit.

“Your okay” He stated. Yet Caroline was anything but, and the lack of support from her parents were making her condition worse by the minutes of loneliness. 

Finally, Caroline and her family had finished the walk to Josiah’s house. She raised her hand to ring the doorbell to see that her arm was shaking. She stared at her arm but pushed her hand harder to finally ring the bell. Then quickly lowered it trying to hide what had happened from her parents, although she ultimately knew they had already noticed.

Soon Josiah’s father was at the door, his face solemn. He slowly opened the door motioning for us to come in. 

We walked straight in to see Josiah’s mother on the couch her face in her hands. Yet as she hears our footsteps against the hardwood floor her face popped up from her hands tears streaming down her face.

After a couple minutes or so of quiet talk of sympathy and remorse Josiah’s mother had become more comfortable with our presence and questions. Finally, she started a new conversation without our questions beginning it.

“I knew something was going to happen,” She said, holding back tears as we all hear her choke up the words. “He told us about these dreams where someone was about to hurt him and how he had seen it happen before but we ignored him, and now this.” She’s in full tears now as her husband escorts them out. Caroline is simply paranoid, simply aware that she could die like her best friend, simply scared. Finding this, moreover, terrifying  as well as peculiar.

.