The Words She Brought Home

demon girl

thoughtcatalog.com (the amityville horror)

Days of the week…

Days of the week…

These are the days of the week.

She brought the words home from kindergarten. A song they had sung. Her face was pale. The bags under her eyes deep and dark.

We thought it was the storm that had been hovering over us all week. The thunder had kept her from sleeping. Last night it had woken her younger brother, too. He’d run into our room in tears, clambering into our bed and pulling the sheets over himself.

I wrapped my arms around his little body. He curled up against my chest, trembling. As I cupped his head and kissed it, I saw her standing in the doorway. Lightning flashed on her slumped shoulders. She was in her pajamas, hands at her sides, her head cocked to one side, bags under her eyes.

The thunder rumbled, and she turned back to her room.

I stroked my son’s head and watched my daughter vanish into darkness.

I did not wake my wife. She needed the sleep.

______________

After my son fell asleep, I carried him back to his room and put him in bed. I shut his door behind me and turned back towards our room. I caught a glimpse of motion. My daughter descending the stairs. She vanished around the corner before I got a good look, but I’d swear she’d put her uniform back on.

I hurried down the stairs and found her standing at the kitchen table. She was wearing the plaid jumper we’d just bought her for school. Under it, the white shirt with round collar. White stockings, black shoes. It was 3:00 am.

Honey! I whispered, to get her attention. I dropped to my knees, grabbing her shoulders and searching her dead eyes.

She didn’t blink.

I wasn’t used to seeing her in the jumper yet. I’d never imagined having a child in Catholic school. But something about the public school had put my wife off it. She’d insisted.

I’d put it on the kitchen table, the little silver Jesus. He’d come loose from the wooden crucifix my grandmother had given me when I was a kid. I didn’t know what else to do. There had been actual nails, tiny ones, holding him in place, and I hadn’t been eager to nail them back in.

My daughter grabbed him. Her breath caught. She snapped off his arm.

She bent her head farther back than I thought it could be bent, ran her fingernails down her throat, and croaked…

Thursday…

Friday…

Days of the week….

Days of the week…

“Monday, Tuesday…” I sang, choking back tears. Her first day had been Thursday. Today was Friday.

Days of the WEEK, she shrieked.

She cocked her head towards me, as if both of us were crazy.

It was then I felt cold. First in my crotch, then my spine, up my back to my neck. A cold, tingling fear.

Her eyes rolled and pulsed. Her face was clammy.

She snatched them from the kitchen table. We’d been doing crafts after dinner. Markers, paper, scissors. All were strewn across it.

Light gleamed off the silver as she swept them up and swung at me. I could have stopped her, but it didn’t even occur to me.

I floated upwards, not wanting to. I beat the air with my hands and feet, but I could not stop rising. I pressed my hands against the ceiling but passed through. I clutched the beams in the attic but kept rising. I saw myself falling from my knees to the floor, blood pouring through my fingers around my neck. The scissors rose and fell into my throat. I tried to scream but heard nothing.

Nothing but her words, as if for the first time.

Days of the weak. Days of the weak. These are the days of the weak.

50 thoughts on “The Words She Brought Home

  1. Pingback: The Words She Brought Home | The blog of COOPER APPAREL. Find us at https://www.facebook.com/Coopertees

  2. When I first started reading, I figured she would be sleep walking, but the ending was brilliant. Hauntingly beautiful. Made me exclaim “Oh!” at the end.

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  3. Wonderfully eerie! Created a nice mood. There is something about pale children in hallways at night that really freak me out. I tell my youngest to announce herself all the time because of it. And the song at the end! Well, we need a part 2, I’m afraid. Literally.

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  4. Very chilling. I especially loved the twist at the end.

    One thing I wanna ask: How do you find images like these? They seem to go so well with the story.

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  5. Oh, thanks. Another sleepless night 🙂
    Really great, Walt. I think you should be crowned the KIing of Creeps – in a good, spooky way, of course. You’re fantastic at building slow, creeping menace and giving us a surprise at the end. Have you been reading any MR James ghost stories?
    Excellent.

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      • I’ll look forward to reading more.
        MR James was an Edwardian academic who wrote ghost stories which he read aloud to his students on Christmas Eve. They’re dated, of course, and mainly revolve around fusty academic bachelors who have to reconsider their disbelief in the supernatural after disturbing events. I recommend ‘Oh, whistle and I’ll come to you, my lad’ in which a fusty academic (surprise, surprise) finds a mysterious whistle on a beach. The 1968 adaptation for TV (directed by Jonathan Miller – another academic!) is very, very creepy.

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      • It’s funny how quick people are to dismiss the supernatural in day to day life, because science is the new God, yet no one can get enough of supernatural story telling. Horror, fantasy, magical realism, and of course super heroes. It’s a strange paradox, and a little sad, even, I think.

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      • I’m a cynic about most things, to be honest, though part of me would like to believe – and if I’m given enough evidence to convince me, I will 🙂 Even the city that floated over China a few days ago didn’t have me believing in anything other than a very weird meterological event. Although, it was damn odd and many scientists believe in parallel universes, so …

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      • Oh, and BTW, I’m not sure you’re entirely right about how cynical most people are. We had a conversation at work a few weeks ago and I seemed to be the only person present who didn’t believe wholeheartedly in ghosts – people still want to believe.

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      • Ghosts are the last thing I want to believe in, believe me. I could do for some good old fashioned cynicism, there. But I can’t shake the possibility of them. I don’t believe in the supremacy of reason, or the old Enlightenment Rationalism that still prevails today. That’s just as much a matter of faith as anything else. There are things we don’t know, and will never know or be able to prove. And some of those can be a little spooky, sometimes.

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  6. Good words Walt, loved it very much. New to the blogging environment and for a while there, I thought I would never find someone with a common niche…. I expect I will be reading many more of your stories……

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