This is a story I wrote on Monday and Tuesday, despite the fact I have stories coming out of my ears for you lot. It's pretty random, but I hope you like it anyway! The second part shall be up on Saturday. Enjoy!
You Can't Hate A Dead Girl
You can’t hate a dead girl. It’s an unspoken rule, one that weaves its way back into our lives every time someone dies. You’re not allowed to feel happy that they’re gone. You’re not allowed to secretly insult them in your head. You’re not allowed to ditch their funeral in return for a more pleasing activity, like gouging out your eyeballs with a spatula. You’re certainly not allowed to remember their faults and pitfalls, the things that kept them human. When you die, you’re bound to become a martyr. A saint. An angel. It doesn’t matter if you were cruel or mean. Everyone is forced to remember you as a person you weren’t. Everyone is forced to imagine the sun shining out your butt, whether you like it or not.
My name is Madison and funnily enough, I died a week ago. Today is the day of my infamous funeral. Most people are of the opinion that when you die you go to heaven and you can’t return to earth. It’s a pretty thought, one that people hold onto because they enjoy the feeling of living and breathing and digesting and doing other things that mean we are alive. But the truth is never that easy. There’s no heaven up in the sky. I thought there would be, but I got bottom grades for everything, so that doesn’t prove much. The truth is that when you die, you float. You can stay on earth as long as you want, and when you’re done, you can let go. Just...stop. Stop feeling. Stop thinking. Stop wandering. When that happens you disintegrate and, well, stop. You don’t exist anymore. You don’t think. There’s no life. You’re just gone.
I’m planning to stop soon. It would be right here and now, but I need to visit someone. That someone is a girl named Leah. She’s...how do I put this...a skeleton. I know that’s not the proper term, but she is skin and bone. You can see her ribs through her top and her wrists are so tiny you can wrap your thumb and pinkie round them no problem. She cuts as well. Big, sloping, white scars pattern her wrists and her eyes are sunken into her skull. Black bags circle them, and she has a permanent scared look, one you often see on deer before you run them over with a car. She might have been pretty, but she’s not. She’s a freak, and that was why I bullied her. Pushed her around, hit her and insulted her. In all honesty, I think I made her cut. I hated her with a burning passion I couldn’t even name. And she hated me. Which is why, on the day of my funeral, I’m going to visit her. I figure she of all people still see me for what I was - a big, ugly bitch.
So, here I am, skidding over rooftops and jumping onto lampposts like some sort of girly Tarzan. Most spirits choose to fly, but I like running. I was always good at running, and I figured I might as well make the most of my legs before they vanish. I leap over a satellite dish and continue my journey. I’ve been watching Leah for the past few days, following her as she winds her way home through the perfect houses of suburbia and into the clogged and choked back alleys of the poorer parts of town. That’s were I’m going. I’m following her path exactly, except I’m going the much more exciting way of jumping on the roofs.
I get to her flat in a matter of minutes, and sliding down a gutter, jump into a window. The first thing I feel is the cold. The house is freezing compared to the heat outside. I shiver and look around the room. I appear to have landed in her parent’s bedroom. It’s filthy - clothes are strewn across the floor and a damp patch marks the top right hand corner of the ceiling. The whole house smells musty; a smell that people seem obliged to cover up with peach air freshener, which makes the whole thing smell even worse. I wrinkle my nose and hop into the air. I hover for a minute. So this is what she- Leah- lives like. I never really thought about it before.
I stay still for a moment and then fly through the room and out into the hall. The walls are marked with dirt, grime, and crayon markings. A little boy runs past me, his smile vanishing from his face as he slides through my abdomen. He has dark hair, like his sister, and his clothes are covered in mud. He zooms round the corner and into a room which I can only assume to be his. I wait for the door to close behind him and then gently put my foot down on the floor. She has a little brother. I didn’t know that either. What else didn’t I know?
I walk along the hallway, peering at the doors as I pass them. The bathroom, the study, the living room, the kitchen...I stop at one of the doors. It looks identical to all the others, unmarked and plain, except this one has scratches etched onto the surface. They’re not in shapes or letter or anything...they’re just marks. Hesitantly, I walk up to the door and step through it.
Going inside, I see I chose the right one. The walls are a faded purple, with posters covering almost every inch of them. A bed is pushed into the corner, its cover rumpled and messy. I know from experience that
Leah will be sitting on the other side of the room, the side I can’t see because of the door. She’ll be sitting at her cluttered desk and looking at herself in the mirror. Her hands will be on her lap, and her eyes will be filled with tears and sorrow. She’ll be contemplating not eating, or even worse...thinking of the razor blade stashed away in her underwear drawers, where her mum and dad will never look. The thought is enough to make me move. I step inside and close the door, my breath catching in my throat.
I was right. Leah is sitting there, exactly as I pictured her. Her lank black hair gathers around her shoulders and I notice that she is wearing a black dress. She’s going to my funeral. Probably not through choice.
Everyone in the school was given a day off - I was very popular - so her mum must have felt duty bound to force her child to go. She probably had no idea what I had been doing to her daughter. I swallow and take a step forward. I need to talk to her, but as far as I know, I can’t. I can only watch.
Before I know what I’m doing, I’m stepping toward the mirror. Something tiny in my head is telling me to step inside it, that if I do that, I can talk to her. I stick my hand out and push it through the mirror. It’s like swimming through jelly, and I’m hesitant to stick my other hand in, and let myself be pulled inside. What if I can’t get out? It doesn’t take me very long to figure out that it doesn’t matter. I’ll be letting go after this anyway. I plunge my hand into the metal and feel my body being sucked inside, my soul, marred with guilt and tarnished with sins zooming into the polished glass. In a matter of seconds I’m in the mirror and looking into Leah’s pond-water eyes. I wonder if she can see me, or whether I’m still invisible. My question is answered a moment later. Leah’s mouth drops open and, with horrified gulp of air, she screams.