I can hear them scratching on the window... theres so many thought in my head, like... if I were to be the last one alive, who would be left to keep my secret? I guess thats what they mean when they say take it to the grave, I mean yeah, people have brought secrets to the grave before im sure, but there was always something that sounded fake to me about those poeople. I mean, what kind of secret could they be smiling about? Something that important doesnt deserve a smile and a toss off, it deserves something much mor profound and harder to explain than that. My secret isnt a secret... its a reminder of why I spend every day the way I do.i always told myself that I would never breathe word of it to anyone, and if you have found this... then I should have you know, that either im dead and gone and the people I speak about are no longer rotting in the ground, but piles of dust, or you got lucky enough to find it and you need to get the hell out of my house...
I used to love catching fireflies... watching them sparkle in the pitch black of late summer nights, swatting mosquitoes I couldnt see but could hear them buzzing in my ear. I loved everything about staying up late, laying in the grass, watching the moon get brighter and the clouds roll in front of the stars. There was always something magical about it for me. Always something special about the way the silhouette of deer grazing on the outskirts of the meadow looked in the moonlight with the yellow blinks of light around them. Watching the mothers stand guard in front of the fawns, the white spots brighter than their tan coats sparkling in the pale moonlight. This was all before they came, those things scratching at my window.
I have my candles lit, its almost midnight. They cant see the light through the windows, not with over four coats of black spray paint on them, they just know im here, they can hear me breathe and smell my tears. I wonder momentarily if the
salty smell is appealing to them, if its like a seasoning of pain and anguish when they take their victims, they taste their tears, of fear, anger, or sadness, and they taste victory.
Throughout my years as a teenager (though they seem long gone) I always had my notebook, it was my best friend in times of need and want, but there was only one thing that never made its way onto paper, something that I never thought possible to happen to me, though everyone says that if you think it will never happen to you, it will. But what the fuck do they know? I've thought it wont happen to me about a lot of things, and this is the only thing thats happened out of all of them, though I'm sure it will be the worst. So notebook, again work your therapeutic magic, let me spill this secret to you, and let me be rid of it.
It was a long time ago, long before the zombies even came, they were a fear I had wondered about many times in my bed at night as a child , but other than that they were just a myth and a horror tale. I was fourteen, and those summer nights were starting to wind down to a time when I had to go to bed early and listen to my mother again, out of the time where I was free, away from the wonders of the summer life. Midnight secret skinny dipping hiding from my mother when I walked home and my hair was wet but my clothes werent, those would soon mean nothing when an old face
twisted in deatrh would enshroud my mind with a curtain of guilt.
I remember the day, July 28th 2005, the elderly lady down the road had come over, knocking on our door and telling my grandmother, who was her best friend, that she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was to refuse chemotherapy and live out the rest of her life the way god had intended her. Her name was Edna Wells. I was young, back then, twenty dollars was a pocketfull to buy a stuffed animal, or some candy, or some pizza, and when Edna had asked me to do her weeding for twenty dollars, I was ecstatic, money for me to finally buy the new evanescence cd I wanted. So she told me, “everything must go child, everything here is a weed.” I didnt ask questions, I pulled everything from the ground and dumped it in a pile in the woods behind her house. The next day was a day I would never forget, because Edna, my grandmothers best friend of thirty one years, sat in a lawn chair, holding her hand carved walking stick, staring at her vacant garden, saying over and over again “it is empty and so am I. It is empty and so am I. It is
empty and so am I.” I peered through the slats of her white picket fence and watched her sit there, rock back and forth on her heels, like she was in a rocking chair, and chant to herself. I can't tell you how long I sat there, I cant even begin to tell you the strange feeling inside, is was such an unfamiliar feeling, one that I have never felt before, or since. The walk home was a lonely one...
“My child, you know I would never ask anything of you that I thought you could not do right?” Edna stared blankly out the kitchen window, the August sun shining into the room, making 7 in the morning feel like 2 in the afternoon.
“Yes ma'am.” I nodded as I poured her tea. I could hear her cat in the next room scratching at the bathroom door. Something was wrong.
“Honey... what I am about to say must never escape your lips again, do not repeat to anyone, you understand me?” suddenly she was no longer looking out the window, and her cloudy gray eyes were staring right into mine, “Do you understand child?”
I kept my mouth shut, but nodded, almost not able to get words out of my mouth. “Y-yes ma'am...”
Rising out of her chair, she wobbled, her weight on the wooden walking stick was too much, and she almost toppled over, but I held her back, holding her arm, trying to help her walk, “I can do it myself!” she suddenly seemed enraged, and shuffled quickly into her bedroom. “come in here my dear. I didnt mean to yell, just come in here child.”
The room looked like she hadnt turned the light on in years, through the darkness she walked without question to the edge of her bed, slightly illuminated by a crack in the dark purple curtains, a box in her hand. She opened the latch,
the box opening with a creak, and I could see something shining in the darkness, a glittering of glass and metal. “come here, remember I said never repeat what I am about to tell you.” she reached a shaking hand into the box and pulled out a glass syringe, with a thin needle. “honey, I want you to promise me something... promise you wont let the cancer take me... promise me.” her shakey hand pushed the syringe my way, “I will not be taken by the cancer, I trust you
dear, I trust you.”
I stared at the needle, “what... what do you want me to do with this?” I looked up and I could see the edge of her face, as tears slid down her wrinkled cheeks. The syringe was empty, there was no fluid of any kind in the box.
“Pull that little nozzle out as far as it can go, dear.” she quivered a little, now... this is what you must promise not to talk about,” she rolled down her turtleneck, “you see this vein here? Take that needle, and push it in and push all of the air into this vein.”
I looked at her, then down at my hands, then back at her...
The next morning, the sirens woke me up, there were police and ambulences, and my grandmother sat on Edna's front porch with her head in her hands, and she nodded towards the door, pointing the EMT in the right direction. They told us it was a stroke, that her age had finally gotten to her, and it had nothing to do with the cancer. And at the funeral, I didn't have it in me to cry.