Thank you, Loving_Darkness for such a beautiful cover!
The yard was a blotchy brown wasteland of dead grass. Spring was desperately trying to poke through, but decay and death spun invisible webs, leaving every inch untouched. My parent's death was so fresh, and the pain was beyond unbearable. Death was all I could see.
I wandered the worn path leading to the lab.
My eyes lingered on the door knob, but I couldn't move. My mom's voice whispered on the breeze, "The lab is off limits, Abigail." I shuddered and opened the door.
Time stood still. I was frozen, carried away, and lost in another time. Hushed voices echoed around me. I saw my mom and dad moving frantically. Worry lined their faces. I was unable to move. Holding my breath I just watched. Mom's beauty emanated through the room, lighting up every dark corner. Dad's fierce knowledge brought the potions and herbs to life. Everything in the lab danced before them.
A shiver racked my body as I realized this was two days ago. I was watching and reliving the day they'd died. I stumbled back, hitting the wall with great force, the door slammed shut behind me and mom looked over. Her ghost white face paled, and her turquoise eyes bore right through mine. She could see me. Her mouth turned up into a bright smile. She glanced down at the small vial in her hands, then looked back at me, and then gently sat it down.
They vanished. I took a few minutes to regain my bearings before I hurried over to the table mom had been next to. There it was, the vial. I picked it up and fiddled with it. The room smelled of mom's perfume. I inhaled her jasmine scent.
The vial was shaped oddly; it was more oblong than the other bottles. It was almost like a perfume bottle. It must have been one of mom's new creations (she dabbled with fragrance). Maybe it was a present for me. I ran from the lab, headed straight for my room, flung myself on my bed and studied the bottle. I tugged and pulled but the lid wouldn't budge. I gave up, set it aside and slowly drifted to sleep.
Mable, my younger sister loomed over me. Her breath trickled down my neck. My eyes flew open. Mable's green eyes bulged out, the veins in her neck rippled with strain, "Good morning, sunshine," she said. Her voice dripped with disdain. I was three when she was born. I sat there excited, waiting for daddy to bring her home. A little sister, I'd thought. She'd follow me around, she'd look up to me, I'd be her everything, and I'd love her more than anything. But she'd hated me from the beginning. She didn't follow me, she didn't look up to me, and I was never her everything. My heart stung I loved her so much.
"They need you downstairs. Pastor Robinson is waiting. I guess there's a few last minute details they need to discuss with you," she spit the words out like they tasted bad, and she said the word "you" like it drug daggers across her tongue.
The stairs were cold under my bare feet. Anxiety pulsed under my skin, and sweat rolled down my back. I couldn't do this. My parents shouldn't be dead.
After speaking with Pastor Robinson I fled to my room, sank into the bed and tried again to remove the tight lid holding the liquid safely inside. Thirst bubbled up inside me. I made my way downstairs, found my favorite blue mug and poured steaming hot tea.
My bed was covered in an orange haze as the sun crept lower, hiding behind the horizon.
I grabbed the bottle and started once again to work on the lid. I had an overwhelming need to smell whatever was inside. My tea rested gently on the bed beside me. My white quilt looked like a blanket of snow meeting the blue sky that was my mug. One final pull and the cap released. It sprayed everywhere. I was soaked.
I tore my clothes off and hastily changed. I'd finally achieved success, but I'd managed to spill the bottle. Only a small amount remained. I sloshed it side to side, the amber liquid winked at me, smelling of over ripened apples.
I took a relaxing sip of my now cold tea. Bitterness spiked its way through my tongue, and burrowed through each taste bud. Something was off. An unfamiliar taste laced through the brown liquid. A sudden wave of overwhelming exhaustion overcame me. I laid back and slept peacefully, like mom's fingers locked tightly around mine comforting me.
Stars twinkled in the depthless sky. I rubbed my eyes. They were blurred with sleep. Moonlight floated in through the windowpane. Pressure pushed against me. I moved as if I were underwater. "Where am I?" I asked the room. The words hissed from my mouth like air being released from a tire. Cold breath slithered across my skin. Fingers of ice slid down my spine. My peripheral's blurred. I turned to look over, felt like I was trudging through thick mud, and regretted the move. My mom and dad stood before me. Their hands were knotted together, they held each other tightly. Skin hung from the disintegrating bones. Low moans seeped through their closed lips, the sound encompassed my body. Scorch marks bruised my exposed skin. Am I dreaming? I thought. A haunting tap-tap-tap bore through me eating away at my flesh.