Alone

Alone

A Story by Ginger Reader
"

Scarlett is a teenaged girl who is 'orphaned'. She is trying to find where she fits in when her past hunts her.

"

Alone

There are people who are out there like me, I just know it. People who get followed. People who don't have families or if they do, it’s not pretty. People who live in the messed up world that they were given. But where are they? Why don’t they show themselves? But my most important question: Why haven't they come for me?

I was told my whole life that my older brother, Shade, was dead at the age of three. I never got to know him very well, after all, I was a baby. Everyone believes that he and my father were taking drugs and drinking. Even though I know my father took drugs and drank, I doubt that Shade would at his age.

Shade died before my dad when I was one. After that, my father took drugs and starting drinking to escape from his sorrow, but that resulted in his death. He stabbed himself right through the heart with a silver butter knife the morning he had a terrible hangover. At least that's what the police explained to Mama. Said he was “Simply drunk beyond life.” That's what everyone thinks, but I know better than that. Someone was after him. After Shade. After me.

In his will, it said I was to take his journal, not my mother. Not that Mama would let me have it. She took the journal and burned it, but not before I was able to read the last three pages. She hasn't been the same since that dreadful day. She wanted nothing to do with him, or me for that matter. She even changed her last name. My mama then married some fancy rich guy and abandoned me, without a thought or care of where I'm to go next.

People say my family is cursed with the bad luck of death. Maybe we are, but only if they knew. Only if they knew the thoughts and people that follow me. No one believes it though. They think I’m perfectly normal and perfectly safe. That's why three families ago I was sent to the mental hospital. They classified me with paranoia. Now I'm on my way from another family, and probably another after that. Now I know how to keep it to myself. Know how to hide the things they give me... even though they will always follow me and I must accept that.

I am Scarlett Juliet Rosaleena Whitethorne and I will not let them break me. The world can be rude, fate can be cruel, and my life can turn into darkness, but in the end, though, I always find my way into the light again.

~

I roll my eyes at Ms. Smith, the woman in charge of the orphanage. I was put into this dull place even though my family was still alive; my family just didn’t want me. I mean, Ms.Smith it not some person you will remember. She is average height and brown hair with brown eyes. She’s not stupid, but she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed either. She’s just…  ordinary. Don't know why they put her in this job. She’s not gentle, but she's not strict either. Most of the time, no ones remembers or cares what she says.

¨You think another person wants to take me in? I don't think so.¨ I said snorting, hiding the angry tears threatening me. Why can’t she just stop? She’s always dangling these perfect families in front of me, not caring if I come back or not.

¨Come on dear, maybe they're different.¨ She says, pleading.

¨I will agree to meet them. I'm not promising anything after that.” I say.

¨Sure. Yes! I'll get right to it. Don't you worry your little head.¨ Ms. Smith claps loudly, giddy with excitement. She walks to her room and closes the door shut behind her.

I wonder what's behind those doors. The plan of sneaking in starts to form in my mind. I can have my best friend, Archer, slip the keys to me. Though his unnatural hair might give him away while he’s taking them, he's gotten through more guarded places. As soon as I think of Archer, I sense him behind me. I turn around and almost punch him in the jaw. Accidentally, I swear! Even though he's built like a football player, he's as agile as a cat. I glare at him while he acts like he's been there the whole time.

¨Hey. ‘Bout time you got back. Been betting with Victor.¨ He says, taking off his cap. He runs his fingers through his snowy white hair. He puts his cap back on.

¨Wow, thanks for caring about my well-being.¨ I say, sarcasm dripping from my voice. It’s the only protection I know.

If he notices though, he doesn't mention it. ¨You’re welcome. I'm just glad you got back today. Any later and Victor would have won.¨

¨Man, if I had known I would have tried harder. Looks like Vic trusts me more than my best friend.¨ I grumble, starting to walk away.

He stops me but I shrug him off, not interested enough to listen and not wanting to talk to anyone.

“Scarlett.¨ He grabs me by the shoulder this time and holds me there. He tries to look into my eyes but I refuse to look at him, to even face him. I turn my head to the right. He takes my chin, making me look into his sea-green eyes. He looks in my eyes, searching them. I make the tears threatening earlier to disappear and I harden my eyes, determined he doesn't know what I'm feeling. Or for anyone to know for that matter. It’s too risky when someone knows when you're weak, even your best friend.

¨You okay?¨ He says in a soft voice, making me want to punch him. I mean, he’s never this gentle with me. Maybe the little ones but not me. And I am not someone who will allow this. I proved my toughness before and I can do so again. The result: I follow my instincts. I slug him right across the cheek. On purpose. He drops my chin, howling in pain. I make a run for it, sprinting out the door and into the shadows of the woods, with the shadows of the woods. Many of the teenagers around me stop what they're doing and start running after me. I sprint and quickly scale up a tree when I'm still way more than several feet in front of the fastest kid. It’s kind of sad though. Running after me is what they're instructed to do if they want a good family. So that's what they do, run after me when I start running towards the woods or anywhere else for that matter. Only with me though. I've run away about 15 times now, only officially failing twice, meaning I didn’t even make it out of the property.

The first time I failed, I tripped on a root and fell right into a really weird hunting trap or something, which was basically a huge hole in the ground. Made of solid steel and 20 ft by 20 ft by 20 ft to make sure no animal escapes. Falling in there I also managed to break my leg and dislocate my shoulder. We actually went back there a year later but the hole was gone which was disappointing.

The second time I failed, was when I found some underground tunnels but someone somehow knew about it already. It was probably one of the boys spying for Ms.Smith but I don’t put it against them. The faculty caught me before I was out of line of the house. So like within 20 feet. Besides that, I had some great adventures.

My most memorable escape, though, was the day I saw my father's grave. Didn't even know they buried him since he died in shame. I was told that no one even knew where his body was, saying it was “probably off in the dumpster”. But, that was how Victor and Archer found me. I was curled up in a ball, tears streaming down my face. I was hungry and thirsty, being gone for 29 hours. Finding his grave at six does some major damage to one’s mind. But, now I'm now fifteen. In the nine years since I’ve seen it, I have not cried once. And on top of that, I’m one of the oldest at the orphanage too. And one of the most returned orphans in the least amount of time. Actually probably the orphan who was taken back to the orphanage the most. And the only girl here in a hundred years.

I shake my head of memories and thoughts when I hear someone come near my tree. With my grace, agility, and smallness, I jump into the next tree. I tree jump until I get to the fence the faculty put up to block me. They go through so much trouble to keep me here. I have no idea why. Most of the kids here seem fond of me though, if not, overprotective.

I go back and forth wondering if I should jump the fence. I decide against it.  it's no good if I fall and break a limb. Then I would have to go back to the orphanage and meet that terribly perfect family. Crouching on the branch, I eye the fence. Would I actually be able to make it? Crack! For the first time since I can remember, my branch starts to crack. Holy crap. What do I do?My heart starting to beat faster and faster, it pounding in my ears. Little by little, my branch cracks a little more. I’m frozen there when someone yells jump. I look around but see no one. I start taking deep breaths.

Breathe. You need to survive this. With 50 feet above the ground, I don't know if I can make it. At least the other side of the fence is a lake. The lake! If I jump it, I won’t get hurt. That’s if I do it correctly. I peer at the dark, water. I shiver. I hate water. Crack! I look back and see there are finish cracks running up the tree.

Oh God, I can't die like this! I frantically look between falling with the branch or jumping into the lake. If I stay with the branch I can die of the impact of the ground or die with the beach suffocating me or something like that. But, if I go off the branch, it could break when I'm jumping. Either way, I die.

“Okay, Scarlett. Breathe In. Breathe out.” I start talking to myself. “You got this. Just a simple dive into the lake.”

I wince at dive as a dreadful memory comes up. “Okay, maybe not dive but a jump. On my count, you're going to run your little body across the branch, hope for the best and jump.”

I nod to myself. Okay, I got this. “One, Two,” My voice starts to waver.

“THREE!” I scream and sprint as carefully and quickly as I dare across the branch. My foot catches at the end and instead of jumping into the water, I'm falling into it. I hear the branch behind me break as I'm falling in the sky. Going faster and faster. I curl up in a ball, a sob escaping me. I'm scared. So scared. What if I die?

Time seems slow before my eyes. The once blurry leaves turn very clear. The once scary water seemed welcoming. I watch my reflection in the water, getting bigger and bigger. Something black catches my eye. I look towards the shore and see black figures looking at me. I look out into the middle of the lake and see more black figures.

All around me, I see black clothed figures, all watching me. I look to see the water and it’s merely a few feet from my face. I tuck my knees to my chest and prepare to impact the water. I do and water surrounds me.

What I thought was merely a ten feet lake is deeper. It's a crystal clear illusion. It’s deeper though. I sink lower and lower, deeper and deeper. I spin around and around. I don't know which direction is up. I can't look either, my eyes hurting too much from before. I sprawl out in the water, making myself lighter. I start to float one way and knew I had the right choice. In that direction, I swim like a mermaid. My legs together, making a powerful kick. My arms going up, around to end up by my sides. I keep going, eager to let out my breath. My efforts get sluggish. The water around me feels colder. Ice coats my blood. Was I going towards the bottom? I get my answer when my head collides with something hard. Pain radiates throughout my body. I open my mouth to scream but realize my mistake too late. I swallow water, my oxygen running out. No room for air. I start to flare around. I mean, I can't go like this! I collide with something grainy and realize I touched the bottom. The next thing I know is that I was there and then I wasn't.

~

“YOU IDIOT,” Someone screams from nearby. “YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO SAVE HER BEFORE SHE DROWNED!” The voice drones on but I block it out. Something hard is banging on my chest. It hurts and it won't stop. It goes in rhythm though. The pain radiating like a melody. Pain. Pain.

“Sir, she’s starting to breathe again.” A voice from over top me reports. “And she may be gaining conscious soon. But, she’s still very blue.” Pain. Pain.

Another voice closer starts to talk “Sir, she’s unable to come with us. We can’t have a girl who may go unconscious every hour. If we take her, there is more of a risk of getting caught. We can come back later though to retrieve her.” Pain. Pain.

A deep voice answers, “Fine, we will retriever her when she heals but I won't be the one telling the captain. After all, Captain said this was the one we had to focus on. Tyler, you and Jake are to report to him. Immediately” He adds. Pain. Pain.

Then someone whispers “THE CAPTAIN IS COMING!” Pain. Pain.

The banging stops suddenly, and a scraping sound echoes next to my ear.

“Where is she?” A voice echoes. A voice so familiar, yet just as strange.

“Over here, sir.” Someone says and sand sprays my legs.

“Leave me,” The familiar, yet strange voice says. “You guys are to pack up. Pack up and leave quickly. The scout saw boys coming over here.”

The pain in my chest starts again and water comes over me. Water, drowning me. Water, smothering me. Water, killing me. I gasp, my eyes creaking open. My vision is blurry and my senses muffled. I can hear but its like blocked by something. I see the sky, the clouds the sun. Birds flying around. I have sudden déjà vu but can’t remember from where. Staring up at the sky, I feel pain in my head. A man scoops my head, cradling it. He dabs slightly at a tender spot and I gasp. The pain is unbearable. I have the urge to curl up into a ball but too tired to do so. I just lay there, limp, useless, and in pain. My head starts to pound with my heart. My body trying so hard to shut down, my mind going against it.

The man sweeps my hair out of my face and kisses my cheek, mummering "I’m sorry we had to meet again this way. Don't be afraid. Stay strong. Be the light in the darkness. I'll be back soon, little sis, don't you worry. I won't leave you as Ma did. And there’s a great life ahead if you choose it.¨ Then he mutters grimly to himself. “If only she had been quiet and well-behaved. At least she still has a chance. That’s if she survives.”

He stands up and then sprints away, spraying sand, leaving me. My world’s going even darker, even more out of focus. I can't move. I can't scream for help. So I did the only thing I could. I close my eyes and think my blurry thoughts. I really should have just let them take me. To let them kidnap me, maybe I would be able to get out of here. Or maybe I should have just accepted the family I'm welcomed into. I mean I don't have the worse life.

I faintly hear the bird call the boys to use when someone finds me. I use up the rest of my strength to open my eyes and hear multiple boots crash through the leaves. While I'm looking at the blurring sky, I hear someone call Scarlett and multiple Julie’s, but they're too late. Everyone’s always too late. I recall a quote I remembered on my bedroom wall, the author unknown. The words echo through my skull, ‘Don't depend too much on anyone in this world. Even your shadow leaves you when you’re in darkness’. Before I can check if my shadow left me, the world I have known, hated and cherished my whole life falls into a void of darkness and silence. Leaving me lost. Forgotten. Alone.

© 2019 Ginger Reader


Author's Note

Ginger Reader
This is Short Story. Point out Mistakes you find. What do you think could make this better? Who do you feel connected to or do you not? Just tryin to make it better

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Added on December 26, 2018
Last Updated on July 18, 2019
Tags: Short Story, Teenage Girl, Kidnap

Author

Ginger Reader
Ginger Reader

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Loves to Read. Has Red Hair. Plays Volleyball. Writes Some Short Stories. Will not reveal who I am. more..