Chapter One | Nothing Mattered

Chapter One | Nothing Mattered

A Chapter by Alice Simmons

It hurt so much. Cassie’s eyes stung with tears that she would never get to cry as she stared down at the dark, red liquid spreading around her stomach. Pain. Pain was everywhere. Creeping up her spine as she collapsed to the dusty, wooden floorboards. It engulfed her throat as her breathing became nothing but shallow gasps.

      “What..” a voice rasped. “Cassie. Oh my-y-y-y-y.”

      Cassie felt her body being pulled onto a soft, warm prop. She tried to open her eyes but the room spun around her, heightening the splitting headache that coursed through her mind. Heavy breathing echoed through the room. A hand ran over Cassie’s stomach, its touch like a claw raking at her skin. She wanted to push the hand away but her body was limp, unresponsive.

      Giving up on her sight, Cassie opened her mouth and tried to speak. “Whea-” she mumbled, warm liquid beginning to fill her tight throat. “I canos-” she tried again, her panic rising as she realised her efforts were futile and draining her remaining energy.

      She tried to think straight; tried to remember what had happened. What had happened? Who was with her? Who had hurt her? Was someone going to save her? Or was she… was it too late?

      “Carsi,” a voice screamed. The person sounded as though they were underwater, their words didn’t make any sense. “Yaa gonee baa ari.” 

      The voice sounded strangely comforting, lulling Cassie to sleep. The pain in her body wasn’t so bad now. She could hardly remember exactly what the problem was. She could hardly remember anything actually. What had she been worrying about? Her hip? Her heart? She felt silly now. Nothing really hurt; not anymore.

      She’d be fine if only the voice would stop. It was beginning to annoy her. It was persistently at her ear, tumbles of words erupting pointlessly and echoing around the room. None of it made sense. She wanted to tell the person that they needn’t bother talking if they weren’t going to talk clearly.

      As her tutor would constantly remind her, ‘articulation, my dear. If you can master it, you will never be short of work. If you can not, leave now.’ 

      It was a strange thought to pass through her mind at a time like that. Whatever the person above her wanted to tell her would have to wait, Cassie thought groggily. She was just too tired; a brightness was beginning to consume her thoughts and it felt good. She wanted to succumb to the light. She wanted to fall into it. To bathe in its slight warmth and forget all the strange and painful questions which had plagued her only seconds before. 

      She wanted to but that voice was ever so persistent. 

      With a burst of energy, Cassie forced the light to the back of her mind and opened her eyes. The room still swayed slightly and the girl above her looked like she had three heads and nine eyes but at least she could see. 

       “Carsi,” the voice said, dragging the word out as though it was in slow-motion. The person who sat above her moved their mouth a few seconds later. “Carsi, Carsi…” the voice repeated over and over. Cassie’s head was in agony. That one word bounced around her mind, echoing through her skull. She wanted to cry out. Opening her mouth, she tried to scream. Warm liquid splattered across her face, catching her in her eyes, engulfing her chin and dribbling down her cheeks. 

       Her throat was on fire.

       She could feel again. Her stomach sent searing pains all over her body. She was in trouble - she knew it but she didn’t understand. What had happened?

      “Casiii,” the voice repeated. It was beginning to sound clearer. “Cassie,” it cried. Cassie heard her, she could hear properly. That must be a good sign, she thought. Whatever was happening to her had to be getting better now. If she could hear. 

       “Cassie, can you hear me?” the voice sniffled. It was obviously a girl’s voice and though Cassie recognised it, her head ached too much to put together the pieces that would lead to this girl’s identity. “You’re going to be alright.”

       The voice repeated that over and over, as though she was trying to convince both herself and Cassie. For a short while Cassie just laid there, her eyes staring up at the blurry girl with three heads. The girl was crying, Cassie realised. Trying to comfort the girl, Cassie forced a small smile. Although she was trying to be consoling, it only seemed to distress the girl further. 

        Taking a shaky breath, Cassie tried to talk but once again liquid flooded her throat and sent a bitter, coppery taste across her mouth. 

         She didn’t like this.

         She was scared and in pain. She wanted to close her eyes and allow the brightness to take over her mind. She wanted that so badly. But she knew, if she did that then it was the end. Something had happened to her. Someone had hurt her. Someone had left her for dead. Although she couldn’t remember who or why and her brain was too scrambled to make out who it was who sat with her as she took her final breaths; she knew one thing. She wanted her murderer to pay. 

       Whatever their reasons. Cassie didn’t care. She was only seventeen; she wasn’t ready to die. Her murderer had stripped her of her life and in that last moment she did something which she had never done before. She prayed. 

        She prayed that she could have another chance. Prayed for just a little more time. Just enough time to find her murderer and to strip them of whatever it was they cherished the most. 

        With that she took her final, shaky breath and closed her eyes. She looked as though she could have been asleep. 

        She wasn’t. 

        The girl sitting above her didn’t even realise that Cassie had stopped breathing. She continued to talk, trying to convince Cassie that she would be okay. Trying to convince the dead girl that she would live. 

        The ambulances arrived seconds too late. They were there only a moment after Cassie’s fate had been sealed. 

        That was when she woke up. 

        Cassie’s eyes flew open. Tears painted her face and a cold sweat clung to her body. For an instant she thought it must have been a dream. She wanted to laugh at herself, getting so worked up over a stupid nightmare. Then she looked down and she realised. 

        There was never going to be a nightmare as terrifying as the scene she saw before her.

        Medics in luminous, green coats running round a small room of what looked like a beach shack. A wailing girl with blonde hair shielding her face was being taken from the room by a kindly-looking old woman. And in the middle of the chaos was an image that would forever be imprinted in Cassie’s mind. 

         Her body.

         It lay on the floor. Battered. Broken. A complete mess. Drops of blood covered the face, a vivid red against the rather pale skin. A swollen bruise mounted her head; her black curls doing little to conceal its chilling shade of purple. The worst part was lower than the face though. The stomach. The contents of her stomach seemed to be falling from of her abdomen. A slash of red tore through her body. 

         With that, Cassie knew. She knew there was no way she could still be alive. Death had taken her. It didn’t matter that it was before her time. It didn’t matter that she had dreamt of such a bright future. It didn’t matter if she thought it was unfair. Nothing mattered when you were staring down at your dead body. 

          Nothing mattered, Cassie thought. She wanted to cry but she couldn’t.  She wanted to get the medics attention. Maybe they could help her. But they couldn’t see her. Nobody noticed her.

         Nothing mattered, she realised, because nobody would ever notice her again.

© 2012 Alice Simmons

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Added on June 23, 2012
Last Updated on June 23, 2012
Tags: Cassie, death, girl, unknown, confusion, murder, prayer


Alice Simmons
Alice Simmons

Bedford, East, United Kingdom

There's a reason I write about other people - I hate writing about myself. I'm awkward. I talk too much. And I love skittles. That is all anyone needs to know about me. more..