This story is by Kyleigh and was part of our 2018 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
This road I have walked before, it is the cold beaten path… It leads to nothing but deep sadness and silence… I’ve been there a thousand times before, but never found hope… I was… lost. I began to think as I sat in the attic’s corner scared to go down stairs; through the cracks in the walls and floor I heard them… yelling.
My heart ached as tears rolled down my soft cheeks of my once unhurt face, but now small cracks had appeared, overnight? I don’t know… the only thing I knew was that I was slowly breaking apart… They were warned, but they never listened and now… now it was happening, I was being torn apart, piece by piece, slowly inside…
I had sat curled up against the corner wall, crying, crying until I couldn’t any longer. It’s hard when you’re made from porcelain, but that was me, so every hurt forms a new crack and every new crack leads me down the Unknown road and every time that happens… well… I began to fall apart, until I am nothing but broken pieces lying on the ground in dust with other Misty Souls… Well, at least that’s how I imagined it.
I moved my head to look at the small window on the other side of the large, unfinished, triangle-shaped attic; rain had started to fall giving off a small rhythm on the roof. Watching the rain made me feel a little better on the inside, but yet made me cry more. Holding back the tears I pulled out my journal, a pencil, and started writing; ‘Dear Nonsense Journal, It has been day six of hurt and sadness, my parents are fighting downstairs… again. I am left up here as forgotten as ever and I–‘ The sound of stomping footsteps up the stairs made me stop what I was doing, from the corner I saw an eerie shadow coming up; I quickly closed my journal and hurried to the little closet door and went in the small space shutting the door behind me. ‘Please, go away… go away! I want to be left alone!’ I screamed inside my head.
The closet was small, but had an enough space for a person to hide in; the footsteps came near until they stopped at the closet’s door. Holding my breath I backed away from the door. “Adeline? Are you in there?” a pleasant, soft male voice asked. Surprised I stopped holding my breath and let out a long sigh.
“Y-yes?” I asked in a small shaky voice. The door opened and dim light flooded in revealing my small curled up form.
“Hey, it’s okay…” the boy said as softly as he could. I glanced up, at first I didn’t recognize who it was, but when I saw the black hair and green eyes, it clicked, “Dale?!” I say, before he could respond, I leaped from the closet wrapping my arms around him, hugging and crying into his shoulder. As tears full of joy and relief rolled down my cheeks, I felt his warm arms wrap around me making me feel safe.
I couldn’t help trying to hold back the tears any longer; they came flowing like waterfalls, just the thought of it made me sob more and more until my eyes hurt. My long, dark brown hair fell in my face covering my hazel eyes and the tiny cracks on my face as I wipe away the tears and hide behind a smile. I let go of my tight grip on Dale’s black shirt and slowly stood up with him helping me up since I was shaky. Dale was the closest family member I had, I never really was as close to anyone other than him, he was the one person who really made me feel safe and though he was my cousin, I loved him like a brother.
“See? It’s all better now.” He said in a calm voice as he put his arm around me and made a small smile appear on my face. I looked at him, my eyes still red and puffy from all the crying and whispered, “Thank you for coming to see me, Dale.”
A wide smile spread across his face, “Well, it’s been a long time since I last saw you, little cousin.” He spoke joyfully, “Hey, I’m not little.” I joked,
“Well sure you are. You’re 15 and I’m 17.”He smiled as we headed down the stairs of the attic. The first thing I noticed was that the yelling I had heard before was gone and it was peaceful and quiet. I followed Dale through the house, my parents weren’t around, but you could tell there was a fight between them, glass was shattered on the ground from glass bottles and there was a slight sent of alcohol in the room. We walked out the front door, the rain had slowed to a sprinkle, but the fragrance of it still filled the air. The old, small town was all wet, both the buildings and roads were glistening with water as the blue sky was covered with moody, grey, clouds.
“Where are we going Dale?” I asked breaking the silence as we walked along the wet sidewalk, it took him a while before he responded, “You’ll see.”
‘Typical…’ I thought to myself, recalling all the times when I’d ask the same question and he gave me the same answer. Soon the air felt chill as a cool breeze brushed across the cold sidewalk and hit me, giving me goose bumps. My whole body shivered, but it went away as the breeze was no longer blowing. Dale started to lead me off the sidewalk onto the rain covered grass; I was confused, but followed him anyway. We walked up to train tracks and stopped, “This is the place.” He said suddenly making me jump a little at hearing his voice.
“So… why are we here?” I asked him in a not so interested tone. He quickly glanced at his watch then looked to me, “Remember when we were younger and your father used to help out with those huge steam engines?” he asked and as he did a flash back played in my mind, ‘I was walking with Dale to The Train Place where my father worked, it was a nice day out and the sun was shining brightly above. My father came over to greet us, a smile spread across his face as he came, his brown hair blew in the breeze and his hazel eyes were sparkling with joy. Later on that day he had shown us the brilliant steam engine he had been fixing, it was a huge, old, American design, freight, steam locomotive; just looking at it made you feel small.’ The flash back ended when I heard my cousin speak, “Well, I heard that today they are going to run that old freight steam locomotive your dad fixed and considering how much you liked that train, I thought you’d like to see it.” A small smile crept across my face when I heard those words come from his mouth and I beamed with excitement, but little did I know what was about to happen…
Seeing the excitement written all over my face, Dale responded, “I kind of figured you’d enjoy that.” He glanced at his watch again, “Should be coming any time soon, now…”
We stood there waiting a safe distance away from the tracks, “As we wait, I have a little gift for you.” He said turning to me as he pulled a small box from his coat pocket and handed it to me, but before we could do or say anything, a train whistle sounded off in the distance catching our attention. As we looked, in the distance a steam locomotive came into view, smoke was rising from it as the large wheels moved along, it seemed like a small train, but I knew that as it got closer it would be huge. We watched it as it came closer, though it brought me joy seeing the steam engine my dad fixed; up and running again, I had the slightest feeling that something was wrong…
My smile soon faded when I looked to see Dale’s smile gone and replaced with a look of worry and concern. Noticing this I asked, “Dale what’s wrong?” desperately hoping nothing was wrong, but I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I already knew the answer.
“The train… it’s not slowing down!” he said as worry clouded his voice. I looked back to the steam locomotive; it was coming fast, ‘Like a bullet… That means that if it doesn’t slow down at this turn, it could derail!’ The thought of it hit me hard; I watched it as sparks flew from the large metal axels and wheels. Before I could even move or think, I watched it play in slow motion right before my eyes… the train not slowing down going fast with sparks flying from it as it took the turn, but started tilting to one side, Dale rushing to me, his face filled with worry and sorrow as a single tear ran down his face. I watched as he pushed me out of the way of the falling train. Tears streamed down my face now as I knew what was happening and I was crying out to Dale, but it was too late… the steam locomotive had covered him, leaving me out here alone, sobbing over my now dead cousin…
Days had passed since the incident with the derailed train; I had been up in the attic most days sitting in the corner hugging my legs to my chest, weeping. Today was no different; I sat in the same corner weeping, every time I looked at the necklace and at the feather on it, the memory of that day came back. The screeching of breaks, the sparks flying, and my cousin Dale getting crushed under the steam locomotive, it all came back. I hugged myself trying to calm down, but it didn’t work; my messed up hair covered my face and puffy eyes full of sadness. In my mind, the cracks grew and grew forming more in the porcelain. I was near the cliff’s edge, close to becoming a Misty Soul…
Over days and nights my mind began to grow dark from all the hurt and sorrow, I had pulled out my journal and began to write, ‘Dear Journal, the light of my soul is fading, it has been days since my cousin’s passing. I have wandered astray and have no idea when someone will save me from this dark abyss before it swallows me whole… hopefully my savior will come, soon…
~6 Years later~
I walked the streets alone tonight; it felt as if I was at the point of no return. Still moaning for my cousin, sadness had token over and I have been partying late at night with my friends, drinking the hurt and sorrow away… or so I thought. As I reached for another shot of alcohol, a text comes up, ‘When are you going to be home?’ It read; I texted back, ‘Soon’. I then grabbed my keys and headed out saying goodbye to my friends.
“Hey, Adeline… are you alright?” one of them asked in concern, “Yea, I’m fine. Why?” I said back. She just looked at me with a ‘are you sure’ face I rolled my eyes, “I’m fine.” However, I should have had a friend bring me home; instead I decided to drive myself home. The sky was dark as I drove late at night, not thinking I glanced down from the road.
Suddenly bright lights flooded in the windshield, followed by the sound of a truck’s horn… before I knew it everything went black… I opened my eyes to a bright light shining above me, blinking my eyes a few times, my vision came clear. I had awaked in a hospital bed with my friend, Megan, standing by my side, tears ran down her soft cheeks when she saw I was wake and alive. She bent down and did something that no one has done ever since the train incident; she hugged me.
“So… what happened?” was all I managed to say. Megan let me go from the hug, “You where in a car crash due to you drinking at the party.” She said sadly. I look down in sadness, “Was any one hurt?” I asked choking up a little as my eyes watered. She nodded her head slowly, and then said, “They’re doing okay though.”
I looked at her wiping away the tears, “Are you sure?” I asked in a tiny hushed voice, “I’m sure Adeline.” Megan replied. Sniffling, I nodded and looked towards the floor.
“Of all the things that have h-happened in my past… I don’t think I could ever t-turn back from the c-cold beaten path…” I stuttered out as another tear rolled down my face. Megan shook her head ‘no’ then spoke, “No. despite the errors you’ve done, you’re not lost. There’s always a way back.”
Her strong words caught me off guard and I turned to glance at her, “What do you mean?” I asked, she looked deep into my eyes and responded with one word, “Redemption.” From that time on I had changed, both inside and out, the cracks that used to cover me where now healing and I had decided to help other people who were going through rough times…
~2 Years Later~
I stood in the cemetery at my cousin’s grave; the gravestone looked almost new since 8 years have passed by. I bent down and set next to it a white rose and the silver chain necklace that was a gift to me once. Just as I was about to leave, the sound of crying caught my attention, looking back I saw a little girl around the age of 11 standing alone by a grave, crying. As I watched, in my mind I saw small cracks on her face; they brought back memories of my past, all the sadness and hurt. I walked over to her lightly placing a hand on her shoulder and kneeled down to her height, “Hey, what’s your name?” I asked in a hushed tone trying not to startle her. She glanced at me and through the tears responded, “A-Anna…”