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Many things can disrupt the balance of someone's mind but only a few things can solve it. Read the struggles of one girl that lost everything but that learns a valuable lesson to pass on. There are many different types of links between two hearts. The link between twins, siblings, partners and between mother and child.
Link between Hearts
I woke, muscles working without my consent. My eyes burst open, my back worked to get me sat up like an L bracket. My stomach turned, rolled, flipped and then clenched. I felt the meal I had eaten only a few hours ago surge up my throat. Sour, thick, burning and acidic. I rolled onto my stomach and leaned over the side of the mattress. I grabbed the bucket from under the bed just in time, throwing up as quietly as possible. No one had woken at the noise.
Five minutes later, I was lounging against headrest swilling my mouth out with water. Meanwhile my mind was overloading. On one subject however it remained annoyingly blank. Damn my dreams to hell. I really did know what they would be about but if my brain could confirm it I would at least have certainty. The horrid smell everyone knows and dreads was rising up from the bucket and fermenting my baron room. I tried not to inhale through my nose. I would have to try and clean that up. There were some complexities to meddle with my plan though. Between me and my goal (the bathroom) there were three loudly creaking floor boards and two staff bedrooms. The staff had ears as sharp as a hungry owl’s.
I needed out of this place. Desperately. Tearson. The crazies’ care home. No matter how justifiable the reasons for being here you were still a nut job. I just wanted, no needed to forget. I needed Cameron. He would help. Kind of. But there were even more problems between me and the door, including a rotting staircase with loose screws and no banister. Once before I had sneaked out another way, but the staff warned me if I did it again they would put bars over my window, after all they couldn’t have us loonies walking the street in the middle of the night could they? Ha. Note the sarcasm.
Well to hell with them. I was going. I needed to talk to him now and they wouldn’t be able to stop me in time, I could feel him waiting. Even a few minutes would be worth the window bars.
I eased my weight forward and reached blindly under the bed again, patting around on the floor. There was a bag strap and there was a pair of shoes. Here’s hoping for a matching pair. My old sling bag and a pair of silver ballerina pumps came out of the gloom. Could have been worse. The shoes could have been red.
I slipped the shoes around my ankles and pulled the bag strap over my body. I rolled my weight onto my feet and stood as quietly as I could on the weak mattress with protesting springs squealing under my feet. They creaked and I listened. No one had woken at the noise. Then with the work of a moment the window was flung open and I had slithered down, landing on the slates below. One or two slid and clanked together. No one woke at the noise.
Glancing down I became glad for the pyjamas we had. Cotton vest top with linen trousers both grey. Even the silver shoes didn’t look too out-of-place. Now the second potential problem – how to get off the roof without breaking something or looking suicidal? I settled for the drainpipe. I crouched in the gutter and leapt, catching the drain pipe with my hands. The ground came up to meet me very hard and very quick.
My ankles cracked loudly and I yelped out loud as my hands burnt. No one had woken at the noise. My hands were burning; the top skin had been taken off. My ankles would probably ache for weeks. But I could still walk. Or limp. Or even crawl if I had to. I could feel him in my hands, sympathetic and worried.
The way to Cameron’s had been long ago memorized. I had even walked it blindfolded. I had always avoided the spotlight of the streetlamps though, skirting around the edges. The dry stone wall started way before the entrance and there was a specific path along jagged rocks worn smooth. My earliest memories was reaching up and trailing my fingers along the stones. I had done it every other day for the past nine years. The gate came up soon after two minutes of trailing.
I turned and stood under the arch looking at the shadows of the square stones. There was a cherry tree just inside the gate and I stared at the figures underneath. A young Cameron was there with me, collecting the blossom. They vanished as I crouched down among the peach petals, gently sorting out a handful of flowers. He would remember these. Not much more of the memorized path to tread now. Fifty four steps following the path then a right turn. Walk until you’re under the silvery weeping willow. Then north past one, two, three, four rows of graves and turn left.
My family’s half empty plot was there. And Cameron waiting for me in his usual spot. He was the only one I felt a connection with now. His had been the only one strong enough to survive the hardships. I walked to the headstone, so much smaller than the others. His grave had been the last one put in. I had written the inscription. I read it aloud every time I came. No one was ever around to listen. I arranged my gift in a circle while I read.
“Cameron Logan Underwood
1993 – 2001
A loved son, brother and twin.
Bound by soul to this planet and his remaining family, he will ever live on through others.
His removal from this world was unfair and unjust. ”
I smiled at the finished circle and a hand appeared in my vision. It trapped a petal between its fingers and held it up to its face. Cameron grinned at me over the top of it.
“Evening Lil. How’s my nut case sister?” He grinned. I didn’t.
“I’m as good as I ever was. But you know how I hate being a nut case. Tearson’s is worse than ever. They’ve given up. Stopped trying to ‘fix’ me.”
“You don’t need fixing. You just need to face it. You’ll find the way out and soon. Just wait.”
“I don’t want to wait anymore. I want out of there Cam. I wish I knew what happened that night.” I slumped on the ground by his grave and he followed.
“Can you tell me what happened that night? Why I’m here?”
"You know more about what happened than me. You were there. You died there that night. I only have what I was told.”
“Tell me what happened.”
“Momma killed you and Pappa while me and the baby cowered under the stairs.”
“No. Her lover-boy killed me and Pa. Then he shot mother and himself. He’s the one that held gun to my head.”
“I don’t care who held the gun Cam because it doesn’t matter. Momma’s lover may have held the gun but she drove him to it. She’s the one who pulled the trigger whether intentionally or not.”
“She spared you and the baby, doesn’t that count for something? How is our baby sister? Is she as crazy as my twin?” He grinned. I didn’t
“They keep me away from the baby Cam. I’m a ‘bad influence’. I lost my parents and my twin then I lost my baby sister. How is this world ever fair?”
“All will be well in time Lily. And you haven’t lost me yet. I‘m still here. They won’t keep you away from the baby forever.”
“I wish you could come back Cam. I miss you. I need you.” I lay down on the damp grass beside him and reached a hand out to the edge of his plot. He did the same, like a mirror reflection. Our fingers stayed an inch apart.
We used to sleep like this, in our twin (yes, our parents were jokers) beds. They were always on the opposite sides of the room. They had taken a picture of us once when we were asleep. Perfect mirror images. We took that through to even now. We lay and listened to the night around us. Blackness full of noises. The trees and plants, dried leaves and a shuffling across the dirt. Shifting weight from foot to foot. Someone was out there trying to keep warm by moving, trying to keep quiet so they could listen but were now realising how cold they were. I gave a silent sigh. Today just got better and better didn’t it?
“I know you’re there.” I yelled into the night. The low breathing stopped then a breath came out in a huff. “No point hiding anymore so come out from behind the tree.” A small bit of guess work but it was the only place I wouldn’t be able to see behind and I wouldn’t go past it again until I left. So he, another bit of deduction, must have sneaked behind it and listened to everything. Footsteps moved my way over the grass.
I pulled myself up from the group and gently moved back so I was leaning on the edge of the headstone. I was right about both points. He had been behind the tree and he was indeed a he. I recognised his face too. He had been in my science classes last year. He had been a very kind lab partner. He had never treated me like I could kill him any second either, to him I had been someone that had lots of problems and needed help. “Umm. Hi.” He gave a small gulp and I watched him fidget and shuffle.
“Hi.” I said, turning to look at the petals again. “What are you going here Ryan?”
“I saw you from my house, I got a bit worried.”
“So you followed me? You know that might be taken the wrong way.” “I would have thought you would be glad of the attention. I haven’t seen you at school in ages. It got me thinking that maybe you were worse.” I frowned, feeling something in my mind give a small click.
“Why should you worry about me?” I sneered to hide confusion. “I’m a nut case that has no friends and will never get out of Tearson’s. Why should you care if I was worse?”
“Because I do. I didn’t think I needed a reason." There was another click in my head. It felt like someone was poking around to find out what I was thinking. "Listening to you showed me how much help you need.” I realised he was like me. He could link with my head. That was the clicks, him trying to find a way in like I used to.
“Listening to my private thoughts in a moment when I wanted to be alone?” A small hint to say I knew, gently dropped.
“Err. Yeah that.” Ryan muttered. I smiled. I wasn’t used to having people care. I had never met anyone like me before either other than Cam who was still there, watching us both. He was watching Ryan very carefully.
“Do you know what happened to screw me up so much? Did you gather what had happened from my ramblings?”
“Well that bit was a bit confusing, like I was missing half the conversation. I just got that most of your family was killed.”
I nodded, might as well tell him. “My mother didn’t feel appreciated at home so she had an affair with a toy-boy. When she broke it off he was devastated and one evening he came round to our house and shot everyone he could see. My father and my twin where in the front lounge, playing chess.” I laughed at this. I had never liked the game but Cam loved it. He smiled to beside me. I continued my narrative without looking up.
“I was looking after the baby. Lover-boy shot them and when I heard I took the baby and hid under the stairs. Papa died instantly, shot in the head but Cameron lingered. I felt him dying in my head, so slowly. He was in so much pain. I didn’t know what had happened though at the time. All I felt is when there was nothing there, no more link to his mind. He died alone. The killer then dragged my mother upstairs and shot her then himself. I waited under the stairs until the police came then when they took my baby sister I ran to Cameron. His eyes were open and he was reaching towards the stairs. I cried over his body until I was dragged away to the hospital. Then after I was released I was put in Tearson’s to be ‘fixed’,” I snarled the last word. “They gave up quickly and at first I was allowed to see the baby but they stopped that. They stopped letting me go out at all. I lost everything.” I said it all in a matter-of-fact voice and only after I had finished did I look up at him.
He was staring at Cameron’s grave and I saw sympathy in his eyes. “You know, maybe if you came back to school and stopped regretting what happened and thinking ‘what if’ you’d be able to live your life. I don’t think you’ll ever truly heal but you could at least try. You need to get into the world.”
“Right... Just try getting Tearson’s to agree to letting me loose.”
“I will try if you’ll let me.” I frowned at him and he looked down at me before sitting down, never letting his eyes move from mine. “I’m going to visit you every day and get you caught up on all the school work. You’ll start getting better and they’ll let you come out more and when we go out we’ll come and visit Cameron here. Maybe they’ll even let you see your sister again after time.”
“Why? Why help me?” I murmured feeling very, very strange. Sort of confused, conflicted, grateful and untrusting all at the same time.
“Because I want to. But since it is getting light I think we should get you back to Tearson’s before anyone misses you.” I smiled and tried to stand before my ankles protested and I remembered my jump. Ryan held out his hand and gently put an arm around my waist so he was carrying my weight.
After in my room again I sat and thought about him. He probably wouldn’t keep the promise he had given me before giving me a leg up onto the extension’s roof. But I would see tomorrow. He had promised to visit after school with some books for me. I doubted it. He would wake up tomorrow, or by now later today, and think I was a nut job again.
I fell asleep quickly though and for once it was a black sleep with no dreams or thoughts. I woke up refreshed but I still thought the same. Ryan wouldn’t visit. I was however better if more depressed than usual. The routine continued as usual but at four an unscheduled knock sounded on my door and a nurse announced a visitor for me. I got up as Ryan entered looking purposefully cheerful; he walked over and gave me a hug which gave both me and the nurse a shock. It was a pleasant shock though and I laughed. The eyes of Nurse Adams bulged and she left looking dazed. Ryan laughed too, seeing the shock through our newly established link.
The evening past happily until visiting hours finished and he had to go. He hugged me again and this time it wasn’t a shock. It seemed natural. That night was another one without dreams. I simply slipped away with a sketchpad beside me. It had Ryan’s face on it with his dark eyes sparkling.
The routine of his visits became more frequent. I no longer had the dreams and after a few months I was back at school and got to visit my sister once a week. She still remembered me. She adored Ryan. And more importantly so did I, though in a different way. I could tell what he was going to say before he said it and think what he would before he did. It was the purest link you could have, the link between partners. I felt blissfully content with his hand around mine. He was the first person to care and see who I was.
I was allowed a mobile now with allowance for credit. We never broke contact even though both often had no credit. A link was better than a mobile. We got closer than I had ever been with anyone else. My happy ending had finally arrived and I hadn’t even had to wait. I was finally fixed.
Twelve years later...
I stood under the stone arch looking at the stump of a tree just inside. It was a sad sight, there was no younger me underneath it playing with the blossom. A hand took mine and twined our fingers together. I gripped the hand tightly and gently prepared for the walk that I hadn’t walked for over ten years. Two young children ran in front of us and the baby I was carrying gave a small kick inside me, they felt my sadness and grief at the memories. They knew I needed them to be okay. The smiles and nudges were like a helping hand. Their aunt smiled and walked in front of me and my husband to keep an eye on my brood. She also knew what i was to be here again and that I needed to keep tight hold of the hand round mine.
We walked the path that I had never forgotten. Fifty four steps following the path then turn right. Walk under silvery leaves of the weeping willow that was now looking its age. Then north past four rows of graves and turn left. There it was, only this time no one was waiting. My twin had finally left. I had stopped needing him, let him go. His ghost had faded but not left completely, he still hung in the air.
Ryan sobered and gently set down the bunch of flowers he had brought, knowing which to bring without me telling him. The kids and my sister looked at the grave then up at me. I gave them a sad smile then moved to sit by the grave stone, dragging my husband along by his hand that I hadn’t let go.
“Now then, I have a story to share. It’s about me, your auntie and your uncle here,” I patted the grave stone. Ryan smiled and squeezed my hand. We had sworn that we would tell the kids one day about the bond they shared as twins and to do that they needed my tale and Ryan"s. They had our gifts, we knew that before they were born. The unborn child in my stomach would also have the gift we had, to link minds and share thoughts. He was already linked with mine and my husband"s. I opened my mouth and started as I looked at the faces I loved so much. One a boy, the other a girl. In my head a reached out towards my twin"s ghost that still had a presence here, I got my happy ending Cam. Thanks to you and I swear they will know their uncle yet even if you aren’t here.
I am here Lily, when you need me I will always be there. Tell them that and tell them to keep each other close. Like we did.
|Lycan's Curse of Love CH1|