WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Stacy Yusim

The story had an excellent rhythm and I found myself holding my breath a bit as I read it. Keep writing- I want to read more!

Dew Drop

Just read the story.. Loved it.

Don Carter

I can see that you have put a lot of effort into learning the basic literary techniques: grammar, spelling, punctuation and the uses of alliteration, dialogue and such. 

Congratulations.  I encourage to keep writing, reading and refining your craft as much as you can. Perfection is not a destination to be reached. Just a goal to be sought.

The Faceless Girl

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The floorboards creaked beneath little feet. Tiny toes tipped through the teeny passage. The silk nightgown caught on a nail, and small hands pulled it away. The Victorian home held many deceptive doorways. Laughing and exploring dead ends were fond memories for the children. But one grew old, leaving the youngest to explore on her own. On hands and feet, she crawled through a hole in the back of the room. No light entered the tunnel. She felt her way from side to side until her hand touched the cold metal of a large door. She stood tall, reached for the handle, and pushed the door open. Silently, she entered the basement.

An angle of moonlight shone through the rectangular window dousing the room in a hue of sapphire blue. 

Wham! She jumped and froze. A door slammed shut upstairs. She caught her breath. Did someone hear her shuffling through the tunnel?

She scurried to the chalk-drawn circle in the middle of the room. A sloppy pentagram graced the face of the circle. She reached for five small candles carefully hidden behind the washing machine. Slowly, she removed them from among the dust and debris and placed them at the points of the star. Then, using a box of matches she stole from the kitchen, lit the candles in a clockwise motion. As the flames flickered, she stepped into the center.

“Twin, are you there?” she called out.

 “Twin, can you hear me?” she called again.

No response came.

“Twin, can you see me? I am here.”

Say it.

Say it.

Her lips trembled as the air in the room dropped to a chill. Her fingers turned blue. She crossed her arms and drew her shoulders in shivering.

She whispered, “Twin, twin, come and play.”

For a moment, the room was silent.

Suddenly a response came matching her pitch.

 

“Twin, twin, why did you go away?”

“Twin, twin, come and play,” she spoke to the spirit.

“Twin, twin, will you stay?”

“Twin, come to my room.”

“Twin, I can’t leave unless you take me with you.”

Her back arched and her chest rose. She took a deep breath inhaling through her nose.

Let me in.

Let me in.

Clank! Clank! Clank!

Her eyes widened and her ears perked to the loud sound.

The rattling of the old boiler pipes was nosiest at night. The was toilet flushed in the bathroom above. The whole house fell quiet again.

Whoosh.

A strong wind blew, lifting the skirt of her gown. She was now in total darkness, save for the light of the moon.

“I will let you in,” she spoke to the darkness.

One by one the candles lit again counterclockwise.

“Leave the door open.” Her voice responded.

She nodded, blew out the candles, and repositioned them behind the washing machine. She returned to her room making sure to leave the basement door open, and the miniature brown door with thirteen markings.

After dusting dirt from the tunnel off her hands, feet, and nightgown she peacefully laid down to sleep. In the morning, she woke to the smell of chocolate chip pancakes and bounced merrily to the kitchen.

Her mother hurried about preparing lunches for her brother and father, who would be off to work and school promptly. She paused briefly to glance at a letter hung on a fridge. A reminder from Stone Bay Prep School to call them regarding Amelia. This was her sixth consecutive month of homeschool, and the principal wanted to make sure Amelia kept up with the coursework. At the bottom of the page was a casual ‘P.S. Let’s touch base about Amelia’s behavioral issue.’

Gene tore up the notice and stuffed it into the trash. Amelia believed in a ‘twin’ she could summon to speak and act on her behalf, but she was only six. Gene made it a habit to disregard Amelia’s imaginary friend.

“Twin, do you like the pancakes?”

Gene glanced over her shoulder, “Amelia, do you want some juice?”

“Twin, stop pulling my hair,” Amelia whined.

“Amelia, I said, do you want some juice?”

Amelia ignored her mother.

“Fine. If you won’t answer me, go and play in your room. I’ll come and get you when it’s time to start school.” Gene watched Amelia obediently leave the kitchen without turning around or speaking.

At 8:30 sharp Gene stood at the threshold of her room.

Bam! Bam! Bam!

Gene peered into the room, craning her neck to the slit of the door.

Amelia banged her doll against the wall repeatedly. Gene rushed into the room and grabbed the doll.

“What are you doing?” she asked holding the doll above Amelia, whose innocent green eyes peered up at her.

“My twin told me to.” she cooed.

“You don’t have a twin.” Gene dropped the doll and went around Amelia.

 

Swiftly, she opened the curtains letting the sunlight into the shadowy room.

Amelia sat in front of her vanity, picked up a pink brush, and brushed her straight blonde hair.

“I have a twin you can’t see her,” she said.

“You don’t have a twin.” Gene packed her dolls neatly into rows on the shelf.

“I do have a twin. You can’t hear her,” she grumbled.

A knocking sounded in the room. Gene looked around for the source of the noise. The knocking repeated, and Gene glanced at her daughter in the mirror. She gasped at the faceless girl in the reflection.

She blinked, and the reflection was normal.

Gene turned to grab her daughter. As she reached out, Amelia turned suddenly. She withdrew in horror at the sight in front of her. Her daughter was faceless!

The faceless girl walked over to the brown doorway.

“Twin, twin, are you there? What’s happening?” the voice of her daughter called from behind the door.

"Twin, twin, go away, it’s my turn to play," she closed the door and locked it.

A rapt knocking came from the door, and the handle shook, “Mom! Mom! Let me in!” her daughter cried.