Flash-Fiction with the words "I just wish I could remember"
|“Janice, are you ready? We need to leave now!” My mom yelled from downstairs.
Just as I was enjoying school in this town, we had to move. My dad was staying back, though; he could not sacrifice his work for me every time.
I hated moving but got expelled from every school I’ve attended for no fault of mine. I frequently got called into the principal’s office for things I’d never done. When I try defending myself and explaining to Mom and Dad, no one would believe me. No one ever took me seriously.
So, here we were again- starting fresh, in another town. As we reached the house, a large crowd had gathered on the opposite street. I was confused. Was this how they welcomed all new people in the community?
“What’s going on, Mom?” I asked to satisfy my curiosity.
“No one has moved into this house for a long time- so now everyone’s interested in the new occupiers. It’s why we chose this house. It’s cheaper than many others because they reduced the rent.” She replied.
“Why?” I pushed further.
“Why they reduced the rent or…?
“No. Why hasn’t anyone moved in?” I asked impatiently.
“I couldn’t say. Everyone has a different story- most say it’s a bad omen. But I don’t believe all that. Nor should you, Janice.” She said in a grave tone.
I was unsatisfied with her response, but I nodded.
We entered the house, with everyone’s eyes still on us. As I stepped inside, Something felt familiar. I could not put my finger on it, but I felt as if I’d been here before. But that’s impossible. I dismissed the thought and started looking around the house.
“Mom! Which one’s my room?” I yelled from the kitchen.
“The one upstairs to your left.” She yelled back.
I was excited. Even though I hated moving, I loved seeing the varieties of rooms in which I’d have to live. I stopped outside the door, tired from dragging my suitcase, and I saw Something peculiar etched on it.
“Daniella?” I whispered to myself. The name seemed familiar.
“I just wish I could remember where I’ve heard that name,” I said while running my hands through the engraving.
After we’d finished unpacking, my mom thought it would be a good idea to take a walk outside, get to know our neighbors and all. I just wanted to rest, but I agreed reluctantly.
A few blocks from our house, there was an open hut. I assumed it was a popular hangout place because of the large gathering there: chatting, playing, having fun. Something caught my mother’s eye, and she dragged me along. A group of middle-aged women was sitting, probably gossiping.
“Hi, everyone!” My mother said energetically.
There was an awkward silence for a second, but it went away immediately.
“Hi! You’re the Petersons, right?” A tall lady responded, reciprocating the energy.
“That’s us.” My mom smiled.
“If you don’t mind me asking, why exactly did you choose this place? Don’t you know about the…? Another lady asked curiously.
“Oh, we don’t believe all that nonsense.” My mom brushed it off.
Everyone gasped. Then, like one voice, the people started whispering amongst themselves. I caught the words “Yeah, she does look like her” and “That’s a scary resemblance.”
And then one spoke, “Well, do you want to know what exactly happened? Oh, you must believe it; it’s all true. You tell them, Angela.”
“Okay, so a few years ago, a mother and daughter moved into that very house. They were extremely closed off- didn’t try associating with any of us. So, naturally, we were all very suspicious of them.” Angela said.
“Come to the good part already.” The tall lady snapped.
“Something was off with the daughter, Daniella. The mother tried to hide it, but we could all tell. She was only seven at the time, but unlike any seven-year-old, I’ve seen” Angela shook her head.
“Daniella? That’s…” My mother started to say.
“Anyway, one night, we heard screams from the house. However, we were too late. By the time we reached, the daughter had disappeared, and the mom lay in a pool of her blood. No one knows what happened, but ever since, we have steered clear of the house.” Angela interrupted, shivering.
Silence filled the hut.
My mom shook her head, “Janice, let’s head back; It’s getting late.”
“Who’s Janice, mom? I’ve told you- call me Daniella!” I said hotly.
My mom’s expression changed, “Sorry about this. It’s what I was about to say when I heard you say ‘Daniella.’ She gets like this sometimes when under pressure. The doctors have said she had split personality disorder. We think it’s from the trauma from foster care or Something.”
But no one was listening. Everyone was staring at me.
“It’s her…She…She’s,” Angela gasped.
“Excuse me?” My mother said defensively.
Everyone got up nervously.
“I remember you, Angela,” I smirked. That was the last thing I said before I ran for my life.