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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2240555-The-Whispering-Thing
by Angel
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Dark · #2240555
An inherited item isn't quite what they thought it was

It watched from the shelf where it had been placed, right in the centre. Passed down from generations before to those who now placed it here; with love and remembrance. It pondered on the remnants left behind, two grown up children and five grandchildren, the latter, mostly still fairly young and impressionable. The adults, of course inherited the house and all within it, amicably dividing items each wanted to keep. Once the house clearing was finished, sadly, the old family home was to be sold. They had kept treasures to remind them of a woman who had touched their hearts, taught them so much, but had been taken too soon.

It sat on Johnny’s shelf in full view of the family’s comings and goings, their grief, anger, love, everything. It waited patiently for the right one, the weakest, with a mind just right for touching, and after a few years had passed, found what it was looking for.

Jodie, now fourteen, was vulnerable, a gentle soul, more emotional than the others, prone to spells of sadness and doubts about herself. One night as Jodie sat reading, she heard someone whisper her name, as if in her mind. She ignored it, but over the next few months Jodie began to hear this whispering thing in her head more often, telling her she was worthless, she wasn’t as pretty as the other girls, she’d never amount to anything. Her self-worth deteriorated and was soon noticed by her parents. Jodie didn’t tell them about the voice in her head, she thought she was going mad, and didn’t need them to think the same. Her parents had her doing meditation, relaxation of all kinds, and eventually gave in and tried medication. Nothing seemed to work, Jodie just seemed to get more withdrawn and depressed. What they didn’t know was the voice had become incessant, always this constant whisper, reverberating through the walls of her mind, reinforcing her initial self-doubt.

It was Christmas, four years after Jodie’s grandmother had passed away, and by now she was lost, for much of the time, in her own world. The festive season held no interest for her ‘just another day’, she said to her mum. Jodie did, however, join them downstairs on Christmas morning, on her dad’s insistence. ‘After all, there were presents to open’, was his argument, and she gave in, not exactly knowing why. She sat in the oldest armchair they had, one that was inherited from her grandmother. It had a gentle feel to Jodie, a smell, reminding her of something lost in her mind, never to return. Gifts were being shared out, and Jodie quietly surveyed the room, her eyes falling on the objects upon the mantelpiece, then she was distracted as the mass opening began.

She watched as paper was sent flying in all directions, her two younger brothers not caring where it all went as long as they could get inside to see the contents. Her parents too, were opening presents, much more careful than their two sons. The voice whispered to Jodie ‘you don’t deserve presents’, she knew it was right, of course she didn’t, what had she done to deserve anything good?

She was then brought sharply to her senses by Kendall shrieking. He’d unwrapped a football, he was ecstatic, and nobody was quick enough to stop him from trying it out indoors.

It saw it too; the ball was heading towards the mantelpiece on which it stood. The ball hit the beautiful oriental vase, which fell instantly, smashing to pieces on the floor. Everyone was so upset, they never saw the whispering thing leave, evicted from the only home it had known; gone now to find someone else to whisper to in the dark.
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