by Candi Bartlett | 10/31/2020
They can see me now.
I float above their faces as they huddle in the back of the room. Wind tears through house.
It throws my long, dark hair around my face.
My tattered clothes threaten to break free of my ethereal body.
Pictures blow off of the walls.
Images of this new family, smiling, fly by my face. This new family who stirred me. Scratching my walls. Breaking my banisters. Ignoring my warnings.
It starts again.
It is always the same.
Her blood appears on the kitchen floor. It is deep and red and it stinks.
The walls begin to rot – they peel apart like dead flesh sliding from bone.
Deep purple fluid rises out of the floor boards.
I can’t stop it now.
I raise my hands out to the side. It hurts – I am in agony again, the old wound new. My blood splashes at my feet. I pull the front and back doors open, wood frames exploding into splinters.
I look down at Dad – behind me the items in the house blow around, the banging cabinets still slam against their frames. I growl at him.
“Get out, while you can.”
He looks me in the eyes. This man, holding his family, sees my anger. He sees my pain.
He sees my slaughtered family.
He knows the blood and rot in these walls will belong to him if he stays.
Dad runs, pushing his family ahead of him.
They stop crying. They stop screaming.
The wind begins to settle. I close my eyes, still above the floor,
I try to breathe. I try to silence the memories.
The door frames rebuild themselves.
The banging stops.
I float to the floor, land on my knees.
The windows I built are repaired.
The fireplace is cold.
It is not quite quiet.
I can hear my echo screams.
I sit, still bleeding.
I sit, still dying.
Until I rest again.
To be awakened by the next family.
To be, again.