My name is Charlotte Everbloom, I was ten years old when my mother died, and I was nineteen when the old man who was watching over me died. I guess to really understand my story, I’d have to start back with my mother.
My mother was a very kind and gentle woman, very beautiful and compassionate toward others. She had met a man named Richard. She described him as a rude and inconsiderate beast. One day, Richard had asked for my mother’s hand and she refused, he followed her home that night and raped her. He told her it was her punishment, for refusing his proposal. My mother was so terrified of what had happened, she ran to her parent’s cottage in the forest and stayed there. I was born nine months after her rape, she held me in her arms and promised to never look at me with any anger of what happened.
About eight years had passed before my mother came down with a horrible disease. During that time, she had taught me everything I knew, but once she became to sick to teach, we took her to the hospital. However, the doctor couldn’t do anything, “It’s already spread to far into your lungs, Ms. Everbloom.” He stated. Over the next year and a half, my mother never complained about her disease, though it would’ve left her bedridden for days. Me, being only nine, couldn’t do a thing but watch as the doctor gave her shots and take her blood. I still get queasy at the thought of it. My mother’s clear green eyes now dulled with a tint of grey. It wasn’t until three days before my tenth birthday, she really did start to loose it.
“Mommy?” I asked, she stood over the sink holding a napkin to her mouth, she had been coughing up blood all morning. “Yes, Charlotte?” She said between coughs, her hair no longer sleek and shiny, but instead dull and grey. I couldn’t help but feel the sadness creep inside me. “Is the doctor coming?” I asked, my voice quivered, the doctor hadn’t come in three weeks. “Charlotte, I told the doctor not to come anymore.” She looked at me with a smile, “I’m going to get better I promise.” I was fooled by her lie, and grinned. “Why not go get a cake for your birthday?” She said, her eyes lighting up. I jumped and run to grab my shoes. Then, I heard her choking. “Mommy?” I pulled on my black shoes and walked out. She was no where to be found. “Mommy?” I called again, I felt my palms get sweaty and fear pulse through me. I asummed the worst. I walked behind the tall dark oak counter, and found her on the ground. “Mommy!” I rushed to her side and shook her. “Mommy wake up!” I cried. Burning hot tears ran down my face. “Charlotte,” she said slowly, her voice weak and raspy. “I need- I need…” She began gasping, my heart pounding, I got up and ran to the counter that had a glass. “Mommy! Drink!” She pushed the glass away, only to drop it on the floor. Her hand just fell to the floor, her body pale. “Mommy?” I whined, she didn’t respond. “Mommy?” I soon ran to the phone, tears ran down my face. I called the police. “Help! Help! My mommy’s not waking up!” The lady asked me what my adress was, I was always told by mommy never tell strangers where I live. “You’re a stranger!” I dropped the phone and ran back to my mother, I took her cold, dead hand in mine and shook my head. “Mommy! Mommy wake up! What about my birthday? What about your garden?” I wailed and hugged her dead body. I finally ceased my sobs, and sat there in silence holding my mother. Then, pounding on the door broke it. I just about jumpped out of my skin at the sound. “Open up! It’s the police!” I sat up panicked. Without thinking I ran into mom’s bedroom and hid under the bed. I heard the door fall down with a loud crash, feet trampled in. “Check the bedrooms!” A low voice barked.
I heard people run in and tear through the closets. I felt my body go numb when a man looked under the bed. “Found her!” I shouted to the others, he smiled kindly and reached for me. “Hey, it’s ok, we’re here to help.” I shook my head, I could barely form words to come out of my mouth. “It’s ok, I’m not going to hurt you. We’re your friends.” I scooted back until I was pressed against the wall. “M-m-mommy wont wake up.” I said, my voice cracked and quivered. The officer stared at me, his eyes holding a slight sympathetic look. “It’s going to be ok. Come on out, we’ll keep you safe all right?” I shook my head, “No. Mommy said never to trust strangers.”
The man sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “Look kid, we’re the good guys, you can talk to us.” I shook my head. “No. You’re all strangers.” The man got up, his feet paced on the floor. “She’s not coming out.” He said, I saw another pair of shoes from underneath the bed. They were black and glossy. “Take her out by force then!” It was the voice from before, after the door had been kicked down. “Sir, she’s terrified, she doesn’t know her mother’s dead.” I felt my body freeze. She’s dead? I questioned. I remembered the back door, mommy always had me do a drill, just in case someone got in.
With both of their backs turned, I grabbed my mom’s picture and my cat stuffie and ran out the door. I heard them shouting and chase after me. I could do nothing but run. I felt tears run down my face, blurring my vision. My blood pulsed and my body burned, I didn’t stop. I had to find a safe place. A safe place, where’s a safe place? Finally drawn back into reality I looked up only to trip over a root on the ground and roll down the hill.
I sat up and rubbed my scarpped arms and legs, crying. “Ouch!” Red warm blood oozed out. I soon felt sick. “I think she’s down here!” I heard them calling. I panicked and grabbed my things and ran for it again, my leg dripped with blood as I ran. I found a barn not shortly after my fall, desperate to get away from the strangers, I ran inside and buried myself in the hay.
I heard them run passed after a few minutes of silence. I looked to my mom’s picture, the glass was shattered and the photo was torn. My cat was no better off. His eye was missing and his arm was gone, his tail was ripped. I felt my heart sink, my mom made my cat for me when I was a baby. I cried and heard rain start to pour. “Mommy, mommy I need help.” I cried. I could almost hear her voice in the rain, “Don’t worry, Charlotte.” It said, I felt myself cry more. The pain of loosing someone, was so strong, I almost thought I’d die along with her.
“Hey, hey kid!” I woke up to a voice calling to me. “Hey! You awake?” I opened my eyes to the bright sunlight, I flung my hand over my eyes, it hurt to look. “Hey! You’re alive.” I looked up to see where the voice was comming from. “Well, you’re a tiny thing ain’t ya?” Above me was a man with blue eyes and a prickly white beard. “Shoot, came to the right place if you needed rest.” I flew myself back and franticly looked for an exit. “Hey, calm down little darlin’,” The man said, “I ain’t gonna hurt you. Nope. I can’t even hurt a fly.” I looked at him, still terrified. “So what brings you here?” The man looked at me, I could feel myself starting to go numb. “Well?” I cleared my throat, but my voice came out squeaky anyway. “M-m-my mommy died. I got chaseded by strangers. I seeded the barn and hided here.” I said, the man looked at me. “Well, shoot. That’s the saddest thing I heard in a long time, tell you what, why not come in for some food and to get bandaged up?” I shook my head. “You’re a stranger. I don’t go with strangers.”
The man howled out in laughter. “Ain’t that the darned truth? Well then you stay here, I’ll get you some food.” The man left and I could only stand there. He didn’t do anything like what the other strangers did. He was different. Sure did talk funny too. Slowly I stepped out of the barn, there was a long dirt road that headed west, did the man go all the way down there? I wondered, I looked around more, I soon found a big white house in the middle of a feild with a giant apple tree, with big red apples. My stomache growled and I could barely contain myself. I headed to the apple tree. The apples looked so good, bright red with little specks of brown, they looked like the ones my mommy bought, but bigger. I reached my hand up to grab one. “Hey! Don’t!” I tripped back onto my elbows and looked to the old man. “Sorry to scare ya lil’ miss, but you can’t eat them apples. They’s specials.”
I looked at the tree, my heart still pounding. How were they special? “So I see you came out of that there barn? Can’t blame ya lil’ miss, not so comfy in there. Here, I got you some soup.” I looked at the man, his eyes were kind and gently, and sparkled in the sunlight. “What’s you’re name lil’ miss?” He asked as he handed my the bowl of soup, I looked down at it and watched the pieces of carrot float around. “Hoo wee, you sure don’t talk much do ya lil’ miss?” I looked up at him. What did he ask? “What?” I said quietly. “Shoot, I asked for you’re name and you just stared into that there soup.” I looked back down at the soup. “My name’s Charlotte.” I said. “Charlotte huh? Well lil’ Charlotte, my name is Mickey, Mickey Dowel.” He smiled at me, he had a few missing teeth, and barely any wrinkles, he was rather built for someone about his age. He seemed alright.
I knew I shouldn’t have been talking to him, but he was just so friendly, it didn’t seem like a mirage either. “Tell me lil’ Charlotte, where you from?” I felt my shoulders tense, mommy’s body. What if the strangers took it? I felt my heart race and my blood pulse. Without even a second thought, I shot up and began to run. “‘Ey! Lil’ Charlotte!” Mickey called after me. I ran into the forest and looked around. Where was home? I couldn’t remember which way I had come. I heard Mickey run up behind me, “Lil’ Charlotte, you ok there? You jumpped up faster than a jumping bean in July.” I felt tears run down my face, “I can’t find home. Mommy’s maybe still there.” I put my hands over my eyes and cried. Mickey got down on his knees and looked at me, “C’mon lil’ Charlotte, don’t cry, it makes an old man like me want to cry. Tell you what, I’ll make a call the them officers down at the station and ask about your momma all right?” I looked at him, “Pwomise?” I said, he held out his pinky, “Promise.” I locked my pinkie with his and headed back with him. Mickey was a good guy, he was like the papa I once had. Just more accepting.
“I called the sheriff’s office lil’ Charlotte, way I hear it, yous the one thats run away.” He sat down in the big black rocking chair by the fire, his hands folded and in his lap. “I’m going to take you in to get somethings done ok? Now, don’t go runnin’ off. I can’t stand seein’ a young lady get hurt. So stay with me, and if anyone gives ya trouble, tell ‘em Mickey’s with ya.” He winked and smiled. “They did bring your mother’s body back. she’s going to buried in the graveyard in town.” I shook my head. “I want my mommy buried where I can always see her.” MIckey’s eyes were sad and hurt. “It’s not my choice lil’ Charlotte, it’s the church man’s choice.” I felt tears come to my eyes again. “I want to see my mommy.” Mickey sighed, “I’m sorry darlin, but I can’t do anythin’ maybe you could talk to the man?” I shook my head. “No. He’s-” MIckey nodded, “A stranger I know. You really are a stubborn lil’ thing ain’t ya?” He laughed and smiled. “Well, tomorrow we’ll go into the office and talk it out with the officer. Sound good?” I gave in and nodded. “Good, now, there’s a guest bedroom right down the hall to the left, three doors down. My room is upstairs, last door on the right. Come get me if you need anything. Got it?” I nodded softly. Was I really going to do this? I headed to my room and crawled into the bed. I felt a weird pulse flow through me, like I shouldn’t do this. The moment I rested my head on the pillow, I drifted off into a deep slumber.
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