The Unseen Child
By April Walkingstick
“Oh, my God, Uliss what have you done?” The carpet and walls were stained with blood and the stench of Uliss’ blood lust still clung in the air; an earthy, metallic and coppery taste that clung and chocked the throat. Thunder rolled across the night sky, lightening flashed through an open drape in the living room. On the carpet, illuminated by bright, harsh light was the body of his 10 year old sister, Agnes. She laid in a clump on the carpet, beneath her a blanket of crimson red which spread like lotus flowers beneath her matted and tangled crown of golden curls. Meredith held back a scream and chocked back the violence of bile that threatened to cut off her breathing. It burned like the tears that streamed from her eyes. Uliss was not here…she listened for his footsteps in the room nearby or above on the upper floors.
She crept to the foot of the stairs, listening, hoping for some signs of life other than his. She called quietly, “Bree? Max? Anyone up there? Someone….please, God. Don’t let him have killed them all.” The last of her prayer was merely a whisper as the thunder cracked above threatening to shake the house from its very foundation. The lightening illuminated the starkness of her pale face making her seem as pale as a ghost, life had left her features.
Meredith crept to the first step, desperately trying to remember which of the steps had the creak to it. Which one? Which one is it? Her OCD was failing her. How many times had she counted as she climbed and descended these steps over the years? Always counting all twenty eight steps and which was the one that creaked? It was the fifth step, yes, the fifth on the first landing. She pressed herself into the paisley wall paper that lined the stairwell, wishing she was a chameleon as to disappear, to blend into it. Who had been home? Samuel and Abigail for sure, they would not have left Agnes alone or the other five children, including Uliss. It was Friday and she could only hope that the two oldest sisters Nancy and Pauline had spent the night at one of their friends’ homes.
Uliss who had been unseen and uncared for since the day he came out of the womb. Abigail had made sure to let him know he was not liked. She had often kept him confined to his playpen as a child and then as he entered his early teens he had been the only one with his own room. A lock was placed on the outside of his door to keep him in when Abby could not tolerate his face any longer.
Meredith had always tried so hard to let him know that he was loved even when his parents and sibling’s shunned him and excluded them from their activities. She and Abby had often fought because of the way they had treated him and when strange, unexplained bruises would show up on his face or body, threats of having CPS become involved were made. It was made very clear that Meredith would no longer be allowed over if this were to occur. It was better to stay close and watch then to be banded and never know what could or would happen to him. So, she simply stood back and made sure to be around as much as possible. Poor Uliss, my poor baby finely snapped and who could blame him? Hopefully, he got his revenge.
“Don’t think like that, Mere. Find the others. Get your ass up those stairs.” She crept up to the fourth step and judged the distance to the sixth. Should she jump it and risk the noise if she miscounted or simply take her chances? She decided to jump with the next clap of thunder and with much relief, landed safely without making any excessive noise. For once, her repetitious counting had paid off. She listened for steps above as she ascended, her ears ringing at the intensity of her attempts to hear above the rain that now fell like God himself was weeping. She made it to the twentieth step and froze. She could hear shuffling above in one of the rooms.
Footsteps down the upstairs hall, mumbling and then a laugh. “Hello, Aunt Mere. I was wondering when you’d show up. Did my Mother call you? Oh, wait she couldn’t have because I cut out her tongue. Want to see what I did to her? Dad’s got a grin from ear to ear. I think he’s happy with what I’ve done. Come on!”
Meredith fainted then. The sight of Uliss covered in blood and the small pieces of flesh mashed into his shirt were too much for her. She fell and bounced off the fifth step with a creek and a thud, landing at the base of the stairs. Heaven help her for what was about to come.
Created: Oct 13, 2010Document Media