She could press her feet flat against the wall, and her palms against the other. The grey brick was old but firm; not even a flake would fall if she kicked it. She knew. He’d tried countless times.
He. Donald. Lay next to her. And much to her discomfort, was staring at her. Again. She hated when he did that. He had these ugly, big bulgy green eyes, she hadn’t seen it before, but it was all she could focus on now. They reminded her of a tarsier. And there was a red lump forming on his crooked nose, amongst the speckling of freckles she once found so cute. She felt a desperate need to reach out and squeeze it between her dirty fingernails, push out all the white pus from under its crimson and bulbous clutches.
She looked at her hands, she was filthy. How long had it been since she’d washed? Weeks, months maybe? They never turned the lights on down here…they simply brought the flickering torch. Her eyes moved to the four cemented walls. Was it day, night, somewhere between? Was anyone looking for her still? She imagined so – she had a loving family, and the friends she did have, wouldn’t forget her so easily.
She looked back to Donald. He wasn’t staring at her anymore. He was stood up. It was lucky he was short, because it meant he didn’t have to stoop so low. His blonde hair was longer than she’d ever seen it before…it didn’t suit him. Was anyone looking for Donald? Undoubtedly. His mother was the wealthy widow to Sir Graham-Hiptop, the owner of Hiptop biscuits, and although she paid little attention to her lanky, coder son, she’d want the papers to see Hiptop was trying. Hiptop looks tip to top, she imagined the papers reading. No. Hiptop horror continues. It almost brought a smile to her lips. Yes, they would have created some hideous pun, the black sans serif standing out on the shelves. Public eyes soaking in every word, thinking what a devoted mother, what an awful thing.
She hated Donald’s mother. She had this smell about her. Not that it was her smell that made her hate her, but it was easier to hate someone who smelt funny. It was like honey mixed with grapefruit. Too sweet and sharp at the same time. Like her face, delicate and round, but with these distinctively angled features. And she’d always greet everyone the same way ‘Darhlinnng!’ It made her want to vomit. She’d done enough of that already though and there’s only so much vomit a girl can lie in.
It was stupid ‘Darhlinnngs’ fault they were in this mess anyway, if she hadn’t –
The walls might have even shook this time. She glanced upwards at Donald. He was sobbing, his mouth open, but lips remained joint with a web of salvia. What had she’d just said about vomit? Urgh. She steered her gaze back to her ankles, where the last of her vomit had gathered in a yellowy, brown puddle.
She chanced another look at him. His eyes were on her, as he slumped to his knees. He did that a lot. Slumping. There wasn’t much else to do to be honest, but it had rubbed a hole in one side of his jeans. She hated when he was like this, but at least it was better than the time he forced her to play noughts and crosses with bits of loose stone and dust he’d gathered. She could remember the cool touch of his fingers, as they clasped together between games. He would hold on to them, like there was nothing else in the world. Like her fingers could save him, save them from these walls. That was much earlier on. When they still loved one another. But her own grip loosened as time went on, and soon the small space, seemed even smaller.
She thought she was free of it when ‘flickering light’ had cracked her skull open with the hammer. It hadn’t even hurt. No. That was a lie. It did and then it didn’t. It just felt warm, like the sun had melted on her head. There was a lot of shaking, like someone was throwing her body back and fourth. Darkness filled her pupils – that was the scariest bit – but also comforting, like the nightmare would be over soon…but then something happened.
…Despite being dead, despite feeling her own body stiffen, despite the words not forming on her once lively lips, she was still here. Her sight flooded back, but it was back in a frozen body.
And she knew why. She’d figured that one out not long after it had happened. It was because she had to escape. They had to get out of here.
But if you’re dead…how do you communicate with the living?