A chill scurried like a spider up my spine as I turned and glanced behind me. The parking lot was empty, though a silver Volvo was driving around the lot across the street. It stopped, headlights blinding me. Giddy excitement tickled my stomach. Maybe there's a -
Stop it, Anna! I shook my head. Maybe my mom was right. Maybe those silly vampire books were making my imagination run rampant.
I reached into my pocket and dug out my keys, jingling them as I walked across the vacant lot. I needed to get home and finish that book report. Of Mice and Men, I thought. Seriously? How was that the least bit relevant to my life? It wasn't like I cared about some retarded guy who constantly killed his pet mouse.
I sighed. The woes of a sixteen year old. I snorted. Yeah right. Unlocking the car, I got in slamming the door. The silver Volvo was now circling the movie theater parking lot. Whoever it was, was starting to freak me out.
The car stopped in front of the theater and picked up Ian Flemming, the hot guy who worked at the concession stand. I watched as he got into the Volvo. The shiny car drove away quickly. I started my car and quickly backed out of the space.
I really needed to get a life. This whole obsession with vampires and things that went bump in the night was really starting to get out of hand. For God's sake I just thought whoever picked up Ian was a vampire because of the type of car they were driving.
I was so lame.
The phrase echoed in my ear. My sister, Emily, loved to constantly remind me of that face. "Anna's so lame, Anna's in love with a fictional character because she's too lame to be in love with a real boy." Her mocking voice was like nails on a chalkboard. It invaded my brain and stuck like sandpaper. I wished I could shove a sponge in there to erase all the mocking and negative things people said to me.
I turned into my perfect little subdivision, passed each perfect little house until I pulled in front of my cookie cutter house. The upstairs window glowed softly; the flickering light from the TV could be seen as I got out of the car.
I dragged my feet, sneakers shuffling against the flagstone walk, wondering why kind of nasty gram Yvette had tacked to my door.
The woman was evil step-mother incarnate. I hated her and her perfect Barbie like physique.
I unlocked the door and stepped into the foyer. The pristine marble floor glinted softly in the porch light. The soft murmur of voices travelled down the stairs. Evil Yvette must be up there watching TV. I closed the door behind me and armed the alarm.
I climbed the stairs slowly, wondering why kind of creepy things hid in the shadows. I heard my mom's voice in my head, ridiculing me for looking for things in the shadows. At the top of the hall something moved in the darkness.
Whatever it was darted across the top of the stairs. I stopped, my hand fluttered to my throat. I waited, peering into the darkness wondering if the thing, if there even was a thing, would move again.
After standing on the stairs for a few seconds like an idiot, I continued my ascent. I'd gone three steps when the shape ran across the hallway again.
"Who's there?" I called.
A voice snickered in the darkness. "Go to bed Emily," I hissed.
Emily snickered again. "I'm not Emily; I'm your retarded vampire boyfriend. Come kiss me."
"Shut up, Emily." I climbed the remaining stairs and pushed past my twelve year old sister. She pulled the black sheet off of her head and smiled innocently at me.
I opened the door to my room and slammed it in Emily's face. I looked around my room. Was it lame that I found a fictional world - one that was so much better than the world I currently inhabited, and I preferred to live there instead?
Apparently it was. I sank down into my desk chair, reaching for my favorite book. I flipped it open, running my fingers over the glossy pages. I wanted to be there, in that world of fantasy and make believe.
I ran my hands over my forearms, picking at the scabs that just formed. I pulled it off, flicking it into the trash can. A thin line of blood appeared; my heart beat slowed just a bit but did little to satisfy the urge to cut.
The desk drawer squeaked as I pulled it open. I dug blindly for the razor blade I kept hidden in there. Fingers closed around the thin piece of metal and pulled it out.
I turned it over, admiring it in the dim light from the lava lamp. Another vice I wish I could quit. The divorce made it worse - the urge to cut.
Yeah right, who was I trying to kid. Everything made it worse. I got the hiccups after drinking a can of soda; oops need to go cut myself.
Tears pooled in the corner of my eyes, spilled over. They trailed down my cheeks, dripping onto my pants. I pulled my sleeve up, the blade bit into the soft skin of my forearm.
Pressing it down, I dragged it across my arm waiting for the release the action should have brought and yet none came.
I picked up the blade, moving it further down my arm and cut again. Still nothing. I cut again, too close to my wrist. Blood spilled out of my body, a crimson pool collecting on the wooden floor. I watched as the blood flowed out of my body, entranced. It was so pretty, collecting there on the floor.
A wave of dizziness washed over me. Suddenly I didn't feel so good. I was nauseous and weak. I pitched forward, collapsing on the floor with a loud thump.
I lay there, watching the blood travel towards me. It was warm and smelled like pennies that had been soaked in salt water.
Slowly, my eyes closed. I thought I heard the door open but I was too far gone. A bright light shone in my eyes. Someone waited in the distance. My eyes fought to focus in on the person's face.
It couldn't be, I thought.
"Anna," a voice called my name. I tried to move toward the light, but it was like trying to wade through snow.
"Anna," the voice called again.
No. I fought against it. I wasn't going back. I moved into the light.
I was free.