jacqueline & maixent
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Posted: Aug 30 2015, 12:45 PM
He couldn't breathe. One hand desperately clutched at his chest, grasping at his clothing as he tried to suck in air. It was as though there were a vice secured around both lungs, squeezing tight, restricting breath. All the while he could hear his heart racing in his ears and as he stumbled out of the house and ran, he could hardly see where he was going- just knowing that he needed to get away. The street lamps and the lights of passing cars were blinding, and in his panicked state he couldn’t make sense of the road signs; it wasn’t long before he got himself lost.
Aubrey kept running, out of place and time- all that existed in his state of mind was the movement. When he could no longer run he slowly to a trembling, fast paced walk and when he became too exhausted for that- he staggered. He kept going until he couldn't any longer. There was a building in his way, blocking him from further flight and a shaking hand reached up, brushing against the rough brick shell of the abandoned house. It was something familiar, a place he'd been before with Bailey- they'd explored it together when they were kids, hidden a little time capsule within it, thinking it fit with the 'aesthetic' of the crumbling down building with its boarded up windows and danger signs above the door to ward off potential squatters.
Ducking under the wooden slats intended to bar the way inside- and slipping through a hole made by some curious teenager years ago- Aubrey ascended the staircase, taking long, trembling breaths. It wasn't easy, calming himself, but he'd learned to do it over the years once it was just him and his father. It was a long, uncertain process, but he managed to ground himself with the hand trailing along the bannister, old paint flaking off under shaking fingers.
In one of the bedrooms, beneath floorboards beginning to rot- lay the box. It was just a shoebox, and it too had withered a little over the years; but it meant everything to him in that moment. Kneeling down, he pulled the box up out of its hiding place and opened it, looking down at those precious things two children had thought worthy of sequestering away eight long years ago.
They were mostly drawings- along with a few pebbles, a shell and a feather. The drawings were not what caught his eye, nor the scribbled explanations of the many adventures had by brave Sir Bailey and her wallaby companion: but instead, those sad, dark eyes fell upon a few photographs. One in particular, and he plucked it from the pile- his breathing catching once again in his throat at the face looking back at him from the past.
His voice, so quiet it was almost pointless- seemed to shock him from his thoughts and he was suddenly aware of everything… what had happened, where he was, what he had in his hand. The tears came fresh and tumbled down bruised cheeks and he curled in on himself, clutching the photograph to him.
“Why did you go? Why did you… I was still there… I was good, I was always good and you left me...” The words came between broken sobs, years of pent up frustration and grief finally breaking free as he lay there in the dust. “Why didn't you love me any more!? What did I do?! Is it because I wouldn't tell? You said… you said he didn't mean it… he loves us, loves me… it's not- it isn't him, you said. You said not to tell so I didn't but then you… I don't understand… I don't. Understand.”
After a while, the words faded- first to a mumble, and then to silence, broken only by the occasional gasping breath. Around him the shadows moved with the roaming moon, as night gave way to day, and the sun slowly rose in the sky. Through the blinds, the feeble morning light found the broken boy- finally sleeping, almost angelic were it not for the ugly bruising on his face, the dried blood trailing down from the corner of his mouth, and the torn sleeve.
The photograph was still clutched in one hand.
Posted: Sep 11 2015, 05:51 PM
Bailey rose with the sun. Not unexpected, after working her arse off the night before studying. She hated staying in a single place so long, especially willingly. But she needed to bring up her grades before Pops got the progress report and limited her gym time as punishment. It wasn't pleasant the last three times she'd forced his hand. She fell asleep about nine o'clock, books tossed askew about her messy bed. When the light trickled in, faint pre-dawn with a silvery gloss, Bay rose and showered, then gobbled an apple on the way out the door.
She studied plenty. That meant she could go for a run if she felt like it, right? Pops would be glad she'd studied at all. But she didn't want to hear a no, so she left long before he was due to wake up. Still a little groggy, Bailey jogged and let her feet carry her wherever they pleased. It was brisk and overcast, but Bay was happy for it. Her thick green jumper clung to her skin before long and as she turned a corner, she realized the area looked a bit more familiar than expected. This wasn't her usual route, and she rarely visited this way. Why did it feel like deja vu? She shook off the feeling and turned up the music blaring in her headphones, letting the sound block out thought an the chill of the air battle the perspiration gathering at her shoulder blades and throat.
Her tactics worked, up until she took another turn and slowed in confusion. It was more than deja vu. She had been here before, she was sure. Her eyes cast along the street, brows furrowed. Her ginger hair raked back from her face with relentless fingers. She almost gave up on the strange sensation when she saw it. A rickety, abandoned house. Forlorn in the groggy morning light, it looked like a beautiful beast that had been slain, its bones left to gleam in the sunlight. There were obvious holes riddled about the building and it looked condemned. But she recognized it. More than that. She remembered. Two adorable, silly kids, one blond and one ginger, climbing through the wooden boards and playing haunted house. Bringing back a little box of special memories. Hiding their "time capsule" for future inquisitive kids to come upon. Bailey stood before it and stared. It looked derelict. She wondered how it was even still standing. But a small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. Aubrey, her best friend. Her childhood confidante. They spent hours in this dangerous monstrosity.
I wonder if the box is still there... Bailey cast her gaze around the block. Empty, but for a few cars skidding past.. Too early for a big commotion. No one would notice a slight girl slipping into the abandoned house. Even if they did, she could be gone well before the authorities showed up. The place was dirty and mold grew in a modicum of places. Yeah, this wasn't the place children should have spent a summer. Oh, well. The warped boards of the stair creaked as she ascended. She didn't bother touching the rotting banister. It would help about as much as stepping on a rusty nail. By the time she reached the top of the stairs, she wondered if her little venture into the past was a bad idea after all. But too late, she was here and she wanted to protect their little time capsule from the weather and an impending demolishing.
She padded along the floor toward the bedroom, picking her way carefully just in case something decided she was too heavy to hold up. Luck was with her as she entered the bedroom. No broken boards, no wounds. But she stopped in the doorway. On the floor, lit by the pale morning light, lay her best friend. And he looked haggard. All thoughts of her own safety forgotten, she ran to his side and dropped to her knees, reaching out to touch his cheek. Cold, too cold. But breathing. She was sure he was. And in his grip--"Shit," the picture was one thing. The blood and the bruises were another. She ripped off her sweater and threw it on him, tucking it around the edges of his slender waist. "Aubrey." She pitched her voice low, but not too low. Her fingers dusted along his forehead, checking for a fever. "Aubrey, wake up. Please." She couldn't keep the fear from her voice. He shouldn't have been so cold. He shouldn't have dried blood anywhere on his body. He was so fragile, like a flower dusted in frozen dew. The slightest breath might crack him. She shivered, and it wasn't from the cold.
"Abbey if you don't wake up right now I'm going to carry you out of here to the nearest hospital. And I swear I won't forgive you for scaring me like this." Her voice sped up and lifted on the end of her words. She sounded hysteric even to her own ears. But she was terrified. What happened? Did someone attack him? Was he jumped? Why didn't he go to a damn hospital? Why was he here in this cesspool? He could die, dammit! And of all the things in this world Bailey could survive, losing her best friend wasn't one of them.
Abbey | 894 | hope it's okay