The Other Side – Chapter 10 – Neh wenako Cont
Izzy struggles to believe in what is real and what is imagined
Siobhan’s heels clicked across the wooden floor in the hallway and stopped as she entered the carpeted lounge.
“Here you are darling. I have put extra cream on the top and cocoa powder,” Siobhan said with a brief smile and passed the mug of hot chocolate to Izzy. “Hopefully you will sleep better tonight.”
Izzy took a sip, the warm chocolate was sweet and her tongue slid over her top lip to wipe away her cream moustache. She took several sips hastily. It was so good.
Siobhan picked up the remote for the tv and flicked through the channels and stopped at the news programme. The newscaster had just finished and was introducing the weather forecast.
“That was good timing. I want to see the forecast with this week as I have some things going on.”
“For work?” Izzy asked.
“Yes some, but also for the girls too. We have a couple of barbeque’s to attend, horse riding competitions and other things. It’s a busy week.”
“Oh yeah, it sounds like it.”
I bet I won’t fit in with any of those at all. Maybe I can have some peace to draw.
As the Weatherman started to talk Siobhan turned the sound up a little.
“The next two days will get a little cooler, but Thursday and Friday, you are going to need that sun cream again as temperatures will soar into the thirties. Saturday and Sunday the temperature will drop to twenty-two, still warm and humid but there will be rain coming in mid-evening.” He said pointing at the map.
“Oh that’s great that’s for us, sounds as if this week will be lovely again. I love barbeque weather.” Siobhan’s smile widened. “It will be fabulous. My boss is having a party, he has an amazing pool and gardens. Your dad will love it, not to mention the sauna!”
“Wow, that sounds amazing! I don’t think I brought a swimsuit though.”
“Oh, darling, no children are allowed. My mum will have the girls overnight, but as you are old enough you can stay here on your own. It was all planned before you came and your mum rang out of the blue.”
“Oh sorry, my bad.”
“We will only be out for a few hours. Just think you can have the house to yourself and draw and do what you want in peace.” She said with a half-smile. “We’ll leave you a contact number in case of an emergency, but I doubt you will need it.”
“Great…Thanks.” Izzy sipped the remainder of her hot chocolate.
A few hours without any of them there, not sure if it would be a good thing or a bad thing, but it would be a test to see if what was really going on around her were the little bitches, her imagination or…
Faded voices were getting closer and the unmistakable voice of Harmony came into ear shot.
“Well I think she is lying Dad, she just wants attention and is making it all up.”
“I agree. I think she is jealous of us because you live with us and not her.” Melissa said squeezing Michael’s hand tighter. “You’re not just her Daddy, your ours too.”
A shiver ran up Michael’s spine. “Ouch” he said letting go of Melissa’s hand and looking at his wedding ring finger. There was a slight amount of blood where his wedding ring had cut into his skin.
“Well, I will be the judge of that girls. Go and brush your teeth and put your nighties on its almost eight O’Clock. I will order food now, then once you have eaten you can go to bed. We have company tonight and you have a ballet exam in the afternoon, so you can practice for an hour before we leave.
Michael hugged them each in turn and watched as they walked up the stairs. They turned back twice to look at him, both waving and smiling. He could hear the tones of their voices but not their words. They turned a corner and were out of sight. He walked in the opposite direction towards the lounge.
“Hey, Izzy! How are you feeling now.”
“Much better thanks, dad.”
“That’s good to hear,” Michael said reaching into his pocket and pulling out his phone. “I want you to see this. I videoed it as we went up the two flights of stairs and to your room.” He handed Izzy his phone.
Izzy silently watched the camera footage of Michael recording the stairs as he took each step. He got to the landing and then reached the bottom of the last staircase that led up to her room.
“Where’s the wet footprints? Did you clean them up?”
“The stairs were dry, not a spot of water.”
“But I don’t understand.”
“It was an hour ago, if they were there they probably dried up on their own. It’s been a warm day.”
“If they were there? They were there, honestly.”
Izzy watched in disbelief. He didn’t believe her. No water – no proof. She scrutinized the video, watching every detail, something caught her eye. That was her evidence, as plain as day.
“Oh my god did you see that?” Izzy shrieked as she gripped her dad’s arm.
“No, see what?”
“The movement on the landing by my room. Dad rewind it and play it again.”
Michael rewound the clip back several times. “It’s the light dimming and coming back on. The bulb needs to be replaced.”
“No, it’s not, can’t you see?”
“The girl stepping back into the shadows.”
Michael rewound it and let it play.
“I can’t see anything Izzy other than the light dimming. I don’t see anyone.”
“Rewind it again and I’ll show you. I can see her face!”
Michael did as she asked and she outlined the girls face with the tip of her nail on the screen. There now can you see her?”
“I’m sorry love. I don’t see anything.”
“Are you kidding me? You don’t see her?”
“No, nothing, sorry. There’s not much left now.”
Izzy watched the screen as Michael’s hand turned the handle to the door and walked in the room. She could hear the soft footsteps of the bitches and one of them cough quietly. He showed the room slowly from every angle. Her bedding was as dishevelled as she had left it and the bathroom towel still lay on the floor where she had dropped it at her feet to get dressed. Nothing was out of place. Slowly the camera moved over to the window and pointed down at the floor where a small pool of water lay.
At last, there was some solid evidence to show them that there were pools of water appearing and it wasn’t her imagination. Her dad couldn’t deny it now.
Michael’s hand reached out and touched the radiator that stood below the window sill, water covered his fingertips.
“It looks as if the radiator is leaking a little, girls.” He said on the video.
“Yes daddy it does.” They replied harmoniously.
No, no, no, it couldn’t be. She had checked and triple checked that damn radiator and it had always been dry, but there was always a pool of water on the window ledge and on the floor. It didn’t make sense.
Michael brown eyes were soft and apologetic. He shrugged. “I didn’t find anything at all. There were no wet footprints and I couldn’t see the girl you thought you saw on the video.” He brushed his hand through the side of his hair and adjusted his glasses on his nose.
“I did see her, she was there. I’m not lying to you! I swear to you on mum’s life…”
Michael gave a slight smile and squeezed her shoulder. “I know, come on it’s been quite a day. I’ll order food. What do you fancy?”
Izzy blinked the tears away, he didn’t believe her, but then why would he? How could he? He didn’t see the things she seen. Maybe she had been out in the sun too long and it had played tricks on her mind. It’s a bit like having a raging fever, it can make you hallucinate and show you things that are really not there, only in your own mind. She hadn’t had it but her bestie had one time when she had a bad viral infection.
“Daddy have you ordered yet? can we have KFC please tonight?” Melissa and Harmony chorused.
“Yes, of course. Izzy, what do you want?”
“I want to go and see for myself that there’s nothing there. To ease my own mind.”
Michael sighed. “If it puts your mind at rest, then so be it.” He beckoned with his hand “Come on girls.”
Harmony and Melissa held his hands and they walked back to the stairs, with Izzy slowly walking in front of them. She scanned the floor and the staircase for any clues. Maybe there would be a smudged print somewhere. Please, something – anything.
Every inch of wood searched bit by bit and piece by piece, but there was absolutely zilch. She checked her room, but there was nothing out of place or disturbed. She did a second sweep of the stairs on the way down. Her heart sunk. Maybe it was all in her head!
“Do you feel better now, love?”
Izzy looked up to reply only to see dishevelled brown hair and dull green eyes looking directly at her, the little girls head tilted slightly to one side. “Mama’s calling,” she whispered.
Izzy screamed and her arm reached out to hang on to her dad, but he turned as she did and she hit the back of Melissa accidentally, who also screamed and slipped down three steps and rolled into a heap on the landing. All she could do was watch, it seemed to happen in slow motion, Melissa falling and her dad and Harmony running down the steps to help her. She felt stunned…helpless.
“When the demons call, face your fears, don’t taste your tears,”’ sang out from her phone.
“Mum. Can I call you back? It’s not a good time.”
“Yes, of course, pumpkin. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, sort of. I’ll ring you soon.”
Izzy joined them on the landing as Michael helped Melissa up. Her nose dripped with blood and she rubbed her head.
“You pushed her! What’s wrong with you. Haven’t you had enough attention?” Harmony seethed.
“I didn’t push her…”
“You lying little witch. I saw you.”
“Girls, that is quite enough. Harmony help me with your sister I think she may have sprained her ankle.”
Harmony hurried over and put her arm behind Melissa’s weight and mirrored Michael’s image, while Melissa limped forward and let out cries of pain every few steps.
“Izzy go in the lounge and I’ll speak to you there privately.” Michael snapped scooping Melissa up in his arms.
“Okay.” Izzy watched the three of them as the walked forward slowly towards the kitchen. She sighed heavily. Her thoughts spun in her head. What was real and what was her imagination? At this moment she couldn’t separate the two. She turned to look at the stairs to prove to herself it was all in her head.
Water seeped down the wooden staircase to her trainers. She slowly glanced up, not really wanting to look, but needing to none-the-less. The pale face girl, stood in a stained, wet dress, her hair clung to her face and neck, she reached forward and held out her black veiny hand towards Izzy.
“Don’t be afraid, don’t fall, don’t fall, come to me when you hear the call…the call. Come to me, speak to me.”
Izzy looked at her phone, but it wasn’t ringing. Those were the words that played when her mum rang her, but they were coming out of the girls mouth!
“She needed a push in the right direction,” she giggled. “Don’t be afraid. We need your help.”
As Izzy looked down the water retracted and the little girl became transparent. A white mist gathered on the stairs and swirled around and out of it flew several white moths lingering only briefly before disappearing towards the distant lamplight in the hall and exploding silently into silver droplets of light.