The crystal night
Chapter 1 a discovery
“I’m back” I called as I walked into the dark hallway of the house I called home, “hey hun’ how you doing?”
“I’m fine” I replied. My mum was probably doing paper work so I didn’t want to drag out the conversation. My mum, Lorinda-Ann Trinity, looks nothing like me, she has blonde shoulder length hair and small sapphire blue eyes, a little on the short side. She wears lots of rings and she normally dresses in jeans boots and a blouse. She’s one of those mums who isn’t too fussy, but is fussy enough to want to always know where you are and what you’re up to.
I trudged up the stairs to my dark, dingy room. It had been a long, boring school day, and then having the extra torture of an hour of after school club.
There isn’t much to do in Alston, unless you’re a tourist, there are a few shops, cafés and pubs, theirs even a train station that leads nowhere and the hub; a very small motor museum, so I spend most of my time at home in my room. It’s quite small with light purple walls; I’m not to keen on purple, the walls have various pictures and posters on them, it also has a dark blue second hand carpet. My room has so much stuff crammed into it, theirs my captain’s bunk, a chest of draws and a wardrobe which take up most of the space, and that’s not including all the boxes with my stuff in them. With all of that there’s little carpet space left.
I dumped my school bag in the corner and changed into a t-shirt and jeans, and brushed my hair. I had decided to do some reading so I dug a book out of one of my boxes and turned on the CD player. I sat down by the radiator and started to read.
I had gotten to a really good bit when Roger bursts into my room without knocking and started screaming.
“Damon’s here!” I smiled to myself, Roger is very excitable but I guess that’s because he’s young. Eight years old and looking like a cherub with a tangle of blonde curly hair, he has mum’s sapphire blue eyes. Unfortunately he has those gangly teeth young children sometimes do, which makes him look even more childish.
I threw my book back in the box, switched my CD player off and skipped down stairs. I rarely get on with Damon, he has his own flat right here in Alston; he wants to stay close to the family.
Damon has black hair, and dark brown eyes, he is tall and slim with broad shoulders. He normally wears black jeans and boots with a dark t-shirt.
I slipped into the living room; mum was already in full blown conversation, so I tried to pick up on what she was saying:
“He’s bringing all his stuff back with him! I don’t know how I’m going to fit it all in the car!” Mum was complaining and I immediately knew what she was talking about my second oldest brother Myles, he would be coming home, I could tell. “I don’t see why he doesn’t just get a flat; it would save all the trouble of shifting all his junk every time the campus closes.” I knew where this conversation was going, so I wondered back off to my room.
As I turned to close the door I felt something, the hair on the back of my neck prickled, and a cold shiver grew up my spine, I spun around and stared out the window, nothing was out of place, but the branches of the tree in the back garden swayed ominously. I stood their staring out of the window for what seemed like a lifetime, I decided to think nothing of it, and drew the curtains.
I climbed up into my captain’s bunk and sat back, I wondered about Myles coming home, the thought of being kept awake until half past one in the morning by his music and queuing hours at a time to use the bathroom annoyed me, but I was looking forward to seeing him again. None of us saw Myles very often; he was staying on campus at collage in Penrith, the only time he came home is when the campus closed for holidays and then mum has to go collect him and all his stuff.
Myles is nineteen, he looks like mum with his short blond hair and sapphire blue eyes but he’s tall, muscular and very sporty. He normally wears a t-shirt, black shorts and football boots or trainers.
My thoughts were interrupted by one of Roger’s and Kyeth’s arguments. I jumped out of bed and hurried across the hall to stand there in the doorway, the arguments were always the same; Roger wanted something Kyeth had. It always ended in tears.
This time Roger wanted to borrow one of Kyeth’s computer games, but obviously Kyeth wouldn’t let him, I didn’t blame him to be honest; Roger treats game disks like Frisbees.
Kyeth was pulling his angry face, which really just makes you want to burst out laughing, he shows his teeth and pulls down his eyebrows so you can only see half of his eyes. He doesn’t always look like this, Kyeth’s twelve with dishwater blond hair, blue eyes and an impish face with a spattering of barely visible freckles. He’s always wearing clothes that are slightly too big for him.
The only one of my brothers that looks like me is Nathaniel, he’s eighteen, and has just got a flat at the top of Alston, so he’s not around much. He has dark brown hair; darker than mine, but my hair is naturally blond at the tips, we both have big brown eyes and we are both relatively average in height respecting our ages and genders. He is muscular while I have a feminine figure covered by my ill-fitting attire.
The main differences between us, one of them is that he is tan while I’m the only one in the family with an olive skin tone; strange thing being that I look tan anyway. I’ve been given the nicknames ‘Mop-head’ and ‘Moley’ though, because my hair is really long and I have a birthmark near my wrist.
Roger had just burst into tears and was screaming “You’re horrible!” repeatedly.
“You’re not going on it and that’s final!” Kyeth isn’t the nicest of people but if I were him I would say something similar, Roger nags and drives you completely insane but give him an inch and he’ll take a mile.
I suddenly felt strange, I was cold and I can almost feel the eyes on my back. I shook my head as if trying to shake the feeling off. I was getting paranoid. I had to be.
Roger looked at me with big teary eyes and rosy cheeks,
“Autumn! Tell him he has to lend me his game!” His whiny voice was starting to grate on my nerves.
“Roger” I said softly and bent down so my face was level with his.
“I’m sorry Roger but it’s Kyeth’s game, I cant make him lend it to you, and did you give the last game you borrowed back?” He looked away sheepishly, I sighed and shook my head, I got up and left the room, I felt bad that I didn’t make Kyeth lend Roger his game.
I wondered back to my room absent mindedly and lent against the door, I notice immediately that something was wrong, it is way to cold in there, like someone had left the window open, but I was certain I hadn’t opened the window today. I was starting to get nervous. I turned from my room and leaped down the stairs and sat on the floor by mum, I felt safe around her, I’d rather listen to mum nag all day than be on my own most of the time, but she’s a very busy person.
She was still talking to Damon, but they weren’t talking about Myles anymore.
“I think it’s time you mowed the lawn again, it’s looking scruffy.” Mum pays Damon five pounds every time he mows the garden.
“Yeah okay, I’ll head home and change my jeans and boots.” Damon has specific clothing for mowing the lawn.
“Don’t be too long,” Damon stood up and headed for the door.
“Good-bye Damiemon” I said. Damiemon is my nick-name for Damon and it doesn’t really seem to bother him.
“see ya’ ” the door closed, we would see him again in half an hour. I got up and sat in the big black chair opposite mum.
“So anything good happen today?” Mum knows this is a pointless question, nothing good ever happens to me and my reply was the same as always.
“Na’ nothing, how about you?”
“Nope the usual paper work and so on.” Silence, this was awkward. I looked over to the TV, mum always has the TV on, she likes to be up to date with all her favourite programs and what’s going on in the world. I stared at the screen not really paying attention.”
“Autumn honey, I’m going out metal-detecting tomorrow, could you baby sit?” I smiled at her.
“Yeh sure” why not tomorrow? It was Friday, I wouldn’t have anything important to do; come to think of it, I never had anything important to do.
Mum loves metal-detecting, being one of the only opportunities she has to get out of the house it makes her happy, so I don’t mind baby sitting for a few hours occasionally. It’s hilarious when comes home, she’s always plastered in mud, a bag of grotty rusted metal objects in her hand, I don’t see the draw personally, but if it makes mum happy I’m fine with it.
“Is Nathaniel visiting soon?” I was curious, it had been a long time since he’d been over, we didn’t mind too much though, we knew he was very busy with trying to make his flat habitable, besides from a few cushions and a microwave he had nothing.
“No, sorry, But I’m taking him to Carlisle this weekend so he can get some more furniture,” she looked a little down, I know she missed him, but there was nothing I could do to help.
“I wonder when he is going to come see us” I sighed, mum smiled sympathetically.
“I don’t know sweetie, could you give me some time please? I need to finish off these papers and the get started on the bills.” It didn’t seem like a moment went by when she didn’t have a pen in hand, I felt sorry for her having to sit there writing all day, just thinking about it gave me a headache.
“Sure, call if you need anything.” I walked into the kitchen, rummaged around in the fridge for one of the slightly less battered apples and jogged back up to my bedroom to nibble at it.
I heard the sound of the front door opening and closing, quickly followed by a moments murmuring in the living room beneath me, it must have been Damon. Shortly after, I heard him leave through the back door and then the dreadful groan of the shed doors as they were shuffled open, the beastly growl of the lawn mower came after. Finishing my apple I threw the core in the bin on my way to the window. I drew back the curtains and looked down into the garden; there was Damon, blue jeans and mucky boots, an expression of concentration etched onto his brow above the comical gardeners goggles he wore.
I smiled to myself, flicked the handle, and pushed the window open. A gentle breeze blew into the room carrying with it the sweet scent of freshly cut grass, my eyes flicked closed for a second, the scent oddly calming, as I slowly opened them something drew my eye. There was someone standing in the woods, I couldn’t tell who it was, his face was cast in shadow. Suddenly I blushed; whoever he was he was staring straight at me. Damon grunted and I looked towards him involuntarily, the mower had caught on a rock, my eyes flicked back to the woods, but the figure had gone. I had only looked away for perhaps a second but there was no sign of him, he had completely disappeared. The leaves and branches where he had stood were rocking to and fro, as if blown by an unnatural breeze.
I shook my head, had I imagined it? I was angry with myself, he was probably just a stranger passing by, stopping for a rest against a tree. I slammed the window shut and turned on the TV, greeted by the usual depressive aura surrounding the news channels I paid no attention.
I thought about what I had just seen and my mind began to wonder. He, whoever ‘ he’ actually was, had vanished, completely, and he had been looking at me. Why? I sat staring at the carpet, the cogs turned and twisted inside my head searching for a solution. I began to chew on the inside of my cheek. I became increasingly frustrated until an idea pooped into my head. What if he had been watching me? What if this connected somehow to the feelings I had of being watched earlier? My room had been cold then, and the branches had been stirring in the same unnatural way. Maybe he had been watching earlier as well, maybe it was some kind of stalker, and perhaps when I had gone into Kyeth’s and Roger’s room he had somehow gotten in through the window. That would explain the coldness when I returned.
I turned it over in my head and realised that the conclusion I had just come up with was, well, quite frankly stupid. You would have to be crazy to come up with that, no one would want to watch me, I’m so boring and ordinary, besides, who could’ve climbed into my window anyway? But something inside me wouldn’t let it go, what really scared me, was that something inside truly believed I was right. Maybe, hmm. No! Stop being stupid, it’s not possible.
I focussed again on the TV, trying to take mind off the whole mess. I flicked through the channels, but there was nothing on. I could maybe watch a DVD, but I had seen them all too many times already. I turned off the TV and put on my CD player instead. I enjoy singing, it being one of the few things in life I might actually claim to be good at.
I slipped in my favourite album and sat singing for a while. About halfway through a song my mobile started singing itself, so I flipped the screen up to see who it was. It was Carrie, my only true friend; kind and loyal, she shares many of my interests and classes at school. The kind of person who shares all her secrets with you and we put up with all each others moaning.
“Hey Carrie, what’s up?” I began.
“Autumn! Hiya! I’m fine thanks, and you?”
“Same old, though….” I paused, should I tell her about the stranger? No, she would just worry, besides, I wasn’t even sure what happened myself.
“Nah, nothing important, so why you calling?”
“Oh” I heard her sigh on the other end. “I need an escape from my sisters, they’re driving me crazy.” It was my urn to sigh.
“Right, I know how you feel,” I waited a few moments but there was no answer. That was unusual, Carrie never shut up. “Hello? Any one there?” Maybe she’d accidentally hung up. After a few more moments my mobile crackled.
“I’m here.” I laughed.
“Bad signal?” She giggled with me.
“Yep! So, how’re you getting on with your brothers? All five of them?”
“Do you need to ask?” Not much ever changed between me and my brothers, Kyeth and Roger are to busy fighting to notice me, Nathaniel and Myles haven’t been around lately and Damon is busy, always busy. Nothing special.
“Guess not” there was a moments silence “Okay, I’ve got to go now, dinners done”
“Right, see you at school tomorrow?”
“Yep, see you.” The line went dead. Well that was the shortest most pointless conversation we’d ever had. I moved to put my mobile back in my bed and froze.
I turned my head ever so slightly to the right and looked out the corner of my eye into the garden. The branches were moving again, this time I knew someone had been there. My spine tingled; what ever was going on, it wasn’t funny. I stepped towards the window and jerked the curtains closed. Then I flicked on the light switch. Noticing I had been holding my breath so I let it out slowly.
I grabbed a towel from the chest of draws and the pair of pyjamas from underneath my pillow and headed for the shower.
The steaming hot water was a relief and helped me relax. Slowly, I started to calm down. I even began to enjoy the feeling of the water running over my shoulders when Kyeth thumped on the bathroom door.
“Autumn! Hurry up! I need the toilet!” I had just relaxed and he had just wound me up again.
“Get lost Kyeth! I’m busy.” I growled towards the door, he thumped on it from the other side but soon got bored and withdrew. I climbed out of the shower and slipped into my pyjamas. I brushed my hair and teeth, then unlocked the door and was almost knocked over.
“Get out!” Kyeth yelled and shoved me through the doorway. I stared blankly, at the now locked, bathroom door before turning back towards my room hoping, just hoping, for a decent nights sleep.
The second I was in the room I knew there’d be a very small chance. The curtains hung half open, the room was freezing. I could have sworn I had closed them when I had gone for a shower. But I couldn’t be sure, the chill in the room could have been because I had just come out of the steam filled bathroom, but I didn’t think so.
I grabbed my turquoise dressing-gown from the bed post and slung it over my shoulders, I was shivering. I re-drew the curtains and turned on the radiator, it would take at least ten minuets before the room was warm enough to sleep so I grabbed the book I had started reading earlier and climbed up into bed, sliding under the covers in search of warmth.
I managed just about two pages before I was half asleep and slid the book to the bottom of the bed. Laying down and feeling too drowsy for anything else I thought about the days bizarre events. It had started out normally, a day like any other, but there was no mistaking that someone was watching me I don’t know who he is, or why he’s doing it, I just know that they are.
He was probably out their right now. Watching
the next chapter is called the sightings
plez do not coppy my work!