Hanging By A Thread (first four chapters)

“X marks the spot,” the little girl whispered. She brushed her long braids behind her shoulders and adjusted into a more comfortable position on the cold, stone floor. “You will find the answer where the key lies,” she told her treasured doll, stroking the red, silk dress she had recently dressed it in. She moved another doll, as if it was speaking.

“Now, be off. And don’t get lost!” Then she stood up, tiptoed down the wooden stairs, and quietly opened the front door.

“Careful, you don’t know if this is the right decision,” a voice said behind the little girl. She whirled around, but she could not see anyone. She sighed. It was starting again. She had to hurry or she knew what was going to happen to her. The girl slipped outside, into the wet grass, and carefully shut the door. She raced across the dark field, holding her precious doll to her. The girl ran to her mother’s prized garden, and picking up a shovel that lay on the ground, began to scoop up the fresh dirt. A while later, a heaping pile of dirt sat in the dark night. She put the doll in the ground, tucking a small black key in the doll’s dress which she received from her pocket. She poured the dirt on the doll, refilling the hole.

“Goodbye,” the girl whispered. “And good luck.” She turned around without looking back, and hurried back to the stone house as golden light poured from the sky. It was finally dawn. She had made it in time.






She races down the stone steps, dragging the trunk behind her. Rain pours down on her and it seems as if it’s swallowing her whole. The girl swings the trunk in front of her, and it bangs her hard in the leg. She cries out in alarm, as the pain shoots up her leg.

“Hurry!” Her dad calls from across the lawn. She squints, but can’t see him through the currents of rain. She tries to follow his voice, but ends up tripping on something and landing in the wet grass on her back. She lies there for a few seconds, not trying to get up. Suddenly someone grabs her arm and pulls her to her feet. She winces in pain, as she is dragged to the car. The girl begins to open the passenger door, but her dad glares at her.

“Back,” he growls. She sighs, closes the front door and angrily opens the back door. She slides in, pushing her trunk under the seat.

“What the heck took you so long?” her dad yells at her, pulling out of the drive way. The girl cringes.

“It was them again. Dad, they were torturing me again. They are coming back to punish me.” She could see her dad rolling his eyes through the mirror.

“Kid, how many stinkin times do I have to tell you that ‘THEY’ ARE NOT REAL.” He pounds his fist on the steering wheel. The girl feels tears coming up to her eyes.

Do not cry. Do not cry, she thinks.

“And please do not, I repeat, do not, ask me why I am sending you away,” he says. She slinks back into the seat.

“Fine. But still.” He turns, not stopping in time, and passing a red light. He growls and screams in frustration. The girl covers her ears.


Hours later the car turns into a moss covered alley, almost hidden because of all the dead vegetation. The car drives up to a rusty metal gate. The girl’s dad leans out of the car window and presses a small red button on the gate. After a while, a man about her dad’s age walks over to the gate from the other side and unlocks it for them. She groans. It’s Fatais. He moves to the side as they drive through, pulling up in front of the stone mansion. The girl slowly climbs out of the car, and looks up and shudders. This is not a friendly looking place. It’s dark and gloomy and there are almost almost no windows. This will be a long two months for the girl.


But who is this girl with no name?

Who can see things no one else can?

Who feels so alone in this world?

As if she is not understood…


That girl is me.




December 7th 5:25 p.m.

“Your room is this way,” Fatias says, leading me up the rickety, wooden stairs. I don’t understand why Fatias always has to show me to where I will be staying. I have been here many times. It is the place where my father has always sent me when he wants to get away from me.

I unpack my trunk, and go in the bathroom to wash up after the long ride. I stare at my reflection in the cracked, gray mirror. My face looks watery and ghostly in the pale light of the bathroom. My dark auburn hair is matted and greasy, sticking to my scalp. My slanted gray eyes are foggy and I have dark circles underneath them. My skin looks gooey and sweaty. And my freckles look pale and faded as well.

Sighing, I pull the shower curtain open, and peel off my sweaty clothes. I climb into the shower, wincing as the icy cold water runs down my bare skin.

Minutes later I climb out, pulling a dirty towel from the hanger and wrapping it around my body. I walk back into my room, when there is a knock at my door. I jump, and yell, “Hold on one second!” I quickly pull out some jeans and a black t-shirt from my dresser drawer, and put them on. I dry my hair, and put it up into a messy ponytail, water uncomfortably dripping down my back.

I open the door, and someone tumbles in. I help them stand up. It’s a boy. Kael. Fatias’ son. I groan. “What do you want, Kael? As you can see I’m busy.”

He snorts. “Doing what?”

I roll my eyes. “Ugh. You are so annoying. Can’t you mind your own business?” I plop down on my bed. “So, what do you want?” I repeat.

He shrugs. “I dunno. Just wanted to say hi and to make sure you got here safely. I mean you are gonna be here for two months… and I’ll be here you know, that entire time!” I lay back on the bed.

“Sadly. Why couldn’t my Grandmother hire someone with a kid LESS annoying?” I hear him sit down on the bed beside me.

“No idea. Us Marek’s have been the gatekeepers in your family for almost a hundred years.”

I sit up. “So? Why can’t you just leave me alone?”

I walk towards the door and he follows. I gesture for him to get out, and as soon as he walks past my door frame, I shut the door in his face and lock it. As soon as I hear him walk down the hall, I go back and sit on my bed. Now I feel sort of bad. Yes, he is super annoying, but I’m gonna be here for two months straight. I am gonna need some company. I sigh and slowly slunk to my door, and open it. “Kael?” I call.   


CHAPTER 3: December 7th 10:00 p.m.

“The game is simple,” Kael says, sitting across from me at the table. “You roll the die, and whatever you get, that’s how far you move your piece. Then, whatever you land on you have to do.” I raise my eyebrows.

“Sounds fun… and really boring,” I say, standing up and stretching my legs. “Well, tonight was ‘fun,’ but I really need some sleep. Tomorrow I’m going out to town.”

I start up the stairs, but Kael calls to me, “Cool, but lately there have been some reported murders in town, you know. If you get hurt, don’t say I didn’t warn you.” I pause on the stairs, and close my eyes and take a deep breath.

Slowly, I turn around. “Fine, fine. I know what you’re doing. You want to protect me. Don’t you? You don’t think that I will be okay on my own. But I’m fifteen years old.” Kael rolls his eyes. “God, I’m seriously not kidding. Ask anyone. But I’m coming.” I whirl around and stomp up the stairs to my room.

Ugh. Curse my luck.


CHAPTER 4:  December 8th, 4:30 a.m


I can’t sleep. I roll around, over and over. I glance at the clock by my bed. 4:30 a.m. I roll onto my back, and try to shut my eyes. But I can’t sleep.

I can hear them. I can hear their whispers. The sound of them laughing. Plotting their next kill. Their revenge.

I suddenly sit up in bed and turn on the light. A face stares down at me. “Jabari,” I whisper. Two more faces appear. “Bexley? Eladora? How did you find me here? I’m hours and hours away from home.” Jabari smirks. “Girl, we can find you wherever you are.”

Bexley perches on my bed frame. “Wherever,” she repeats. Eladora floats up. “You know you can never get away from us. We are always there.”

“Always!” Bexley exclaims, laughing. Eladora elbows her in the stomach.

“Shut it,” Jabari whispers. I scoot my legs up to my chest. “Please don’t hurt me,” I whisper. “Please.”

Jabari looks down at me, his cold blue eyes digging into me, like a dagger. I cover my face. “We know what you’ve been doing,” he says. He looks at Eladora, as if cueing her. She swoops down, and pulls out my worn, leather journal from beneath my mattress. She fluently opens to a page. “December 6th. They are back. I can feel it. I don’t understand why they can’t just stay at their home. Where do they live anyway? Why do they torture me? Why am I the only person who can see them? So many questions. No answers. I just want them to go. To disappear. Why, why, why, WHY, WHY? Help me, someone. I need help soon. I wish there were others like me. I wish my dad would understand. I wish my mother was still around. I just want to have a normal life. I don’t want to see them. I don’t want to see the fairies.”



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