Revival | Teen Ink


April 24, 2016
By emmakate45 SILVER, Avon, Connecticut
emmakate45 SILVER, Avon, Connecticut
6 articles 2 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”― Dr. Seuss

With the coming of spring, all anyone can talk about is revival, rebirth, reincarnation, and lots of other words starting with re-. Don’t get me wrong, it makes sense. After all, spring is the season when leaves return to the trees, and flowers pop up from their wintery graves. Spring is when the weather is at its prime, and when birds come back to sing us awake each morning. Spring is the best season of the year if you aren’t apart of my family. Each year, on April 2nd, somebody in our family dies a gruesome death. This has been happening since the year of my great-grandfather’s birth. While usually, I don’t know the person terribly well, spring brings about a sense of terror and urgency.
The past two years have been horrific. Last year, I lost my father, and the year before that, my mother. I was thirteen when my mother died. She was missing for ten days before we got a letter, written in blood and signed with a bloody fingerprint. It matched hers perfectly. Last year, at fourteen, I came home to a smashed-in window and a note that I decided not to read. On the day of my father’s death, I walked around my house for a long time, searching for something that could help me figure out why this was happening. I searched my parents’ bedroom, my older brother’s abandoned room, and everything downstairs. As I had suspected, I found nothing. With my father’s death still fresh in my mind, though, I continued to search. I looked for hidden doors, passageways, anywhere that could be used as a hiding place. Checking my living room once again, I happened upon a loose brick in the empty fireplace. I pulled the brick out and saw a large amount of rolled up papers where the brick had once been.
Each paper was fastened in its cylindrical form with glue, so I had to make sure I didn’t take any words off when I ripped them apart. I laid them on the ground and picked up the smallest one to examine. It simply read: “You are the one.” It was dated April 1st, 1907, the day before my father’s death. The next paper I read was longer.
         April 2nd, 1840
“Yesterday my amazing son was born, but I am concerned. We returned from the hospital and found a letter waiting on our doorstep. It told us that ‘today marked a birth, but would also come with a death.’ We thought it might be a practical joke because of the date, but when I awoke this morning, around 10:00, my lovely wife was lying next to me, dead. I wonder what on the Lord’s good Earth could cause something like this? Who is out to get my family, and why?”
This letter was written by my great-great grandfather the day after my great-grandfather was born. I pick up another, dated April 1st, 1845.
“Since I received the first letter threatening my family, four more of us have died. I have lost my mother, father, brother, and most recently, my sister. I fear for my own life, but also the life of my son. For if I die tomorrow, he will be alone.”
I read through several more letters from my great-great grandfather, which means he did not die in 1845. Finally, in 1855, the narrative switches to that of my great grandfather.
          April 3rd, 1855
“Yesterday I experienced a horrifying event. I woke up and went downstairs to see my father sitting at the table, facing away from me. I went over to say good morning and was confused when he did not turn around to greet me back. Instead, I walked around him to see what was wrong and saw a steak knife in his chest. There was dry blood on the table and around his mouth, and there may have been more that I didn’t see because I ran out of the house to the nearest police station. It was half an hour of my own vomiting and crying before the police could calm me down enough to ask what happened. I told them the horrific story, and they said they would investigate. However, when they tested the knife, there were no fingerprints, not even his own. I now have to go live in a home for boys, because everyone else in my direct family was either killed or disappeared without a trace. As soon as I am old enough to leave the boys home, I am going to make it my mission to find out why this is happening to my family.”
Eventually, I read all of my great grandfather’s entries, and my grandfather’s. Apparently, by the time my grandfather was 30, our family had stopped reporting incidents to the police. We had found that if a murder was reported, the next year’s murder would be even worse. There were five notes left, but none of them were written by my father. All of them consisted of four key elements: they were signed with a simple “X”, they had a countdown on them, the writing contained various threats, and the final element was different on each, it seemed as if it wasn’t supposed to be there. One of the five had the number 23 on it, one read “Rd”, one said Oakwood, one said 98671, and the final had nothing but a pen mark. I had almost forgotten about the notes. Until today.
The date is March 24th, 1908. My brother came home from work, picked up our mail, and went inside the house. When I walked through the door about twenty minutes later, he shot up from his seat, looked around frantically, and then finally realized it was me and sat back down again.
“Nelly, I got a letter. It says that I’m the next one. I can’t be the next one, Nell! I was just given a raise! And what about you? You’d be all by yourself, I can’t do that!” my brother paced back and forth as he spoke.
“William! Please, stop pacing, you’re scaring me. Look, I have to show you something I found last year after dad died.” I brought William to my room and opened the chest at the end of my bed, where I had stashed the letters. I showed him the five that were from the killer first. I pointed out the individual elements, and his face lightened up.
“Nell, do you not realize? This is an address, whoever is sending these must not have realized it was there!” Will was very excited about his discovery, so he made me travel with him to the Colbrook library, one of the largest libraries in our area of Massachusetts. We looked up the ZIP code 98671 and found that it was in Washington. William insisted on leaving to go there immediately, he gathered all of his savings for us to be able to travel across the country.
“Will, are you sure you want to spend all of the money you’ve earned on this?”
“Look, Nelly, there is a large part of me that doesn’t want to. But think about all the pain whoever has been doing this has caused us. If I can stop it from happening again, it’s worth my savings.” William was determined, and I, not to be outdone, put on a brave face. I wanted so desperately to find this person, but I was afraid of what would happen if we did.
It took us about a day and a half to reach our destination. We had to walk from the train station to the address on the letters, and when we arrived, I was terrified. At 23, Oakwood Road stood a three-story high building, covered in ivy and tucked behind trees. If we hadn’t walked up the driveway, we wouldn’t have seen it. There were no doors on the outside, so we walked through an empty doorframe. Both the first and second floors were completely abandoned, but when we reached the third, we could tell we were not alone. The first clue to this was a rusty operating table. Upon a closer look, we found blood dripping off of its side, droplet by droplet in a steady pattern. Our second clue was a trail of red paint, leading to a small room with only a few pieces of dusty furniture. On the walls was a picture of a girl and a boy, splayed out on the ground. My final clue was the sound of a gunshot, the almost cliche laughter of a killer, and the unmistakable cry of a person who knows that they’re next.

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