All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Author's note: My friend and I love writing, and have been working on a book together for the past nine months or so. I decided I needed a tiny break, and so I started to write this. Hope y'all like it!
Waiting. For the past 300 years, I’ve been waiting. For the right time. For the right person to set me free. I’ve been living ever since 1695, and yet I’ve never lived a day of my life. If I can even call it that. Every day of these horrid 300 years, I’ve lived with the possibility that I may be stuck in this place. Forever.
I can’t leave. I can’t do anything. I can talk, I can walk, I can hear, and I can feel. I can’t see. But it doesn’t even really matter. I don’t have reason to see. It’s not like I have people to talk to and interact with. I haven’t had interaction with anybody since that abhorrent day, and the death of my family and fiancé.
All I can do is sit by this lonely, old, weeping willow with its’ feathery blue leaves and cracking grey bark. I know every contour; every line and inch of this willow. I’ve spent so much time hiding in the pale misty shadows near the base of the tree, provided by its’ secretive leaning branch’s. I don’t need sight to tell what the colors and looks of this tree are; I can feel it. I know I have no reason to hide, but I do, out of habit. Just in case she comes back. She murdered my family, and delivered me a fate worse than death. I haven’t aged a day, forever seventeen, her reminder of my pitiful state.
I’ve watched people come and go, overheard their conversations, guessed what might happen, commented on actions, harmless and vile alike. But no one sees me. No one hears me. No one even knows I’m there.
The day I saw her by that old willow tree, leaning in the misty shadows, my entire life changed.
I’ve lived in the same house, with its all-too-familiar creaky shutters and brightly painted walls, since I was about two years old. I live in a town, where no one really leaves, and no one new really comes. My small town in Minnesota wasn’t exactly a hot shot city in the cooler areas of my state. If there are actually ‘cooler’ areas in my state. So when I see a strange looking girl around my age hanging around the old willow tree I know so well in the woods, I’m intrigued and just a little bit mystified. Who is this girl? I don’t think I’ve ever seen her before. And I think I would know if there was someone new in this town.
I was on my nightly walk through the woods behind my house, listening to the gentle crooning of a wolf howling off in the distance when I first saw her. She was sitting near the little white lily’s that grow only by that tree, and she looked very strange to me. Her eyes were a cloudy blue color, with delicate lines of midnight blue snaking through them. They looked a little unfocused, as if she was blind, and she stared unblinkingly off into the distance. Her long blonde hair fell in curls down her back, and she looked lean and graceful even sitting down. She was beautiful, although in a different way than most girls looked.
She had a sad expression on her heart-shaped face, and a single tear slid down her cheek and dripped slowly off her chin into the slightly-wet grass. So strange. The tear was a delicate blue, a shade I’ve never seen before. The tear didn’t disappear into the blades of green, but instead clung to one blade slightly taller than the other, and then stayed there for a while. After about five minutes of her quiet sobbing, she took a deep breath, stopped crying, and wiped her face.
I feel an odd urge to find out why this girl was crying, to try to do anything to make her feel better, anything to help this girl that I don’t even know. I’m hiding behind a tree so she doesn’t see me, but then my foot slips, and my sneaker makes a muffled squeaking noise, and she tenses. She jumps up, with a gracefulness I’ve only seen in wolves. Huh. Weird.
“Emmaline? Are you here to torture me again? Because, let me tell you, I don’t think there is anything else you can do to make my existence worse.” She says cautiously.
I step out into the open, and she sighs.
“Oh, it’s just another human going on a walk. Don’t these people ever sleep?” she says in a slight, lilting accent that I’ve never heard before. She is talking like she doesn’t think that I can understand her. I wave my hand a little, and she freezes.
“Don’t you know I’m right here?” I tell her. Her eyes widen, their cloudy depths a mix of fear and hope.
“You can…….hear me?” she stutters.
“Um, yeah,” I say.
“And I’m guessing you can see me too, right?”
“Duh,” She looks confused.
“What does…….duh mean?” she asks, pronouncing it like ‘do’. I give her a look that probably has ‘are you from this century?’ written all over it.
“You know. It means, um, I think, obviously,” I struggle to explain the meaning of the well-known word that everybody seems to know. Well, except her.
“Oh,” she says slowly. “How is it that you can see me?”
I could tell this human was male, from the deep masculinity of his voice. I obviously can’t see him, but from the feel that I have always had, I could tell that he was about six feet tall, skinny in a muscular sort of way, and had brown hair and grey eyes. Almost like Lario. Don’t ask me how I know. The feel just, sort of, whispers it to me. I don’t know how it’s possible, but it is.
I’m going crazy inside my head. How could he possibly hear and see me? No one can. No one’s ever heard me. The only time anyone ever saw me was a few years ago, when this thirteen year old boy saw a glimpse of me. Then he shook his head and had muttered to himself about going crazy. That’s when I knew that he had stopped seeing me.
Emmaline, the, or, evil witch, cursed me so that I would live forever, but be stuck in these woods for all time. America was just discovered by a man named Christopher Columbus, and Emmaline thought it would be perfect for me to suffer here, around nobody, for the rest of my eternity. When I was first cursed, the only foliage in these parts was a couple shrubs, and this willow tree. It was old even back then. She killed my family and brought me here from Sicily, Italy. She thought that changing my environment drastically would make me even more miserable. I think that she thought that since America was such a crazy idea, that nothing would ever come to be here.
She was wrong. About 100 years later, the town of Hallow Falls was established. Of course, it was originally called Halloi Falls, but they changed it so it was easier to say, I think. But, whatever. It’s not like that matters now. The name is long forgotten. By everyone but me. I remember everything that ever happened in this area, partially from overhearing strangers and partially from the whisper. I don’t know how I remember everything. In my head, everything I’ve ever heard, seen, or felt is a jumbled memory that I can pull out anytime I want and examine, like a piece of clothing pulled out from a closet. Sometimes, though, it hurts my head, and it feels like the rows and rows of memories are going to completely overload my mind. Those days, I curl up at the foot of the willow tree and clutch my head and just cry. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen all that often, so I’m spared the brain-splitting pain of the crowded space I call my head. Although if I look on a memory for too long, or even just think about a memory too long, it’s like I’m being sucked into the past, I pass out, revisit the memory, unable to move or speak, and after I’ll wake up with another headache.
I try not to think about my memories too much.
I can sense the boy staring at me. He must be so confused. Or think me crazy, at the very least. I’m still in shock he can hear me. And see me. Because……..when Emmaline cursed me……. she said………
No, no, no! No! Not again! Not that memory- the equinox isn’t for another month-
I look up at Emmaline’s face, twisted with malice. How could she be so full of hate? I didn’t do anything wrong- it’s not my fault that I fell in love with her ex-fiancé. My dress torn and bloodied, she reaches down to touch the hem.
“Tale un bel vestito. E 'un peccato che devi indossare il vestito da sposa mentre si guarda mi uccidi la tua famiglia. Non sarai mai in grado di usarlo: è possibile osservare come I-Lario uccidere il traditore. Era mio, e mi ha lasciato per voi. Me-per voi. Patetico marmocchio.” She hissed at me. Such a pretty dress. It's a shame you have to wear your wedding dress while you watch me kill your family. You'll never be able to use it- You can watch as I kill Lario- the betrayer. He was mine, and he left me for you. Me- for you. Pathetic little brat.
Her words were scathing, and I knew
she was telling the truth. She was going to kill my family, and she was going to make me watch her. She grinned evilly and I knew she would do anything to make me suffer. She blamed me wholly for Lario leaving her- even though he left her eight months before he met me. Why? Why did she have to make me suffer the consequences for something I didn’t do? Was that just the way the world was going to work right now?
I’m powerless. Weak. I can’t do anything to stop her. There were rumors among the city of witch craft. Of someone who could do impossible things, create unimaginable things. I didn’t believe it. But all along, it was her- she was the witch. Plotting her revenge against me and Lario and everyone that I love. She was going to use her magic to wreak chaos.
With a flick of her hand, I’m thrown from the ground and I hit my head on a tree behind me. Another twist of her hand, and I am secured against it. I can’t move. She closes her eyes, and chants something. A bloodied and filthy Lario suddenly appears in front of us.
Ebony hair, bright olive eyes, tall, muscular frame, Lario is the gorgeous man he always is. But he seems broken. Less assured. Less confident. It’s not right. It’s not the real him. I cry out, and Lario lifts his head.
“Anatolia,” he says weakly. Emmaline scowls, and looks at him. A bright smear of blood paints his right cheekbone, his nose broken, his face bruised. Poor Lario- my love, bested beyond recognition. In my head, I apologize for anything that is about to happen to him, and I feel such deep sorrow within me, like an endless deep blue wave that crash’s down on the ones you love. I know that he is about to die. And knowing this, I want to die myself.
He can’t die. Will the world have any meaning? Will the sun still shine? Will the birds still chirp, and will I be happy? No. If Lario dies, my soul dies with him. And to live without a soul- is living another’s life.
“Uccidetemi, invece. Non male-Lario ha fatto nulla di sbagliato! Tu sei il male, ecco perché se ne andò. Devi solo te stesso da biasimare. Ed è per questo offro la mia vita al posto di suo.” I offer to Emmaline.
Kill me instead. Don’t harm Lario- he has done nothing wrong! You are evil, that’s why he left. You only have yourself to blame. Which is why I’m offering my life in place of his.
Emmaline looks at me in disbelief. And then her face darkens and she hisses.
“Mai. Lei morirà tutto. Lentamente e- attende. Effettivamente, non lei. Ucciderò tuttavia Lario e la sua famiglia, ma lei- lei soffrirà anche più di nessuno potrebbe immaginare forse. E poiché è detto, sarà fatto.
L'Anatolia, la figlia di Floria e Marco, può lei è maledetto per tutta di eternità. Lei non sarà sentito e lei non sarà visto. Lei sarà un essere maledetto, acceca e disperato. La partirò in una terra distante lontano, lontano, da cui lei non potrà mai partire. Lei non invecchierà mai, dunque poiché la sua mente frana e scompare, il suo essere fisico sarà ciò di un mortale di un-maturare. Ogni equinozio primaverile la visiterò ed accorda su lei la tortura del tipo peggiore- una ripetizione del passato, dunque lei vedrà le morti della sua famiglia di nuovo, e lei non può cambiare una cosa, poiché è con la natura del passato.”
Never. You shall all die. Slowly and painf- wait. Actually, no. Not you. I’ll still kill Lario and your family, but you- you are going to suffer even more than anyone could possibly imagine. And as it is said, it shall be done.
Anatolia, daughter of Flora and Marco, may you be cursed for all of eternity. You shall not be heard, and you shall not be seen. You will be an accursed being, blind and hopeless. I shall leave you in a distant land far, far away, from which you will never be able to leave. You shall never age, so as your mind crumbles and fades away, your physical being will be that of an un-matured mortal. Every spring equinox I will visit you, and bestow upon you torture of the worst kind- a replay of the past, so you shall see the deaths of your family again, and you cannot change a thing, as is with the nature of the past.
I feel a dead weight in my stomach, and my insides curl. Lario looks at the tree I am pinned to in alarm.
“Anatolia? Anatolia? Bella sorpresa sei?” he cries out. Anatolia? Anatolia? Where are you?
With a sickening realization, I can see that Emmaline’s curse is already working. Lario can’t see me. He can’t hear me.
Emmaline cackles, obviously enjoying every second of my distress.
I close my eyes to fight back tears, but when I open them again, I see nothing but black.
I never get to answer her question. She looks at me, eyes wide, and then she slumps forward. I dive for her, and catch her. Whew. If I hadn’t of caught her, she would have hit her head on a gnarled root sticking out of the ground. I turn her over, still keeping her up.
“Hello? Are you okay?” Okay, yeah, stupid question to ask. She is obviously not okay. I shake her a little, gently. She seems to be in some sort of trance, like passing out, but not wake-able. I look down at her face. And promptly freak out.
“Holy crap! She’s not breathing!” I scream. Yeah. Real smooth. Panicking, I lean forward, and give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, but I couldn’t think of what else to do!
After a second, she gasps and sits up quickly, hitting her forehead on mine.
“Were you…… just kissing me?!” she yells. She push’s me to the floor with surprising strength. She pins me down, arms trapped beneath me. I flinch.
“No! I swear! You weren’t breathing, so I tried to help you, dang it!” She unpins me slowly, and eyes me warily, like I might do it again. shaking her head, she mutters to herself, “I saw part of the memory. That’s not good. I’m not supposed to be able to see it unless Emmaline’s here!”
Tapping her shoulder, I ask, “What are you talking about? Are alright? You passed out!” She gives me a hard look, and settles herself down at the base of the tree again.
“You asked me how I could see you, but….. what about you? can you seem me? You look like you are bl.” I cut off what I was about to say. That might come out extremely offensive, to say she looks like she is blind. I mean, because, what if she isn’t? That, would be extremely embarrassing.
“Blind?” she says, a tone of dry humor tinting her voice. I nod hesitantly. “Yeah. I’m blind. Can’t see. With my eyes, though. I can still see you through my mind.” I start to nod. Wait- what?! Through her mind?
“What? Through your mind? I’m confused…..” I trail off. She looks at me, probably amused.
“You don’t want to know. Now, leave. Forget all that just happened. You didn’t ever see me, or talk to me, if you know what’s good for you.”
“Now, hold on right there!” I start. Then I hear Mom’s voice in the distance, calling my name for bed. Great. Nice timing, Mom.
“Listen to whoever is calling you. Now, go,” she orders. I hesitate.
“I don’t even know your name!” I protest. She sighs, loudly.
“You don’t need to know. I never existed.” she stands up, and push’s me towards the direction Mom’s calling. I turn back around, but she is gone.