Friday, April 17, 2015

Stand in the Rain

Doors, doors and more doors. That's all Della was seeing. For weeks now she had been having the same recurring dream. At first it was a welcome change, no had died in her dreams since she woke up with the tape in her hand. Still the dream was foreboding.

It always started the same way. Running through the halls of Dreamwood, very low to the ground. But every time she tried to open one they were locked. At first this didn’t seem to bother Della. But as she passed more and more doors she started to feel trapped. And she wasn’t the only one in the hall. Ghostly figures with darkened shapes hung in the doorways of the rooms she couldn’t reach.

Della didn’t remember falling asleep but she knew she was dreaming. Only instead of running through the halls she felt more as if she was floating. Was she slowly become one of the spectors, so lost unable to find their way home? Was she being sucked down in their turmoil? She tried to look down at her figure, to see if she was still there, but her gaze was fixed on the never ending hallway in front of her. She floated on, noting that the blue and gray optics had taken on a new white tint.

As she went down the hallway she noticed a particularly white door. Not expecting anything, she twisted the handle. To her amazement the door opened into a bright white room. People were bustling about over something in the middle of the room. Or was it someone. Della tried to inch forward but was pushed out of view by the attendees. Determined, she crawled under their legs and looked up to find herself. Her hair was matted and was that blood...?

She was thrown back into reality. She started to remember everything. How she had planned to view the tape that evening. How she had ordered take out from the Chinese place, steamed dumplings, her favorite. How she had broken into the fortune cookie to find “April showers bring May flowers. Metaphorically.” That it was this phrase she was pondering when she was out early in the morning looking for Boo, as she had done every day since his disappearance. How she had been so lost in thought that she stepped out in front of a moving vehicle... The last thing she was was glass raining from the sky.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sad Lisa

A week had passed since the blue. The nightmares of Sarah continued with more frequency. Della was having trouble focusing in school. Lately even Boo couldn’t console her. She was thinking about giving up her job with Magdalene Kitch but after the video footage posted online, she knew the only reason Magdalene hadn’t given her to the masses was because of her work. She didn’t know exactly what was on all of the tapes but she knew it was something serious. And she wanted Sarah to die with innocence.
She remembered a time when her parents would take her and Sarah up to the Dreamwood Terrace and pretend they were on vacation. Money was scarce but it didn’t matter- Della couldn’t imagine a better vacation. The room Della and Sarah had now was the same room they had rented for so many summers. As regular customers they had furnished the place themselves. When they died it was perfectly preserved with no stain of life lost. At least not at first. It had seemed the logical choice to move in permanently.
Della wanted to get a hold of those tapes. She didn’t know how long Mrs. Kitch had been filming but it it was as long as she suspected there might be a lead as to the murder of her parents. And if she was right- with that evidence she might be able to protect her sister from harm.
This thought consumed her day and night. She wasn’t in good enough standing with Mrs. Kitch to ask to see them and she wasn’t going to demand them outright. Even though everyone knew what she was doing, most people were too afraid of eviction to make a stink.

Della Breed was going to steal the tapes. But how? Other people might not suspect a ten year old but Magdalene Kitch would. She supposed she could get lessons from Senka- wasn’t that who had broken into the penthouse- but Della was too afraid to ask. Who knows maybe she just needed to confront that guy Troy. He kept talking about “killing her” but wouldn’t her parents be a “them”?
She explained it all to Boo in the park that day. She hoped she would find the answer, or at least solace, in his eyes but he didn’t seem helpful at all. In fact he was quite restless. Never sitting still. Suddenly he shook loose of her and headed straight for Dreamwood Terrace.
The last thing she remembered before blacking out was a scream.

She had the weirdest dream. The kind you only have when you faint. It was in blue and gray and the edges were blurry as if some kind of filter had been put over her lens of her eye. She was running through the halls of Dreamwood Terrace but it didn't seem right. She was too low to the ground, as if crawling on her hands and knees. Not only that but the doors were all out of place.

Somehow she knew she wasn't running away, for once she was running to something, or someone...
When she awoke she was lying on the floor of her room, a tape in her hand.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Magdalene Kitch had Della Breed collecting rents again.

“Who can say no to a cute girl at 5:00 in the morning?”

All the tenants rents would take about two hours to collect so Della made sure to get a good nights rest. Her sister was worried about her going door to door by herself but Della successfully argued that it would get her out of the apartment and give her a chance to make new friends.

Della also enjoyed the idea of being able to get some answers about her mysterious dreams. Della first collected her own rent then set about to get the first floor’s. Most people put the money in Mrs. Kitch’s mailbox but those that didn’t would get a nice wake-up call from Della. One such tenant was Alice V. Franklin. After knocking on her door the first thing she heard was a screaming baby followed by three locks on the front door unlatching. She left the chain latch on cracking the door open just a sliver. Della could still see that unlike most of the other tenants Ms. Franklin didn’t have as bad a case of bedhead.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake your baby. I’m Della, I work for Magdalene Kitch… I’m here for the rent.”

“Oh, right.” She closed the door and Della could here her receding back into her house. Della was about to knock again when Alice opened the door slightly and pushed a manilla envelope through.

“Thank you,” Della paused before adding “You know… if you ever need a babysitter…” Della didn’t really mean it but it didn’t matter.

“That’s sweet but… no thank you.”

At least I can say I tried.

After returning the money to Mrs. Kitch Della set about her day in the cemetery. Sarah was forcing her to go back to school soon and she needed to study to catch up with her classmates.

Once outside della noticed that there were far more people out and about than there should have been at 7:00, the early shifts had already started and other jobs wouldn’t start for another hour or so. Everyone seemed to be moving in the same direction. Instead of fighting the current Della allowed her curiosity to get the better of her and she followed the crowd to the insane asylum.

Blue. Blue everywhere. On the building, on the people, on the man laying on the ground. Della couldn’t take it. She ran down Herbert Johnson Road towards Boulevard Avenue. She stopped panting. Hands on her knees she saw flashes of her parents’ death all in blue. Once she had finally cleared her head of the blue she looked up to find herself in the abandoned lot behind O’Harley’s. Boo radley was licking her face trying to comfort her. He tried to herd her away but she couldn’t leave. Something kept her glued to the spot.

Just as she thought she had gotten away from the images they came back. Only it wasn’t in her head this time. She was standing before a mural in all blue graffiti paint. And it was about her. It looked as if a giant comic book had fallen open to a page full of all her secrets. Above the images the graffiti read: “You can’t run away Della Breed.”

It was all there. How she had dreamed of the numbers 8 6 and 10 months before her parents death on August 6, 2010. How she had dreamed of their death through the video cameras that would not catch the murderer’s face. How the night of the murder she had dreamt the act from the killer's point of view. How mixed with the recurring dreams of their death she had seen other murders only to find out later that they had really taken place. And the latest one- the one of Sarah. Her laying in a pool of blood on the carpet in Dawn’s apartment.

As she was taking in the public shaming and the weight of her silence she noticed a man with blue hands. He seemed to be laughing. Della turned on him.

“Did you do this?” She screamed. “Do you think its funny, people dying, other’s pain?”

He stopped laughing and looked at her. Suddenly she felt sick. Before she ran his eyes changed and heard him softly say “I’m sorry” before his hard stare returned.

Running towards the cemetery she almost knocked over Rick the bartender. She knew he would tell her sister about the events of the day if she didn’t know already. After crying in the cemetery until dark she couldn’t bear to face her sister so she spent the night in the house on Blue Boulevard.

She spent the night believing she’d never get away from the color blue.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

If I Laugh

They were back.

Since she started working for Magdalene Kitch, Della had been able to keep the nightmares at bay. She continued to dream of the cameras hidden around Dreamwood Terrace. She'd even let her self think she was getting better, if only slightly. Having no idea what could have caused them to come back, Della dressed quickly and headed towards the cemetery.

The decaying flowers from her birthday were gone and the grass looked cut, which meant Leonard had been by earlier. And there was Boo! She hadn't seen him since her nightmares ended. Calming herself by nuzzling his soft, light-brown fur, she rocked back and forth trying to think of something that would dissipate the tightness in her chest.

Just after sunset, before the light had truly disappeared, Della headed to New Hope Children's Home to meet Sarah. When she wasn't working, Sarah was volunteering at the children's home just like her mother had.

Della waited outside next to a bonfire. She watched as the flames leaped, danced and crackled with laughter. She wished to be that happy again. Suddenly she burst out laughing and couldn't stop. She was so caught in her fit that she didn't notice when another woman walked up. She immediately straightened up and regained her composure. She made "polite chit-chat" as her mother would call it, until Sarah came out. Sarah nodded her goodbyes to the woman and the sisters headed for home. 

Along the way and all through dinner, Sarah chattered about her day. But Della's happiness had worn off. She couldn't stop thinking about the night. She could never tell Sarah what she saw in her dreams. Praying that her work tomorrow would keep them away she closed her eyes and pushed herself into sleep.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fan Blades and Bowling Pins- Apt 503

Bang! Bang! Bang!

“Ugh...” Della dove under her pillow and shoved it over her ears.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!

“Sarah... What time is it?” Della grumbled as she sat up bleary eyed in bed. She rubbed her eyes only to find the noise was coming from below her. She heard some yelling and then more banging, this time from above her.

Groggily Della made the decision to see where the noises were coming from. As she moved out into the hall, Della shook off her sleepy thoughts and scurried down to the fourth floor.

For months she had been having dreams about the different tenants in Dreamwood Terrace. In the dreams her vision was fixed and hidden. It was obvious that whoever she was watching didn’t know she was there. After the dreams started Della began seeing people around her do some of the things she had seen in the dreams when they thought they were alone. It wasn’t until she spotted the lense in the kitchen that she figured it out. She was seeing what the hidden cameras saw around the apartments in Dreamwood Terrace.

The excitement had given her the perfect opportunity to talk to the only person who could have put up the cameras- Magdalene Kitch.

Nervous Della realized at once that she wouldn’t be able to get any information out of Mrs. Kitch, she’d have to work on her. In a split second decision, Della asked for a job. When it looked as if the old woman wouldn’t give her a chance she promised to dust on top of the fan blades. She’d heard a lot of complaining about it in her dreams. Mrs. Kitch gave her a surprised look but she agreed.

After she returned to 503, and the noise subsided, Della was too excited to go to sleep. She milled around her room and the kitchen, getting bundled up to go to the bowling alley. She had heard it was holding its annual tournament, one that her father had always been apart of. Since this was the first year of his passing she decided to enter in his place.

Upon arriving at the bowling alley she talked to a tired man, from whom she rented her bowling shoes.

“Size six please. Can I still enter the bowling tournament... Mr....” His name tag read Tyler. “Mr. Tyler?”

“Aren’t you a little young to enter a bowling tournament?” He replied handing her the shoes. The look he was giving her made her feel as though she still needed bumpers.

“I’m old enough to bowl a strike with no guards,” she said.

Tyler shrugged. “That’ll be forty dollars please.”

As Della grabbed a nine pound bowling ball, she started to reminisce about the days when her father had taken her here to bowl.

“Del, you gotta try harder. I told you a thousand times, you’re twisting your arm when you release,” Six-year-old Della and her father were at one of the bowling lanes and Della had just landed her sixth ball in the gutter. “Here let me show you,” Crash! “See, its all about the release.”

Della sighed. She grabbed her ball and walked determined up to the edge of the lane. “Focus,” she muttered. She positioned herself and... Crash! “Well at least I hit two.”

The memory faded and Della headed to her lane. Bowling had never been her thing but it had always been important to her father. He hadn’t been the best teacher, often he would yell at her, but it was still time only the two of them shared. And over the years she had gotten better.

The tournament started and when it was Della’s turn she tried to put what her father had taught her into practice. “Focus,” She muttered. She lined her self up slightly left of center and let the ball go. Crash! “Well at least I hit two.”

She could almost hear her father reply “There’s still room for improvement.”

Monday, January 12, 2015


After waking up at 6:00 AM and trying to get back to sleep until she gave up and let excitement wash over her. At this point she was too delighted to stay in bed any longer. She got up to pace around her room until her sister roused herself from bed. Unfortunately Sarah had pulled the late shift the night before and wouldn’t get up until 1:00 PM.

At 11:00 AM, after waiting for what felt like years, Della decided to get out of the house and leave a note for her sister. Sure Sarah might be mad that she left without saying goodbye, but Della was too restless to stay.
She left her note on the counter near her sisters battered french press coffee maker.

Dear Sarah,
I’ve just gone out for a walk. I have last year’s birthday money and my cellphone so don’t be worried. I’ll meet you back at O’Harleys’s before the end of your shift.

With that, Della walked out into what was an unusually warm and sunny day for January. She decided to stop into Christine’s Cupcakery for a chocolate-chocolate cupcake. On your birthday you can eat cupcake for breakfast, right?

After asking for a candle, Della stopped by the K. Roger’s to buy a bouquet of flowers and headed to eat the cupcake with her parents. Della gently placed the bouquet between the graves and plopped down on the bench which overlooked their headstones. Unsurprisingly Boo was waiting for her when she got there. Della reclined into an afternoon among her best friends.

Towards 6:30 PM, Della removed herself from her bench and began her long journey back to reality. She turned up at O’Harley’s at 6:45, just in time to have dinner before her sister ended her shift. She ordered a burger and fries- the only food O’Harley’s could get right. After she finished, Sarah came out clapping with some of the kitchen staff and presented Della with K. Roger’s birthday cake.

10 candles- make a wish.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The House at the End of East Dreamwood

The day started with a scream. Della woke drenched in sweat, panting heavily. She wasn’t surprised; she had spent the night in the old townhouse at East Dreamwood. As she bolted up, her hand went immediately to comfort her pet wolf, Boo Radley. They had a way of feeling each others emotions. When she was scared and anxious so was he.

Once her heart rate had calmed she reached for her phone on the bedside table. Just as she pushed the on button she remembered:

I forgot to call Sarah.

A feeling of dread settled over her. She geared herself up for the damage.

19 missed calls.

“Better call. No sense in putting it off.”

Ring. Ring. Ring. Click.

“Where. Have. You. Been?” Sarah’s voice crackled through the phone. “I have been so worried about you! How many times have I told you that you can’t do this to me! You nearly gave me a heart attack! You know Dawn drove all the way from Meadowbrook to come look for you!...”

Della tried to pay attention to her sister’s heated words, she knew they were said out of love, but having heard this speech a few times before she tuned out.

“Do you hear me? Get home this instant! You can use your time getting here to think of a good reason why you decided to stay out all night! No dilly-dallying!” Click.

Della left the the house and headed out into a misty morning. She had no need to call Boo Radley, he was already padding along beside her. Just before she turned on to Dreamwood Avenue, Boo Radley loped away into the woods, he knew no one would approve of their friendship, especially Sarah.
When she reached apartment 503 at Dreamwood Terrace she took a deep breath and exhaled as she turned the key in the lock. She fought the urge to squeeze her eyes shut, as if whatever was waiting for her on the other side could be avoided by “seeing no evil”. Dawn’s petite frame looked almost normal sitting at the small kitchen table, crammed into the front hallway. Della and Dawn exchanged a nod and a half smile as Della tried to slip past the kitchen into her room. Dawn was Sarah’s girlfriend and the sisters’ benefactor; she had gotten Sarah her job and bought the small apartment for them.

“Della,” came Sarah’s voice from behind her. Della cringed. She turned around to face her sister. 
“Please don’t do that again,” her voice was tired and she was sitting on her bed rubbing her temples. “I just- I can’t lose you too,” Della stared at the ground. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore today. I just want to get some sleep before my shift at O'Harley's,” and with that Sarah closed her door.

As Della returned to her new room she looked out her dirty fivestory window. At least the weather matched her mood. She always felt gloomy around the holidays ever since…

When the lights went out at 7:00 PM, Della didn't notice. She was already in the midst of a dreamless sleep.