Sarah looked up at the sky, framed by the tips of the tall grass she lay in. Now and then the spoke poured from her mouth to drift into nothing, the sky never changed. Once the last of the cigarettes had been smoke she sat up, but a little too quickly and began to cough. Once the last drop of blood had been spat she clambered to her feet and turned on the spot to find the farm house.
The old, dark building stood in the distance. It was a constant reminder for her as she relaxed in the warm fields that there was a cold, unhappy home waiting for her. Sarah was not excited about returning, but she knew if she didn’t there would be trouble all evening between her and her mother. Shoving her hands in her pockets, Sarah began the walk home to a supposed loving family.
“Honey, could you hand me the flour?” her mother asked kindly. Sarah did as she asked, stepping forward with the flour in hand and placing it on the counter in front of her mother. Once she let the bag go however, Sarah’s mother grabbed her daughter’s wrist. “Tell your father he doesn’t have much time, he should get it done as soon as possible. He will-”
“Know what that means, yeah, I got it,” Sarah murmured pulling her wrist from her mother’s clutches.
Sarah hated when her mother did that, but there wasn’t any way to stop her. Despite her age, the mother was fast and strong. Perhaps it had something to do with their ‘work’, but Sarah figured it was just a curse from some higher being to plague her throughout her life. Of course, to her, this seemed to be the most reasonable reason.
The father was leaving the basement as Sarah turned the corner. He had various garden tools with him as well as a watering can, all held haphazardly in one hand while he locked the basement with the other. Sarah was about to open her mouth to deliver her mother’s message, but the father read it without a sound being uttered.
“Yes, yes, yes!” he yelled at Sarah. “I’m on my way to do it not, I know how important this and she reminds me one more time there is going to be hell!”
Sarah, scared and shocked by her father’s outburst, forced enough courage to speed past him and towards her room. Despite her fear and anger she didn’t slam the door, knowing it would be worse for her if she did. Still, she shut and locked it.
“God, I hate this place so much,” Sarah muttered into the door.
Sarah returned her desk and sat on the creaky chair. Her head in her hands she took deep breaths. Something was always been perpetually off about her parents and their constant cruel behaviour. If it weren’t for her uncle, who looked and acted like Santa even on his worst days, Sarah would not have learned of there being any good in this world.
“There is always something going on,” Sarah muttered in sadness. “Alway something and they never tell me...they just spit venom.”
Sarah spent the rest of the afternoon and a good few hours of the evening getting over this misery, passing the time with her doodling. She never found herself interested in creating art, but something was calming about scribbling strange pictures on a page to pass time. Perhaps it helped to translate the madness through a different medium besides emotional harm.
However, that was as great as her calm would ever be that night as she heard someone moving in the house. Her parents usually went to sleep early, but there were definite footsteps in the darkness. Sarah knew her parents most likely crept from their bedroom to do the ‘work’ they talked about, but from the sounds of the shoes they were wearing they were going down the dirt path towards the marsh. There wasn’t anything to do there except sink into the dirt.
Sarah knew this well, but her curiosity got the better of her. Perhaps this was the time she would learn what made them so aggressive and violent at times. Sarah left her room once she was sure they had left the house. Making sure to keep a safe distance from her parents was essential, so once out the front door her sense grew to be more careful. There were definite footsteps in the ground from the boots and they led off towards the marshes.
Sarah followed for half-an-hour and soon she caught sight of movement amongst the trees and vines. The silhouettes of her parents were walking along a path that led further into the marsh and at this point Sarah’s fear began to grow. It wasn’t long after that Sarah began to hear voices that didn’t belong to her mother and father. The voices discussed change, the voices discussed fire and they discussed blood.
Knowing her darkest fears were about to be realized, Sarah stopped in her tracks, the ritual fires blazing in the distance. She collected her courage and turned on the spot, marching home with speed and fearful intention. Once home she walked into the kitchen, collected the car keys and a bag of essentials.
“I am so done with this place,” she told herself simply as she started the engine and drove off into the night. “Of all the things in this world they could have been, they had to be cultists. Mean alcoholics, maybe, but not cultists.”
Sarah continued to mutter to herself as she drove away from the farm for good while her parents donned the red robes and chanted in a forgotten language.
“Do you think this will be the night?” The mother asked the father in a whisper.
“I heard her following us,” the father replied. “I left the keys on the table and everything. If this doesn’t scare her enough to get a job and leave home I don’t know what will.”
“Don’t you think she is a little young?”
“Sarah is thirty-five and she hasn’t worked a day in her life...I think we made the right call.”
The parents smiled, knowing at last they succeeded.
Be sure to follow!