I still remember the sight of my father’s smashed head on the floor. Blood was everywhere and I couldn’t even really recognize him. I just knew it was him.
Before I heard the shots, my parents had advised me to my bedroom. My mother was crying for some reason, while my dad remained calm. I had never seen him like that. His eyes were lifeless and his face pale as a freshly fallen snow. I had just done as they had asked, thus, I was in my room until suddenly I heard my mother screaming.
Her screams still haunt me in my dreams sometimes, not to mention my father’s roaring and the gunfire. A window was smashed and then–silence.
It took a few minutes of silence before the last shot was fired and at that point, I was already wandering towards the kitchen. I had never been so afraid. My legs shivered and I felt like throwing up, but somehow I managed to reach the kitchen, where my father laid.
Fifteen minutes later, the police had arrived. My memory of those events have already faded, but I remember the feeling of floating while watching the offices search for the house. They took me and a year later, I was with another family. I remember people saying I rarely talked when I was young. I can barely remember my childhood after my parents died.
I was 25 when I met her. She had the most beautiful hair, long, sleek, golden as a sea of yellow flowers. I remember her smile, how warm it felt when I returned to her and kissed her.
We got married when I was 26. It was the happiest day of my life, even with all the chaos and stress. A year later, we were awaiting our first child. At that point, I had already forgotten the things I had seen and the things I had heard all those years ago. I guess the universe saw my happiness and deemed it wrong.
It was a sunny summer day when we had decided to go on a trip. We were walking on the green fields of England, watching how farmers tended to their crops and animals. We liked to lay on the field of flowers which so reminded me of her.
At one point, we had wandered far and gotten to the beautiful forest which was a place my parents used to take me as a kid. I showed her all my favourite places I barely remembered. I showed her all the cliffs where you could gaze upon the woods and the fields far and beyond. She loved it. I saw it in her eyes.
We were starting our camp. I had already begun constructing our tent as well as the fire itself. She wanted to make us some mushroom soup, thus, she felt me and vanished into the woods in search for ingredients. Oh, how I wish I would have gone with her. It is all my fault…
And hour passed and I had already set up the fire and the camp as a whole. I thought she would arrive soon, yet, I saw no sign of her.
Another hour passed and I was already nervous. I was looking for her, calling her as I journeyed through the woods. It seemed like the growth got thicker as I moved farther.
Three hours had passed and I had neither seen nor heard her. My heart was bursting and I prayed to God. “Please, lead me to her,” I remember saying. It didn’t help.
Four hours had passed when I got to a silent glade. The mist had already risen, making everything look haunting. I remember the cold air on my skin and the mist turning my hair into a wet mess.
I ventured forward when I saw it.
Her dress–her beautiful blue dress hanged from one of the slender trees, wavering in the wind. I remember how it struck me. I remember how I ran to it and how my heart stopped when I saw the blood…
And at that moment, I howled like a dying wolf. I cried the tears I didn’t cry all those years ago and I tried to end my life, but I failed.
I returned to the city and begged the police to look for her. On the very next day, they had sent a huge party to look for her. They searched for days, weeks… but found nothing. Absolutely nothing.
When I stood there, watching the officers return from the woods during the final day, I fell on my knees and screamed until no sound came out of me.
And in that instance, when my tears covered my eyes and cheeks, I looked into the forest and I saw it. I don’t know what it is, but it was tall as a tree, thin as a branch, and its face was white, even more so than my father during his last day. When I dried my tears and looked again, it had already vanished, but I knew I had seen it before.
When I returned home, I drank myself to near sleep. I then picked up my pistol, loaded it, and put it against my head. I held a picture of her in my hand. “Lora…” I remember saying before I took the shot.
I remember nothing that happened before I woke up, but I do remember the feeling when I had gained consciousness again. Half of my face was scarred by the shot and the tears I had cried had dried on my cheeks. My tears were black as ink and I could taste it in my mouth.
I don’t remember why, but immediately after I had woken up, I had dressed, picked up my weapon and her picture. And then, I had just walked into the woods, as if I was a hunter who was looking for his pray.
And here I stand now, surrounded by this dark and cold forest. Her picture has suffered greatly during the hundred years that I have carried it, but it’s still my treasure. The darkness can hurt me no more. It feels like an old friend, so familiar it is.
I’m waiting. I’m waiting for the next scream, the next shot, the next scream of help, for when I hear one, I’m ready and I won’t miss my shot.
It took my parents. It took my wife…
Now, I will take him, no matter what I must do.