Wednesday, February 8, 2006

After his sister suffers a severe psychological episode Simon decides to move them to there grandmothers old house in Ireland.


Simon stared out of the car window as it snaked its way along the old winding road. His thoughts where fixed on nothing in particular, the blurring of green the occasional flash of grey, his eyes focused on nothing. The movement of the car made him sick. River had not said a word since the plane had landed. She loved to fly, she had grinned for the entire journey, it had made him happy. She now sat silently beside him playing with her fingers. He turned to her and rested a hand on her shoulder. No response came. She had been doing better over the last few days but she was still far from right. Far from River. The incident at the Academy had come as such a blow. River had always been smart. Very, very smart. The Academy only accepted the best. She had excelled, and not just academically. “River is a creature of extraordinary grace” that’s what her dance instructor had told him. He had been so proud. But all that was before the incident. Before the paranoia. Before she changed.

Simon spoke to the back of the Taxi drivers head “When will we get there?”

“About 10 more minutes.” He responded “Don’t worry I’ll get you there safe”.

Simon didn’t answer. River looked at him and said almost absently “Are we going home?”

Simon took a deep weary breath “Yes, almost home.”

The car came to a halt outside the old house. When it had been built it had been miles from anywhere. An island in a sea of green. Now the town had crept up to meet it. But still there where few neighbours. Just a handful of houses. Here they could find some peace. Here River could rest. Simon helped the taxi driver remove there luggage from the boot.

“Nice old house” the taxi driver said with a smile. Simon had forgotten his name.

“Yes it was our grandmothers, she died two years ago.”

The taxi driver gave a small respectful frown “I’m sorry to hear that.”

Simon shook his head “Its ok, she had a good life.”

The Taxi driver nodded “Well I got to go. You two have a good day”

Simon gestured for him to wait “Can I ask you something before you go”

The taxi driver nodded “Shoot”.

“What does that mean?” Simon pointed to a collection of brass letters that where mounted on the wall just next to the door.

The taxi driver shrugged “Sorry, I don’t speak Irish” .

Simon gave a little nod “That’s ok”.

The taxi driver smiled “See you around, and may you get to heaven half an hour before the Devil knows your dead!” He shot River a wink and drove off. Simon raised a puzzled eyebrow. River had not been interested. Her eye where fixed on the man in black. Simon and the other man had not noticed him. He stood across the street as straight as a pillar. He was tall and thin almost as if he had been stretched. His skin was the colour of bleached paper. His eyes a deep piercing emerald. Long red hair hung in strings across his ashen face. He wore a long black coat that clung to him almost as if it was a second skin. His arms where folded and his lips curled in a rotten grin. His teeth where yellow. He bowed and gave small gesture of salute. Simon took his sister by the hand. “Come on River, lets go inside.”

A musk struck there nostrils as they entered. The dead smell of a house not lived in. After their grandmother had died they had converted it into holiday home, but they never had a chance to use it. A thin layer of dust lay over every surface.

“This isn’t home” River said disappointedly.

Simon looked at her. “This our new home.”

River looked around unsurely. Simon smiled and said with all the enthusiasm he could muster “We’re in Ireland!”.

River gave him a look.

Simon shook his head with some small embarrassment “Never mind, help me unpack?”

Three hours had passed when a knock came at the door. Simon and River had only just finished changing the bed linen. Simon opened the front door to find a grinning middle aged couple staring at him.

“Hello?” he said unsurely.

“Hi!” the man said enthusiastically. “I’m Gary Path and this is my wife Pamela.” “A pleasure” she said with a grin that mirrored her husband. “We don’t have many neighbours around here so we thought we should come over and say hello!”

Simon smiled politely “Oh thank you… Would you like to come in?”

“Oh thank you!” Pam beamed “We brought biscuits!”

Time passed, Simon lost track of how much. The conversation seemed to be endless. Although they seemed very nice Simon had to wonder how two people who talked so much could say so little. They jumped from topic to topic seemingly at random. How they had just moved here from Dublin to get away from it all. How Gary enjoyed fishing. How Pam had worked in IT for 4 years. How nice it was to have someone new in the neighbourhood to talk to. River interrupted about haft way true to inform Simon that the house was duplicitous and no good would come of just sitting there and drinking tea. Pam and Gary didn’t know what to make of her at first as indeed River didn’t now what to make of them. But soon River was sitting cross legged hanging on every word. Gary’s views on Irish weather patterns. Pam’s warnings that being bare foot would destroy the carpet and spread disease. Some hours after they arrived a very relieved Simon led them to the door and said goodbye.

“Well it was a pleasure meeting you” Simon smiled politely.

“Oh the pleasure was all ours!” Gary assured him. “I hope to speak to you again soon”.

Simon nodded.

An old man in a brown trench coat walked by, he tipped the brim of his hate in polite greeting. “Who’s that?” Simon asked inquisitively.

Gary leaned in and spoke in a tone that said that this was something very secret “That’s Mr O’Brien. He lives down the road.”

Pam continued in the same whispered tone “We don’t talk to him much. He’s a bit odd.”

Gary raised a sly eyebrow “Word is he was a priest”.

“Well I have kept you long enough” Simon prodded hoping they would take the hint.

“Oh of coarse” Gary smiled “hope to see you again soon”.

Finally Simon shut the front door. He breathed a small sigh of relief then turned to find River grinning.

“I like them, they where funny” she beamed.

“Well I’m glad you enjoyed it.” Simon yawned. “ Its been a long day lets get some sleep.”

Rivers sleep was restless, Rivers sleep was always restless. But tonight was different. Strange images she had never seen before, the fluttering of wings, a strange emptiness in her chest, visions that where not of her normal beast. She awoke some time after 2am and tried to rub the sleep from her eyes but found that he couldn’t, in fact she couldn’t move at all. Her body would not respond. She tired to call for Simon but could not form the words, a panic grew inside her. It was then that she saw it. It was small, no more than 4ft tall and coved in matted black fur. Its cold green eyes stared at her from the side of the bed. She tied to scream but all she could manage was a low pathetic gurgle. Suddenly a black clad arm rose from the end of the bed and dug its claw liked fingers into the bedclothes. A second fallowed and did the same. The man in black pulled himself up as if climbing over a great chasm. Slowly he clawed his way along the bed until finally his full weight was pressed on Rivers body. She could hardly breath. His lips now pursed next to her ear began to movie “I know you, I see you, I know you, I see you.” Over and over he repeated until River became lost in the words, all became blackness.

Simon was woken the next morning by screaming. He rushed into his sister bedroom to find it destroyed. The bed had been over turned and broken, the dresser smashed apart. River sat curled screaming in the corner, her hands bloodied.

Simon looked around in shock “River what did you do?”

“Simon!” she screamed “Simon he talked to me! He came into my room and he talked to me!” Simon took his sister in his arms and tired to comfort her. “Its ok, its ok,” he repeated, “its ok. I‘ll help you, I swear.” He knew what he had to do.

Simon sat in the Doctors office as she looked over Rivers records. She was young, maybe younger than he was, she peered at the documents true her small black rimed reading glasses.

“I understand it is your wish that you sister not be made an in patient.”

“No” he responded, “I mean yes, yes I don’t want that. Sorry I haven’t been sleeping”

She neatly placed the papers on the desk in front of her and looked Simon in the eye. “I understand you feelings on this, but my main concern is for River, I would strongly urge you to reconsider.”

Simon knew bedside manner when he saw it, he was a master of the art, but underneath her well practiced facade was something honest, something real. She meant what she said. He was thankful for that.

“I’m sorry” he said finally “I appreciate your position but I’m not having my sister committed.”

She sighed and removed her glasses before looking at him again “Very well, you’re her legal guardian its your choice. But please understand, we will do every thing in our power to help your sister. There is a seventeen year old girl out there with severe mental health problems and I will do all I can to help her. That may mean suggesting things that you might not be comfortable with.

Simon nodded.

“Has River displayed this kind of violent behaviour before?”

Simon shook his head “No, never.” He looked up at the Doctor with barely contained tears. “Iv never seen her like that before.”

She nodded sympathetically “This may be evidence of a worsening of her condition.”

“Will she ever get better?” his hands began to tremble.

“Let me be honest” she began “there is no magic cure, no Hollywood moment of miraculous recovery. You sister is very sick and she may have to deal with this for the rest of her life. But this isn’t about making her normal, this is about making her well. This is about helping her to manage her problem and have a full and happy life. This is about making it so your sister can stand on her own two feet again.”

Simon let the tears flow, tears he had held back for months, tears he would never let River see “I just want my sister back.”

The Doctor got up from her desk and knelt down beside him. “You have your sister Simon. She never went away. She’s sitting out there waiting for her brother, and she needs him.”

Simon took a deep breath “I’m sorry”

The Doctor smiled “Its ok, if you didn’t cry after all you have been true I would be more worried”

Simon choked down the last of his tears and straightened himself. “So what now?”

The Doctor returned to her desk and put back on her glasses. “I’m going to start River on a coarse of medication, I’ll right you out a perception.”

“Rivers already taking drugs” Simon said as The Doctor scribbled her signature on a piece of paper.

“Yes I know,” she replied as signed another on. “Here.” She handed him three pieces of paper. “Take them to your local chemist, Iv written dosage instructions on the bottom. Also Iv written instructions on safely taking River off the medication she is currently on. You’re a Doctor so I think you‘ll handle it ok.”

Simon nodded “How much will this cost?”

The Doctor looked at him “Its free” She smiled “Well I guess you didn’t move to Ireland for the free metal health care.”

Simon shook his head “No”

“Why did you?” She asked politely.

He looked at her “Personal reasons.”

She nodded “Fair enough. Now, I also think River would benefit from some out patients sessions at the local St. John of Gods”

Simon looked at her “Isn’t he the patron Saint of Fire Fighters?”

She shook her head “Long story, it’s a mental heath hospital. There nice people. I think it would benefit River if only for the sake of her having some social contact in a safe environment.

Simon nodded “Ok that sounds good.”

The Doctor stood up and held out her hand “Well then, we’ll see River back here in a week, and I’ll contact you as soon a space opens in the John of Gods.”

Simon took her hand and shook it. “Thank you Doctor”

“No problem, rember your not alone In this”

Simon nodded and then asked with some embarrassment “I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name”

She smiled at him “Dr .Wise, Samantha Wise.

It was Rivers first day in the day hospital. Simon had dropped her off earlier that morning. He wasn’t allowed sit with her during her groups so he had walked back to the house. The hospital was only a 20 minute walk away in the town. He decided to walk up to the pick nick area that had been set up for the few residents of the community. He sat and took in the view. The few neighbour houses, the town below he could see it all from up here. He considered for a moment why the Taxi driver had decided to drive here via country roads instead of going strange true town. The it hit him “He ripped me off! He took the long way so he could charge me more!”

“Who’s that?” a voice came from behind him. It was the old man he had seen that first night, the one Gary had called Mr. O’Brien. “Who ripped you off?” he asked again.

“Oh,” Simon responded “The Taxi driver that drove us here when we first arrived.”

The old man laughed and rubbed his short white whiskers “No matter where you go in the world my boy,” he said “a Taxi driver is still a taxi driver.” He extended his hand “Tomas O’Brien.”

Simon shook his hand surprised by the strength of the old mans grip “Simon Tam.”

“Mind if I?” Tomas gestured as if to sit down.

“No, by all means” Simon replied.

The old man sat down beside him with a grunt. “Take a good look boy, it will all be gone soon.”

Simon looked at him “What?”

The old man looked back “You wont be able to see a damn thing once this land is fully developed, just the side of another house.”

“Price of progress I suppose” Simon said thoughtfully.

The old man pulled a small fat cigar out of his pocket at lit it. He took a deep lingering breath before gesturing towards one of the houses, “You see there? For over 2000 years a standing stone stood there. When the Christians came they carved a large cross into its side saying that it was now Christian but they left it standing. That stone survived storms and invasions , the lifetimes of countless generations. The one thing it couldn’t survive was that house.” He took another long puff, “does that seem right to you?”

Simon shrugged “You cant stop change.”

“Good point my boy” the old man laughed, before taking another deep puff. “You seem distracted.”

“Sorry” Simon said eyes still fixed on the view “I have things on my mind.”

“I’m sure Gary and Pam told you I was in the Priesthood, I may have traded in my collar but if you would like to talk”

“No thank you” Simon replied.

“Then I’ll leave you with your thoughts son.” The old man tipped his hat and began to walk away.

“Why did you leave” Simon called after him. “The church?”

“The church and I had a difference of opinion.”

“What sort of difference” Simon asked

The old man smiled “I don’t believe in God” and Silently he walked off.

River lay in bed that night. Her first day in out patents had gone well. The other people where nice, if a little odd. She knew she must have seemed the same way to them. The nurse was nice enough. They had been asked to draw a picture that expressed there feelings in art therapy. The rest of the group had been stunned when River had held up a cubist interpretation of the abstract concept of bemusement. She smiled to herself. She might not be normal but she was still very smart. It was good to be reminded of that sometimes. The new drugs where helping her think. All in all it had been a good day. He eyes where suddenly drawn to an object moving within the room. Small, dark, hard to see. It fluttered around that way and this darting back and forth. “A moth” she said to herself. It fluttered into the moonlight where she could see it more clearly its dusty grey wing beating back and forth propelling it in almost random directions. River couldn’t help but admire how beautiful it was. There was something familiar about it but she could not remember what. Back and forth back and forth went its wings until finally it fluttered away from her and towards the partially open door. “Wait” River said aloud as she got up to follow it. It lead her down the stairs as it began to pick up speed. “Wait!” she called out again. She didn’t stop to think why the front door was open, all she could think about was catching the moth.. She broke into a run as the moth lead her away from the house towards one of the neighbours. “Wait! Please wait!” She called out. She paid no attention to where she was running. Suddenly she stopped dead in her tracks. Fear overcame every part of her body. The moth landed on the man in blacks shoulder. She tired to run but found that she could not. He grinned at her and spoke “I see you. I know you. But do you see me? Do you know me?” He stood in front of a house, its door wide open. Two of the small furry creatures emerged carrying something on there shoulders. Rivers heart stopped as she realised it was a person. Not just a person but Pam. Pams face was a mask of terror, she screamed and screamed but no noise emerged. River tied to scream herself, but the man in black placed his finger to his lips and she found that she could not.. She stood there frozen to the spot as Pam was taken away. The man in black placed his hand too his chest turned to face the open doorway and lifted his coat as if it was a pair of wings. An arm emerged from his chest fallowed by a head. A figure clawed and struggled its way out until finally it fell to the ground like a new born child. The figure stood up, only then did River see that the figure was in fact Pam. She smiled at River before entering the house and closing the door behind her. The man in black lowed his coat and turned to River with that ever present grin “Now do you see?” He main a little walking motion with his fingers and River found herself walking away. She walked all the way home and got back into bed. The next morning woke with a start but there was no scream this time, the room was intact. Just a fear, and undeniable dread, and an undeniable certainty. She knew what she had saw. She had seen him, and she did know him.

Simon made breakfast, River had been quite since she gotten up. “We need to see Gary and Pam” she said finally.

Simon looked at her with suspired “What? Why?”

“We need to see Gary and Pam, River repeated. “Now.” She shot her bother a look that said that she was serious.

“Ok we’ll go see Gary and Pam.”

Gary answered the door and invited them in with a smile. “Come on true Pam is listening to the radio.”

They walked into the sitting room where Pam sat a smile painted her face. “Simon! River! Its so good to see you! Wait right there while I make you both a cup of tea.”

After a few minutes Pam returned with a steaming tea pot and four cups and a plate of biscuits. She smiled at River “Would you like a biscuit?”

“No” River responded coolly.

Pam looked her in the eyes “Are you sure? They are chocolate chip.”

“No” River responded in the same tone.

“River don’t be rude” Simon whispered to her.

“Don’t be silly” Pam said grinning “I understand, a young woman has to look after her figure.”

The conversation went on for a few minutes. Gary carrying most of it. Pam was quite, her eyes fixed on River. Simon found it a bit strange. River for her part stared right back. Gary didn’t notice, he was to busy telling Simon about his new fishing rod.

“Say” Pam said after a while, “Gary why don’t you show Simon your new rod?” “

“Its just outside in the hall if you want to see it” Gary prodded clearly delighted at the idea.

Simon looked at River.

She looked back “I’ll be ok.”

Simon knew there something was odd but he always had trouble saying no to her when she was in this kind of mood. Gary lead him outside.

Pam came over and refilled Rivers tea cup. “Time for some girl talk, as the say in the states.”

Gary and Simon where interrupted by a scream. They ran into the living room to find Pam doubled over blood running from her face. River held the remnants of the decretive bottle she had hit her with. She made a move as if she intended to stab her with it. Simon lunged at his sister and held her to the floor.

“She’s not human!” She screamed “She’s not human Simon!”

“You lunatic! I‘ll see you locked up!” Gary cursed .

Simon held his struggling sister down.

Things hand changed, Things had changed for the worst.


Saturday, February 11, 2006 3:55 PM


This is my second favorite. Right after the Rabbit the toad and the rat.

Good job, Haze.


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After his sister suffers a severe psychological episode Simon decides to move them to there grandmothers old house in Ireland.

Incubus, The Word
Every action has a consequence.

Incubus, Prolog
Aliester Lao is a problem

The Test
River faces a test at the academy.

One Cold Winters Day
River prepares for her final battle.

Serenity has an unwelcome guest

The Trigger
River gets an unwelcome surprise.

The Rabbit The Toad and The Rat
Alice doesn’t know where she is