[Thanks to BookCloseOuts for their generously supplying the prize for this contest!]"The Blue Girl" by Shaphat
- OnlineBookClub.org Short Story Contest 3 Winner
Betsy had never been close to her father, but because of her mom's financial troubles she had to move in with her dad and his girlfriend. It was like living with strangers, they also seemed to be uncomfortable around the shy eight year old girl, so they would just ignore each other.
Betsy's room was in the second floor it was the right size but had no window. Linda, dad's girlfriend had gotten a tv for her but it was currently broken and they said it was too expensive to have it fixed. Moreover with the new baby coming soon there were many things to be bought. It was raining all the time and Betsy had nothing to do but stare at the blank wall infront of her. Despite its aparent bleakness from time to time there was something there. At first Betsy thought it was only her imagination, there couldn't possibly be a figure standing inside the wall. As time went by the figure appeared to be getting more defined until it stopped being a shadow and it became a translucent presence.
The figure was a girl around Betsy's age, she was pretty, with long hair that seemed to float around her and pale blueish skin that reminded Betsy of the pictures of fairies she'd seen in her favority story book. Her eyes were closed.
No matter how much Betsy stared at her or tried to talk to her, the girl just stood there, without moving, reacting or speaking at all. Since she clearly couldn't be a human being, it occurred to Betsy that the girl was probably a fairy. After reading a lot about fairies she'd wanted very much to meet a real one. It made sense she thought that fairies may want to meet her too. It was the excitement of this discovery that made her want to tell of it to the adults in the house.
"There is a fairy in my room" she proudly announced during dinner time.
"Don't be stupid kid, there's no such thing" Linda said while frowning at her food.
Betsy looked down, swallowing her anger, wondering if she should spit the foul tasting peas at Linda's face.
"Linda don't speak like that to her, apologize" her father said while writing something on his ipad.
"Sorry for being blunt then" Linda said mockingly.
While taking her plate to the kitchen she whispered at her boyfriend's ear.
"I'm not wearing underwear" Though it was supposed to be a whisper she said it loud enough for Betsy to hear it and be disgusted by it. Not for the first time Betsy wondered what made her dad attracted to someone like Linda. According to her mom and other family member's opinion Linda was trash. Betsy had tried to like her, because her dad liked her. But she'd given up after only a few days of knowing her.
Betsy got up and left the table without a word. No one called her back despite the fact that she hadn't finished up her meal.
In the room she told the girl in the wall about how much she hated Linda.
"She's rude and behaves like a bully all the time. I wish that stupid dad hadn't fallen for her" Since it was late she went to bed, the room was very cold so it took her a while to fall asleep. When she finally managed to, she had a scary dream but by the time she woke up she'd forgotten all about it.
The next day when Betsy was coming back from school she passed by the kitchen wanting to have some cookies. After taking only a few steps she felt she was standing on something wet, looking down she was shocked to see something red, grungy and squishy under her sneakers. Looking for the cause she saw a big messy puddle close to the stove. There was a dripping red hand print on the fridge's door.
Revolted she ran away from there and to the neighbor's house. When an elderly woman opened the door she screamed at her.
"There was blood, blood everywhere!" it took the girl a long time to calm down, she started trembling everytime she remembered the sight.
The neighbor lady, Mrs. Green called Betsy's dad and let her stay over. She told the girl that her dad was fine but that he had to stay in the hospital for a while because Linda wasn't feeling well. It was an understatement, Linda almost died that day after suffering a bad miscarriage.
It was a few days later that her father returned home, minus Linda. He said she'd be staying at the hospital for some time so the doctors could keep watch over her.
Betsy was conflicted. A part of her was glad that Linda had suffered, but also ashamed of feeling that way, specially since she felt somewhat responsible about what happened. She'd been wanting for something bad to happen to that person for a long time, but she'd never expected it would really happen and that it would be so horrible.
It was that night before falling asleep that she realized something weird. The figure of the girl in the wall was now much more clear and almost solid. She was also about a step closer to Betsy's bed.
The next few weeks after Linda's return Betsy tried to be nice to her. Linda was subdued and hardly spoke or just didn't bother to get out of bed. Most of the time she'd be in her pajamas and wouldn't wash frequently. Because of this Linda and Betsy's dad would fight a lot. One day while Betsy was doing her homework she was startled to see Linda at her door. She'd been crying so her eyes and nose were red. Without speaking she went to Betsy's side and slapped her.
"John said he wants me to leave this house" Linda said "I think you convinced him to throw me out, didn't you! You devious little bitch, I bet your mother sent you here to screw my life!" she then grabbed Betsy's hair and threw her against the wall.
" I didn't, I didn't" Betsy cried trying to defend herself from Linda's rampage. While Linda was trying to slap her again. Betsy saw that she was standing close to the silent blue girl. Silently she begged her to help. After Linda threw her against the wall again Betsy lost conciousness.
When Betsy woke up, she had a terrible headache. She was in an unfamiliar room and her father was a nearby chair. He seemed very relieved when he saw she had woken up.
"I'm sorry" he said "That you had to go through that" while speaking he held her hand in his. His face looked gaunt, as if he'd aged several years.
Sometime after she woke up, she was sent a therapist to speak with her. It was then that Betsy received the news that Linda had commited suicide by hitting her own head repeatedly against the wall. Apparently people thought she'd seen her do it before passing out. Betsy was sent back home but she was supposed to keep seeing a therapist. Her father also agreed with the therapist that it would be best to send her back to her mother so he drove her there.
After arriving home she felt really shaken. Her mother had to go to work so she was left on her own . While sitting in her bed she was surprised to see that the girl in the wall had followed her there. No longer a shadow she looked perfectly solid and was two steps closer to her bed than before. Her eyes were still closed but there was something rather disturbing about her now. A sort of expectation, she was waiting for something to happen. Betsy moved her bed back as much as she could, suddenly disgusted by the girl's presence. For that time onwards she decided to ignore her, maybe then she'd go away.
After a few months had passed she had a call via skype from her father, after asking her how she was doing, then he asked to speak with her mother. While hidding nearby she spied the conversation between her parents. Her hope for their reconciliation was completely destroyed. She learned that her father had a new girlfriend and that he was planning on moving in with her. Betsy couldn't understand how he could have a new girl so soon. She was really mad at him. While sitting on her bed she destroyed one of her plushies with her scissors. It had been a present from her father.
"I wish he'd just disappear" she said while crying a lot.
The next day Betsy realized the girl was now just one step away from her bed. She was considering telling her mom about it, but when she went to see her she realized there was something wrong.
Her mom told her that she needed to speak with her. Holding Betsy's hand she told her that her father had been in an accident. Though he'd been taken to the hospital at once, the doctors couldn't save him. It was so unexpected that Betsy couldn't even feel anything, she was numb. That day she just stayed in bed, looking at the ceiling her mind was blank.
That night she had a dream, she was standing in a garden she'd never seen before and a girl about her age was smiling at her while picking flowers. She had a lovely white dress with a bow in the back and her reddish hair was held by a cute pink ribbon and falling almost to her waist. She'd never seen the girl before but she felt that she was almost familiar. The girl offered Betsy a flower, but before she could take it someone suddenly pulled the girl away. She was screaming and the flowers fell from her hands. The person holding the girl was covered in mist so it was impossible to see, but it was clearly a man. Betsy couldn't move or even scream, all she could do was watch as the man hurt the girl horribly and then drowned her in a river close to his feet.
Betsy woke up with a start, drenched in sweat. Drops of water were falling on her face and her pillow was wet. Trying to get up she realized that she couldn't. Something was on top of her, horrified she realized it was the blue girl. Her face was close to hers, smiling. A cold breath came out of her lips. Her eyes were slowly opening and something like mist was coming out of them. The ooze began to surround Betsy until she began to drown in it.
The next day Betsy's mother found her dead. The body, room and even the ceiling were wet. A blue lace was clutched in Betsy's cold, stiff fingers.