" Claire, almost there."
Claire looked up from her phone to look at her father. She gave a small smile and gave out a sarcastic "Yeah". Her father narrowed his eyes before let out a sigh of his own. " It's just a couple of weeks. Your lucky, The judge could have been more harsh with your punishment." He explained as He turned the car into the driveway of a shabby rundown looking house. Claire couldn't help but roll her eyes and say " Yeah, It would've been better if that Dean had actually listened to me. I didn't mean to hit him dad."
"Yeah, Who you really wanted to hit was your sister. Your lucky I calmed your mother down or I swear she would've let that Dean presuade that judge to put you in jail."
" It's not like she didn't deserve it." Claire whispered under her breath. But, Thanks to her dad's sharp hearing. He gave her a sharp look of disapproval. Claire gave him a disapproving frown. He parked the car and turned to look at her.
" I understand about you hating the fact that your mother and me divorced but I won't have you attacking your step sister because you don't like her."
If her dad actually knew the true nature of her new step-sister then maybe he wouldn't have such an attitude. The girl was a total bitch always talking behind my dad's back about how my mother was a junkie or how I would never amount to anything
"You've got everything." He asked. Claire opened the door and said " Yeah, By the way. Don't tell me how to feel about someone whose done nothing but make my life hell and got me community service on my birthday."
Before He could say a word, Claire grabbed her bag and slammed the car door.
Claire ignored her father and pushed open the large gates leading into the property. She heard the sound of the car pulling out of the drive way and she didn't nothing but swallow and keep walking. God. She hated this. All she had wanted to do was spend the spring break free of her step-family and dad at the house but no, Amanda had to push her.
She hadn't meant to hit the dean but before she knew it her fist had connected with his cheek and his two molars were on the floor. Claire ran her hands through her mane of thick wavy black hair. She was getting tired of the bull that her step-family put her through. As soon as the community service was over, She would move out and be rid of them. Sure, She would call and text her dad but wouldn't visit. Her dad hadn't really a big part of her life. He feed and clothed her sure, even given her a chance to persue her passion but most of the credit of who she was went to her mother.
Her beautiful tall tan loud spoken mother, who was currently going through some rough times.She hated her dad thinking of it. Her mother had developed a addiction to painkillers after car accident but instead of helping her, Claire's father thrown her out of the house and divorced her leaving her without any money or a place to stay. That and the fact of how quick he married his new wife is what made her lose respect for the man so quickly.
As Claire neared the House in front of her, she couldn't help notice it's gothic style. It was a lovely two stories and from where she stood, she could count at least twelve windows in the front so far. It was beautiful but so creepy as along the walls grew dark green vines which seemed to wrap around the small building in a tight embrace. Claire licked her lips as she came to the front door. A large gargoyle shaped metal knocker laid directly in the middle of the door. She lifted and knocked three times before waiting.
Nobis liberate. Nobis liberate. Claire
Claire gasped covering her ear as she searched for the source of the voice. The pathway leading to the gate was completely and the iron gate was know close. She turned back towards the door and clammed the knocker once again but harder.
God, Please don't let me be hearing voice. Please don't let me be hearing voice. She repeated in her head as she waited once again for the door to open. Finally, She heard the turn and click of the lock before the door opened slowly to a small old lady. She probably stood at least 5'1 which was at least three inches smaller then Claire. She wore a pair of round-spectacles that made her brown eyes seem even larger. She gave a soft sweet smile before asking " Are you one of Arnold's friends?" Her voice was soft and a bit shaky but strangely comforting.
"Um, No Ma'ma. I'm here for Medusa's Garden."
The Old woman gasped and gripped her hand. "No Child, You mustn't go in their. Medusa hates trespasser. She'll add you to the collection."
"Grandma Leda, Who are you talking too?"
A tall lanky young man came up beside the old women and looked at Claire. He had curly brown hair and was dressed in blue jeans and white t-shirt. He was over all cute, if you liked a boyish appearance. He had large brown eyes fringed with long lashes a small nose and a full set of lips. He held a light tan which made Claire wonder if he worked in the garden often.
"Hi, I'm Claire. I'm here for my Community Service." She released one of the old woman's hands to shake who she guessed to be Arnold. "Hi. Grandma, You can let go of her hand. I promise you I'll won't let her into the garden." The old woman nodded her head and released Claire's hand to grip Arnold's.
"Good. Good boy Arnold. We can't let them end up like those boys."
Claire looked up towards Arnold who gave a small smile and jutted his head towards the inside of the house.
"Let me get her to her room before I show you were your staying." He explained before disappearing down a narrow hall. Claire closed the front door and ran a hand through her thick black hair. Claire caught sight of herself in the mirror and cringed. Her usually tan skin look pale and her blue eyes know looked dull. She was clearly tired and need some time to rest. The drive here had taken at least six hours and they had needed to leave by six in the morning to be traffic.
" Sorry about that. She suffers from Dementia sometimes and get's confused."
Claire gave a small and answered "It's alright. She seems very nice but what was she talking about." Arnold bit his lip while scratching the back of his head.
"Yeah, I guess they didn't tell you about that. Huh." Arnold swallowed before shifting his feet. " A Few years ago, A couple of boys on community service disappeared. They were found a couple of days later fine and everything but my grams forget's that."
"So, If the boys were fine. Why does she say I'd end up like them?"
"Well...The boys suffered some kind of muscle paralyze. The garden's carry some dangerous plants and they got into them. But, Don't worry You won't be working anywhere near that section of the garden." He gave a small smile before grabbing Claire's bag and pointing towards the stairs.
"Let me show you to your room." Claire nodded and followed after looking around as she followed. The walls were decorated with pictures of family portarits. Each seeming to date back years and all having a women, a man, a older woman and man, then a little boy. It was kind of eerie as every picture had the same number of people and were in the exact same pose.
" This room is yours." He pushed open the door at the end of the hall. " It's not very big but you should have everything you need already inside. My mom stocked it before she left for the market. You'll be sharing the room. If that's alright." Claire marveled at the bedroom. It had a vintage 1800's style with oil lamps on the side tables and yellow flower wall paper while the bathroom was a deep pink with a large clawed bathtub and small sink.
"The other's will be coming shortly. Your the first one. You can sleep if you want and dinner is served at 6 sharp no execptions. It was nice meeting you Claire."
" You too." She waved watching as he left her to herself. Claire sat down on the frilly white sheets and let out a sigh as she fell back. She would be here for the two weeks while her step-sister was freely enjoying her own spring break. It sucked but there was nothing a girl could do.
The chime of her phone caused her to sit up. She unlocked to be greet with a photo of her father and his new family at the family cabin. In the bottom corner was the hashtag without freak. Claire let out a groan and threw the phone onto the pillow before sighing
" Happy birthday to me."