In and out, In and out the needle went.
In and out patching up wounds that don't exist.
In and out the red thread weaving through my tanned skin.
I swung my legs back and forth, humming the tune to the lullaby my mother used to sing to my brother and me.
My older brother Yuki sat on the opposite side of the table eating his mashed potatoes and beans. To be honest I don't understand why anyone in this place eats that crap, it tasted like medicine and looked like barf. The gravy was lumpy and occasionally had bugs or pieces of hair in it. It was an abomination to all foods.
I tied a knot at the end of the thread and cut it off as soon as I had finished stitching my arm. I took a sip from my tea, it was really good tea, probably the only thing in this place that tastes good besides the croissants. It was hot and black with just the right amount of sugar in it. I looked up from my cup to find my brother staring at me.
"What?" I said as I tilted my head in curiosity
"How long has it been?" he said pointing to my arm. I looked at the stitches spiraling from my index finger down halfway my arm and pointed to each and every one of them as I counted.
1, 2, 3......
"64 months now"
"It’s been that long huh?" he said with a deep sigh lowering his head
"Yeah, but to be honest I've kinda gotten used to this place"
"But don't you ever wonder what it’s like out there, or what it’s like to be free from this hell house?"
"Yes I miss the outside world, but this place is not hell compared to what goes on in my head" I giggled.
I looked down at my feet swinging back and forth over the cold white tile of the cafeteria, I looked back at my brother to find him smiling at me.
"What now?" I asked him again
"How do you stay so positive after all that's happened to us?"
"I don't know I guess mom's joy just rubbed onto me" I said as I smiled brightly at my brother
I looked at my cup of tea and steered it, as I watched the tea leaves floating in my cup, swirling. I went off in to a daze remembering what happened before my brother and I ended up in here.
I started screaming, Yuki got up from his bed and ran towards me. I could hear what was going on but I couldn't wake up.
I felt his cold hand touch my arm, then I heard him scream in pain. I wasn't sure if it was because of me or something else. Then I heard something heavy fall on to the wooden floor of Yuki and I's bed room.
All of a sudden everything went black and when I opened my eyes everything was on fire. The whole town was engulfed in flames, and houses were swallowed up by red and orange.
Then I heard someone shouting from across the street, I couldn't make out who it was or what they were saying. But for some reason I started to run towards the person.
As I got closer, I realized it was Yuki telling me run in the other direction and I didn't understand why, so I just kept running towards him. All of a sudden strange creatures came up from behind him. They were tall with stitches running down their body, they had razor sharp teeth and sharp sword like hands (well some of them had sword like hands but others just had long grotesque fingers with sharp claws).
I tried to warn him but I was too late, the creatures grabbed him and started to drag him down a deep dark hole.
I tried to run after them but the closer I got the further away they seemed. Then they disappeared and the hole closed up. I dropped to the ground and started to cry, my sorrows then turned into rage and the fire around me started to burn more vigorously than before.
I then got up from the hot gravel road and scram as loud as I possibly could, the fire was everywhere even on my body but it didn't hurt, it felt nice and warm, almost soothing. Then everything went red.
"Pepper!! Pepper wake up!!"
I opened my eyes to see my mother standing over me and my brother holding me in his arms.
"Pepper, are you okay?" Yuki said with a worried look on his face
I rubbed my eyes and looked around the room not sure what happened, everything was normal, no fire and no monsters. I looked back up at my brother and tears ran down my cheeks, and I hugged him tight.
"Don't ever leave me" I said as I burred my head into his chest sobbing
“I will never leave you, no matter what, I promise" He said as he held me tighter
Ever since that day my brother never left my sight. We spent every day at school together. Everyone at school thought I was a creep and they would always pick on me, because of that I grew distant and I had no friends.
I soon went crazy, I would have out bursts of rage and when that happened I felt like a totally different person, like I was someone else. Like a darker side of me surfaced. But thankfully I learned to control my anger. It still didn't stop me from having nightmares but it helped a lot, especially with having to deal with people at school.
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