I didn't mean to eavesdrop. I really didn't. I had just come home from school, and as I passed the door to my grandmother's room, couldn't help to overhear a hushed voice. It was strange, the way the voice rumbled throughout the house. It most definitely not my grandmother.
Curious, I leaned in closer to the door. "You don't have much time, dearest... she is growing older... Soon, she will know." A shiver ran down my back. It almost sounded like the voice could be talking about me. My birthday had been just a few weeks ago.
A small, quivery voice murmured, "I know, father. She is growing up so fast. Too fast. But don't worry, dearest father. She will not see the truth. I have studied her for many years. I am telling you, the girl is not witty enough for us."
I stifled a scream. There was someone out there who was studying me, like an insect. I bit my lip, not sure if I really wanted to hear more. Before I could decide, the first voice began again, "Just be careful. You can't afford to mess up."
I couldn't take it anymore. I burst through the door, expecting to see two monsters carrying knives, but all I saw was my grandmother. She was sitting her chair, knitting a scarf while gazing out the window. "You should really be quieter, Evelyn. It's not polite to burst into someones bedroom like that." I rolled my eyes. Classic Grandmother Beatrice. Quick to point out flaws, as long as they weren't hers. She turned her head slowly, as if calculating something. It took about twenty seconds for her to fully look at me. When she did, I nearly passed out.
My grandmother's eyes were a sickly color of yellow. They were only like that for a moment before fading back to her normal shade of brown, but I had seen the yellow glint in her irises, if only for a second.
Old Beatrice looked alarmed by my fear. "What's wrong, dearest? Why do you look so frightened." Dearest. She called me dearest. I was scared out of my wits, but something told me not to tell her what I had seen. "I just remembered I-I..... um... I have a math test tomorrow, and I haven't studied at all."
She frowned at me doubtfully, but eventually muttered, "Well, get on it! I can't have you fail every class." My mind churned as I closed the door behind me.
I walked numbly to my bedroom, trying to process everything from the scary voices to my grandmother's yellow eyes. I wished I could climb into my mother's lap, but she was gone. She would never come back. I wished I could hold my daddy's hand, but he was gone too. All I had was my grandmother and her color-changing eyes.
"Dinner!" she yelled. I trudged down the hall to the kitchen, and like always, I found her sitting at the table expectantly. I sighed, and got some frozen peas out of the refrigerator. I stuck them in the microwave, set it for three minutes, and tapped my fingers while waiting for my meal.
My grandmother's eyes traveling up and down my body. I have studied her for many years. A chill ran down my body as I recalled the words of that thin wobbly voice in my grandmother's room. The microwave beeped three times, and I took the peas out of the oven, serving them to my grandmother and to myself.
We ate dinner in silence. My grandmother's eyes did not leave me once, and I found myself trying to pretend I didn't notice. I stared at my peas as I ate them, trying to think of something else, but I kept hearing voices in my head, voices screaming, voices crying.
I finished my peas, and excused myself without a word. It was late, and I had the longest day of my life, so I went straight to my room and sprawled on my bed, exhausted. I lay there looking up at the ceiling, freaking out. I took out my journal, planning to sort out what had happened. I had come home after another mediocre day at school. There were strange voices in my grandmother's room. Someone was studying me. Someone had a secret. My grandmother's eyes changed color from chestnut brown to a pale yellow. And she didn't want me to know that her eyes changed color. I put my journal away, deciding that somethings just shouldn't be written down.
I heard the soft padding of my grandmother's slippers as she walked down the hall. She stopped in front of my door, pushing it open with her frail old lady hands. I sat up straight as she said, "Goodnight Evelyn. Stay out of trouble." She warned, "Don't go where you are not wanted." She closed the door, and her footsteps got quieter as she walked to her room.
Don't go where you are not wanted. My mind was doing somersaults. My grandmother was trying to keep me away from something or someone. I was not sure if it was for my own good, or if she was hiding something. I was on the brink of something, something important. All I need to remember was where I wasn't supposed to go.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. The attic. I wasn't supposed to go in the attic. If my mind was doing somersaults before, now it was doing an entire acrobatic sequence. I lay back down on my bed, waiting for my grandmother's snoring to fill the house. I did not have to wait long. In a matter of minutes, the rumblings from her bedroom shook the whole house. I slipped into my robe and slippers and tip-toed out the door, careful to close it as quietly as I could.
I was full of foreboding as I climbed the ladder, and my heart skipped a beat at every rustle of the sky blue curtains in our living room. A little more dread was added to my collection every time I moved my foot to the next rung, and by the time my hand was on the trap door, I was about ready to turn back and hide under my blankets. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and flung open the trap door.
There was nothing in the room except for an old, dusty wooden chest. Despite the fact that the wood was completely intact, it let off an awful smell, like something rotting. My flesh began to crawl as I crept closer. Something was very wrong about the whole situation. I reached out my arm until the tips of my fingers touched the wooden box, and found that the layer of dust was practically an inch thick. My hand met a chunky iron lock, and I tugged on it to no avail. I was about to turn around when I remembered the bobby pin in my hair. I took it out and inserted it in the round hole, turning it with my all the strength I could muster. I heaved open the chest.
This time, I could not stifle my scream. It came out loud an clear, like a siren in a silent room. I was looking into the pale visage of my grandmother. She was undoubtedly dead.
A cold finger gripped my arm, and I slowly turned around, afraid of what I would find. Another scream rang through the house. Clutching my arm was a figure in a draping black cloak, with a hood drawn over their head, so I could not see there face. I could only see the eyes. They were a sickly color of yellow. "Goodnight, dearest." it murmured.