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Old May 12th, 2008, 2:38 am
KatComma  Female.gif KatComma is offline
First Year
Join Date: 11th May 2008
Location: Over there --->
Age: 28
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The House of the Rising Sun

I started on this story a few weeks ago. I'm not sure where this portion of it will go, it could be in the beginning as background information or in the middle as some kind of a flashback, but this is the first part of it I've written. The story isn't going to be primarily about the two characters here. It's based around the house they're living in, and it's going to be about the people who move into it next.

The early morning air was damp and dark as it leaked into what appeared to be, from the outsider’s point of view, an old, abandoned house in New Orleans, Louisiana. All of the sheets of glass in all of the windows were gone, and a rotting wooden door on the front of the house was boarded off from the inside and out with very durable lumber. The window openings where there had once been glass were high up on the house and tiny, which would have made it a hard task to look through any of them, save for one. There was one window on the back of the house, a large window that still had glass covering its opening. This window faced to the East, with a beautiful view of the horizon visible through it.

On that early morning, no one would have seen anything but the reverse side of thick, black curtains if they had attempted to look through that back window, to spy upon the middle-aged man that lived in the house. However, it would have been more than easy enough for the passing eavesdropper to gain a rough mental picture of what was inside the house at the time, through the faint sounds coming from the highest windows.

An old turntable played a scratchy, faint tune, which the man in the house was humming along to. The sound of slow, heavy footsteps could be heard by the living room windows, as could the sound of another person, most likely a young woman, whimpering in fear and pain.

"I told you I’d find you, child," Edward Harper’s voice said quietly as he paced slowly around and around a chair in the living room. In one of his hands, he held an old gun, and there was a cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth.

The chair in the living room was a wooden dining chair. A girl in her early twenties was bound to the chair, which was nailed to the floor. That floor was made of splintering wood, and there was an abundance of scarlet liquid dripping down from the chair onto it. The chair was the last piece of furniture other than the small table that Harper’s record player, still singing a faint tune, was perched upon.

The woman was incapable of speech. Even if she had been physically capable, she wasn’t too sure she would have been able to formulate the words in her mind into plain English. There was a red bandana gagging her, preventing her from even an attempt at speech. She whimpered yet again, and a tear rolled down her cheek as Harper continued pacing, staring down at her. The tear stung her cheek as it reached a small, bleeding hole that Harper had driven a needle through only a few minutes ago.

Harper stopped in front of the girl and bent over her, his face barely an inch from hers. His face had been a kind one at one time, and for many years. However, when he picked up his unquenchable thirst for alcohol and gambling about ten years ago, that kindness began ebbing away. Now, his face was deranged and insane as he smiled a crooked smile with wide, wild eyes. Those eyes had been bright blue at one time, just like her eyes were, but it seemed as though someone had pulled the plug that lit them. She saw they were a pale gray as she stared up into them. Harper’s hair had also grown since she’d last seen him. It was now quite a bit lengthier, down past his shoulders. That dirty blond color was now streaked with grey and white, and it was horribly matted and greasy. It had been six, maybe seven years since she’d last seen him, and he looked more crazed than ever.

"You left," Harper said, pointing at her with a slightly shaky index finger. "I told you, Mary, I told you what would happen if you left me in this godforsaken place alone."

She felt the gun against her head. She shook her head no rapidly, her youthful, bright blue eyes wide and shimmering with tears. Upon her reaction, he lowered the gun.

"You still wanna stay sittin' there?" He laughed, a sound colder than ice. "I never did understand you, child."

Harper comenced his pacing again, examining her, remembering her as she had been when he last saw her in person. She was sixteen when she left him there, and she hadn't changed much in the six years he'd spent looking for her. She was still young, blonde, beautiful, and still the child of the devil. He had brought her up to be a good, honest Christian girl, but still, she had left him. He had given her everything she ever asked for while she was with him, and still – still, she had left him there to rot in his misery.

There was no mercy in her heart, and not enough of a sense of kindness to have helped him through his hardest times. She deserved every bit of suffering she had been through that night. It had made her just as ugly on the outside as she was within. She deserved to suffer for having made him suffer as much as he had over the past six years without anyone there with him to help him hold onto his last threads of sanity. What he was doing wasn't at all wrong. It wasn't sin, it was justice in the name of the Lord.

She whimpered helplessly again, as he continued pacing, humming, and looking down at her. He walked over to the record player in the corner of the room and turned its volume up. The song played more clearly now, and he restarted it. He set his gun down next to the turntable on the stand it was on, and picked up a knife from the floor next to the stand. He took the knife out of its cloth case and walked back over to Mary at a leisurely pace, examining it all at the same time.

"Why postpone what’s certain to come anyway, sweetheart?" He stopped in front of Mary. "You left me here, alone. This house drove me insane and you wouldn’t help me. I told you that you’d die if you ever left me alone, I told you I'd kill you."

She seemed to be trying to say something through the bandana. Her lips were definitely moving, and it seemed as though her vocal chords were working harder than ever in an attempt to get her point across.

"You got somethin’ to say?"

She nodded fervently. Tears were rolling down her cheeks and stinging her wounds worse than ever, but she didn’t care. He reached forward as though to remove the bandana, but he instead smacked her sharply across the face.

"Betrayers don’t get any second chances," he said. "And you’re a betrayer. Your mother died givin’ birth to you, and I raised you alone for sixteen years, and the payment I got was you leavin’ me here to rot to death in this hell? You don’t get any second chances, there ain’t no excuse for abandoning someone who gave their life to you, little girl."

He held the knife to her throat. She whimpered again, but he wasn’t at all hesitant. In a swift motion, he slashed the knife across her neck. Her head fell.

"No second chances," he said again through gritted teeth.

He dropped the knife on the floor as she bled dry from her neck, the liquid dying her long, light blonde hair red. The darkness that had covered his heart ever since she left him seemed to have left him, but it was replaced with an entirely new feeling: guilt. He shouldn't have felt guilty; he knew what he had done was right. Then again, was it right? If it were right, his conciousness wouldn't have been scolding him for his actions. His daughter, his only child, was dead, after hours of suffering.

He looked down at his white shirt, which was now also bloodstained. He walked over to the record player again and turned it up a little louder, still humming along to the song. He picked up his gun from next to it and walked to the back room. He opened the curtains and looked out at the horizon as the sun was creeping up over it, listening as the sound of a woman's singing issued from the record player in the next room over.

Well, I got one foot on the platform
The other foot on the train
I’m goin’ back to New Orleans
To wear that ball and chain

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor child

His hand was shaking as he watched the sun rise up. The gun’s barrel was at his ear as he silently mouthed the last line of the song.
And God, I know, I'm one...

The song ended with the deafening shot of a gun and the thump of a body falling down onto the splintering wooden floor. A pool of scarlet fluid grew under Edward Harper’s body as he lay staring up at the ceiling. The record player shut off. Just as his vision was blurring and his hearing was growing fuzzy, he heard footsteps moving closer to him, and he saw the fuzzy outline of a person standing over him. He could faintly distinguish some sort of colorful garb wrapped around the figure's head, but little more than that. As a cold hand touched his forehead, he shut his eyes and breathed out his last breath.

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