“Guilt, is a tough emotion. Sometimes, it swallows you up whole. Taking away the feel of true reality. But sometimes the truth and be even harder to bear than the endless lies you supply. Is it the truth that hurts more or the lies? Sometimes, we shall never know…”
Is it truly to love and let go?
Do those words truly mean something?
Chapter 1- New Beginnings
If life could get any worse than this…
Winter sighed and looked out the window. It was a beautiful scenery that Winter itched to get her colored pencils and draw. But alas she was not in the mood for that.
Today, she was being shipped off to her uncle’s house. You are probably in good terms with your uncle and wouldn’t mind if you had live there for a while but Winter hated her uncle. She always never liked him. He was a strange man with wired spectacles, a walking cane and often mumbled and talked of strange things. He had always called her “Monarch Butterfly” which Winter thought was an annoyingly strange nickname for her. As a child she only came to her uncle’s house to see her aunt. Her aunt, Rosalyn was a wonderful person, caring, sweet, kind and a great cook. She always wondered why she had married such an awful person but that was a rude question to ask. She would play in her aunt’s garden. It was gorgeous with brightly colored flowers and sculptures. She kept building on to it because she believed it would keep her in good terms with the “fairies” and “pixies.” Her aunt believed in fairies and pixies and as a child she enjoyed listening to the stories she told. But when she was 5 her aunt was diagnosed with cancer and died. Everyone at her funeral shed tears for she was a wonderful person. After her aunt’s death, Winter believed her uncle got even more crazier as if he lost his sanity. He managed to keep the garden well and talked to it as if he were having a fine conversation with it. The rooms were all dusty and dirty as if you wanted to look at a glimpse of the past. Only 3 rooms were kept clean; the study, her aunts room and the guest room. She was devastated to be here. She might as well move to an orphanage.
She was being sent off there for a few reasons. After her brother’s murder, her mother became insane. She would drink and drink and hardly was ever sober. She was fired from her job and stayed home, drinking. Winter did as many after school activities so she wouldn’t be home often. The arts helped her cope. She drew her feelings, played her feelings on the clarinet and danced her feelings. She never dared to hurt her father but they got into loud arguments, frightening Winter. Her mother smashed bottles and threw furniture. The days her father worked late were the days she was even more frightened to go home. Her mother would knock her door and demand to come in, beating and hitting her. Her classmates would ask but Winter would just brush if off so they ended up just ignoring her which she didnt mind. She wasn’t like her brother who could stop her parents arguments easily. One day she was so fed up with it, she came over to her mother and yelled at her but she smashed a bottle on her head which sent her crying and her father having to bandage her. As time went on this issue became worse and not even the doctors could help her. Her father claimed this was not the woman he fell in love with. So now he was doing paperwork and trying to divorce her. Her father wanted her to be far away from this.
Her brother, Christopher.. He was a great person. He was the prize of the family while she stood silent in the background, not caring. Though she wished she were as great as her brother. He had inherited her fathers beautiful blond hair which was a yellowish color. Winter always wished she had gotten blond hair than black, it would make her pale complexion seem more darker. Her brother was perfect, good at everything. He excelled at sports and was the head of almost every team except football since he loathed that sport. He managed to keep wonderful grades, all A’s and AP classes. Winter was jealous at this because she was an average student and managed B’s, C’s and the occasional A. Her brother was very popular and was in good terms with everyone. Even the people who thought they hated him for his perfectness ended up liking him because he was a likable person. He even had a gorgeous girlfriend, her name was Diane. She had hazel eyes and beach blond hair. Of course she was the head cheerleader. Winter always wished she could make friends like that. She was quite unsociable and found it hard to make friends and strike conversations with people. She was quite shy and found it hard to open up to anyone. This led people to ignore her and lead her to have no friends. Her brother would try to find friends for her but Winter always dismissed his attempts. What do you do with a “friend”? If only her brother was still alive. He had a future. A perfect destiny. His future was a paved road while her’s was all bumps and ended up to the middle of nowhere. His death was a tortuous memory. It turned her insides out and made her feel undeniable shame for herself. It was a deep mental scar but on her conscious unlike her mother’s scar on her insanity. She was the useless child, the silent child, the child no one seemed to care about. While her brother was the star with never dying flame. She should have died..it would have been for the best. The memory of his death was fresh and clear as if it happened yesterday….
It was a cold autumn night, the wind blowing sending crisp colored leaves flying everywhere and landing cleanly on the ground. Winter couldn’t sleep, she heard footsteps and noises coming from downstairs. She believed it was her imagination and walked down the stairs with her red heart shaped pillow she slept with. Even though she was a teenager, she preferred sleeping with a soft object.
She went into the kitchen and reached for a cool polished glass and poured cold water in it. But what she saw outside almost made her glass. Two boys where standing near the window, they looked younger than Chris. One had bright, lively green eyes and held a golden knife while the other had brown eyes. Her brother stood in front of him, shocked and his hair ruffled from sleep. Winter his behind the doorway.
“What have you come here for?” Chris asked.
“I have come to kill you. Chris Penhollow.” The boy with green eyes said. This made Winter breathe a soft gasp. She tried to move but she was frozen with fear, her feet glued to the floor.
“What?” Chris’ eyes widened. “Why?”
But the boy said nothing and swiftly approached him. Chris dodged each strike and rummaged the room for something that could help him. He grabbed a pair of scissors as jabbed them at the boy. The boy worriedly shuffled and rolled out of the way. While Chris was consumed in fighting off the green eyes boy, the second boy came behind him. Winter wanted to scream, stomp or call 911. But her throat made now sound, her feet wouldn’t move and her arms were pinned down at her side. The brown eyed boy came behind him and punched him, sending him flying to the floor. The brown eyed boy pinned him down. Chris wriggled around flailing his arms, trying to punch the boy. Even though Chris was stronger and larger. The boys had the advantage since they were wide awake and Chris was interrupted from his sleep.
“Got him!” The brown eyed boy exclaimed.
“Good. Well, goodbye Chris. You werent a bad fighting opponent.” The green eyed boy brought the gleaming knife down.
“Wait! Tell my family..I love them!” Chris sputtered.
“Yeah yeah. Whatever.” The green eyed boy said. He sent the golden knife down to his heart twisting it as scarlet blood spilled out. He sent the knife down five times.
When Chris was completely dead and the boys were walking away. Winter’s senses reawakened and she fled to her brother, crying and holding his hand. She stared at his cold body with the golden life struck down on his heart. His face was cold, why did this have to happen?
The boys whirled around.
“What’s this? Chris had a lil sis?” The green eyed boy said, his eyebrow arching up.
“Hey. Kid were you here the whole time?” The brown eyes boy asked.
“Yes.” Winter said softy not making any eye contact.
“Wow. Your an idiot!” The green eyed boy laughed. “You could have saved your brother! Screamed, dialed 911 or stomped. But he’s dead now. You might as well held the bloody knife. And I wouldn’t have minded if I was interrupted by you…” He bent down and stroked her cheek. She flinched at the touch.
They whirled around and left. Winter shuddered. It was her fault…she..killed…him..she..could..have..saved him..
Winter got some rope loosely wrapped it around her and screamed.
Her parents rushed down and were shocked at the sight they saw. Their son was bleeding with a knife imprint in his heart. His eyes were fluttered closed and his blond hair was matted and bloody.
“Darling! What happened?” Her father cried.
“I came downstairs for water and saw 2 boys..One with green and the other with brown eyes came and k-k-k-killed him. The brown eyed one came and tied me up and wouldn’t let me move. The other boy had a knife and was fighting Chris. But he pinned him down and..and..s-s-st-stabbed him!” Winter cried. She wasn’t just crying because she was upset, she was crying because she lied. She could have saved him but she was frozen with fear. The guilt swallowed her up and resulted with eerie blackness..
Winter winced at the memory. It was April 26th, he didnt even make it to her birthday which was the next month. The guilt was still eating her up, to this very day. She should have-
“Ey! Winter we are here! I’ll help ya with your bags!” Paul exclaimed.
“Thanks Paul. You were a great driver.” Winter said. It was true. He chatted with her at the beginning of the way. They asked each other’s names and about where she was going. Paul was going to college in San Diego and was working part time to pay off the tuition.
“How much was the ride?” Winter asked.
“11.53!” He exclaimed.
Winter rummaged through her purse and only found 20 dollar bills. She handed him one and he looked around for change.
“Argh. You might as well could have-”
“Keep the change.” Winter said softly. At least she was doing a nice gesture for someone before she left to her uncles house. Paul seemed pleased and hopped in the cab.
“Good luck at yer Uncles house!” He exclaimed and zoomed away. Winter wished she could scream for him to come back, that she could help him by selling paintings. But her father would be cross if she decided not to go to her uncles house.
She looked up at the estate. The hedges were untrimmed and the grass was tall as if it had not been cut. Vines wrapped around it giving it the look of an abandoned palace. Of course this wasnt her palace and she was no princess with a perfectly ending love story. The garden still looked acceptable with roses, daffodils and flowers of every color. But the scent of the garden made her nostalgic, it just was filled with Rosalyn.
Winter went up to the doorbell and gulped. She pressed the gold button and let the bell echo and chime. Maybe, he wasnt home?
To her disappointment he opened the door. His hair was slick, his wired glasses taped and he wore a suit and he had his name tag from work reading “Fredrick Penhollow.”
“Ah. Monarch Butterfly! Come in! Come in!” Fredrick exclaimed and grabbed her luggage.
The house looked even more dismal without her aunt’s colorful touch. The grandfather clock chimed sadly singing a soft and sad melody.
He dragged her up to her room. It was gorgeous, with Aunt Rosalyn’s touch of style. The bed was a large canopy bed with blue and white stripes and fluffy pillows. The walls were plastered with various science posters of her uncle’s and paintings. There was a cherry wood table with a chair and a cushion on it. Next to the bed was a cherry wood nightstand with a silver lamp. The room was carpeted with vanilla colored carpet. The bathroom was small but decent, mostly green. Outside her window she had a fantastic view of Rosalyn’s ever famous garden. The smell of fresh flowers wafted throughout the room.
She laid down on the bed letting the silky sheets cover her body. She unpacked her stuff and left her clothes in the closet. She took out her sketchbook and contemplated what to draw. She found herself better at observational drawing than imagining things to draw but the only thing she could draw with her imagination was fairies. She drew the garden through Rosalyn’s eyes. Beautiful flowers with dancing fairies. The drawing was bittersweet.
“Tea!” Fredrick cried.
Winter sighed, and left the sketchbook on the nightstand. She sniffed the air and smelled English Brunch tea. She smiled, at least he had good taste in tea compared to the Earl Gray tea he used to bring. Her nose crinkled at the thought. Fredrick was sitting at the table with a newspaper and his glasses were loosely perched on his nose. He held a dainty pink teacup and was drinking calmly. Winter poured herself some and took a seat across from him.
“Ah. Very interesting article.” He murmured to no one in particular. Winters deep blue eyes focused on the floor hoping that he wouldn’t notice her. As if it was on demand Fredrick looked right at her.
“So Winter I have some fantastic news!” He exclaimed and set the teacup down.
Winter raised an eyebrow, she didn’t know what this mans idea of “good news” was.
Chapter 2- The Destined Dagger
Winter took all of her self control to start screaming at the man, her deep blue eyes widened.
“Boarding school?” Winter questioned.
“Well, here’s the acceptance letter. I wrote down all of your abilities and they select a house for you based on your abilities.” He said and handed her the paper.
Winter went upstairs with the paper. She began to read.
Dear Winter Penhollow,
Based on your abilities sent to me from your uncle you have been accepted into the “Blue House.” The Blue House is home to many talented young artists. The House specializes in the arts, from drama, to drawing, dancing and instrumental music.
We shall be providing you a taxi service to the fact that you arrived in the middle of the quarter and you shall not be able to use our train service.I hope you enjoy your semesters with Ace Academy for Talented Youth. It shall be a pleasure having you.
We hope you enjoy learning and a school supply list is attached to this letter.
She almost throw the paper down in frustration. There was barely any information regarding this school. It was just so general. She sighed, She supposed today, she had to go shopping. It told her to go to a certain store called “Charlie’s Store of Finery.” Fredrick walked in the door.
“So do you want to go?” He questioned. She simply nodded and the whole car ride was silent. She still found her life unsettling and confusing. Not knowing how it would turn out. Sometimes, she wished the tunnel weren’t so dark so she could see the light at the end. That life didn’t have to be so dark. She sighed and thanked her uncle for the ride.
The shop was small and quaint and very, warming and welcoming. She took a deep breath of the air, it smelled like cinnamon? That was how her aunt’s house used to smell. She felt in a trance in this nice little shop. There were so many queer little things in the shop like small dragon sculptures and handmade necklaces.
“Hello, I am Charlie!” A voice called out. An elderly man with a tuft off white hair, an apron and oversized glasses. He looked like my grandfather from Europe. He very much reminded her of him. It comforted her. She liked this shop, it was very nice.
“Hm, wait don’t tell me..your going to the school right? Blue house?” He speculated and walked back with her.
“How did you know!” She exclaimed surprised. This man whose name was Charlie. She couldn’t trust strangers this easily. She couldn’t let alone make a single friend.
“Well, your Rosalyn’s little nephew, right? You have her eyes. She stopped by here a lot, she even went to your school! I suspected you would be in the same house are her.” He said.
Her aunt went to this school!? She felt a little burst of happiness to go here. It was like she was living her aunt’s lost dreams and having her watch over her life at her school. Well, she wished her aunt were here to help her get used to the new school. Friends weren’t her strength and her aunt was so nice. She always felt that her aunt were opposites but they had a relation. The arts of course.
“Yes.” She said proudly.
Charlie helped Winter get all her supplies and they chatted about life. This man was an easy relatable person. Winter only wished he could have gone to school with her. She found older people easier to relate too at times. They had more experience in life and didn’t judge like the younger generation tended to do. Charlie was calm and friendly and told her when he started the place with his wife and how their son was very successful and would drop by the shop and help out. His wife passed away a year ago but he didn’t seem struck by the loss. She lived a very long and enjoyable loss and he didn’t want her to weep up there so he managed to be happy running the little shop. Winter even suggested off terms she could help out and he graciously accepted her help. He loved when younger people helped him out the shop. They were very curious and speculative and now he was older he couldn’t do things as well and efficiently.
Winter turned to walk out but he called to her.
“Wait! I have to give you something!!” He exclaimed loudly.
“Yes?” Winter asked approaching his counter where she paid at.
“This is for you.” He handed her a beautiful blue fairy dust necklace seeming to be entwined with a silver vine with a silver chain. It was beautifully crafted, probably handmade.
“Why are you giving me this?” She asked.
“It was a gift from Rose. That school isn’t always the safest place so many of the students would carry little weapons with them just in case.” He said.
She raised her eyebrows, dangerous?
“It is fine. Don’t worry. It is in a little ominous place so people thought the weapons would keep them safe. This year when you pull off the pendant it transforms into a sword. Try it.” He said.
She did as he said and it turned into a beautiful sword just as the necklace with the hilt as the fairy dust and a silver dagger end. It was beautiful. Definitely something of her aunts.
“Thank you so much.” She said and put the necklace on carefully.
“Of course. Rose was very kind. I hope you enjoy your school. It is a nice place, well most of the time. You will learn great things. I hope you become successful and visit off term to help me!” He said.
“Of course! Your shop reminds me of when my aunt was still here.” She said longingly. He simply smiled and waved.
She walked outside and called for Fredrick to pick her up.
She really wondered how the school would turn out. It seemed already interesting.
“Did you get everything?” Fredrick asked and wiped his mouth.
“Yeah.” Winter said and got ready for bed.
Tomorrow, she would be going to this strange and weird school. A cab would be picking her up tomorrow. She almost couldn’t sleep not because of excitement because of nervousness. But her aunt would be with her right?