MemberFebruary 12, 2020 at 5:13 pm
I’m sorry for the radio silence. I wasn’t feeling very well, and a lot of new information has come to light, so I have mostly been really overwhelmed.
After my husband said that he couldn’t see anything strange in the picture, I thought he was joking. There was no way he couldn’t see the person, it was clear as day. But I missed it the first time, didn’t I? After probing him a little further I realized he was telling the truth. Whatever the figure was, it seemed to be invisible to him.
So why could I see it?
Laying in bed that night I tried to make sense of everything. I saw the pattern where the women in my family were murdered when they got pregnant with their second child and it dawned on me. My mom died when I was little. Could this, whatever this is, have been the cause? I figured that Theo (having been 12 at the time) or dad might be able to shed some light on this.
The next day I texted my father and brother and asked if we could have lunch together. Luckily they both had time yesterday, so we booked it right away. As I approached the restaurant I felt a chill of anticipation. Did I really want answers to my questions? Or would the answers just make everything worse?
I saw Theo first. My brother’s wild red hair could be seen from a mile away. Beside him was my dad, his customary cup of coffee in front of him. After the typical small talk, I decided to go straight to business. I told them I found a couple of pictures at grandpa’s house and put them on the table. No reaction from either Theo or dad. I guess they were not able to see the figure either. I told them the pictures made me think of mom and after some reminiscing I asked dad:
“This may sound a bit strange, but was mom pregnant when she died?”
Dad took a long sip of his coffee, and then said:
“She had a hard time getting pregnant, I think you know. We tried for a long time, and then decided to adopt Theo”
“Wait, Theo is adopted?” I said, jokingly, as Theo gave me a nasty look. “Sorry, T! And then…”
“Then we wanted another child” dad continued. “So we started with the IVF treatments. After a couple of tries, we were told we were going to have a little girl” dad said, ruffling my hair.
“So there is no way she was pregnant when she died?” I asked again, just to be sure.
“What is this all about anyway?” My father’s change of tone came out of nowhere. ”I told you already, Elin, she was not pregnant!” He said, slamming into the table, making both me and Theo jump. He got up and loudly announced he was going to the toilet.
”Dad is not telling you the whole truth. Let’s talk after lunch”, Theo said. I nodded. When dad came back I quickly changed the subject and the rest of our lunchtime went by without a hitch.
After we said our goodbyes to dad, me and Theo went for a walk in the nearby park. He asked what this was all about, so I filled him in. I only left out the part where I could see a figure in the picture that was invisible to everyone else.
”Dad is in denial, but mom was definitely pregnant when she died.” Theo said after a long silence. I let the news sink in.
”But… he always said he wanted to have more kids!” I exclaimed, confused.
”I don’t want to speak ill of the dead but… a couple of months before mom died, she… was having an affair. I found out when I came home earlier from school one day and walked in on her and her lover. Afterwards she made me promise over and over again that I would keep this a secret. The idea of them divorcing scared me so I kept my mouth shut. But then…”
”Then she got pregnant” I said. ”But what about her problems?”
”I’m not sure… My theory is that dad is the one with fertility issues, but he would never admit to it” he answered. ”Anyway, I found out about the pregnancy because they had a huge fight when dad found out. Mom might have tried to pass the baby off as his, but he wouldn’t accept it. I guess in the end she told him about the affair.”
”I… had no idea.” I managed to say. Theo put his arms comfortingly around me. ”Did mom… did she do or say anything… weird after she got pregnant?”
Theo stopped and scratched his head. After a while, he said:
”Now that you ask… she seemed really anxious all the time, and she was having nightmares. I think they were about a dark man… I remember her telling a friend about it on the phone. She said the man dragged her into the woods and tried to kill her”
”A dark man?” I asked, floored.
”Yeah… She also mentioned something about a white deer in the woods. It was a long time ago, sorry. I just remember the really weird stuff.”
”Do you know what happened to her?” I asked. ”You know, when she…” I trailed off, unable to finish the sentence.
”Sort of. On the week she disappeared she seemed almost like her pre-pregnancy self again. She hadn’t been out of the house for a couple of weeks at this point, and then out of nowhere she decided she was going to go on a shopping trip. I remember asking if she was sure about going out alone. Her answer was really strange” He stopped to catch his breath. ”She said: ‘I won’t be alone, She’ll be there with me, and I’ll be safe’.” The way she said it was really off, so dad and I tried to figure out who ”she” was, but mom never answered. She kissed you and me on the forehead, said goodbye to dad and left. That was the last time we saw her”
I was stunned. The nightmares were the same as grandma’s, but differently from grandma mom was apparently calm the day she disappeared. She felt she had a protector… could this be the witch? Did She trick my mom and then kill her? I started feeling light-headed, so I said goodbye to Theo and we went to the parking garage,Theo mentioning that he was all out of memories. As I was starting it, I heard a knock at the window.
”There’s one more thing I just remembered!” Theo said. ”After mom died, we were all worried about how you were going to cope. One day I woke up and you were looking out the kitchen window, waving. I asked what you were doing and you said: ”saying goodbye to mommy! She lives in the forest now!” I remember looking out of the window and seeing nothing. I just thought you were making things up”
”I… I really need to go now, Theo! But good talking to you!” I said, waving and driving off.
Before I went home, I stopped at the convenience store to buy some stuff for dinner. As I was on the waiting line, a thought crossed my mind. I went back to the toiletry aisle and reluctantly picked up a blue and white box.
I ran to the toilet as soon as I got home and opened the pregnancy test. I prayed that it would be negative.
But of course I had no such luck.
Before these last couple of days I would have been elated to have another child, but now I knew that this was a death sentence for me and the baby. I had to get to the bottom of this, and fast.
As I left the toilet to make dinner (and a plan of attack), I saw movement out the window. I froze.
I saw big yellow eyes.
I saw rags.
I saw the witch.
And she was beckoning me to follow her.