I have something I need to tell you all. I am rather hesitant, but my therapist suggested it, and he knows what's best. It's the story of why I will never go back to Rosethorn Mansion. Never again.
I had just gotten married to my beautiful wife, Marissa Rosethorn. She was as lovely as they come, and I was head over heels. Her father, Duke Roberto, was a very wealthy and established man, and he loved to spoil his only daughter. Marissa had always said that she'd like to live in a small town, rather than a big city, and so as a wedding gift, Roberto built us a house in a little town, four hours away from the nearest city.
Marissa was over the moon. Me, not so much. See, I had heard a story about that area, one that didn't settle well with me. About ninety years ago, a Spanish- English girl had lived near the hill the house was built on, in a humble little home, with her family. The house Roberto built was situated in what used to be a wildflower meadow. Roberto had ordered the meadow to be cleared when he built Rosethorn mansion, but when this girl was alive, the meadow was full of wildflowers, and she and her older sister went there often. When her older sister fell sick, the girl, whose name was Clemintine, snuck out and went alone. There she encountered a drunk man, who attacked her with a knife, and left her to die.
When Clemintine was found, the town was devastated, as Clemintine was a sweet, little seven year old that they had loved very much. They buried her there, and erected a statue in her honour. People said that she haunted the area, though she never harmed anyone. Anyone who claimed to see her said she was weeping, dressed in the white dress she had been buried in, and clutching her favourite doll. When Duke Roberto had the meadow cleared, he chose the spot where she was buried to build Rosethorn, and had the statue moved to the museum.
You see, I am a very superstitious man, and I often fear angering spirits, as I don't know what they're capable of. When I tried to tell Marissa this, however, she had no such qualms. She waved me off with a laugh saying, "Henry, dear. You are far too worried. What trouble could a dead little girl possibly give us?" Marissa, unlike me, had no belief in ghosts or spirits, and so wasted no time in moving into Rosethorn Mansion, as so aptly named by her father.
Things went well for the first few months. I was rather jumpy, to be sure, but nothing out of the ordinary happened. That is, until my wife fell pregnant; after that things began to go downhill. First, it was the houses situated around the mansion. People complained about hearing screams and wails, and of things moving of their own accord. They also claimed to hear a little girl singing nursery rhymes. A two year old girl drowned in a nearby lake while her parents were at their neighbour's house, but nobody knew how she got out of the house, as when the couple returned home, every door and window were still closed and locked, and nobody had seen her leave the house.
Things like this went on for about two years. By this time, Marissa had once again fallen pregnant, and we also had our beautiful boy. Then, things began to happen to us. First, it was harmless things. Our belongings changed places, we heard wails and cries, we would hear singing and things disappeared. Then our son, Micheal, asked us who the scary girl who visited him at night was. I was very concerned by this, but Marissa was calm.
"Relax, my dear. He is a young boy. They have overactive imaginations. Don't stress," she told me. I still worried.
After the birth of our daughter Martha, things escalated.
I began seeing her. Clemintine. Sometimes she stood behind me, and I saw her in the mirror while I brushed my teeth. She was young, with long, tangled, black hair, full of sticks and leaves. Her skin was smooth as porcelain, and as fair as snow, though covered in dirt, scratches and blood. She had a blind eye, which was caused by a long, deep scratch running from her eyebrow to her cheek. It dripped blood. Her other eye was an innocent blue. She wore a white dress that came to her knees, with blood stains on it. She was barefoot, and her feet were cut and bleeding. She always carried a clay doll, which eerily resembled her. It was broken in some places, and had a blue eye painted on, which stared lifelessly. The other eye had been scratched off. It’s hair looked real, and was the same as Clemintine’s. It wore a pink, frilly dress that was torn at the bottom and bloodstained.
A couple of times I saw her standing over Martha's cot, singing Ring Around the Rosie, Little Miss Muffet or Pat a Cake, Pat a Cake. Every time, I swooped in to save Martha, and Clemintine disappeared.
One night, I woke to find Clemintine standing in my doorway, a curious look on her face. I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping she would leave me alone. No such luck. When I opened my eyes again, I started, stifling a scream. She was right next to my bed, just standing there staring down at me.
"Do you like my dolly?" She asked in a sing-song voice. I was too scared to do anything but stare.
"Mummy and Daddy got her for me. Isn't she lovely? She looks just like me! I scratched her other eye off so now she can only see out of one eye too. I called her Charlotte, but she didn't like that name. Do you know what she wanted to be called?" I managed to shake my head.
"Muerte. Isn't it a lovely name? It’s so fun to say! Muerte is my best friend!" She giggled. At the time, I didn't know the significance of the name, but my therapist suggested it may have a meaning. It did. Muerte is Spanish. Spanish for death.
Clemintine tilted her head at me. Her blind eye was blank; dead. Her blue eye resonated pain and anger, but the thing that terrified me the most was stronger than both emotions; madness.
"You are very bad, mister. You ruined my pretty meadow," she spat angrily.
"I-I didn't mean too. I didn't w-want to. I'm s-sorry!" I stammered. Clemintine laughed. It was a childish giggle, torn straight from a horror movie.
"You didn't mean to. Did you hear that, Muerte? He didn't mean to!" She stared me right in the eye.
"But mister," she whispered, leaning forward, "You did." She pulled back, and started dancing around with her doll singing:
Mister mister is no good
Chop him up for firewood
When he's dead, bash his head
Turn him into gingerbread!
She hugged her doll, then turned to me.
"You will regret this." Then she disappeared.
I didn't see her again for a while. Things stopped happening around the town, too. Everyone thought Clemintine had settled down.
Then Martha and Micheal disappeared. Marissa and I were frantic. We had the whole town searching for them for months, but there was no trace of them. It was as if they had vanished into thin air. Marissa was heartbroken. She sunk into herself, stopped talking much, just stared blankly at the walls. Every night she cried herself to sleep. I tried to convince her to leave, but she always screamed at me.
"WHAT IF THEY COME BACK? THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO FIND US! I WON'T GIVE UP! I WILL WAIT FOR THEM UNTIL I DIE!" And that's what she did, I suppose.
That night, Clemintine came to me.
"Do you like my dolly?" She asked again, shoving it in my face. My nose was filled with the metallic smell of blood. I gagged, and she pulled it back, giggling.
"Are you leaving, mister? Are you scared yet?" She whispered, staring down at me.
"I'm not scared," I said, though I was shaking under my covers.
Now, I wonder if that comment is what killed her. Did I kill the woman I loved? Was it my fault she died?
I remember that after I had said that, Clemintine had leaned down and whispered, "You will be."
The next morning, I saw what she had done. I couldn't hold back a scream as I stared down at Marissa, my wife, my love. Her eyes were open, staring. Her throat had a large gash in it, and dried blood crusted around the edges of the cut. The worst part was her stomach. Her nightgown was ripped, and I could see that the skin had been cut open. I could see her intestines and her stomach. A small sliver of white showed me her spine. The sheets were drenched in her blood. I turned to the side and vomited. And that's when I saw it. On the wall, written in blood, were the words, Muerte is waiting for you, with a crude, childish drawing of a doll. I ran from the house, crying and screaming the whole way. Marissa was dead.
On the day of the funeral, as the hearse went by, I heard a girl sing quietly in my ear,
Don't you laugh as the hearse goes by
For you may be the next to die
It ended with a giggle. I turned around, but nobody was there.
The next day, I packed my things. As I was picking up a photo of Marissa and I on our wedding day from my beside, Clemintine appeared.
"Are you leaving, mister? Are you scared yet?" She asked me softly, tilting her head.
"Yes," I choked out. She giggled happily.
"Do you like my dolly?" She asked me, "Her name is Muerte. Isn't that funny? Now Muerte and I can play together forever. Muerte is my best friend."
I spun around and growled at her, "Well you killed my best friend."
"I did?" She asked, "Oh right, the pretty lady." She giggled. "Whoopsies."
She stepped closer to me.
"Now Muerte has her. Do you like her?" She held up the doll. I gulped. All the anger had drained out of me, and I was filled with unexplainable terror, looking into the mismatched eyes of the blood stained, insane girl in front of me.
"Are you scared yet?" She whispered. I nodded.
She stepped backwards.
"Goodbye mister. You may be alive for now, but Muerte will get you one day!" Then she disappeared.
After that, everyone thought I was mad. Even my therapist thinks it's a story I made up, to cope with the loss of my family. They’re all wrong. I know what I saw. I know what happened.
I dream of her every night. Clemintine, I mean. In it she's dancing around my bed with her doll, where I lay covered in blood, my body mangled, dead. She's singing, always singing.
Here comes a candle to light you to bed
Here comes a chopper to chop of your head
Chip chop, chip chop
The last man's dead.
You may not believe me, but I know it's the future. I know it. She is mad at the world. She's mad at me. She's coming to take revenge. And nobody can stop her.