They were so strange. Just… so strange. I was closest with Matilda, the second oldest. She was quiet and liked to read Faulkner. We would spend time together in the library after lunch. But, I couldn’t go back to school after the incident. I couldn’t face anyone anymore.
I guess you could say their mother was eccentric, or at least unconventional. She had given each of the girls a stone pendant when they had turned seven. Each necklace was supposed to be a protection from the evil that surrounded their souls. That’s what their mother would say. The evil, to her, was like, a completely separate entity, one that she truly believed existed. Matilda couldn’t explain it to me, but Imogen, the youngest, hid in the corner of Matilda’s bedroom when we were talking about it. I tried to understand, I wanted to understand, but it wasn’t until I saw it with my own eyes.
I had stayed over many times, so that night was pretty normal. But in the morning—the morning I saw the evil come alive—I knew something was wrong from the start.
“Wake up,” Matilda whispered to me. “Evie, wake up,” she shook me until I sat up. And there was this sound, this echoing growl, coming from below the floor. I knew they had a crawlspace, but not a basement.
“Is it an animal?” I asked.
“You could say that,” Eleanor, the oldest, smirked as she walked to her drawer and pulled out her necklace. I could see Imogen hiding the corner again, but the others were still asleep.
“You should go home,” Matilda urged me, but I was too curious. I wanted to stay, just so I could understand. “Please,” she begged me, and I could see fear in her eyes.
“Don’t be afraid of it,” Eleanor said to me when she sat at my side. “It isn’t here for you.”
And the growling suddenly stopped. But Eleanor, and her mellow blue eyes, started to laugh hysterically. It was in my ears and under my skin. It woke the other girls, and soon Alice was laughing, too.
“Go home!” Matilda yelled to me, but I barely heard her under all that chaos. “Leave!”
I stood quickly, my hands were trembling so bad, but I ran to the door without another thought. But Lucy—her eyes were so dark, so completely black—she stepped in front of me and closed the door. I backed away, right into Eleanor. I could see they all had their necklaces on, all six of them.
“Where’s your mother?” I asked. The laughter had stopped, but the growling returned. The floor shook and all six girls rose into the air.
“She’s sleeping,” Penelope said with her head tilted and her eyes turning black like Lucy’s. I turned to Matilda, but she wouldn’t even look at me. When I looked to Penelope again, I could see blood on her hands.
I went for the door again, but the girls encircled me. Even Imogen, shy and little, was keeping me from leaving. The girls began laughing together as the window panes broke, glass shattered everywhere. I fell to my knees and covered my ears, but I didn’t want to stay. I couldn’t stay.
I crawled beneath the girls and climbed through the window, that’s how I cut my skin. I didn’t care that it was the second floor, I just had to get home. My ankle was sore for a few days, but it was nothing like what the girls went through.
The Floren House incident was brutal. The official statement was that the daughters murdered their mother, and then they took their own lives. I believe it was something else in that house. Something I barely escaped.