Millikin’s Creative Corner

Stargazer's Daughter

Athena Pajer

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… Continued from Issue 2

Where noise was, Moira was. Over the past several years, if you came home to a quiet house, you knew that Moira wasn’t home. Of course, this means it was easy to tell when she was sneaking in.

It was enough to make your stomach churn, listening to Moira rustle around when she was clearly out of her mind.

When you crept down the stairs, your bare feet made the old steps groan. The draft from the recently-opened door still left the first floor of the house chilled. You shivered.

Moira, though, had half her body in the refrigerator. She was small enough to lay flat on her stomach on the middle platform. She had found some leftovers and was making satisfied grunting noises as she gulped, munching whatever she found at the back of the fridge.

Watching her, a fire started inside you and rushed to every part of your body. Your face, the tips of your fingers. It might have even heated the kitchen tile beneath your bare feet.

She sighed and heaved herself out of the refrigerator. Some time within the night, you were quick to realize, she—or more likely one of her friends—shaved off her long, dark hair.

If you had come down the stairs to see her, having not heard her previously, you would have mistaken her for an intruder.

“Hi, Marty,” She giggled, her smile making the whites show in her eyes, as if she was crazed.

But her voice was soft, almost melodious. “What are you doing up so late? Oh, oh, oh. Did I wake you up?”

You crossed your arms over your chest and rolled your eyes, frowning.

The girl in front of you was not your sister. She wasn’t the girl you raised. Some time in the night—no, it had been a long process—but she finally became more stranger than family.  

She sidled up to you, her face inches from yours. The fire burned harder, but it seemed only to burn you.

“What do you think?” She ran her own fingers along her scalp. You watched her long, thin fingers travel along the pale, long-hidden skin. She chuckled again.

“Say something, Marty. Do you like it?”

You had cut off your hair, too. But that was fifteen years ago, just after your parents died. You didn’t say anything. Instead, you remembered the mud, you’re mother’s eyes that saw everything beautiful and wise, ones that looked nothing like the ones that belonged to this girl. Hers were bloodshot and black.

Her foolish smile froze and crumbled into a snarl. Her expression darkened and sharpened the features in her face.

“Say something!” She screamed at you. The windows nearly shook.

With only one hand she flipped the kitchen table against the wall and stormed off.

You watched the stranger storm out of the house, leaving the door open, and bounding down the street towards the west side of town.

You wish you didn’t know where she was going, but you did. You knew enough of her secrets that you felt there was no stopping her now.

But you did stumble over to the door. You watched her until she disappeared around the thicket of brush at the corner, not even looking back to shoot a hateful glare in the direction of the townhouse you two shared.

That’s when you let the tears drip onto the snowy ground, because as she left, Stargazer watched her go, too.     

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