Envy and Murder

by Clara Sousa
Envy and Murder Clara is 13 years old. She is a dancer. Clara also loves sports.

“Sweat trickles down my neck. Why am I here? How did it come to this? I stand over the body and let the moment sink in. I look at my hand and see a gun. I drop it. It clanks against the floor, echoing for what feels like forever. I turn to the shattered mirror and see the monster I have turned into. “

Sweat trickles down my neck. Why am I here? How did it come to this? I stand over the body and let the moment sink in. I look at my hand and see a gun. I drop it. It clanks against the floor, echoing for what feels like forever. I turn to the shattered mirror and see the monster I have turned into. My usually neutral face is red with fury, in stark contrast to my pale body. My neat red hair is tangled and appears as if I have blood on my head. Maybe I do. My green eyes are so small and frightened, I almost can’t see the evil that rumbles beneath. I start to hear her dog bark.

My confusion is replaced by the fear that seems to seep through every bone. I pick up the gun and put it in the pocket. I pull down my shirt to cover the handle. I look at the body. The eyes are still open from the shock of my killing. I quickly turn and stumble to the bathroom. I wash my hands and turn back. My body tenses up as I walk closer to the body. I close the eyes of the murdered. The green eyes, so similar to mine. I thought killing someone would bring justice, but it doesn’t, it just brings regret. I look at the pool of blood. Betrayal is written all over it. But I am the one to be seen as crazy and unfair. What justice was I expecting? I pick up the body and carry it to the bathtub. My muscles are tense, and I feel the bones on my hands. I let the body sink into the bathtub, and I fill it up with water. I let the body get clean, and then I refill the tub. My hands shaking as I close the door. I take the dog as I leave because I don’t want the risk of anyone knowing what I just did.

The dog whimpers as I put the collar on him. I pick him up and let him see who I am. His eyes go wide because he knows me and knows what I did. Not many people kill their sister. I get him on a leash and walk out the back door. I sprint to the neighbor’s yard, and as I do, I hear a scream. I think of it being directed toward me, and I turn to run. My heart is beating in my chest, matching the beating of my feet on the sidewalk. I run to the corner and pull out my phone.

“Hello?”

“911, what’s the emergency?” says a lighthearted woman.

“My dog owner seems to not be opening the door, and I heard a scream.”

“Where?”

“Gerland Lane, house 67.”

“Thank you. And what is your name?”

“Phoebe.”

“We are sending people over now.”

I put my phone back in my pocket, but I realize it doesn’t fit. Oh no, I still have my gun. How suspicious would that be. I shudder and feel the sidewalk start to sway. I feel myself heave as I proceed to throw up on the hard gravel beneath me. I look at the ground, astonished, and the floor continues to sway. The dog starts to run and bark in circles. I pick him up as I wobble toward the nearest trash can. Since it is quiet and dark now, most people could hear the dog bark, but everyone seems to be asleep. I throw the gun in the trash. Not in my possession, not my problem. I’ll pick it up after the police leave. I glance around to make sure no one saw me, but since it is very late at night, no one is awake. Hopefully no one heard me. A chill shoots through my spine because I realize that the shot of a gun is very audible. I shake my head because that doesn’t point the murder to me. I don’t have the gun anymore. The police arrive about five minutes after I called them, and by then it is pitch black, except for the lights from one house half a block away and a single lamppost.

A single police car pulls up. I nod and walk over to them. A cop with a gray mustache steps out of the driver seat. The red and blue lights from the car show his face. He is obviously not happy to be here. I mean, who would be? It’s like 12:30 in the morning. I see his wrinkled face. His uniform is quite sloppy, and his badge is definitely used and old. The regular shine is lost. He must really know how to do his job. I try to calm myself down while talking to him because I don’t want to seem suspicious.

“Which house is the dog owner’s?”

“Well, actually, she is also my sister. I just did not mention that to the dispatcher. Sorry, I am just really worried.”

“Okay.” His brow furrowed when I said that.

“I just really care about her.”

He interrupts me and says, “Can I ask you a few questions?”

“Sure.”

“No, in the police station.”

“Oh, okay,” is all that I am able to squeak out.

He turns away from me to walk toward the house. I am silent, just letting my mind race with fears. He turns around and motions for me to go ahead of him. I swallow my fear and let my feet take me toward the police officer. He knocks on the door. No one answers. I knock this time. Again, no answer. I put on my mask of worry and knock one more time. He takes out a single key. Unlocking the door, I feel my heart beat for what feels like a thousand beats per minute. I hope he can’t hear it. We open the door, and it creaks. I step in first.
“Hello?” I shout. My words feel dull and fake as they hit the walls and echo so softly. He takes out a flashlight and looks for the light switch. I point to the wall, and he hits the switch. He scouts the first floor and finds nothing. I follow behind him and put on the emotion of fear and worry. He keeps glancing back. Does he suspect me? He finally reaches the stairs and starts to walk up.

“Should I follow you?”

“Yes,” he replies in a gruff voice.

I nod and continue to walk with him. We get to the top of the stairs, and I glance around the room and see that I left nothing suspicious around. I start to look around the room, and I hear a gasp. He saw the body. I rush to where I hear the sound and see him in the bathtub next to my sister. I open my mouth and realize there is a way to get out of his questions. I faint. I hold my breath, and my face goes red. My legs shake, and I drop. My head hits the floor. I’m…

I wake up on a hard bed almost worse than the floor. My eyelids flutter as I slowly get up. I see the cop that wanted to interrogate me. He looks at me as I yawn. I see him start to come my way. I debate fainting again but don’t have the chance.

“You up?”

“Yeah.”

And silence falls like a wet blanket.

“What happened?” I ask.

“Your sister was shot.”

“Oh my gosh.” I decide to put on the face of horror with a hint of despair.

My mouth drops, and my eyes get big as I command my face to become pale.

“We have a few leads,” he says.

“Really, who?”

“Well, first we must ask a few questions about you and your sister’s relationship.”

“Of course.”

He takes my arm and drags me to another hallway. I see a group of teenagers arguing in a room. I feel the fluorescent lights shining on me. I feel watched as I glance around. We walk for a good amount of time. Enough to make me not know how to get back to that bed. I see a room at the end, and it’s empty, and I realize I’m about to be interrogated. I suddenly remember, where is the dog? Oh well, never liked that mutt anyway. He opens the door with ease and motions for me to go before him. For the first time, I see his badge, and well, he is Officer Crumpy. What type of name is that? I step toward the chair. I suddenly see the chair buzz and fill with sparks. The room goes black. I blink, and it’s back to normal. What the hell?? I know I am going to have to sit in that chair. As I walk, my feet feel like they are going through slime. I go slow, and I feel my knees wobble. I reach the chair and sit down, and I block the image of me dying here.

He stands in front of me and walks around me as I just paint the face of confusion. He looks at me, and his brown eyes are deep and full of mystery. I just can’t tell what he is thinking. He asks, “Were you and your sister close?”

“Yes. We used to be closer, but we still talk very often.”

“Are your parents dead?”

“Yeah.”

“For how long?”

“Like two years. It is still a fresh wound.”

“Why did you call her your dog owner on the phone?”

“Because I thought if I said sister they would think I am overreacting. I honestly thought that is better to explain.”

“You had the dog for how long before you decide to call the police.”

“Like an hour.”

“Did you call her phone?”

“Yeah!”

“Okay. Did you notice any other weird people around her?” he questions.

“Yeah, she has a boyfriend who is very sketchy.”

“Okay, well, thank you, and I am so sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you,” I say.

I walk out, and he brings me to the exit. I smile. I could smell my freedom. Maybe I can get justice for what she did and what she always had done. What my parents couldn’t see. What my friends couldn’t see. What my own lover couldn’t see. She always gets what she wants. It was time to end that vicious cycle.

***

I knocked on her door. I saw the doorknob move, and she opened the door. Her strawberry blonde hair glistened in the sun. Her teeth shined so brightly, and her skin seemed to be glowing.

“Sister! How are you? I’ve missed you so much.”

“Me too,” I said with a small smile.

“I mean, so much has happened! I got the promotion, and now I found the absolute man of my dreams. He has brown hair with little curls. His eyes are green. It is so beautiful.” She giggled while saying this. I felt my face flush, and my hands curled with envy. I pushed down the emotions and just decided to be happy for her.

***

It was a buildup. I love my sister. She just always gets lucky and takes everything, and that was my life. I wasn’t Phoebe. I was Bridget’s little sister. That wannabe. She always got the friends. Once they met her, they liked her more. Same with boyfriends. The final straw was when our parents died.

***

We were in the living room. She was dripping with tears. I was numb. Why didn’t I feel anything? What was this? I looked at her at her worst. Her face puffy, and I felt jealousy. Why didn’t I feel something? I painted my face to be as sad as possible. She looked at me and said, “It just feels so surreal. I mean, they aren’t even old, they don’t deserve death.”

“I totally agree.” I gulped down a smile. Why did I feed off her sadness?

“I’ll miss Mom’s cookies and Dad’s hugs. And how every time I was sad, they comforted me,” she said in between sobs.

“How they always believed in me even though they never said so,” I said.

“They cooked mac and cheese for us, my favorite,” she said while smiling.

“I always hated mac and cheese,” I said with fury.

“You did?”

“Yeah, they just liked you more,” I said with sadness.

“No they didn’t. I just needed more attention,” she argued.

I sighed. She just didn’t understand that I was not the favorite. I stood up from the couch and left her to cry. I went to the kitchen and got a glass of water. I flicked the water onto my eyes. Note to self, learn how to cry. I came back into the living room and hugged my sister maybe a bit too tight as we sat in silence. All I heard were the sobs of Bridget. I loved her sadness, but I also envied it. What was wrong with me?

***

I feel the wind seep into my room. The window is open. I wonder why. I pull out my phone, and I see it says 3.00 a.m.. Only a day since my interrogation. Let’s hope they already closed the case. I pull out my computer and log in. My screen’s background is still a photo of my sister and me. I freeze from the shock. My computer falls from my lap onto the floor. The screen cracks through the middle. One side has my sister, and the other side is darker. It’s me. I see myself in chains, crying. I turn away and look back, and all I see is a cracked screen. I close my computer and pull the covers to my shoulders. I let the window stay open, letting in the cold from the outside to match the my heart. I drift off to sleep. I don’t dream, only fall into a deeper darkness.

Beeeeeep. I hear the alarm while it shakes, and then I slam my hand against it. It turns off. I look outside. Birds chirp outside. I feel a warmth come from within me. I don’t know how I feel about it, but it definitely feels good. Is this happiness? I smile, and this time, it isn’t from someone else’s sadness. I stretch and hear a dog bark in the living room. I go to it, expecting kissing and love. Nothing is there. I shake the feeling of guilt off of me. I go into the kitchen and prepare toast. I put a bit of butter and jam. I bite into it and feel the warmth spread through me again. My eyes flicker through the room, and I see strawberry blonde hair appear on the corner of my eye. What is my sister doing here? I feel more guilt rise in me, and again I push it down into the pit where all my rare emotions go. I quickly throw on a red blouse and some ripped jeans. I look in the mirror. I look like a normal, happy girl. A little like my sister. I run out from my apartment as if I’m leaving behind that thought. I run down the stairs until I get outside. I take a deep breath and punch into the side of the building. Even when dead, I compete with my sister. I look at my hand, and there are bruises on my knuckles and cuts on my hand from where I slammed down my alarm. With these cuts are my own wounds… But they are more mental. I decide to go for a walk, to clear my head. I walk around and just take in my surroundings. The houses are so perfect, so neat. The blocks are the exact amount of distance apart, with a trash can at the end of each block. It hits me. The gun. I start to pick up the pace. My fingerprints are on that gun. That gun is still in the trash can.

All the blood from my face seems to leave from my face into my legs. They start to wobble, and I slowly lose my senses. My eyes focus on the floor. I see the little bits of shiny rock between the bland gray. My legs regain their balance. My eyes drift up, and I see the house of my sister. How am I here? I blink, and I look down to see I am in the same place. I still have walking to do. What are these illusions? Am I going crazy? I start to run. Letting the wind pick up my hair as it falls behind me. I let my life be carried away by the wind. I let my feet hit the sidewalk. It is not fair! I close my eyes and feel my feet hit the sidewalk harder each time. My head lifts, and I open my eyes. I’ve reached the block. I can just feel how the air seems denser. Without my sister here, it seems dead. I feel like a trespasser. I look around me. The garbage truck. It’s right behind me. I sprint to the trash can and start to rummage around it. A glint of metal shines in my eye. The gun. I grab the gun. It feels heavy in my hand. It is a harsh memory. One I wish to forget. I pick it up and wipe it on my shirt. No more fingerprints. I scream. The man comes out from the garbage truck. He rushes over to me. I feel my face take on the emotion of horror. My mouth wide open.

“What is a gun doing in the trash?” I say.

“What gun?” he says.

“Look!” I say.

He looks in the trash and sees nothing. Nothing is there.

“What?” I scream.

Right there. I grab the metal object and out comes a water bottle.

“Are you okay, miss?”

“I think. I just need to breathe.” I look past the garbage truck man and see a group of police who seem to be interviewing people. My face flushes, and I turn away so they can’t see my face. I am going crazy.

“I am sorry for your loss,” I hear behind me, as I just walk away. My feet feel like they have bricks strapped onto them. Do they already have the gun?

***

I opened the screen door to the back. The sun beat down on me. I smiled even though it seemed a bit forced. My dad was just humming a song as my sister happily walked around picking up flowers. I closed the screen and noticed the swings were still, with no one on them. I galloped to the swings and let my face create a smile. I hopped on the swing and let my legs pump me to the point of flying. A warmth flowed in me. I almost never had this feeling. The first time I remember having it was when I turned seven, and my sister was in the hospital for breaking a bone. All my friends were singing me “Happy Birthday.” My parents were there, and they were paying attention to me. It was my day. If only every day was my birthday. It had been two years, and I’d felt it about ten times. It felt like a fire was starting from within you but a good fire. Not the kind that destroys. My memory was shattered from my sister’s talking.

“How are you going so high?” she said with her little ten-year-old voice.

“I just let my legs do the work,” I said.

“I’m so jealous,” she whispered.

I smiled so hard it felt as if my face were to fall off. This was the strongest warmth ever. I felt happy.

***

My phone buzzes against my skin. I pick it up.

“Hello?” I say.

“You left your dog here,” says the the cop.

“Oh, thank you,” I say. Relief falls from within me because I was expecting them to find the gun.

“Okay bye, come pick him up — ”

“ — Are there any leads?” I quickly say.

“No, we didn’t even find a weapon near the house,” he says. I hear him sigh.

“Ugh!” I start to mutter gibberish.

“Come pick your dog up soon!”

“Of course! Thank you,” I say, even though he already hung up on me. I smile. It seems like my sister might get what she deserves.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.