A Mother’s Love

Willow was a shy girl by nature, only 17 with long chocolate brown hair and bright blue eyes. Standing only at 5’3 with a small smiling mouth and a twinkle in her eyes. She was the spitting image of her mother. Her father adored her so, but the worry lines on his face had deepened since her mother’s death. An accident they had called it at the time.

Her daughter however did not believe. Her thoughts were swarmed by the dark secrets of the house they took over when they moved seven years ago. Even her beautiful mother, who fell in love with the house. Dandelions squatting around the sides of the house to the front. Little lilies coming in to bloom in the strangest places in little crevices on the outside of the house.

The house stood looming tall and strong, its paint having barely fainted from its rich burgundy color. That summer they created a beautiful driveway for the front. Gray pebbles littered the floor like ash and dandelions grew up around the sides of it to act like a barring. A small pathway from the back towards the little garden her mother created. Was cute in its own way, square pieces of slate were used as a walkway.

White lilies adorned the sides of the steps from the back. Willow’s mother created her own garden with a little white picket fence. Something that was always like a dream to her. She missed her mother so, even now, she could still smell the faint smell of rose from the perfume her mother used. At night, her mother used to braid her hair and they would exchange stories about what happened to the previous owners that used to own the house.

It baffled them how they got the house so cheap, with much mystery behind of what happened to the previous house owners. The house was still beautiful in all its glory, with its elegantly twisted staircase winding up past the second floor to the third. They explored the 5 bedroom house throughly. But there was always the one room that remained locked with no key in sight.

That room made them uneasy in the house. Especially the shadows that would lurk around the corners at night. Scratching along the walls came after two months of moving in. Willow’s father had brushed it off as a cat having sneaked in. It never eased the fear off her mother, however. Jane always felt that something evil lingered in the house.

Then came the day of her mother’s accident. Willow came home to find her mother’s lifeless body sprawled out on the entry way of the house. Her eyes rolled back in to her head and mouth open in a scream. She was pronounced dead on the scene after paramedics arrived. Her father locked himself away in to his work to shut out the pain in his heart.

That left Willow to her devices and the shadows.

This night had been an odd one when she came home. The tea kettle her mother used to use before her death. Was set off to the side with a tea cup. The faint smell of roses lingered in the air. The further she stepped in to the kitchen, the more uncomfortable she became.

A loud bang hit the wall to the left of her. Setting in to motion of Willow running out with a frightened scream. She quickly hid behind the worn brown leather of the living room couch. Hugging her knees to her chest and whimpering in to her arms. She always ran when she heard noises.

She was frightened of what still lingered in the house. Her mother Jane was no longer there to protect her, “ Mom....I’m scared...Please make it go away..”, She whispered with a shake of her head. Her mother never came, she never did since it began to get worse after her mother’s passing.

Her mother’s cross that she used to wear, hung around her neck. She grabbed on to it with her right hand like a life line. A sharp growl sounded from her left. She knew her father would not be home from work until late again. He took up more and more hours.

She was all alone in a house of evil. Taking a few deep breaths, she tried to calm the shaking in her bones. Another sharp growl and a heavy step in her direction. It just kept getting closer to her, making the hairs on her arms and the back of her neck stand up.

Willow bit her lip and squeezed her eyes shut. She had heard this growling for the past two weeks. Always getting closer until she screamed out for her father. She knew she had to get over this fear and confront what evil lay in the house. It was taking advantage of her fear and feeding off it. She whimpered as a breath passed by her left ear.

Jumping away and whipping her head in the opposite direction. She scrambled away and shoved herself in to the hallway closet. Another whimpered sob and she pushed herself to the wall of the closet. Slowly a feeling began creeping in to her heart. A gentle warmth that spread to her toes.

The smell of roses hit her nose, “ Mom? “, She whispered softly to the air. Her bright blue eyes wide and hopeful. A ghostly hand stroked down the top of her head in comfort.

“ Don’t be afraid anymore, stand up to it. It’s eating away at your soul. Please don’t let it take you like it did me. You’re my brave little girl. “, The gentle voice stated to the 17 year old huddled in the closet.

Her daughter shook her head and squeezed her eyes shut. She was terrified of what she couldn’t see or fight. How could she stand up to something that could hurt her? Not even her mother could do it. The voices slowly stirring in her head increased.

Planting seeds of doubt in her. She knew she mother was right though. She couldn’t keep living in fear anymore. Biting her lip and taking a deep breath. She pushed herself up and out of the closet to face the fear that swallowed her heart.

The growling was directly in front of her, dark and menacing. She shook like a leaf and stood her ground, “ I want you out of my house! Now! You don’t belong her and you’ve been nothing but trouble. You took my mother from me! Leave!! You don’t belong here!! “, She shouted out to the invisible presence in front of her.

A invisible hand grabbed her around the throat and squeezed the oxygen from her lungs. She gasped for air and tried to remove the grip around her throat. The smell of roses hit her strong, and the invisible hand around her throat disappeared. She fell to the floor, gasping for breath. She felt the presence of her mother near her.

Catching her breath, she grabbed on to the cross around her neck, “ Leave!! You’re not welcome here anymore! Get out and leave my family alone! “, She screamed in anguish and pain.

A strong wind whipped around her and then whipped out through the chimney of their home. The presence of calm came little by little. No more feeling of death and dread. Willow felt that the presence had finally left. She sat there waiting for almost an hour, waiting with bated breath.

Three months had passed since that incident. That night she went in to her father’s study and grabbed his hands. Talking to him like an adult and persuading him to let some hours at work go to spend time with her. It took a lot of persuading and talking about what her mother would want for them.

Life for them returned to normal little by little. Their hearts healing piece by piece. However her mother’s presence and the smell of roses stayed by always. She was there to stroke her daughter’s hair at night and whisper goodnight to her. There to comfort her husband when he really needed it and reassure him that everything was going to be alright without words.

The heavy burdgundy curtains were drawn back. Sunlight chasing away any shadows hiding in the corners. Willow continued her mother’s work on the garden with a small content smile on her face. Looking up to watch her father stand on the ladder. Painting the house wood piece by wood piece. A beautiful shade of orange, a color her mother loved.