“I don’t know where she came from,” the recording started. “She’s always there.”
Frankly, I shouldn’t have been digging through the files on my wife’s laptop. I should have stopped listening when I realized that the “Lila” in the filename was our niece. My wife is a children’s psychologist, and I was doing some routine computer maintenance. I suppose my curiosity got the better of me when I saw her folder named "Sessions".
Lila is my brother-in-law's daughter. My wife had been working with her due to some odd things that she'd been talking about. Here is the transcript of what I heard.
"Lila, when was the first time you saw her?"
"Um, I'm not sure where I was. The room was really little and kind of a red or purple color. She pushed through the wall, and it stretched over her face until she came through.”
“Was the purple room in your house?”
“What happened after she came through the wall?”
“She said her name is Clara, and she’d be seeing me again real soon.”
“Did she see you again?”
“Duh. That’s why they wanted me to talk to you, right Aunt Grace?”
“I suppose so. What can you tell me about Clara, then?”
“Clara doesn’t like when I talk about her when she’s not with me.”
“She’s not here right now?”
“Clara said she was gonna wait outside of your office.”
“Why don’t you go get her? I’d like to know more about her.”
There was a brief silence, and the quiet sound of a door being opened.
“Alright, Lila, what can you tell me about her?"
"Well... I think she's like six. She's really smart; I don't think she’s ever been wrong before."
"Does she tell you things?”
“Yeah! She tells me all kinds of stuff, usually about other people.”
“Can you tell me some of those things?”
“Um, is that okay, Clara? … Yeah? That one? Okay! Clara was right about Father Patrick! I asked the boys to make sure she wasn’t lying.”
“Father Patrick at Hometown Methodist?”
Father Patrick was the local Methodist pastor. He was found hanging in the basement of his church a few months prior to the date in the recording’s file name. My family, as well as my brother-in-law’s family, are members of that congregation. The pews have whispers of guilty thoughts and actions, but no one ever came forward in regards to the rumors.
“Yup! He was being naughty with the boys!”
“Did your parents ever talk to you about Father Patrick”
“No, just Clara.”
“What else has she told you?”
“Sometimes she helps me with bullies at school.’
“Does she say nice things to you to help you?”
“No, not like that.”
“What kind of help does she give you?”
“I run away to her in a quiet place, and she gives them her mean face if they follow me.”
“Does she ever ask you to do things for her?”
There were a few seconds of interference in the recording, not static; it was like a long, low note from a theremin.
“...and then she told me to put it in a bowl in the corner of the basement.”
“Why did she want that?”
“She doesn’t want to say.”
“How many times have you put the bowl out for her?”
“I dunno, a couple, I guess.”
“What’s she doing right now?”
“She’s standing next to you.”
“She is? Does she have something to add?”
“Clara says you were supposed to be her mommy.”
There was a long pause, just the faint sound of breathing. The recording started again, my wife stumbling for her words.
“T-that’s not possible. I wasn’t supposed to be a mommy.”
“Cl-ara says… stop lying! She c-can’t remember everything, bu-but she remembers a do—”
A moment of static interrupted the recording again, amidst the static it almost sounded like a deep voice was for someone to stop.
“What’s wrong, Lila?”
“She looks really mad…”
“Can you ask her why she’s mad?”
The wailing frequency interrupted the recording again, this time louder and higher. As it starts to subside, the recording returned to Lila sobbing, choking out the answer to the question.
“She says… you didn’t let her out of the red room like mommies are supposed to.”
This time, the recording is interrupted by a scream that’s still making my skin crawl weeks after hearing just a few seconds of it. I haven’t seen my wife since; she’s kept herself locked in her home office. If I pushed my head against the door and listen quietly, I could hear her labored breathing and babbling about trying to take back her mistake. I asked my brother-in-law to ask Lila what happened; he says she doesn’t remember being in Grace’s office. I asked about the bowl and if she was still talking about Clara. He said she must have grown out of it, or Grace really figured out what was wrong.
I knew better. I grabbed a small screwdriver and unlocked the cheap door knob handle lock with it. I can’t get the scene out of my mind. She was curled up against her desk, sobbing between dry heaves. I knelt down to her and felt her black pants were soaked. I pulled my hand back. Blood, all over her legs and the carpet under her.
My heart was pounding and I asked, “Grace, what happened?! Are you alright?!”
“She just wanted back in.”