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The Rose

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My name is George Charmical. I tell this story not to give a few spooks or give a little kid nightmares, but in fear that someone or something is trying to kill me. It all started after my grandmother had died. She was going down in her basement to get fertilizer when she fell and cracked her skull on a large flower pot. My grandfather came in a few hours later and called 911.

At the funeral home, we wept like you would expect. She was my father’s mom, and so he took it pretty hard. I had never seen him look so distraught. Before then I had never seen a dead person before so I shied away from her body until my mom made me go up and say goodbye. They were about to close the lid on her casket, so I got a quick look at her. In her hand was a rose. This came to no surprise to me as she loved her award winning roses, she probably asked to be buried with one in her will. But right as they closed the coffin something strange happened. I could have sworn, for a split second, the rose turned black. I shrugged it off as seeing things from grief or something. I wasn’t feeling that well in the first place.

Three weeks later as my mom, dad, and I had gathered around the T.V. the doorbell rang.

“George, will you get that?” asked my father. I obliged and opened the door. On the other side was a cop. He had a solemn look on his face.

“Hello son, are your parents home? Can I talk to them?” I turned my head and called to my dad,

“Dad, there’s a cop here. He wants to talk to you.” My parents walked over and my dad asked what was going on.

“Sir, I’ve got some bad news. Mr. Charmical, your father, is dead. We found him a couple of hours ago.” My mother gasped and looked like she would pass out. My father’s face went pale.

“Wha-what happened?"

“We’re still trying to figure it out. It looked like he was strangled but there were several cuts along his neck, not enough to kill him, but to cause some blood loss. We found this on the body.” He showed us a plastic bag. Inside was a black rose. “Does it mean anything to you?” he asked.

“No, I’ve never seen it before.” My dad put his hand on his head and looked at it. It looked like he was fighting back tears. The cop apologized again and said goodbye. Also he told us if he found anything else he would contact us. At the time I didn’t really care as I was grieving the loss of another grandparent. My father shut the door and my parents went to the couch and began crying. I could hear my mother’s sobbing as I went up the stairs to my room. After lying down in my bed I too began to cry as I thought of the good times I had had with my grandparents. Their house, always so tidy, always smelling so fresh. Smelling… like… roses…

The room was dark and musty. I was no longer in bed but in a basement. The room was empty except for a smash flower pot. There were stairs that looked familiar. I climbed them to find I was in my grandparent’s house. There was a scent in the air, a smell of roses. I followed it and it lead me to the back door. Upon opening said door I was faced with an immense rose garden, lush and green with dots of red from the roses. I could hear a feint noise. It sounded like someone crying. A small, clear path was in front of me and I followed it. As I went on the crying slowly got louder and soon I was lead to a small clearing. I almost vomited on the spot. There in the middle of the clearing was my grandmother’s dead, rotting body. Then everything changed. The roses became black, black as night. Blood dripped from them as if they were tears. The crying was now very loud as if it were right behind me. But every time I turned around no one was there. I reluctantly looked at my grandmother’s corpse which sounded like the source of the crying sound. Suddenly her eyes opened as did her mouth. Out of it came a thorned vine which wrapped around my neck, digging into my skin. Blood began to pour out as it slowly suffocated me. It pulled me towards my grandmother's body which glared at me.

Now inches away from my face it seemed like she was whispering something. I cannot be sure as it was very quiet and the vine in her mouth kept her from being able to speak very clearly but it sounded like this: “She will kill you all. It is part of the deal. She will kill you all. For my roses. She will kill… you… ALL!” I suddenly jolted awake in my bed, sweat pouring down my face. On the clock it read 9:45. Five minutes after I had went up to my room. I felt something in my hand and when I looked down, I nearly screamed. It was a black rose. I couldn’t think of anyway it could have gotten here unless someone had climbed in the window. I checked it. It was locked, just as I had left it and there were no signs of outside entry. I went downstairs to tell my parents but they weren’t there. I went around the house and tried to find them but couldn’t. I checked everywhere inside the house so I decided to check in the backyard. Walking to the backdoor I could hear a quiet, hushed sound. It sounded almost like… laughter. I put my hand on the knob, turned it, and opened the door. There were my mom and dad, strangled to death by large, thorny vines. In their hands they clutched black roses and on their faces expressions of pure terror. I turned around and bolted from the house. I have never returned since.

I went to the nearest motel, and when I got to my room I locked the door then went to the window and locked it. I wanted to be sure no one or no thing could get in. After I was finished securing the place I sat on the bed and began crying. I cried for an unmeasurable time and when sleep overcame me no nightmares plagued me. I awoke to a fresh, new morning. I didn’t know what I was going to do about permanent living arrangements but right then I didn’t care. The nightmare seemed to be over. I left my room, locked it, and then walked downstairs to where the manager sat behind his little desk. He was reading a newspaper and on the front cover it read, “Local Policeman Strangled in His Office.” The picture below the text, I couldn’t believe my eyes, was the one who had come the night before, the one who warned me about the killer. I kept reading on and as I did I got the feeling someone was watching me. Well, other than the manager who was wondering why I was hovering over him, staring at his newspaper. I asked him about the headline and he told me this, “Yeah, some guy was murdered in his office, they say he had some weird cuts on his neck as if the killer used barbed wire or something. Heck of a way to go if you ask me.”

“Yeah, that would be bad,” I said weakly.

I just then remembered that the police station wasn’t far from here. I power-walked up to my room, unlocked the door, and began taking what little things I had. Whatever killed my family is clearly trying to kill me and anyone involved is going to get hurt. I bolted out not caring whether the door was locked or not. But as I got to the front desk, I came to a complete halt. The manager was dead. His neck was bruised and cut. In his hand was a black rose.

I have never returned to that town since. I’ve never even thought about it. I have been living on the run for a while now. It seems everywhere I go this thing keeps following me. And anytime there is a reprieve from the horror it comes back two fold. I haven’t slept in days as every time I close my eyes I feel like something is watching me. I’ve been cooped up in this ratty motel room for two weeks now and I’m out of money, but it doesn't matter. I think the hotel manager is already dead.

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