Chapter 1.35 – My Epitaph

Note: Sad tone. Dark place. Get a cute animal nearby to pet when you’re finished reading.

It’s so bright today. It really hurts, it really burns.

I’ll keep my eyes closed from here in case it blinds me.

The sun never used to feel like this, on those rare occasions when I was allowed outside. When Broof used to take me to the park to meet my friends and I had to be really careful that the sun didn’t darken my skin or lighten my hair, so Mother wouldn’t know we’d betrayed her. I wish I’d appreciated being able to lie back and look at the clouds without feeling like my face was on fire.

I wish I’d done a lot of things differently, though.

Stood up to Mother when I’d realised I could, before everything got completely out of hand.

Told my friends how much they meant to me; how grateful I was that they always stuck with me. Even when I definitely didn’t deserve it.

How I wish I’d said something, before now. But it’s been so hard for me to start thinking and feeling when I’ve never really had chance to do anything other than to react. To survive.

So hard to know how to make decisions when they’ve always been made for me.

Impossible to think of the consequences when there have never been any.

Until now. I have made a bad decision and I can’t blame anyone else. I couldn’t find my way home. I’m an idiot. I don’t know what to do.

My body doesn’t seem to want to move. Even the canopy of trees couldn’t block all the sunlight. It still sears right through me. I found a space to lie down where I’m as sheltered as I can be but where I could see the sky. I can watch the birds and the clouds. Pretend I’m free until I am.

I can’t get back up now, I can’t open my mouth to call. I can’t do a thing. As Melinda would say, I’m toast.

I should have gone back to the house with Faith. Or I should have listened and never come out in the first place. My friends are always right, but I never want to hear it.

Never want to admit that Mother was right about me.

You’re stupid.

I should have just had one of Lilith’s pouches.

I want to be the one in charge. I want my friends to follow me. But clearly there’s a reason why I’m not and why they don’t. Lilith’s not the one dying in the sun. She’s not the one making poor decisions. She’s trying to save us all and I’ve thrown it back in her face.

She’ll laugh when you’re gone, April.

I hope she does.

I can be such a stubborn brat. I should have known better.

Ha. That’ll probably be my epitaph.

April Moss: Should Have Known Better.

I wonder if anyone will ever find me. Will there be anything left when the sun has finished drying me out? Will I turn into a pile of ash and be carried away on the wind? Perhaps I will be nothing but a pile of bones, bleached by the sun, picked at by birds.

Would there be a funeral for me?

Of course not. What an empty-headed thing to think.

You’re right. Who would even come to my funeral anyway? My mother’s dead, my father’s behind bars, my friends are in hiding. All because of me.

All because he understood. He listened.

You tricked him.

You’re an awful person.

Yes, I am an awful, awful person. Creature? Whatever I even am now. Was I ever really a person, anyway? A shell of one, perhaps. I always thought I was better than Mother, but I’m not. I’m so, so much worse than she ever was. Despite everything she did, somehow, everyone loved her. Everyone respected her. Everyone misses her.

Who respects and misses me?

Not Father. He loved her so much more than he ever loved me. If he doesn’t hate me yet for taking her from him, he will.

Broof surely won’t miss cleaning up after me, after all my disasters.

I should have stayed. I should have confessed.

Then I’d be remembered forever, all right. I’d be the killer of the Great Sandy Moss. Her own daughter. They’ll think I was jealous of her, spiteful.

Ungrateful.

Oh… it’s burning through my eyelids. I can feel the little embers flicking from my skin.

I’m so mad at myself! All this for a drink?! I wasn’t even thirsty!

That guy was a creep, but still… did he deserve me attacking him? When I have an alternative; is it right to do that?

Or do I just like attacking people? Do I just like the power? The control.

What am I trying to prove? That I’m different? That I’m better?

That I’m worse? That I’m sub-human?

We don’t have to be monsters.

I’m scared.

They don’t know where I am! No one knows where I am! Does anyone even care?!

No one cares.

You’re right, why would they? What do I give them except misery and problems?

I promised to cut Faith free from her binds, but I’m the one strangling her.

I tease Melinda to keep her sweet. I’ll never feel the same.

They would definitely be better off without me.

My skin is tight, dry. Like scorched earth. I must look so awful.

Ha. I lie here, incinerating, and of all things, I worry about how I look.

You’re ugly.

Because she’s in my head. She’ll always be in my head.

Mocking me, taunting me.

I can never leave Mother, she’s woven into the fabric of me. I could exist a thousand years and I’d never outlive her. Never quieten her.

You’re pathetic.

Her shine would have naturally faded. Now she’ll burn bright forever. The world will begin to forget Sandy Moss, eventually. But will I?

Almost eternal.

There’s only one way.

Burn me.

I wonder if hell is a thing.

I wonder if Mother’s there, waiting for me.

I’m not even scared now.

This is definitely it. I feel like I’m floating.

It’s over.

16 thoughts on “Chapter 1.35 – My Epitaph

  1. Well then. Look at you. Just as you made April so incredibly insuferable I thought I couldn’t possibly stand her anymore, there you go, turning it around making her all sympathetic. As she’s on death’s door, naturally. Thanks for that, Snuffy…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, April. Even when she’s on death’s door, she’s still jealous of Lilith and thinking her friends prefer Lilith over her. And scared of her friends leaving her. And hearing her mother’s insults. April doesn’t need immortality or creepy age-inappropriate vampire love. She just needs a good therapist and a whole lot of personal growth without Sandy looming over her. That picture of her reflection turning into her mother was haunting and very well done.

    I do like her realizing that there really wasn’t a good reason for her to feed. Maybe that can turn into better decisions in the future… or at least a little less bad.

    At least Caleb found her before she actually burned to death. Judging from Faith look of horror, she was very very close.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure how she’d explain her current situation to any therapist, so maybe she’ll have to use the immortality and her creepy vampire love to figure it all out.

      This is the crucial moment now. Does she choose to figure out who April is or does she fall back to Sandy. We’ll see…

      Like

  3. Im glad for this. This was very much needed for April, even if this moment came at the cost of her almost dying. Or well whatever happens to undeads. Im looking forward to seeing the change after this moment. I anticipate theres one and for the better of course.

    Somewhere in your earlier chapters I thought she was using Caleb to get out of the mess of her life. Not sure if I ever penned my thoughts like that but her admitting she tricked him made me think of this. I think its really powerful the message you’re sending that in her final moments April’s final thoughts are of Sandy her tormentor.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was starting to lose sympathy for April, but this really shows how much emotional trauma she is carrying around with her, and I can’t really feel anything but sympathetic to her.

    April still is very much a child emotionally because she doesn’t know how to be anything else. Her mother was a horrible person, and she’s probably the real villain in all of this, but she’s dead and now April is carrying on her mother’s legacy through her own behavior and thoughts. And the line about everyone respecting and missing Sandy instead of her, that’s some really toxic thinking. Sandy put on a huge front and people only respect and miss her because she was a good actress, had money or power over them. At least April is self-aware enough to realize what she’s been doing, she feels remorseful and maybe this will lead to some change for her. But, those are some pretty deep emotional wounds. I guess she has an eternity to heal them or let them fester.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The wounds her mother inflicted…whew. I love that line about how she can’t make decisions or process consequences because she’s never had to. She has no self-regulation because she doesn’t value herself at all, which you wouldn’t think just by watching her behavior.

    I mean, this story is such a romp and I love all the dark humor and mystery. But these chapters where you’re digging deep and pulling back to reveal a characters vulnerability are some of my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aww April you sweet little tool. I’m glad she’s less stupid than she makes people think, and it’s said self-awareness is the first step to be better.
    Let’s see if all that wah-wah-wah actually is good for something.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. *sigh* Oh, April. People don´t respect your mother. People only respect the woman they thought she was. There´s a big, big difference.

    Other than that… of course April likes to be in charge for a change. It would be really weird if she didn´t, given she never got to. It is actually a really understandable situation for her not to be at all functional – she was never taught how to function. I suppose it´s good that she´s willing to learn that now… or it would be if she actually had someone to teach her properly. Because nah, Caleb does not count, obviously. And Lilith… Lilith does seem to be functioning herself, but since she taught Caleb and didn´t seem to have done too good a job… I don´t trust her, either.

    Anyway, all that might not even matter. All these thoughts… fear can do a lot. I´ll wait and see where April´s head is once she realizes the danger has passed and decide how much I worry about her then.

    Liked by 1 person

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