She walked back from school swinging her sling bag as she skipped to the beat in her head. As she passed the old mill near the school her classmates pulled alongside to ask if she wanted to join a bunch of them down at the beach for the day. “No thanks,” she said as she continued walking, “think I’ll head home early today.” “Suit yourself!” the driver of the blue pick up yelled out as the car pulled off, its wide breadth tires kicking up a large cloud of dust.
The walk to the little cottage where she lived wasn’t very far from the local high school, especially if you took the shortcut through the forest. Which she loved to do. She was soon bouncing through the quaint white fence of the quaint white house up to the quaint white door. She went into the kitchen, kissed her mother on the cheek and told her she’d come right down to help with supper once she’d changed and put her school clothes away for the wash. “Sigh. What a nice girl she is,” her mother thought to herself, the moisture on her cheek still warm from the loving kiss it has received. Her father was in his study, reviewing some papers which she cared not ask about, but would have gladly listened and pretended to be interested in had he spotted her on her way up to her room and asked her in.
There was a spiral staircase that led to her little attic room. She used to call them the ghost stairs. Not because they were scary, or even creaky for that matter, but because they would wind upwards for a while and then disappear suddenly into the ceiling. “Vanish like ghosts”, she used to say to her mother.
She threw her bag on her impeccably made bed, turned on the hot water in the shower and picked out some comfy sweats. As she took off her hairband at her vanity she opened one of the secret drawers and pulled out a collapsible mirror. As she opened it up she smiled, gazing menacingly at the tiny reflection of herself beating against the mirror from the other side.