Scarlet was an ordinary 20-something year old woman living with her father, close to the sea. Her father was only just coping with the disappearance of her mother. Ruby was her mother’s name, as in the gem, she always wore a ruby necklace that Scarlet had given her as a mother’s day gift.
Ruby had gone for groceries one day and never returned, one year and still there was no sign of her. Scarlet carried on with her day-to-day life. She tried to support her father as much, as she dare, as he was becoming more withdrawn and angry every day.
Scarlet’s boyfriend John had called:
“Yes” she replied.
” I cant do this anymore.”
“Do what?” she asked.
“Be with you. I’m sorry but its over, all your time is spent picking up your father. I’m sorry goodbye”
Scarlet screamed at the phone “fuck you then” as she began to cry. She threw on a jacket and ran out the door, down to the beach kicking stones and looking up at the sky asking her mum for help “where are you mum? what do i do?” Her walk along the beach led her to an old shack on the shore, dead birds laid all around it each one covered in ants and an unbearable smell hung in the air. She covered her mouth with her hand and moved closer to the window trying to see what was inside “hello” she shouted as she moved to the door. Knock knock “hello” she shouted, again there was no answer.
Slowly she pushed the door, dust blew at her face and into her eyes. She heard a sound “hello?” she said again, but still there was no answer. she walked further into the shack, into a small room at the back. She gasped, there laid a body; maggots emerging from the sockets of its eyes, dried blood stains round its neck highlighted the deep cut that laid it to rest.
Slam went the door, a voice boomed “you shouldn’t of come here.”
Scarlet shouted “dad!” her voice filled with fear and shock “what the hell?”
“She didn’t love me” her father replied.
Looking at the body scarlet noticed the necklace, a ruby, “noooo” she cried, as she tried to run. Her father grabbed her hair “bitch, you’re not going anywhere” he mumbled, his hands tangled in her hair. She pulled so hard that hair and skin left her scalp, blood running down her neck. She broke free leaving her hair dangling in his hands, dizzy she stumbled for the door. She felt a dull pain in her spine, it was a shard of wood “like I said – you’re not going anywhere” her father uttered “you’re home now, we’re a family again!”
He laid her next to her mother and sat by her side stroking her hair and humming a nursery rhyme as scarlet slowly bled, losing consciousness, the necklace from around her mothers neck began to shine and her mother’s voice called; “leave my baby alone!” The shack began to burn “no, leave me alone” Scarlet’s father cried as he tried to run and escape, but his skin began to bubble with the heat, his hair burning from his scalp. Falling to his knees flesh sticking to the floor “you’re the one that’s leaving. FOR HELL” shrieked Ruby.
After the flames had died Scarlet’s body, untouched by the fire, was laid next to the water. People surrounded her calling for help, a ruby necklace around her neck glinted in the sun.
Was she dead ?