The Freckled Girl

I never really understood what she wanted from my family. I just knew what she had done when she was alive, and that was enough…

It was an ordinary summer day, just before school would begin, when everything started. Golden rays of sun bleached the enormous, ancient pine trees that stood in our garden. A slight breeze danced with the emerald-green grass and a six-year-old me was simply playing with a football.

Suddenly, the breeze became a forceful wind and my ball flew all the way to the next-door neighbor’s pool. The sun didn’t shine anymore. A colossal, black as a crow cloud hung over my house. I looked around. Everywhere else, birds continued chirping cheerfully. I could see one of my neighbors diving into the pool, while at the same time my face was going numb from the cold and my feet felt like huge blocks of ice. I couldn’t move… Fear… Terror conquered me. Instant by instant, everything was becoming darker and colder and…

And then it happened. I felt my dad’s hands getting wrapped tightly around me and then light… the house’s warmth. However, by the time my dad shut the door completely, I had just enough time to make something so unexpected out, that for years I thought it was just a figment of my imagination. A silver bolt struck the pine trees and through the dazzling light, a warm-golden colored figure with bright, full of sadness, blue eyes. Whatever it was, it was just mesmerizing.

For five years I had no indication that the figure was not just a childish delusion, therefore the energy to find out what it was, simply quenched. Then… then I had a dream. It was the most mysterious dream I’ve ever had.

I was running scared, horrified. Something was after me. Something terrifying, sinister, was after me! Everything around me was black, so black. Then, a silver bolt brightened the sky, and—just like what happened five years ago—through the dazzling light, the golden figure with the sad, ocean-blue eyes, appeared. For some reason, I felt like I had to reach the figure in order to save myself. In contrast to the other figure in my dream, I felt like this girl was divine. I should have known better.

I woke up because of an excruciating pain at the back of my head. I immediately went to check my head out in the mirror, when I saw a bronze-colored hand protruding out of it, and inside the mirror. The girl of my dream.

She looked like the personification of a sunshine, pale silver and golden her skin was. Her wavy, fair hair fell casually upon her shoulders. Her cyan eyes had an amazingly deep and sorrowful look to them. I couldn’t take my eyes off of hers. I grabbed her pale hand as she started pulling me with her inside the mirror. It was at this instant that I realized she was trying to hypnotize me with her innocent beauty. But I didn’t care, SHE was the girl, SHE was the divine girl who was about to save me in that nightmare.

I still held her hand when I noticed another characteristic. Something I hadn’t spotted neither in my dream nor the time I saw her in the garden, struck my vision; her freckles. Brownish-red freckles covering her face and hands. Her legs weren’t visible due to her long, ivory-colored dress. But the freckles were now as vivid as her cyan eyes!

“How on earth didn’t I notice that before?” I thought to myself.

A voice as clear and ice-cold as a crystal was heard directly inside my head.

“Don’t be afraid, you’ll see my story and understand everything. Come…”

I followed, just followed. My wrist was already inside the mirror, when complete darkness filled the atmosphere. An atmosphere full of terror to the eyes of whoever could see.

The next thing I remember is the white-bright light and a house, somewhere around the Medieval Ages. The garden is the only thing I can still recall. A garden filled with emerald-green grass and just before the heavy, brass gate, a line of pine trees. Was that my house from 500 years ago?

I heard voices. A girl and then right behind her, a man. A man not much older than she was. Suddenly, I recognized the pristine clear, ice-cold stream of a voice. She laughed. It was the freckled girl talking with that man. She wore the exact same dress as when I first met her. She was certainly from an aristocratic family.

It was only at that moment that I actually noticed the man. He couldn’t have been more than eighteen years old. He stood tall, with short, black hair and eyes like emeralds. They were chatting and laughing, their eyes dancing, speaking on their behalf. And just a moment later, the girl said something. I couldn’t make out anything they said. The man’s face darkened, his eyes becoming black, fathomless. He abruptly pulled out a knife, but instead of stabbing her like I expected, he handed it to her. The man’s voice was heard in my mind.

“Kill me… If that is what will happen, I prefer not to be alive to see it… Not to suffer… Please, Katherine, kill me…”

The girl was petrified now. She grabbed the knife and screamed,

“I didn’t want to! My father announced that to me just a few hours ago! Oh, please, you know I’m saying the truth! Believe me, I beg you!”

Then her face darkened too, her freckles becoming dark-brown. She laughed hysterically. I couldn’t watch, she was going to kill herself in desperation instead of him! But she didn’t.

Katherine plunged the knife in his chest with unimaginable rage. The sound of bones crushing and flesh being sliced under the brute force of the knife sent a wave of shock down my spine. She pulled the knife out, sending droplets of crimson blood on the emerald-green grass. She stopped to admire this twisted, yet beautiful contrast the colors created. He coughed, shifting her attention to him. She slammed the knife in his chest time after time, until his eyes became motionless crystal balls, her maniacal laugh never-ending…

The voice in my head said,

“I committed suicide… Nobody ever found his body and I didn’t live to tell them I killed him.”

At that point, a picture flashed in my mind, like lightning, a silver bolt striking instantly. I saw the pine trees. But there was a younger pine tree planted last in line from left to right.

I woke up on the floor, the unbearable pain at the back of my head still there. I couldn’t sleep for most of the night. I kept thinking about what I saw, how I felt. Eventually I managed to find myself in Morpheus’ arms. How I wish I hadn’t slept at all that night…!

I had a dream again… The exact same nightmare as before but now, I managed to reach Katherine. When I did so, that man’s voice yelled, “No!”

Katherine laughed rampantly, just like she had before. I was wrong! SHE wasn’t divine, HE was! She was the sinister one!

Lightning struck again, but this time, its overwhelmingly bright light brought the Sun’s rays, the warmth, the summer… The man was the one running behind me, however. He was trying to save me from Katherine, he was trying to safekeep and prove to me what had really happened.

In that instant, the eleven-year-old me whispered,

“Katherine, you shouldn’t have done what you did to him! You’re evil and I was wrong to believe you, but now…” I sighed, “Now I know the truth.”

Katherine’s golden figure darkened until it became black. Her hair became rotten and fell. Her freckles turned into crimson drops of blood. She laughed hysterically as the sunshine lit her up, her ivory-colored dress all ragged, her wild blue eyes staring into my soul. I could hear her laugh even after her blazing body burned to nothingness. I can still hear it now sometimes.

When I woke up, I told my parents all about my hellish night. Indeed, when we cut down the pine tree planted last from left to right, we discovered the five century old—as later proven by specialists—remains of a man.

I had my last dream relating to this story on the following night. The man hugged me gratefully and whispered the humblest of thank you’s. It was enough for me. He never visited me again, neither him nor Katherine.

I never really understood what she wanted from my family. I just knew what she had done when she was alive. And that was enough for me to not want to encounter the freckled girl again.