***This story is part one of a collaboration made in my Creepypasta Club on Outschool. This was made by the "Spooky Spaghetties" Zoe and Sarah Anne. The final installment will feature their fantastic artwork as well, so make sure to check back***
My mother was the cruelest person I ever met, and for the longest time, I didn’t even know it.
That’s because my mother raised me so cruelly, I didn’t even know what kindness was. I’m sure that as a very young child, I would’ve reached for her, seeking love, as children do. And I’m certain that she would’ve answered my outstretched arms or loving eyes with a beating.
She kept us in the worst of conditions. We were always on the move, staying in dirty, empty, roach and rat infested dumps. In the summers there was never a fan and I would suffocate from the heat and the mold. In the winters there was rarely heat and I shivered beneath one dirty threadbare blanket if I was lucky enough to have even that. I spent my childhood bitten by fleas, snarled at by her mean hungry dogs, in the dark, because there was never money to pay for the lights.
I never knew there was another way to live, because we always kept to ourselves. Other than an occasional angry man, banging on the door demanding rent that my mother never had, I never knew another soul outside of those awful dogs. I never knew what kindness was either because I never knew anything outside of my mother’s fury.
She waited all the way until I was in the fourth grade before she ever put me in school, and by then, I may as well have been a wild animal. I couldn’t read or write. I’d never had a haircut, and the first day she ever left me on the doorstep of the rickety old elementary school, my head was crawling with lice. She’d pulled a hat down over my messy hair and told me not to tell. When I went inside and met the school secretary, I smelled perfume for the first time, and that made me realize I didn’t smell right. The lady looked different in every way from my mom with her pretty smooth black hair,her clean pink outfit, and her soft careful voice. She had a strange look in her eyes I didn’t recognize because it wasn’t rage.
Looking back, I think it was pity. On some level, I suppose I even knew it then, and it made me mad. Pity is a sort of kindness, and my mother had trained me to hate kindness, before I ever even knew what it was.
As you would probably expect from what I’ve told you so far, everybody hated me. Like, on sight. I was dirty, I smelled, I had bad teeth and bugs. Of course, these are all the makings of a human being who needs help, but in our world, most people aren’t taught to see someone like me and want to help. They’re taught to see someone like me and wrinkle their nose. Gasp. Step back quickly. Make fun. Hate.
Don’t worry though, I was taught to hate you too.
Two years went by and I managed to never make a single friend or impress a single teacher. On top of my mother Nicky’s cruel treatment, I’d now been fully introduced to the world; and they were just as cruel. So, I just got angrier. Fury and rage seethed inside me. That, and the fact that no one particularly cared to teach me were the reasons I failed to learn much of anything at all. Plus I was already so desperately far behind to begin with.
By the time I reached the end of my sixth grade year, I still didn’t know how to read, but I had learned about one topic that reached me. The concept of gender. Boys. Girls. Everything in between. Most of this was introduced to me through eavesdropping on playground conversations and then secretly watching as many YouTube videos as I could get away with in class when I was supposed to be doing other things.
From the first that I’d attended school and started “meeting” people outside of Nicky and the occasional angry landlord, I’d been mystified by the concept of boy and girl. Being a withered creature that scarcely belonged in the world anyway, I had such a hard time feeling like either a boy or a girl even though I could see that my hair was long like a lot of girls wore their hair. I only ever had one outfit at a time until I outgrew it and Nicky begrudgingly stole me something else from the thrift store, but normally it would be something or other with flowers or pastel colors which seemed to be the typical thing for girls. But I never got it. I never felt it. And I never felt like a boy either. In fact, I felt rather lost and untethered altogether from this world with nothing to grab onto and then I learned about being nonbinary.
There was a word for me and the way that I am. There were other people like me in the world. For once, something about my messed up life made sense to me.
Mind you, I was right at that age where my hormones were starting to be a bit crazed and of course I was a rage fueled freak of a person by then. So, obviously, looking back, I was thinking about this ALL wrong. But for some stupid reason, I got it in my head after I’d fully researched and understood what it was to be nonbinary, that I should tell Nicky.
I should tell my psychopath mother that I’m nonbinary.
I guess in some sort of twisted way, I thought maybe Nicky had always been so cruel to me because she didn’t understand me. And so, if I told her about me, then she would understand, and life could be better.
I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now thinking, “how could they be so incredibly dumb?” And you’re absolutely right, but what can I say? 12 year olds don’t always make the right call.
Lets just fast forward quickly through this part, because honestly, I don’t really care to remember it. But, as I’m sure you can imagine, Nicky took my coming out exactly how you would expect her to. There was a lot of swearing, swinging fists, and then she… She just started shrieking basically every word for “female,” that exists in the English language and somehow, that was the scariest part. I ran from the house then and she chased me out into the night. I sprinted until I could hear her animal screams anymore.
Even though it was spring, it was still getting pretty cold at night. Obviously I had no friends to call on, and I honestly didn’t know what to do; just that I wasn’t going back to Nicky. My mind felt more jumbled up than ever as I suddenly realized that although Nicky had kept me in squallar all my days, I had never slept outside. I had never not had at least a car to lay my head in at night. In a weird way, it made me suddenly realize she wasn’t entirely worthless somehow. I walked around aimlessly as the night crawled deeper, and then I was a cop go by slowly, giving me the eye. I knew I had to get somewhere.
Once he was gone, I made my way to the local park which was rimmed by a thin neck of woods. Really just a little manmade forest to separate the park from a shopping center on the other side. You weren’t allowed in the park past sundown, but I darted across and into the cover of the trees. Once inside the tangle of branches, the park’s security lights and the glow of the moon were all but gone. I rooted around in the dark on instinct until I found a soft spot of leaves to lay down. More exhausted than I’d ever been before, I soon drifted off to sleep shivering and alone.
The next morning I reported to school disheveled, dirty, unprepared, and smelling of moldy earth. None of this was particularly unusual for me though, so no one noticed me outside of the usual scope of relentless bullying. But as far as perhaps noticing tinges of blue still around my lips, or a particularly haunted look in my eyes; no. Nobody noticed.
At least, not until after school.
I was sitting alone in the library, long after the dismissal bell had rung, and the last students had straggled out of the building. I sat ram rod straight, and deathly still; staring straight ahead. I forgot the stacks of books all around me and their comforting smells. I forgot the librarian roaming around somewhere sorting and straightening. I forgot the warm afternoon and it’s sounds and smells drifting gently in the slightly open window. I forgot everything for a little while, except for one thing. Except for Nicky’s face. Distorted, snarling, sneering, shrieking. I started to see a million times in my mind that Nicky had gone nuts. Crazy, in my face, mad for no reason. All the time. Always. My mind began to feel like it was glitching. Like I was a web browser frozen in a spinning circle of weak internet signal.
Then I lifted my hand to my face because I felt something weird on it. I touched my cheek and when I took my hand away, it was wet with dirty… Tears.
I had seen them before in movies. The occasional classmate having some sort of emotional display. YouTube videos once in awhile. It had been another one of those concepts I’d never fully understood.
Because I’d never cried before.
Once I discovered I was crying, I began to cry harder. Then I was weeping. Then, I was ugly snot sobbing. Big choking sobs.
I about jumped out of my skin though when something touched my shoulder. I scrambled out of my seat and stumbled backwards, upsetting my chair with a noisy clatter to the floor.
“Oh dear!” Exclaimed the elderly lady who manned the school library. “I’m sorry, dear, I didn’t mean to frighten you!”
I stood staring at the little woman. We’d never spoken before. She looked at me with soft, dewy blue eyes; looking like she might cry herself. Her hand lingered in mid air where she’d drawn back from me, but also still looked like she wanted to touch me. Finally she spoke.
“Are you alright, sweetheart?”
My mouth hung open. Dear? Sweetheart? These weren’t terms that had ever been applied to me before. In my whole life. My crying had paused when she touched my shoulder, but I exploded into tears again. The little librarian lady rushed forward and scooped me into her arms.
My instinct was to pull away, I knew I had to smell terrible to her. She smelled so lovely though. Her lilac scent swirled all around me and her arms were soft and warm. She was surprisingly strong for such a small person and she hugged me fiercely. My body relaxed and I melted into the first hug of affection I’d ever known. The closest I’d ever had to someone’s arms around me had been incidents of having to be restrained due to angry outbursts.
I’d had no idea how wonderful it felt to be cared for.
Unfortunately, my first real experience with kindness was short lived. Suddenly, I was stricken with a migraine that thundered into my head like a stampede of hooves. Out of nowhere, every nerve ending in my whole body seemed to catch fire.
The only way I can describe it is that… I exploded.
One second I was a rather small sized twelve year old person. The next second, my body grew so fast and so much that my head crashed into the roof, knocking into the hanging fluorescent lights, and sending a cascade of broken glass raining down. I grew in every direction, one long monstrously muscular arm crashing into a tall shelf of books and sending it crashing to the floor.
And the librarian… The little lady…
She was tossed backward by my sudden explosive growth so quickly and so far and so hard… Her little body slammed into the concrete brick wall and I heard the sickening crunch of her bones breaking.
Too much was happening too fast. When I finally stopped expanding, I was bent almost in half to still fit in the high ceiling library. I clutched my skull which felt as though I would surely die, and the horrible sound of the librarian’s crunching bones reverberated inside my soul.
I dropped to my giant knees and scurried to her. My hands were bulbous and grotesque, and as big as her body now. A thin trickle of blood dribbled from the corner of her mouth. I dared to touch her in a way that I thought was gentle, but it jarred her whole body. She shifted into an impossibly bent and broken position and didn’t make a peep.
She was dead.
I lurched forward, toward the exit. I was way too big to fit through the door, but grotesquely strong as I’d become, I simply crashed through the wall. My feet pounded in the corridor as I ran toward the exit at the end of the hall. I could feel the floor give dangerously beneath my heavy footfalls and crumbling concrete and plaster all around. The lights shook as the top of my head grazed them. I stumbled sideways and an entire bank of lockers was irrevocably bent as I accidentally hit it.
The head ache throbbed once again. I gasped but I kept running. My nerve endings started acting up again, but this time they began to get cold.
No one was around still, thank god thank god. Somehow, no one had been drawn by the noise and the destruction. I was crying still, silent sobs now, and giant rolling tears. By the time I hit the front door, I’d shrunk back down enough to just barely fit through it.
The world around me was a blur as I flung myself out into the warm day. As I sprinted off of school property I happened to glimpse my own feet, now bare as my shoes had been shredded straight off my body; but now, they had returned to normal and I used them to keep running.