Friday, September 11, 2009

Short Story-"Stella" Pt. 1

I couldn’t get warm. Huddled on the sofa wrapped in blankets, I still shivered. I am sure if I had looked into a mirror, even I would have seen the desperation and fear in my eyes. I did not want to know. Knowing always hurt too much. Who ever said, “knowledge is power” was not in my situation. The question, “Where were you last night?” would open up wounds that had just started to heal over. I didn’t want to ask her. I knew that the blood on the sketchbook gave me the answer anyway. She could be very bad.

I loved her and I hated her.

I should call Dr. Franklin.  He had been a part of my life as long as I could remember.  I knew he would rush over here and try to talk to Stella. He knew about her; had in fact helped me meet her so many years ago. Only Dr. Franklin can get away with calling her “Estelle”. I have always thought she was just humoring him. She knows why he calls her that and secretly is amused by it.

Stella is everything I’m not. She is confident, bold and brassy. She’s an artist and fits the stereotype to a tee: talented, eccentric and temperamental. Me, little mousy Jessie…well, I am happiest with my cat and my books. I’m an author; children’s books mostly. Stella helps me out by illustrating them with bold and vivid drawings that children love.

Most of the time, Stella and I deal exceptionally well together. I normally don’t even know she’s been here until I wake up and find a stack of finished drawings in the studio we share. Sometimes I can faintly hear the music she plays while she works, but it’s usually very muted and I drowsily go back to sleep. Stella understands my fears and protects me as best she can.  Stella is kind but can also be very cruel when the mood strikes her.

The blood on the sketchbook proved that.

I shivered again as I gazed at the bloodied book. Should I open it? Should I put it in the studio and just walk away from what was inside? The last time I ignored Stella’s offerings I paid for it dearly. Tears welled as I remembered the heartbreak.  My shoulders tightened, as if someone was standing behind me, glaring at the back of my head. Even though I knew I was alone, I could still feel Stella’s fury simmering.

Sighing, I stood up and walked over to the sketchbook. Heart pounding and with shaking hands, I slowly opened it.  Stella is always so proud of her work and never understands my horror.

You see, Stella does not know that we share the same body.

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