The doorknob glared at me. Its brass essence branded my soul. Intimidated, I started to back away.

That's when the door opened.

It had been years since I'd seen her last. Her hair was longer, wavier. Her eyes were dulled like a butter knife.


"Karen." She flinched. I corrected myself. "Mom."

It was a surprise when she wrapped her frail arms around me. I didn't move. Maybe I patted her sides with my fingertips, or maybe I dreamed it. Sensing how awkward I felt, she let go.

"Do you want to come inside?" She smiled feebly and opened the door wider.

I peered inside. It wasn't too big of a house. Probably slightly smaller than the one we used to live in together, but it wasn't shabby. She had carpet, which we didn't have in our old house.

I was about to step inside when I heard a shriek. Something high-pitched that pierced the air.

"What is that?!" I clamped my hands over my ears."

Karen's eyebrows pressed together and her chapped lips shook. "It's -- it's..."

Your baby sister.

I held back tears and bit my cheeks. Blood sprang forth.

"Forgive me. Forgive me. Forgive me." She whispered, grabbing my shoulder like I was driftwood in the tempest.

My eyes hardened and I said "no."

The End

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