What's in the forbidden area?

My birthday: Since I'm already here, I might as well check out the place. You can tell it's been blocked off for a really long time. I remember ever since I was younger, people have been coming up with reasons as to why they blocked off this area. As little kids we believed there were monsters living in here. Monsters that couldn't be defeated. As we got older we suspected that they were hiding something from us. Something that they wanted to keep for themselves. Or we believed that's where the adults would go party. Or other stupid things like that. There was never any talk about it in my house. I know that my father knows the real reason. And he made it clear to my siblings and me to never venture around here. But he really drilled it into my older siblings that if he found them near this place, they wouldn't be happy with their lives anymore.

As I look around I see no reason as to why this place has been forbidden. There's old junk and plants are taking over streets and buildings. Nothing seems to be attacking me. And nothing seems to be worth hiding. After a while there's nowhere else to look. I now stand at the opposite end of where I had entered. If I climbed the fence, walked down the hill, and walked over that other hill then I would be in the next town. So I turn around and take one more quick look as I leave.

When I get home, I see my older sister on the couch watching television. I hear my mother in the kitchen and I'm sure my father is on his way home from work. My brother has already moved out. He wouldn't come to visit even if he did remember my birthday. "Where have you been?" my sister asks grumpily.

"I was walking."

I almost get around the corner when she whispers, "Happy birthday." I stop mid-stride. Then I continue on.

I hope she thinks that I didn't hear her. My sister and I used to be close. When we were young, she and I would secretly play and talk a lot. Our parents used to tell us that it wasn't normal to play games if we wanted to grow up to be professional. I think they just said that because they didn't want my sister to be having fun with me. My sister told me the things our parents told her. They had said that I was ill and the only way I could get better was if I was left alone. They told her a bunch of lies like that. She didn't want to stop being friends with me though. So at night we would sneak outside and play. But once she went into fifth grade then she stopped talking to me completely. I assumed that she finally understood what a freak I was and she didn't want to be known as “the sister of the freak.” So she acted as if she didn't know me. But when she got into high school, each year she would quietly tell me happy birthday.

In my room, I lay down on my bed. I close my eyes and imagine things being different. If I did have a power, I don't know what I would want it to be. I know that everyone is happy with what power they have, bedsides Merrick.

"Dinner is ready!" my mother shouts. I roll out of bed and head for the kitchen. What sounds nice to me is to eat dinner without my family on my birthday.

The End

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