The Other Side By: Jennifer Kingston

It was a nice crisp day out, the sun was shining, but not too bright; the blossoms were on the verge of blooming. I was walking through a cornfield in front of a large beautiful palace when I heard an extremely loud scream. It came from the palace! I got startled and ran up to see what had happened.

I got to the front steps of the palace, and right as I my knuckles touched the door to knock, it swung open. Standing before me was a tall man who was trying to catch his breath, it was as if he had just finished a run. His eyes were droopy and he had some sort of dark makeup around them. His hair was about shoulder length. I had only assumed he was a man because he was so tall and he was wearing men’s clothing.

The man asked, “Can I help you?” he sounded like a woman.

“Yes, indeed , a loud cry interrupted my peaceful walk,” I said, “and I came to see what rude creature would do such harm to such a kind, charming lady like me.”

“ I am sorry that we disrupted your joy; me and the children were playing when we spotted a spider on my shoulder and I had to scream, because, oh, how I hate them spiders!”

After hearing his voice, I studied him longer, I focused on how straight he stood and the way he moved his hands when he spoke, also the way he looked at me as if he were studying me too. I really wanted to know if this he was truly a he, so I built up the courage and said, “My name is Lily, may I ask yours?”

He said, in his high pitched voice, “Yes, my name is Mary! It is so nice to meet you! Would you like to come in for supper and meet the children?”

“Yes, that would be nice, it is getting a bit late so I won’t stay too long.” I replied.

He is a woman? She has hardly a chest; her bone structure is much wider than most women, and she is so tall. I thought to myself while Mary showed me around the house.

“Do you want to see the children?”

“Yes, please, I do love children!”

“Right, this way, please” She led me down a long dark hall and at the end of it was a locked door. She opened it and surrounding us were walls covered with many pictures, all of the same boy who looked almost identical to Mary.

“Your brother?” I asked.

“Down here,” she said, ignoring the question completely.

In the next door, there was a candle lit dining table with adorable little children surrounding the entire thing.

“Hello children” said Mary, “this is Lily. I want you all to treat her nice; she will be staying with us for a few hours.”

“Yes Mary!” they all jinxed.

I sat down on the other side of the table, opposite to where Mary was sitting, and a beautiful maid came out with trays of food that looked so delicious, I couldn’t wait to throw them in my mouth. She brought some to me and I noticed her hands were shaking, it was as if she was struggling to carry the trays.

“Thank you so much! This looks delicious!” I said, trying to help boost her confidence.

“Yes, thank you, Anastasia!” said Mary.

She left the room and we all began to eat. I finished my supper and Mary offered dessert.

It was getting late, so I replied, “No, that’s okay, I probably better take off now.”

“No, I insist!” she said in a commanding, gentle voice.

“Okay, but just dessert.”

Mary called Anastasia in and whispered something to her, then smiled at me. I smiled back, a bit confused. Minutes later, Anastasia re-entered the room with new trays covered in all different kinds of dessert. There were donuts, muffins, cupcakes, cake, chocolate, cookies, ice cream, and many other fancy desserts that I couldn’t pronounce the names of. Anastasia brought it over and set it on the table. While looking a little scared, she looked me in the eye and gestured that I should try one of the cupcakes first. She left the room again but this time, looking more scared than the others. I bit into one of the delicious, soft, warm cupcakes rolling my eyes all the way back, just enjoying the cupcake. It was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted! When I finished my first bite, I opened my eyes to take another cupcake. At the end of the table where Mary was sitting before, however, I saw a man with a torn up face; his flesh was hanging by a thread of skin. He was smiling at me, and the room was dark, the paint on the walls that was beautiful before was torn off, the table was broken and barely standing, and there was moaning and laughter of evil. The cupcake I took a bite from was a fresh human heart and all of the other desserts were bones. My drink was the cold blood of an impure heart. The man looked like the boy in the pictures but half of his face was missing. I had come to realize that I was in another world. Someplace I have never seen before. I looked around me to see that every one of the children weren't actually children either. Every one of them had suddenly changed into either corpses of children that once lived, or they were large, broken, porcelain dolls.

Mary was the man sitting in the seat. The things I saw before that were beautiful weren’t real. It was at that moment when I finally remembered that I had killed myself and now, I am in heck; a place I can never leave. I am terrified! I have been here for at least three days and there is no way out. No escape. I am in the same place Bloody Mary is in. I am confused, “How did I end up on the same level as a woman who slaughtered other women and bathed in their blood to stay young? I only killed myself. I just wanted to get away from all of the bullies! They would never go away! When I was home so were they, when I was at school they were waiting for me. Everywhere I went, they went too. If they weren’t there, they had traps set waiting for me, or they had played a joke on me. I would tell my parents, but they were drug addicts, the only clear thought they had in their mind was get more drugs. I had to get away! I felt this was the only way to get out. How did I end up in such a cold-hearted place?, I thought. There is no mercy, no escape, no happiness, and most of all, no love! I can’t be freed. No matter what I did I would feel pain, but now I feel much more. It was a stupid decision! So…. so foolish! How could I think heck would be a better place?

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