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27 min read

Autumn Rose

Author since 2015 1Story 0 Followers
Autumn Rose

Sarah rolled over, glancing at the digital clock resting on her nightstand. She groaned when she saw the green numbers read 2:59 am. As she started to roll over again, a flash of lightning lit up her room and she froze. Her eyes darted to her bedroom window where she thought she had seen a dark figure climbing in, until another flash of lightning proves there’s nothing there. Sarah sighed and rolled over, mumbling to herself. She closed her eyes, drifting back into peaceful slumber.

Sarah’s mom knocked on the door before stepping into Sarah’s room. “Sarah, come on. Get up. We’re spending the day with the new neighbors today, remember?” She shook Sarah lightly.

“Yeah mom. I’m up.” She grumbled, drowsiness blanketing her voice. Her mom nodded, leaving her daughter’s room. Sarah pushed her blanket off of her and threw her legs over the bed. She yawned, stretching her arms above her head. A sharp pain shot up her side, making her wince. She rushed to the bathroom, lifting her shirt to find an intricately designed red rose lying on a golden oak leaf tattooed on her side. Her eyes widened and she tried wiping it off with a damp rag, which only succeeded in making it hurt more. She sighed in frustration and went back to her room to get ready. She put on comfortable clothes and shoes she could walk around in that wouldn’t hurt her feet, even if they were only going to the park.

“Sarah, are you ready? Your breakfast is on the table and we have to leave in ten minutes.” Her mom called from the kitchen.

“Ok mom. I’ll be there in a second.” She replied as she finished brushing her shoulder length, dark brown hair. She looked at the tattoo once more before leaving the bathroom with no intention of showing it to her mom, or anyone for that matter.

After Sarah was done eating, the Mason family got into their car and drove to the park where they were meeting the neighbors for a barbecue. They seemed a bit off to Sarah but her mom was forcing her to go. She thought Sarah needed some friends and wanted her to become acquainted with the neighbor’s oldest daughter. She didn’t remember her name but she hadn’t even met her yet. What if she was weird like her parents? They were just so odd and kind of proper, like they were trying too hard to seem normal. They were just weird.

They pulled into a parking space at the park and got out. The Lawrence family, the neighbors, was sitting at a table beneath a large oak tree. It was the beginning of October so the park was filled with various hues of red, orange, brown, and gold. It was beautiful. It also made Sarah uneasy as it reminded her of the mysterious tattoo that was inked into her side. Her dad handed her a bag of coal and told her to put it next to the grill near the table while her mom and sister, Kate, carried some other things and set them on the table.

Her mom introduced her to the Lawrence family, which Sarah found out consisted of five members: Sasha, Nathan, Autumn and their parents, Jordan and Maggie. Sasha was nine and the youngest of the three siblings. Nathan was eleven and Autumn was the same age as Sarah, sixteen.

After everyone had been introduced, the two families talked about normal things like birthdays, holidays, and recent events. Then the topic finally came up.

“So what made you guys decide to move into the neighborhood?” Sarah’s mom asked.

It was just a normal topic. Almost everyone asked or answered this at least once in their life but no one ever reacted like that. Sarah’s parents may not have noticed but she did. Maggie looked uncomfortable with the harmless question. She shifted in her seat and her eyes widened nervously.

Jordan finally answered, “We just thought a new place would be better for the kids. Our old place was getting a bit crowded and Autumn was having trouble in school so we decided a new place, a new school, a new start, ya know?” Sarah’s parents nodded but Sarah wasn’t convinced. The way he intervened before his wife could answer seemed a bit strange and his voice was strained when he spoke. It seemed like they were hiding something.

Sarah mentally kicked herself when she realized she had yet to actually meet Autumn. The other two kids were there stuffing their faces with chips and hotdogs but Autumn was nowhere in sight. Her brows furrowed in confusion as she looked around. Who mentions their daughter but doesn’t bother to bring her?

“Umm excuse me, Mrs. Lawrence?”

“Just call me Maggie, sweetie. What is it?” She gazed at Sarah curiously.

“Where is Autumn? You brought her right?”

Maggie’s expression dropped briefly to one of utter disgust but she forced a smile before she answered, “Oh yes. Autumn tends to wander off by herself when we have family outings like this.” Sarah frowned as Maggie quickly ended the conversation. What was up with her?

“Mom, I’m gonna go see if I can find her, ok?” Her mom nodded and Sarah left the table. She walked over to the trunk of the oak tree the table was under. It was a good distance from the table itself so Sarah thought she’d start her search there. Its branches were huge and the trunk alone was too big for her to reach her arms around.

“It might be too big for five people to wrap their arms around while holding hands.” She mumbled to herself. Her gaze traveled up the tree and she noticed a pair of eyes gazing back at her through the leaves. It sent chills up her spine but there was something about these eyes that made her unable to look away. They were different colors. One was golden yellow and the other was ocean blue. They were beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

“Can I help you?” Sarah jumped at the unexpected purr of the female voice.

“U-uh…umm….” She stammered, watching in awe as a very magnificent creature climbed effortlessly onto a branch above her head, crouching like a cat. It wasn’t what she expected.

It was a young girl with long, wavy, golden brown hair and two white highlights bordering her face. Above her bangs she wore a black headband with small red roses on it. She had a scar running from the inside of her left eye to the middle of her cheek. Her skin was lightly tanned; she had a perfectly rounded face, and thick eyelashes. Sarah’s heart skipped as the girl tilted her head, a strikingly mischievous smile spreading across her face, showing two sets of sharp canines that glimmered in the sunlight. Her gold and blue eyes twinkled with unknown humor as she took in Sarah’s shocked form.

“W-who are you?” Sarah finally managed after a few moments of silence.

The girl giggled and purred softly, “I’m Autumn. You’re the neighbor girl, right? The one Maggie wanted me to become friends with.” Sarah nodded. Why did she call her mom by her first name? Is she adopted or something? She certainly didn’t look like her parents. They both had short, straight black hair and brown eyes. Their faces were more angular than Autumn’s and they all had straight, flat teeth, thin lashes and awkward smiles. Sarah realized she may have been overanalyzing the family a bit.

She put out her hand, “My name’s Sarah. It’s nice to meet you.” Autumn shook her outstretched hand, revealing her sharp black nails.

“So Sarah, would you like to join me up here? It’s fun.” Autumn looked at her expectantly, almost as if she already knew the answer. Sarah was about to accept her offer when she heard her mom call to her.

“Sarah. It’s time to go. You can hang out with Autumn later.”

“You too, Autumn. We’re going.” Maggie’s voice sounded stern. She didn’t sound motherly at all. It sounded more like she was trying to assert dominance over some sort of wild animal. The way the two of them said each other’s names was a bit hostile for mother and daughter.

“Alright, Maggie.” Autumn sounded irritated like she couldn’t be bothered but she gracefully leapt from the branch she was perched on, landing with a soft thud next to Sarah. Standing beside her, Sarah could see her more clearly. She really was very pretty, Sarah thought. She was wearing a dark red, long sleeved, v-neck shirt and black cargo pants with a biker chain hanging from the front to back pocket and a black choker collar with a delicately detailed, metal red rose hanging from the center of it like a dog tag. Sarah also caught a glimpse of a deep purple hand print on her neck but she didn’t get a good look because Autumn brushed her hair over her shoulder, hiding it successfully.

As they walked back to the table, Sarah noticed her mom’s expression was similar to her own when she first heard what Autumn called her mom. Before they were in earshot, Autumn asked Sarah a question. Her voice was seductive and so low that she almost didn’t hear her. She kind of wished she hadn’t.

The question replayed in Sarah’s mind during the ride home and as she got ready for bed. When she closed her eyes she saw Autumn’s devious smile. It troubled her. How did she know? Sarah never wanted to talk to her again. She had a disturbing air of mystery about her.

A couple weeks later, Autumn had been enrolled in the same school Sarah went to. She rarely ever went though. She sat at the bus stop early in the morning but only actually got on the bus for her first few days. Since then, she’d just sit there until it was out of sight and wander into the woods or explore the neighborhood. Sarah had a bad feeling about her. She’d seen Autumn talking with a group of guys from school the other day. She couldn’t tell what it was about because she ran home just as a fight started among them before they could notice her. That was a bad group to be noticed by. She wanted no part of it.

She saw the same group earlier today. Every one of them had some kind of injury; broken nose, broken leg, fractured ribs, dislocated jaw. It was pretty bad. But when Sarah saw Autumn in the neighborhood after school, she didn’t seem injured at all, other than the bandages she had wrapped around her knuckles. She seemed more joyful if anything. It was very disconcerting.

Sarah was writing a book report when she looked out of her bedroom window which was facing Autumn’s house. She almost fell out of her chair when she saw Autumn sitting cross-legged on the roof looking back at her. Autumn tilted her head and smirked, raising an eyebrow questioningly. Sarah panicked, locking her window and closing the curtains. She knew what she was asking with her expression. She could see in her eyes. It was that question again.

Do you like your new tattoo?

Sarah had trouble getting to sleep that night as she lay in bed, softly running her fingers along the now healed tattoo. She couldn’t brush the feeling that Autumn was still sitting outside, watching the window. Luckily Sarah’s window wasn’t above the roof but was directly cut out of the side of her house so Autumn couldn’t just climb in if that’s what she was planning. She’d have to jump and the window would have to be open, which made Sarah feel a bit better but not by much.

All night she heard noise coming from the Lawrence’s house. Something was going on and it sounded like a pretty bad argument. After hours of lying there, listening quietly, Sarah walked over to the window and slowly opened the curtains to peek through. She saw Autumn in the window across from hers. She was arguing with her mom.

Sarah was about to go back to bed when Autumn was struck down by what looked like a belt in her mom’s hand. She gasped; her hand flying to her mouth as she watched Maggie repeatedly beat and scream at her daughter until blood spattered onto her face. Autumn scared Sarah but she didn’t deserve that. No child deserved that. When Maggie finally left the room, Sarah hoped she would see Autumn get up. She wanted her to be alright.

“Please don’t be dead. Get up.” She whispered anxiously. Relief washed over her as Autumn stood but soon transformed into terror when she turned to glare at Sarah. Her heart dropped as a psychotic grin crept along Autumn’s bloodied face. She was terrified of her once more.

Autumn left the room and Sarah saw something black behind her but was too scared to attempt to figure out what it was. There were hideous screams echoing from the house. Sarah ran to her parent’s room, telling them about what she had seen, leaving out Autumn’s creepy smile. They called the police and rushed over to the eerily silent house in hopes that everything was ok.

Sarah’s mom knocked but there was no answer, not even a sign of life within the house. When the police arrived, they knocked on the door but when they got no reply, they turned the knob to find it was surprisingly unlocked. The thick smell of blood hit them hard as they walked in. No one was downstairs but almost everything seemed to have been destroyed. Even the table was missing its legs.

When they reached the top of the stairs, they were greeted by the horrendous sight of Maggie, who was hung up on the hallway wall with the missing wooden table legs protruding from her hands, right eye, and chest, which had been clawed open. Her jaw was torn in half and her tongue had been ripped out and left on the floor beneath her, along with everything else that once inhabited her body, including her lungs, heart, stomach, intestines, and even her left eye.

As they continued through the house, they found Jordan, Autumn’s dad. He had been ripped apart entirely. His limbs had been scattered around the room, each separated into several different pieces. His torso was just a bloody pulp in the center of the floor. The only reason they knew it was him was because his face was hung on the wall by a small kitchen knife under large bloody words that read: Don’t cry. It’ll be over soon. Just stay still.

The other two children were found in their rooms, lying in bed. At first glance they appeared to be sleeping until they noticed their throats had been ripped out. Their deaths were by far the least gruesome. They found Autumn in her room. She was sleeping in her bed, covered in blood, bruises and abrasions. It seemed like she had passed out.

Autumn was taken outside and questioned but she wouldn’t talk. She wouldn’t even look at anyone. The police told Sarah’s parents that this was to be expected from a child that had witnessed such a gruesome event. They asked if the Masons were willing to take Autumn in until the investigation was complete and they agreed. She was allowed to go back into the house to pack a few things.

Sarah’s mom took the silent Autumn into the house and led her to the guest room. She gave her a towel and told her to take a shower and get some rest.

The next few days were spent trying to get Autumn to speak. Sarah didn’t have to go to school because her parents had to go to work and they didn’t want to leave Autumn alone. She tried talking to her on several accounts, even though she made her uncomfortable, but she wouldn’t respond. She hardly even showed any signs that she was listening. She would also fall to the ground screaming at times. After that night, she’d started having agonizing headaches. They tried giving her medication but the headaches were random and, even with the assistance of medicine, showed no signs of stopping. She’d wake up screaming in the middle of the night too and regardless of the fact that everyone in the house knew what it was, they always came rushing to her aid. It became a routine after a while.

Sarah remembered from the first day they’d met, Maggie had mentioned Autumn’s birthday being October 28, which was tomorrow. She decided to get her something. She may freak her out but it wasn’t right to leave her depressed and in pain like this. When her mom got home, Sarah told her what she wanted to do for Autumn and she agreed, saying it was a great idea.

When morning came, Sarah woke Autumn up and told her to get ready so they could leave soon. She didn’t look at her or say anything but she was ready within fifteen minutes and was sitting in the living room. Sarah and her mom took Autumn to the nearest pet store.

“You like puppies, right? You can pick whichever one you want and we’ll get it for you. It was Sarah’s idea.” Sarah’s mom said to Autumn. For a moment, Sarah thought she saw a twinkle of excitement in her uniquely colored eyes but if there was, it faded quickly. She nodded and began to look around.

Personally, Sarah thought the Pomeranian were one of the cutest puppies in the store but to her dismay, Autumn returned to them holding what looked like a scruffy, baby wolf. It had messy, short, black fur, ears that stuck up of its head, huge paws for a puppy, a very fluffy tail and piercing blue eyes. Sarah made a face.

“Are you sure? It looks like it wants to eat my soul. Is it even a dog?” Sarah asked. She expected silence, or at the very least laughter, but was provided with a menacing glare from Autumn.

“Yes.” It was only one word but Sarah could feel the rage and hatred in her voice. Sarah’s mom laughed nervously, taking the puppy from Autumn and leaving to pay for it.

Sarah breathed a sigh of relief as the puppy was returned to Autumn and her hate filled gaze transformed to one of joy. She picked out a red spiked collar and had the name September engraved on the metal dog tag.

They returned home with September, who Sarah was surprised to learn, was a girl, and were glad to see Autumn smiling again. Sarah thought the name was ironic considering autumn starts in September. The two became best friends instantly. September never left Autumn’s side and growled whenever anyone tried to touch her without permission. Things finally seemed to be getting back to normal.

It was Halloween when Sarah noticed Autumn had been acting strange again. She wasn’t really sure if she’d ever stopped. She would whisper to September like they were really communicating and looked over her shoulder to see if anyone was listening. September had also grown to the size of a full grown Great Dane. She wasn’t too sure she was really a dog. It had only been three days.

Sarah had just gotten home and was about to take a shower when she opened the bathroom door to find Autumn standing there naked. She would’ve closed the door immediately and screamed an apology if what she saw hadn’t stunned her so much and left her speechless. It wasn’t that she was naked; it was the brutal scars all over her body, the large rose tattooed on her right hip, the furry, black, catlike ears on the top of her head and the long, fluffy, black tail that seemed to be directly attached to her spine. Not only that but she was covered in blood, despite the bloody clothes at her feet, and there was blood dripping from her mouth. September growled protectively.

Sarah took a step back, eyes wide and full of fear. Autumn tilted her head slightly and her right ear twitched. Sarah noticed the tip of that ear was missing, blood oozing from the fresh wound. It was the only injury she could find. The rest of her seemed unharmed. The white spot on her other ear had blood smeared on it as well.

Her heart stopped as Autumn’s mischievous grin made its first reappearance since they’d met. Autumn took a small step forward as Sarah stumbled back.

“Your heart’s beating pretty fast. What’s wrong Sarah? It’s only been a week since my family was brutally murdered. Why won’t you stay and comfort me?” Autumn’s soft, beautiful voice rang in Sarah’s ears like the thunder outside. It dripped with menace and unspoken threats.

Her smoky laugh made Sarah flinch, “Awww what’s the matter? Don’t you like me anymore?” She pouted teasingly and beamed with excitement as Sarah turned and raced down the dark hallway to her parents’ room, only to be met by dead bodies and puddles of blood. Lightning flashed and revealed the bodies had been carved into like clay. They had elegant designs cut into every inch of skin. On the wall above them was a short poem painted in blood: Roses are red, Violets are blue, All beauty fades, And so shall you

Tears ran down her cheeks and she spun around to leave the room but was blocked by Autumn, who was now smiling psychotically. Thunder reverberated through the house as Sarah took a small step back and slipped, landing in the pool of her parents’ blood, “Why did you do this?” She cried.

Autumn let out an exasperated sigh, “Well I had to eat something. Human food just wasn’t cutting it anymore. And the blood kinda helps with the headaches, ya know?” She looks up in thought like she was contemplating a shopping list.

Sarah looked at her in horror, “Headaches? You’re insane…”

Autumn shrugged, “My dear, who ever said sanity was fun? And it’s just so pretty. I couldn’t help myself. Your daddy fought back though. He caught me by surprise when he pulled out that gun. The bullet just grazed my ear so I had to put him down faster, too bad really. I was just beginning to enjoy myself.” She looked genuinely disappointed in her loss of entertainment.

Sarah looked back to see her dad’s 22 caliber revolver handle sticking out of his throat, “Wait…where’s Kate?!” she demanded, hoping she wasn’t dead too. Autumn smirked, motioning for Sarah to follow her, and started walking to Kate’s room.

Sarah ran into the dark room and hugged Kate tight. She was still alive, curled up crying in her bed. They both cried together for a brief moment before they looked up at Autumn, who hadn’t moved an inch and was just watching them patiently.

“What do you want? Why can’t you just go away?! Haven’t you done enough?!” Sarah screamed at Autumn but didn’t get any kind of expected reaction. She just tilted her head, her ear twitching again.

“Your heart, it beats so fast when you’re afraid,” She walked over to Sarah, reaching out a hand and touching her cheek with false benevolence, “I’m not going to kill you Sarah.” She said in a hushed tone.

Sarah looked at her in confusion, “Then why are you still here?”

Autumn smirked and leaned over, whispering alluringly in Sarah’s ear, “I need you for something darling.” Sarah’s eyes widened. Autumn pulled Kate out of her arms and held her to her bare chest, lightly petting her hair, “Shhhh its ok. This won’t hurt a bit. Just relax sweetheart.”

Sarah gasped as Autumn swiftly ripped out Kate’s throat, killing her almost instantly. Her body fell lifelessly to the floor. Sarah rushed over to her, crying over her corpse.

“Why?! First you killed your own family, and then you killed mine?! I hate you!! You’re a freak!!! A freak and a psycho!!!! What’s wrong with you?!” Sarah screamed, tears streaming down her face.

Autumn crouched in front of her with an oddly serious expression, “Maggie was raped on her way home from school when she was nineteen. She got pregnant, her fiancé left her, she found Jordan, and she gave birth to me. She hated me. She beat me and let Jordan rape me when I was five. Every day she physically and verbally abused me while Jordan raped me whenever he wanted. I was born a ‘freak’ and bullied in school. I had no friends so I stopped going. When I turned sixteen I fought back against a bully and killed him. It was said to be self-defense and I was let go. Maggie made us move here so she wouldn’t be criticized by the city and had me hide my ears and tail, as well as the bruises Jordan left every time he had his way with me. Honestly, I’m surprised I hadn’t snapped sooner. It was only a matter of time before I went completely insane. Look where I am now.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Sarah whimpered.

She paused for a moment, examining Sarah’s face, “You never did answer my question. Do you like your tattoo?”

When she didn’t get an answer, she shoved her hand into Kate’s chest and pulled out her heart, biting into it like an apple. Sarah grimaced, “Stop!! Don’t touch her!!!” She covered Kate’s body protectively.

Autumn sighed, “She’s dead. Get over it. Now,” She stood up, throwing the rest of the heart to September, who swallowed it whole, “Answer me.”

“No. I never asked for a tattoo. I don’t want it.” Sarah mumbled reluctantly between sobs.

“It was meant to be a mark, a warning of sorts. I was going to kill you. I wanted to carve pretty little roses into your skin and watch you bleed to death like your parents.”

“Then do it!! Kill me!!!! Do it already!!!!” Lightning struck, lighting up the room and illuminating Autumn’s still naked, blood covered body.

“Oh no, darling. I’ve already told you. I need you to live.” She skipped away, back into the bathroom with September close behind. Sarah heard the shower water turn on.

“I can’t believe she’s taking a shower….” Sarah whispered. She sat with her sister’s body for about ten minutes before she came to her senses and ran. She took her cell phone out of her pocket, dialing 911 as she ran past the bathroom hoping, Autumn didn’t hear her. She made it to the front door before she was thrown back into the far wall of the living room. She gasped, desperately trying to get her breath back. She looked up to see a dripping wet, towel clad Autumn.

“I said I want you alive. What makes you think I’m just going to let you leave?” Autumn looked mildly agitated. September growled viciously as Sarah stood up.

“If you don’t regret what you did why wouldn’t you speak?” Sarah asked, trying to distract her while the 911 operator answered the phone that had fallen in front of the door.

Autumn smirked, calmly walking over and smashing the phone under her bare foot, “I was contemplating whether or not to kill you while attempting to be rid of the insanity. Unfortunately for everyone but me, it won.” Sarah frowned, disappointed that she’d noticed the phone.

“You can go when I’m done with you.” She said as she began walking back to the bathroom, “September, please watch her. Don’t let her leave.” September sat, watching Sarah obediently with her intense, icy gaze. She sat on the couch and waited quietly. No use fighting a battle that can’t be won. A few moments later, Autumn returned wearing her usual clothes and collar. She didn’t bother with the headband anymore and she left her tail unhidden as well.

“Alright. Now Sarah, what are you going to tell the police when they arrive?” She asked as she knelt in front of her.

“That the crazy, psycho, freak named Autumn Lawrence killed my family a week after she killed her own,” Sarah said venomously before she spat blood in Autumn’s face.

Autumn wiped her face and smiled, “You got some of that right.” She grabbed Sarah, pinning her to the ground and sitting on her waist, “Now let’s see if we can give you a reason to remember.”

She lifts Sarah’s shirt and pulls out a small carving knife, carefully carving a large rose into her stomach while September held her hands in her jaw, pulling them over her head. Sarah screamed and writhed in agony, only causing September’s sharp teeth to pierce the tender skin of her wrists as Autumn didn’t stop until her masterpiece was complete.

“There,” She said, licking the knife clean and putting it in her back pocket, “Another gorgeous rose to remember me by. So let’s get this straight, Maggie Lawrence gave birth to me but she was never my mother. My name is Autumn Rose, now and forever. Understood?” Sarah nodded feebly as she’d lost a lot of blood and could no longer find her voice, “Good. That’s what you’ll tell the police. That’s what you’ll tell everyone that hears this story. My story.”

She stood and gave her a cheeky grin, “See ya around Sarah.” Autumn turned and bolted out the door, September following her effortlessly.

Sarah knew they’d be back. Even as she heard the police sirens getting louder and the red and blue lights flashed brightly through the windows, she knew they could never truly keep her safe. Maybe not anytime soon but someday, they’d return to finish the job they started. But until then, Sarah was going to warn everyone she spoke to about Autumn and she had the scares to prove it. Paramedics rushed in and removed her from the puddle that was pooling around her still, pale form. When she recovered she would tell them. She’d tell everyone to keep a look out for the murderous psycho, from now on, known as Autumn Rose.

BREAKING NEWS: The notorious serial killer, Autumn Rose, has claimed yet another victim last night. The eighteen year old boy was found in his bed, covered in elaborate carvings and the well known poem written on the wall in his blood. She presumably left the rest of the family branded with her signature rose and oak leaf tattoo leading officials to believe that they are her next targets. They are being put under protective custody as of now. Hopefully, they will be safe from harm. Today is the three year anniversary of the first incident when both the Lawrence and Mason families where brutally massacred within only a week’s time. The terrible event ended with only one survivor, Sarah Mason who was left with both physical and mental scares at just sixteen. When will this menace finally be caught and put behind bars? We can only hope it’ll be soon.

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