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Big sister is pretty and tall. Big sister slouches; big sister knows how to be cool. My big sister, she doesn’t care how much I try to be like her…no matter what I do, I do it wrong, and I need big sister to tell me right.
Big sister is daring, defiant. Big sister says no when mommy tells her right, big sister argues. Big sister’s not afraid to get in trouble. Big sister’s not afraid of daddy when he yells…I watch big sister so I can learn to yell back, too.
Big sister dresses in black, hides behind her hair. Big sister’s locked in her room all day, staring into strange books with no pictures that draw her away for hours on end. Big sister doesn’t like to talk to other people… why won’t she come out and play with me? When mommy goes and talks to big sister, they always come out yelling. Big sister always yells the loudest, and when they stop she runs away and cries in the dark.
Big sister likes secrets, secrets kept and secrets broke. Big sister cut her wrist one day, and I saw her and she told me not to tell. Big sister told me if I told she wouldn’t like me anymore, and she would go away and die. I swore I’d never tell, and big sister made me promise on my soul so that if I broke my promise, God would come and d**n me to H***. I told her I loved her and I wouldn’t tell ever and I wouldn’t go to h***. Big sister smiled, and I smiled to because I love my sister, and I want to make her like me.
Big sister likes pain; big sister cuts strange words into her skin. I was scared for days and days, watching the blood drip down her arms and wash away in the sink. All I thought of was that big sister could die, and it would be my fault, because I swore not to tell. Finally it just came bursting out. Big sister was screaming and mommy and daddy were shouting, and daddy pulled big sister’s sleeves up so that they could see the red lines in her skin. Mommy started crying. Big sister jerked her arms out of daddy’s grip and looks at me. Big sister hates me now. Big sister runs out the door and doesn’t come back. Mommy and daddy told me they loved me and I had done the right thing. They sent big sister to a doctor called a therapist so he could “fix her.” I felt bad for big sister. I wished I hadn’t told on her. I told big sister I was sorry, but she shoved me hard and told me to go to h***.
Big sister doesn’t let mommy kiss her at bed time anymore. I heard big sister yelling about it once, saying she didn’t love them and she didn’t want to touch them, or kiss them, or see them ever again. I heard mommy crying, and daddy was all quiet like he gets when he is really mad. Big sister stays up for hours every night, reading under her covers, reading about flames and death and tall, pale people who bite necks and suck blood. I hear big sister go out on the roof sometimes…she slid out her window and sat there for hours, looking up at the black sky and the bright stars. I know because I saw her once, and her eyes were so sad, and she traced the scares on her wrists with her fingers and cried and cried. I just wanted to help big sister, just wanted to make her feel better…I went to her and hugged her, but she bared her teeth and pushed me away. I feel so scared for big sister…
Big sister isn’t talking anymore. Big sister hides in her room all day, and when they try to talk to her she hisses at them and curls into a knot under her bed. My parents are worried for big sister…they call doctors every day and argue most of the night. Big sister hates it when they argue. She cries every time she hears their voices raised, and when the doctors come, she is so silent I wonder if she’s dead. I remember how she said if I told on her she would go away and die. I cry at night when I think about it. I remember the knife big sister used to cut herself. I want to use that knife on me.
There’s someone talking to big sister now. I can hear them from my room. Big sisters voice is strained and angry, but I hear the tears that threaten to break. The other voice is sibilant, like a snake’s…the other voice makes my heart cringe and my blood feel like ice. The other voice is promising big sister an end to the pain, an escape from the crushing walls of her human life. The other voice is so tempting, so smooth…I can hear big sister’s voice wavering. I can hear big sister giving in.
Big sister is silent now, and I am peaking around the door into her room. I see my sister on the bed, and the other one is leaning towards her—the beautiful other with raven hair and burning, jet-black eyes that glitter like a serpents. The other bares his teeth as I watch, exposing terrible fangs as sharp as knives. Big sister in crying softly…and then the other pulls her head back and sinks his fangs into her neck.
Big sister is pale, limp, her eyes glazed. The other lays her gently back on the bed. Blood runs down his wrist as he bites it, pressing the wound to Big sisters lips as she reaches up to take it. Big sister is drinking, drinking the blood of the other, blood filling her mouth and running down her throat. I realize I am crying as the other pulls his wrist away. The other looks up. He is smiling, blood on his lips…big sisters blood. My sister’s blood. My big, beautiful sister’s blood.
Big sister is stirring. Her head moves, arms as pale as death struggling to lift herself off the bed. Abruptly I am lifted up, carried to the bed in the other’s arms. I struggle. I do not want to go. The other’s arms are like steel bands around me…I cannot free myself. The other pins my arms behind my back and holds me out to Big sister. I whimper and struggle…Big sister reaches out, her fingers cold as ice.
Big sister will help me, Big sister won’t let the other hurt me. Save me, I beg her. Save me from the other. Big sister reaches out to me, and the other’s hands slip away…I run to Big sister and bury my head in her stomach. I am crying as she hugs me, and I know I am safe now, Big sister will not hurt me…
Big sister’s arms tighten painfully around my small form. The other is watching us, black eyes laughing. The other whispers in Big sisters mind, the other tells Big sister the truth. Drink her, the other whispers, she caused you pain. Big sister is looking at me now, holding me so tightly and it hurts. I didn’t mean it, I tell her pleadingly, I didn’t mean to tell them. I love you Big sister, why are you hurting me…
The other hisses, and Big sister’s finger runs down my throat. I am crying. I didn’t mean to, I tell her, her hands hurt and I love you please don’t hurt me. Now big sister is crying, and her head bends toward me so I can see her fangs, sharp and new in her mouth. She deserves to die, the other says, and big sister pulls my head back, exposing my throat. I love you Big sister, I tell her one more time.
I love you too, Big sister whispers. I love you so much. Her teeth find my throat. I am dieing—the other is laughing.
Big sister is gone.