The Meaning of Home
She stepped towards one of the walls with the photographs. They depicted stick figures with faces were all coloured in with a dark pencil. Rane idly guessed a 6B pencil. The glass from some of the framing was cracked. There were knife marks in the walls and marks of furniture having crashed into the wall.
Rane noticed the windows had a curtain bar above them but there were only tatters of the cloth once used as a curtain.
She turned to look at the four doors. The knobs of the door were grey but there were red handprints smudged all over. The carpet at the edge had uneven dark red patches. Her stomach churned uncomfortably.
The old woman still had pale white skin and pure white hair and black eyes with no irises. But now, her frown was a smile. She was still holding the glass. It was empty since Rane had drank the liquid inside but now it was half full again with a swirling red liquid the same colour as the stains below the doors to the rooms.
The old woman held up the cup and swirled the liquid. The smell of blood filled the air. “It would have been better,” she said, her smile un-twitching, “if you hadn’t struggled.”
“I…” Rane said, swallowing the bile rising in her throat, “would have wanted to know anyway.”
“Now you do. What difference does it make?”