Splut. I trudged through the puddles, carrying my heavy backpack as rain poured down faster than the speed of sound. The rain was getting my boots muddy, which grieved me a bit because they were already quite tattered. I wished I could get new boots or new clothes in general, but money was fairly scarce. There was no one else around; no one, after all, would be stupid enough to go out in this weather. Except for me. Krak-a-THOOM! Thunder. How awesomely convenient. I sighed, pulled my heavy coat around me, and picked up my pace. No way was I going to get struck by lightning. I prayed to the gods, though I didn’t really know why. They wouldn’t help me. I did get cursed by them after all. I really think the cursing the child of the miscreant policy that the gods have has more drawbacks than benefits, but that’s just me, I suppose.
I finally reached the place. I wiped my wet glasses on my shirt just to be sure I was really there. A deserted swing set stood to the right of the quaint abode, which was reminiscent of an American suburban house, or at least that’s what I learned at school. I’ve never been to America, or Earth, even. The perfectly trimmed lawn was in front of the perfect little flowers in the perfect little garden. The mat carried the faded words, “Welcome! Please wipe your feet.” I resisted the urge to snort. I knew I wouldn’t be welcome here. But I could hope…
I held the doorknocker. The wood felt smooth except for the intricate carvings of floral designs. I think it had been polished recently; it did have that feel and look. You don’t have to knock, said a voice in my head. You could always turn back. It sounded like a very good suggestion, and my feet turned away from the house. But I mustered all my courage. If I didn’t do this, I would always have that gnawing doubt in the back of my head, that annoying what if?
Knock knock knock! I tapped the door with the doorknocker. Water sloshed against the sidewalk as a small child jumped in all the puddles. Her mother was warning her against it, but the child continued. She threw off her umbrella and danced in the rain as her mother dragged her away, into some safe shelter. Ah, the innocence of childhood. Children did not know about the horrors of the world; they just saw its beauty and its fun. I looked back at the door of the quaint house and then used the doorknocker to hit the door harder. The door creaked slightly to reveal a woman with disheveled hair, a rumpled nightgown, and a smile that quickly turned into a frown when her brown eyes settled upon my bedraggled image. “Oh,” she said, disappointed. “It’s you.” I nodded.
“What’s going on, sweetie?” asked her husband, with his approximately eleven-year-old son trailed behind him. “That girl came back,” sputtered the woman. “She dared to come back!” Oh boy. This wasn’t looking good. I backed away. “Oh no, you’re not going anywhere,” said the man. “You wanted to come here, you stay here until we’re done with you.” I wondered what that was supposed to mean. Whatever it was, it wasn’t good.
“Why are you back, you dolt?” asked the eleven-year-old boy. “You were supposed to go away, but you came back!” I noticed that none of them bothered to address me by my name. It was partly to dehumanize me, but it was mainly because my name was not the best name in the universe. In other worlds, it would be okay, but here, in a land where names meant everything because they determined a good part of your destiny, so they were given by a deity, it was a curse from the gods.
“Anita,” spat the woman, finally addressing me by name, “why the hell are you here? We finally got rid of you, you fulfilled your destiny, if it can be called that, so why are you back? What made you think you would be accepted here?”
“I just thought,” I squeaked, “that, since I escaped from the hypnotism of the Goddess of Seduction Anilokalmosia, and thus I am no longer cursed to be evil since I already have been, that I would be allowed back in? I thought—”
“You thought wrong!” said the boy, and he slammed the door in my face. I waited a few seconds, as if I thought they would change their minds, and then trudged back to the sidewalk. When I reached the sidewalk, I walked to the curb and sat on it. I knew they wouldn’t take me back. I knew they wouldn’t. Why had I even bothered? Why did I want to feel the pain?
They’re a bunch of idiots, I thought, trying to assuage my sadness, but I burst into tears anyway. It hurts like hell to be rejected by your own family.