The Cracked Wall

The Cracked Wall

There's a voice in the smallest of crevices
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There’s a crack in my wall. It’s the length of a sewing needle and the width of a string; a very slight and unnoticeable thing. Except for the fact that something in there keeps talking to me. I used to talk to it happily. I’d feed it crumbs. I would stick little stirrer straws inside and pour tea. I fed the thing living in my walls.

Then one day I watched something disturbing happen. My door had been left open when I got home and I heard a buzzing inside my room. As I leaned my head in the doorway I saw the greenest little arm snatching a fly. It thrashed about, but the tiny arm in the crack was too strong. It was a small hand, tinier than the fly, although obviously as strong as an ant. The hand forced the giant insect inside piece by piece. I watched the tiniest bit of blood smear onto my pale purple walls.

When I finally came inside the room, the voice stopped its loud eating.

“Sorry, I was so starved. You only ever feed me on the weekends during tea parties.”

“I understand,” I nodded along shyly.

The voice doesn’t speak.

I put down my backpack and walk over to the wall. I pressed my thumb along the crack, wiping away the blood. A sharp, stabbing pain pressed into my thumb. I flinch back to find my thumb raw at the center. A large chunk was missing from my finger. I stepped back to find more blood oozing from the crack as the voice gnashed away happily on my flesh.

A tiny little spirit lives in my wall. A slimy little thing is what I imagine in there now as opposed to the ideal forest pixie.

Although the voice says they’re a pixie, I don’t believe it for a second.

When I tell my mom she laughs, then goes on to mention pixies are mischievous little creatures.

I search the Internet for them and find hundreds of typical pixie images. Some however tell of pixies that eat children or steal them away.

I keep a nightlight plugged in underneath the crack in the wall.

“Are you scared of me?” the voice asks.

I nod in response.

“There’s no need for that. I’m too big to fit through this crack. I won’t come out.”

That night I go to bed more afraid. Not once did they tell me they wouldn’t hurt me, but rather they couldn't hurt me.

I don’t say anything as the voice starts to hum in my walls.

When I come home from school one day, the crack is plastered over.

I don’t say anything; just let my mother continue with her redesigning of my room.

Her efforts don’t last long. Within the night the crack is back, just through a fresh coating of blue paint.

“You’re mother tried to block me out. You want to know why?”

I stay silent, facing away from the new crack in the wall.

“She told your father it scares you. Are you really scared of something so tiny?”

I hear the mockery in the little whispering of the voice.

Why don’t you look over here? Hey. Listen to me.”

My head feels heavy like lead and my neck feels stiff. I keep myself locked in place, staring at a wall without a single crack in it.

Then I hear it. The scraping and carving sounds of plaster being shaved away.

I whip my head around just as the smallest of hands slips back inside the crack.

“Now you look at me? Only when I’m trying to escape huh?”

I shake in my seat as the pixie goes quiet. Then I hear it again, only this time to my left. I turn in my seat to find a new crack in the wall.

“Guess I’ll just have to make some new places to talk.”

I can hear the smile in its voice.

Cracks pop up everywhere in my house. My parents plaster them only for them to come back within the night.

They wonder over and over again how they’re popping up. I stay quiet as the tiny voice flutters throughout the house laughing at my insanity.

As I’m sleeping, I hear it. The faint scrapping of the walls and it’s painful. I sit up to find the crack across my bed has crawled from floor to ceiling in length with a huge gap in the center as if something wedged it open and emerged.

Something wet drips from my ear and down to my chin. I put my hand against the liquid, pulling back to find blood.

“Now we can be together forever.”

The voice echoes inside my ear.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
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The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

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to my parents' beach house

Thank you for the memories.

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My parents have had the same beach house for the last 10 years. We come down for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, random long weekends and almost any other time of the year that my mom can convince us to come down here. Most of my summer memories include watching storms roll in over the bay, and adjusting the rabbit ears on the tv so they are just right in order to watch the big game. The amount of memories I have that take place here is insane and I'm so happy that they all involve the sand, the water, boats, friends, and family.

Lilly Higginbotham

For as long as I can remember my mom has been urging my dad, brother and I to make the hour drive from Tallahassee down to Alligator point to spend X amount of days at our beach house. My brother usually tries to find some way to talk his way out of going while we pile all the food we might need for the week into our big white cooler. Once we make it down to the point the closest grocery store is about thirty minutes away so we have to pack everything. When we finally make it down and the groceries make it up the stairs and into the fridge is when the real fun begins. It could be anything from pulling a chair onto the small strip of sand out front that we call a beach or going on a boat ride to Dog Island. Whatever we end up doing is guaranteed to be a blast.

Recently there have been a number of mishaps with the power, the AC and any other number of issues. Most recently, we showed up for fathers day weekend and the power had been out for at least a week. Everything we had left in the freezer had gone bad and it was hot in the house since the AC was also out. We cleaned out the freezer, sprayed some air freshener and loaded back up in the car and headed home. There have been a couple trips that turned out like that, but I would venture to say that the good times outweigh the bad for sure.

There have also been many hours spent on and behind the boat. I've tried (and failed) to waterski, tube, wakeboard, and kneeboard all within sight distance of the beach house. I actually asked my dad, the boat captain, how many circles he had done around the bay and he simply shook his head and said "Too many." Well, Dad, I would say it was definitely worth it as some of those circles around the bay created some of my best memories.

I'm so thankful for this place and the summers we have spent down here. Here's to the last ten years, and here's to hopefully many more (with working AC). I love you, Alligator Point!

Cover Image Credit:

Lilly Higginbotham

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