|The End Of This Whole Mess
Author: Leys PM
"I'm home now."Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Tragedy/Suspense - Words: 2,942 - Published: 05-10-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3021213
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: This took approximately four to five days to write and basically twenty minutes to edit so please don't expect anything minutely blockbuster. Or even decent. However, I still don't know why it took me five days to write this thing. It's not really that much of a story. It's just another one of my one-shots that don't lead to anything. Ha-ha! By the way, I'm kind of experimenting on, uh, writing styles in this story. The narrative might be a bit confusing but I guess that's intentional. Sort of anyway.
"Can you turn that down please?" I say, barely glancing to my side where a boy (or a young man? not quite sure) sits stoically, eyes hidden behind an unruly nest of hair, the bluish glow of the television illuminating his skin.
No answer. The dim room, aside from the cacophony of overlapping voices and sounds that can be barely registered as music emanating from the television, is enveloped in silence. Shadows dance as the images on the television screen constantly change.
I tilt my head to one side; back is to the television screen. I am half-sitting on the back frame of the sofa. A few heartbeats pass in silence. I look at the boy closer now. Crane neck to the side, getting a closer look at the boy. Stare at the boy's profile. Did he not hear me? Should I have said it louder? "Please turn the volume down. It's bothering me, the noise." I say this slowly, cautiously.
Again, no answer.
Behind, a soap opera is unfolding. Woman wails at something (unknown man, perhaps?), her squeals bounce around the room. Music engulfs the unfolding scene. Voices pronouncing words, words forming sentences, sentences forming conversations (and drama?) - all of which are unheard by the five family members that are in the room. Am not really getting the story either. Something about a Paul.
A giggle. No. Too short and too quiet and too reserved to be called a giggle. Two whispered and mumbled representations of what could be considered as laughter. Smile. Eyes not feeling the mirth. "Why yes," Voice is lighter than before. "it is rude of me to say such a thing in your home." An actual giggle, sounds ominous and empty in such a quiet room. Odd and out of place.
"Silly me." I whisper. I regard the boy with amused curiosity. Strong jaw, I notice, and skin quite refined for a mere boy. For a moment, am envious of the boy's seemingly ivory skin. Is it just the light or is his skin really like that? Will his skin feel as smooth as it appears? Not wanting to stand in curiosity any longer, I raise my arm and reach for the boy. Hand slowly moves closer to the boy, fingers tentatively extending as if afraid of touching the boy's skin. Index finger barely touches boy's cheek when the inevitable happens. The boy's head falls off.
It happens so fast that I don't have time to blink. In one swift motion, the mop of messy black tilts to the side and disappears from sight. Muffled plop follows. Disembodied voice boasts about a product called Pop! as a string of bass notes fill the room. Lights jump around. Shadows slither from every crevice in the room. Music? Noise. Silence. Very uncomfortable now. Where is the remote?
After a while, I push myself from the sofa. Female voice announces something vague and dramatic. Dramatic score punctuates announcement. Should really turn down the volume but can't find remote.
Light switch is on the wall adjacent to the front door. I remember because I was the one who clicked off the lights. Careful not to step on anything as I walk to the switch. Pictures hang on the wall. Family portrait. Man and woman in a half-embrace. Girl smiling while holding up a roll of paper. Two boys riding bicycles. Strong urge to wrench them from the wall. They don't belong there. We didn't hang pictures on that wall. It's just wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I don't do it though. Takes too much time that I don't have much of to begin with.
It really is dark. Disconcerting. Maybe I shouldn't have switched it off in the first place. Didn't really help me all that much anyway, the dark. I flick on the light switch. Turn around. I slowly head back. Light flickers. One millisecond it's bright, the next it's dark. House is a mess. Red everywhere. Dark again. See patriarch (I assume) lying near the front door, silver handle glinting from his chest (surprisingly easy to fool. barely questioned me before I covered his mouth. thank god for extra knife). Dark again. One girl sitting at a chair at the dining room table, throat slit (was the easiest one. didn't see anything coming). Another girl (woman? mother?) lying on the floor near the first, back struck with a heavy blade (axe) multiple times (second easiest but also the messiest. should have slit her throat too otherwise she wouldn't have been able to scream). Adjusting to the sudden light. There. Good. Boy at sofa (very slow. didn't realize what was happening till the very end). Television still blaring. At the foot of the stairs is the last one. The most tedious one. I stroke my left shoulder where he hit me. Wish he hadn't.
Clothes are soaked. Hands sticky. Tired. Thirsty. I need something to drink. No one to ask though. I head back to the kitchen.
Kitchen is almost as messy as the living room. Have to hop over woman on the floor. I rummage their cabinets for a cup. And a spoon. I want something warm. No, hot. Must be over boiling point. Ha-ha. Yes.
"Do you have decaf?" I ask to no one in particular. No answer. Take that as a no then. Pity. Their cabinets are filled with many items. Ours were usually empty. Suppress urge to throw everything out, the cans, the cups, the silverware, the glassware, the boxes, everything. Empty the cabinets, the cupboards. They should be bare. They always were and always should be. Want to hear the porcelain and glass shatter, want to rip apart the boxes of cereal and tea, but I don't. Instead I continue looking for something to drink.
Coffee. No. Tea. No. Hot chocolate. No. What to drink? Several boxes and containers of drinks that I've never heard of before pique my interest but then I notice this box hidden way at the back. Fish it out. Perfect. Just what I needed.
Mugs are displayed just under the cupboard. I choose the white one with a sleeping panda on the front. Open box and scoop out a generous amount into mug. The water boiler is on but is almost empty. I pour the remaining hot water into my mug. I unplug the water boiler and then stir my beverage. Can still hear television from here. Male voice says something. Audience laughter. Response from a different male. Even louder audience laughter. A sit-com then.
I pull up a chair. Just a chair away from the girl. I sit down and put down my steaming mug. Stir it gently. The sit-com in the living room continues. Wonder if the others are watching the same sit-com right now. Stop stirring. Should be cool enough to drink now. "Cheers." I raise the mug to my lips. But then I hear a thud. Freeze. What was that? I stand up. The living room.
I bring my mug with me as I walk to the living room. I walk slowly and quietly. The living room looks no different than it did before. No. That's wrong. It doesn't look anything like it did before when we lived here. Walls no longer a soft yellow but peach. The sofa is an ugly green thing now. Our was gray and white. Floor is carpeted, windows changed, everything is just… wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Breathe. Calm down.
Hear cloth rustling. A grunt. Heavy breathing. I turn to the stairs. A small table stands beside the staircase. Below it a boy (the boy) is crawling to a cordless phone (must have been the noise) lying on the floor a few feet away from him. He sees me. He glares at me and doubles his efforts. Definitely the most tedious one. I walk toward him. He says something but I don't listen. I place my mug on the table. The boy is almost to the phone. His fingers almost reaching to the sleek black thing. Just a bit more and he would have it in his hands but I kick the phone away from him. He swears.
A bloodied hand grips my ankle. The boy wheezes. "W-why?"
I survey the boy's injuries. Right shoulder has the most damaged - hit twice by ax… however because he struggled, blade didn't penetrate deeply enough. Arms are scratched. Side of his head is bleeding. Face is heavily bruised and cut. Legs are broken (oddly angled now). I miscalculated. His injuries aren't enough to kill him. Should have checked it earlier more thoroughly.
Grip on my ankle is weak. I shake his hand away easily. The boy starts mumbling but I don't hear him. I don't even look at him anymore. My gaze land on a handmade pencil holder sitting on the small table. Array of pens and pencils form a circle. A pen will be more efficient.
Before I could pluck a pen from the pencil holder, I realize something. My eyes sweep the side of the staircase.
I turn to the boy. "Why?" I ask. My voice quivers. Boy looks at me and says something but I can't make out what he's saying. How can it be gone? How could they close it off? Why did they close it off? Mind is spinning. The room under the stairs. Gone. No. Not gone. Sealed off. Forever. Another change. Another wrong. Remember the small door that always seemed to have been made especially for me. A bare light bulb hanging right in the middle of the small, cramped room. Click. I loved pulling the small string that turned on the light. Click. Had to stand on tip toes to reach it though. Click. Loved hearing the click. But now…
Quickly grab the nearest pen. I kneel down and grab the boy's head. He struggles but not much. Have to hold him tighter, make him face me. I remove the cap of the pen. His eyes look at me tiredly. I grip the pen tighter in my right hand. I raise my right hand while keeping the boy's head still with my left. But then I remember. I remember how Mama used to send me to the room under the stairs as punishment even though I didn't mind spending hours in there so there was no point in the punishment. Remember sitting in the dark, imagining. Remember how uncle used to come in there and tell me to take of his pants (never understood why). Remember waiting in the dark. Hiding. Remember-
The boy is whimpering. Still have the pen raised. I blink. Not much time left. Shouldn't get distracted now. A tear runs down the boy's right eye before I bring down the pen on it. I do it quickly and powerfully. Feel the layers of the eye give away. Plunge the pen deeper. The boy is quiet now. Only an inch of the pen is left. Can't push it in any deeper. I stand up, wipe my hands on my shirt.
My drink is barely lukewarm now. I walk to the sofa. T.V. is still on too loud. The sit-com is gone. Replaced by a late-night talk show. Host is smiling from ear to ear as audience applaud. Too loud. Where is the remote? Accidentally bump into the boy's head. I kick it to the side and then I see the remote. Under the coffee table. I sit on the floor and grab the remote. Press a button for the volume to go down until there is no sound left. The host has an interviewee now but he hardly lets the interviewee talk.
I lean on the sofa, can feel the boy's legs on my side. Strangely comforting. I close my eyes. It was here in the living room that it started. Was watching a show (forgot which one) when Papa came home, furious, drunk. Mama was upstairs, sleeping. She had been doing that a lot, I remember. Brother was with her. He stayed with her most of the time. Sometimes I was allowed to be with them, but most of the time I wasn't. I don't know why. Sometimes I could hear noises coming from their room and I'd bang on the door frantically because I thought something was wrong with Mama. But nothing ever was and brother would send me away. Wish he didn't.
It is raining and Papa yells something to me. I answer (forgot what). Papa is angry at me. I stay silent. Papa shouts and swears at me, I don't know why. Tries to hit me but I run to the room under the stairs. Papa tries come after me but I lock the door and hide in the corner. He gives up and starts climbing the stairs. Mama. Want to stop him but too afraid to move. Plug my ears with my fingers but I can still hear him. He is at Mama's room now. Push myself closer to the corner. Can still hear him. Papa is shouting. I curl into a ball.
Brother is shouting back. Never heard him like that before. Mama is telling them to stop but they don't. I start to cry but I make sure that I don't make a sound. Their fight goes on for some time before I hear a crash. And then another. And then another. And then another. And then a thud. The house is shaking. Someone is screaming. It is my brother. He is afraid. I cry harder.
I hear frantic footsteps go down the stairs followed by heavier ones. Brother is running away from Papa. Can hear them. Scared. Very scared now. But I unplug my fingers from my ears and open my eyes. Slowly move to the door. Silently open the door. Just a bit. Just so I can see them. And I do. Papa is holding something silver. Brother down on the floor, crying. Want to ask why but then…
My drink is cold now. I open my eyes. The talk show is over. Three people are on screen, their lips moving but no sounds come out. I shake my head. I raise the mug to my lips and drink and then I try to make sense on what is happening on screen but I fail.
I can never forget how Papa looked right at me that day. Had to jump back in the small room, was shaking so much. But I knew that Papa would calm down soon and that it would be over like it always did but i waited and hid a long time inside the dark room papa never came and mama never came it was so dark and i wanted things to get better soon but then those people came and took me away they said i was okay now but i knew i wasn't because they were taking me away and i didn't see my mama or my papa or my brother and they told me that i will never see them again and that i will never come back to our house again and when i asked why they didn't answer and i wanted to go home so badly but they wouldn't let me and they wouldn't tell me why and i was so scared i kept hoping mama or papa would come for me and things would go back to normal and papa would calm down and brother wouldn't cry and mama wouldn't shout at anyone to stop and i'd stay inside the room under the stairs again and-
My stomach heaves. I force myself to keep it all down and drink the rest of my beverage. I cough. Couldn't help it. I shake my head. I'm home now but my Mama and my Papa and my brother aren't here. And my house is all changed. And there are people who shouldn't be here living here like it's their home. And my room under the stairs is gone. I'm tired now. I fall to my side, the floor feels cold. My eyelids droop and I think about nothing until I fall asleep.
Five hours later, a neighbor knocks on the door and finds it unlocked. He sees the five members of the Douglas family brutally murdered. An unknown girl is lying dead in the living room, remote on one hand, a mug on the other. The neighbor runs to the kitchen and looks for a phone and sees, near the sink, a box of opened rat poison.
A/N: Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!