My Book of Wrong Answers


My name is Shawn DeVri and I'm seventeen. I live with my mother, who seems to hate me more with each passing day, and my little sister, who grows in ignorance, something that I will always cherish, for ignorance is bliss, and bliss is something that was never afforded to me.

Shawn scribbled in his journal, a tattered book that lay sprawled out in a mess of loose papers that had fallen from their bindings. Black and white pictures could be seen throughout the pages, pictures of his little sister, and pictures of an older version of her, a wiser version that had seen too much, felt too much, lived without living.

I grew up with the haunting visions of my older sister dying, decaying before my very eyes, she was healthy, beautifully radiant in fact, but so broken inside, her emotions were warped, from the very moment I first lied eyes on her, looking into her deep sunken eyes that seemed to dark to be normal. Looked so hurt, so lost, so unfeeling it was unbearable to breath a single breath without sharing a burden that should not have been shared; should not have discovered. Her frail thin frame looked as if it would snap at any given moment, I never allowed that moment, but she still disappeared, her knowledge now residing in me as a small futile promise. A simple promise of joy, of success, and of happiness, a simple promise that at times feels as if it cannot be done, like it is an impossible goal, no more than a dream of an ignorant child.

A single auburn brown hair fell in front of Shawn's delicate features, peaceful in its sway as he gently pushed it back in place behind his ear, slightly disappointed that he had missed a strand while braiding his long hair that graced his lower back, it was thick, full, something that even a woman with radiant beauty would long for. He pouted his lips, large rosy lips that almost begged to be kissed as he continued writing.

Although I knew it might be impossible to achieve, the images of the night she killed herself rushed forth every time I doubted myself, her blood gracefully spilling from her wrist in a never-ending pool of unshared tears, as her unspeakable burden made pools of red at her feet. I did nothing to stop her, I said nothing; I cried dry tears as my heart slowly broke in half, I stood there seeing her take her last breath,and a small smile on her face, a smile thatI had never seen before.

Shawn scribbled as a single tear slipped from an almond shaped, deep green eye that looked glossed over as he relived his past, writing his words gracefully, truthfully, as he hand scribbled across the white paper with small blue lines marring it's vastness.

I don't know what went wrong after that surreal event, all the edges seems to run together, mixing colors, fading to darkness, the only light left to guide me is a small futile promise of joy, of success and of happiness. When I woke up from the black mixed colors, I cursed them with foul words, forbidding them to take me again.

When I woke up, everything was the same, I had to force myself to all but run to her room where a small plaque that read 'Emily' hung from a graceful wire, proud in its purple brilliance. I opened the door, peering carefully inside, nothing. The once full walls that hung with her pictures, gracefully taken at her mercy, Emily armed only with a camera, were now empty, whitewashed and blank. I ran to the bathroom, nothing, the once brilliantly red blood that held her every secret, washed away. I once again was left with only a promise that I could never fulfill, and so I set out on a endless journey; a journey not for me, I am merely a slave of Emily's ongoing will, her undying soul, a journey for Emily.

Shawn scribbled the last sentence with a slower pace almost as not sure if Emily would want him to write it, taking a deep breath he continued, as if sealing his fate forever, as if sealing it in blood.

I know that if I let go I will get lost once again, next time longer than a mere month. So I have written a code, a code that I must never loose sight of, for Emily, my last tribute to her is my unyielding loyalty. My code is simple, raw and flexible-

Never loose sight of your dream

Strive for the best

Never Let Go

a simple code to fullfill a simple promise.

With that Shawn shut his journal, coaxing the pages into place, and placing it, along with the salvaged pictures Emily had taken before she died, into a small shoe box. All meaning something special in its own way to Shawn, something that he thought he could never replace.

Pushing the wooden chair back, Shawn got up from his desk and walked a couple of steps, his body slender and petite holding a feminine form with round hips. The closet that lay next to his bed, he had to share it with his younger sister, Clara, who littered the closent with her garmets of pink,discarding this thoughtthe auburn haired youthplaced the box on the top shelf and placed a bag over it to conceal its identity. Walking out he glanced over the small room that had two small beds and a single desk, it had a dim light that hung over head, it was barely brighter than the darkness that loomed in the corners.

One 'Clara's side' as she so wittily puts it, hung her 'master piece' art work that somewhat resembled his when he was at the tender age of six. On her bed was a pink Cinderella sleeping bag; out of all the fairy tales, she has read she enjoyed Cinderella the most. Her pillow was placed in a pink case with lace at the ends, at the base of her bed was a small side table with a pink lamp on it, Sandy, made it for her for Christmas, she hand glued the small pink boa and strung pink and red beds on the base. On the other side of the room, just a step and a half away, Shawn had a basic color scheme of black, a black comforter, a black lamp directly across from Clara's pink; black curtains, with the same pink boa that was on Clara's lamp was hung around the curtains as a mutual agreement beteewn Clara and himself. It did not matter to Shawn, it kept the suns rays form leaking in and tormenting the two in the early hours of the mourning all the same.

With a sneer of disgust Shawn turned around and walked the three steps it took to get the door, opened the offending object, slammingit in his wake. Shawn walked down the hallway that lead to the living room, passing Emily's old room, that had been reclaim by Sandy only months after her suicide. Shawn stormed into the living room where two beaten up couches faced a small T.V. with a large antenna sticking out, small lines ran back and forth on the screen almost as if they were playing across the screne. There was no glamour in this room, the whole house, for that fact was not much to look at, it was a small, beaten down trailer house that barely stood straight, no one would ever cast it a second glance and if they did it would be in disgust.

"What do you want boy," a husky voice came that carried a distinct smell of whiskey that churned Shawn's stomach causinggreen eyed beautyto look up into the eyes of the disgusting man, "I SAID, what do you want boy?" the man repeated with out waiting for Shawn's reply. Mark was Sandy's new escapade, a drunk who was supposed to inherit a lot of money when his mom died, Sandy would do anything for that guy; just for his money, she would probably sell her soul, Shawn scowled at him hoping that for once the hopeless drunk could do something remotely productive.

Shawn said nothingas he left through the screen door that was ripped down the middle, no one bothered to fix it, Mark would just break it again trying to get back inside. Making sure to slam the door on the way out, Shawn walked to the street and turned towards town, the screen door opened again causing Shawn to look back just as a bottle raced past him, a green bottle that once contained liquor, standing in the doorway with a smirk on his face was Mark, even as the bottle missed, shattering into greenpieces that only added to the sea of glass.

Shawn merely rolled his eye's and continued on the sidewalk, he knew Mark was bad news, he had a wicked smirk that said he knew something you didn't, even Clara knew he was bad news, but somehow Sandy was blind to it. Just as she was blind to her ways of prostitution as she mindlessly screwed the married men in the town for a few hundred dollars a night, it disgusted him, his whole life disgusted him; everything except for Clara, she was his saving grace or something to that extent.

As Shawn slowly arrived in the town that didn't understand him, judged him, criticized him, one questioned remained, how was he going to be able to keep his promise in a town with no future, a town stuck in its time, too afraid to look back, too afraid to move forward. A town with no stoplights, three stop signs, a police station, one school for all grades, one fast food store, two gas stations, one gift store, a bar, a church located in the back of the bar, and too many trailer homes. This town had a rotten feel, as if it was decaying, along with the senior citizens, this town was barren, this town, Maninburg, is a door to hell inShawn's opinion.

The aubrun haired boywas convinced that in order to find happiness he had to get out of this town, but until then, he would play the stupid son of a whore. Sandy, who had a hand in everyone's jeans, the woman, who found it acceptable for a thirteen-year-old girl to give a police man a blowjob to stay out of trouble, especially since that thirteen-year-old girl was once her. Sandy, who had done heroin shots ever since she had Clara, and spent every dime she could muster to get them, she was a terrible mother, a terrible wife, and a terrible person. The only thing Shawn could look forward to was his eighteenth birthday that was only a mere month away.

Shawn walked to the gift store owned by a nice elderly couple who used to give him free rock candy if he swept the sidewalk in front of their store, but after he turned thirteen he put a stop to it, finding that even the elderly couple gossiped about his family and their 'mistakes'. Some part of him always knew that they talked about him, but he did not want to be right, he wanted more than anything to be wrong, and when he found out he was right he was angry at himself for being so naive.

Pushing open the door, Shawn smiled a weak smile at the girl behind the counter, Sara, and began searching for something for Clara, it was her seventh birthday tomorrow after all. He scanned the items, having no idea what to get the happy-go-lucky girl that could brush off anything, seeing a pink teddy bear that had a heart in it's hand reading 'I love you' Shawn grabbed it without a second thought and marched up to the counter. He could not afford anything nicer than this, especially if it was just going to be thrown on the floor after the day neared its end.

"Oh, is it Clara-Jane's birthday tomorrow," Sara asked in a thick accent that made Shawn laugh a surprisingly deep laugh as he nodded, watching her type in numbers to the cash register and ring up the total.

"You would think that she's turning sixteen the way she talks down to me," Shawn smiled as she laughed and half snorted. Sara quickly made a comment about how her sister did it to her too as Shawn handed her a crisp ten-dollar bill, "you can keep the change," Shawn said as he picked up the bag with care.

"Why thank you Shawn, have a nice day," she said in a sweet and innocent tone that did not suit her.

"Bye Sara," Shawn said as he stepped out of the door, glad he no longer had to put up with her fake sweet self. Her parents owned the biggest ranch for miles anywhere and because of that, hardly anyone could get a job besides tending to their ranch.

Shawn walked slowly home, dragging his feet the whole quarter of a mile, watching the rare car go by and kicking up the reddish sand that covered the ground. He enjoyed just being able to breath fresh air without being questioned by Mark, and just relaxing with out having Clara to watch over. It was nice just to get away from his thoughts, to escape to nothing, glade that for once he could think, and feel nothing.

His spirits gradually feel as he neared his house seeing Sandy's car in the drive way, with a sigh Shawn crept up to the house determined not to be discovered by either Mark's or Sandy's evil gaze. Walking up to the porch, Shawn could barely make out strangled cries, but dismissed them as merely Mark and Sandy getting 'together' after work. Shawn gently closed the screen door behind him, slipped off his shoes and set his bag in the kitchen above the refrigerator making sure it was concealed, after he finished that task he quietly made his way back to his bedroom. As he passed through the hall he noticed that Sandy'sdoor was open, no one was in it, creepy farther back he heard Sandy talking to Mark who seemed strained, and then there was a third cry… it was Clara's.

Shawn ran back to the kitchen in a panic searching vigorously through the draws until he found a gun, he checked if it was loaded seeing five gold bullets in the revolver and made his way back to the room, running through the hall. Slamming the door open, Shawn pointed the gun at Mark's forehead, who had his pants down and was buried deep within Clara who had tear streaks down her face, she continued to struggled as Mark and Sandy remained perfectly still, perfectly quiet.

"Get the fuck off of her," Shawn yelled in a deep voice that had an unknown harshness to it, Mark slowly pulled free of Clara and raised his hands over his head not bothering to button his pants. Clara, got up grabbing her pants that was discarded on the floor and ran behind Shawn, grabbing his leg as if it was her only and last link to sanity. "Clara go outside and plug your ears." Shawn said in a growl that struck terror into her heart as she ran from the room, slamming the door in her wake.

"Put that fucking thing away boy," Mark growled in his whiskey voice as he took a step forward, "this has nothing to do with you," he began to take anther step but was stopped by a loud crack, followed by his body hitting the floor and the screams of Sandy and the last grunts from the man Shawn hated so much.

"Shawn! Are you out of you mind," Sandy screamed as she ran to his side finding a hole between his eyes before lurching at Shawn, tears were beginning to form in her eyes just as they were in Shawn's but she was mourning the wrong person. Another Crack exploded and Sandy to fell to the ground into the bloody pool that was already forming, a few strangled words slipped from her mouth. Shawn stood still as he looked into space, trying to sort out his thoughts that had once again tangled; the colors were starting to mix.

Shawn who had still not fully registered that he just killed his mom and her boyfriend set down his gun on the floor exactly were he was standing, walked out into the living room, and dialed 911, telling the cops to come. After he hung up the phone he went outside to Clara, who had replaced her pants, holding the teddy bear he had just bought for her. She was crying on the porch steps rocking back and forth. Shawn sat down next to her, pulling her into his lap and handing her the bear. Something about her made him want to be strong for her, to fight and protect her.

"Hey Clara," Shawn whispered, not cheery, not in a fake happy tone, but his dazed tone that still hung over the air. "I got you this for your birthday," Shawn continued while pointing to the bear, "you can have it a day early," Shawn said as she squeezed the bear to her chest and curled into his hold as he started to rock her back and forth, trying to coax her to sleep by telling her the story of Cinderella.

A half an hour later, a police car pulled up, there were no blinking lights or guns, Shawn merely set Clara down on the porch gently so she would not wake, and walked over to the police man who slowly got out of his car, treating this as if it were a prank.

"I killed them," Shawn said simply as he caught the officer's attention, "I killed them both, Mark, he was raping Clara, and Sandy, she was watching, just watching as he took her innocence," Shawn whispered his voice barely audible as he held out his hands to be cuffed. The officer stared in shock as he took out his handcuffs and bound Shawn's hands as he opened the door for Shawn to get in. The officer called for back up and left the car to talk to Clara, Shawn watched as she started crying when she woke, searching for him, not knowing that what he did was illegal. The police officer said something and Clara started screaming for Shawn, her voice bringing tears to Shawn eyes as the officer lead Clara back to the car where Shawn was. Clara smiled a half smile as she wondered why he was in the police car. She just stood there as an hour passed by, more cops came, hut theyleft her alone,and another car, a minivan,pulled up and a woman got out to talk to the police officer, she looked educated, and classy in her suit.

Shawn sat in the car watching the woman take Clara away, giving him a dirty look before she left, later the two bodies were carefully removed from the house and loaded into a van, the men loading them gave Shawn the same dirty look before they to left. It was not until after dark that he left with the police officer that looked somewhat pleased with himself, as if he was imagining the big fat raise he would get after this.

The next month passed in a blur, Shawn was taken to the local police station where he gave his statement that was sent to the judge, he waited three weeks before being transferred to a larger cell, in a larger city where he spent his birthday alone. Here Shawn was given a trial that was overseen by a judge who let him off on one and a half years in a maximum-security prison on the charges of murder in defense of another and on account that he was a minor when the act was comitted. Clara was not there. The judge took him aside and asked him that he never see Clara again, she was experiencing PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, and was spending her time trying to forget her past, forget Mark, forget Sandy andforget Shawn. With that thought in his mind Shawn was taken away in a bus with his hands and feet in cuffs