Son of a Serial Killer

By: Mollie Caliri

The hall was dark and cold, the winters fierce wind cut through it like a knife. The front door flapped back and forth like a drunken old man. You hear the sick, raspy wheezing of an unknown source strike your ear. You're curious and walk down the hall, staring up the murky staircase. You see someone sitting on about the tenth stair, you know from instinct who it is. He smells rancid, like blood and burning flesh. You moved the light from your flashlight up towards him and you see him smile. His blue-striped polo is torn and his nice corduroy pants are ruined, you know mom won't be happy. He holds out his blistered arm and a knife clamors to the ground. "Come 'ere kiddo…" he coughs. You run, tears streaming down your face, into his warm, strong arms. "Daddy, did you do a bad thing?" you ask, your cherub like innocence hitting him like a stone. He flinches and wrangles out a fake smile, nodding to you, holding back tears. You sit there, snuggling into him, when wild, angry sirens break the silence. The sound and the light pour through the doorway. "Daddy no!" You scream and clutch to his leg as he stands slowly. His somber eyes watch you as blood runs down his face. He pats you kindly on the head. "You wanna help daddy?" he asks.

You smile and run up the stairs with him, locking yourself in your room with your father. He grins and takes off his necklace, placing it around your neck and under your shirt. He tells you to never take it off; it's been passed down for three generations, and must never be removed. You hear the growls and yells of the police downstairs and know something bad is coming, but not exactly what. Your father grabs a 9mm glock and kisses you on the forehead. "Son, I love you, and now it's your turn to carry on the Grimshaw name, be strong my son, be strong, smart and swift…" You hear the footfall, the shout, and the door is busted down. Tall, helmeted, dark officers run in, guns ready, fists flying, tearing down your father and pushing you away. "Stay here kid!" they snap at you. The room's dark, you can barely make out your father trying to fight the officers off. You feel cold metal against your socks, and there's that shinny little gun your father had. You pick it up, and something, you don't know what, urges you to point and shoot. You stare at that damn bastard that's kneeing your dad and you shoot him. You look down at your hands; your nice warm gloves have dirty black powder on them now… You toss that shiny gun back at the men fighting your father. But just as you get ready to run out the door to find your mother you hear it… the snarl of a hot bullet tearing through your father's skull. You stare at him, his eyes are blank, his mouth is drizzling blood, he's dead and the officers are happy. The lights turn on and you see they killed him on your bed… your fucking bed…You step towards your father's corpse, and everything around you gets blurry, sound becomes muffled and it's just you and that corpse.

"Daddy… you must've done really bad things…"

Richard awoke from his nightmare, his lungs heaving and his heart racing. His wife stretched and turned to him, "You have that nightmare again love? I really think you should go see a doctor about them…" Richard groaned and rubbed his eyes. He yawned and sat back down, facing his dear Lisa. "I know, but for now I just gotta put them behind me, I shouldn't let my past haunt me…" He snuggled into the sheets and dozed off. Lisa rolled her eyes and did the same.

When the sun's rays peeked in the window and the alarm went off, Richard awoke, Lisa was gone, she had work Saturdays at the shopping mall. Richard swung his legs out of bed and shook of his morning snooze. His cinnamon-golden eyes glowed as the sun bounced into them and he held up his arm to deflect the light. Richard grabbed his Saturday clothes and headed to the bathroom. He splashed water on his face and ran a hand through his deep black hair. It was so dark that it seemed to have an icy blow tint to it, and perhaps it really did. After brushing his teeth he slipped on his warm, crisp clothes and took a deep breath of the early air. He always left a window open, to let his room fill with fresh air.

Richard was running a comb through his hair when he heard the wind pick up and grow strangely cold. The mirror began to grow frost and the door latched behind him. "Damn not again…" He struggled to open the door, no luck. He shut his eyes muttering something that sounded desperate and terrified. When he opened his eyes his hands were red with blood and a chilling, blue, wild-eyed figment glared at him from the mirror. It grabbed at Richard, but truly the ghost couldn't reach through that other worldly boundary and merely toyed with him. Screams of pain and anguish flooded Richard's ears. With a roaring yell Richard slammed his bloody fist on the mirror and everything stopped, the frost, the blood, the cold, the figure, and those dead eyes, vanished. He kicked open the door and walked down to his kitchen. His tall, sleek, muscular figure didn't make him seem like the type of guy that drank tea, but he hated coffee, and everyone needs his or her morning boost. He rolled his shoulder blades and put his face in his rough hands. Sipping his tea he grabbed some jam from the fridge and the English muffins he had toasted. Sitting down at the table he spread the jam on his English muffins and began to eat. It was the middle of November, winter just around the corner, and Richard watched happily as he saw kids outside playing in the leaves with their parents. He and Lisa were so excited by the thought of kids, but they were only twenty five, and were thinking maybe next year when they are happily settled in the house and in financial situations, they could have a child of their own.

All of a sudden a chill ran up Richard's spine and he looked slowly over his shoulder. There stood a young woman, torn apart and gushing blood, she had a foul look on her face. Her dress was in rags and her skin hung like limp cloth over skeletal limbs. "Your just like your father, exactly the same, with a hunger for blood…" she snickered and vanished. Turning his eyes weakly towards his shaking hand he stared at the blood drenched English muffin and quickly threw it in the trash. Growling and slamming his head and fists against the table he sobbed into the woodwork.

After a good half hour of just lying there he got up and walked outside. He needed fresh air, and so he took a walk to the park, he always loved the foliage there in the late fall. Upon arrival he was filled with happiness, kids laughing and playing, dogs running free, friends smiling, couples kissing, everyone having a good time. He sat down on a park bench and shut his eyes. A mere two minutes later the large mass of a furry German shepherd woke him up. "Sarge! Aww hello boy, good to see ya!" Richard scratched behind the big dogs ear as his owner ran over laughing.

"Sorry about that Rich, Sarge here just doesn't get the meaning of the phrase, 'no jumping'. Gah, hate to chat and run but I have an appointment, see you around neighbor!" Mr. Wiles smiled, pulling Sarge along as he jogged away. Richard loved how nice his neighbors were; he really was living in a good town, the bad revolved around just him.

Trying to get some rest again he was interrupted by the playful laughs of nearby children. He opened one eye and saw a Frisbee next to him. He got up and gave it to the little kids that squealed with joy and ran off to play. Turning he saw a young child sitting under the shade of a maple tree, bouncing a ball against its old bark. As he got closer he saw it was a young girl, with long blonde hair and a bow in her pretty head. She was wearing a cute little dress but when Richard laid his hand on her shoulder he felt something was wrong. She turned to him, eyes glowing white, blooding slowly dripping from the wooden rod lodged in her chest. Her face was burned and her nose was smashed in. She was missing the lower half of her left leg but it didn't matter, she was dead. She stood up and walked right through him after moaning, "Do you play mean like your Daddy?" Richard stumbled back, tripping over his own haste and falling to the ground. He stared blankly at the sky, wishing he'd never been born.

Later that day Richard made his way home from the store and began putting things away. As he made room in the cabinets for assorted items he thought of his dear Lisa. She never had to see the things that haunted him; the ghosts only appeared when he was alone. He was always grateful for that, no living creature should have to deal with what he did. Sighing he closed up the cabinets, folded the paper bags, and then went and sat on the living room couch. He sunk deep within its warm, cozy, fluffy upholstery and shut his eyes. With a few faint flashes of light, Richard drifted into the un-natural state of nightmares.

The officers around you talk to each other in their confusing code like speech. One of them grabs your shoulder; his hand is freezing, and he tells you your mother is looking for you. You turn and run to her, finding sanctuary in her comforting hug. She's sobbing, her crystalline tears dropping quietly on your head. You both go into the living room and you climb up onto her lap as she sits. There you fade away and doze off for about an hour. When you wake up, it's quieter, warmer, and your lying next to your mother on the couch. She smiles down at you and runs her soft hand over your hair.

"Mommy, what did Daddy do that made the police so mad?" Holding back tears your mother leans down and lies next to you.

"Well Richey, Daddy hurt a lot of people, he hurt them very badly, and that's not allowed. The police have to make sure people that break the rules are punished for being bad, and sadly, your Daddy needed to be punished." She turned away to wipe her nose and stop crying.

"So if Daddy got killed then does that mean he killed people?" You watch as your mother nods and then you know why your father looked so horrible when you found him on the stairs.

"But at least we still have each other…" Your mother gets up and starts to walk away but unknown to her, you follow. "I'll do whatever it takes to make sure he doesn't carry on the Grimshaw name, he's not going to be a killer like them…" she mumbled to herself. It was then you first ever felt such a frozen cold feeling and you stop following her. You flashback to that moment, the gun, the officer, the rage, the gunshot, the blood… you just killed a man… nobody knows it was you, they all thought it was your dad, but you know what you did. You killed that man, you already are a killer.

Richard flew up from the couch screaming, hot blood rushing through his veins. He grabbed his hair in frustration and ran his hand down over his face groaning. "God, what an awful dream." He heard a raspy snicker turned around knowing what he'd see.

The gnarly grin of a handsome young officer gleamed in the late afternoon light. Blood streamed down the face and mouth of the ghostly apparition, straight from the bullet hole over his right eye. "You shouldn't play with guns kid, someone could get hurt…" He whipped out his trusty pistol and shot, sending a transparent bullet straight through Richard's chest as the ghost vanished.

Richard roared in a mixture of fear and anger. He was finished, he couldn't take it anymore, crashing through the door, he ran down the street and back to the park. He traveled up a dirt path through the woods up to a clearing far away from anybody. There he let out a loud cry and flung himself to the ground. "I don't want to be cursed anymore, I don't want to see those damn ghosts, just make it all go away, I don't want to be a Grimshaw!" The sky darted from its auburn red sky to a dark blue night setting, mist rolled in and all became dark. Moans sounded through the air, laughter, sinister grins from the ghosts that had haunted him so, the smell of fire, of burning flesh, of blood, of death, flooded into Richard's nose. They took turns tormenting him while he was down, and soon circled in around him. The oldest, blue ghost smiled, his wrinkled, hanging skin inches away from Richard's face.

"There's only one way to be rid of us, and to be rid of the Grimshaw name. Go against your father's word. Take of that damned necklace, tear it away, let it not sear your flesh one more moment. Take it off, and I promise you, we'll vanish from this earth forever, you'll be helping us finally rest, and you too." With a shaking hand Richard clutched the necklace, feeling it one last time, it had always felt hard and stale. With a forceful yank, the gold chain snapped and fell away, and all the ghosts fluttered away, smiling, like they meant it. Richard gripped at the warm earth. He was finally free. But the sky hadn't changed, and the surrounding began to cackle and jump with fire. A firm grasp took hold of Richard and dug it's nails deep into his skin. As Richard turned he saw the face of his father frowning at him. "You disobeyed me, and so…" his father's faced morphed into the wildly sadistic grin of the Devil, "You broke the pack your foul ancestors made those one hundred seventy-two years ago. So your coming with me… looks your not going to get rid of those ghosts after all…" and with a flash of fire, Richard was pulled down to the darkest depths of Hell.