Estimated reading time — 20 minutes
Thomas sat in the courtroom, wringing his hands anxiously. His eyes darted from the judge, to the jury, to his father. He hated his father. He needed to be thrown in prison. It’s where he belongs. Where he’s always belonged.
They called Thomas up to his place as a witness. He didn’t wait for anyone to speak, give him a signal, to make him swear he won’t tell a lie. He immediately slammed his sweaty hands down on the podium.
“HE IS GUILTY!” Thomas screamed, making the jury and his anxious parents jump. “I s-saw him! I f-found him i-in the b-basement, he was st-standing over m-my cousin, h-his b-brother’s only ch-child. H-he had a b-baseball bat, my c-cousin had bruises a-and blood all o-over him… f-father was l-laughing! A-and f-finally, he raised th-the bat and b-beat my cousin’s h-head in!”
“This child is obviously insane,” his father’s lawyer rose suddenly. “Have you seen his medical records? He has schizophrenia, and those schizos see all sorts of crazy stuff! He is not a reliable witness. I don’t even understand why he was allowed to speak in the first place.”
“W-wait! I sp-speak the t-truth… I r-ran up the st-stairs right a-as he l-looked at me…”
“Step down, child. You’re clearly out of your mind.”
“P-please believe me… I am t-telling the t-truth! I sp-speak no l-lies!”
“Dismissed,” the judge announced.
“No! P-please, it w-wasn’t my m-mind! I p-promise!”
“I didn’t know you were so ill, son,” his father sneered. “Do we need to send you to–?”
Thomas stared out the car window. He twitched slightly. His anxiety has worsened since the dreadful night a couple months ago. Most of the time, he can tell the difference between real and his imagination. The hallucinations were brightly colored. He was completely color blind. He saw no color that night at any time.
“Are you sure you saw–?” his mother began.
“Yes!” Thomas snapped. “B-but no b-believes a g-goddamn sc-schizo.”
“I know your father has done some awful things,” she sighed, trying to focus on the road. “But I highly doubt he would murder someone–much less his brother’s son.”
“R-remember th-that n-night? F-father kept looking at him w-weird. He l-looked like a l-lion! L-like he a-almost w-wanted to–e-eat him.”
“Now that was definitely your imagination.”
Thomas stayed silent. No one would ever believe him. Although, what really matters is that he knows what he saw.
Thomas’s uncle’s house was dark. He was spending the night with his cousin, for a boy’s night. Full of games, catch, wrestling. What they usually did. He had woken up in the middle of the night, his throat bone dry. He turned to wake up his cousin, but he wasn’t there. The blankets were sprawled on the floor, pillows were in odd places. Thomas got out of bed and crept downstairs, being as silent as possible. He thought, maybe, his cousin was in the bathroom. He went ahead and walked into the kitchen, grabbed a cup, about to turn on the cold faucet–then he heard muffled sobs coming from behind him. He thought it to be strange he was hearing the Voices so clearly, for he had been frequently taking his medications. He turned around and saw the basement door wide open. He set his cup down quietly, and stepped delicately across the tile floor. He took a deep breath and took a step, planting his foot on a chilled stair. He let the cold darkness consume him.
A dull light swung above someone’s head, a brown haired man, he recognized him immediately as his father. Thomas’s eyes drifted down to the floor, he saw his cousin, his eyes red and puffy, tear tracks rolling down his face. A balled sock had been stuffed into his bloody mouth. His face and arms were swollen and leaking profound amounts of the dreadful liquid. Thomas choked back a scream, his cousin looked over, his eyes widened and he tried to scream louder, he began to struggle more, but he was bound tight. Thomas extended his foot to take another step, to save his only friend, but his father raised the baseball bat he was holding and viciously, brutally bashed in the poor child’s head, with each hit the skull was heard cracking, crunching, shattering. Over, and over, and over, each hit grew more intense. The brain splattered all over the walls, along with the blood. Oh, there was so much blood. His father clubbed and clubbed the cranium until it was completely obliterated, nothing left but and roughly cut throat. Everything that used to be there was now on the walls, ceiling, floor. Thomas coughed up his dinner, the contents of his stomach splashing on the stairs, his father quickly turned his head to glare at his son, eyes full of pure mania, hunger, anger. Thomas sprinted up the stairs, vomit drizzling down his chin, he could hear his father’s footsteps thundering behind him. He ran out of the house, shaking violently, without looking back.
Thomas shook the memory from his head as they pulled up to his house. His father’s car was parked there. He didn’t want to see him. He wanted him to be in prison. He wanted him to be dead.
“Why would you even try to get me arrested, son?” his father instantly said to him as he stepped inside the house. “From what twisted corner of your mind did this lie come from?”
He shoved passed his awful father and went into the backyard. It was a cloudy day, looking like there was a chance of rain. He sat down in front of the flower bed he helped his mother plant.
Butterflies fluttered by, landing on a nearby snapdragon. He loved nature. He loved looking at roses and petunias and lilies. He loved watching the butterflies and the ladybugs and the honeybees. He wished every day that he could see the garden in its full color, he knew it would be beautiful.
He watched the hummingbirds crowd around the feeder, and watched a mother bird care for her young in the nest in their big willow tree.
The property they lived on was in the perfect place. They lived right next to a vast forest that housed hundreds of animals. They got a taste of the life in those magnificent trees in the morning when deer and rabbits hopped through their yard. His father would often shoot them with a shotgun. He was sick of venison.
Thomas stared at the soft soil, a seedling poked its way through the soft dirt. It was a brilliant green. It grew taller and wider, leaves sprouting, a bud forming, and bursting into a bright red rose. He smiled at it, and picked it out of the ground. He held it gently in his shaking hands.
“What are you looking at?”
Thomas jumped to see his mother approaching him. He was about to hold up the rose he found to show her, but when he looked back at his hand, it evaporated. He should have known.
“The f-flowers,” he replied simply.
“If you can’t see the colors of the flowers,” she sat down next to him. “Why do you like them so much?”
“C-color isn’t e-everything,” he stared blankly at an insect crawling on a leaf. “S-sometimes b-beauty isn’t w-what you s-see.”
They were silent. The air was still. It almost seemed as if time froze. It seemed as if the butterflies’ wings beat slower, hummingbirds lessened their pace, and the clouds stopped moving. Thomas continued to gaze into a flower as time stopped. The rose bush he sat before suddenly filled with color, his eyes widened at the splendor. The flowers spread their petals wider than he’s ever seen, illuminating the dull earth. He was entranced by the bush, the petals only opening up more and more. They started to fall to the grey ground, to shrivel up and disappear, new petals replaced the old. After what seemed like endless moments, the roses started to turn black, the stems turned brown. Liquid poured from the dying petals, dripping, wetting the ground, slowly flooding towards Thomas. He jumped up, gasping, as blood surrounded his feet. He started to hyperventilate, he tried to call for help, but his voice merely echoed through this abyss. The freshly spilled blood started to rise, soaking his jeans, filling the yard, climbing up his knees, his waist, his torso.
“Thomas!” his mother shook him. Time caught up with him suddenly, but the visions didn’t stop.
“Mom, g-get me out of h-here!” Thomas yelled, raising his arms to avoid the crimson liquid. “G-get me a-away from th-this h-hell!”
“There’s nothing there, sweetie!”
The words caressed his brain. He closed his eyes, taking deep breaths, he let his arms fall to his sides. He let his eyelids slowly slide open, seeing the blood receding, retreating back into the rose bush, it became dull and grey again.
“I’m s-sorry,” he muttered before rushing inside.
“I’m c-crazy, I’m i-insane, I’ve l-lost it,” Thomas said shakily to himself, tugging at his hair, rocking back and forth in his flimsy old bed. “I d-don’t want to l-live, I d-don’t want to l-live!”
“I c-can’t be c-cured,” Thomas buried his face in his hands. “I d-don’t want t-to see a-another d-day.”
“SHUT UP!” Thomas screeched at the voices. His mother burst through the door. She put her hand on her chest and sighed.
“You scared me, I thought you got hurt,” She sat down beside him on his bed. She gently put her hand on his thigh in a comforting, motherly way. “I think you should start taking your medications again. Maybe if you did, you might stop believing that your father killed your cousin.”
“N-no,” he snapped. “Th-they won’t help. I kn-know what I f-fucking saw.”
“Hey, watch your language young man!” his mother said harshly.
“Sh-shut the h-hell up,” Thomas growled.
“Don’t talk to your mother that way!”
“G-get out of m-my h-head!” Thomas ripped a chunk of hair out of his scalp. “I KN-KNOW YOU’RE IN TH-THERE!” He jabbed his index finger at the now bald spot on his head. “G-GET OUT! G-GET OUT! GET O-OUT!”
“Hey!” his mother grabbed his arm. “This is why you need them. Now lay down, you’ve had a rough day.”
The moon shone warmly through the curtains. A sliver of silver light shot in Thomas’s bloodshot eye. He gazed into the hypnotizing sphere. The moon’s craters shifted to resemble his cousin’s scarred face.
“I’m s-sorry I c-couldn’t s-save y-you,” Thomas quivered.
“I-I’m s-so s-sorry!”
Thomas buried his head under his pillow, trying to block the Voices out. “St-stop, stop, st-stop, STOP!”
Thomas scratched at his skin, “shut up, shut up, shut up,” trying to make it stop. The pain in his gut was tremendous. The Voices persisted, now a blur of words bouncing around his head like bullets in a metal room. He looked at the moon, the face of his cousin morphed into a beast, teeth gnashing, strings of saliva flying through the night sky. The moon closed in on Thomas’s window. He covered his eyes with his hands, but before he could, they started leaking blood. Blood flowed from his palms and fingers and nails all over the bed and onto the floor. He cried out and hid himself under the blankets, not opening his eyes, listening to infinite voices, shaking all the while.
He walked downstairs quietly. He woke up rather early, even after being awake for almost all hours of the night. His eyes were horribly bloodshot and had astoundingly dark circles beneath them. He discovered his mother cooking breakfast and his father reading the newspaper.
“Good morning, Thomas,” his mother smiled as she started to put scoops of scrambled eggs on a plate. “Did you sleep okay?”
He stayed quiet. He sat across the table from his father, keeping his head down, but still glaring at him, anxious. His mother sat a plate down in front of him that was filled with flffy eggs, buttered toast, and fresh bacon.
“Eat,” his father looked at him suddenly. “You’re fifteen, you’re a growing boy.”
“I’m s-sixteen, d-dad,” Thomas murmured, wringing his hands under the table.
“No, son, you were born in 2003, that makes you fifteen.”
“Richard, how dare you forget your own child’s birthday?” his mother asked, astounded as she sat down beside him.
“He was born in 2003, I remember the day–”
“I was the one giving birth, so–”
“It was a bad time at work, I remember–”
“I had to take a Taxi to get to the hospital because you were at home drunk–”
“No, I was at work–”
“That’s what you told everyone–!”
“I’m not the one who decided we shouldn’t use a cond–!”
“Stop!” Thomas slammed his fists on the table. “E-everyone sh-shut up! Just d-drop it! It d-doesn’t m-matter!” His parents stopped bickering and focused on him. He was still sitting with his head down, not making eye contact with anyone. They stared at him for several moments, he just sat in the same position, unmoving, looking at his feet. He suddenly saw distorted snakes slithering from around the legs of the table, hissing, trying to climb up his legs with slimy, scaly bodies.
He stood up abruptly, knocking the chair backwards, and he stomped up the stairs. His father ran after him, he caught the door to his room as Thomas tried to slam it shut. Thomas slumped down on his bed, facing the wall. His father stood behind him.
“I know you’re mad at me,” his father said softly. “Paranoid schizophrenics act quite irrational, don’t they? At least I take my medications…”
“If y-you were t-taking your st-stupid m-meds, w-why d-did you k-kill him?” Thomas asked shakily.
“I might’ve skipped a night… But everyone knows me as a mellow man, no one was about to believe a little boy who is clearly bat-shit crazy.”
“W-why d-don’t you a-admit th-that you m-murdered h-him, don’t you h-have any m-morals?”
“Son, if I confessed, you and your mother would be sitting out in the rain,” his father explained. “I am the reason you have a home.”
“I’d r-rather my c-cousin’s d-death be j-justified than you p-pretend nothing h-happened and l-let the m-murder g-go ‘u-unsolved,’” Thomas snarled. “I w-want y-you to be th-thrown in p-prison for e-everything else y-you’ve d-done too.”
“Tell me one other thing I’ve done to hurt you or your mother,” his father edged.
“L-let’s see,” Thomas prepared to count on his fingers. “Y-you sp-sprained my a-ankle when y-you p-pushed me d-down the st-stairs, you s-slapped m-mom across the f-face, you b-broke a w-wine g-glass and sc-scattered the p-pieces around th-the k-kitchen because y-you were m-mad at us, you g-get d-drunk just to g-get out of w-work and w-wind up h-hurting o-one of us, and you th-threw a-away my m-medications r-right after y-you killed h-him.”
“You saw me throw–?”
“Y-you can’t h-hide a-anything f-from me.”
“Fine,” his father grunted. “Maybe I do need to go to jail. Maybe I do deserve a punishment. Do I want to go to jail? No–”
“It’s n-not a-about what y-you want, it’s a-about what’s r-right!” Thomas smacked the wall. “I h-have so m-many more e-examples of y-you a-abusing us, I w-watched you m-murder my c-cousin, I w-want j-justice for m-myself and my f-family! Y-you’re s-so s-selfish! You’re s-so n-narcissistic! I h-hate you!”
“No one believes a schizo. You can’t do anything.”
“Th-then why d-do they b-believe y-you?”
“Look at me straight in the eyes son,” his father growled. Thomas stared intently at the white wall. “LOOK AT ME!”
“N-no,” Thomas replied blankly.
His father grabbed his son’s face and whipped it around, forcing the rest of his body to turn with it. “Stop. Trying. Schizo.” His face became distorted, it became covered in bright red fluid, his eyes wild and full of a lust for blood, his angered glare transformed into a wicked, twisted grin. Yellow, sharp, elongated teeth protruded from the beast’s mouth. “Stop. STOP. Trying. TRYING. Schizo. Schizo. SCHIZO.”
Before Thomas could react, the monster threw his head into the wall, making a bright light flash briefly before his eyes, his father marched out of the room, slamming the wooden door behind him. Rubbing the back of his swelling head, Thomas stood up and walked weakly to the window. He stared into the blue sky, watching the clouds, contemplating what his father had just said to him. He sighed, he knew no one would believe him. He could tell everybody in the whole world and not a single soul might even consider his story. With his nervous stutter, spastic ticks, darting eyes, and sweaty palms are always instant giveaways to his insanity. It wasn’t just schizophrenia anymore.
He felt as if being watched from all around, as usual, but the feeling was particularly strong coming from the back. He turned around to see his shadow standing against the wall, eyes merely holes in the darkness. The shadow snickered.
“You’ve finally lost it, haven’t you boy?” a wide grin appeared, yet another gap in the black. “I’m proud of you.”
“P-proud of m-me?”
“Of course, now you can finally be left alone–”
“–doesn’t a white padded room sound nice to you? With a single window with iron bars? With a single iron door which only a doctor can open? Haven’t you always wanted isolation?”
“S-sure, I’ve b-been w-wanting to b-be left a-alone, b-but at th-the same t-time, I am sc-scared of i-isolation,” Thomas shrugged.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to sip on the blood of your enemies?” the shadow asked.
“Nice, warm, blood…”
“The soft crimson liquid on your dry, cracked lips, the substance slithering smoothly down your shredded, burning throat…”
“St-stop, I d-don’t want th-that….”
“Wouldn’t you love to sit on a red velvet throne? Laced with silver, elegantly decorated and supported by solid gold? A black rolled carpet would be extended for you, your majesty sitting above all of your rivals, who are now at the bottom of the food chain?”
“N-no, p-please st-stop,” Thomas backed up into the windowsill, jabbing the small gap between his vertebrae. “I n-never s-said I w-wanted th-that…”
“Oh ho ho!” the shadow chuckled. “But you thought it. It’s all in your mind. You want to see your father’s dead body hanging from a tree. You want to see the dead bodies of every stupid jock at the high school littering the floor. You want to see the dead bodies of every stupid white girl at the high school bleeding at your feet. You’re hungry, boy, you know you are. You’re tired of these visions, you know you are.”
“I t-told y-you to st-stop!” Thomas slumped to the floor.
“Look at all of these glorious colors!” snakes, foxes, wolves, tigers, lions, fish, sharks, lizards, hummingbirds, eagles, all flew around the crowding, shrinking room, the growing shadow at the base. The room was full of flashing animals, an array of blinding colors, noises upon noises, voices and roars and screeches, deafening the traumatized child. “Beautiful! Beautiful! BEAUTIFUL! Didn’t you want to see this? Didn’t you want to see this? DIDN’T YOU WANT TO SEE THIS?” All the flowers from his mother’s garden started growing inside the room. The floor was suddenly covered in countless blooming buds, their stems and limbs wrapped themselves around the fearful child, embracing him, blossoming like morning glories.
“S-s-stop!” Thomas screamed through his shaking hands. “I-I d-didn’t w-want th-th-this!”
“Are you sure, T-T-Thomas?” the shadow mocked. “I’m not going to stop trying to break you even more. You’re not completely broken. I need to shatter your psyche, I need to let the cold shards slip through my icy fingers, I need to watch them fall into the abyss of which is your death, oh how satisfying it would be to watch your slow, painful, demise.” The room was brightly flashing with many colors, Thomas buried his face in his hands, closing his glossy, red eyes tight, rubbing them fiercely.
“N-not real, n-not real, n-not r-real,” Thomas said to himself with clenched teeth. “It’s o-only my m-mind, i-it’s only m-my m-mind…”
“And that’s something to think about, isn’t it?” the shadow tilted its head. “All of this was spawned from your imagination, your jumbled thoughts, your twisted brain. It’s your fault you’re seeing this, it’s your fault you let yourself go crazy, and it’s your fault he’s dead.”
Thomas crawled under his bed like a small child, hugging his knees and keeping his eyes glued shut. He kept trying to assure himself it wasn’t real, but the sounds grew louder, the visions more and more clear, the words of the shadow began to sink in. “M-make it st-stop, m-make it st-stop, m-make it st-stop!”
Everything suddenly froze, the plants, the animals, the Voices, the sounds, all froze. Images floated in the air, still. He slowly opened his eyes, feet were gently approaching the bed. His mother bent down to the floor to look at him, her face showed extreme concern.
“I w-want it t-to st-stop,” Thomas said, trembling severely. “I w-want it a-all t-to e-end.”
“I know sweetheart,” his mother reached towards him and stroked his brown hair. “Come on, come out from under there. Do you want to help me trim the roses?”
The visions began to slowly fade. Thomas gave a small nod and cautiously slid out from under the bed, being helped up by his mother. He walked out of the bedroom, still shaking, leaving the current chaos behind.
He quickly shoved the sandwich into his starving mouth. He chugged his glass of water. He sprinted upstairs to his room and slammed the door, the ghosts of memories displayed before him. He sat down on his bed and sighed. The hallucinations were getting worse, and worse, and worse with every passing hour. There were more flashing colors that blinded him, more images of his face, his father’s and his cousin’s, more reptiles and mammals, more Voices ringing through his head.
Just after sitting down he stood up again, pacing for a few seconds, then walking briskly to the curtains to close them, he grasped them tightly in his hands, so tight as to nearly rip them as he began to draw them closed.
“Wait,” his shadow hissed. He glanced over his shoulder, even though he knew he shouldn’t have. “You want to stop seeing these insane things, right?”
Thomas nodded slightly, but knowing it would be a trick, he turned his attention back to the curtains. There he saw the bloody body of his cousin sitting lifeless in the tree that sat in the front yard. The shadow snickered behind him, Thomas turned around to the wall, suppressing the urge to vomit.
“I have an idea,” the shadow drawled. “Why don’t you get rid of them?”
“W-what?” he stared at the black figure on the wall, suspicion in his eyes.
“Your eyes,” it grinned wildly. “They are why you see these things. Your eyes give you the power of sight. Why don’t you get rid of them, get rid of your suffering?”
“Th-that’s disgusting! I-I wouldn’t d-do th-that!”
“Oh, but Thomas! You know you want to!”
“N-no, th-that’s horrible!”
“Oh really? And this isn’t?” the shadow gave him a stern look. Several copies of the mutilated body of his dead relative appeared, dragging themselves out from under the bed, from the closet, they climbed in through the window, they fell from the vent, all crowding around the frightened boy. He shut his eyes as quickly as he could. “See? Wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t have those white orbs stuck in your face whose only purpose is to cause pain for you?”
“I c-can f-find some o-other way,” Thomas took a peek at the shadow, he saw the bodies still crawling towards him. “Th-they m-make p-pills for th-this.”
“But the pills don’t cure it,” the shadow barked. “It is a temporary happiness that, is in fact, fake.”
“Don’t you agree, Thomas? It’s an illusion, you can’t be happy unless it’s all gone.”
“I’m not going to do that to myself,” shielding himself from the worsening visions, he marched towards the door. A horrendous monster appeared in front of the wooden door. It had scales, and from beneath the slimy scales, matted fur poked through. It bore long, razor sharp teeth coming from a large, distorted snout, saliva dripped from its hungry mouth, the wide glowing eyes intimidated him. Massive claws larger than daggers came from dry hands with peeling skin. It towered over him, nearly breaking the ceiling.
“You’re not going anywhere, kid,” it snarled in a horrible, raspy voice. Thomas backed away, once again, into his window sill.
“Don’t pretend the thought has never occured to you,” the shadow said smugly. “It clearly has, or else you wouldn’t be seeing me.”
He turned around and looked at the sky, the vividly blue sky with fluffy clouds. He shuttered, it looked so peaceful.
“Enjoying the scenery? You know it doesn’t last forever.”
It started raining blood. Thomas sighed. It wasn’t real. The clouds formed the memory of that night, portrayed as pale ghosts in the crimson sky. It wasn’t real. Corpses grabbed his arms from behind, they caressed his sore neck, they clawed at his stiff back. It wasn’t real. The monster came from behind and started gnawing at his cold flesh. It wasn’t real.
Thomas spun on his heels to speak to the shadow. “It’s not real.” The empty eyes widened, the shadow faded to normal, the corpses disappeared, the monster faded away. He stared at the blank wall, his tense shoulders dropped. He heard a voice carry from downstairs.
“Yes! He’s in his room!”
Of course it was his mother, but he wondered who would possibly be here. He could hear footsteps thundering up the stairs, booming down the hall, and crash into the door.
The teen nodded, they ran to each other and embraced the flesh that they missed so much. Their blood pumped warmly, veins comforting foreign limbs. As they breathed heavily from the excitement, they smelled each other’s familiar scent, felt each other’s familiar grasp. They laughed, tears of happiness flowing down their cheeks, at long last. Reunited, content, extremely joyful of each other’s unique presence in the world.
“You’re n-not d-dead!” Thomas laughed.
“Not yet,” Zach grinned. “I mean, I was presumed dead, and I was almost dead, but they were able to save and heal me.”
“B-but w-wasn’t your sk-skull b-bashed in?”
“No, I think that’s when you started seeing things. I was just severely beaten,” Zach replied almost casually.
“W-what a-about my f-father?”
“Oh, he’s been arrested for attempted murder. Not to mention abuse.”
“Oh th-thank G-god!”
“A happy ending for everyone, isn’t it?”
Thomas continued to laugh. He was so overjoyed. His father had been put in prison, where he belonged, his cousin was alive, it turns out he was hallucinating after all. They can play catch again, they can wrestle again, they can play video games again, they can rule their stupid high school again. After months of sitting alone, thinking about the whole ordeal, Thomas can finally be happy for the first time in an eternity. He was so elated he couldn’t bear it, he never imagined that he could return, he never imagined the possibility that his heart might’ve still been beating. The joy radiated off of him, producing warmth like the sun, his bright smile lit up the dire room, Zach replied with the same joy expressed by Thomas.
“I have one question for you Thomas,” Zach’s smile started to fade.
“A-anything, a-anything,” Thomas replied, still beaming.
“Why didn’t you save me?”
“You ran. Why didn’t you save me?”
“Why didn’t you save me?” Zach repeated, frowning in both an angry and saddened way. “You left me. Why didn’t you save me?” His head started to gain an “off” look.
“I w-wanted t-to,” Thomas was growing very concerned very fast.
“Why didn’t you save me?” faint bruises and small cuts started to grow apparent on his face and arms. “You fucking left me. Why didn’t you fucking save me?”
“WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE ME?” Zach screamed, his head suddenly started to split open, being shredded from all sides, blood gushing from his cranium. “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE ME?” His skin, covered in huge bumps, almost turned completely black and blue and red with gashes and bruises. He fell to the floor, a pool of crimson forming around him. “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE ME?”
“Z-Zach!” Thomas cried, he looked down at the fresh corpse, it looked so real, so convincing. As his eyes were fixed on the body draining the last of the blood, he saw something in his hand, his eyes drifted over, he was clutching a bloody baseball bat. “N-NO!”
He dropped the bat, causing the drying blood to splash all over his his legs, his hoodie, his face. He brought his hands up to and eyes and scratched, scratched, scratched. He tore at the bloodshot spheres, ripping them viciously, blood spurting from the sockets, pouring down his cheeks like salty tears. His nails shredded his eyes, shredded the leftover bits, shredded the vessels and veins, shredded anything that remained in his bloody sockets, he scraped his skull clean of any pieces of the eye.
He took his hands away.
He could still see.
But it was new.
And it was beautiful.
There was a world constructed of memories, but it wasn’t black and white. It wasn’t full of horrifying monsters. It was full of colors, and not regular everyday colors, but abnormal, bright, brilliant colors. He smiled through the pain, which he ignored, even though it gnawed at his sockets when he moved his mouth. He looked all around his room, no blood, no bodies, no baseball bats. He could see through the window, a blue sky varying in different shades, like watercolor, clouds that made interesting and unique patterns.
“OH MY FUCKING GOD, THOMAS!” his mother screamed shrilly. She covered her mouth with her hand. Thomas saw a beautiful woman there in a maid’s typical outfit, what he saw of his mother. He could sense her fear and shock, it showed through his imagination. “W-why would you d-do this?” she sobbed, tears already flowing down her timid face.
“I w-wanted it to st-stop,” Thomas told her in a soothing voice. “A-and n-now it’s all b-beautiful. J-just l-like I w-wanted it t-to be.”
She grabbed her soon and pulled him up. “W-we need to g-go to the hospital!”
“No!” Thomas backed out of her grasp. “I’m f-fine. I d-don’t n-need help a-anymore. I just–n-need to do o-one th-thing and then I’ll b-be o-okay.”
“Y-you aren’t g-going ANYWHERE except for the h-hospital. C-come ON!” she snatched his wrist and began dragging him.
“I s-said NO!” he jerked his wrist out of her hand and ran past her, down the stairs, seeing with a new pair of eyes. He ran into the garage, he immediately found what he was looking for, a slick black case, he flicked it open, and emptied the contents into his hands.
“Son, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?” his father shouted from the doorway, his mother sobbing behind him.
Thomas turned around and gasped to see the same horrifying monster he had seen not even ten minutes before. He thought they were all gone. He readied the handgun he had just found. Trembling, he loaded it, and aimed it at his father, backing up and shielding his mother. “St-stay back, you a-awful b-beast, I’ll sh-shoot! You d-deserve it!”
“Okay, okay!” his father put his hands up in surrender. “I murdered your cousin! I dragged him from his bed into the basement, I took my brother’s baseball bat and I beat the shit out the little bastard! He cried and he cried and he begged me to let him go, but I wouldn’t let up, it was satisfying to hear a child cry. I kicked him, I punched him, I slapped him, I broke his bones. I force fed him the moldy food I found in that smelly basement, I stuck the oldest, dirtiest sock into his filthy mouth. I loved it, I fucking loved it, but I realized it was wrong, I realized the Voices were wrong. I took out the last bit of anger on his weak little head and channeled all of my strength into that baseball bat just too see the finale of human body parts scatter everywhere like a firework show!”
His mother screamed bloody murder, not giving her husband a chance to explain, she ran from the garage, she hopped into her car, and still sobbing violently she drove away from the house without a second thought.
Father, fuming, stood staring at his son, shaking.
“Th-thank y-you for c-confessing,” Thomas said softly. “B-but th-that d-doesn’t a-avenge his g-gruesome d-death.” He raised the hand gun, his index finger trembling, pulled the trigger–
His father fell back, he ran to him, a fresh bullet wound between his eye and the bridge of his nose. Thomas exhaled heavily, releasing all guilt in one breath. As his lungs filled with the metallic stench of blood, he smiled, and jumped over the real dead body, laughing. He jumped into his father’s car, he hot wired it, and sped off in the direction his mother disappeared to. He giggled as he drove, veering into other lanes, singing along to the tune on the radio.
He found his high school. It was only twelve thirty in the afternoon. Unsuspecting teenagers sat at lunch tables, laughing, joking, smiling. Thomas rolled down the window of the truck, held his hand out, and fired several echoing bullets through the large cafeteria windows. He fired until the gun ran out of ammo, teenagers screamed, running like idiots, ducking for cover, frozen at their tables. Several students had just been injured, Thomas listened to the commotion, his mind making its own rendition of the massacre. He sharply turned the steering wheel and drove the big truck into the school, through the brick wall, rolling over several students and security officers. Blood on the windshield, blood on the floor, the crushed car steamed, people still screamed, but for Thomas, it wasn’t good enough. With one free arm, the other stuck in the metal, he pulled a lighter out of his pocket, and lit a wire by the gas pedal.
His mother sat in the police station, traumatized by the day’s events. The show that was on television was interrupted by a live news broadcast. The lady was at the school, explaining the incident. His mother recognized the truck as her husband’s truck. Tears rolled down her face, knowing that either her son or husband had done something absolutely horrible, then a huge explosion filled the screen, destroying the high school and almost everyone in it. Blankly, she stood up, she walked out of the station, even though authorities tried to stop her. She dismissed them and casually got into her car. She drove, once again, for a few long minutes. She parked in an empty lot and waited. She waited for hours. She stared at the horizon. Then she heard the sound she had been waiting for. She stepped out of her car, ducked under the gate and lied down, closing her eyes. She let the roaring train sweep her soulless body away.
Thomas watched the wretched hellhole they once called a high school go up in blood-stricken flames from the forest next door. He smiled, he laughed, while holding the fresh, beautiful rose he picked from the garden only yesterday.
CREDIT : Unsolved Homicide
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