Estimated reading time — 20 minutes
It was a dreary kind of day. It always was in this small suburban town. On the edge of this town,there resided a deep forest which gave a little life to the otherwise plain residence. The large oak trees swaying in the playful breeze, the few gentle rays of light peeking through the grey clouds were speckling through the forestry onto the foliage below, it is quite a sleepy little forest, the loudest sounds coming from the occasional wildlife passing through. That is except for today. Today all silence was broken with a loud pop and a flurry of fluttering wings followed by apish hooting and hollering. The culprit of these sounds? A group of boys who often frequented this otherwise quiet little forest. These boys had been friends since elementary school and it was common place for them to meet up after school and walk through to the edge of the local park into this forest. It was their “secret hideout”. Normally their games were innocent enough, kids just being kids goofing off and throwing sticks at each other. But today was different, today was “special”. The oldest of the group had just turned thirteen and had received a pellet rifle for his birthday. He was told repeatedly that it was not a toy and he could only use it with an adult around. He was even promised by his uncle that they would go out and shoot some targets at on Friday after school, but that was several days away and he was of course eager to show his best friends his newest treasure and what better place to do it then their secret hiding spot? So here he was proudly holding his recently fired .22 caliber pellet rifle smugly grinning at his accomplishment in hitting his first ever target. Before him just a few feet away in a mass of twitching black feathers was a small black bird, its spastic movements slowly ceasing.
“I can’t fucking believe you hit it dude!” the youngest of the three squeaked, excitedly running over to examine the fallen bird.
The oldest snorted “Of course I hit it, Uncle Joe used to let me shoot his real rifle all the time before this.”
He got a playful punch on his shoulder from the youngest boy. “Yeah right dude, I saw how your hands were shaking, you’ve never even used a pea shooter before.”
“Fuck you dude” the oldest replied with a wry grin.
The youngest chortled and rummaged through the leaves until he found a medium sized stick. He bent down to examine the animal. “Still Tommy,” he said turning the bird over, its head lolling limply over its snapped neck, now no longer moving. “It was a nice shot, you got it straight through the head, Aw sick its eye is even missing dude!”
“Just leave it the hell alone already Jake, let’s just go.” The last member of the trio was fuming. He had made it clear to his friends when Tommy brought out his smuggled birthday present that he was uncomfortable with them playing with the gun and was even more distraught of the idea of them hurting a harmless creature with it.
Tommy rolled his eyes. “Quit being a fucking pussy dude, it’s just a damn bird. What are you going to cry over it?”
James’s face grew hot “No! I-It’s just not fucking cool alright?! We already know how good your gun works can we just leave now?”
Tommy and Jake both gave each other knowing looks, letting out an exaggerated sigh, they both loved James, he was quiet and reserved, but smart and quick witted. However he was a rule follower and always got very nervous whenever the boys were doing something they “weren’t supposed to be doing”.
Tommy walked over to where James stood indignantly with his arms crossed and eyes glaring. He clasped a hand on his shoulder, James flinching away slightly, still miffed. “Hey dude, I was just messin with ya, Look I’m sorry I shot the thing, I was just really excited about this gun and when I saw the bird sitting right there on that low branch, it was like I couldn’t help myself you know? It was just right there calling to me like come on Tommy, shoot me shoot me!” He finished his sentence in a squeaky high voice drawing a giggle from James.
“Seriously dude, I didn’t mean anything by it and I promise it won’t happen again, let’s just walk around a little more and I’ll only shoot trees or shit like that alright? I promise!”
James looked unconvinced but sighed and nodded his head. “Fine, but you better keep your promise dude or I’m so kicking your ass.”
“I’d like to see you try Jamie-boy” Tommy replied with a smirk. “But seriously James, it won’t happen again.”
James knew Tommy could be an un-tactful asshole sometimes but knew he never did it purposely.
“It’s cool man let’s just hurry up, it’s getting late.”
James bent down and scooped up the broken bird and set it next to a tree where he brushed some leaves over it.
Tommy and Jake shook their heads, James was such a softy.
“Come on then slow poke, I know just the place to really try this puppy out!” Tommy began sprinting deeper into the forest, Jake and James following closely behind.
The boys finally reached their destination; it was a wide open area of the forest with the trees forming almost a perfect circle around it. There was a variety of stumps and fallen trees of all shapes and sizes, some seeming to come out of the ground like giant reaching arms, perfect for climbing or jumping off of. It was by far the boys’ favorite part of the forest.
“I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, this’ll make a great shooting range! James, I’ll even let you go first this time.” Tommy held the butt of the gun out to the boy but James just shook his head and shrugged.
“Nah, that’s okay, I think I’ll just watch you guys.” With that, James plopped himself down in the soft grass and began picking at the weeds that resided there.
Tommy shrugged, “suit yourself dude, hey Jake come here!”
The youngest stopped kicking toadstools off the tree stumps and ran over to Tommy and James.
Tommy slid his backpack off his back and tossed it over to Jake. “Here get these set up why don’t ya.”
Jake opened the backpack to find various bottles and cans. Perfect practice targets for a pellet gun.
“Fine I’ll set up the first round but you are setting up the next one.”
Tommy waved a hand nonchalantly in Jake’s direction. “Yeah yeah, sure.”
Tommy looked over to where James sat. James seemed to be finding whatever he was picking at in the grass to be very interesting. He sighed and moved closer to the boy.
“You sure you don’t wanna try? I know guns aren’t your thing and all but you gotta admit, this thing is pretty bad ass.”
“Uh huh.” Came a disinterested reply.
“You don’t believe me but just watch this!” Tommy looked up at a large twig that was hanging loosely from a branch a few feet above them. “I betcha ten bucks I can shoot that twig loose!”
James rolled his eyes “You don’t even have 5 bucks dude.” Still, curiosity won him over and he stood up standing beside Tommy. “Alright you win, impress me.”
Tommy smugly grinned and took aim at the softly swaying limb, licking his lips and breathing slowly to keep his mark steady. He was about to pull the trigger when a loud squawk startled him. He and James both looked over to a nearby tree to see a group of black birds staring back at them. James chuckled at Tommy who then received a glare from the older boy.
“Ha ha, very funny.”
James shrugged. “Karma’s a bitch dude.”
Tommy snorted “Karma my ass dude, they are just a bunch of dumb birds.” With that he lifted his gun again to his desired target. Before he could get a proper lock on it, the branch began to bob up and down slightly. He looked over to find that one of the birds had decided to use the branch as its perch, its beady little eyes staring into the boy’s. Tommy smirked. “Fine, if you have a death wish, who am I to deny it?”
He started to aim his gun slightly over to the right but James had been watching and knew exactly what his friend intended. He stomped over and grasped harshly onto the nozzle, aggressively pushing it away. A soft flutter of wings could be heard as the small bird flew off the branch into the trees.
Tommy was shocked and then angered by his friend’s actions “What the hell man?! Do you wanna get shot in the face? Let the fuck go!” He tried forcefully yanking the gun out of James grasp, but James had a firm grasp and was not giving in. James was seething, gripping the nozzle in a white knuckle grip. Tommy swore that if looks could kill, he would be dead a hundred times over by now.
“You fucking promised Tommy! You promised you wouldn’t shoot anything else! I’m sick of this bullshit dude, you weren’t even supposed to be out here with this dumb thing. ” He shook the nozzle in his hand for emphasis. “Tell Jake to pack up, we’re leaving.“
“Screw you man, the stupid thing was asking for it. You know, all day I was trying to be extra nice to you cuz I know you don’t like this shit but you are being a total stuck up bitch right now and it’s killing our mood. Know what? You can pussy out and go home by yourself. Jake and me are actually gonna have some fun. Now let the fuck GO!” With that Tommy jerked the gun sharply upward. James, whose resolve was slightly broken by Tommy’s hurtful words, let his grip slip causing the gun nozzle to slip out of his hands rather easily with Tommy’s excess force exerting on it. This caused the nozzle to swing higher. Tommy who in his loss of temper tried to get a better grip on the gun, accidentally put his finger on the trigger. With a loud pop everything went still. Tommy’s red face quickly turned pale, the sound of his gun slightly ringing in his ears. His anger quickly forgotten as he looked up to see James swaying heavily, a look of bewilderment in his left eye, his right was not visible due to the gushing crimson stream coming from it. He made a gurgling guttural sound before his knees gave out and he crashed to the forest floor in a heap convulsing and twitching.
Tommy was still comprehending what had just happened when he was startled by a large crash and clinking of metal and broken glass. He looked back to see Jake staring wide eyed in their direction mouth agape, the back pack unceremoniously laying on the ground, broken bottles and cans littered at his feet. Jake stood motionlessly as if he was still trying to comprehend what had just happened, and then broke into a sprint towards the boys screaming words that Tommy couldn’t quite understand, his mind was buzzing. He was sure it was something along the lines of “What the hell did you do?” He looked down again to the prone form of James. He was completely still now, no longer convulsing just very still.
Jake pushed past Tommy and slid to his knees next to James. Hands hovering over him wanting desperately to help but afraid he might hurt him more. Jake tried calling out James’s name, eliciting no response. He careful turned him over taken aback at the bloody mess on his friend’s face. He then began gently shaking him and tapping his face. When that too failed to gain a response, he became more aggressive in his attempts to stir the boy. Jake laid his ear on the boy’s chest. White face, he turned up to Tommy. “I-I can’t hear anything, His chest ain’t moving neither. I-I think he’s dead Tommy.” Jake’s eyes began brimming with tears.
That snapped Tommy out of the stupor he was currently in. He dropped to his knees next to James practically pushing Jake out of the way. He roughly grabbed the boy’s wrist pleading to any god that would listen that he would find a pulse. There was nothing. He grabbed his shoulders roughly shaking the boy. “Come on Jamie wake up. I’m sorry, God I’m so sorry! Just please wake the fuck up!” James head lolled lifelessly back and forth. The gore from his eye socket spreading further down his pale face.
Tommy was now breaking down into sobs. He’d killed one of his closest friends. He got up pacing back and forth reeling at the horror he now faced.
“We gotta go Tommy, we gotta go get someone.”
Tommy snapped his head back to Jake, his face twisted in a wild expression that made the younger boy flinch.“The hell we do, do you know what they’ll do if they find out what I did?! They’ll put me away Jake! I’ll go to prison!”
“B-ut it was an accident right? They’ll underst-“
Tommy strode quickly towards the small quivering boy and hefted him up by his shirt. “No they fucking won’t Jake! They won’t understand! I wasn’t even supposed to be playing with this in the first place! You know that! I’m gonna spend the rest of my life in prison!” Tommy forcefully let go of Jake causing him to stumble backwards and fall. He looked up at Tommy, his face was etched in fear, tears now streaming freely down his face.
“W-what are we going to do Tommy?”
Tommy glanced down at James’s limp form, studying the ruby red glistening on the boy’s face and shuddered. What would he do? What would James want him to do? He felt himself shivering but he knew it wasn’t from the cold.
“WE are not going to do anything Jake. YOU are going to go home and if you still think of me as a friend you won’t tell anyone about James. You said it yourself, it was an accident. Do you think James would want my life ruined over an accident?”
When Tommy didn’t get a response, he looked back over to Jake, the boy was trembling, lip quivering and wavering eyes gazing up at his, there was true innocent terror in those eyes, He knew his friend was fighting with himself on what the right thing to do was. Tommy held his gaze, his glassy eyes wordlessly offering an apology for what he put his friend through, what he was about to burden his friend with.
“Just go home Jake, as far as you know this day never happened.”
With that Jake carelessly scrambled up from his position in the leaves, not caring if he got a few scratches by doing so and took off quickly. After a few minutes when Tommy could no longer hear his friend’s hurried footfalls, he let out a heavy sigh and bent down to his burden at hand.
He circled around to where James head lay and hooked his hand underneath his armpits and began dragging the boy deeper into the woods.
After what felt like hours he finally reached his destination, what he and his friends had called “the pit”. The pit was a deep slanted ditch that led to what they could only assume was a very large tunnel,almost big enough to be called a cave. The boys could only assume this hellish dugout was created by some large animal. It would be a common game for Tommy and his friends to dare each other into getting as close to the entrance as possible without chickening out. Tommy had only ever gotten as far as sticking a foot into the abysmal darkness before scrambling out.
He slowly worked his way down the slope, his trek made awkward with James. By the time he made it down to the tunnel entrance, he and James were both covered in mud, the earthy smell of wet leaves and grass was heavy in Tommy’s nostrils.
Tommy looked into the open burrow. It looked more intimidating now with his impending task at hand. It looked like an open mouth of some horrible creature. He could swear he could even hear breathing echoing through the hollow space.
He looked down again at James. Despite being dragged through the forest, which was evident by the mud and grime on the boy, he still looked peaceful. If it were not for the gore on the side of his face, Tommy could have sworn he was just sleeping. Tears made trails down the boy’s grimy face which he furiously wiped away.
“I’m so sorry buddy, God I’m so sorry.”
With that he rolled the boy into the entrance of the burrow. He was startled when the boy’s body rolled forward further into the space without more coaxing on his end. He heard rapid loud rustling echoing through the tunnel which ended in a loud thump. He peeked his head in further and reached out. He felt nothing through the thick darkness. He had never realized that the tunnel went so deep let alone have such a steep entry way. He briefly thought how lucky it was that his friends were never brave enough to further down the intimidating burrow.
With his task done he let out a heavy sigh, muttering more grief filled apologies to his friend and climbed out of the ditch. Just before he reached the top he felt a warm breeze breathe from the tunnel. His hair stood on end as he could swear that with it, he could hear a voice whisper “wait”. The boy had never run so fast in his entire life.
He had almost reached the exit to woods when he heard crunching and felt something squishy underneath his foot. He looked down and felt his heart stop, he had stepped on the mangled body of the black bird he had shot earlier, its bloody eye socket staring up at him. Hadn’t James set the thing’s body closer to the trees? Why was it in the middle of the trail?
A strong wind shook the trees around him and once more they carried a voice that seemed to plead this time. “wait”.
Tommy was gone before the wind could die down.
Tommy slammed the door to his bedroom, wild eyed and heart pounding out of his chest, he could not stop pacing back and forth, the floor boards creaking loudly in time with his panicked breaths.“It’s done, it’s over. Nobody will ever know what happened.” He reassured himself. He ran a hand through his hair and pulled back to see it grimy with mud, sweat and what appeared to be, blood. A shudder wracked through his body and he fought the urge to vomit. He ran into the bathroom and spent a good while scrubbing himself almost raw to be sure he got any evidence of today’s happenings off of his body and he went to sleep. His mother came home a few hours later and quietly rapped on his door asking if he wanted dinner. He declined saying simply that he wasn’t hungry.
That night Tommy awoke to short sharp tappings at his window. He groggily looked up towards the sound and the tapping stopped. From what he could see, nothing appeared to be there. With a huff he flopped back down onto the pillow and tried to get back to sleep.
He was just about to drift off when he heard it again, only it was louder this time, and more aggressive. He wearily turned over again to see what it was. This time his eyes shot wide open. It was faint and the boy only caught it due to some passing headlights, but just for a second he saw what appeared to be light reflected off of two small beady orbs looking at him through the window.
“Tap Tap Tap.” He jolted again at the sound. He slammed down on the bed, whipping the covers over his head, he felt like he was suffocating with each shuddering breath under the heat of his comforter but he did not dare pull the blanket off. The Tapping was persistent and always in the same pattern. Sometimes the sounds were quiet, but sometimes it sounded loud enough that whatever was doing it would break through the glass. Mercifully, the tapping stopped and the boy was once again able to fall asleep.
Tommy again was jolted awake by banging, only this time it came from his door.
“Tommy, you better get up or you’re going to miss the bus!” He heard his mother call through the door.
He flew back the covers. The sun was shining warmly through the windows lighting his room up in a soft yellow.
“Was I dreaming?” Tommy thought to himself. He looked towards the window and froze. There was a small black bird sitting outside on his window sill just staring t him. It seemed eerily still not once turning its head in any other direction, it kept its beady eyes trained on Tommy.
The boy was unnerved but also angry at the thing for keeping him up all night. He stomped towards the window, but before he had a chance to open it, the bird flew away.He exhaustively rubbed his hands on his face and half thought about telling his mother he wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t go to school, but decided against it. He didn’t want to bring up any suspicions.
He begrudgingly got dressed and headed out to the bus. As he was about to walk out the door, his mother called out. “Hey Tommy, Have you seen James? His mother called this morning and said he never came home last night, she sounded pretty worried. You guys were hanging out last night right?”
Tommy felt a lump forming in his throat, his hands slightly shaking. He swallowed thickly and answered in as a controlled voice as he could muster.
“N-no Ma, It was just me and Jake last night, he said he didn’t want to come with us after school because he wasn’t feeling well.”
His mother’s eyebrows furrowed in concern for her boy. He seemed so upset but she didn’t question him figuring he must be worried for his friend.
“Okay sweetheart, well try to have a good day at school today alright? I’m sure your friend will turn up.”
Tommy gave a curt nod walking quickly outside, fighting the sob welling in his chest.
School was absolute hell for Tommy, his teachers had all asked if they had seen or what they had seen James doing the previous day and to report anything suspicious if they did. Tommy could only think about his friend’s cold pale body slowly being feasted on by whatever creatures lie in the depths of the pit, that bloody eye burning into his own. There were a few times he wanted to just stand up in the middle of class and scream that he did it, he murdered James and left him to rot in some hole in the forest. That desire would quickly bet smothered by the fear of what the repercussions for committing such a crime would be.
Tommy had seen Jake only a few times, the boy looked as horrible as Tommy felt. His clothes and hair were completely disheveled and his face held a tiredness that shouldn’t belong on a child’s face. He ignored Tommy completely and the few minute glances Tommy caught from Jake were filled with sorrow and accusation towards him.
Tommy again skipped dinner that night, dismissing his mother’s worried glances with a quick “I’m fine, just tired” and threw himself on the bed not bothering to change out of his school clothes. He wept himself to sleep that night.
Unfortunately, his sleep did not last as he once again was awoken by that dreaded sound.
“Tap, Tap, Tap.”
This time however, it almost sounded like it was coming from inside his room.
“Tap, TAP, Tap.”
He hesitantly looked over towards the direction the sounds were coming from. It was too dark to see in the dark, but it sounded like whatever was making the sounds was coming from inside his closet.
He was shaken by the much louder sound and sat up completely. Just then a car passed by through his window casting a light in which once again caught the reflection of two beady orbs set deep in the closet.
Tommy was too scared to move and could barely mutter out. “G-go away, whatever you are, just g-get out of my room and leave me alone!”
Tommy felt an icy chill over his body as whatever lay in the closet answered back.
The voice was light and raspy, as if it were being carried on an unfelt breeze. The unearthly sound shook Tommy to his very core.
“Please Tommy, I just want go home. Just bring me home.”
Tommy hid once more underneath the covers shaking violently, barely suppressing the sobs wracking through his chest.
“I’m not angry Tommy, It waassss an accident. I just want to go home.”
“I can’t do that James, you k-know I can’t!” Tommy desperately pleaded through the thick fabric covering his trembling body.
“It’s sssoo dark and cold Tommy, I can’t seeee. I want to go home. Pleaassee, Bring me home.”
Tommy couldn’t control his sobs any longer and cried into his pillow. He stopped when he heard creaking slowly heading towards the direction of his bed. They stopped just by the side of his bed. He heard deep raspy breathing, and almost screamed when he felt a cold clammy hand slide under the blankets and gently grasp his wrist.
“I want to go home Tommy. Bring me home.”
It was said calmly but Tommy could sense a terrible anger behind it. He felt hot urine running down his legs as he shook all the more violently.
“Al-alright James, tomorrow I’ll g-go to the police, and we’ll bring you h-home alright? I-I promise!”
All at once, the cold pressure on his wrist disappeared and he didn’t hear another sound. He timidly peaked from under his blanket and felt an overwhelming relief wash over him as he saw that his room was empty.
He shakily got out of bed, his legs feeling wobbly and weak as if he had been running for the past five hours and slowly made his way to the bathroom to change.
Tommy decided he could not get back to sleep and crept down to the den were the family television was and flipped it to some infomercial. He didn’t care what he was watching, he just needed a distraction from his now buzzing thoughts. How was he going to tell anyone what had happened? What were his parents going to think? What was going to happen to him? The boy curled up in a ball shaking with distress and desperately tried to concentrate on the happy smiling people on the screen.
That morning Tommy was in a daze, he was surprised to find himself waking up in his bed. He could of sworn he had been watching infomercials downstairs a minute ago. Had last night all just been a dream? He heard his mother’s familiar rapping on the door and reminder that the bus would be here and slowly got up out of bed.
He warily walked over to his closet and froze. A chill swept over him as a familiar reflection of light caught his eye. He shakily crept over against his better judgment and moved over the clothing piled there to find the source. He let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding, a huge wave of relief washing over him. He pulled out the long shiny black metal that was his pellet gun and resisted the urge to whip the thing across the room, settling for shoving it underneath his bed.
“That must have been what I saw last night, the reflection off the damn things metal, everything else musta just been a dream.” After that thought, he was startled by the sound he had come to dread.
“TAP, TAP, TAP.”
He whipped his head towards the window to find what he could only assume was the same bird from yesterday morning staring in at him. It held his gaze with its cold beady eyes. Tommy couldn’t explain it, but he felt like it was angry. Before he could get up, it was gone.
As Tommy wearily got off the bus he froze. There was a group of police officers standing outside the school talking to the principal. Tommy assumed they were probably here to help find James. Tommy’s grip on his school bag tightened and felt himself start to tremble.
“This is it, just go up to the cops and tell them what happened and this can all be over.”
Tommy couldn’t get himself to move. “Last night was just a dream right? James is long gone, nothing bad’s gonna happen if I just keep my mouth shut.” With that final thought, Tommy brushed past the police and endured what felt like one of the longest days at school he had ever been through.
As soon as Tommy got home, he started making his way to his room but his mother stopped him.“Honey, you aren’t planning on skipping dinner again are you? I know you are worried about your friend but you have to eat, keep up your strength you know?.“
Tommy said nothing just kept his head down and tried desperately to keep his composure.
His mother wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tightly.
“It’s okay honey, everything is going to be alright. How about we order pizza tonight?”
Tommy just slowly nodded his head.
“And remember, tomorrow after school, your uncle Joe is coming down from up north to pick you up to go try out your new birthday present. I know how excited you’ve been for that. You guys should have a fun weekend huh?”
Tommy felt his stomach drop, the absolute last thing Tommy wanted to do was to touch that thing again.
“Y-yeah. Sure it will be mom.”
His mother smiled. She gave his shoulder a comforting squeeze before fetching the phone to order the pizza.
After dinner, Tommy thanked his mom and then headed straight to bed. However, not surprisingly he couldn’t sleep. He was dreading what kind of horrible dream would haunt him tonight. He waited and waited until he heard his mom shut her bedroom door, she too going to bed but there was nothing. no horrid tapping, and no malicious eyes glaring at him in the dark. With an exhausted sigh, he closed his eyes and drifted to sleep.
“TAP, TAP, TAP.”
Tommy’s eyes shot open, and his whole body immediately began to tremble, a whimper escaping his throat.
“You said you’d bring me home Tommy. You promised. You promisssseed”
Tommy screwed his eyes shut. “You’re not real, you’re not real, you’re not real.” He continued his mantra as he heard horrible scratching sounds make their way towards his bed.
”I want to go home. I want to go home. I want to go hoooommee.”
The voice vibrated loudly throughout the room. With the last rasping word, there came a freezing chill that swept over Tommy. The boy couldn’t even find the strength to pull the covers over his head. He laid there trembling and sobbing.
It was then he heard the sound of fluttering wings and gasped when he felt something plop onto his legs. He could feel sharp needles poking into the thick fabric of the blanked into his legs, almost hard enough to draw blood. He could hear slow steady breathing, each breath beginning and ending in that horrible rasping sound.
Tommy himself was breathing so fast that he was sure he was going to hyperventilate. He slowly turned his head to see what hellish being sat on his legs. He felt his mouth open to scream but found that he couldn’t. Not with those glowing red orbs burning into his own.
“BRING ME HOME.”
Tommy did scream then.
Tommy’s mother stood in the hallway outside room 324 of the psychiatric ward in their town’s local pediatrics hospital. Her eyes were puffy and red from crying, a well used tissue crumpled in her hand. Her brother had a solemn and tired look on his face as he tried to console his distraught sister.
“I-I just don’t understand it doctor, how could he-“ She paused stifling a sob. “How could he do THAT to himself?!”
Joe glanced in through the small window of the ward that now held his nephew. Tommy was strapped down to a gurney, although he was not struggling, in fact he didn’t move at all. Just a few minute twitches, his lips muttering wordlessly. A thick band of gauze was secured across the boy’s eyes.
The Doctor held the mother’s eyes with an almost apologetic glance. “It is really difficult to say, violent psychotic breaks of this caliber usually come from severe mental illness or are a result of extreme trauma. Since there is no sign of mental illness in the family I have to ask again, are you absolutely sure nothing traumatic has happened to Tommy recently? I know you said he had been upset over his friend’s disappearance but has he been under any other stress?”
Tommy’s mother just shook her head, stifling another sob.
The doctor nodded grimly. “Alright well, I’ll go over his physical condition now. Aside from the self inflicted damage to his eyes, the rest of him seems to free of any signs of self-harm. We also ran a drug screen to see if any hallucinogens may have had a part in this behavior but his blood work came up clean…As for his eyes.” The doctor paused to take in the state of the mother before continuing. “Unfortunately as you know, he completely ripped out the optic nerve along with the entire eye in both sockets. There is unfortunately nothing we can do to repair his eyesight.”
Tears welled in her eyes and she gripped onto her brother’s arm for support as the doctor continued.
“As for his mental state, well…” The doctor sighed heavily. “Your son is completely catatonic, he hasn’t moved or said anything since he came in this morning in the ambulance. He won’t even react to pain or any other stimuli. We think it may just be shock but it’s hard to tell with a psychotic break like this. I’m going to be honest with you mam, I have never seen an episode like this in a child so young with seemingly no trigger.”
The poor woman squeezed her brother’s hand and looked up glassy eyed at the doctor.“What are our options for treatment?”
“Come, let’s go into my office to discuss those details, we can visit Tommy again in a bit.” The doctor gently ushered the distraught pair down the hall.
Meanwhile, in room 324 Tommy was lying still. His unseeing eyes staring up at the dim buzzing fluorescent lights flickering above his head. A bloody tear leaked down the boys face through the gauze. He opened up his dry cracked lips. His throat was raw from the screams that ripped through him the night before, however he was still able to mutter in a raspy voice:
“I want to go home.”
Credit To – MandaMute