12 Dec Patricia
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Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
My house is so quiet. Except for the pattering of the rain on the window, and the scribble of my pen as I frantically write in order to get a good night’s sleep tonight, and the grandfather clock ticking. When I’m alone, I seem to pick up every little sound. To sleep without first recording what has happened would be the worst thing I could do. I must record everything. Every last detail. I cannot forget. I-
I woke up with a sudden sense of dread, though of what I did not know, could not explain, and ultimately forgot as my senses came to me. I realized my family was already up and engaged in their morning routine. A glance at the clock radio on my nightstand and my customary verification by the clock on my wall told me that I had overslept by fifteen minutes.
Jumping out of bed, I hurriedly dressed, brushed my teeth, and was on my way down the stairs pulling my hair into a ponytail when there was a knock on the door. It was uncommon to have a visitor this early in the morning, but being the closest to the door, I answered it.
To my surprise, my good friend Patricia was standing there in the heavy, Florida morning air. I couldn’t say I expected to see anyone in particular, but her being there was very unexpected. Aside from a sleepover or two that we had kept secret from my parents, she had never come to my house before.
I asked her to come in but instead she grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me outside, closing the door as she did.
“Patricia, what are you-” I started, but she cut me off.
“Why won’t you let your family meet me?” she asked, angrily. I was completely dumbfounded by the question.
“No! We’ve been friends for years and I don’t understand why-”
“Stop it!” It was my turn to cut her off.
I yanked my wrist out of her hand and took a step back staring at her in surprise. She glared back at me. I had never seen her this angry.
We stood there for a few seconds, and for a moment, all that broke the silence was her heavy breathing and the muted sounds of the waking neighborhood coming through the humid air.
In an instant, she changed, her anger dissipated, and she looked as normal as if we’d passed each other in the hallway at school.
“So, do you think you can introduce me?” she asked, this time perfectly calm, as though the last ten seconds hadn’t even occurred. Still in shock, I took a second to take in what just happened and compose myself.
“Er, Patricia,” I started, trying not to upset her again, “ we’ve talked about this before.”
“I know, I know. But I really really want to meet them now,” was her reply, insistent.
I couldn’t even remember why we decided to not have Patricia come over. But although it had happened years ago- around the beginning of our friendship- and I had all but forgotten why, there was a very strong feeling within me urging me to keep that promise.
Not knowing exactly why I felt this way, I said, “I’m just not sure that that’s such a good idea.”
Almost too quick for me to see, what looked like pure rage swept across her face and in an instant, was gone. She smiled her pretty smile that I’d seen a million times and said, “Okay, see you at school then!”
Then she was walking away. Down the sidewalk. To the four-way stop. And disappeared around the corner.
I turned and opened the door to join my family for breakfast, but as I opened the door I fell into blackness and…
Awoke with a jolt. My mind was racing with random feelings and images that I couldn’t piece together. A look at the clocks told me it was 10 minutes after I should have gotten up. I decided that the noise my family was making in the kitchen was what woke me up and quickly readied for the day. I was almost to the bottom of the stairs when I heard a knock at the door. Feeling a strong sense of déjà vu, I walked over and answered it. Patricia was standing there, and my feeling of familiarity with the situation grew. Uneasy, I stepped out of the house and closed the door behind me.
“Morning! Can I see your family?” she asked sweetly. Why do I feel like she’s asked this before?, I thought. Without any reason I could think of, I suddenly knew that I could not allow her in the house.
“No, Patricia, you can’t,” was all I could think of to say.
“But I-” as she spoke a sudden rush of fear swept over me.
“No!” I said, interrupting her.
“Now, Gabrielle,” she chided, calmly, serenely, “just let me in and we can-” Now my fear was turning into unreasonable hysteria.
“No! Get away!” I screamed, “Go away!”
At this, Patricia’s face turned to stone, emotionless, cold. I reached behind me without turning and groped for the doorknob, desperate to get inside; I felt like crying.
“Fine,” she said, and, turning, walked away.
I took a step as a turned around to face the door and tripped on the doorjamb before being consumed by an inky black…
I woke up with tears running down my face and I had no idea why I was crying. I was five minutes late in waking up and could already hear the rest of my family downstairs, in the kitchen. I was frightened for no apparent reason, I could only remember…nothing substantial…feelings. Fear. Weakness.
Eager to join my family, I quickly went about my morning routine and walked down the stairs. About halfway down I suddenly felt an expectation…of what… I did not know. Reaching the bottom of the stairs I turned to enter the kitchen and there was a sudden banging on the front door. Dread shot through my body like lightning. Everything came flooding back, and I remembered Patricia. In an instant, I didn’t know why, but I knew that I had to keep her out. I ran to the door and opened it. Patricia flew at me with a wild look in her eyes and I quickly closed the door. I heard her rebound off of the sudden resistance and took the opportunity to open the door and close it behind me as I stepped out. The morning was clear, but there were clouds on the horizon.
Patricia was picking herself up off the ground. I could hear the sound of a truck backing up in the distance. Tears were now flowing freely down my cheeks as I tried to reason with her.
“Patricia wh- why are y-” was as far as I got before her lips parted in a guttural scream and she lunged at me again, her face contorted in hate. In reflex, I ducked and protectively raised my arms. She flew over my head and slammed into the door once again. Momentarily stunned, she fell on top of me. I pushed her off, but before I was able to recover she was back on top of me, grabbing me by the throat. I tried prying her hands off but her grip was too strong. I couldn’t breath. The beeping of the truck was growing louder. I could see Patricia’s face, full of malice, over mine; but she grew dim. The beeping was louder. Grating. Inside my head. She continued to choke me. Black mist invaded my vision. Taking over. Then there was nothing but the Beep Beep BEEP BEEP….
…I woke violently to my alarm precisely when I was supposed to. The clock on the wall confirmed it. I could hear my…nothing. There was no sound coming from anywhere in the house; except for the ringing of the grandfather clock chiming the hour. Suddenly, I remembered everything vividly. Trying to keep Patricia out and being strangled as a result. I jumped out of bed, not bothering to dress or brush my teeth and ran downstairs. I threw open the front door, ready to do what it took to keep her away for good.
There was no one on the porch. Just the heavy, Florida morning humidity. And dark clouds, closer than in the dream. No Patricia.
With a sigh of relief. I turned and went inside. As I started closing the door, I looked toward the kitchen and froze. Standing in the doorway to the kitchen was Patricia. On her face was that smile I had seen on the face of my friend for years. In her hand was a carving knife I recognized from the knife block in our kitchen. I couldn’t hear anything from the kitchen. Dread filled my body as I realized what had happened. She began walking toward me with that smile and that knife. I was far too frightened to move.
As she came within striking distance, she reached out and grabbed my wrist with her free hand and placed the knife in my hand. It was all I could do to not to cry out when I felt the cold of the handle and the warm sticky of what could only be the blood of my family. She released my hand, patted me on the cheek, and walked past me out the open door.
I numbly walked to the door of the kitchen and saw what I hoped to God I wouldn’t: my family, lying dead in pools of their own blood. My knees gave way and I fell with a shallow splash, next to my parents. I stared. Unable to cry. Unable to move. Hours passed.
The rain came and I realized that I have to remember what happened. Everything. Patricia, the dreams, everything. This dream is the worst. I am alone. My house is so quiet.
Dr. Randal Lunder
Patient ID: GDS1992
This document was collected at the scene of the murder of the patient’s family. Patient was found sitting at her kitchen table, surrounded by their bodies. The murder weapon (carving knife) was found at the scene covered in the patient’s prints and her family’s blood. When questioned, she showed no apparent guilt or remorse and insisted “Patricia did it” repeating the phrase ad nauseum. She was convicted of murder in the first degree on three counts and custody was remanded to the Psychological branch of the Federal Department of Corrections.
Patient exhibits signs of dementia and describes symptoms of Homicidal Bipolarism. She is currently incarcerated in the Southeastern Center for the Criminally Insane. As her treating physician, I suggest her treatment of high-dosage anti-hallucinogens be increased, and her shock therapy sessions be reduced to twice a week. Will re-evaluate patient in four weeks.
Randal Marshall Lunder Ph.D
Credit To – Strudeldude
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