Estimated reading time — 12 minutes
It was around half past twelve at night when I stumbled home. I hadn’t really drunk, although most people of my age would have. My friends and I aren’t really drinkers, which I kind of like. We prefer to do board gaming, whilst listening to some tunes of some independent artists we had just discovered that week. This was such a week.
The night was as silent as any other this Summer. Ordinarily no car and no drunkies were to be heard in this rural area at night, but this particular season the nights were particularly still. Normally there was at least a small wind coursing through the streets, rustling leaves on the way. But it looked like even this ‘quiet’ sound was absent. The only thing I heard were my footsteps and my rhythmic breathing.
The first thing I noticed about my house was that the lights were on. This was not odd. My dad never really slept with the lights out. The odd thing was that the lights were on in our garden shed, where the tools and bikes were. I bet dad forgot to put it out after he got himself a bottle of wine. He was a drinker, and he particularly drank a lot the last few months.
Before I tell you what happened when I stepped into our house, I must tell you some things about dad. He had always worked as a clerk in some hardware shop in the city. Ever since I could remember, he’d been one sad man. Constantly depressed, constantly drunkenly telling me how much he loved me, and whenever I caught him alone, he was crying. This had of course increased after mom died in a car accident, and ,a year after, the disappearance of Eddy, my little brother. We were the only two left from a family of four, he constantly helped me remember. I didn’t think he had any hopes up that Eddy would ever return, and I hated him for that. Every time either my mother of Eddy was being brought up by either of us, he would tell me how much he loved me, that he would do anything to protect me. That he would never ever leave my side. It was drunken speech. I never took him seriously.
But above all, there was one emotion I felt strongest when thinking about dad. Only one thought that was constantly stopping me from hitting him, kicking him, screaming against him: pity.
When I entered the house, I noticed dad wasn’t in the living room. The TV was on and the sheets were on the floor, joined by a couple of fallen bottles of beer. I thought he was in the bathroom for a piss, but there was no response when I called for him. Something wasn’t quite right, I thought. The thought that he might have died occurred very quickly. I was constantly worried about that man, so this wasn’t uncommon.
I thought to investigate the shed, and put the lights out over there, so I could hit the bed. When I opened the barn door, it did not take me so long to see what happened: just beside a web of bicycles, just above a fallen stool, I saw dad hanging. He was perfectly still, like an delicate twig, not a breeze of wind to break it. His face was pointed upwards, looking at the ceiling. I wasn’t surprised, weirdly enough, to see him dead. I had always been prepared for that moment. The eerie thing that made my heart sink most was that he was so still. So stiff. It didn’t look like dad in the slightest. It was like an inanimate copy of dad. A doll. It didn’t look human at all. But it was dad. I knew he was. He must have been hanging from that rope hours before. That poor fucking man.
I did not move for a couple of moments. I did not know what to do. I should call the police, I thought. Let this nightmare be over with. Just get him out of the shed. Just fucking bury that old sod, finally his life of melancholy and despair had come to an end. He deserved it.
It might seem funny that I felt almost this relaxed, and somehow I felt guilty for it. But as I said before, I had always foreseen this moment of happening. The sight might have been eerie at the moment. I did feel sad and sorry and shocked in a horror kind of way, but I think my pragmatism made me feel kind of relieved
Before I turned around to walk to the house, my eye caught something on a small table right next to the door. It was an envelope, reading:
It was my father’s handwriting. It was easy to recognise. I thought of opening the envelope before calling the police, then I thought I should call first. Ultimately, I decided to open the envelope and read the contents before calling anyone. This had to be the last moment I was with dad. It just felt good to do it that way.
Inside the envelope I found a letter of a few pages long. I looked at dad one more time. The only thing I could see of his face were his nostrils and his chin. Perfectly still. I looked at the letter. I noticed that the handwriting started to become kind of shaky halfway through the first page. But then again, he was drunk. I started reading.
*Sorry you have to see me like this, son. I hope you will understand why I had to do this. I hope I did not make you jump. The last thing I want to do is scare you. I love you. God, I love you. *
*I thought of shooting myself in the head, but getting a gun is harder than it seems. Besides it would make such a mess. I absolutely don’t want you to see your old man’s brain scrambled over the floor. Pills, I could have done pills. But that did not guarantee me of death, and I wanted to die. I so wanted to die, you could never believe how much, God you will never believe, I love you.*
*I never liked life. You probably knew that. Mommy died when you were young. You two sitting in the car, remember. And then she died. And you did not. And I have always been grateful for that. *
*I hope some things will become clear by this letter. There were some things I kept from you, and I thought you ought to know. These things are part of the reason why I needed to leave. I hope you will forgive me for each of these things. I understand if you will hate me for it forever. But you need to know. You just have to. But don’t you ever forget, son, that I loved you. You were everything to me. EVERYTHING.*
*The night before mommy died, I had a dream. In that dream, you and mommy died in a car accident. Both of you, not just mommy. When I woke up, mommy was gone, taking you to aunt Nellie for the weekend, and someone was talking in my head. He asked me a question. He asked me who must survive the accident. I was awake and that dream was still haunting me. I thought it was not real, just a dream, but I said Andy, because I loved you and you’re my son. Mommy would have done the same. It was around that time the accident happened. It killed your mommy, but you were completely spared, all you did was cry, but you were alive, buddy. *
*The night of the funeral, when you and your brother were lying in bed with me, I had another dream. The same voice from before spoke to me. He said I should do what he said, or he will take you to Hell and torture you forever like he did with many other children. I could not speak with him but I just had to do what he said buddy. Please understand I had to do things. He was real and powerful. I knew he was real and powerful, and very very old. It never told what it was. I think he was the Devil. I think I made a deal with the Devil. But I had to do it because you are so special and I don’t want you to be tormented for eternity for my own mistakes.*
*A few months later, you and your brother were still sleeping in my bed, I had a dream. Remember the rabbit I gave you after the funeral? I think you called him Thumper, like that rabbit from Bambi. The white one with black spots. The voice said I had to bake it and feed it to you. The next night the rabbit escaped I told you two. I twisted its neck when you were at school and prepared it in the shed. I had no love for the thing but I remember you two were horrified to learn that it disappeared. I will never forgive myself for it. Those eyes of the rabbit haunted me ever I committed that atrocity. Please forgive me buddy. I had to do it. And I can still remember you liked it as well. You were both crying for that fleeing rabbit, but you loved the meat. Forgive me God.*
I had to stop reading for a second. I felt dizzy from reading. Of course I could still remember that moment. Dad was crying while we were eating. I always thought he was still crying over my mom, and it made him sad again when we were crying over the rabbit. It made so much sense.
Then I felt utter disgust. I couldn’t look at father. I wasn’t really angry at him for doing that, but… It was all too weird. A voice? I had to know more. There were still a couple of pages left, so I resumed reading.
*The voice left me alone for a few weeks. By then I was terrified by it. I was constantly afraid it would appear in my dream again. When you two told me you were confident enough to sleep on your own again, I persuaded you two to stay in my bed because I was so AFRAID. That very night when I almost lost you from my bed, he talked to me again and he said I had to do something horrible. It was so evil and I could hardly do it and I even have a hard time telling you now. But that thing reminded me that he would torment you for eternity, ten thousands of years if I did not do what he said I should do, so I had to do it. Please forgive me. *
*You see, he said I had to dig up mommy and feed a part of it to you. Although the meat would be rotting there would still be a chunk or two left. I knew that old thing was true and he was a monster and the Devil and I had to do it. I dug her up at night when you two were asleep. No one would ever notice this happened because the graveyard here is barely visited and the church is practically abandoned. I dug deep and opened the coffin and saw her again. I could hardly recognise her, but some features of her looks were still there like her long blonde hair and parts of her eyes, which looked more like broken china. I remember that her skin was horrifyingly blighted, as if there was an ocean of water under her feeble skin. There were insects everywhere on her body: maggots, ants, beetles, fucking swarming everywhere on her body, eating whatever was left of her. I brought a kitchen knife and pulled her arm up and did the deed. When I cut off a portion of her flesh from her arm, I saw that there were tons of small maggots in her flesh and under her skin falling from the flesh on her body. The stink was fucking disgusting. I could barely prevent myself from vomiting so I took the flesh and-*
I could not stop myself anymore. I quickly reached for a bucket somewhere in the shed and started puking as never before. I also started crying. I didn’t dare to read any further, and I was absolutely terrified to look at my father again. After a couple of seconds, in which I managed to regain courage to read on, I took the letter and continued reading.
*I could barely prevent myself from vomiting so I took the flesh and closed the coffin and managed to climb out and bury it all again. It all took me around four hours and it was pure Hell buddy. I did it because I loved you and I did not want you to suffer. You must understand this. Please understand. *
*I went home and started drinking. I am sorry for that. Beer and whiskey were the only things that distracted me from what I had done. It was the only thing that helped me go to sleep. And it did. When you got home from school the following day you woke me up from the couch and ever since then I could not go to bed anymore. I was so afraid of him. He would never ever ever leave me alone. So I drank so I could sleep. And when you woke me up I started cooking the rotting flesh very very well. It was very tender you said (I only fed it to you and gave your brother chicken. I read somewhere that human meat tastes like chicken so I thought this was the fairest thing I could do) and you did not like it. You even said the chicken might be spoilt and you were right my boy. But it wasn’t chicken. I fed you your fucking mother and till this very day there is not a minute when I do not think about that. But I had to do it, I had to save you from Him. *
*The voice did not bother me a couple of years. There was a bit of worry when the news said that a gravedigger could have been active at the local graveyard, but after a week or two it was concluded that there might have been an invasion of moles. Thank God that there actually was an invasion of moles a month later. Even though I did not hear from the voice for years, I was still afraid of it every day because I knew it would contact me again and he would demand something from me that would be even more disgusting than feeding you mommy. *
*And yes a few years after I did that the voice contacted me again in my dreams and he asked something to me and I was right. He first reminded me that he was looking forward to slaughter you over and over again (he said fucking terrifying things which I am not going to share with you my son) and then he demanded me to kill your younger brother and feed a piece of him to you.*
I stopped reading. I did the job in the bucket again. I knew what was coming next. I knew it the moment he said he actually dug up my mom to… Do what he did. Eddy… All pieces fell together. Why he never seemed hopeful, why he never wanted to talk about him. I knew what that bastard was going to do next. And still I could not look at the hanging sack of shit, and still I could not stop reading. I had to continue.
*I killed him buddy. I rode him to a forest far far away and I strangled him with a cord. He struggled for a minute, kicking the dashboard cabinet over and over and over and over and over and I think I heard him whisper ‘dad please’ but it sounded muffled. You know why I killed him? He would just die, he would just become a lifeless object, he would perhaps go to Heaven and see mommy and live happy. If I did not kill him I would send you to Hell. Do you understand? I had to do it. God I loved him Andy. Every time I see him in front of me, fucking smiling and being happy. He was a good kid. He was a smart kid. He was only ten years old. I’m trembling so much as I am writing this son. I feel so sorry. I killed my own son Andy. I did it all to keep Him away from you.*
*I cut off his earlobe and put it in a plastic bag. Then I buried him in the forest. I wanted to kill myself right there right then but if I did I was afraid he would still take you and torture you. I was at peace with the thought that I was only alive to prevent him from taking you. It was the only motivation for me to live. That and alcohol, sadly. *
*That evening I baked you the lobe, together with some chicken, and I went to the living room and couldn’t eat for a few days. I could not watch you eat it. I started drinking and drinking so much. I was drunk every hour. I wanted to die so much. But I was trapped to protect you. You know the police is still investigating the disappearance of your brother so I think this letter should wrap things up. Just tell them what happened and that dad is very sorry.*
*A few months later which is to say tonight I got a dream again. It was him and he gave me another task. I could not do it anymore. I was never really sure if suicide would free me and you from these shackles I forged myself but I guess there is only one way to find out bud. I’m sorry if it does not free you and I’m sorry if you will go to Hell or something. The last task is just too much. I cannot do it. *
*My life ends here. My son I wish you the very best. Please forgive me for everything I have done. Understand that I did this all to help you because you were my entire life. I was a slave of a demon which I could not persuade to stop from contacting me. He is too great and powerful.*
*The last thing I have to say is to tell you why I committed suicide. It was that task you see. It was too much. In a fraction of a second after I dreamt that dream I chose the easy way out and ran to the shed and killed myself. I wrote you a quick note and I thought that would probably end the matter. But I was a fucking fool. He’s too powerful. I actually thought I could end my life without letting you know what had happened, without telling you exactly why I killed myself and without telling you the specific details of me killing Eddy and digging up mommy. He made me write. *
*Worst of all, I didn’t even know that I did everything I have done for nothing. Me committing suicide breaks the deal. Andy I wish you the best. *
*Lots of love,*
**6AM.** The police came and retrieved dad’s body. Nobody found the letter, for I immediately hid it in my pocket. I am with my aunt now, lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. I cannot believe that bastard’s story. It just can’t be. Yet I am not sleeping. I’m afraid. What will happen when I sleep? I must sleep, sometime. And right now, the stillness of the night persuades me to sleep. And I can’t give in.
CREDIT : Hanniballus