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Corruption: The Darkness Within

Novel By: Atton Brown

Look, there's a queit kid in the back of your class, your bus, your cubicle; this is his story. A demnted tale of a boy, his parents, redemption, and corruption. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Nov 8, 2009    Reads: 87    Comments: 3    Likes: 0   

If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything
You ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it?
Or just let it slip?
Lose yourself…
-Marshall Mathers
I'm a creep. I'm a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here. - Radiohead
"He was always so nice," they would say. "Never did a thing wrong."
That is what they would say about me but they never saw how plagued I really was. They never saw the tortured me. I always masqueraded around as the happy child and they couldn't see through the façade. They couldn't see the real me. My name is Atton Brown and I am a demented human being.
I haven't always been this way, I used to be perfectly normal. My birth was conventional; when I came out and saw a man and a woman. The woman was my mother and, at the time, I thought the man was my father. Later on, I found out that my father never came and that man was just a doctor.
When I was very young, maybe two years old, my dad stuck a needle in my arm. He told me it was medicine, but I did not believe him. I really did not understand why then, but every day for the next ten years, he did it. At first, I would bleed and he would wipe it away but after awhile, it seemed, the blood went away on its own. As I grew older, I grew lonelier. My mom was either out or yelling at my dad.
My only escape from the chaos was school. Even though I didn't have any friends, I loved it. I excelled in all of my classes, mainly science. However, in one instance, I unintentionally stuck out.
The world is full of crazy people. Once in school there was someone crazy enough to bring a gun to school. I don't remember the specific details but I remember the look on the boys face. His name was Thomas, I think. He looked so angry at the world, yet so sad at the same time. The second his finger slipped and squeezed the trigger, he looked afraid. The bullet zoomed towards me and tore through my abdomen.
I thought I was dead but, six hours later, I woke up in my house. I rubbed where the bullet had supposedly gone through but there was nothing there, there wasn't a scar on my body. After that day, I began to cut my wrists but still I didn't die.
There were many needles in my house, my mother's and my father's. The needles that belonged to my father were purely scientific but my mothers were not. In times of abandonment, drugs became her friend. She said it was her own personal experiment but she became addicted. I do not think she was completely aware of what she did. When she was finished, she would either cry or bleed. My father never even tried to help her. Despite of every illegal and immoral action I still loved her, my father, however… was another story. I never blamed my mother's addiction on her. Most people would, but I blamed my father. He tormented the both of us, directly or indirectly. If he had been there, if he had cared, heroin would not have been my mother's love.
One night, February if I remember correctly, my mother and father had an argument. Arguments happened on a daily basis then, so I did not pay much attention to it. I should have. But the yelling was so loud that night; I didn't want to hear, so I locked myself in my room and barricaded the door. I hid in my bed and covered my ears with a pillow.
It got louder and they grew angrier. Then, through the anger, there was silence. I ran downstairs and my mother was nowhere to be found. The man who called himself my father, told me not to worry.
By the time I was twelve, he stopped. He stopped hanging out with me and stopped testing and I never saw my mom again. I went to public school for the next few years at Marshall High. It felt good to be normal for a while. Soon I discovered I was not normal, as did everyone else. The things I heard, the things I did, the things I saw; they called me emo. I hated them for it, all of them.
There were cuts on my wrists and blood on the knife. That was my Saturday night. There were no dates, no friends; no, not for the "emo kid." My bloodstained floors and walls teeming with hate were a bane to all. Even my own father didn't dare enter. Eventually, I learned to mask it all. I learned to fake a smile. I hid and became something I wasn't.
My dad had a job working for a business tycoon, McCormick or McCoy, or something. I looked for someone to spend time with, to take his place and found a man in Mid-Airosfield. However, I quickly began to annoy him, not intentionally though.
One summer, my father and I lost our house, something about not being able to pay the mortgage. My dad and I found an old forest in the outskirts of Downtown Airosfield. We made it to the end of it and found a considerable stretch of land, about two acres ending in a waterfall. I warned him it was unsafe but he never listened to me.
Something in me changed one day when I went over to Mid-Airosfield to see my "friend" Werly.
Here I sit while I'm caught up in deep thought again, contemplating my next plot again. -Marshall Mathers
Werly Adams was the typical American. He was tall, with dirty blonde hair, and blue eyes. He had gone through some hard times and done many things he regretted. Then again, who hasn't? Now, he hada lovely wife and a beautiful daughter whom he loved with all his heart. Werly lived in a comfortable two-bedroom apartment in Mid-Airosfield, Werly had everything he needed. However, when you are in his position, the only place you can go is down.
Being a few years older than his wife is; Werly was convinced he needed to stay in shape. To do this, he would take a three-mile jog every morning at 5:00 and the one day he didn't, it began.
"NO! NO!" someone screamed. A shot rang out. A sharp rock hit Werly and his neck started to bleed. "Murderer!" another voice yelled.
Werly bolted up in bed, frantic, and hurriedly threw open his eyes. Breathing heavily and panting, he reached to the back of his sweaty neck and trembled as he touched his scar.
"Ten years," Werly muttered softly to himself. He leaned over to the edge of his bed and glanced at his clock. "Aw man," he sighed. "I overslept," Werly said waking up in a not so hot mood. He checked his clock and swore he'd set the alarm. 7:30 his clock read.
Not only had he missed his jog, but also he had just an hour to get to work. Joy, his daughter, was already at school. May, his wife, had gone out for morning errands.
Werly tried to move quickly to get out of bed and he rushed through a shower. Then he brushed his teeth, ironed and put on his clothes. Werly swiped a strawberry bagel on the way out, but he flew out of the door too quickly to notice young Atton Brown standing there watching him. Just watching, as if, he was waiting for something.
Atton stood at maybe five and a half feet. He weighed in at about one hundred fifteen pounds; quite scrawny and thin for a sixteen year old. Atton was almost a miniature version of his father. But no matter where Atton went, he would wear the brown leather jacket his mother gave him before she "went away."
He reached inside of his pocket and pulled out a small, cracked, brown book. It was a journal.
March 4. My sixteenth birthday, but nothing has changed. I think the same as I did six years ago. I asked Mr. Adams to play catch since my own father wouldn't. He said he was too busy.
March 5. Mr. Adams hit me because I annoyed him. (Along with one other reason)
March 6. Mr. Adams threatened to have me arrested so I vacated his property. I had a conversation with…It to decide what to do.
Today March 7 8:10 Mr. Adams is rushing to work after I disabled his alarm. Today the mind games begin. My -our plan is falling into motion.
"Excuse me, Mr. Adams sir I …uh," Atton stuttered.
"Huh," Werly said getting into his car. "Oh, it's you."
Werly had nothing against Atton, personally. But over the past few weeks, Atton had constantly aggravated Werly. He just wanted Atton to leave him alone for a while.
"Look kid, go bug someone else today I'm late for work." Atton did not move. "I said go!" He yelled, frustrated.
In that instant the helpless and timid Atton disappeared, all of his weaknesses faded. His scared expression vanished and he just stared at Mr. Adams. This was no ordinary stare, it was a harsh, cold, and intense stare. For a fraction of a second, Atton's eyes shifted to a deep blood red. Atton shuddered and he returned to the scared little boy, he slowly backed away and Werly sped off. A tear ran down Atton's left cheek because he knew what he had begun.
"You have done well," a voice whispered in his mind.
Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, now it looks as though there here to stay. -The Beatles
Werly sped down the highway. He ran a few red lights but made it to work only twelve minutes late. He worked for an advertising company, the Umbrella Corporation. You know the company that makes the commercials with the songs that are stuck in your head; that is the Umbrella Corporation.
Werly had had a reoccurring nightmare over the last few days and it followed him to work. Werly tried to sneak into his cubicle but his friend, Alec, stopped him.
"You're late," Alec whispered loudly.
"Shh," Werly hushed him, "I know. I just hope…" Werly ducked down into his cubicle.
Tim, the boss's yes-man, rushed into the room. Tim rarely talked to anybody, unless that person was going to be let go, and Werly knew that.
"Where's Werly?" Tim said quickly to Alec.
"Not here," Alec responded smartly.
"I didn't ask for a sarcastic answer," he snapped.
Alec shrugged, "I… care?" Tim didn't go anywhere. "Look, I don't see him and you don't see him. His shift started about fifteen minutes ago, so we know he's here." Tim stood there impatiently tapping his foot. "If I see him I'll let you know; ok?"
Tim scoffed and hurried off, shuffling into the boss's office. Alec nudged Werly, letting him know it was okay to come out.
"Phew," Werly exhaled, "thanks man. I owe you one."
"You owe me six," he told him, "but whose counting."
The both smiled, letting the joke slide off them. Werly took his seat and Alec to the one behind him, facing the opposite direction.
Werly was struggling to meet his deadline for this new cologne advertisement. He just couldn't seem to reach a satisfying hook for this product. He looked up from his work and Angela walked by.
"Damn," Alec said turned around just to walk her walk, "I can't believe you hit that."
"Shh," Werly said a little quieter, "I don't need the whole world to know."
"Oh yeah," he laughed, "Mr. Married-Man over here. Is it that big of a deal?"
"I just do not need that to get out because I really don't feel like having that argument with May," Werly explained. "This ring means I stay faithful to her and no one else."
"Take the ring off, then what are you?" Alec paused. "You really need to loosen up man,"
he chuckled. "How about I take you out to the club again tonight?"
"No," Werly declined. "I…"
"Come on," Alec pushed, "one night."
Werly gave in and attempted to bury himself in his work. He stared at the same sheet of paper all day, but he didn't write down a single word because his mind was wrapped around the nightmare he had and the creep, Atton that kept hanging around him.
So crack a bottle. Let your body waddle. Don't' act like a snobby model you just hit the lotto. -Marshall Mathers
Werly arrived home to his beautiful wife and kid. He kissed his wife on the lips and his daughter on the forehead. Werly paused for a moment.
In the last six months, he'd gained a stalker, cheated on his wife, and shirked some responsibilities at work. He was changing and his next action was one he would most certainly regret.
"Hey guys," he smiled, "I can't stay. I'm meeting Alec in a few."
His wife gave him a suspicious look out of the corner of her eye. She suspected something earlier that week when he had almost called her Angela. Now she was almost certain he was going to see her again, but this time he actually wasn't.
Werly's life wasn't necessarily bad. But every now and then all the stress of your life just collapses on you; this was Werly's collapsing moment.
He hurried upstairs to change his clothes, May followed closely behind him.
"Baby," she began. "We have to talk."
"Yeah," he said taking off his shirt, searching for a more casual one. He decided on a red button collar shirt and began searching for his pants to go with it.
"We need to talk," she continued.
He paused, waiting for her to say more, "Ok…talk."
She was somewhat taken aback by his impatient attitude. "It's about Joy…"
Werly pulled up his black pants, mumbling obscenities under his breath. As he searched for a belt he snapped at her, telling her to, "Just spit it out already!"
"She's pregnant."
Werly froze. Today was just not his day. On top of everything that had just happened, he now had a pregnant daughter. He turned to her, asking her the question with his eyes.
"Is it true?" his eyes seemed to ask.
She nodded. Werly released an exasperated sigh, as he buttoned his pants and fastened his belt. Werly didn't say anything to May. He found a jacket to go with his shirt and walked downstairs. Joy was sitting in the kitchen and he walked towards her. She looked up at him and he just shook his head. He stormed out, met up with Alec, and let the intoxications unwind him.
There is no escaping. There's no place to hide. You scream, "Someone save me!" But they don't pay no mind. -Marshall Mathers
That entire night was a drunken blur. He vaguely remembered arguing with his wife. He hoped he hadn't laid a hand on her though.
Werly arrived late to work again the next day, sluggish and hung-over. Today he didn't have the reflexes to avoid Tim. Sure enough, the little yes-man came zooming in the room.
"Werly, Mr. Mathis needs to see you," Tim told him.
Werly nervously made his way to the boss's back office. He knocked on the door as he opened it.
"Have a seat, Adams," Mathis calmly told Werly. Werly did, of course. "How long have you been here?"
That's how these conversations always start, Werly thought, I just know I'm getting pink slipped. "Seven years, sir," Werly answered, "eight, next week." Werly tried to keep his nerves steady.
"I'd say you've done a fine job; wouldn't you?" Mr. Mathis continued.
"Yes sir," Werly replied, trying not to sound over precocious.
"I'll get right to it, Adams. You've seemed preoccupied lately. Your areas of sales are slipping and you appear to be a little out of it," he explained. "Now all I'm saying is you need a bit of… vacation time."
"You're firing me," Werly sighed.
"No, I'm just-," he began.
"Yes you are," Werly interrupted. "You don't have to sugarcoat it. This is just like Thompson, and Emmett, and Marcus."
"I gave them a vacation," his boss explained, "just like I'm giving you."
"No!" Werly ignorantly yelled at his boss. "You're firing me. I've been here for eight years. I'm the best damn thing that's happened to this company and you're firing me!"
"You show up to work drunk and have the audacity to be upset with me!"
"Yes! The last three people you've fired have died. Are you trying to kill me?!"
"Hey it was just a little time off! You know Emmett and the others passed away. That's not my fault! I hear what you all say about me. You say how big of a jerk I am. You make bets that I'm cursed or that I kill them for the money. It's not like that. They're gone and I had nothing to do with it."
"Well congratulations," Werly said standing up from his seat. "You killed me!" Werly stormed out of the room fuming mad and slammed the door behind him.
He blew past everyone who tried to talk to him, he slid into the closing elevator. He let out a sigh of anger and swore under his breath, then looked down to his left and saw Atton.
"Holy sh-," Werly almost said upon seeing Atton.
"Hello Mr. Adams," Atton eerily intoned.
"Heh - hey kid," Werly slid into the opposite corner of the elevator. He reached to press a button to go down but it didn't work.
"You're not going anywhere, Mr. Adams," Atton stoically stated. "All I wanted was for you to play catch with me because my own father wouldn't. Is that so wrong?"
Werly began to quiver with fear. Sweat seeped from his skin and flowed down his face. "I -I did," Werly shook. "That one time," he continued and gave a weak chuckle.
"You hit me," Atton said menacingly, drawing closer.
Werly smacked the emergency button and bolted out of the open elevator door but Atton did not pursue him. He stood there and eyed Werly as he dashed down the hall. Atton smiled sinfully as the doors closed. Then, all of a sudden, his expression shifted to a frown.
"What is wrong?" a voice in his mind said strongly.
"Why are we doing this?" Atton asked, his voice breaking.
"Because, he harmed us," it explained. It was no longer just a whisper; it was a powerful voice in his head.
"But we-," Atton began.
"Hush, boy!" the voice harshly scolded. "I know what is right for us… for you." It tried to console him and Atton gave in.
"Okay," Atton said weakly. "You know what's best."
Nothings all right, nothing is fine... I can't go on living this way. -Papa Roach
When Werly arrived home, it was about half past noon. May was home and Joy was at school. How was he going to tell her he lost his job? Of course, he'd tell her the truth.
"Hey, honey. What are you doing home so early?" she asked.
"I got fired," Werly wanted to say. He wanted tell her everything, including Atton; but he could not. Instead, he froze when she asked a question.
"I, uh…um got off early," he finally spat out. "The boss gave me some vacation time."
That's sort of the truth Werly thought. Besides, that's what he said.
"I'm not feeling well," he told May. "I'm gonna go lie down."
"Okay honey," May said understandingly. "Feel better."
"Yeah, thanks," he mumbled.
He stumbled to the bathroom and started running hot water. Werly gently splashed some in his face and looked into the mirror. He swore he saw Atton. Werly jolted back and turned around, but no one was there.
"I'm going nuts," Werly whispered to himself.
Werly walked out of the bathroom and across the hallway, back to his bedroom. He lay down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. His eyes drooped and he softly drifted to sleep. As he did, his nightmare slowly crept up on him.
That's when my days of serial murder manslaughter begun, the sight of blood excites me. -Marshall Mathers
"NO! NO!" someone screamed. A shot rang out. A sharp rock hit Werly and his neck started to bleed. "Murderer!" another voice yelled.
Werly ran away from the two figures. He could not make them out. He knew who they were but didn't want to remember their faces. Werly stole into a dimly lit alley.
"What did I just do?" Werly mumbled to himself. "I killed a man." Werly shook his head.
Another man entered the alley. The man was younger than Werly but slightly resembled him. His hair was messier, his face was unshaven and the night silhouetted him.
"Did you get him?" the man asked.
"I got him," Werly said gloomily.
"He was gonna cross us, man," the man warned him. "No one crosses us."
"You're right," Werly agreed. "No one crosses us."
"That means you," the man accused Werly. "You know that was a two man job. You were working with him," he continued.
The man held a gun to Werly's gut. He stared into his eyes wishing something would happen. The silence was deafening, Werly pushed the gun away.
"No, Emmett you know that's not me," Werly convinced him. "They've brainwashed you, man. We have to get out."
"We can't get out," Emmett said doubtfully shaking his head. "No one gets out."
"We will," Werly promised. "I swear. We'll leave this life behind us and start over new."
"Yeah," Emmett said optimistically.
"Get a nice cushy office job," Werly joked.
"Yeah," Emmett chuckled.
He and Werly often made fun of people with office jobs. They said if they ever were stuck with those jobs they would kill themselves. Emmett and Werly did not just want to sit behind a desk; they wanted action.Werly heard footsteps rapidly approaching them. "Get out of here, man," Werly told Emmett, "Run." Werly backed into the shroud of shadows in order to conceal his identity. A small boy stood in front of him holding a knife in his left hand.
"You killed him," the boy furiously screamed.
"Look, you have to understand, I-," Werly tried to explain.
"You killed him!" The boy lunged at Werly with his knife at hand and just before the cold steel lacerated him, May shook him awake.
It kinda feels like déjà vu. I wanna get away from this place, I do, but I can't… -Marshall Mathers
"Honey wake up," she said gently. "Wake up, you're having nightmare."
"What?" Werly panted. "Oh, May," he said relieved. "What time is it?"
"It's six Werly," she told him.
"Wow, I was out that long?" Werly realized. "Where's Joy?"
"She's out," May vaguely told him.
"With Austin," Werly wondered. May didn't respond. Werly knew he was right. "I can't stand him." He noticed she had her shoes on and her purse in her hand. "Where are you going?"
"Just to get a few things that I forgot this morning," May answered.
"Don't worry May, I'll get them," he offered.
"Thanks honey," May said happily. "I left a list on the kitchen counter. Oh, don't forget we have to visit your aunt Bertha this weekend."
Werly shuddered at her name. His aunt Bertha crept him out ever since he was a little kid. She gave him a light kiss on the lips and he went to run the errands. He swiped the list on his way out.
His fear of Atton lingered around him as he drove. When he looked in the rearview mirror, Werly swore he'd seen Atton, just frozen there, but in a flash, he disappeared. He redirected his attention to the road and saw Atton in the middle of the street. Werly immediately slammed on the brakes.
"We were talking, Mr. Adams," Atton said impassively, "and you walked away. That was rude."Werly tried to go in reverse but his car wouldn't budge.
"I told you," Atton began, "you aren't going anywhere."
"What do you want with me?" Werly asked.
In a voice that was both sinister and cheerful at once Atton replied, "I just wanted to play." Then continued, "But you were mean to me. So I'll do to you what I did to the others."
He walked closer to the car and began circling it. Werly made sure not to lose eye contact with him.
"Others?" Werly questioned.
"You know; Thompson, and Marcus, and Emmett," Atton evilly spoke.
Fury struck Werly's heart. He and Emmett had gotten out, just as they had planned. Then they had even gotten the office jobs they ridiculed. A few months ago, Werly had noticed Emmett acting strange. Actually, there was a pattern in his behavior. It resembled the two before him, and now Werly realized why. It was Atton. Emmett was his little brother and Atton had killed him. "You killed them! I'll-"
"You will what," Atton cynically barked, "Mr. Adams?" Atton's eyes flashed red once more. As soon as he reached the back of his car, Werly sped off.
"Goodbye, Mr. Adams," Atton said vindictively, "for good."


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