“Erik, dear, please wake up!” Jane Greenfield’s voice called from afar. “Erik, do you hear me?”
Erik stirred, coming out of his dark fog and his eyes fluttered open. “What happened?” he murmured, looking up at Jane Greenfield who knelt beside him with a troubled expression on her face.
“Well…” Jane Greenfield sighed and looked away.
Erik sat up and turned to her line of sight, finding John Greenfield standing offside near the hacked in door, arms folded across his chest. At his feet were split wood and the shattered mirror with the large red mast axe leaning against the frame.
“Did I cause this?” Erik asked.
“We heard you screaming,” Jane Greenfield answered softly. “We couldn’t get in and the door was locked.” Erik stiffened when she hugged him tightly. “I was so worried!”
“I’m not hurt or anything,” Erik said once Jane Greenfield let go. He stood to his feet and lent her a hand. She took it and Erik pulled her to her feet.
“Are you sure you’re all right?”
“Yes, Mother, I’m fine.” Erik approached John Greenfield and he pulled away when touched on the arm. “Father, are you all right?” Erik asked gently.
John Greenfield turned away, grunting. “I’m fine,” he muttered.
“Do you know a woman named Genovera?”
“Please, Son,” John Greenfield said evenly and pushed him away. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Face me, Father,” Erik pressed. “Are you all right?”
“It’s been a hard fight,” he grumbled. “Everything is all right now, Son.”
“But there’s something wrong,” Erik thought, sighing as Jane Greenfield approached her husband’s side and touched him by the elbow. “It has to be something about that woman…”
Once they left the room, Erik looked around, finding it virtually trashed, as if it were searched through for something of importance. He picked up the dark glasses the woman named Genovera left behind, finding them broken, snapped in half.
A chilled sensation rushed through him and Erik shuddered, hearing faint sounds of a struggle in the back of his mind. He shook his head and glanced at part of the mirror left standing, noting it seemed older than the rest of anything in the house. Erik walked up to it, facing his reflection and touched the silvered surface of the large fragment, noticing its unnatural sheen.
“What happened?” Erik muttered at the disoriented teenager in mussed clothing staring back at him. “Why can’t I remember?”
You’d like to see, wouldn’t you?
“I don’t know,” Erik murmured. “Would it hurt me to see?”
I don’t know… Is that all you can say?
“Then what is it?”
Seeing drove my father mad. Seeing drove my father’s best friend numb. Seeing drove my brother stone cold…
“What do you mean?” Erik clenched his teeth as cuts and punctures slowly began to appear on his arms.
You need to remember…
Remember what they did to you…
“What did they do?” Erik cried out as the wounds deepened and dropped what he held, clutching his chest as deep excruciating pain away at it.
They’re trying to control you… destroy you…
“Who is trying to control me?”
Erik heard a snap and staggered back as his right arm turned lame. He collapsed onto his knees as dark burns covered his left arm and the biting infliction spread throughout his body. Erik struggled to breathe, as the pain slowly grew stronger.
Would you still like to see, Ferdian?
“Ferdian?” he moaned. “Who is he?”
Look into the mirror.
Erik looked up to see his reflection standing before him, his hands folded across his chest. Puzzled since he lay on the floor wounded whereas the reflection stood in perfect health uninjured, Erik gasped when he noticed beneath the button-down shirt, jeans and tailored blond hair; the reflection had high cheekbones, narrow blue eyes and earrings in his ears.
“Wait--! You’re that guy…!”
A series of knocks outside Erik’s window made the pain vanish and he turned, searching for the sound. He then turned back to the mirror, seeing his reflection of himself on the floor. Erik let out a shaky breath as he quickly stood to his feet and approached the pane, finding Raider hanging from the tree, grinning brightly.
“Yo,” Raider called and waved.
Erik opened the window and poked his head out. “Hey, what’s up?” he greeted as the last of the soreness faded away.
“Nothin’ but word on the street,” Raider replied.
“What’s the word?”
“Crazy shit’s gonna go down soon, dig it?” Raider gave Erik a wary glance. “Wassup with the firewood over there? Some farmer did a job on yer door for sure!”
Erik glanced back at the broken door, the cracked mirror and leaning mast axe. “I know; it’s crazy…” He laughed nervously and rubbed the back of his neck. “It’s not a big deal, really…” Erik turned back to Raider who let go of the branch he held onto and hung upside down by his legs.
“Ah, no biggie… I get it.” Raider ran his hands through his scalp as his hair hung free. “What ‘bout them ‘rents of yers?”
“I don’t know. Mister Greenfield won’t even look at me!”
“Say what?” Raider said, astonished. “What you do, clock ‘im or somethin’?”
Erik shook his head. “No, I would never do that!” He scoffed. “What makes you think I’d do something like that?”
“I dunno man,” Raider replied. “You got a helluva temper.”
Erik gave Raider a blank look. “Okay, what?”
“Never mind what I said,” Raider snapped. “So, your old man alright or what?”
“I mean… He looks all right, but I don’t know for sure.” Erik sighed and grabbed the edge of the windowsill. “I don’t know what happened.” He shook his head. “I wish I could remember…”
“Ay, don’t be worried ‘bout them so much, Erik!” Raider said in a reassuring tone. “He’s prolly freaked out like you is, you dig what I’m sayin’?” Erik nodded. “Give him some time to chill; he’ll get it back together!”
“I hope so…”
“Dig this: I’m gonna check this shit out, man; so don’t freak on it no more while I’m makin’ a few calls.”
“I’ll try not to.”
Raider swung up and vaulted off then ran away from the side of the house, tearing through the fields. Erik turned around and stiffened at the sight of John Greenfield standing at his door.
“So it’s Mister Greenfield?” he said simply.
Erik clenched his teeth as he took in a shallow breath. “It’s not like that!” he sputtered.
“It’s only Father and Mother when we are here, but Mister and Missus Greenfield to everyone else you meet.”
“No,” Erik cried, “it’s not like that!”
“Do you hate us?”
“I--!” John Greenfield stormed out the room. “Father, wait!” Erik called and hurried after him. Reaching the door, Erik grabbed John Greenfield by the arm before he left. John Greenfield turned out of his grip and shoved him back by the chest, throwing him head over heels.
“Don’t touch me,” John Greenfield snarled as Erik slammed into the bed and scrambled to his feet.
Erik quickly sat up as John Greenfield stomped down the hall. “He never threw me down before,” he thought, terrified. “Why be this hostile…?” Erik hurried out into the corridor, catching sight of John Greenfield hastily pulling on a coat.
“Dear, where are you going?” Jane Greenfield called from the bedroom.
“For a walk,” John Greenfield said simply.
“Be careful,” Erik said gently.
John Greenfield gave him a piercing glare in return and Erik stepped back, slightly terrified. “Why would you care?” he snarled.
Erik stepped forward, standing in his way before he made his way down the stairs. “I care nonetheless!” Erik protested. John Greenfield grabbed Erik’s shoulder and he took his hand. “Please, don’t leave! You have to understand that I call you by title out of respect; I do love you, very much in fact.” John Greenfield looked warily down at him and Erik let go. Taking a step back, Erik cringed when grabbed by his shirtfront. “Please don’t hit me again!”
“I…” John Greenfield tensed when he heard Jane Greenfield step out the room. He let Erik go and pushed past him, hurrying downstairs.
“He’ll be all right,” Jane Greenfield said upon approach.
“He won’t leave me,” Erik asked, “will he?”
“No, don’t think such things, Dear.”
“Are you also unsure about Father?” Erik asked.
Jane Greenfield sighed and returned to the master bedroom. Pausing at the door, she shook her head. “What do you mean?” she inquired.
“I didn’t mean to upset him like that.”
“Just don’t do that again.”
“What did I do then?”
“I… I really don’t know.”
Erik clenched his teeth and returned to his room. Sitting on the edge of his bed, he held his head, disturbed by the unsettling atmosphere.
Later that evening, Erik picked at his dinner, highly upset when John Greenfield had not returned. Jane Greenfield sighed as she got up from her place at the table.
“I guess I’ll put his plate to warm in the oven,” she murmured, picking up John Greenfield’s serving from the head of the table and put his share away.
“May I be excused?” Erik asked.
Leaving his chair, Erik headed for the front door and paused when he found it ajar and John Greenfield’s keys tossed aside on the end table nearby.
“Why did he rush out of here?” Erik thought as he opened the door and stepped out onto the porch. “What is he running from?” A chilled wind blew through him and Erik shuddered as faint pain coursed through his arms and down his back. “Which direction did he take?” Before he took a step down the stairs, Jane Greenfield called for him.
“You didn’t put away your dishes!” she snapped.
“Sorry, Mother,” Erik called back and re-entered the house, scooping up the nearby keys. Pocketing them, he pressed the front door shut with his hip and hurried into the dining room.
“Please be more mindful,” Jane Greenfield reprimanded. Erik nodded in response.
Clearing the table, Erik glanced at Jane Greenfield who sat at the end of the table, her hands clasped in her lap and her food still on the plate, untouched.
“Do you want me to take that?” he asked.
“Please leave it,” Jane Greenfield answered.
Erik shrugged and headed for the kitchen. After washing the dishes, he returned to the table and took a seat across from her. After sitting in silence for several moments, Erik cleared his throat. “What is it?”
“I wish what had happened earlier never occurred,” Erik said softly. “I didn’t mean to upset you or anyone else.”
“It’s all right,” Jane Greenfield said gently.
“Did I hurt Father badly?” Erik asked. “Did I break his heart?”
“Oh, Erik,” Jane Greenfield said irritably, “Don’t say such things!”
Erik winced from her irate glance. “I can’t help it!” he declared, standing to his feet. “He walked out on us, if you hadn’t noticed!”
“Please, don’t tell any more horrible stories!”
“It’s not a false story, Mother!” Erik cried, clenching his hands. “I don’t want to hurt him, yet you apparently know more than I do. I just want to set things straight; I’m afraid and I don’t know what’s going to happen!”
“Erik, hush up!”
Erik clenched his teeth, knowing he reached the end of the conversation. He wanted to say more, but by Jane Greenfield’s icy glare, he figured she would not allow him to speak any further.
Erik dug through his pockets, pulled out John Greenfield’s keys and threw them on the table. She gasped as Erik grabbed his cap left on the post of the chair and stormed out the house, slamming the front door shut behind him.