In Violation of a Brussels Sprout

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Where insanity comes from...

Submitted: August 15, 2012

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Submitted: August 15, 2012

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In Violation of a Brussels Sprout

By: 1122

Kill her, Norman! Do it you pathetic excuse for a human being! Do it! Do it! Do it now!

And Norman almost did, but in the end he just couldn’t bring himself to do it.

#

Norman had an extremely hideous growth on the side of his neck. The doctors said it was harmless; just an abnormal, benign, discolored tumor, but to Norman it looked like a big ugly Brussels Sprout growing out of the side of his neck. It had been his bane his whole life.

He tried growing his hair long to hide it, but Norman had fine straight hair and the growth was always visible through it.

He tried wearing scarfs, which worked during most of the winter, but during the summer it just made him look more awkward than he already felt.

He pleaded with doctors to have it removed but they couldn’t because the tumor, though harmless, had grown down into his spinal column and to remove it would be too dangerous.

It was bad enough that Norman had grown up gawky and shy, but having a Brussels Sprout on the side of his neck that looked like a small, pale green doorknob only made him that much more of a target. The kids in his school had been ruthlessly cruel, and it plunged Norman deeper and deeper into himself until he was virtually a recluse. More than once he came close to cutting it off himself, going so far as to have the knife held up against it with his eyes closed and his teeth clenched and ready.

But he just couldn’t do it.

By the end of Norman’s senior year in high school he hated the Brussels Sprout with a vehemence. His feelings of vindictiveness and spite towards it became pathological. He blamed it for everything that had befallen him, and everything that he had become. But because he didn’t have the guts to cut it off himself he was stuck living with it, and his feelings of self-pity consumed him so deeply that they festered and boiled until they fermented into something much darker and more poisonous.

Then one day the Brussels Sprout started talking to him.

You’re a simpering little prat, you know that Norman?

Norman tried to ignore the voice in his head because it sounded tinny and shrill, like a mosquito zizzing in your ear.

You don’t deserve to live, Norman. You’re a gutless wonder, a pathetic whiny little nobody. You make me sick.

And while Norman might have been awkward and extremely introverted, he wasn’t unintelligent. He knew that the voice wasn’t actually the Brussels Sprout talking to him, but rather his own feelings of inadequacy rising voice in his head. But that didn’t mean he could ignore them or stop them from coming.

Look at you, you moron. You let these fucks walk all over you and pick on you. You let them laugh at you and make fun of me like we’re some kind of side show freak. Is that what we are, Norman? Freaks?

Norman wasn’t so unusual that he didn’t want a usual life. He liked girls and wanted a girlfriend, but the loathsome growth on the side of his neck prevented him from trying. If he considered it hideous then a girl would find it absolutely stomach churning. He wanted to play sports, but the guys who played sports were some of the worst for picking on him. He wanted to socialize and even tried sometimes, but no matter who he talked to the people’s eyes would always be drawn and locked onto the Brussels Sprout.

I’ve got no sympathy for you, Norman. None. Nada. Zilch. You’re a wretched, pathetic excuse for a human being. I have a mind to grow even larger just rub it in your face. Shall I do that, Norman? Shall I grow larger?

And as time moved on, the Brussels Sprout became more and more chatty. At first it only talked to him when he was alone, usually when was lying in bed right before he fell asleep, but after a while it started talking to him throughout the day.

Did you see the way that girl was looking at you, Norman? She looked like she was going to throw up. I don’t blame her, you’re disgusting.

Sitting in class:

Look up, Norman. Even the teacher can’t look at you without feeling ill.

During lunch:

These people can’t eat with you sitting here you repulsive idiot.

Walking home after school:

Well, what another fine day in the life of Norman: You talked to nobody, you did nothing, and you made half the school nauseated just by showing up.

Brushing his teeth in front of the mirror before bed:

Why are you even brushing your teeth, Norman? You never open your mouth. You never even smile. You’re the most tragic, pitiful excuse of a life form that ever existed. Now if I were in charge, things might be a little different. You might even be able to have some semblance of a life. But if you like being pathetic, if you’re happy with that, Norman; if you don’t mind going through the rest of your life as a carnival exhibit, then I’ll shut up.

And for a while it did.

Graduation was looming, and Norman just wanted it to come so he could be done with high school. He tried to convince himself that once he graduated and moved away – far away – away from all the shallow, self-absorbed egos of high school and out into the real world where people weren’t so cruel, things would be different. He’d find sympathy instead of scorn, acceptance instead of repulsion. He almost believed it could happen.

But high school has nothing to do with cruelty, and nothing to do with age or maturity. Cruelty exists everywhere, in all walks of life, and as much as Norman tried to believe otherwise he was not unintelligent and knew this deep down.

Graduation came, and even up to Norman’s very last day of high school his peers remained true to their natures.

The yearbook came out. On the page marked “memorable moments” was a photo of Norman, eating a sandwich in the quad with his head turned to the side and a clear shot of the growth.

On the page marked “most likely to…” Norman’s photo carried the caption: “Most likely to be on Ripley’s Believe it or Not.”

They were subtle jabs, but Norman could feel them sting like wasps.

When it was Norman’s time to collect his diploma the entire auditorium erupted in raucous applause, and the whole student body started chanting his name over and over again, pumping their fists in the air.

That evening, after crying for nearly an hour, Norman closed his eyes and cleared his head and said in his mind:

What do you want me to do?

#

Norman stood outside of the window, peering in. It looked like half the school was inside. He was dressed all in black, as the Brussels Sprout had instructed him to do. He had stuck to the shadows as he crept through the neighborhood, ducking behind trees or garbage cans every time a car came by so he wouldn’t be seen. The Brussels Sprout had told him to do this as well. He was glad that the Brussels Sprout hadn’t told him to find a weapon because Norman didn’t like weapons.

Use your hands, Norman. It’s the only way to truly be free.

It was the biggest graduation party being held, and it was where most of the people that had ever picked on him were going to be. All in one place.

There was a light mist falling, and it lent the night and the darkness an ethereal, peaceful quality. The music and chatter coming from inside the house sounded muffled and far away through the thick glass of the window. The ground where he stood was moist and soft on his feet, like a cushion, and for the first time in a long time Norman felt relaxed.

The front door beside him suddenly opened and a girl stepped outside. Norman ducked down behind the bush where he was perched. The girl closed the door behind her and let out a great sigh, then lit a cigarette, inhaled deeply, and blew smoke up into the misty darkness.

Gift-wrapped, Norman. Don’t think about it, just do it. If you hesitate the moment will be lost. Just do it. I’m here with you, brother.

Norman gathered his courage.

Listen to their voices, Norman. Listen to all the things they ever said to you, to your face, and then imagine all the things they said about you behind your back. Hear their laughter, Norman. They were laughing at you, not with you. Remember, Norman. Remember…

He peeked his head up a bit for a better look. He recognized the girl. She was one of “them.”

Do it, Norman. Do it!

Norman tapped into his rage. He listened to the echoes of years of laughter and grotesque nicknames, imagined a thousand faces that stared at him with disgust.

Stop hesitating, Norman! Just fucking do it! Don’t think about it, do it!

Norman stood all the way up, rising like a shadow. The girl was facing forward, just holding her cigarette and not even smoking; staring at nothing. Norman raised his foot to step out from behind the bush and he heard the girl sniffle. He squinted his eyes, and in the dim misty halo of the porch light he could see that she was crying.

Kill her, Norman! Do it you pathetic excuse for a human being! Do it! Do it! Do it now!

…No.

Excuse me?

I can’t, I just… can’t.

Norman, don’t do this. Don’t be the tragic loser that you are. Be a fucking man for once. Step up and do something to change your life.

I may be a loser, but I’m not a monster.

You’re leaving me no choice, Norman. You know that, don’t you?

I don’t care.

Last chance, Norman. I’m trying to change your life for the better.

If that’s what it takes to change my life for the better, then I’d rather not live.

Okay... Okay, Norman. You’re a sickening, cowardly, repellent …thing. I can’t even refer to you as a human being anymore. If this is what you want, then so be it, but remember this Norman: You’ve left me with no choice.

#

Norman’s body was found early the next morning, lying behind the bush where he had been lurking. The students who had attended the party all found out about Norman’s death within hours, and they all felt a bit guilty for everything they had ever done to him. Some of them even felt a modicum of sympathy. Some people vowed to change their ways. Other’s just said it didn’t surprise them in the least, that they had seen it coming for years.

And all the official reports classified Norman’s death as a suicide, which was entirely believable to those who knew Norman, but the people who had attended the crime scene would always be in doubt. Once they pieced Norman’s story together it seemed obvious that it was a suicide, especially considering the location where he had been found. Even the gaping hole in the side of Norman’s neck from which he had bled to death could be explained rationally in some form or another, but the tiny, clawed footprints in the mud that led away from the wound would forever remain a mystery to forensic science.


© Copyright 2017 1122. All rights reserved.

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