Something Humans Don't Do

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is loosely based off of the news story about the Colorado ten year-old that was found dead and dismembered.
My heart goes out to her family.

Submitted: November 21, 2012

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Submitted: November 21, 2012

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There are certain things we as humans simply don’t do. Basically unspoken laws of human nature, they are presumed to be understood by all and applied to all. We don’t yell fire in a crowded theater when there isn’t a fire. We don’t bring bombs onto planes; we don’t even pretend to bring bombs onto planes. And we don’t kill innocent people.

Every once in a while a person comes along who, for some reason, doesn’t follow one of these laws. Even more rare, sometimes someone will come along and not only kill, but take the perversion to a more grotesque level and kill a child. And sometimes, sometimes Hell itself will spit out a spawn, and a bastard will come along and not only kill a child, but cut up and mutilate the body.

 

Family dinners were quiet ever since the incident. My mother would sit down, as would my father and I, and we would say grace. My father has passed on the opportunity to say grace every day, since the incident, defaulting the task to either my mother or me. When it was my mother’s turn to pray, I would watch my dad. He didn’t bow his head, he didn’t close his eyes. He just sat there with this blank expression of apathy on his face, and I couldn’t blame him for it.

After grace was said, the large majority of dinner was a symphony of clinks and clanks from the silverware hitting the plates. I found myself being grateful for the compositions the utensils would make, because at least they would give me something to listen to. But sometimes the silence itself is louder than any noise, and occasionally it can be loud enough to break you. At some point in the dinner, my mother would break the silence with a typical question such as, “How was your day at school?”

“Normal,” or something similar, I’d respond, and normally I’d start to feel a little remorse for not giving a more detailed answer, but at the same time, I was just too tired to care. We all were. The bags under my parents’ eyes grew every day, as if weights were attached to them. No one really slept much anymore. Isn’t that funny? We were all so damn tired, but we could hardly sleep. It’s a paradox, a paradox of misery, and one that we have to live with.

We all have our own reasons for our insomnia, but it all comes back to the same basic idea: we each think it was our fault. My father wasn’t supposed to work late that night, but a quick “suggestion” from his boss quickly changed his mind about that, and he ended up missing my sister’s soccer game. My mother was supposed to go the game, but a last minute, and totally refusable, offer to babysit for a neighbor was deemed more important. And I’m worst of all.

Every night I lie in my bed, blaming myself, cursing myself, chastising myself. I had a lot of homework that night, so it was previously agreed upon that I wouldn’t go to the game. But since my parents each had new plans, I was supposed to go pick my sister up afterwards. Turns out I fell asleep while reading a textbook. I woke up at 6:24, and the game had ended at six. I remember hurrying to my car, not because I was scared for my sister, but rather, I was worried about the earful I’d get from my parent’s about “responsibility, reliability,” and all the other –ilities parents try to make you feel guilty about for lacking.

Last Sunday we went to church, and out pastor preached about forgiveness. I almost laughed in the middle of the sermon. What did this robed man know about pain? Who was he, telling me who I should forgive? My father didn’t participate. He didn’t pray with the congregation. He didn’t put money in the offering tray. He didn’t sing. He just sat there, with that same blasted apathy he had before. His face giving no indications of any emotion, except that he simply didn’t care anymore.

The pastor said that all we need to do is forgive, and it’ll get better. I don’t know if I can do that. I believe that there is a special place in Hell for the volatile person that would do what was done to my sister. I don’t think I can forgive someone that I believe is damned to that place, and I don’t believe that I can forgive myself. I don’t think  I will ever be able to forgive myself. I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to push out the idea that this all could have been avoided if I were on time picking her up from the game. But I wasn’t on time, and when I got to the park, she wasn’t there.

All the parents say that they saw her right after the game. Apparently she had a career match, scoring three times. Words cannot verbalize the egregious anguish I feel when I think about the expression she’d have on her face when she would be telling me about how well she did. I know that one day, when I finally see my parents smile again, and the bags underneath their eyes diminish at a rate inverse to my own, they will have come to accept that it wasn’t their fault, it was mine. They’ll never speak it with words, but they’ll feel it. The silence will speak it, as it so often does.

The police found my sister’s body a week after she went missing. They didn’t find it all in one piece. They found her dismembered, cut up into pieces. They found her body parts scattered around an area in the mountains. I think what sickens me the most is that there are real people on this earth that have actually done bad things. My sister didn’t do anything. She was a child, for God’s sake, and some sick freak decided that, for some pugnacious and completely insane reason, she deserved to die. It was like he hunted her as if she were game. My sister wasn’t a damn animal, she was a person, a beautiful and innocent person.

Just last week we went to the sentencing hearing of the man who murdered my little sister. As we were going, I thought that maybe I could start to feel a little better, maybe the pain will subdue a little bit, after finally seeing justice served. But I didn’t feel better, and I still don’t, and I know I never will. I know this because, when I looked up at the Hell-send who killed and mutilated my kid sister, I didn’t see some deranged bastard, I saw my own reflection, and it was staring back at me.

 


© Copyright 2017 Alex Davis. All rights reserved.

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