A Strange Perspective

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
While at a funeral of a high school acquaintance, Jasper Thorson has flashbacks of her as people tell stories of her. Little do they know of the secrets Jasper possess regarding her death. What he knows will change your strange perspective of not only Jasper but the deceased as well.

Submitted: February 04, 2012

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Submitted: February 04, 2012

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A little caterpillar had fallen from the tree above. The little black worm was defenseless against the predators that awaited it in the world. It inched its way, centimeter by centimeter to its sanctuary from which it fell, scooting along the sidewalk, getting closer and closer to home.

But as it reached the edge of the pavement, a mysterious giant creature had overshadowed it. The creature cried out, “Mommy, mommy! Look a worm! Ewww, mommy!” The last the caterpillar saw was a giant mass pressing against it…

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

He walked to the gathering group of people. Everyone was wearing black he noticed, as if it was the theme of the event. All of their faces were either being covered with hats, or with their sleeves to hide their tears

It seemed that the weather was going to match today’s mood: gloomy, cold, and wet. Clouds completely covered the late morning sky. It had just started to rain, giving the parking lot a light fog dusting. The forecast for today predicted no chance of sunshine. For once, he perceived the news to be right.

It took Jasper a while to get past all of the people. Many had come to give support to the family and to mourn the loss of the girl. He felt like another sheep being herded into a corral, making his way ever so slowly into the building.

He was finally feeling the rainwater seeping into his overcoat, causing his button-down shirt to cling to his chest. His hair was drenched all the way down to his scalp. With every shiver he made, a droplet of water would fall from his soaked jet-black bangs onto his brow. It trickled down his nose till it fell to his shoes.

He, along with all the others, eventually made it into the hall. He noticed the rows upon rows of chairs with even more being added by the funeral hosts who had not expected that many mourners to attend.

Hung on the walls were religious pictures of heaven, tacky poems that portray death in only a distorted sort of way, and photographs and plaques of people who have donated money to the funeral home over the years. Fake plastic trees were set in the corners of the pale colored room.

The ushers were standing in the windowed doorways handing out programs and personal tissue packets as if they were party favors.

He decided to follow the other sheep that were to pay their respects to the dead girl, pacing himself as he walked with the crowd to the unopened casket.

There were flowers lining the front of the funeral hall. The bright yellow daisies and vibrant purple hydrangeas, he believed, were meant to make the feeling of the room more open and comforting. But of course, the flowers did it no justice.

Jasper always thought flowers to be rather redundant to have at a funeral. They always reminded him even more of death, which coming from an Irish family, it was tradition for death to be one of the last things one would want to think of at the time.

It made sense when he thought about it, for as soon as a flower is picked it begins to die, slowly. As a result, he felt like he was continuously watching the death of a beautiful thing in the world over and over. He believed the flower would lose its so-called “will” to live. Then, it would fall to the ground becoming one with the Earth from which it came. He didn’t find it to be a very poetic way to die.

What if the flower was picked before it was able to fully bloom? Never having the opportunity to show the world its true colors. It gave him a feeling like watching a caterpillar being squished before it could transform into a beautiful butterfly.

Oddly enough, this seemed to be the very same scenario with the young girl for whom the funeral was held.

There were few pictures surrounding her casket. She looked to be about 17 or 18 years old. Her senior picture showed that she had a perfectly inviting smile that Jasper believed was too fake to be natural. Her golden blonde hair didn’t seem to have a single strand out of place. It fell straight in front of her to just below her shoulders. Her eyes were violet blue. He sort of figured they were just color contacts, and that her original eye color was probably brown like his. The girl’s bronzed skin was flawless, but he knew she was wearing loads of makeup like every other girl her age.

The girl was beautiful, indeed. Because of this, he knew many people would be wondering why her casket was closed. Well, at least the people who didn’t know-.

His thought was cut off by the sound of a violin beginning to play. The musical prelude for the ceremony had begun. It was time for him to find his seat.

Jasper looked over the crowd and eyed a few empty seats a few rows from the back. He swerved and made his way through the maze of mourners.

The usher at the entrance doors had a blank expression. His stare seemed elsewhere and his posture was too straight and uptight. The man looked to have done this sort of thing too many times to show any sign of sincerity. Jasper didn’t like these types of people. But nonetheless, he took the program the man handed him and went to one of the empty seats.

He sat down and listened to the violin. Its melody was soft and melancholy. He didn’t understand why. Funerals were meant to celebrate the life of the person who has died. But times change and traditions are lost.

He watched the people starting to settle down. Tissues were being put at the ready. Hats that had been ruined from the rain were taken off. Umbrellas were being shaken to remove the last droplets of water. A few of the funeral hosts were just beginning to set up a projector and technical gear.

Jasper began to flip through the program. The cover had a picture of the girl, her name: Carmen Drodè. Her age: 18-

Hmmm. She wasn’t lying.

-Her birthday: August 18th, 1992, and the day she died: May 11th, 2011.

He turned the page. On the inside, an outline of the ceremony had been made. The family’s pastor would start off.

Never pegged her for religious.

Her mother would speak after. Then there was going to be a brief intermission.

What is this, a fucking play? He rolled his eyes.

There would be a slide show followed by Sheriff Gorman saying a few words.

Wonder what he’s gonna talk about? He smirked

Afterwards, there would be an opening for people to come up and say something for themselves.

By this time, people had taken their seats. The air in the hall had become musty as the rainwater intermixed with everyone’s personal scent. People were coughing, sneezing into tissues, and choking on tears.

A man in his mid-forties wearing a black suit and a white collar was making his way to the front of the room. He walked to the podium centered just in front of the projector. A hush came about the hall.

Clearing his throat, the pastor began. “Ehm… The Drodè family and I-“ He gestured to the family sitting in the first row then to himself. “-would like to thank you all for coming and giving your support. It truly means a lot to know that this young woman was able to touch all of our lives so greatly-“

Hah, she did all right.

“-When I first met Carmen, I knew she was special,-“

Hmmm… the first time I met Carmen… Jasper tilted in his seat. I think it was just after winter vacation. I was a senior, so I think that would have made her a sophomore? Whatever. I was in my second hour gym class. We were playing dodge ball, and she walked into the gym. She did that a lot. From time to time she would come to talk to the gym teacher, who just happened to also be the volleyball coach.

That day, I actually decided to play, so I picked up a ball and threw it. I had a good arm and the ball went pretty far, little too far.

She was walking away right into its path. It hit her square in the face. She grabbed her face in shock from what had just happened and her cheeks became red. I could easily see that from where I was standing from across the court. I felt horrible. I wanted to go apologize right away but the teacher didn’t like me as it was so I decided to go after. So, I went up to her, you know to do the nice thing. She accepted my apology. Noticing she was kinda cute, I tried to hit on her a bit, but didn’t really work. We became, I guess acquaintances, wavin’ hi to each other in the halls. It was nothing really worth mentioning.

“-And she said ‘Happy birfday Jesus!’” Jasper came back to reality just in time to hear the pastor finish his story. The man was trying to sound like an eight-year-old girl. Although he was attempting to lighten the mood, the audience continued to sit in silence.

The pastor continued after an awkward pause. “Carmen… She… She was a sweet girl.” He grabbed the podium and looked down, fighting his sobs. “She will be deeply missed.” He looked up at the ceiling, “God in heaven will have a special place for this innocent young woman-”

Jasper crossed his arms, raising an eyebrow as he tried to hide a slight smile. Innocent?... Man, if only you knew… If you want to put a religious spin on it, that girl was as innocent as that Delilah chick. He chuckled in his throat. He hadn’t touched a bible in years.

What was it? Four? Four and a half months ago? Something like that. I was on Facebook and it was a Thursday night, like one or two in the morning. I got a friend request out a’ nowhere. So I checked it. The picture was blocked but the name “RIDEurDscoSTICK,” I thought was fairly creative. The person was definitely getting their point across. I decided to add ‘em.

Turns out it was a girl’s Facebook, though I didn’t doubt it wasn’t. Her wall held pictures of her doing erotic things: posing in different positions naked, kissing other girls and things of that sort. I’m a guy so I was likin’ it so far.

As it turned out, the girl was online and she IMed me.

“hey there big boy.” A winky face was next to it.

I started laughing,’ cause the childish gesture was somewhat amusing. “uh… hi…” I sent back. “do I no u?”

“what?… do u want 2?”

I couldn’t find anything to say to that, “…”

She wrote back, “ok… fair enough… u looked pretty hot and u went 2 my high school so I added u.”

“ok then. and ur name is?”

There was a slight pause. I think she was contemplating whether she’d tell me her real name or not. But then, she wrote, “Carmen… Carmen Drodè.”

Took me a while to remember, but I did. “oh. Ok. im Jasper Thorson.”

“I no. u hit me with a dodge ball.”

I laughed that she remembered. “lol sorry about that.”

“all good. So… u wanna have a little fun?”

I said I was game. So we started having what you would call online sex. Must admit the girl got me going pretty early. I could tell she had, well let’s call it “prior experience.”

But that’s how it all started, some horny ass girl wanted attention so she added some strange guy she barely knew.

“- Once again, I would like to thank you all for attending.”

Jasper sat up straight in his seat. Apparently he had trailed off.

“Now, Carmen’s mother, Sarah, would like to say a few words.” The pastor stepped down from the podium and reached out his hand to a middle-aged woman who had the same blonde hair as Carmen. The two could have been twins if it weren’t for the age difference.

She walked cautiously, probably still shaken up about everything. She grabbed the podium and began to speak, “Hello.” She sniffled. “Thank you all for attending.” Her voice became a little higher as she spoke, giving warning that she was about to break. “My daughter…” She put her hand to her mouth. “My daughter was taken from me-“She broke and began to cry. “-At a very young age. No mother should have to stand up here and talk about this sort of thing-“

Jasper pitied the woman very much.

You shouldn’t have had to deal with a lot of things your daughter put you through. Yeah… she told me how she treated you. I can even see it in your face. It’s plain as day.

We were talking like we usually do, though she seemed like she was a little on the tipsy side. But she just came out and said, “i swear to fucking god i hate parents.”

“…y?” We never usually talked about our lives.

“my mom wants me 2 go talk 2 someone again. thinks im fucking nuts and i need help.”

“ok.” I didn’t get what the “again” was for.

“don’t worry i set her straight on what i was gonna do… there aint no way in hell shes telling me what to do anymore.”

“ok. which is…?” I wasn’t following.

“I told her if she called me crazy one more time, i would get a knife and stab her.”

“u threatened your mom?”

“well she kept telling me im crazy and ‘need help.’”

“ok.” I didn’t think she was helping her case much.

“so just 2 make sure she didn’t say it again i punched her and kicked her in the gut.”

“uh… wow.”

“but you no… lol im a bit wasted.” That explained a lot. “so ill ttyl.”

“yeah,” I didn’t know why I didn’t block her right there. I guess it was ‘cause she was hot and seemed easy.

The next day we talked again, but she didn’t remember a damn thing about the conversation.

But I know your little secret Sarah, … I know you were frightened of her. You can’t hide it. Not from me.

“-I would like to end by saying thank you to all those who have provided some sort of comfort to my family at this time. I know Carmen is looking down at us and knows-“

You sure it ain’t up?

“-that she was loved by many.” She wiped some tears away from her dark eyes. “Thank you.” She started walking away from the podium, shaking even more as she stepped down.

An usher went to the podium next. “Ok, we will have a brief intermission and we will then have the slide show presentation.”

After he walked away, murmurs started to fill the hall. Some people stretched their legs, others went to the bathroom, and some people were even being shaken awake.

Jasper just sat there. His hands in his now only slightly damp pockets. He twiddled his thumbs over and over again.

The usher came back and asked everyone to take their seats again. A screen was being pulled down, the lights turned off and a new show began.

A slide showing her name and birth date came up. Music that Carmen had possibly liked began playing. Her baby pictures were beginning to come on the screen. There were pictures after pictures of the girl. Some short clip began showing her blowing out candles at her birthday. People around the room began to cry.

Damn sure they aren’t gonna have the video I got. He smiled, remembering what happened.

About a month ago, she IMed me saying she was bored with IMing. I said ok ‘cause I was too.

“I just got a webcam…”

“cool…” I didn’t know where she was going with it.

“do you have 1?”

“yeah.”

“we should video chat.”

“ok.” It clicked then.

So we started video chatting. ‘Course it was the same basic thing we’d been doing. But this time, we had images. She did things to get me going like strip and what not. I did things like say what I wanted to do. Apparently, it got her going too. This went on for like a week.

Family pictures started showing on the screen, some from Christmas holidays, others from trips to places like the Grand Canyon, her high school pictures showing her volleyball team, and her at prom in a silver dress and a prom court nominee sash. Finally, pictures of her randomly were showing up. Then, the last slide came on “Carmen Drodè, Death May 11th, 2011. She will be missed.” The song ended and the lights came back on.

Jasper squinted under the lights.

Applause had started, even though it was not wanted.

The same annoying usher came up to the podium, “And now if we could have Sheriff Gorman come up.”

A man in a brown uniform had stood up. He was a hulky man with a graying mustache. “Good day, everyone,” he said in a low voice, knowing he had a bad choice of words.

“Ehm… many of you may not know why I am speaking today, but the family asked it of me. Some of you need to hear this,” he looked at the closed casket. “This young woman,” he paused, “was murdered, in cold blood.”

There was a silence.

“We have no leads as to who her killer is. What I am asking, along with the Drodè family, is that if you have any information regarding the night of her murder at this time, please come forward to you’re local police. This girl must have justice. I believe-“

Justice? There is no justice in the world. Didn’t he get that? This Carmen girl… all the people telling stories of a sweet innocent girl that didn’t exist… she didn’t exist. That happy-go-lucky girl in that casket wasn’t who they thought she was.

Sarah isn’t gonna tell her actual side… How her crazy bitch daughter was insane and how she bruised her own mother’s ribcage and gave her a black eye.

Hell, justice? Her mother was threatened with her life, and he’s talking about how that young girl needs justice? The only smidge of justice is that her mother can live her life knowing her daughter is gonna sleep six feet under all ‘cause of me. That’s justice. But do they want to hear that story? Probably not.

She IMed me about two and a half weeks ago, said she wanted to meet up to have some real fun. I didn’t object. Why would I? It’s not everyday I get offered sex. We were gonna meet up at her dorm room…

It was at night, and it was cold and raining so I wore a hood and gloves. I went to her dorm and we had sex. It was really odd. There was no foreplay or even kissing, just plain and straight forward sex. Plus she was a lot more different in person.

She got out of the bed to go to the bathroom, and so I got up to stretch. I looked at the room. She had pictures of her and her friends on the walls, posters of actors and calendars of cats and dogs. Makeup and homework from her classes were scattered everywhere. But, on her desk was a manila folder. Curiosity hit me so I opened it.

It was a file. There were documents regarding her behavior at the Psychiatric and Mental Institute of Sheridan. There was a letter, or at least a copy, addresses to her mother from a psychotherapist. The letter and documents were all dated from the year before. The documents said that Carmen was mentally unstable, and that she had random attacks of rage and she was also beginning to show signs of having psychopathic tendencies. She should not be admitted to leave the mental institution. At the time, she was taking anti-depressants and the institution would contact her mother if anything should happen.

If anything should happen? What the hell does that mean?

“Told you she thought I was crazy…” She was standing in the doorway. She scared the shit out of me.

“Uh what the hell is this?”

“It’s nothing.” She began walking around the room. “My mom just thinks I’m crazy, so she went to some guy and he did some tests on me and checked me into a mental ward of a hospital for about a year. They had to let me go when I turned 18 though.”

I watched her. There was something not right about how she was looking back at me. Her eyes were big and deep.

She inched towards me slowly, “You don’t think I’m crazy do you?” she wrapped her hands around my neck and began kissing my jaw line.

“What are you taking for this?”

“I’M NOT FUCKING CRAZY!”

I jumped back from her, shouting. “No you’re fucking insane! I’m gone!” I gathered my clothes and started to get dressed.

She looked around the room for something. By the time I was at the door, I knew what it was. In her hand was a letter opener. It was one of those that was like a dagger, a really sharp dagger, and she was blocking me in. “Now baby, let’s just go back to bed. It’s ok. You’re safe. I won’t hurt you I promise.” She kept walking towards me.

“Get the fuck away from me!” I went for the door. She came at me. I pushed her arm away, the one with the letter opener. I slammed the door behind me and started walking down the hall. Then, I heard a thud. I stood for a second, waiting. I went back to the dorm door and slowly opened it.

I looked in to see her on her knees with the dagger in her neck. Drizzles of blood were dripping down her chest, soaking into the t-shirt she was wearing. She was gasping in pain, as she fell to the floor. Her life was spilling out of her like the blood emerging from her wound.

I stood there and thought. What had I done? What would happen to me? Hell, would I be charged with murder? I couldn’t answer anything. It was all fuzzy. The room spun. My heart was pounding louder and louder. I didn’t know what to do, so I just left.

Yes, I killed Carmen. I don’t understand how it is that they have no leads. I guess its ‘cause 1. I wore a condom, 2. I have no criminal record so they can’t ID me for prints, 3. She apparently wiped her computer’s history clean, and 4. No one knows who I am

I probably won’t get away with it. But at the same time the real question is: should I get away with it?

“- Again if you have any information, please let us know. Thank you.” The sheriff stepped down.

“Anyone who wants to say a few words may do so at this time.” An usher said.

Jasper looked around. No one was getting up. Not a single person was going to say anything.

He couldn’t bear it any more. These people needed to hear his side, the real side, whether they wanted to or not. Carmen was no angel, and these people made her a saint. He knew better; her mother knew better. The truth would be told, and he was the one to say it.

He stood up and began walking to the podium. He passed the entrance doorways and the snobby ushers. As he did, the sun began to come out, shining through the window onto him.

The End


© Copyright 2018 Bridget Lee Casey. All rights reserved.

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