Haunting Memories

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Something is locked away in Simon Brenner's 14 year old head. Something made him do what he did to his family, if only he could remember...

Submitted: September 02, 2008

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Submitted: September 02, 2008

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Haunting Memories
A short story by Joshua Fraga
 
His memories were like broken glass, hidden deep away in his brain. Sadness consumed his 14 year old body like a virus. His joints seized up, he had not talked since the incident. They made it especially cool in the sanitarium today, but with the tightness of his restraints, it made his muscles constrict, keeping him warm. Droplets of sweat begin to form on his brow, it could be the heat, or possibly the fear resonating deep within his core. No one knows much about what Simon Brenner has locked away deep inside, all they know is that whatever it is, it holds the key to what happened that night. Simon had done something very bad, and he doesn’t even remember it. No one understands why he can’t, or won’t remember. Simon slaughtered almost his entire family, killed his next door neighbor, and fatally wounded his own father, all with a butcher’s knife he got from their kitchen. His father thankfully lived, he was about to pull through despite being stabbed in the stomach, and the loss of his left hand. He sits now, restrained from movement, able to speak, but chooses not to. A man sits across from him, a small wooden table between them. Simon answers the man’s questions with a series of nods, shakes, and shrugs. Still none of his answers help him. He tries, but he still can’t remember. But how, how can he not remember murdering his family?
His blood says that at the time of the murder, he had cocaine and methamphetamines in his system. To police figure his had some sort of drug induced rage and killed them all, his father saw the neighbor enter the house and proceeded after him. He said he saw his son chase him up the stairs to the bedroom, where his wife already lay, stabbed. He was screaming about devils coming to get him as he now stabbed Ben, there close friend. He then turn, and said his father was sent but Satan to collect him, and buried the knife deep in his father’s gut, then knocking him to the floor. Afterwards, he sat on his father’s left arm as he began to saw his hand off with the sharp blade of the knife. He then takes it up, and throws it into a nearby mirror, and turns to finish the job he started. He raises the knife above his head for the final strike, and faints. His head hitting the tile floor, cracked in the back and bleeding. His father John, makes his way to a phone, and calls 911. Moments later, the scene is covered in red and blue light as the police take control. Immediately they find that before Simon had killed his neighbor, he murdered his brother and sister, ages 9 and 6, in their sleep by cutting their throats.
Despite all this, his father is working for him to be released to him, with precautions of course, for he knows that deep down the boy is sick, and he hopes with the right medication, he can save this last small part of his family, his first born son.
It his been 6 months since the incident, John has healed, and Simon still had not spoke. John desperately wants his son home, so he gets the best lawyer his money can buy, and gets Simon released under his custody, if only for a short while. He’s prescribed anti-psychotics, and a healthy dose at that. It leaves his feeling very dazed most days, he doesn’t go to school, he doesn’t go to church. He just lays there, most of the time restrained in his bed, heavily sedated and still unable to remember. He supposed that what happened that night was so awful, that his brain is trying to protect him from what happened. Whatever it was, he still felt no need to speak, that is, until it happened.
Some people believe when something horrific happens some where, it leaves a permanent scar. Not anything most people can see with the naked eye, but something of the people who died there gets left behind, forever bonded there. That’s how ghost stories are born. Simon never believed in ghosts, even the first time he saw one. He lay in bed one night, highly sedated, yet unable to sleep. He lay in his old room that was now turned into a hospital room with a homely feel. He was completely bound to his bed, wrists, ankles, waist and head. He was only able to move his eyes, only able to blink. He starred at his ceiling, the drugs gave a great high, he slowly began to hallucinate as he watched the texture of the ceiling moved. He smiled, one of the few times in the day he did. He watched the texture bleed together and apart at the same time, it was very relaxing, at first.
As he got lost in the shapes and images he began to see, something strange began to happen. He focused directly above his head, and he could see something coming out of the wall, it was finger tips, then a hand, and slowly revealing a forearm emerging from the now dark colored ceiling. It was pointing at him. It continued to reveal more, and more as it appeared out of the darkness. The ceiling now seems to crack and rot, then dry out to dust as the figure came. First blood stained hanging hair, and a white bloodstained night gown. As her face formed he instantly recognized her, it was his mother! Blood seemed to drip from her pale mouth as she began to mouth words to him. He could hear her wheeze as breath escaped where there was a cut in her throat. It was as if the ghost of his dead mother had come back to torment him. He knew in his mind, that this was just a drug-induced hallucination, brought on by the guilt of him murdering his own mother. Although he was shaken he kept his resolve.
She sank lower to him, the ceiling seemed to drip down with her as she said connected to it, as if nailed there. She spread her arms like she was on a cross as she sank lower. She was now face to face with him, breathing in his face. Now he had to admit, he was scared, probably more scared now than ever in his life, she then took her left hand and began to place it on his right temple went his father turned on the light. Instantly, she was gone. “Can’t sleep either?” he asked. He knew he would get no answer. He sat a chair in front of his bed, “Listen son,” he played with the hook that now took the place of his left hand, “I know something terrible has happened, and you can’t remember,” he began to sob, “but I’m determined to get you back.” He broke down, crying like he never had before. “I won’t let you down son.” He stood up and placed his hand on his forehead. “Get some sleep.” He said quickly as he turned out the light. Simon’s heart still was racing from what he saw. Thank God it was a hallucination, wasn’t it?
 
Not long went by before he knew they weren’t figments of his mind. He would be visited often by the ghost of his dead mother, late at night, it came to the point it seemed she just came to stare at him, strapped to the bed, unable to move, in his own personal hell. One day when his father was helping feed him, the unthinkable happened. Through trembling lips and a chattering jaw, he spoke the first words to his father he had said since that night, “Dad, I’m sorry.”
His father looked astonished. Happiness seemed to ooze from him. He felt he could hardly talk himself. He dropped the food on the wooden floor. “It’s okay son, you have nothing to be sorry about,” he began to cry, “you’re just sick.”
“I love you Dad.” were Simon’s very next words. Although Simon saw the words touched him deeply, but he still made no attempt to hug his son. “Dad?” he paused a moment, “I’ve been seeing things.”
His face turned from happiness to concern, “What did you see?” he asked.
“Mom,” his voice dropped ,”I think she’s come back to haunt me for punishment.” He began to weep.
“Oh son,” John said in a comforting way, “they have no reason to be mad at you, you’re sick.”
“How do you know?!” he screamed back at his father.
“Calm down, let me get your medication-” he said quickly getting up, slipping on the food he dropped, causing him to fall on his back “I should be more careful.” he groaned as he sat up, “I could have killed myself.” He staggered up, “I’m gonna get your medicine.” And again he got up and left. He came back with the pills, already crushed and mixed with water, he poured it into Simon’s restrained mouth. He swallowed it all, it wouldn’t be long before this would become a hazy dream. And then, black.
 
Two months had passed, Simon can now talk, and use the bathroom himself without acting as if he is a threat. His father even lets him out of his restraints to watch television. Sadly though, today would turn for the worst. He sat on the toilet, reading a magazine, taking care of business. All would seem normal, but that’s only the way it seems.
His father is asleep in the living room, passed out on the couch, apparently he had been drinking with the Jim Bean bottle clutched by the neck with the hook that took the place of his left hand. Simon sits there reading, when he notices the temperature drop at least twenty degrees. He can now see his hot breath exit his mouth and nose. The light begins to flicker until it turns off. Simon can feel something on him, like unseen hands, feeling to touch his head, he looks in the mirror of the open medicine cabinet, and he can see his two siblings, pale as his mother was, caressing and holding his head. They seem to be trying to wheeze words out, but nothing comes. Simon can’t move, it’s like some unseen force it holding his legs down. He some how breaks free, pulls up his pants and runs to the front door.
The exit is blocked by the ghost of Ben, their neighbor, as he materializes at the front door. It happens so quick, Simon stumbles as he turns around in the opposite direction, only to be cut off by the ghost of his mother, waiting for him. He looks to his left and his right, and sees his brother and sister, necks still red from the fatal wound given to them by their killer. Everyone is staring through him with blank stares. They begin to move toward him, all at once. They glide, weightless, to the one who made them. Each one extends their arms as if to tear him limb from limb, but instead they grab at his head, his hair; his ears, his eyes, and just when Simon was about to see his end, he didn’t.
Instantly, all the ghosts were gone, it was night, and everything seemed to have a blue hue to it. He could hear noises coming from the bedroom upstairs, noises like his mom and dad made. Then all of the sudden, behind him, the front door slammed open, it was his dad, standing there, with the most furious look on his face. Instantly he stomped to the kitchen, Simon followed. He snatched up a butcher knife from the block and began to proceed up stairs. His steps became quieter as he came to the door. Simon could hear passionate moans coming from the other side, obviously so did his father. He kicked the door in to find his mother and the neighbor Ben, under the covers. Ben jumped up to get his pants on, but John met him at the side of the bed, slicing his gut open, his insides pouring out onto the floor. He knew his mother was next. He screamed and yelled at his father but no one could hear him, he could not touch them. John jumped across the now bloody bet to catch his wife in the corner, stabbing her twice in the chest then once in the neck. She fell to the floor gasping for air, making the same wheezing sound he had heard her ghost make countless times before. He looked into his father’s eyes, something had broken inside of him. He hit the ground and held his left hand in place with his knee. He was going to cut off the hand that wore the ring that was a symbol of the all the lies that went between him that he never knew. There he was sawing off his own hand to spite a dead woman. He threw it at the mirror.
Afterwards it looked as if he decided to destroy all evidence of his love of Simon’s mother. That meant Simon’s brother, sister, and Simon himself. He followed him as he crept to his brother and sister’s room, he silently cut each of their throats, they didn’t even awake, but someone did. Simon looked in the doorway and saw himself standing there, fear painted all across his face.
Without thinking he ran to mom in the bedroom, only to find her and her lover dead. Desperately he tries to revive her, get blood all over himself, he tries the same with Ben, not knowing all the time, his father the killer, was stalking up the stairs. John comes to the door, panting and smiling, his new stump, dripping blood. The sight of his own father about to end his live was to much for him to bear, and he fainted in the middle of the floor, cracking his head open on the tile.
For a moment, John contemplates making sure his own son is dead, but then he gets another idea. He takes the knife, wipes it clean on his son’s shirt and places it in his hand. Carefully sitting it up on the floor, he falls on the blade. He was hoping for a flesh wound, but instantly he knows it can be a fatal wound. That’s fine, it will make the story all the more believable. He slowly crawls to the phone on the nightstand, he is loosing a lot of blood, he must act quick. He pulls the phone down by the cord al fumbles 911 into the receiver.
The operator answer, “911 what is you emergency?”
John takes a deep raspy breath, “My son, he went insane!”
 
Suddenly his eyes open up and he sees the eyes of his father looking into his, he was back in his room, back in restraints, back in hell. “I suppose we jumped ahead letting you have free roam without restraints, you passed out again.” He let out a sigh, “but don’t worry, you didn’t do anything, well…you know.”
“I know.” Simon replied.
The reply seemed to puzzle John, “What do you mean?”
Simon knew the truth, and anger raged in him like cancer, killing him from deep within. He could no move, he wanted to strangle his father for what he had done, but he could do nothing. That is, nothing but talk.
“I know what you did you monster!” he yelled.
“What?” John asked, pretending to be perplexed.
“You killed them, all of them!” and he took a deep breath, and with as much hatred as he could muster he said, “You were even gonna kill me! I remember everything.”
John walked out the door of the room, and was gone a few moments before he returned, locking the door behind him. “You know, it’s funny, your mind did block out the terrible event that happened that night, only it wasn’t the event you thought son.” He paced the bed as he laid the object he left to retrieve laying on Simon’s stomach, a butcher knife. He pulled the sock off Simon’s foot and balled it up.
 “You can’t-“ his voice was muffled but the sock his father stuck in his mouth.
“I can, and I will.” He said darkly. “I thought you would die you see, but you didn’t. I was glad you couldn’t remember, that way you couldn’t deny the story I told the cops. And with the severity of injuries,” he clanked his hook, “everyone believed the story of the whacked out drug addict.” He laughed, “Funny, I didn’t know you had a problem till after I killed your whore of a mother. Simon screamed at him through the fabric silencing him. “When I saw you were going to pull through, I knew I had to keep you close incase you remembered. So then I became the ‘loving father’ who takes in his ‘whacko son’ no matter what he did. It was just prolonging the inevitable.” He then picked the knife up off of Simon’s belly. All Simon could do was watch, he would give anything to move, but it couldn’t happen, he was bound securely to the bed.
He had given up hope when he saw something form above his father’s head, in the ceiling. A large black mark began to bleed across the ceiling. It was darker than anything he had ever saw, then out of the ceiling formed the ghosts of the four victims, each forming one at a time, becoming part of the darkness. They all stared at their killer, who was now holding the knife above his head, about to bring it down on the chest of his own son. They reached for the knife, but they could not touch it. His father saw nothing but the look of horror on Simon’s face, little did he know, the horror did not come from his father wielding a knife. Blood began to drip from the open wounds of the ghosts as they tried to save the only survivor. The blood fell in drops that fell through John and landed on the floor in plops, still he saw nothing. He began to bring the knife down, when his foot slipped on the puddle of red blood beneath his feet. He then fell on his stomach where he lay motionless. Slowly the ghosts blood began to disappear, but was replaced by a new puddle. John had fallen on his own knife, he lay there bleeding to death, the puddle growing ever larger.
All at once the ghosts, disappeared as if they were never there. And Simon was left alone, bound and unable to move. His father’s corpse lay there for a whole day before Simon’s weekly nurse showed up and called the police. He told the police his father went mad and wanted to punish him, and in trying to kill him, fell on his own knife. They had to believe him, after all he was strapped to the bed, he couldn’t have done it.
Now, since mental illness seems to run in the family, Simon was kept at a high security mental hospital. No one would ever know any truth but his father’s, and so he must spend the rest of his natural life in this place. The place where walls are cages, and everything is disguised to look like it will help you. There are only two thoughts that make him smile: The thought of the ones in his life that he loved that he couldn’t save, saved him, and second, his father slipped and killed himself in the very place he had said it jokingly. The real funny thing is, every since then, Simon had never cleaned a mess up on the floor, when ever a nurse asks him why, he just replies, “You never know when you’re going to need it.”


© Copyright 2018 Truthdefiesreason. All rights reserved.

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