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Janet’s Never Ending Day

I have no idea why a lot of my short stories are so violent and strange.  I have had a happy and relatively easy life so far.  I wonder if it has to do with reading a lot of  Stephen King?  I had an idea for a story and jotted it down quickly, so sorry if it’s a little confusing.  The ending might not make sense.

 

Janet’s Never Ending Day

 

 

Of course the car would pick this day to die. A horrible ending to a horrible day. A horrible week, actually. Every day had been a hellish endurance contest, and Janet almost hadn’t made it through. Now, she had to end the week by hauling her 180 pound body through this intense heat for an hour to get home. Her feet were killing her and sweat was dripping from her chin and trickling down her sides. Even in her discomfort, this was better than being at work. She worked in a day care center and the kids just about drove her crazy. She, Janet the child hater, worked in a day care center. It was almost funny. A person will do anything to make a dollar. She wouldn’t need to make the money if it hadn’t been for the bad luck of having a child herself. Four years ago, her worst fear had happened. She had become pregnant. Her husband, Dick, was thrilled. She had felt like her life was over. She hated kids. She would have ended the pregnancy, but Dick had threatened to leave her if she did. So, now she had a three year old brat to take care of. Luckily, her mom took care of Amanda most days, and she let Dick do the evening care.

“I don’t know why I care if Dick leaves me or not.” Janet said as she trudged along. “He really lives up to his name. He is a Dick!” She giggled at her joke.

After what seemed an eternity, she arrived at her house. She rummaged through her purse as she climbed the stairs to the front porch, looking for her keys. They weren’t there. She stood at the door, frantically opening one zipper after another on her purse and clawing through the contents in each compartment. No key was found.

“Oh you have got to be KIDDING ME!” She yelled, and threw her purse down. “I don’t need this shit today!”

She glanced at her watch. It was only 5:00 pm. Dick wouldn’t be home for another hour. She did not want to sit in this heat for an hour waiting for him. She had to get in for a cold drink and some ice cream. The thought of ice cream brought a smile to her lips. Dick didn’t like her eating it. He wanted her to lose weight. Since they had discussed her weight gain and possible health issues it could cause, she had made it a point to double her sweets consumption. He was not going to tell her what she could and could not eat. Screw him!

Then, an idea popped into her head. She could climb into the bedroom window. The latch was broken, so it shouldn’t be too hard to do. She grabbed her purse and went back down the stairs. She took a quick look around to see if anyone was outside. It wouldn’t do to have someone see her breaking into the house and call the police. The neighborhood was quiet. She went to the side yard to the bedroom window. Placing her hands firmly at the base of the window, she gave a mighty heave. The window would not move. She tried again, and it went up a few inches. A third attempt was successful and it opened all the way. She threw her purse into the room. Now, for the hard part. She had to haul her butt up and over the windowsill. The window was pretty low to the ground, so she was sure she could do this. Planting her hands firmly on the windowsill, she gave a few preliminary hops to get momentum, then a big jump. She didn’t jump quite high enough and her belly slammed into the windowsill and she bounced backwards, tripped and fell flat on her behind. She sat there a minute, huffing and puffing. Growling with anger, she got up and tried again. This time she made it over the edge. She wiggled and squirmed until she was able to fall into the room.

“Success!” She yelled as she stood up and brushed the dirt off her shirt.

“Now for that ice cream.” She said as she headed for the bedroom door.

Then, something suddenly caught her eye and she stopped dead in her tracks. Something was not right. Next to the door hung a picture that was not there that morning when she got up. It was a picture of Dick and Amanda. Amanda sat on Dick’s lap and they both had goofy grins on their faces. She couldn’t remember even having that picture. A sudden feeling of fear gripped her and she broke out in a fresh sweat. She had the urge to look around the room, but was terrified to do so. She slowly forced herself to turn around, her eyes taking in everything.

“This is not right.” she breathed, as she shook her head. “What the hell?”

The room was different. Her brightly colored bedspread was gone. It had been replaced with a dark brown one. Her rocking chair was gone, too. She used to sit near the window and read while Dick and Amanda did whatever they did. That was her hiding spot when she needed to be alone. Now, there was a small desk and computer where the rocking chair used to be. Instead of two large dressers in the room, there was only one.

“You have got to be kidding. He actually changed the bedroom today while I was at work? Unbelievable!” Janet’s cheeks turned red and burned. She was more than angry, she was livid.

“I can’t wait for him to get home. I am going to freaking kill him.”

As she made her way through the house, she noticed other changes. The living room furniture had been rearranged, and there was a new television where the old one had been. In one corner of the room sat a small white table with a bright pink chair. She took it all in, her eyes wide with surprise. What in the hell was going on? Had Dick lost his mind? Why in the world would he change things around while she was at work?

“My head is killing me. I’m going to eat my ice cream and then nap until Dick and his precious Amanda get home. Then, I’m going to kill them both!” She snarled through gritted teeth. She couldn’t remember a time when she had been this mad.

At least the kitchen was the same. The appliances were where they should be and the bowls and spoons were in there places. She opened the freezer, almost gasping at the refreshing blast of cold air that hit her face. She was so hot. After rummaging around through the assortment of frozen foods, she found a half empty carton of chocolate ice cream.

“Ha! There it is. Finally, something is going right today.” She said.

She was just getting ready to scoop some ice cream into the bowl when she heard the front door open. She glanced at the clock and saw that it was only 5:40 and he never came home before 6:00 and sometimes later.

She slammed the spoon down on the counter. “Of course he would come home early tonight! I need some time alone so here he is! I swear he just knows how to piss me off.”

She stormed from the kitchen to the living room, prepared for battle. What she saw made her jaw drop, and she stopped short. Dick looked pretty much the same, but Amanda didn’t. She looked older and bigger. Her three year old daughter looked at least five, or maybe even six! How could that be possible?

It’s the heat and the stress, she thought.

She felt a small finger of panic working its way through her. Something was very wrong here. First, she had no key and had to break in. Then, the furniture had been changed or replaced, all in one day. Now, it appeared her daughter had aged a year or two in the span of ten hours.

The panic grew as a memory tried to invade her thoughts. She felt that something terrible had happened, but she couldn’t quite remember.

“Dick?” she said very quietly. “What’s going on?”

Dick didn’t answer. He and Amanda continued their conversation as they made their way to the kitchen, almost running Janet over in the process. They acted as if she wasn’t even there.

“Let’s get some dinner.” Dick was saying to Amanda. “What should it be tonight?”

“Hot dogs!” Amanda yelled and then laughed.

“Again? We just had those last night.” Dick was smiling.

Janet watched the two of them as if watching a television show. It was as if she was invisible. Why were they giving her the silent treatment? Then, she remembered the fight they had before he left for work that morning. It had been over Amanda, as usual. Dick wanted her to be more of a mother and spend time with Amanda. Janet had reminded him that she had never wanted to be a mother in the first place and didn’t plan on being one now. The fight had been a particularly nasty one and the feelings she had for her daughter had turned from annoyance to hatred. That brat had ruined everything. She had destroyed Janet’s marriage and her entire life.

“Take Amanda to school today.” Dick had demanded. “Talk to her. Let her know you care. She thinks her own mother hates her!”

Janet watched Dick and Amanda happily fixing dinner while she seethed. She hated them. She especially hated that stupid little girl. How she wished she had never given birth to that horrible thing!

Janet stopped wondering why Amanda seemed older. She stopped caring that they were giving her the silent treatment. All she could think about was making Amanda go away. Nothing else seemed to matter.

Another memory interrupted her thoughts. It had to do with after Dick had left for work, leaving Amanda in her care. He had wanted her to take Amanda to school, but did she? It was kind of fuzzy.

Janet scrunched her face in concentration. Suddenly, it seemed very important to remember what had happened next. Had she taken Amanda to school?

“So, Dick left for work.” she whispered, forgetting all about her husband and daughter being in the same room. “I was supposed to take her to school, but did I? Dick left and I….”

Then it hit. She remembered what came next. She had just snapped. Dick closed the door and left her with a person she hated more than life. Janet remembered screaming. She ran across the room to her daughter and grabbed her by her arm.

Janet was shaking and sweating profusely. She crammed her fists into her eyes and shook her head violently. I don’t want to remember any more. I can’t think about it!

But the memory came anyway. Now that it had started, she couldn’t stop it. She had grabbed Amanda’s arm and twirled her in a circle and then let her go. Amanda flew through the air and crashed into an end table. She started screaming and that made Janet even more angry, if that was possible.

“Shut up!” Janet had screamed.

She walked over to Amanda and stood looking down at her. There was blood on Amanda’s head where it had struck the table. Janet had laughed. She loved seeing that blood. Without even noticing what she was doing, she plopped down on Amanda, pinning her to the floor. She wrapped her hands around her daughter’s throat and squeezed. Then, something had hit her on the head. She felt it, but it didn’t hurt. She let go of Amanda, and whirled around to see Dick getting ready to punch her again. She caught his fist in mid-swing and pulled his hand to her mouth. She bit as hard as she could.

Dick yelled and punched with his other fist, hitting her square on the nose. She remembered feeling her nose break, but didn’t remember feeling any pain.

The memory played on in her head and Janet was helpless to stop it. She saw herself get up and launch herself at Dick, biting and clawing at him. He fought back but she was so crazed, he couldn’t stop her. He finally managed to give her a big shove and she fell backwards. She could almost feel it as she remembered it. A feeling of weightlessness as she fell. Her head struck the same table that she had thrown Amanda into. That’s when the memory suddenly stopped.

Janet’s eyes flew open wide. She had hit her head and everything had gone black. She had no memory between that event and leaving work today. No matter how hard she tried, it was a blank. Something must have happened between the time she was hurt and now!

Then another thought crept in and Janet started crying. She knew exactly why she had no memory of what happened after their big fight and her head injury.

“Because I’m dead.” She said between sobs. “I died. This must be my hell.”

 

 

Of course the car would pick this day to die. A horrible ending to a horrible day. A horrible week, actually. Every day had been a hellish endurance contest, and Janet almost hadn’t made it through. Now, she had to end the week by hauling her 180 pound body through this intense heat for an hour to get home. Her feet were killing her and sweat was dripping from her chin and trickling down her sides.

 

After what seemed an eternity, she arrived at her house. She rummaged through her purse as she climbed the stairs to the front porch, looking for her keys. They weren’t there. She stood at the door, frantically opening one zipper after another on her purse and clawing through the contents in each compartment. No key was found.

 

 

 

Breaking Up

Autumn afternoon

Fallen leaves beneath our feet

We say our goodbyes

Image Ref: 19-02-37 - Autumn Leaf, Viewed 5865 times

Feeling Very Small

late summer evening

deep orange of a sunset

where do I fit in?

Picture of Red Color of Sunsets is a large image free offered

Memories…a Haiku

Memories, whether good or bad, will pop into our heads once in a while.  If you’re honest with yourself you might admit that over the years the memories might have changed.  This seems to be especially true if the memory is a bad or hurtful one.  You twist things ever so slightly to try to take any blame away from yourself.  The only problem is, we know the truth.  I think that’s why some memories are very hurtful.  We try to remember them in a way that never happened, but we know the truth.

Memories dancing

Lovely music laced with lies

My soul is exposed

DPchallenge…I wish I were…

 

tea party

Carefree and Happy

DPchallenge…I Wish I Were

I wish I were a child again,

my smile so free and clear.

I wish I were a speaker,

so I could bend your ear.

I wish I were a writer,

with words your mind can fly!

I wish I were a teacher,

Then I could tell you why

These are all things I have wanted to be.  But, when you think about it, we are all of these at one time or another anyway.

Obviously, we all started out as children, but I took it one step further.  I never really grew up.  I surround myself with children every day, so I’m very in touch with my childish side.  No, I’m not strange.  I’m a nanny.

As for a speaker, well, I suppose it counts for me because I talk.  I talk a lot.  Ask anyone who knows me.  I’m also very bossy.

I always wanted to be a writer.  Most people I know like to write.  I write all of the time, I just don’t usually let anyone read what I write.  It’s only been recently that I have been brave enough to share some of my thoughts and stories.   I sure love to read, too, and reading and writing go hand-in-hand.

Although I don’t have the formal education to be a teacher, I teach all of the time.  I help parents prepare their children for life.  I teach school preparation skills, social skills, manners and decision-making skills.  The children also teach me.  They remind me how to find happiness in the most simple things.  They make me smile when I don’t even feel like smiling.  They live in the minute, and I try to follow suite.

It’s easy to play the “I wish I were” game, but in the end you need to be happy with what you are.  If you are truly unhappy with who you are, then change the “I wish I were” to “I soon will be”!

Closet Secrets part 3 (conclusion)

John opened his eyes slowly and found himself looking at a ceiling he did not recognize. He turned his head and was greeted with a dizzy spell and a sharp pain in his head. He waited for this to pass, then slowly looked around the room. He was in a hospital room. He tried to sit up, but his chest hurt too much and he lowered himself back onto the bed. What was going on? Why was he in the hospital? He wasn’t even involved in the actual fight, so how could he have been hurt? The last thing he remembered was his mom being sick, and his horror at realizing she had witnessed the murder. After that, nothing until he woke up here and in pain. Had his mom attacked him? She was the only other person in the room.

Then, John had a horrible thought. He remembered the disappearance of Josh after the fight. He also remembered Josh telling him that he wouldn’t tell him everything that would happen; that he was better off not knowing some of it. Maybe, Josh had attacked him to make it look believable! He had wanted it to look as if someone broke in and it would make sense that he would have to knock John out, too. That would explain it. Josh had knocked him out to make it look real.

Suddenly, he had a horrible thought. If that was so, what had Josh done to his mom? His mom was right there in the room! If he wanted to make it look real, wouldn’t he have to do something about her, too? He was too terrified to breathe for a minute. He had to find out where his mom was.

He slowly got out of bed and stood still waiting for the light headed feeling to pass. He noticed his chest was wrapped tightly and it was painful to breathe. He must have fallen on something when Josh knocked him out. No matter, he would live. He had been through worse. He found his clothes, and was almost completely dressed when a nurse walked into the room. She stopped in the doorway, looking very surprised to find him up and dressed. She said nothing, just stared at him.

“Where’s my mom?” John asked while finishing tying his shoe. “I need to see that she is okay.”

The nurse gave him a fake smile. It looked too nervous to be sincere. “I don’t know your mother, but I will ask about her. Where are you going? I don’t think you’re supposed to be up just yet.”

“I’m fine but I need to see my mom.” John started feeling very agitated. He only wanted to make sure his mom was fine. He had a horrible feeling she was dead, too.

“Wait right here, I will see what I can find out. Promise to stay right here.” The nurse was edging out the door as she talked. She looked very nervous.

John felt suspicious, but he wasn’t sure why. Maybe he should wait for her to check before he panicked. “Okay, I will wait. I just really need to know about my mom. I’m afraid she might be hurt.”

Saying it out loud made it seem worse, and he started quietly sobbing. The whole thing was just too much. What had he been thinking? When you do horrible things, you have horrible things happen to you. Of course things would go wrong. His mom shouldn’t have to pay for his bad decision! She had to be okay.

The nurse handed him a box of tissue. “I will be right back.”

John sat where he was while he waited. Once in a while, he would wipe his face with a tissue, but other than that he sat very still. It seemed she was gone forever, but the door finally did open. He was expecting the nurse to enter the room with his mom, or maybe a doctor. Instead, a policeman walked in. After surveying the room, he motioned for someone else to enter. Another man in a suit came in. John assumed he must be another policeman or a detective, or something like that. The man in the suit approached him.

“How are you feeling?” He asked.

John just looked up at him, not sure what to say. He didn’t know who he was and didn’t trust him.

“Sorry, maybe I should introduce myself. I’m Detective Mason. How are you feeling?” The man picked up a chair and placed it near John. He sat and looked calmly at John, waiting for him to respond.

“I’m okay.” John finally managed to say. “Where is my mom?”

“What do you remember?” Detective Mason asked. “Tell me what happened.”

John swallowed hard. He had to be very careful. He hadn’t been smart enough to come up with a story ahead of time, so he had to make it up as he went.

“I was in the living room with my dad. I don’t know, it happened pretty fast. Some guy came in and started hitting him.” John paused, trying to remember the sequence of the fight. “I think my dad got in a few hits, but I’m not sure. It happened so fast. Then, I was looking at my dad on the floor, and my mom was getting sick, and that’s all I know until now.” John was shaking all over. “Where is she? Where is my mom?”

“Anything else you want to add?” Detective Mason asked.

The way he was looking at John was making him mad. He almost had a smirk on his face, as if he was just putting up with the story of a young kid trying to get out of trouble.

“Why won’t you answer my question?” John raised his voice. “Is she dead? Is that why you won’t answer me?”

Detective Mason held up his hands. “Calm down, there’s no need to yell. Your mother is fine. Well, as fine as she can be after what she witnessed. She isn’t hurt, though.”

John felt a huge amount of relief, followed by some real fear. That was why this guy was looking at him like that. He knew he was lying. His mom had seen the whole thing and told a different story. He closed his eyes and tried to calm down. Maybe, just maybe, she hadn’t seen the whole thing. After all, by the time he had noticed her standing there, Josh was gone. Maybe she hadn’t seen him.

“My dad, is he dead? He looked dead.” John still had his eyes closed. He didn’t want to see the man’s face when he answered.

“Yes, he is. But then, you already knew that, didn’t you.”

John’s eyes snapped open. The detective’s voice had changed. It held a tone of contempt. His expression told John what he feared most. He did know what happened. His mom had seen the whole thing.

John tried to keep his voice calm. “I guess I did.”

“Why did you do it?” The detective asked. “Tell me what really happened.”

John tried to look surprised. “What? You think I did this? You think I killed him? I suppose I then beat myself up. I was attacked right after my dad was!”

Detective Mason sat calmly and looked John right in the eye. “You said yourself that your dad got in a few hits. Who do you think he hit?”

“The guy that attacked us! I saw him hit him. I heard the sound as his fist hit his face. I do remember that, now. It wasn’t me he hit. Not this time, at least.”

“So, you’re saying he hits you? Is that what happened? I just need to know what started the fight. By making up a ridiculous story, you are giving me no choice but to assume you intended to kill him. You planned this.” Detective Mason tried to put on a look that said I just care about you so tell me the truth. “I can’t help you if you won’t help me.”

“If you think I did it on purpose, why am I not under arrest?” John asked.

“Listen, there is some confusion about what happened. I need to make sure your story is the same as your mother’s. Tell me the truth about what happened, then it will be decided if you are under arrest or not. Keep messing with me, and there will be no doubt. Do you understand?”

John knew he was in real trouble. There was no doubt in his mind that his mom had seen enough to know this was a planned event. He wished he knew if she had seen Josh. Even through his fear, he knew he only had two choices. He could take the blame, or he could confess that he and a friend planned this. The question was, did he want to drag Josh into this? What kind of a friend would he be? But then, what kind of friend was Josh? He must have seen his mom and ran away, leaving John to handle it from there. What had he been thinking? How could he have just left like that? Anger started to burn inside him. Josh deserved to go down with him.

Detective Mason sighed. “Okay, listen. I will tell you what I know.”

“No, it’s okay, I will tell you.” John said. He took a deep breath and told his story. “Yeah, my dad hit me. He hit my mom, too, and she has cancer! What kind of demon does that? I’ve put up with his death threats, beating and ridicule for as long as I can. We were supposed to move in with my aunt, but I knew that things wouldn’t change for long. He would find a way to get me. He would get my mom, too. Something had to be done. It was actually my friend’s idea, but I went along with it. I just didn’t want him to hurt her anymore.” John paused, trying to decide if he should say more.

“A friend?” Who is this friend?” The detective produced a notebook and pen.

John ran his hand through his hair and took a deep breath. “Josh, his name is Josh. He killed him, then I guess he hit me a couple of times or something. My dad never touched me this time.”

“Does Josh have a last name, or an address?” Detective Mason asked. “And you said he killed him? You didn’t touch your father?”

John tried to think of Josh’s last name, but was drawing a blank. For the first time, he realized he had never heard a last name. He only knew him as Josh. Then, he thought of Greg. What was his last name? Where did they live? He couldn’t remember.

“Josh and Greg. That’s all I can think of.” John was talking out loud, but he didn’t realize it. He was deep in thought, trying to remember more details about his friends. “ I’ve known them as long as I can remember.” Then, he had a thought. “Mom will know. She might remember the names. I just can’t think straight right now.”

Detective Mason closed his notebook and nodded. “Okay, I will ask her.”

They sat in silence for a minute, then the detective stood up.

“Tell you what, I will talk to your mom and we will try this again tomorrow. You should rest. Maybe you will remember more in the morning.” He motioned for the police officer to leave and walked to the door. Before leaving he looked at Josh and said, “Officer Ross will just stay outside your door for now. Get yourself back to bed.”

John undressed, put on the hospital gown, and returned to bed. He was so tired; he felt he could sleep forever. He pulled the covers over his head and closed his eyes.

 

 

Marie Campbell sat in the waiting room of the hospital, trying hard to keep herself together. She wished someone would tell her what was happening. It had been several hours since she and John had come to the hospital. She had been questioned until she thought she would scream, but nobody would tell her how her son was.

Finally, she saw the detective approaching her. Maybe she would get some answers this time. She stood when he neared and waited for him to speak.

“Please, sit down.” He motioned to the chair. “I need to ask you some questions.”

“Again? How is my son?” She said.

“There seems to be some discrepancies in your stories. I need you to tell me one more time what happened.” He got his notebook out again and flipped through some pages.

“I can’t keep saying it!” She said, trying hard not to cry.

“I know, but one more time. I need to make sure.” He said.

Marie sighed. “Okay. I heard raised voices and knew there would be trouble if I didn’t stop it. I was in bed at the time. When I found them, they were in the living room, already fighting. John had blood on his face, and my husband was slugging him in the stomach. I yelled for them to stop, but I don’t think either one heard me. It was then I saw the bat. John swung it and hit Dan on the head. Then he just went nuts with it and hit him three or four more times. Dan fell and I knew he was dead. I was so scared that I did nothing! John dropped the bat and looked up. I just clamped my hand over my mouth and stood there, terrified. He looked around and called to someone. Then he ran through the house calling for this person. I think the name was Josh. Then, he saw me, and I thought he would come for me next. I was sick and threw up. When I was done, I looked up and John was on the floor, next to Dan. I called 911. That’s how I remember it.” She started crying and buried her face in her hands.

Detective Mason gave her a minute, and then asked, “Do you know Josh? John claims he is a friend and they planned this. He mumbled something about someone named Greg, too. Do you know his friends?”

Marie dabbed her eyes and nose, and shook her head. “He doesn’t have friends. As far as I know, he’s never had any. He rarely leaves his room. We started home teaching because he just had so many problems at school. He hasn’t left the house for months. He never has anyone over, either. I don’t know who he was calling.”

“So, he’s had issues with anger before?” Detective Mason asked.

“Yes. He used to be a sweet boy, but very moody, too. I think all fifteen year-olds are moody, but he was getting worse and worse. He made things up, terrible things, and would be very angry for no reason. He would attack his dad and act like it was self defense. I wanted to take him to the doctor, but my husband said it was ridiculous. He thought if we got strict with him, he would straighten out.”

“He said his father hit him, and you, too. Is that true? Is that what you mean by getting strict with him?” Detective Mason asked. “He expressed a lot of anger at you being abused, especially since you have cancer. Did he hit you, Mrs. Campbell?”

“No!” Maria said. “Never! I did have cancer, but I’ve been in remission for a long time now. I know it really upset John. My husband and I had arguments, but he never hit me. It wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle and we were working it out. Yes, Dan and John fought sometimes, and yes Dan hit him, but mostly in self-defense! John was getting very aggressive. He hated it when we argued. I knew we should have taken him to a doctor! Are we almost done? I don’t know how much more I can take.”

Detective Mason put a hand on her shoulder. “I’m very sorry, I know this has to be hard. You are handling yourself very well under the circumstances. We are almost done for now. Just to be sure, you are certain there was nobody else there tonight? He had no help in this? He claims his friend used the bat, not him. You didn’t see anyone?”

Marie shook her head. “No. It was just the three of us in the house. Can I see him now, do you think?”

Detective Mason sighed. “Maybe in the morning. His injuries aren’t bad, but I think he should sleep and so should you. I hope the doctor gave you something to help you rest, and make sure you have someplace to go tonight. I will meet you here in the morning and we can talk to John together.”

Marie nodded. “Okay, that sounds good. I’m so tired. Yes, I am staying with my sister tonight. Thank you for letting me know he is okay. “

They both stood up, getting ready to leave. Marie suddenly put her hand on the detective’s arm, stopping him.

“I just thought of something.” She said. “I often wondered at this, but it was another thing Dan said to ignore for now.”

“What’s that?” He asked.

“A few times, John would be in his closet, talking to himself. It was like he was trying to work through some problems. I thought it odd.” She said.

“Was anyone with him?” The detective asked.

Marie shook her head. “No, I’m sure he was alone.”

 

 

John lay very still under the blankets with his eyes closed. He just wanted to sleep. He wanted to pretend nothing had happened and sleep. How could Josh have betrayed him like that? Where was he? He wished he could talk to his mom. He would see her in the morning, and everything would be fine. He had to believe it would be fine. He was drifting off to sleep when he was startled awake by something jabbing his shoulder. He didn’t move and listened very carefully. Again, there came a jabbing feeling on his arm.

“Hey, sleepy head.”

It was Josh’s voice! John threw the covers off and sat up. There stood both Josh and Greg, right beside his bed.

“Where the hell did you go?” John hissed, trying to keep his voice down.

“Relax.” Josh laughed. “We didn’t go anywhere. We’re friends, right? We stick together.”

Greg was nodding his agreement. “Yeah. Sorry I bailed before all of this happened. I was wrong to do it, and it won’t happen again. Friends?”

“Yeah, friends?” Josh was still grinning.

“I’m in real trouble here. I can’t believe you’re just standing there, smiling.” John said. He did feel a little better seeing his friends here, though.

“Come on, get up. Put some clothes on for God’s sake.” Greg said. He, too, was smiling.

John got up and put on his jeans and shirt. Josh draped his arm around his shoulders.

“I know you’re in trouble, but the good news is, we are here. So far, we’ve always been able to work out whatever comes up, right? The three of us together.”

John nodded and smiled. “Yeah, we have.”

“Well, come on then. The closet here isn’t very big, but I bet we can make it work. Greg and I are here and we won’t leave you again. Let’s go talk and think of a way out of this.”

The three friends stepped into the small hospital room closet, and John very quietly shut the door.

 

 

 

Closet Secrets part 2

John stayed in his room that evening for as long as he could. He sat on the bed, staring at the clock. His foot tapped the floor fast and furious. He felt sick with nerves, but there was a hint of excitement, too. This was the last night he would have to be scared. This was the last night his mom had to be scared. He just had to get through this night.

At 9:30 John quietly went downstairs to the kitchen. His mom was already in bed, and his dad was in the living room watching television and drinking, his usual routine. John slowly turned the lock on the door, praying his dad would not hear the click it made. The television was pretty loud, so he knew he should be safe enough. After unlocking the door, he just stood there, not sure what to do next. Josh had told him to be with his dad at ten. He hadn’t bothered to ask if he had to be in the same room, or just to be home.

“Idiot.” He scolded himself. “Of course he means the same room.”

Taking a deep breath to calm himself, he walked quietly into the living room. His dad didn’t even look his way as he sat on the sofa opposite his dad. John pretended to watch the television and just sat quietly. Every minute seemed an hour and he jumped at every little noise. His heart was hammering in his chest, and he thought he might have a heart attack before Josh arrived. He hoped his dad would just keep ignoring him.

Maybe this is wrong. Maybe I should stop it before it happens, John thought. No! He mentally screamed at himself. Don’t even think it. It’s too late, anyway.

At that moment, he heard the door open. He quickly glanced at his dad to see if he had heard it, too. His dad just sat there, guzzling beer and staring at the television, lost in whatever hell he lived in. John had a clear view of the entry between the kitchen and living room from where he sat, and his stared at that spot and waited. He couldn’t even breathe. When Josh came into view he suddenly realized he had forgotten to ask a very important question. Josh had told him to distract his dad. What was he supposed to do? What did he mean, exactly? Why had he not asked more questions?

As Josh slowly walked towards them, John almost froze. How could his dad not see him approaching? In another few steps Josh would be in view and his dad would have plenty of time to react.

That’s why I need to distract him! John thought suddenly. He jumped up and walked in front of the television to get his dad’s attention. He tried to talk, but his throat felt completely dry and no sound came out. His dad raised his eyes to meet John’s own terrified eyes. There was a look of confusion in those eyes at first, as if he had just realized John was in the room. The confusion turned to the slow burn of anger that John recognized. His fear grew as his dad stood up. At this point, John realized Josh was right behind his dad. He had a huge grin on his face that was both terrorizing and comforting. Josh was in control. John expected him to do something, but Josh just stood there, grinning like a mad man.

“What the hell are you doing?” His dad asked.

John’s eyes darted from Josh to his dad. Why didn’t Josh do something? What the hell was he waiting for?

“I was just…” John scrambled for something to say. “I thought we could talk.”

“You thought wrong. Go away, I’m too tired for this tonight.”

John was at a complete loss. He had no idea what to do now. He couldn’t think of a thing to say, and Josh still just stood there with that grin on his face. What was he supposed to do now?

“Did you think we would go hit a few balls together in the dark? Is that was the bat is for?” His dad said. He still had that deadly glower in his eyes.

John was taken by surprise. “Bat? What are you …”

He looked down and saw he was holding his old baseball bat that had been sitting in his closet for years. How had that happened? He had no memory of picking it up.

“I don’t…remember.” He stammered, still staring at the bat.

His dad laughed. “Maybe you thought to threaten me with it? Is that it?”

“No!” John screamed. He tried to drop the bat, but somehow could not let go of it.

Josh started waving his arms wildly and hopping up and down. John stared open mouthed at him. What was he doing? Why had his dad not noticed him yet? How could he not notice? He couldn’t stand it any longer.

“Do something, Josh!” He yelled, looking over his dad’s shoulder at Josh.

His dad whirled around at that, leading with his fist. John saw his fist connect with Josh’s face and heard the crunch. John felt dizzy and sick and things went slightly out of focus. Somehow, Josh stayed on his feet and kept his head, though. He held his hand out towards him and John immediately knew he wanted the bat. John threw it and Josh caught it just before another punch caught him in the stomach. Again, John felt as if he might pass out, but kept himself upright. When things came into focus again, he saw Josh swinging the bat. His dad tried to jump out of the way, but was too slow. The bat clipped his forehead and popped his head back cruelly. Without hesitating, Josh dove in, the bat swinging wildly. John watched in horror as the bat smashed his dad’s chest, arms, legs and finally a killing blow to the head. Blood splattered on that one and he felt the warm drops on his face. He watched as the expression on his dad’s face grew vacant and slack. He fell to the floor and remained still, eyes staring at nothing. John knew he was dead. His dad was dead.

John saw the bloodied bat on the floor next to his feet and looked around for Josh. Josh was gone. John ran through the house looking for him, but he was gone. Josh had just left him like this! What was he going to do now?

In his own terror, he hadn’t noticed his mom standing in a corner of the living room. She had her hand over her mouth and was very white. Her eyes were wide and terror filled. For a long time she stood like that, just staring at her dead husband on the floor. Then, she bent over and vomited. John couldn’t move. He watched her being sick and couldn’t move. He just kept thinking over and over that she had seen the whole thing. His mom had watched this and knew who did it! John felt weak and dizzy. He fell to the floor and everything went black.

 

How will this end?  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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