I said I wasn't going to do this anymore but I had to do this one. This was just too much fun. So I hope you enjoy it.
The skinny, pallid man stood backed up against the wall as far as he could get. His arms were slightly spread out to his sides with his palms planted tightly against the hard surface that supported him as if he could push the wall further back. He wanted to put more space between him and the woman who stood just in front of him. She was so close, no more than a few inches separating her from making physical contact with his body.
He stared at the long red curls that ran down her shoulders and back. Even the littlest motion from the woman made those curls roll and weave about her. Every time they did, they sparkled and shimmered as if they were scales on a snake and he felt that at any moment they would reach out to entangle him in a choking hold around his measly neck.
He looked at her eyes, those eyes, they weren’t natural. They were the color of a sleek feral cat and it appeared as if the pupils were slitted instead of round at times.
“You weaselly little bastard. Did you honestly think you were smarter than me? Did you think that because I was old, I wasn’t worth your time?’ The woman’s grin grew a little with that last question.
Before he could respond one of the woman’s hands came up revealing long red claw like nails. To the man they looked like bloody spikes as she brought that hand up even closer and planted one of those deadly nails at his throat just above his Adam’s apple. He felt the pain when the nail pricked his neck and then the slight oozing of the warm blood that was the result of this assault. His only reaction was a moan and he tried even harder to push the wall behind him further back.
“Look at you. You cower so tightly in that spot that you look like little more than an air bubble in a piece of wallpaper. What’s the matter mouse, cat got your tongue?” She slipped her nail in just a bit deeper. Still all he did was let out a small whimper and continued to try and push the wall out from behind him.
“You know, I’m not sure which makes me madder, the fact that you thought I wasn’t worth your time because of my age or the fact that you flat out lied to me. I thought I might have gained something from this experience, something that would have helped me move forward in my life. Now I see, you really have nothing to offer. You’re worthless. Of no value to anyone really. A second hand want-a-be.” The woman noticed the man’s slightly long scraggly curls had turned to limp greasy looking strands of some dark brown material that dripped with the heavy salted sweat that his body was excreting. His skin color even paler than before. He really was a disgusting excuse for a human.
“Please.” The weakly mumbled word only served to make the woman laugh.
“Please what? Don’t hurt you. That wasn’t something you seemed to care about when you pushed me aside the way you did. You didn’t appear to care if you hurt me. I saw what types of people came out of this building today. Young attractive females and a few young males who were even smaller and less attractive. Did you think that made you look smarter, more manly?” The woman really laughed at that.
The man felt the nail as it slid in deeper and the blood was beginning to flow more heavily yet he was still unable to move.
“I’ve grown bored with you mouse. I honestly thought there might have been a little fight in you, but there isn’t. You’re a pathetic little nobody.” With that the woman hooked her claw all the way in and jerked her hand back toward herself. With it came the pinned man’s lower jaw with it. Blood pored out of the gaping wound and spattered the front of the woman, but she didn’t step back. She simply stood there staring into the man’s eyes as his blood and life left his body. Only when the body began to relax and slowly sink to the floor did she step back and turn to leave the room slinging the man’s jaw from her hand, sending it flying across the room.
As she reached the closed door she turned back and looked at the bloody mess she had left there and then she simply vanished into thin air her blood curdling laugh dying slowly as she faded out of sight.
Maybe not one of my best, but I like it. Yes I love dragons and that I can not help.
The girl looked up toward the night sky wondering about the legend she had heard all her life. She had been told that somewhere out there among the stars there was a special spirit. It was the spirit of the blue dragon. He had lived once on the planet but slowly all his kind had died until he was the only one left.
Humans had been afraid of them. Afraid of their power, so they had hunted them. It wasn’t that humans were bigger and stronger, but they were cunning. Even dragons could be poisoned, and they poisoned them all. Just like humans, dragon had to eat.
Dragons hadn’t hunted humans until they realized what was happening but there were to many human and too few dragons left. The ones that didn’t die from the poison died from hunger, all but one, the blue dragon.
The humans had hunted him for more years than anyone could remember until one day they thought they had him cornered. They hadn’t.
Standing on the edge of a cliff the dragon launched into the air with such strength and speed that they never had a chance. They watched as the dragon flew over them letting out a stream of blue flames before it headed skyward. It flew higher and higher; the sound of its wings grew fainter and fainter the higher it went. While some watched the dragon make its skyward climb while others tried to care for the wounded and dead.
The humans with their faces turned upward watched as the blue dragon flew toward the moon it body growing smaller and smaller as it climbed. Just when it became nothing more than a pin point against the moon there was a flash of brilliant blue light that lit that blocked out that pale blue orb. What looked like bolts of lightning flew out in all directions only served to add to the unnatural blue shine of the night sky.
Some said it burst into flames, others thought it made it all the way to the moon and crashed to its surface and died, but a few, a very few, said that it was still up there. Up there searching for others like him.
The girl knew better. It was still close. She would see it as it made its way among the stars. Each night it seemed to come closer to her than the night before. Tonight, it would get very close, so close that it would reach out and take her and she would let it. You see, there were other dragons still living. They had just learned how to adapt and take a different form. Tonight, the girl would join her brother and together they would search and find others. When they did, humans would have something to scare their children with once more.
I woke with another headache this morning. I hate that. It means it will be another one of those days. A day where I slip from this world into that other darker world. Oh you’ve heard the remark, ‘all the colors are pretty in my world,’ well I’m here to tell you they’re not.
Yes the beautiful brilliant colors are alluring but they hide a darkness underneath. It slowly rises up to gradually envelope you and you will not be aware until it’s too late. It drags you down into a world of madness and horror. I know.
The first time I was pulled into that world I loved it. Everything looked so perfect, clean, and miraculous. You traverse a landscape unlike any you’ve ever seen before. Your bare feet feel as if they are planting themselves in a cushion of warm sand, cotton, satin luxury all at one time. The air caresses your skin like the loving embrace of a long lost love that fills you with joy. A soft melodious hum of angelic like voices lull you into a state of relaxation and peace. There is no fighting the urge to stretch your willing supple body out on the heavenly surface that was massaging feet. You close your eyes and surrender yourself to this world of wonderful colors and in that moment it begins to take you.
Slowly is invades your mind somewhere in the deepest reaches. So lightly does it stroke these deep hidden crevasses of your mind you are unaware that it has even penetrated into your most sacred of places. Each time you return for the ecstasy that this world offers you lose more and more of yourself, each time your soul dies a little more. Oh it won’t kill you outright but it kills who you were.
By the time you are aware of what is happening it is too late. Every time you return to the world you belong in you are changed. You start hunting. You become the monster that makes adults lock their doors at night and children afraid to look under their bed and in their closets. You’re the one that makes the lone person jump when they hear a strange noise behind them. It is your glowing eyes people see in the dark of night shining out at them from the even darker shadows.
I fight the urge to step across the threshold of the other place but the part of me that is already there pulls me toward it. I slip through the passageway and feel all those wonderful things I felt the first time until it takes over and then I’ll return. I’ll step out into the night of my original home, my eyes glowing with hunger, and I’ll hunt. Suddenly with a rapturous joy I know, I will kill tonight.
Inspired by and dedicated to Shelia Bennington
Shelia was an angel. Oh, you couldn’t see her wings because they had been broken as had her heart. She had been sent to make the lives of the people walking around her better but what she saw as she walked among the people around her had brought a tear from her eye and it had rolled down her cheek falling to the earth. The tear turned to class as it fell and it shattered at her feet when it hit the ground.
The tiny little musical bell like sound that was emitted form the tear was heard by only her. No one even saw her before when she first came. As she continued her passage across the world, she saw more and more of the horrors of this world and more tears fell, each delivering a beautiful little tinkling sound made by the splintering shards of sparking glass that scattered at the feet of those around her as they trampled over them. The fact that these people walked over the fragments of her pain made it worse. More tears fell.
She continued to try and do what she had been sent here for but with each step she took her feet seemed to get heavier and the growing heaviness in her soul weighed on her more and more with each step she took. One day she could do it no more.
She sat down. She could do it no more. That’s when her wings broke. They didn’t just break but they fell from her tired body and like her tears turned to class shattering behind her in thousands of little pieces. The tears stopped as her wings fell from her.
She was just as sad, just as heart broken, just as tired, but there were no more tears. They wouldn’t come.
She was an angel, or she had been. What was she now? She sat for days in the same spot without moving. She felt no hunger, no thirst, only the pain of what she had seen and what she had lost. What was she supposed to do now?
Through all the pain it finally came to her. Wings or not she was still an angel and she still had a job to do. She stood up and continued to walk. She walked for years, the pain and heaviness constantly with her. She helped where she could but somewhere along the way people began to see her.
At first a shadowy glimpse out of the corner of their eyes but as time passed, she became more a part of the world around her. Now when she reached out a hand to someone much more often than not, they reached back. Tonight however, tonight when she reached to help someone, the man had refused. Once again the pain resulted in her sitting down on a park bench wondering if she would ever get up again. Then someone reached out a hand to her first.
Shelia looked at the man not knowing what to do.
“Take my hand dear girl. You look so tired and like you could use some help.” The man had seen the young woman stumble and he had been afraid that she might be ill. She certainly didn’t look like someone who lived on the streets, but she did look lost. The sadness in her eyes had touched his heart like nothing before. He knew for some reason he had to help her if he could.
“But I’m supposed to be helping you?” Shelia could tell that the man was homeless and unable to help himself.
“Sweetheart, even those who don’t have a lot can help another every now and then and right now you’re the one who looks like she needs the help. I’ve got enough money in my pocket for a couple of cups of coffee and maybe you can tell me what has you so down?” The man’s hand was still extended, Shelia reached out and took it before she realized it.
The man, she found out his name was Doug, led her to a small diner not far from them and he ordered the two cups of coffee. Shelia wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do with it but felt it would be wrong not to try and look like she was drinking it, so that’s what she did.
Shelia managed to avoid talking about herself as much as she could, but she did get to hear Doug’s life story. He was a vet. He had fought in Desert Storm and been seriously injured. He told her that when he came back with half his face burned off his wife left him and finding a job with the way he looked hadn’t been easy over the years. With no family to go home to and jobs few and far between he had given up for a while. Lately he had found a way to make his life count again he told her. You see there were a lot of men and women in the same shoes he was in and now he was starting work in a rehab center for others like him. The people who had been thrown away when they came back from fighting for their country. He had already made a difference in one man’s life when he had found him lying on the streets and taken him to the center. That’s how he had gotten the job. They had hired him on the spot.
Shelia listen to the man’s story and realized that the man that Doug had helped was the one she had tried to reach out to earlier, but he had refused her help. This man had managed to do what she had not, and he wasn’t an angel. He was a down on his luck simple man who like her had given up, but found it in himself to have the strength to help another.
It was then that she realized you didn’t have to be an angel to help people, or maybe it was wings and a halo you didn’t need, you just need to be there and want to. Shelia had looked at what she had been doing all this time as just a job in a way, it wasn’t. It was more than that. You had to look past the ugliness of what people did to others. You had to look past the shortcomings. You had to look inside them. There was where you found the truth. There was where you found the hope. There was where you found the love. Shelia realized she had to leave right then.
“Doug I’ve got to go. You have no idea what you have done for me tonight. I know you’ll do well in your new job, and suddenly she did. I also know that you’ll find people who can and will look past the scars on your face. Shelia being what she was knew they were there but through her eyes they didn’t show. She reached out and touched his cheek and softly stroked it. I think you’ll be surprised to find out how your life may turn out. Think of me when you feel discouraged and who knows, I might show up when you least expect it.” Shelia didn’t have anymore time. She stood up and almost ran out the door.
Doug watched as the woman made her hasty retreat, but something happened just as she got on the other side of the glass door, or at least Doug thought it did. He shook his head to try and clear it and rubbed his eyes because he couldn’t have seen what he thought he just did.
The moment the young woman was on the other side of the door he could have sworn she grew glowing white wings. Those beautiful wings then started gracefully flapping and lifted Shelia into the air. The first time anyone, little on a woman, had touched his face since he had been back that wasn’t medically related and it had been that lovely young woman. Maybe she was an angel, maybe she wasn’t, but in that moment when she had touched him, he knew his life had turned around. She had been right. She had been sent to help him. Only she hadn’t known that.
The painting done by Shelia Bennington, a lady of great talent and inspiration.
She placed her hand on his chest but could feel no movement then moved it to his neck and could find no pulse. He was dead.
It had been so simple. No muss, no fuss. She simply scared him to death. True he had a weak heart which had helped with that but still…It had been so simple.
Carol looked down at the body of her husband and resisted the urge to kick it. She knew she couldn’t afford to leave any marks on it at this point. There was nothing here to give her away once she called the police which she should do soon but now she just stood looking down at Bradly with a cold indifference. The only thing out of place on him as far as she could see were the two missing buttons that had popped off his shirt when he had fell to the floor. At least that’s what she assumed since they had been there before he fell. He really was a pathetic excuse for a human being, or he had been before he died.
At over three hundred pounds she couldn’t stand to look at him little on have him touch her. Now though she couldn’t take her eyes off him for some reason. He was just as fat, just as ugly, just as disgusting but something about him being dead drew her eyes to him now.
She had spent months on trying to figure out how to get rid of Bradly but everything she came up with in her mind ended up with her spending the rest of her life in jail. That wasn’t a price she was willing to pay for her freedom from him. Most people would ask why she hadn’t just left him if she had hated him so much, but it came back to the same thing it always did. It was the money. How many people had killed others for the same damn reason?
For months the answer to her problem, and getting away with it, had tormented her. Guns, knives, poison, even getting him up on top of a building and pushing him off had gone through her head but with each one she came back to one inescapable conclusion. She would end up in jail and since she lived in a state that had capital punishment, she could end up dead herself. Then it came to her. Bradly was afraid of snakes. No that wasn’t quite right. He was enormously afraid of snakes. The great thing about that was he had managed to keep it from everyone, even her for a long time. The only reason she had found out that lovely little secret he kept from the world was because she had found one in the garden one day. Bradly was sitting in a chair close by and Carol had simply picked up the little garden snake to show it to him and he had almost had a heart attack that day. Why she hadn’t realized that was her way out in the beginning she didn’t know but finally it had managed to make its way to the front of her brain.
Once the idea had formed it had been so amazingly simple. So simple in fact it was almost stupid in its simplicity. She started spending more time in the garden and collecting the little things when she found one. She had settled on three because taking to long to collect the snakes meant keeping them alive and she had managed to lose one.
She had spent a couple of days getting him worked up just to get his blood pressure up. She did everything she could to interrupt his sleep. She had even lowered herself to having physical contact with him right there at the dinning table just before she sprung the snakes on him. There would be evidence of that of course but what the hell. Can’t a wife have a physical relationship with her husband?
The only thing that had worried her was collecting all three of her little cohorts and throwing them back out into the yard so they wouldn’t be found in the house, but she had managed to do that. Yep, it looked like the powers that be had been smiling on her today. Well for most of it anyway.
Carol was still having problem with looking away from the dead man but she had to make that call. Damn her phone was in the other room so she was going to have to leave her handywork to get the phone.
Carol backed away from her dead husband into the other room. For some reason she felt uncomfortable taking her eyes off him. Her phone was in the far corner of the den so there came a point when she could no longer see her husband. Picking up the phone she dialed the emergency number and began to beg for assistance. She thought she put on a pretty good act for the person on the other end and was so caught up in the pride of her performance that she was no longer watching the door to the kitchen.
Carol didn’t see the dark shadowy form that slithered across the floor behind her. She wasn’t aware of it until it wrapped itself around her ankle and made its way up her leg. By the time it had entwined her body she was no longer acting as she screamed into the ear of the emergency worker on the other end.
By the time the police made it to Carol’s house they were met with something they were unable to explain. Yes the woman’s husband was dead and they would find out later that he did die of a heart attack. What they wouldn’t be able to explain was how he got wrapped around his wife the way he was. What was he doing wrapped around her? Hell, even alive there was no way to explain how a human would have been able to wrap themselves that way around anything.
The cause of her death? She had been crushed to death as if a large python had gotten to her. They looked for one all through the house but they didn’t find one. Living in Florida it was a possibility that one could have gotten in, but if it had, where did it go.
#horror #thriller #Murder #TheBloodLinesSeries #JourneyIntoNightmares #NightmareExpress #CathyPaceMatthews
Dedicated to my granddaughter Layla
The young woman lay curled around the egg she had found. She didn’t know why she felt the need to protect the oblong object but she knew she had to. Layla was doing everything she could to keep it warm. Every now and then she felt something move within the hard shell and wondered if she was doing the right thing.
That it was an egg she had no doubt but she had never seen one so large. Her small body didn’t come close to sheltering the egg so she had taken several blankets and quilts from her home and was using them to help with protecting the egg. Truth was the multi layers of covering were helping to keep her warm as well. If something didn’t happen soon she would have to leave the egg because what little she had brought with her to keep her from going hungry was almost gone. She wondered if it would even matter if she starved once the egg hatched because whatever was in it might very well eat her.
Again she felt something move within the oval but this time the oval wobbled a bit. That hadn’t happened since she had found the egg. Something inside her told her she probably should be afraid, run even, but she wasn’t afraid.
Again the egg wobbled and this time she heard a cracking sound. Maybe she should get away she thought but yet she stayed where she was. Another cracking sound split the early morning hours only this one was louder and still she didn’t move.
The third and loudest crack was the last. A wing extended out from the broken shell throwing the covering aside and the bright red color of the wing was exposed followed by the body and other wing of the red dragon. Layla quickly sat up not knowing what to do. A dragon. There was no such thing as dragons, or at least that is what she had always heard. She had also heard that mythological dragons ate people. Still she wasn’t frightened.
The dragon turned its face toward her and stared at her through eyes that seemed as old as time. It cocked its head first one way and then another then it did something that shocked her. It lay its head in her lap as if to reassure her she was in no danger. Layla placed her hand on the dragon’s head and began to rub it between the ridges of its eyes.
“Ruby, your name is Ruby.” Layla didn’t know why she felt the need to name this magnificent creature Rudy outside of its beautiful bright red scales that seemed to sparkle in the sunlight and give off an iridescent sheen. The infant dragon seemed to nod its head while it rested it in her lap as if it understood what she was saying.
Layla thought the Earth might be about to change. She wondered if there be dragons in this world what other wonders might exist still to be found and if there was one dragon could there be more?
#horror #writer #CathyPaceMatthews #TheBloodLinesSeries #JourneyIntoNightmare #NightmareExpress #ColdEncounters
Christmas will never be the same again.
A little video short story.
#horror #Christmas #Blood Murder #Elf #Blood Lines Series #Elf
The woman running down the hill stopped suddenly as she heard her husband scream out behind her.
“No!” The resounding high pitched sound of her husband’s voice breaking through the night was enough to give anyone chills in spite of the oppressive heat that permeated the night.
She turned to see the taboo of her husband and the man standing in front of him silhouetted by the large bright full moon behind them. The image reminded her of some cartoonish sight from an old movie scene. She watched as the ax swung through the night air making contact with the side of her husband’s neck slicing her husband’s head completely from his body.
This sent the head of the man she loved go spinning through the air end over end. The blood that the heart had shortly before pumped into it now sprayed the red droplets liquid flying out in a pinwheel pattern as it made it way outward and then took the arched pathway to the ground. The soft thud like sound it made as it hit the earth barely registered with the woman as she watched her husband’s head now roll downhill and coming to a wobbling stop face up on the toe of her right shoe. The shock of the horrific sight held her glued in place totally forgetting for that critical moment as the ax welding dark figure made his was slowly down the hill toward her.
The woman wasn’t aware of the ax welding silhouette being at her side until she heard a swishing sound and felt the razor sharp blade kiss the soft skin of her neck. This was followed by a quick unbelievable rush of pain through her head as her spine was sliced and her head was severed from her body. Now it was her head that went flying leaving a red trail of blood as her now numb body stood headless for a moment before falling first to her knees then forward onto the ground. The result of this was to remove the barrier that had held her husband’s prisoner and one of her feet giving it a slight kick as she hit the ground and his head went rolling again down the hill pursuing hers.
The man’s head hit something in the road and took a slight turn sending it rolling off toward the side of the road and coming to rest again on the soft shoulder of the night blanketed asphalt. The woman’s rolled a little further down the thoroughfare before it too came to rest on the opposite side from her husband’s.
The lone ax welding man watched the two oblong objects roll down the hill and come to rest before he turned his attention back to the body of the woman. She had been pretty he thought. He noticed a couple of locks of her dark curly hair lying next to her body where they too had been severed from her head when the ax had made contact with her neck. A warm breeze caused one of them to slowly spin like the pin on a compass in a ninety degree turn with the end of the lock of hair now pointing downhill toward the woman’s head as if it were pointing in its direction. It almost reminded the man of an accusing finger pointing out what he had just done. If this had been an act of passion or some unforeseen act it might have had some affect on him. He only found it to be interesting.
The man continued to stare at the woman’s body as his mind processed what he had just done. Yes it had been a brutal and messy way to kill but he had enjoyed it. As he stood over the woman, or what was left of her a pleasant sensation traveled up his spine and then made a return trip back down coming to an enjoyable end in the abdominal area of his body.
He had just brutally killed two people tonight but he wasn’t through. He had been holding this in for years and tonight it had finally broken free in him. He had tried to fight it but no longer could. He wiped the edge of the ax on the woman’s clothes and turned to continue down the hill. No he wasn’t through. He had others he wanted to dispatch the same way he had this couple. He wanted to get as many in tonight before anyone knew what was happening because he had no doubt that he himself would be dead by this time tomorrow night. Yes before this night was over there would be more.
“You wanted to talk, so talk.”
“Really? You just show up like this and that’s how you want to open this?”
“I got the message you wanted to talk to me, so here I am. How else would you expect me to open a conversation with you? We’ve never actually met so opening with some silly pleasantry didn’t seem like the thing to do. If it makes you feel better then fine I’ll start with one. Hello Katlyn, is nice to finally meet you.”
“Why do I feel like you’re being an ass?”
The man across from Katlyn let out a little chuckle. “Maybe in a way I am being an ass. Look Katlyn I’m not real sure how this is supposed to go myself and to be honest with you I’m a little nervous. I’m pretty sure you’re feeling the same way but in spades. I know if I were sitting in your place I would be.”
“Are you even going to ask how he is?”
“I know how he is. Believe it or not I’ve kept up with what’s been going on with him.”
Katlyn looked at the man in front of her. She had wanted to talk to him, get a chance to know him but now all she could think about was that he was sitting in front of her and the man was right, she was nervous as hell. Actually she was pretty damn scared at the moment but she couldn’t say why outside of the obvious reasons.
“I have to assume from your silence you’re trying to come to terms with me being here.”
“Ya think?” Katlyn knew she was being a bit of an ass herself but right now she was unnerved by this meeting and had honestly thought it would never happen. From everything she had heard it shouldn’t be happening now.
“Hey you’re the one who asked to meet me so here I am. Don’t you think it might be a good idea for you to lose the anger for a bit and let’s talk? I don’t have a lot of time and I’ve got to get back soon so I suggest we don’t waste a lot of our time together.” The look of sadness in the man’s eyes wasn’t lost on Katlyn.
“Why? He loved you so much, he still does. His whole life had been centered around you and what he thought you would have wanted him to be like and in so many ways he feels like he has failed. He hasn’t you know? Oh he’s made mistakes for sure and some of them big ones but the truth is he is a good man. The problem is you just up and left him at a time when he needed you most. When you left him he was a very young man with a very young family and it was at that time he needed you most. I know at times he must have been angry with you but he never stopped loving or believing in you. You were and still are his hero.”
“You think I don’t know that Katlyn? I’ve had to deal with that ever since I left him. It wasn’t that I wanted to go, it was that I had to go.” The man looked at Katlyn with a look of longing in his eyes and she couldn’t help but be moved by what she saw.
“You must know his first marriage ended in divorce?” Katlyn really didn’t understand why she felt the need to bring that up.
“I know and if it hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you now.” A small smile lifted the corners of the man’s mouth as a bit of a twinkle brightened his eyes.
“You’re son always said you would have like me. I’ve always thought he told me that to make me feel better.”
“Like I said, I’ve kept up. I think my son did pretty good in finding you. I know you love him and obviously have always been willing to go to any length to try and make him happy. The fact that you’re sitting here now talking to me proves that more than anything else and there have been lots of other things that I know of as well. Steven isn’t always an easy man to understand, I guess he does get that from me.” The earlier gleam in the man’s eyes only got brighter with his last statement.
“Evidently he has a lot of you in him.”
“Don’t be confused, there’s some of his mother in him too.” This brought out another chuckle from the man.
“You think I don’t know that. Her I did get to know and let me tell you that was not an easy person to deal with. That woman did everything in her power to come between her son and me.” A shiver ran down Katlyn’s spine as she remember some of the things she had dealt with regarding Steven’s mom.
“She wasn’t always that way Katlyn. She was always a strong woman but me leaving her did something to her and I know it wasn’t good.”
“It wasn’t just that. You were around long enough to spoil the crap out of Steven’s first daughter but then you left before the second one even got a chance to know you. How do you think that made that little darling feel? After you were gone I think your wife saw in that first grandchild a connection to you because of the way you were about her and I don’t think that left your wife with a lot of time for the second one. I’m not saying that she did it out of meanness, she just did it.” Katlyn was trying to understand so much about the man who sat across from her.
“Yes I got word of that too and I wanted to do something about it but I couldn’t. I wasn’t in a position where I could. You know they don’t just let you pop out of where I’ve been just to put your family straight. There are rules.
“And yet here I am sitting here talking to you.” Katlyn wondered about that one most of all.
“That’s true but you asked to see me remember?” The man looked at Katlyn as if he could see right through her into her soul.
“Haven’t they asked?” Katlyn wanted to know how he would answer that question.
“They’ve asked to see me but it’s not the same. This isn’t the first time you’ve gone through this with someone in my position and you know how hard that was for you. Do you think I wanted to put my family through that? How did it make you feel sitting across from you mom asking questions she couldn’t give you clear answers to. Did it honestly help you? Did it make you feel better about the way things were?” The sadness had returned to the man’s eyes.
“Yes and no. When I sat down with Mom she seemed so distant to me. I wanted to feel her love but all I seemed to get from her was more like a cold encounter from a stranger. She didn’t even look like herself anymore. She had changed. All she kept telling me was this was how it had to be. I’ve talked to her a few times since and although she hasn’t been as cold she’s only got a short time to talk and she avoids talking about anything I think is important and I feel she only pushes me away.
“Katlyn she loves you, that’s why she does what she does. She can’t reach out and take you in her arms and hold and comfort you. There is no comfort in this. It’s lonely and sad. When you love your children and you have to leave them there’s no happiness in that. It’s simply the reality of things. Don’t you think we want to be with you? Wishing for that however can only make matters worse for all concerned. It can’t be changed. It can’t be undone. It is simply what it is.
“There’s so much you could tell me about him. So many things I want to know.” A tear ran down Katlyn’s cheek as she said this.
“You have all the answers you need Katlyn. They’re all there in the man you love. There is nothing I could tell you about him that you don’t already know or at least what you need to know. Don’t you understand that you’ve been with him now almost as long as I was with him before I went away? Don’t you understand that you’ve been helping build the man he is now for all these years?” The man really smiled at Katlyn this time.
“Well if that’s the case I feel like I’m screwing up.” That thought had never crossed Katlyn’s mind before and right now she didn’t like it too much.
“Katlyn is he a good man in your eyes?”
“Yes, a little grouchy at times but yes he is a good man.”
“The grouchy part comes with age I’m afraid but the good man part, a lot of that has to do with you having been there for him all these years just like he has affected the kind of woman you have become. If it hadn’t been for him you probably wouldn’t have written that first book. Oh by the way I like it. The others are good too but I really like the first one.”
“Sure. In that one in particular you captured my childhood home and I not only like it but I appreciate how you did it.”
“Oh about that little redheaded girl of yours. I like her. She’s a hoot. Lot of fire in that little redhead.” The man was giving Katlyn another big smile.
“I can’t deny the fire. She comes by it naturally I think.”
“If you’re going to say she got that from your mom, don’t. That is all you my dear woman.” The man continued to smile at Katlyn.
“I guess she did.” For the first time Katlyn smiled at the man.
“You have to understand Katlyn that no one is perfect. Not my son, you, those three girls and certainly not me. The thing is that you keep doing what you’re doing and try your best to do it right. Keep faith in your heart and soul, always try to be kind to others especially those you love, hold on to the hope for tomorrow, and never give up. Keep looking after my son, your girls, their children, and yourself.”
“I’ll try my best sir.” Katlyn suddenly had a sinking feeling in her heart.
“I’ve got to go now. They’ve let me stay a little longer than they should have. Just so you know. You’re mom does love you honey and don’t you ever forget that.” Now there were tears in the man’s eyes.
“How do you know my mom loves me?”
“Oh we get around up here and we talk. Your mom and I talk often. Boy that can piss off the wife at times.” Again the man smiled at Katlyn the tears still evident in his eyes.
“If you see any of my family members where you are will you give them a hug for me and tell them I love them?” Katlyn couldn’t hold back the wave of tears that now flowed from her eyes.
“I’ll do that Honey and you hug all those girls for me and all the little ones but most of all, hug my son and tell him I love him.” The man stood up to leave giving Katlyn one last long look.
“Remember Katlyn we’ll be here waiting when all of you are ready.”
With that the man turned and walked off into nothingness slowly vanishing as he went.
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This isn’t happening. Please tell me this isn’t happening. Oh God it is happening and my life started flashing through my mind. I wasn’t going to be given any comfort in this quick replay of my life because everything that swirled past in my head were the things that happened in one room. The one room where you should be able to lock a door and feel safe but for me that had often not been the case. The bathroom or in public the room labeled the ladies room.
From an early age anything bad that happened to me it most often happened in a bathroom or restroom somewhere.
I don’t know about before the time I was about five but my recallable memories of the horrors of that room started when I reached for the toilet paper and a huge spider landed on my hand and resulted in a scream from me that almost gave my mother a heart attack. That resulted in me getting a scolding from her that I felt I didn’t deserve. It also resulted in years of tormenting from my two brothers and sister that lasted into my adult years.
From rubber snakes tossed in my bathwater or shower if I left the bathroom after I started the water to them pounding on the door like madden monsters breaking in the door to get to me. This would be accompanied with menacing growls, shrieks of bone chilling intensity, and the most demonic laughter that would have made a sound producer’s mouth water at the thought of being able to produce such sound effects. My siblings had talent.
At seventeen while taking care of business the bathroom window was suddenly pushed open and some guy with wild hair stuck his head in the window. Of course I screamed. I don’t know if it was the surprise of seeing a young girl sitting on the toilet or my scream that made him rethink his actions but he left in a hurry. When the police arrived to take a report, boy was that one embarrassing, we found out that a business a few blocks over had been robbed and they felt sure the would-be intruder was probably one and the same and was looking for a place to hide. That certainly didn’t help my sense of security any and the crooked grins on their faces only added to my embarrassment.
Once while in a single person ladies room the door I was sure I had locked failed to stop some guy rushing in. Of course again I screamed and I think that scream came out in words to the effect of couldn’t you read the sign on the damn door ‘ladies room?’ The guy’s face took on a look of mortification and nearly broke his neck exiting the facilities. I might add he never did turn around however. Make what you will of that.
It goes without saying I’m sure that by this point I dreaded having to enter that one room anywhere. Oh I did. How could I not. I’m human and I have to do what all humans do. I also like to be clean so there you have it. This wasn’t a room I could avoid although I made a point of steering clear of public restrooms whenever possible.
The one time I ran from a bathroom was while I was at home and sitting on that porcelain throne a rodent managed to swim up the plumbing pipe and I suddenly had something poking me in the cheeks of my behind. I had to look. With my drawers dropped down to my ankles I made a quick exit from the room. Of course my new boyfriend was there at the time. What you thought that it would end with me just running from the room? Get real. I’m telling you when it comes to that one room whatever the worst things is that can happen to me it’s going to happen.
As those memories and others passed through my head I realize my worst fear was coming true. I would be eventually found lying on the remains of my bathroom floor with my undies around my knees or ankles with a look of fear, horror, and mortification so permanently plastered to my face the mortician would never be able to do anything to change it. You see my toilet was shaking. Not just a little bit either. Things were falling off the wall and shelves and even a little porcelain figurine had managed to be dislocated and hit me squarely on the head. How’s that for ironic? I was sitting on the toilet when an earthquake hits. I mean this is a big one. As a crack appears in the ceiling and I am nearly rocked off the toilet seat I do the only thing I know to do. I grab hold of the edge of the damn thing and pray they never find my body.