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They told me to just wait in the damn car! Why didn’t I just listen? I would’ve been better off this way. I want to tell you how this ends, but I suppose I should start at the beginning. When this all started. When everything was perfect. Cut to a family of 6. Me, my brother and my two sisters. We were a nice family. A good family. Before this all started. We lived in a quiet, suburban town that hardly gets any action. I THOUGHT that was us. I could've never been more wrong. I never knew that my father’s words would resonate with me as they do now. “Time can be used as a weapon.” What the hell is that supposed to mean?


I never understood my father. A power-hungry man with none of the drive to earn it. He was a smart man, though. He could often be found planning his next move in his office space. I always thought it was a plan in case he got caught cheating. I never really knew what he was planning for. I wish I hadn’t known now.

My mother… Now, my mother’s a different story. A stable woman, she was able to sustain herself and somehow still be invested into the lives of my siblings and I. I don’t know why she didn’t just leave my father. They hadn’t been intimate since… Well, forever. Kinda weird for me to talk about, so I’ll just leave it as a gray area.


My brother was like the odd one out. He was always observing. A quiet guy, about 5”5 with a lean build, it was very hard for him to stand out. I guess that’s why he never tried.


My sisters were... I guess you could say, the normal ones. They were the only ones in the family that were socially active. They would constantly try to be in the spotlight. In their eyes, any press is good press. I wish I knew what they knew. I wish... I knew....


* * * 

The next morning, I find my parents carefully packing all of our belongings, accompanied with passports and… fake identities? What are they planning to do? 

“Um… Dad?” 

I croaked out. He immediately stopped what he was doing. He slowly turned around. 

“(slow, slurred) Son, we’re all going to have to move quickly. There is business opportunity that we are taking advantage of.” 

This was odd, to say the least. My father is usually known for his frantic speaking and stuttering, but he’s speaking; almost so sure of himself, like he’s… organized. A mindless drone, almost. 

“But Dad, you said that following the business is dangerous.” 

I said cautiously, as to not come off as patronizing.

“I know what I said. But I am the father, so you must listen to me.” 

As he continues on lecturing me, I notice his eyes. They look… Dead. Like a doll’s eyes. A faded grey tint of crystal residue is layered within his pupils.


What is it? My Dad takes notice of my squinting, and quickly puts on sunglasses. 

“Don’t you glare at me, young man! You should treat me with the utmost respect.” 

That sounded a little more like him. But I couldn’t help but to wonder… I check the eyes of my siblings. Yep. That faded grey tint of crystal. What is it though? Is it eye drugs? No, that sounds stupid. I didn’t want to think outlandish. I was hoping to stay grounded. Imagining things is for daydreamers and painters. I won’t lose my sanity. I’ll always have my sanity. 

* * * 

Hours later, we’re in the car. I’m in the backseat with the luggage; my siblings in the 2nd row, and my parents in the front. All I know is that we’re going somewhere. The question is… where? We were comfortable where we were before. Why are we moving? 

“Uh, guys..” 

I ask sheepishly with a faint awkward laugh. 

“Where are we headed? I don’t exactly see a reason to--”

“BE QUIET!” 

My father unexpectedly erupted.  

“Be… Quiet…” 

He said, now trailing off in his words; as if falling asleep to them. Okay. Now I have more questions than answers. My dad puts on headphones and starts listening to something. It sounds like white noise. Weird. I nudge my brother’s arm.

“(whispers) Hey… Hey!” 

I almost break the whisper. I cover my mouth, to be safe. I pause for a minute, then continue to ask my brother what the hell is going on. 

“It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters.” 

He says eerily monotone. 

Am I in a horror movie or something? What is with everyone? I reside back within the luggage, and begin to dig through the bags. Maybe I’ll get some answers in here. I find... nothing at first, but determined for answers, I press on. As I was sneakily sifting through my parents bags, A letter fell out, littered with that crystal residue I saw in their eyes. It slowly sprinkles into my lap as I read it. The letter read, 


For The Jones Family, 


Good Day, this is Mr. E with news regarding your husband's advances within the company. He has broken a trust that we, unfortunately cannot forgive. Please accept this as a parting gift.


Sincerely, Mr. E” 

It was 5 empty vials of… The crystal residue! That’s what must be causing their strange behavior. But who is Mr. E? And what did my Dad do? I put the vial meant for me into my pocket; just in case. I instantly try to conjure up ways to get it out of their eyes. Just then, the car came to a stop. We arrived at our destination. 

“Wait in the car.” 

My Dad said sternly. But I wasn’t gonna stay. Not when I was so close to uncovering the truth. 

“Dad, lemme go with you guys. You got nothing to hide, right?”

I speak out, secretly hoping that whatever my Dad did is forgivable, or at the very least, legal.

“No, trust me. This doesn’t concern you.” 

My Dad retorted, with anger slowly overtaking his demeanor. I resentfully oblige, with intent to escape when they leave. My Mom and Dad trail off with my siblings, leaving me in the car all alone. I get out; trying to closely follow behind my family, when I was chloroformed by a man in a suit. 

* * * 

I was tied up to a chair, in a black room, with 3 guys in white suits. 

“Who the hell are you guys?! What do you want from me?! What did you do to my family?!”

I exclaimed, on the verge of tears. 

“It appears we have a genius on our hands, folks.” 

The man in the middle said. Is that… Mr. E? 

What are you talking about?” 

I said, genuinely wondering why he thinks this. 

“C’mon, the residue on your pants, leading them here… We know it was you that carried out this whole thing. You're the only one without that crystal stuff in your eyes.” 

He said to me, thinking it was the truth. 

“No, it--,” 

I paused mid sentence. I catch sight of the crawlspace above where the guys were standing; It was my Dad! He was hiding out in the vent. 

“Y-Yes, it was all me. And I was about to finish the job, but then you goons showed up.” 

I said, feeling proud to commit to the lie. 

“What the hell are you talking about? That was the plan. Kill the family and leave you as the grieving son to collect the inheritance. It’s a win-win.”

So that was the plan. Well, now I have even more questions than answers. Like, whose idea was this? And what did my Dad do? Inheritance? We're rich?

“But, now that you know too much, we’ll have to kill you. There’s no point in keeping you alive.” 

What? Who are these guys?! Hit-men??? Just then, my Dad busts through the crawlspace. He shouts the phrase from before. 

“Time can be used as a weapon!” 

What does it mean? Time… Time. My timepiece! I open my watch, which lets out taser that stuns the guys in suits. I did NOT know it could do that. I escape through the vent with my Dad and the rest of the family in a getaway car.


My dad explains to me that Mr. E is a longtime company rival. I'd never heard about him until just now. He has been trying to get him out of the picture for years. Since when? Is that what my Dad was always planning for? He was after the money that my Dad had been saving up for years. What money? They keep mentioning money, inheritance. Where's it from? Who's it from?


But there’s still one thing I don’t get. What did my Dad do to cause this much trouble? I'd never seen him do any shady business. Perhaps he did this when I was asleep or something.


And why is no one questioning it? My siblings seemed pretty notified of the situation, but there was no shock on any of there faces. Are we living on the lam now? We can't go back. Not after what happened. So many questions, with few answers.


"Dad?"

I nervously mustered up the courage to say.

"Where are we going?"


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49 comments

Zilla Babbitt
19:07 May 24, 2020

Hello! You asked me to read, so here I am. Warning: you said apparently lots of people like this, so I'm coming down hard on everything that I see can be improved :). Nothing personal, I promise. Good suspense and descriptions. Good dialogue, pretty good plotting. It kind of makes my brain tick faster thinking about circling stories like this. 1. Too many italics where it seems you don't mean to emphasize the syllables. Italics are better than caps, though. 2. Lots of the indenting-just-after-dialoge when it should be one flowing lin...

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Daryl Gravesande
19:10 May 24, 2020

No, this is exactly what I needed to hear! I felt like I rushed this story, but now I know my rushing kinda leaked into the story flow. Sorry, this is great feedback though! I love to hear about what I can change. You could never be too harsh!

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Zilla Babbitt
19:12 May 24, 2020

Great! You're welcome :)

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Daryl Gravesande
19:26 May 24, 2020

I updated it! Tell me what you think! I tried to resolve it as satisfying as possible.

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Zilla Babbitt
20:02 May 24, 2020

The same story? I'm sorry, I can't see anything different.

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Zilla Babbitt
20:04 May 24, 2020

Oh wait, I do, in the last long paragraph. Makes better sense now... except now I don't think it circles back to the beginning!

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Daryl Gravesande
20:03 May 24, 2020

Hold on. The ending is different, I added more.

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Rhondalise Mitza
21:39 May 22, 2020

Hey, Daryl! Thank you so much for liking my story. I headed over here to see what you were up to and when I read your bio I was surprised to see you were only fifteen, in high school. You write really well. :) Gotta tell you though, speaking from experience, I wouldn't put your age in the bio. Not as many people will read your work if they think you're younger or know you are just because this is an adult competition. That being said, I have some actual feedback on your writing, if you'd like to hear that. 1.) You use a lot of ALL CAPS and ...

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Daryl Gravesande
21:44 May 22, 2020

Thank you for the feedback. This means a lot. I'll be cautious with the age thing, lol. I know about the caps thing, I never really use Italics that often, so it just flows better with me, personally. But the same can't be said for everyone. I see your point, though. I should convey emphasis a different way next time. I wish I could've made the story longer to develop the characters a lot more, but I was worried I might exceed the word limit. I loved your critiques. The stuff you put was really helpful. Thank you!

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Sadia Faisal
07:23 May 28, 2020

nice story, please comment on my story and follow me and ike my story if you like it

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Daryl Gravesande
12:53 May 28, 2020

Okie. Will do. Only if you do the same, lol.

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Sadia Faisal
16:22 May 28, 2020

Followed you

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Ishika Kataria
03:55 May 28, 2020

Hey! 1) the suspense is great, it's something new and interesting 2) the first line is a very great and powerful start. Warning! Critics ahead! 1. I like the story, and the idea behind but it seemed rushed. Kinda like you were in a hurry to finish it off. 2. This makes it hard to connect with the character, which is a very important part for any writing. 3. Sometimes, your sentences just seem out of it, like they aren't entirely wrong but they just don't seem right. You could improve on that. Over all, it was a great stor...

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Daryl Gravesande
12:49 May 28, 2020

No, this was great! I LOVE hearing detailed feedback like this! So glad you commented!

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18:52 May 27, 2020

Daryl, I loved your story!! - how fast paced it was and the action. Please consider writing a Part 2 to this, as I would love to know what happens next!

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Daryl Gravesande
19:00 May 27, 2020

Really? Good to hear, but I might not do it. It depends on what Contest #44 prompts are. If I can do it, I'll do it. Glad to hear the positive feedback, though!

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20:03 May 27, 2020

Hi Daryl, Thanks for your reply, yes, I really liked it! Hey, thanks for the 'like' on my story and the 'follow' as well, I appreciate it very much :-) I am also waiting to see what the next prompt will be. Sure, happy to follow you back and I look forward to your next story! I also took a look at your Author Bio, and saw that your favourite movie is The Perks of Being a Wallflower - I loved that movie!! and your taste in music is cool too😎 I like a lot of that type of music, as well as music of other cultures and sounds.

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Daryl Gravesande
20:06 May 27, 2020

Thanks! Not many people have read my bio that far! Appreciate it!!! Love to see more from you!

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Daryl Gravesande
20:09 May 27, 2020

Also, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is SEVERELY underrated! Plus, I like my music taste to be diverse, so yeah lol!

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Vrishni Maharaj
00:10 May 27, 2020

Very engaging story! Good job :)

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Daryl Gravesande
00:22 May 27, 2020

Thanks! Follow me and I'll follow u?

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Vrishni Maharaj
00:23 May 27, 2020

Of course!

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Daryl Gravesande
00:25 May 27, 2020

Tuff, One step closer to getting both of us on the Leaderboards!!!!!!

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Daryl Gravesande
13:59 May 24, 2020

If you like this story, be sure to check out Avery Mason. She's an amazing author, so I'd really appreciate it if you do that! Thanks!

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:25 May 24, 2020

This is nicely written. It was like watching a movie with all the back to back to dialogues and the build up of tension. You have managed to maintain the flow until the end. I liked the ending line too. This is the speciality of this prompt. Stories will always end in a question and it almost feels like a cliffhanger! Keep writing. All the best to you.

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Daryl Gravesande
11:15 May 24, 2020

Wow! Thanks! I really enjoyed reading your comment! You keep writing as well! I look forward to hearing your stories!

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Roshna Rusiniya
12:27 May 24, 2020

You are very welcome! And thank you for reading my stories as well. Really appreciate it.

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Ishmam Shafquat
14:45 May 23, 2020

Great story! The 'Time can be used as a weapon' was just amazing. But, I do suggest instead of capitalization, you use italics for emphasis. Otherwise, it seems as if the character is shouting. Other than that, I really enjoyed the story. Keep up the work, I look forward to seeing more of it! :)

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Daryl Gravesande
14:55 May 23, 2020

Thanks, Ishmam! I kinda rushed this story, so I like that you picked up on that. I hadn't noticed.

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Ishmam Shafquat
15:20 May 23, 2020

No problem! And never rush stories, always take your time!

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Daryl Gravesande
15:25 May 23, 2020

I know! It's sometime hard to do that, though. I recommend checking out my other story, "The Choices We Make." I took a lot of time to develop that story to make it feel genuine.

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Ishmam Shafquat
15:32 May 23, 2020

Of course! I'll check it out right away. And yes you are right, it is hard not to rush sometimes. I just half-rushed on a recent story too.

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Daryl Gravesande
15:36 May 23, 2020

Yeah, it's easy to want to instantly start telling a story that you've already planned out, but then you forget to fully develop it.

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Manel Tairi
00:24 May 23, 2020

When I read the first sentence, I was gripped. I couldn't stop reading until I reached the end which was simply amazing !

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Daryl Gravesande
01:20 May 23, 2020

Thank you! I appreciate it! I worked pretty hard on this one.

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Lara Macgregor
00:01 May 23, 2020

Interesting story. You have good characterization and good questions at the end.

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Daryl Gravesande
00:02 May 23, 2020

Thank you! Personally, my favorite is the 2nd story I wrote. I'd appreciate it if you read that one. Tell me what you think. Any constructive criticism would be good!

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Lara Macgregor
00:02 May 23, 2020

You're welcome! Cool, I'll do that.

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Daryl Gravesande
00:04 May 23, 2020

Thanks!

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Lara Macgregor
00:32 May 23, 2020

You're welcome! Enjoyable story.

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21:37 May 22, 2020

Hi Daryl!! I really enjoyed reading this story. It kept me entertained, and I loved it all together! I also really felt the characters! Keep writing, and stay safe! -Avery.

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Daryl Gravesande
21:50 May 22, 2020

Thanks, Avery! I like to think this was a little more action based for my taste, but I'm extremely glad you like it! It means a lot.

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21:53 May 22, 2020

You are so very welcome! Your stories are very entertaining! I can completely understand!! :))

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