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?
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?
I ask sheepishly with a faint awkward laugh.
“Where are we headed? I don’t exactly see a reason to--”
My father unexpectedly erupted.
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.
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.
I nervously mustered up the courage to say.
"Where are we going?"