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Sad Horror

Trigger warning- Depressive themes.


Unlike the warm colours of yellow that inked the walls of the home where he grew up, he was repelled by the dull pink walls of the new house. It has been 4 months. About time to warm up to it, you'd think. But no. There was something eerie about it. Something that never made him feel welcome.


No, it wasn’t the lights flickering in the middle of the night or the muffled footsteps or whimpers heard at the odd hours. It was just the house. 


The house wasn’t possessed. The house wasn’t alive. But the scent that reeked within the cement walls indicated that the house was dead. And it has been for a long time.


It had a geyser. It had an AC. It was roomy. Yet, ever so gloomy. The luxuries of his home in the city were brought back to this house in his hometown. Yet, it felt so scanty.


It had been three days since his parents left for a cousin’s wedding. And it had been three days of pointless strolls up and down the hallways. He felt an old heartache return to him. The fear he always had when his parents left for work when he was younger. The fear that made him keep clicking the buttons of the remote while trying to not think of the possibility. The possibility that they would never return.


The thoughts that clouded him were knocked away by the infernal banging of the door knocker on the front door. He looked at the wall clock. It was midnight. 


‘Who could it be at this hour?’ he wondered.


The banging continued. It pierced the night’s silence like a wolf’s howl. He kept quiet. Hoping it would go away. But it didn’t. It kept knocking and knocking until he couldn’t take it anymore. He cupped his ears, pleading to the gods he knew to make it stop. He kept begging and begging until it did, in fact, stop. There was silence for a few seconds. And then came a familiar note. The phantom polyphony of the calling bell from his home in the city. The home his parents had to leave to come to live in this hellhole. 


This can’t be real, he thought. Yet his ears told him otherwise. He heard distant whimpers of a dog in the night. And it wasn’t any dog. It was Arjun. The dog that had been his best friend all his life till it died of old age, a couple of years ago, back in the city.

An unnatural force compelled him to drift across the long hallway towards the front door. He could have stopped his legs but for some weird reason, he didn’t want to.


The hand that opened the locks one by one was his. But the hand that forced it was unknown. The door creaked open. The demons of his past formed the silhouette of a familiar figure at the doorstep. It entered the house with authority and he let it in willingly. The faded tube light revealed the figure to be a boy of 14. Grass and mud-splattered across its football cleats. Its jersey with blue and white stripes, spattered with stains of blood, hung loosely off its shoulders. Stitches had left a bad mark in the form of a scar that ran across the boy’s left arm. It ignored him and strolled off towards the hall.


He felt his senses returning to him. ‘Why the hell have I let it into this house?’ 


He closed the front door behind him and followed it back to the hall.


It was standing there. By the fireplace. With droopy shoulders and baggy clothes. He took a deep breath and crunched his shoulders forward to hallow his tummy in.


‘Who- Who are you?’ he asked.


It turned around to reveal an endless smile. His smile was eerie yet familiar. ‘Don’t pretend. You know me.’ It said, ‘You know me very well.’


He stood there blinking. Not knowing what to say. He felt he knew the boy but he just couldn’t remember from when.


‘What do you want?’ He asked.


The smile on the boy’s face widened to reveal a set of rotten green teeth. ‘I want to even things out.’


Bit by bit, the memories came to him and fitted in like a jigsaw puzzle.


‘How did you find me?’ He asked. 


‘You never left my sight.’ the boy replied. Chunks of hair dropped out of its head and scattered on the floor, dispersed by the wind that blew in from the open window at the south end.


‘Why now? It has been so long.’ 


‘For me, it feels just like yesterday.’ The boy replied. 


‘What do you want?’ He asked.


‘I want to know why you killed me?’


‘I did not.’ He said. ‘They did!’


‘Who?’ the boy chuckled.


‘The rest of them. All of them but me. I wanted to save you. I wanted to help you.’


‘Then why didn’t you?’ The boys smile arced from ear to ear. ‘You keep telling this story over and over again. I’ve heard you saying it all these years. That it was them who killed me. When in fact, we both know that it was you. Only you.’


His mouth went dry. His heart fell numb.


The boy sat down on the floor with his legs crossed and motioned him to do the same. The fire radiated a yellow hue onto the boy’s skin, opposite to whom he sat down obediently. The light that scattered through the dull walls that reflected on him although, was pink.


‘What did you mean when you said you want to even things out?’ He asked. 


‘Well, you killed me, didn’t you?’ The boy’s smile widened so much, it cracked at the joint. ‘It only makes sense if I killed you too.’

He felt the cold wind from the south window numbing his skin. ‘So, this is it? This is how it ends?’


‘For me and you both, buddy.’ The light from the fire radiated the scar marks on the boy’s left arm. 


‘Why did you wait for so long?’ He asked.


‘I waited for you to fall.’ The boy replied. ‘You killed me to achieve things, didn’t you? To progress? You killed me even when you had the choice. You could have just locked me up in a box but no. You preferred to kill me. And look at you now. Got dumped by your wife and lost your kids. Got fired from your job and lost all your savings. You lost your house, had to relocate to this shithole. You keep refreshing the inbox of your mail every day to find no one has responded to your resume. You failed. In life, and with that, you failed to justify killing me. I came now because I wanted to make you realise that killing me got you nowhere. If anything, sparing me might have made you better.’


He broke into tears. His heart plunged deeper into an abyss of mud. He wept for hours and the boy sat there patiently. Waiting for him, kindly. 


Sobbing, he finally lifted his face and asked. ‘What now?’

‘Only one thing left to do.’ The boy got up and hopped across and disappeared into the kitchen. After a few moments, the boy emerged from the darkness with a knife in his right hand.


‘Please...’ He begged. ‘There has to be another way.’


‘There is.’ The boy said, smiling. ‘But trust me, this is easier.’

The night went deathly still. And the scent of death that reeked the empty cement walls amplified exponentially within seconds.


#


The next day, a friend of his came knocking on the door knocker when he didn’t pick up his calls. After a few rounds, his friend went around the house shouting his name, fearing the worst. It was through the window that was left open on the south side that his fears were confirmed. When he found the lifeless body in a pool of blood. 


#


Another day later, his parents rushed to the morgue. They had no difficulty identifying the body on the slab. Even if it was covered with a white cloth from head to toe, his mother broke into tears the moment she saw the left arm that hung loose, poking out. It had the scars from when he was hurt twelve years ago.


The End.









May 31, 2021 23:34

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2 comments

Alex Sultan
16:49 Jun 06, 2021

Interesting story, I liked your use of short sentences. Nice work.

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M.R. Zeener
11:01 Jun 08, 2021

Thank you.

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