Sad Suspense Teens & Young Adult

This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

Warning: Story contains sensitive themes including self harm, gore and mental health.

“Why don’t you take it for developing?”

“I can’t. It was mother’s…she hid it…she probably did not want me to see it”

“You have every right”

William place his palms on his face, hiding his tears. Laura put a comforting arm around him.

“Forget her. She did some bad things. Focus on unlocking your past” She whispered to him.

William squeezed her arm, tears slipping from the gaps of his fingers. He was hurting bad. Every pore of him wished to end it all. End his illness. End his loss of memories. End his life.


“Mama!!” He cried out.

“William! What are you doing, you ugly boy?” His mother cried.

“I’m...I’m...hungry” he stuttered at her hard tone. She had never called him ugly. She always called him her pretty boy.

“Go do something else”

“But…I haven’t eaten anything since breakfast. Its long past dinnertime”

His mother frowned. She fished a peanut butter and chocolate bar from her pocket and pressed it into his hand. And smirked.

William stared at the mushy packet in his hands and smiled. The thirteen-year-old boy hugged his mother.

“Now go and waste your time somewhere else” She grumbled.

The unsuspecting boy ran away, innocent to the terrors which hid behind the other side of the wall.


“Hello” William muttered softly “Can I have this developed?”

“Why not sir!” The cheery shopkeeper said “I’ll just get the room set up; nobody has old photos nowadays sir”

William shuffled his feet nervously. Laura had convinced him to go. He would get another key to his past. Another piece in the puzzle.

He placed the roll of film on the counter, clenching his fists. He closed his eyes remembering…


His mom was cutting vegetables. For lunch. It was a normal movement. Everyday she would cook a broth or soup on the gasoline stove. Filled with vegetables and meats. Seasoned with cream and spices. And garnished with parsley. William loved the soup. It was something special between him and his mother. A special connection.

The knife moved in rhythmic movements.

William watched his mother passionately.

All of a sudden, the sound of cutting stopped. And his mother started laughing. A mad laugh.

He sprang to his feet and rushed to the counter.

His mother had cut herself. And blood poured out of her finger.

He put an arm around his mother and calmed her down. Wrapped her finger in a piece of cloth. Controlling his fear.




“The room is set”

William came back into the present.

He handed over the roll of film to the shopkeeper. Trembling.

“Are you okay, sir?”

He didn’t reply.

“Should I get an ambulance? You look terrible”

“No, just the heat”

The shopkeeper turned away, unsatisfied.

William slipped back into the past.


William sat in the corner of the house, playing with a xylophone. His mother was in one of those moods. It didn’t affect him.


He looked up. It was mother breaking vases again.


He got up and ran towards her, eyes full of care.

Then he saw her. Surrounded by glass pieces. Her hair tangled and matted, her eyeliner had come down with her tears and her hands were bathed in blood. She got up, sobbing- “Will, what have I done?”

He helped her get up, bathed her wounds, combed her hair, and made her a warm bowl of soup. But nothing stopped her tears. They just flowed. Tears of grief.


She stopped crying.

“Don’t be sad”


“Mother, wake up”

His mother lay on the bed, not moving. Silent. Her heavy breathing filled the room. Her face was calm and undisturbed. No worry.

 He looked at the table beside her. There was a half empty box of sleeping pills. Then she was having trouble with her sleep.

William slumped down to the foot of her bed. And cried. Mother was getting more and more difficult. Like she had two sides of her and didn’t know which side to choose.

He thought about their new neighbours. There was a girl. Her name was Laura. She had waved at him a few days ago. He felt happy when she smiled. For some reason.

He couldn’t tell her about his mother. She would be scared. If his mother had more fits, the police would be called. They would be separated. He would be sent to a poor house.

A fresh bout of tears escaped from his eyes. He curled into a ball and let darkness envelop him.


“The photos will be ready in a few minutes, sir”

William looked up.

Am I ready for this?

William was going unlock the secrets of his mother. The mother who, according to Laura, hurt him and used him. But he knew his mother did it all for good. He knew whatever she had done, she had done for a reason. Mother had been good.


“Ah okay”

“Are you sure you are okay sir?”

“I’m not okay. But it’s nothing to do with you”


“Don’t leave me Mom”

 “I’m sorry honey”

 William sniffed. There was reason left to stay. Laura would be upset. Mother could not be without him. Who would clean her wounds when she had fits? Who would make her food when she forgot? Who would be there?

 “I’ll come with you mom”

 “I’m going somewhere you can’t follow”

 “I can’t leave you Mum”

 “Be happy”

 Saying this his mother faded. Faded from the surface. But clear in William’s memories.


 “Here you go sir” The shopkeeper handed the developed photos to him.

 He looked at them. Just stared. Trembling. All of a sudden everything was clear. Extra clear. Clear as crystals. All those doubts gone. Clear memories flooded through his brain. His guilt flew away. His mother had never done anything. She couldn’t help.

 He walked out of the shop, filled with happiness. For the first time he cried of happiness. He cried because he was not the cause of his mother’s queerness.

 The words echoed in his head- “Multiple Personality Disorder due to death of husband”

May 01, 2022 05:42

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