Creative Writing · Short Stories · writing

I Love My Mother: A Short Story

Authors Note: Hello everyone and welcome back to another short story! It’s been a while. This is the first story I’ve written in about 4 months so I feel a bit rusty, but I do hope you enjoy it regardless.


I love my mother. I know she’s gone, but she isn’t. She’s standing over me as the detectives ask me questions. She’s placing her hand on my shoulder as I shudder with every accusation they make. My mother is dead, but she’s the only one who know’s the truth. She knows I didn’t kill her. Damn the evidence against me and damn this place. I love my mother, but she’s just standing there watching them accuse me of murder.

“Mr Michaels, could you explain again what happened in your own words?” The detectives voice is smooth and level, her eyes never leave mine until I break the connection and look to my mother for guidance. She simply shrugs her shoulders and motions for me to answer. I feel the detectives glance at eachother and a moment later their accusing eyes are back on me. I can’t tear my eyes from my mother. She should be the one answering these questions. I didn’t kill her and she knows it.

“I came home from work at around 7pm, I checked my watch as I pulled up outside my mothers house, I always visit every single Wednesday evening…” I trail off as the sound of my mother wimpering distracts me. She never cries.

“Don’t cry, you’re still here in a way so don’t worry, maybe we can do something to keep you with me forever” I find myself saying, momentarily forgetting where I am.

“Who are you talking to?” The pointy man asks, eyes squinting towards the corner my mother is standing in. He stands up without averting his firey gaze. Mother’s green eyes swell with hope. I know what she’s thinking. What she’s hoping. But the hope disintegrates as the detective, Duggan I think his name is, swings around towards me.

“Who are you talking to Jamie? Why do you keep looking into that corner?” He points with his nicotine stained stubs, the smell of tobacco makes me feel sick as I realise he doesn’t see her. Why can nobody see her?

“I erm, I’m just in shock. I can’t believe she’s dead” I manage to reply. My heart swells as though it were about to burst. That is until I feel her behind me again, wiping her tears and giving me strength. Detective Jones leaves her chair, nods to her colleague and within seconds, mother and I are alone.

“Listen to me right now Jamie. They’re going out there to talk about your mental state. If you keep talking to me they’re gonna think you’re crazy, lock you up and throw away the key. You need to tell them what happpened” panic tinges her words and worry seeps from her… Well from her spirit. Her body must be in a morgue somewhere by now.

“I don’t know what happened, I just know I didn’t fucking kill you!” The words rush out like missiles, bright and loud. She rolls her eyes the way she always does when she’s disappointed in me, but I ignore her. I know I didn’t kill her, I just don’t know how to prove it.

“Mother, why can’t you tell me what happened? If we both know I didn’t do it, why can’t you just tell me what to say?” I soften my voice and offer my best pleading expression, but her eyes remain still like a stagnant yellow pond.

“Because, you know! Just because you don’t remember doesn’t mean you never will. I’ll help you get there but I can’t take you. You just need to…” She’s cut off by the sound of the detectives returning. Duggan doesn’t meet my eyes but Jones does. I sense something resembling pity as she pulls out a cold metal chair. The clanking pierces my brain. Duggan notices and responds to my discomfort by grabbing his own chair and dragging it slowly towards me. He doesn’t avoid the table legs as he etches closer to my side and makes a point of slamming the chair down on my right, as if the sound would somehow crack me. I wish it did. I want to remember. I want to go home.

“Now, Mr Michaels. Can you tell me, in your own words, why we found your fingerprints on the gun used to kill Dr.Michaels, your mum?” He says trying very hard to mask the stupid smurk on his wrinkly old face. He’s got the most punchable face I’ve ever come across. If only I could.

“I don’t know. All I remember is walking into my mothers house and then blank until I sat down here and you told me she’s dead.”

“You see son, that doesn’t help us. Not even a little bit. In fact, it doesn’t help you either now does it? I mean, you’re a junkie criminal who has a history of violent crime. Your mother was a very successful doctor. Did you run out of the cash she gave ya? Did you blow it all up the wall and into your veins? Did she refuse to fund your filthy habit? Is that why you shot her?”

“I didn’t kill her” I protest while looking at the track marks on my arm. Yes, I have a disease. Yes, I’ve stolen from shops to feed the sickness inside of me and yes, I have lashed out in the past. But I’m not a murderer.

“I’m not a murderer. You’ve seen it for yourself, the people I hurt in the past were men. I’ve never even harmed a single hair on a womans head let alone shoot the only family I have left in the world!”

“Right” Duggan says as he gets to his feet and drags the chair painfully back to it’s original position.

“Right let me get this straight. Your fingerprints are found on the murder weapon. You were at the scene of the crime when authorities arrive, you have no explanation to offer us at all. You expect us to believe you ain’t involved? ”

I don’t know what to say. He’s a complete dick but he’s right. What if I did it and blocked it out? Why are my fingerprints on the gun?

“WHY are my fingerprints on the gun?” I turn to mother, red anguish rages within as she looks at me cooly.

“Think. Try to remember” Is all she says. Always so fucking cryptic my old mum. Always trying to teach me something. Even beyond the bloody grave she can’t be straight with me. Even when the evidence suggests I did kill her. Even when I could be looking at life behind bars. Hot tears sting the sores on my face and for a moment, I’m standing in my mothers hallway. I’m walking towards the living room and the atmosphere damn near chokes me as I make my way through the elaborate timber archway my dad built all those years ago. I squeeze my eyes tighter as the image begins to fade.

“No!”

“Jamie, what do you see?” She says. Not mother, Jones. Maybe she understands me.

“I walked into her house. I walked down the hallway and through the archway and then… I just don’t remember. Why don’t I remember?”

“Sometimes, when the mind has experienced something traumatic, it tries to protect us by blocking out the memories. If we can’t remember we can’t feel pain. You need to feel the pain. Embrace the feelings and you might remember. Latch onto the last thing you remember” Jones says, in an almost angelic voice. She reminds me of the way my grandmother would comfort me when I cried. Mother would just stand with her nose turned up, as if my crying was a slight on her. My pain couldn’t be my own, I had to hide it away. Even from myself.

“You can do it. Listen to her Jamie” mother chimes in. This time, I don’t look to her. This time I look within.

“I get out of the car. I lock it I think. Wait, I unlock the front door and remember I didn’t lock the car. It’s an old one you have to lock with the key so I leave the front door open and lock it”

“How long did that take you?” Jones prompts.

“About 30 seconds”

“Now what happened?”

“I walk inside, close the door behind me and start to walk towards the front room. I pass the kitchen and go through the archway and then… I can’t…”

“You’re doing fine Jamie. Think about what you could smell. Did you smell anything?” Duggan snorts beside her as he clunks his massive feet on the table. I ignore him.

“Actually, I don’t smell anything, but that’s not right. Mother usually makes us dinner for around 7.30 for our visits. But I didn’t smell a thing” I say, thrilled to have made some progress.

“Can you hear anything?”

“Erm…” I think back and imagine a mini me inside my brain trying to wade through the neverending fog. He’s trying to find what I’m looking for. Maybe together we can find it.

“I can hear, crying” I open my eyes to check it isn’t actually my mother crying behind me. She isn’t, instead she glows with expectancy and apprehension.

“Mother was crying. Not loudly but enough for me to hear it from quite a few feet away. I was trying to get clean and at first I thought she had found out about the relapse I had the week before. I didn’t visit her, but I used her credit card to book myself into a rehab centre for the week. She said if I ever needed it I could use it”

“That’s brilliant Jamie. What else?”

“Yeah, you got any more lies you wanna tell? We have the evidence to charge you. I’m only humouring young Jones here. We know you did it so do us all a favour and write it down so we can all go home. Well, Jones and me can” Duggan says with a spiteful laugh that makes his blackened lungs gasp for air. Fat old bastard.

“Carry on please.”

“Ok, ok” I close my eyes, breathe in the scent of vanilla candles and focus on the cries coming from my mother “I stood at the door, it was slightly ajar and didn’t want mother to know I heard her crying. She hates that.”

“Hated” mother corrects me.

“Hated” I repeat. Something about hearing her say that, brings me closer to my memories and the fog lifts slightly. Through it, I see the gun. It’s pointing at me.

“Why was the gun pointed at me?” Mother bends to her knees and I hear them crack, almost as if she was still alive. As if she still had a body.

“Keep going Jamie” she says as she resumes circling the tiny metal room.

“I remember going in there and seeing her holidng the gun. I don’t know where she even got it from. But then she see’s me and points it at me, I don’t know why she would… She looked like, well she didn’t look like her. It was like something else took over…”

“Oh here we go. Dr. Michaels had no diagnosed mental health conditions, no criminal record not even so much as a blemish in her entire life. Do you expect us to believe she was manic? That she tried to kill you? You must be joking!” Duggans voice booms and richochets off the walls. Instinct tells me to slap him one but I’m distracted by the sound of my mother hitting the floor.

“Mother, mother what is it? You can’t leave again you can’t!”

“C’mon, look at him. He’s either high or a complete nutcase” I hear him say but I don’t care. Blood is seeping from her face. The bullet went through her cheek and she’s bleeding out. She’s leaving me again! Her blood stains my white hoodie red and I hold her dying body in my arms for the second time. She’s trying to speak but the blood spills from her mouth. Like it did before. I’m wailing again and feel myself ask the same question I did before: why?

“Why? Why did you do this? Why do you want to leave me?”

She says nothing and within seconds, she’s gone. I can no longer see her. I can’t feel her.

“She left me” I hear myself saying “I tried to stop her, I tried!” Jones gets down on the floor beside me, places a gentle hand on mine but says nothing.

“I didn’t pull the trigger but I might as well have. I pushed her too far and now she’s gone! She’s gone and it’s my fault, she’s gone because she hated living life. She’s gone because I ruined her life.”


By Jenny Lee-Kearns

Creative Writing · Short Stories · writing

Day Of Contrition: A Short Story

Hello everyone, I hope you’re doing well.

Today, I gave in my final piece of work. My dissertation is complete and my university journey is nearing it’s end. I’m not sure how I feel if I’m honest. I feel a bit lost and a bit sad that my grandad isn’t here to see it.

This is a short story I wrote for a competition that I haven’t heard back from. The brief was along the lines of ‘life writing’ a piece that is intended to be true but also fictional. It was confusing so I chose to write about regret. This short story is based on real events that I experienced and have never been able to forget.

I hope you enjoy.


I was so ungrateful. Teenagers are awful sometimes. I still can’t believe, even after all these years, that I behaved in such a way. But belief has nothing to do with it.  He was probably expecting some form of gratitude and I did feel it, I just couldn’t show it.

“I’ve got us tickets to Brighton Sky, I’m gunna take you so we can have a look at your Uni, how does that sound?” You said, in your usual light and friendly way. It sounded terrifying. For years University had seemed like a distant-future abstract idea. But in that moment, reality demanded to be acknowledged, and with that came the dread.

“Thanks grandad” I mumbled, though I remember trying to smile. I wanted to be excited, but your kind gesture only served to provoke the fire of fear that burned within. The fire I could often contain and manage, but not then. It erupted and threatened to incinerate me completely. You simply smiled, chuckled and exited the front room I was lounging in.

“Do you want a hot chocolate?” You called from the next room. You’ve always been so good like that. I often spent many days of the week at you and nan’s house. It offered a sense of safety and tranquillity, something I struggled to find anywhere else. Every morning, you would bring me up some cereal and a hot chocolate in bed, or if you were feeling fancy, a full English breakfast. I was always thankful. I will always be thankful for those mornings.

When the day came, I was awoken by black butterflies that had managed to infiltrate my body overnight. Sleep is not a friend of mine, it evaded me mostly. Even when it decided to play nice, it was underhanded kindness. My dreams were tormented by the butterflies that swarmed like bees.

“Here you go girl, be quick we have to catch the at 8.09 and then change at London Bridge and get the 8.59 to Brighton. It’s a fast train so we should get there by about 9.57.” You said while handing me a bacon sandwich and a hot chocolate. I devoured it, hoping it would boost my energy levels since we were up at such an ungodly hour. You were always an early bird.

“Have you got everything you need? Your phone, your Oyster card, your purse, your money, your sense of humour? Or did you leave that at home?” You teased. I was always forgetting things. I remember you’d stand at the door waving me off to school or wherever I was headed, holding something I had forgotten.

“What’s so funny?” My nan asked you once, as you sat on the sofa giggling to yourself.

“I asked her if she had everything and she said yes…” Then you held up my Oyster card and you shared a playful laugh.

But I was too worried for jokes that day. Too worried for laughter, or joy or even a simple smile. At least that’s what I told myself. It was days like that, that made me yearn for confidence. I wanted to be like you in more ways than one. You could speak to anyone, unafraid to ask questions, or directions. You’re unapologetically loud, unique and present in every situation. Whereas I would often disguise myself in the background, amongst the dusty shelves and ornaments. Unseen and unnoticed.

After a surprisingly short journey, we set foot in Brighton for the first time. I was shocked to see the ocean just at the bottom of a road that was so long, it seemed to bleed into the sea. The sun was burning hot, I remember because I’d dressed in all dark clothes, sporting black jeans and one of your hoodies. I felt like a slob which only added to the terror of confronting a future I wasn’t sure I wanted.

“The bus driver said we need to get on a 25 to get to your halls, so let’s find the bus stop.” It sounds ridiculous now, but I had an unhealthy aversion to busses. Especially busses you couldn’t simply tap a card and walk on by without an exchange of empty words.

“I spoke to him about the busses here, you can get a single or return ticket with cash, or you can get a day ticket” you said, handing me my paper ticket and reading the bus stop sign we came across. I felt fear clawing at my throat, but I also felt safe knowing you were with me.

After a short bus ride, we jumped off where the bus driver told us and there it was. My halls of residence. It was hidden amongst a long row of trees that I later realised was a lovely woodland walk, of which I only ever visited once during my time there. What a waste that was. We crossed the thin road which led to the entrance of Varley Park.

“Look, Chalvington Close, that’s your one ain’t it?”           

“Yeah, that’s crazy” I managed to say. There was another bus stop situated just inside the entrance, and it was full of students. The sight of them made me suddenly feel like an imposter. As if somehow, they would know I wasn’t a student yet and send security over to escort us out.

“Do you want to go in?” You said while you scanned the buildings and grabbed your phone from your pocket.

“No, we’re not allowed in probably”

“Don’t be silly, what’re they gunna do? Shoot ya?” I laughed but it did nothing to soothe the blaze that kept me stationary, for fear of it spreading further.

“No grandad I can’t. There’s too many people”  I insisted, though you were already halfway up the hill by that time. I stayed where I was, frozen in my sweaty converse’s. You took a few pictures of the buildings and returned to my side. Silent tears swam in my eyes, though I tried my best to hide them.  I must have failed , you put your arm around me and gave my tight shoulders a reassuring squeeze.

“Don’t worry girl, it’s alright if you don’t want to go in.”

Your kindness softened me, and I smiled the first genuine smile of the day. With that, I got my phone out to get directions to my campus. After changing directions multiple times, you’d had enough of going in circles.

“S’cuse me mate, do you know the way to Falmer?” You confidently asked a man about your age, who was walking his dog. I felt bad for the guy, he was probably just wanting a bit of peace and quiet and there we were, disturbing him. I stayed a few paces behind as the man told him the quickest way to get there, as well as an alternative route on foot. To my surprise, he was more than happy to help.

Once again, we were met with the intimidating presence of the University, of which overlooked beautiful rolling hills. Remember when you spotted a map and led me to it?  I had no clue where my lectures would be held, but you wanted a picture of it. Even worse still, you wanted a picture of me in front of it.

“No grandad I look horrible, there’s people coming down the stairs as well.”

You simply tutted and positioned the camera. I felt embarrassed, but not of you. I was embarrassed of myself, of my behaviour and of my feelings. They always seemed to take precedence over what was right. It would have been right to be happy, I’d been given the chance to visit my future city. It would have been right to walk in, look around and make the most of the day. To make the most of it being just the two of us. But instead, I wore a long face and a bad attitude.

“Right, shall we go in and have a nose around?” You asked me once again and once again, I was rendered immobile. I looked upon the towering glass buildings, imagining the intelligent people it hid behind it’s walls. I felt like even more of an imposter as I faced what was now expected of me.

“Are we allowed? Surely you have to be a student to go in?”

“You are, that’s gunna be you in a few months”

“I don’t think we should grandad” I said after a short while. You tried to gently convince me, but it was as if I’d tuned you out. So, I decided to take a closer look at the map, in part to distract you from my childishness. I knew it was pathetic, but my anxious mind had already been made up.

“We’ve come all the way here, and we aren’t even gunna go in?” You said light-heartedly, as if you knew I would be like that.  The guilt washed over me and drenched every facet of my being. I wanted so badly to be strong. To ignore the butterflies.

“I’m sorry grandad. I don’t know why I can’t just – I want to, I just can’t. Maybe we can come back again before I start?”

“I can’t, I’m gunna be working. Don’t worry. You’ve seen it now, and I know where you’re gunna be don’t I?” I smiled at my loving grandad, who’s only priority was to keep me safe and happy. The rest of the day flew by as if someone had pressed fast-forward. The horror subsided as we guzzled coke and burgers in town. We walked along the shore for a while, taking in the scenery as we strolled.

“I’m sorry grandad. If I could go back, I would have swallowed the fear, expelled the evil thoughts and appreciated you more. Every time I pass that sign, my heart drowns in sorrow and guilt” I say, as I wipe heavy tears from my eyes. I’m momentarily distracted by an older couple who have undoubtedly come to pay their respects to their loved ones.

“I hope you’re listening grandad. I know you’re not here, but I wish you were. I’m sorry I was so ungrateful. I’m sorry I didn’t go in. I regret it every day.”

With that, I kiss the plaque that says Richard Patrick Lee, 1958-2017, and get up from the bench I’ve been sat on for over an hour. The sun is shining, like it does every time I visit the cemetery. It lets me know you’re here, listening and silently protecting me. Just like you always did.


Signed,

Jen

Creative Writing · Short Stories

The Voice: A Short Story

Authors Note: Hey everyone hope you’re doing well. Here is another short story for you to enjoy. I found a draft of this story on my laptop and stayed up last night to finish it. I hope you enjoy it and please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

6 min read


I expected darkness. I wanted to be engulfed by an endless void of nothingness. It’s all I could think about, despite my success and my apparent happiness. It was a struggle to handle the sharp blade. I kept it hidden inside an old book since the last time I tried. Or shall I say the last time I failed.  I was certain Aiden had never even opened a book, let alone the one I’d hidden it in. It was old, leather-bound and well-read. Though if it were up to him, it would have been used as a door stop. Once I was sure I wanted it to end, I held the blade with such care, almost as if any kind of mishandling would cause it to disappear from my hand. I wouldn’t let it fall from my grasp again. I needed to succeed.

The pain was nothing compared to the fear of someone finding me. I locked the front door, followed by the bedroom door and finally the en suite. Yet, I still froze with every creak and croak that dared to invade the silence. The house I was born in taunted me as my blood pooled and whirled around my wrists. I watched the crimson liquid spill onto the white tiles while my mind began to empty of all thoughts, it was like I’d pulled a plug in my brain when I made the incisions. I was emptying as my body was. The blood soon found its way into the grouted highways between the tiles. Each line began to meet up like veins, the blood flow eventually slowed and with it, I began to feel, dead. Or at least close to dead.

I felt my heart slow and thought, finally. I’m free. You would think I was successful. My body had been emptied of blood, of thoughts and of pain. Though I awoke. I didn’t see the blood. I didn’t see the knife. I was on the edge of a bridge overlooking an angry river. Rain pelted me from above, as if it were guiding me towards a watery grave. My foot slipped and before my body slammed against the rivers freezing surface, I caught a glimpse of my reflection. I wasn’t in my own body. I mean unless I forgot I was a white man with black hair. Then, darkness.

Sure enough, I opened my eyes once more. For a fleeting moment, I thought I’d been given yet another chance. I slipped last time and blew it but whoever was looking out for me, I wanted to thank them. That was of course, until I felt my arm, their arm, lifting something up. Something heavy.

“Stop!” I screamed but my mouth didn’t move. The hand got closer and closer. By the time I worked out what was happening, I was deafened by a sound I’d never heard before and was greeted with nothing once again. Only black.

Imagine waking up in the body of a stranger, a teenage girl. Imagine watching them cry into the mirror and feeling the hope drain from her heart.  Imagine seeing blonde hair littering the sink and not being able to stop her from ripping it out from the roots. I felt sick. Not just because the sight of her desperate face broke my heart, but because she had taken a fatal cocktail of drugs.

There’s nothing I can do. I can’t stop them. They can’t hear me when I scream and beg them to wait. To think about those who love them. To wait for the pain to pass and for clarity to return. I have no control.

Bang. I’m dead again. Jump, and again. It never ends because they never hear me.

“I can’t do this anymore; you can’t keep doing this to me.” I hear their words as if they were my thoughts. Voices ring and jingle in my head, pain etched into every syllable. Whoever this is, they’re not quite sure yet. They’ve been calling their partner over and over again for about an hour. He’s got a gun. Every so often he shoves the barrel in his mouth as hot tears warm his ghostlike face. But for the 10th time, he lowers his hand and curses himself for being too scared to do what he must.

“Just do it.” I say, almost to myself at this point. No one’s ever heard me before, why would they now? The distraught man freezes. Now I’m interested.

“Pick it up and do it. You know you want to.”

“Who is that?” He screams as he flicks his ear, gun in hand. I feel something reminiscent of excitement rise within. Within what exactly, I don’t know. But within me. My soul.

“Give into the darkness, you can do it. Nobody will miss you.” I almost can’t believe what I’m saying. Although, something tells me he’s already decided. You don’t control him, what’s the harm in speeding up the process?

The man sheds thick tears, nodding his sweaty head in agreement. He knows it’s true. I’m bored of waiting for him to do what he’s planned to do.

“Fucking kill yourself!” I scream.

Bang. Dead again.

Creative Writing · Short Stories

A Letter From 2022

Authors Note: Hey everyone hope you are well. I’m sorry for my lack of posts. Since this pandemic started I have battled with anxiety that has been off the charts for the first time in a long time. I wish this was a happy story. Perhaps it is depending on how you look at it. But if you don’t want to see anything negative regarding the current Covid-19 situation, perhaps give this post a miss. I hope you are keeping safe. See you in the next one.


If you’ve found this letter, the year is 2022. The strict periods of social distancing and short lived periods of normality have taken its toll on the world. Coronavirus struck panic and uncertainty into the hearts and homes of us all. The government oh so heroically stepped in as our saviours. They paid our wages and protected our homes from loss. They lent money to the poorest of us and provided a safety net for the privileged.
People started to get ill, then they started to die and then they took advantage of that.
Today, Coronavirus lives on and it’s taken up residency in our homes and our minds.
Today, the final period of normality has ended. The Prime Minister has announced, the virus is back and its back with a vengeance. It’s mutated and due to our long periods of isolation, those who managed to avoid its predecessors wrath, were hit harder than ever anticipated. The young and healthy, now devoid of the capacity to fight it, were taken; meanwhile we enjoyed the freedom of sitting in a pub garden with our friends, laughing and singing, almost as if nothing had ever stopped us from doing just that. While we danced and sang and hugged and laughed, others took their final breaths.
Today, the Prime Minister tells us to go home, close the door and to not open it again. But they’ve so graciously given us permission to answer the door to the drones that will, from this day, deliver all essential items. All jobs will be moved online and any that can’t, will be abolished. We must rely on the government for everything. Children are still expected to complete all mandatory schooling, the most skilled of them being promised important roles within central government. They’ve taken care of everything. There’s no need to leave the house. Everyone has been supplied with a treadmill and free workout shows on every network. You still hear people praising the government, comparing them to poorer nations who have had no choice but to let their citizens die. Oh at least we aren’t there, they say. Though, it’s only a matter of time before the Internet is completely censored. That’s why I’m writing this note. If you’ve somehow come across the time capsule you found this in, I hope things are better for you. I hope one day things return to the way they were and you are not bound by the suffocating restraints we are currently enduring. Considering the fact I’m burying this right in the middle of Greenwich Park, merely hours before my freedom is taken from me, you must be free. I hope you are.


Signed, Jen x

Creative Writing · Short Stories

The Status: A Short Story

Authors Note: Hey everyone hope you’re doing well. Welcome back to another short story. I wrote this as a quick writing exercise to help motivate me to work on my book. Spoiler Alert: It didn’t work. But I hope you enjoy it anyway, if you do, let me know in the comments what you thought 🙂


“Due to personal reasons I will be disappearing under mysterious circumstances.”

When I posted the status, I never thought things would turn out like this. On some level, I knew people wouldn’t believe it straight away. Within seconds of it going live, friends and family members had already “liked” the status, and comments began to flow in.

“LOL Rachael, can I come with you? Sick of these bloody kids running around! Xx”

Hilarious, I thought. Another comment appeared a few minutes later, this time it was a co-worker.

“Make sure you give in your notice then Rach! 😊 Lol.”

I remember smiling behind my laptop screen and feeling elated. People thought it was a joke. They laughed together at my apparent humour, tagged other family members and friends, who were in awe of my comedic talents. A month had passed when the first roots of doubt began to sprout.

“For real though, has anyone actually seen Rachael at all?”

The comment was made by a close-ish family friend, Callie. I clicked on her profile and was met with a grinning face adorned with wrinkles and makeup that only served to punctuate her ageing facade. For a while, nobody replied. I envisioned them frantically scanning their memories, in search of the answer to Callie’s question. Of course, only I knew the answer.

“Come to think of it I ain’t seen her at all this month…”

Someone else finally commented, though I forget who.

“No, she hasn’t been to work. I thought she must have taken a holiday or something…”

Another co-worker added, her inference seemed to calm the other commenters down.

Of course, I must just be away on a lovely holiday, frolicking in a clear sea, drinking mojitos and loving life. I remember laughing a full bellied laugh at their stupidity. It’s astonishing how humans will try to boil everything down to such simplistic terms, just to make themselves feel better. To ignore reality and carry on living their lives. Pathetic.

After many days that seemed to bleed into one another, everything finally came to a head. People posted links to various news articles on the status.

“HUSBAND OF MISSING RACHAEL STANHOPE FOUND DEAD AT HOME.”

My work had finally been discovered, and all it took was a little talent and a lot of patience. When I read the article, I obsessed over every word, every tiny detail again and again. I couldn’t believe how much they’d revealed to the public. They even included screenshots of my status and hundreds of comments. It was comical, watching the fear and worry increase with every new comment.

Though after a time, the excitement fizzled out into nothing more than a soft buzz. Her screaming and fruitless attempts of escape had even come to an end. It was time. I opened Facebook, clicked on the status bar and began to type. My fingers were furious, my ears were whistling, and my mind began to clear. I checked the monitor; saw she was asleep and posted the status without hesitation. Before I could wonder what was going to come of it, my legs had already taken me to her room. I unlocked the bolts, one by one, making sure to do it as loudly as I could. I needed her awake.

“Hello little miss sunshine.” I said, momentarily taken aback by the unusually deep tone of my voice. Buying that voice changing device seriously changed the game, but it always took me by surprise. The skeletal woman said nothing. A few months ago, she would have tried to get to me, in spite of the short chains she was held prisoner by. Though that day, she simply looked at me. Secretly praying to develop x-ray vision so she could see my face. What a fool she was.

“Well, I don’t appreciate silent treatment. Especially as today, I’ve decided it’s time for you to go.” I held my breath as a twinkle of hope burned in her hazel eyes. Though the ember died before it had the chance to ignite properly. I smiled tightly behind my mask and waited. She averted her gaze but as I took a heavy step forward, she cowered in the corner and silently pleaded for mercy.

“Oh, don’t be such a little baby Rachael. I’m not going to kill you if that’s what you thought.” I laughed and took another step. My heavy boots left large footprints in the dust that had built up since she got here.

“Before you go though, be a dear and clean your room, will you? Gotta leave it all clean for the next guest.” I pulled a needle from my pocket, without looking away from her. I wondered for a moment if she had any veins left at all. I wasn’t sure where to inject her when she so rudely interrupted the thought.

“No! Not that, please. Let me go home without it!” Rachael begged while tears pooled in her eyes and her body shook violently.

“But you need it. Look at you, your body knows what this is” I said, flicking the needle to pop any air bubbles, “You’ll feel better for it.” She screamed as I lunged towards her before she could reply. Her frame was so tiny I feared I would snap her in half, but sheer willpower kept her solid. I overpowered her easily of course, but she gave me as good as she could. I respected her for that. The dose must have been a little high, as almost instantly, her grip loosened, and her body could be likened more to soft spaghetti than a person.

After an hour, it was time. I scooped her unresponsive body into my arms, bundled her in the boot of my car and drove. Alongside Rachael sat the clothes she wore the day she left and in her jacket was a baggie of heroin. It was hidden within a new pocket I’d sown, so she wouldn’t find it and throw it away. I braced myself against the winter air, opened the boot of the car in a back alley and simply walked away. She was still passed out but I was hopeful someone would discover her soon. The thought of her discovery calmed the butterflies that had taken up residence in my stomach, for a while.

I had to physically restrain myself from checking the status. I needed to be sure she had gotten home. I left it a week before I built up the courage to see what had become of little Rachael. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.

Rachael Stanhope says:

“Due to personal reasons I will be reappearing under mysterious circumstances.”

It had over 1000 likes and almost matched that in comments.

“OMG I can’t believe you’re back!”

One person said, while others were not nearly as relieved.

“I heard she’s a junkie, she probably offed her husband!”

Another said, though after further inspection, she wasn’t even friends with Rachael on Facebook.

My personal favourite was posted by one of her husbands’ friends. It was a link to an article published by The Guardian.

“MISSING WIFE RETURNS AND SUSPECTED OF MURDERING HUSBAND”

“Rachael was a friend. I never thought she could be capable of such a crime. She killed Harry, ran away and has returned a heroin addict. Maybe she always was one. But she’s trying to evade justice, saying she was kidnapped. Though she never saw their face, she doesn’t know where they live or why they took her. She claimed to not even know he was dead until she came back. Let’s give Harry the justice he deserves.”

I’ve read it so many times, its like the Lord’s prayer. Forever imprinted in my memory, forever on the tip of my tongue and forever my guiding light.


Signed,

Jen X

Creative Writing · Short Stories · writing

Painted Nuisance: Flash Fiction

Authors Note: Hey everyone hope you are doing well! Welcome back to my blog. This is the first story I’ve posted in over 2 weeks now. I wrote this about 4 months ago and I forgot about it due to getting a new laptop. I thought it was a cool story and thought some of you might enjoy it. If you do, let’s have a chat in the comments and let me know your thoughts!


I’m evil. At least that’s what I’ve been told. People take one look at me and decide I must be a demonic entity, determined to cause trouble and misery wherever I go. It’s the reason I’ve had so many homes. I’ve been swapped, sold, thrown out and worse. For a long time, I wasn’t sure why those who visited recoiled from behind the glass in fear. Some studied me closely noting every detail of my body; while others refused to look at me for fear of becoming possessed. There’s only one person who truly loves me. Kay brushes my long black hair, shines my shoes and talks to me everyday. She’s never kept me behind glass, like the others did. I live out my days centre stage, stood upon a brilliant marble fireplace.

Though today, I’m alone once more. I’ve been waiting for her to return for what feels like a lifetime. I’ve barely closed my glassy eyes for fear of missing her. Finally, I hear the front door open and close. A few seconds later the living room door swings open and, in the doorway stands Kay’s daughters, Jemma and Kitty. But no Kay. They sport matching red faces and puffy eyes. I stiffen as Jemma’s eyes catch mine, though she says nothing, as usual.

“We need to sort out what’s going where.” Jemma says, as she retrieves a roll of bin liners from her handbag. Kitty turns to her sister as fresh tears begin to fall.

“I don’t think I can.” She says in a voice peppered with sadness. I feel dizzy with confusion. I scream at them to tell me where she is, but they can’t hear me. They never could.

“We have to try, we promised dad we would make a start.” Kitty wipes her tears, takes a deep breath and nods her head. She starts clearing the shelf nearest to me, looking at photos and an assortment of knickknacks when finally, she notices me.

“What about Rosie, do you want her?” She says while lifting me off my stand, “Mum loved her.” Jemma looks at me the way she always does and says:

“No way! Doesn’t it creep you out? She’s evil Kitty, we’re better off setting the thing on fire.”

In that moment, I decide to fulfil the prophecy people like her have burdened me with. It’s time to give them exactly what they want. I lunge for Jemma. There’s a piercing scream and at last, I feel free.


Signed,

Jen X

Creative Writing · Short Stories

That’s Not My Baby: A Short Story

Authors Note: Hey everyone hope you’re doing well. Here is a new short story for you, I hope you enjoy it and if you do, lets have a chat in the comments!

8 min read


“That’s not my baby! That’s not my baby! Where is she?!” Screamed Jess, a sickly thin woman with green eyes murky with tears. She struggled to press the alarm but once she did, nurses and doctors stormed in within seconds. She’d already met some of them, yet their equally worried expressions made it hard for her to tell the difference.

“That’s… She… That isn’t my baby. Where’s my baby?” She continued, realising her legs were threatening to give up entirely. A young male nurse managed to steady her, and she allowed him to hold her up while she fought to take in a full breath. A doctor, Dr. Hadley Jess thought, rushed over to the wailing infant that lay restlessly beside the bed. She checked the tag around the her ankle, frowned and checked once more.

“Mrs. Johnson, the tag says she’s yours. This is your daughter Poppy, look.” Dr. Hadley said, trying her best to speak as softly as she could, as not to upset her further. Though her efforts were in vain, as Jess immediately protested with the force only a mother could possess.

“No! You’ve got it wrong. I just gave birth to her, I know the difference! That’s not my baby. Find my baby!” Jess retorted through gritted teeth while repeatedly scraping her greasy blond hair back. She managed to gather enough strength to stand on her own and waddle over to the baby who was still crying. If that was her daughter, surely, she would’ve felt an instinctual need to comfort it? But Jess felt nothing at all. She wanted her baby.

“See? My baby had a little red birth mark on her calf. Look, see this baby hasn’t?”  For a moment she felt hope. She thought she’d provided enough proof for them to lock the hospital down and search room by room. Though her hope was soon snatched from her grip as she noticed the nurses and doctors exchanging expressions of collective doubt.

“What’s wrong Jess?” A tall man called as he hurried to her side. “What’s wrong? Is it the baby?” He added, his voice slightly breaking at the thought. Dr. Hadley studied his expression when he finally gazed upon the child. He placed a gentle hand on her cheek, his breath catching in his throat as he realised, she was okay.

“George, no! That’s not our baby somebody has swapped them over. Don’t touch it!” Jess then wedged herself between the baby and George, like a human border. He ran a trembling hand through his brown hair and began ripping at the skin around his fingernails. He then attempted to rest an assuring hand on Jess’s quivering shoulder, but she pushed him off with an angry grunt.

“What are you talking about Jessica? Of course, she’s ours. Look at her, she looks just like- “

“Are you blind as well as stupid? That isn’t my baby. I need to find her.” Jess yelled as she snapped her head toward the few doctors that remained, with gritted teeth and clenched fists. Her eyes no longer housed sadness alone, anger and fear had moved in and made their presence known.

“Jessica, I promise you, we will do everything in our power to sort this out for you. But first, you need to take a deep breath and sit down please. You’ve just had a C-Section, you can’t risk ripping your stitches this soon after.  We’ll find your baby.” Dr. Hadley soothed as she gently guided her towards the worn chair in the corner. By some miracle, Jess conceded and allowed herself to be comforted by the chairs experienced fabric. She wondered how many tears it must have absorbed over the years and how many of them were born of such fear as hers.

“Mr. Johnson, can we have a word outside?” George nodded and began to walk towards the glass door. Before he passed the threshold, he stole another look at the baby, who had managed by now to sooth itself.

“What’s happening Doctor?” He asked, fear radiated from him like a log fire.

“I’m not sure. It’s possible she is having some adverse effects from the pain med’s she’s had. Or it may be possible she’s right. But that’s why I wanted to talk to you.” George continued to peel the skin around his nails until beads of blood adorned his fingers like rubies. He hardly noticed.

“But… The baby, she looks like she’s ours. How could anybody mix them up? Is that possible?”

“I checked her identification tag, it says she is Poppy Madison Johnson. But something your wife said struck me as a bit odd, just before you came in. She said her baby had a red birth mark on her calf. This baby doesn’t. I checked her chart and there was no note of any marks. Do you remember a red birth mark? Maybe it only became visible later.”

It was as though somebody had stolen the colour from his cheeks and the air from his lungs. He simply stood there, a former shell of the man Dr. Hadley had met the day before. He swayed unsteadily, opening and closing his mouth as if the words he wanted to say were jagged blades.

“George, what is it? It’s important I know everything, if something’s happened to your baby, we need to start looking for her. But if you know something, we- “

“Our baby did have a red birth mark on her calf.” He managed to whisper. Dr. Hadley took a deep breath and, in that moment, prepared herself for what needed to be done.

“Wait… Our baby did have a red birth mark on her calf,” George battled the tears and steadied himself against the wall, while Dr. Hadley shot him a puzzled look. His eyes were full of torment as well as something else. Something more. After a short and uncomfortable silence, he finally spoke.

“But she’s gone. She was um…” George gave up the fight and allowed his tears to fall like hot rain during a storm. “She was Still Born. She had the birth mark.”


Signed,

Jen X

Creative Writing · Short Stories · writing

Mr Picasso: A Short Story Part 2

Authors Note: Hey everyone hope you are doing well! Here is the long awaited second part of Mr Picasso. If you haven’t already, please read part one here. This story has been a tricky one indeed. I wrote this story months ago, but I was unhappy with the ending. I decided to be brave and just post the original ending here, largely unedited so please forgive any mistakes. I have been adapting it over the months so some things are a bit different now. But I truly hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

10 min read


I destroyed her innocence. I took it for my own, handled it in my grasp and then… I simply destroyed it. It was nothing personal to Beth. I’m sure she would’ve carried on her self-harming behaviour until one day that pain wasn’t enough, or it was too much, and she would’ve died anyway. I may have taken her innocence, but I made her into art. I saw that in her and decided to give her something nobody else could.

Of course, she wasn’t my first, you know that. I started with older women and for some reason they just kept on getting younger and younger. I guess the younger you are, the more open you are to a predator. She was however the first true masterpiece I ever created. Our names will be intertwined with each other forever. That’s what I was thinking once I had finished cutting off her limbs, flaying her skin into intricate patterns and positioning her into her final resting place. That was until I led you to her.

I’d tried for about a year after to recreate that piece of art. I carried with me the polaroid pictures I’d taken. They never left my person. I would gaze upon them and the urges just became too strong to ignore. But every time I tried to re-create the artwork, it never felt the same again. Even when I stuck hundreds of pictures all around the room and used them for reference, it was just not the same. Nothing could top, or even match my masterpiece. I had twelve more failed attempts before one day, as I was carving off the leg of a fourteen-year-old girl called Lilly, I couldn’t go on trying to capture the essence of my greatest works by recreating it. I must do so, by telling my story. By getting people to write about it, to write about me and Beth, Lilly, Poppy, Andi, Rose, Anna and all the rest of them. You know their names. Beth would never be special or beautiful or appreciated until I had destroyed what was preventing her from reaching her full potential.

I helped her reach her full potential. You wouldn’t be here ten years after she transgressed from mere mortal to timeless art. You wouldn’t be here, interested in recording me for “educational purposes” if it wasn’t for what I did for that girl, for all those girls. I took my time with Beth, she took ages because art takes time.

                The film suddenly paused in the lecture theatre at a rather unfortunate moment, as James looked directly into the lens of the camera. His eyes were empty, but he smiled with satisfaction. The room was silent while the criminal psychology students processed what they had just witnessed. They were warned of the documentaries highly sensitive and possibly upsetting content. It was at their own discretion to attend the guest speaker lecture.

The speaker, Casper Taylor, took his place behind the podium and looked intently around the room. He saw many tearful eyes and enraged hearts. He patiently waited for the right time to continue his mission and remained silent until he saw every person in the room waiting for him to speak once more.

“Thank you for listening to my documentary so attentively. I understand it is not an easy thing to do, a few people did indeed need to leave the room. That is perfectly fine. What matters is you opened your eyes and your minds and decided to learn about one of the most heinous criminals we have ever known.” He took a moment to clear his throat and collect his thoughts. No matter how many times he got up on stage, his legs still swayed beneath him and words still managed to escape him. He would often try to boost his confidence by reminding himself that he has extensively researched and interviewed the worlds’ most prolific murderers. Its fine, he thought, you can do this.

“As you may already know, I am a true crime author and I have published nine books looking closely at the most heinous criminals in our generation, including James Knotts, or as the media named him ‘The Picasso Killer’. Can anybody tell me, why it is I showed you this clip? What is the significance of it?”

For a few long seconds, the room froze. Nobody wanted to raise their hands for fear of embarrassment. Before Casper could offer the students any reassurance, a man who looked a bit older than the rest, raised his hand. He was wearing a black jumper with the hood up and was visibly trembling. Casper couldn’t quite make out all his features as he was in the first row of the upper balcony, never mind the shadows his hoodie cast on his face,

“Yes, thank you, you up there?”

“I think you showed us this to prove a point. You wanted to show us the story through the eyes of the one who did it. It’s all good and well writing books about it, but it doesn’t have the same effect as actually hearing it from the horses mouth type thing.” Casper was taken aback by the booming voice that erupted from such a slender man. But what intrigued him more so was just how correct he was.

“Exactly. I simply asked him to tell me about what happened that night in 1999. As you saw, I didn’t interject once. He saw an opportunity to talk about what he did to Bethany Lewis. Can anyone tell me why?”

The man once again raised his hand, of which seemed to be shaking even more than before. Casper nodded to show he could speak, considering nobody else seemed to want to contribute.

“He gets to relive it. When you talk about something, it’s kinda like reliving it all over again. Ain’t that what a lot of serial killers do? That’s basically what James Knotts was trying to do when he raped and murdered and chopped up twelve more women.”

“Yes…” Casper was about to choke on his words when the man continued to speak.

“He decided they were worthless alive, and he could make them better. He decided to drug them, brutally rape them, cut off their arms and legs while they were still fucking breathing right, peel their skin off and cut it into diamonds and ribbons and fuck knows what else, piles their body parts back up and took pictures. And you, you have given this grotesque foul specimen the platform for others to remember his name. He thinks he immortalised my mother? He immortalised himself and you helped him. He mutilated 13 women and then led the police straight to the rotting corpse of my mum. He left her in that room in a pile to rot and he thinks he made art? You made him the artist!” The man bubbled over with despair, his eyes were engulfed by a wildfire of rage. Other students looked upon him with deep sympathy while others were so shocked by the outburst they simply stared in silence. Tears streamed from his face and he realised it was the first time he had cried in a long time.

“What you failed to mention is the fact he kept them alive for days before he tore them limb from limb” the man said, addressing the rest of the lecture theatre, “he raped them when they were alive, and then he raped them again.”

Casper feared the man may jump to his death as he hung over the balcony screaming while the tears continued to flow, thicker and faster than before. Casper relaxed slightly as the man returned his gaze on him. Though that respite was short lived as the anger and hatred radiated from every inch of the man’s body.

Mr. Borthwick, the University Head, rushed over to Casper, though he could not tear his eyes away from the man’s hateful glare. The man yanked his hood off his head to reveal swooping black hair that fell into his face, covering one eye. He barely heard what Mr. Borthwick had said, but the penny had finally dropped.

“-ander Lewis…” Mr. Borthwick said for the third time, “that is Alexander Lewis, he doesn’t go to this University, we don’t know how he got in or why…I’m…I do- “

“He wanted to understand why someone would do this. The answer only served to fuel his anger.” Casper said with a blank look, as he imagined Alexander finding out for the first-time what horrors happened to the woman who brought him into the world. The angry 20-year-old man in front of him transformed into an innocent child. The anger was gone but it was replaced with ignorance and not the blissful kind. It was the kind only a child could possess. As a child, all he knew was that his mother was gone. He didn’t know where she was, or why she had left. Until the day came where he did understand where she was, six foot under, and he found out why, a psychopathic serial killer stole her from him. That was the day James Knotts successfully destroyed another person’s innocence from behind bars, and Casper helped him do it.

“I can’t get to him, so its gotta be you.” Alexander Lewis pulled out a gun and pointed it at Casper. He pulled the trigger but it flew a quarter of an inch from his temple. How could a lecture turn into a murder attempt? After a few seconds, the screaming finally pierced the bubble Casper had been floating in and the reality began to sink in.

“I made a monster famous and in turn created another.”


Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Signed,

Jen X

Creative Writing · Short Stories

Returning Traveller

Authors Note: Hey everyone, hope you are doing well! Here is a little flash fiction I wrote for a competition. The theme of the competition was “winter and should intend to bring a smile to the readers face.” I hope it makes you smile and if it did, I would love to chat in the comments.

They say no two snowflakes are alike, we are unique in our own way. But they don’t tell you snowflakes can choose where they want to fall. I could go anywhere on Earth, but I choose here everytime. I’ve watched kids grow up, screaming “snow day” whilst frolicking amongst us. When the sun begins to burn hot, it’s our time to leave. Though, we’re not sad it’s over, we’ve had our time. I can’t wait to come back again. I’m loved and appreciated here. That makes it worth the wait.


Signed,

Jen X

Creative Writing · Short Stories · writing

Christmas Dinner: A Short Story

Authors note: Hey everyone hope you are well. Here is a little story that has been floating around my head for a few weeks. I finally wrote it tonight and wanted to get it up before Christmas. Hope you enjoy and if you do, please let me know in the comments! Merry Christmas.


Dennis sat at the top of an empty table, paper crown in hand and a tear forming in his eye. He glanced at the cooling turkey he’d spent so many hours preparing, while black butterflies threatened to invade his chest. He watched the door, still hoping for someone to burst through, apologising for being late and showering him in appreciation for the Christmas dinner and fine hospitality. Something tried to convince him that nobody would show up. Yet he sat in his chair amongst the cold roast potatoes and vegetables, until a moonless night replaced the day. His stomach grumbled but he refused to make himself up a plate, it’s rude to eat before your guests arrive. Dennis considered tidying up as the food was more than likely ruined, though he couldn’t bring himself to do it; to tidy up is to give up and that was out of the question.

The aches that erupted from his arthritic limbs dragged him from the comfortable nothing of a dreamless sleep. He rubbed his knees and grunted when he caught sight of the clock on the dining room wall, it was just past midnight. He pulled himself up from the rickety wooden chair and found himself doubled over, unable to stand up straight. He cursed himself for falling asleep in such an awkward position and headed towards the door, he would deal with the mess later. To Dennis, it felt as though the door had been locked, for he couldn’t get it to open. He almost laughed at the thought, how could it possibly be locked? His bones continued to scream at him, as he tried again and again to get the door open, but it was well and truly locked. Dennis felt a wave of adrenalin course through him, questions tinged with mania began to infiltrate his mind: How could it be locked? Who would lock me in? Why? What if it’s just stuck?

Dennis began to scream.

“Help! Who are you?! Let me OUT!” Dennis continued to holler and yell until he could no more. If he were a decade or so younger, perhaps he could have kicked the door down. But instead of strong muscles he had bones that betrayed him. Resting at the base of the large door, Dennis allowed thoughts of his wife, Liesel, to consume him. She was the light of his life, the separation was difficult to say the least, but he took comfort in the knowledge they had not ended on bad terms. He took his jumper off and placed it underneath his balding head, grateful for the solace it brought him, he closed his eyes and let sleep take him once again. Liesel, as she usually did, met him in his dreams. Her blonde hair hung elegantly by her shoulders, her eyes piercing and glowing. Liesel reached for Dennis, but when he tried to grab her, he drove a knife into her heart instead. Her hair dropped limply and the glow in her eyes dimmed, as Dennis stabbed her again and again and again. At this point, he would usually wake up, but this time exhaustion clung to him and left him suspended in a sea of otherworldly pain and suffering.

Some hours later, a jangle of keys and metal clanking finally freed him from the confines of his personal inner hell. The metal door swung open and, in the threshold, stood a stern-faced woman.

“Mr. Harrold, why are you not in your bed?” She said, without a flicker of expression.

“My dining room door must have gotten stuck, I tried to open it but…” He paused as he noticed strangers walking up and down his hallway. “Uh excuse me, what are those…What are you doing in my house?” The woman shot a glance at another younger woman who immediately took her leave.

“And the rest of you too, go on, leave.” Dennis added as he struggled to get to his feet.

“Dennis, where do you think you are?” She said while offering a steady hand “Do you know who I am?”

Dennis pushed her arm away and instead used the wobbly chair to regain his balance.

“Of course, this is my home and you are trespassing. If you and your little friends don’t leave at once I shall be calling the police.” Dennis tried to locate the house phone that sat on the dresser, but it was no where to be seen. His heart rate quickened, and panic washed over him. The woman stood before him, motionless and cold. The younger woman returned with four men, each of them sporting matching white outfits and grim expressions. The sight of them made a bubble of familiar nausea rise in Dennis’s throat, but he stood as strong as could, determined not to waiver.

“Mr Harrold, you need to sit down on the chair please. We need to restrain you now; you pose a threat to yourself and potentially others.” The men in white uniforms grabbed Dennis by the wrists and legs, securing him to a chair with leather straps and metal buckles that pinched at his wrinkled skin. He fought as hard as he could, but it was no use. He was not a wolf anymore; he was the deer.

“What year is it? Do you know where you are?” The woman asked as she paced from one end of the small room to the other.

“I’m in my home, who cares what year it is, this is illegal!” A niggle of doubt poked at Dennis, as the sound of her heels clicking on the stone floor flooded his ears. Liesel’s heels never sounded like that.

“Okay. But we are obliged to tell you, you are not in your home. You haven’t been for the better part of 2 decades.”

Dennis swallowed hard and averted his gaze from her hateful face. He could see he was in his home, there are photographs of his children, Hollie and Jasper in his grandmothers’ frame. On the table still sat his Christmas dinner and in the corner by the fireplace was the tree he picked from the Christmas tree farm. Yet, something else inside of him tried to convince him he was wrong, but he pushed those ugly thoughts to the darkest corner of his mind. It was Christmas, the time of joy and cheer, not sadness and despair. Though he wasn’t sure he had felt the former in a lifetime.

“I know you haven’t been taking your medication. Since you’ve been here a long time, we thought we could trust you. We thought you understood and wanted to manage your illness. We had hopes for you to improve and carry on improving, perhaps then you might have been transferred to a lower security ward.”

“I have no idea what you’re on about lady. You come into my house, tie me up and talk this nonsense to me? This is an abomination. I demand for you to contact my wife, Liesel Harrold.” Dennis yelled, he struggled to remain composed while being physically restrained. The straps continued to leave angry red marks in their wake as he battled against their strength.

“Mr Harrold, Liesel is dead. You murdered her and your two children before attempting to take your own life too.” The icy tone of her voice took Dennis aback, how could she make such disgusting accusations with such little emotion?

“Don’t be ridiculous, I spoke to her not long ago. I refuse to listen to you any further.” He let the twinkle of his tree take him away from the nightmare he found himself in. He considered the fact this could all be the result of a wonderful Christmas with his family. Perhaps they had come last night, and a cocktail of cheese and alcohol had brought on a horrible dream. He hoped to soon be awoken by soft kisses and the smell of mulled wine heating up on the stove.

The woman sighed and motioned for everyone to leave. Before she closed the door behind her, she turned to Dennis. Though her face didn’t show it, her heart was breaking for the shell of a man who sat before her.

“Merry Christmas Dennis, I hope one day you find your peace.”


I hope you enjoyed this story, lets have a chat in the comments.

What do you think this story is about?

Signed,

Jen X