Before I share the story, I have some shameless begging to do. I, along with my writer friends Cameron and Lance, have entered the America’s Next Author contest. Round Two just started, and I really need your help. Two clicks (one on the link, the other on “VOTE”) is all you have to do, but I’d really love it if you could read, star, and review my story there. It’s the nice little creepy you’ve become accustomed to finding on my blog. So please, follow this link, and show your favorite author (me!) your support. Then, go visit my friends’ pages and do the same, then tweet all about it….
(Now on with our regularly scheduled creep-fest…)
Crimson filled Norman’s vision. How could they do this to him again? How many times has he told them to stay out of his room? They never listened. They were too busy setting one new rule after another to give a fig about what he had to say.
And they (whoever “they” were) say that parents do these things because they love you.
Love doesn’t invade privacy. Love doesn’t set so many rules there’s no way you could do anything but fail. Yet, this was exactly what his parents did. They went through his room on a regular basis (They never found anything because he was too clever to keep anything questionable in his room). When they couldn’t find anything, they would come up with some new rule as if they needed to punish him anyway. Maybe they did. After all, wasn’t he just a huge mistake from the get-go?
Norman dumped his backpack on his bed and began investigating. They always removed something, with some bogus claim on how it’s detrimental to his health, or his education, or intelligence. He needed to find whatever it was. Even though he kept his room in a state of disarray, he knew everything he had in his room, as well as where it was located. He started with his desk, moving papers around, getting sidetracked reading a short story scribbled on a piece of notebook paper here, an uncompleted verse there, until he came to the lacquered brown that was his desk top. He put all the papers back, and moved to his dresser.
One by one, he pulled open the dresser drawers. Most of them held treasures, but there was the occasional sock or t-shirt one of his parents had buried in there once when they’d attempted to clean his room. That was another matter, altogether– cleaning his room. They vacuumed, they dusted, they emptied his drawers and filled them with clean clothes. They organized his papers, determining on their own what was trash and what wasn’t, and put them in a neat stack on the corner of his desk. They made his bed, then cleared the clothes from underneath it. They filled the hangers in his closet with clothes, and lined his shoes up like soldiers on the floor. When they finished their cleaning, Norman was worse off than he was before. Getting ready for school took twice as long because nothing was where it was supposed to be. And today, as he opened his drawers one by one, was proving to be a “cleaning” day.
Gah! He hated having to get inside his parent’s heads to figure out where they put his stuff. It was bad enough they let their bodies wander wherever they pleased, but to leave their heads on the kitchen counter…
Norman slammed his door and made his way to the kitchen. He ignored the large oak rectangle that seated eight comfortably, stepping around it with ease. He pushed one of the chairs in absently as his eyes trained on the counter in front of him. His mother had decorated the house gaily in fall colors. Ceramic pumpkins of all shapes and sizes were scattered throughout the main rooms of the house. This counter was no exception. It angered him to find his parent’s heads positioned decoratively between two pumpkins carved in theatrical flair. The soft glow of the lit candles within in them did nothing to soothe him, especially since he couldn’t see his parent’s faces.
“How dare you!” He said. He went down on his knees to be eye level with his parents. Their heads turned around with the wet sucking sounds associated with severed necklines.
“What did we do now?” his mother asked. The words that filtered from between her cherry red lips dripped with sugar and innocence. Norman reached a hand out, ready to strike her, when his father’s body came up behind him and grabbed his arm. He jabbed back with his elbow, meeting that soft space between his father’s ribs. His father stepped back. His voice, stern and commanding, floated from the counter top.
“You do not smack your mother! You will show her some respect.”
Norman growled. Spittle flew from his mouth as he spoke. “Oh shut up! I’ve had just about enough of you both. You’ve fucked me up for the last time. You know exactly what you did!” He slammed his fist on the counter, causing his parent’s heads to jump. “Where is it? I want it back now!”
His mother’s body appeared in the kitchen. Her pristine white apron looked freshly ironed, as it always did. She never had so much as a wrinkle in any place where it didn’t belong. Her heels clicked across the tile as she joined them at the counter top. Her hands, with their perfectly manicured red fingernails, picked up her head and twisted it back on her body. A smug smile planted itself between her ears. One hand ventured down into her apron pocket. He could see little flutters of movement inside the pocket. She was hiding something and he knew what it was.
“Give it…,” he shrieked for air as his words were cut off. His father had sneaked up behind him and trapped him in a choke-hold. With the furthest stretch of Norman’s peripheral vision, he could see the other hand was raised and holding something. He struggled uselessly. His mother produced two eyes from her pocket and set them down on the counter in front of him, just beyond his reach. Her laugh chilled him to the bone. His father’s arm swung down and as his head separated from his neck, he realized with sudden clarity exactly what Philip Larkin meant about parents fucking you up. His mother shook her head, her tongue clicking in dismay as he felt his father release his body. He watched as he floundered around for a few moments before his mother spoke again.
“Oh son, did you really think you could destroy us with a dead man’s eyes? Did you really think we lived in ignorant bliss, unaware of that loose board in your bedroom floor or the vent cover that’s just a little too loose?” She picked up his head and looked him in the eye before slamming it to the floor and stomping on it. “Oh, Norman. It is such a shame. We had such high hopes for you, too.”
I gave Trencher this prompt: You’ve been nailed.
This story also answers the Bloggy Moms Writer’s Workshop prompt: Write a ghost story, though I went a little over the word count.
As always, I welcome your feedback. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this piece in a comment. (And don’t forget to VOTE!)
Thanks for stopping in!