It’s called a writing prompt. You’ve seen me do them before and here are some more. Just a short story that’s mildly entertaining…
The prompt: “Why would you do this”
Why would you do this?” my mother pleaded with me again. I ignored her tears and pushed her out my bedroom door. Locking it as she fell into the hallway.
“You were such a happy little boy, Kyle…” I didn’t hear the rest of her pleas, since I was busy packing my bag with clothing and what little money I had. I figured I probably didn’t have long before she called the police.
I opened my bedroom window, and surveyed the roof and the ground below. Throwing on my jacket and backpack I climbed out confidently onto the roof. My mother continued crying and pounding on the bedroom door. Lowering myself down off the roof, I hung there thinking about how to fall just right so I wouldn’t wreck my knees or my ankles.Taking a deep breath, I steadied myself and dropped into a crumpled knee roll into our front lawn.
It was broad daylight and the neighbors had known my family for years, so I stood up, as if nothing had happened, and waved to Neil, who was mowing his lawn across the street. He smiled, shook his head, and returned the wave. Probably thinking that boys will be boys, good ole Neil. I walked quickly down my street of white picket fences, perfectly manicured lawns, and expensive homes to the nearest main road and waited for a bus.
I didn’t wait long until number 57 rolled up, this one would definitely take me to a transit station where I could literally go anywhere. Dropping my change in the machine I took a seat in the back next to the window.
The minute I met Carl, I knew something wasn’t right. I tried to tell my mom, but she wouldn’t listen. He was just too much of everything she wanted – polite, well dressed, handsome, and I had to give it to the guy, he was smart. I thought maybe I had been too hard on him, so I shrugged off the skin crawling feelings I got around him and let things go. That was until Socks, my cat I’ve had since I was 10 years old, disappeared. Sure he was old and maybe a little blind, but he was a good cat.
Carl was convinced the cat had run away, but I knew better. I was on to his game. So I started investigating him, his computer, his cellphone, and I even tried following him around a bit, but found nothing damning. I almost gave up, until the day I came home and saw all my mother’s prized rosebushes had been cut down, dragged across our perfectly manicured lawn and thrown into the garden recycling bins.
I got into a fight with Carl that night. I wanted to kill him. How dare he harm my cat and now my mother’s rose bushes! I refused to speak to him after that and begged my mother to break up with him. She always sighed heavily, avoided my gaze, and would simply say no. This controlling maniac had imprisoned my poor mother!
The weeks had gone by slowly, without further incident and I hoped maybe things had calmed down. But I was wrong. Monday, the first week of finals, I woke up and went through my usual routine. I took a shower, dressed, and ate breakfast, and then headed out the door. But when I opened the door leading to what should have been our beautiful lawn, I was welcomed instead by the distorted dead bodies of at least a dozen animals. Bird’s with empty sockets stared blankly and unmoving at me, squirrels holding their own entrails laid out in a circle, decapitated raccoons piled on top of each other, and rats strung up like Christmas lights hung limply from our porch.
My mother’s horrified expression and fainting spell said everything I needed to know. Carl had to die. I know it might have seemed drastic, but something had to be done before things got any worse.
I killed Carl two weeks later. My mother had gone to the store to pick up our weekly grocery list. I knew I had an hour alone in the house with him. He was working in the backyard, bent over the tomatoes bushes, his back to me. It was almost too easy. I just hit him once with my baseball bat that I kept under my bed. He went down like a ton of bricks. I dragged him to our shed and laid him out on a piece of plastic. He started to moan, so I duct tapped his hands, his legs, and his mouth. Then silenced him with my Boy Scout hatchet.
Before the blood could spread too much I wrapped him up in the plastic sheeting and duct tapped him tightly. Maybe I should have moved him, thinking back on it now. It would have saved me the trouble of having to run, or seeing my mother cry.
“Kyle,” I heard my mother say softly, but my eyes were so heavy I had a hard time opening them. I stirred instead letting her know I could hear her.
“Kyle,” another man’s voice floated through the air. It did not register with me at first. But when I finally understood who it was, my eyes flew open by themselves. It was Carl!
“No,” I croaked and tried to raise my hands, unsure if I wanted to block his gaze or choke him. My hands stopped in mid-motion, restrained by leather cuffs. I was tied to a bed! I stared around the plain white room and thrashed around my scratchy thin mattresses.
“Where..AM I?!” I screamed, my muscles flexing to get out of my bed.
“Kyle, you’re at Dr. Miller’s hospital,” my mother was attempting to sooth me and hide her growing fear. I could hear the pitch change in her voice.
That pitch change, changed me as well. I stopped thrashing and stared at Carl. He was why I was here. He made my mother afraid. I was going to make sure he died this time.
“Let me go,” I tried to mask the dangerous edge to my voice with feigned calmness.
“Ah, you’re awake,” came another familiar voice, Dr. Miller.
“Kyle, how are you feeling,” he asked me pleasantly enough. I didn’t answer him. I had more important things to do. Carl was still alive and he was next to my mother.
“Kyle,” I stopped Dr. Miller mid-sentence, “He’s not here right now.”
“Alright, Max,” the doc said knowingly. My mother, bit her lower lip, Carl looked away.
“Max, can you tell me what happened to Socks,” he continued to speak to me calmly, as if that would help.
“The cat knew too much so I got rid of it. Plus, I wanted Kyle to get on board with killing the chump over there,” I said bluntly. No reason to hide it. The old thing should have died years ago. The doctor nodded and wrote something.
“Can you tell me what happened to your mother’s rose bushes, Max” he continued his line of questioning.
“I wanted to warn the bitch that Carl was bad news,” I spat, upset he wouldn’t release me; I tested the restraints once more. The doctor didn’t seem to notice.
“And, can you tell me, Max, what happened to the animals on the lawn,” he prodded me again.
“CARL needed to know!” I yelled as I thrashed towards him. The sudden movement scared the people in the room, who involuntarily took a step back from me, “I’m going to KILL him – even without Kyle’s help!” I spat at Carl and lunged again.
The doctor, removed his glasses and ushered Carl and my mother out of the room. As my mother tearfully left the room I heard her say, “Why would you do this?”