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Dear Amy,

I feel like I can confide in you, I hope I’m not overstepping my grounds. You’ve been a good friend to me these last few months despite our never meeting face to face, although I hope to have the opportunity soon. I found this letter a difficult one to pen with us being only silent voices to one and other – where does the line get drawn in such a relationship?

First, let me start by saying, what I have done was not without reason, although I’m sure my reasons won’t be accepted by many, if any. I know I can count on you, though. I was given permission, well, permission might not be the right word; they had told me to do it. It’s not the first time they’ve spoken to me; told me to do things. Most of the time they offer random, inconsequential advice, where to go or what to have on the menu, but they usually speak to me at a point of indecision which I must admit has been somewhat helpful. I welcome the small interruptions of insanity. But that’s not to say I’ve forgotten who I am.

I’m not sure how much of my personal distresses I’ve mentioned before, it’s nothing I’m too proud of. I understand that my anger issues will never be fully resolved, it’s just who I am; nothing satisfies. I can find no peace in anything. Admittedly I am a hardened cynic with no confidence in anyone, I just eek through each day with intermittent flip outs every so often. Usually a loud scream in a baron area does the trick, although lately I’m not afforded such a luxury. The hardest thing for me is keeping my episodes from my daughter. I don’t want her to see me like this.

As you know my mother has been living with me for some time now, since my father’s passing. The loss was tragic enough, and to endure mom’s slow decline into senility has become too much to bear. I’m allowed no concentration!

I can’t think!

My life as I know it is over. I don’t deserve this, do I?

Many times I would stand beside her while she sat in dad’s old chair, rotting. ROTTING in that chair! I guess the feel of something of his was a comfort to her. She never moved, never made a sound, just would stare at the TV all day. I scarcely think she was even watching it half the time; everything around her ceased to exist. Even the joys of her grand-daughter, my daughter, her little Hanna wouldn’t merit a reaction. I finally confronted her, but my pleas were unheard. She would just stare right through me as if I wasn’t even there. I’ve reached the end of my rope.

Yesterday, I had attempted to fix the screen door in back, something I had put off for some time. The volume on the TV was so loud I felt the speakers might blow out. Clearly, she had moved. She had the remote, she turned it up, and in my head I only thought this was done to intentionally irritate me. With my tools in hand I approached mom and asked her if she was ok again, and again - still nothing. I finally felt my madness welling.

I let go of my tool bag and let the weight of the metal fall hard onto the ground. It caused a clatter that was ear shattering. It hurt me, but I didn’t want to miss any flinch she might’ve given. I stifled the pain, gritting my teeth, remembering then Hanna was still upstairs. Her door was closed, but she heard it.

There was a point of several seconds I can’t recall. The next thing I remember is hearing them say to me “go back” and I was standing over my mother holding the hammer in such a way it felt more like a weapon than a tool. A wave of calm came over me until I realized what I had done. The claw end of the hammer was imbedded in my mothers head. In my mind I had not done this, but all accounts will say I did. Whatever illusions, or feelings I had, had disappeared. My shock gave way to worry thinking now of Hanna, and how I couldn’t allow her to see this. I wish they would speak to me now, I could use the advice.

I had gotten to her door upstairs just as she was coming out. I don’t know if she had noticed my hysterics at the time, but I quickly moved her back in to her room. I could see she was worried, but my efforts to calm her only seemed to confuse her further and she began to cry. She grew more and more upset until I could no longer hold her still. All I could do was hug her. I did so tightly until she finally was quiet, and still. She will understand what happened, one day. One day I’ll be able to tell her what had happened and why it was the decent thing to do.

She’s been sleeping since yesterday. Even now, sitting next to her now, writing this, I’m finding it difficult to cope. I managed to stand a moment ago, the first time in hours and I noticed that the house is as quiet as it’s ever been. Even my head, quiet – they’re gone, and I once again find myself at a crossroads. So often they have come to help me; however I feel they’ve abandoned me. Before I came back to finish this letter I stood in the middle of the room crying. I felt lost, I guess I still do.

I think soon I’ll take Hanna downstairs and the three of us will have one last meal together before I bring mom to her house. As far as I know it hasn’t been sold yet. It was my parents’ home for almost fifty years; I know she’ll like it there. I figure after, I’ll pack up Hanna and head out.

By the time you get this I’ll already be on my way. I just need a friend – someone to talk to me, you know. I would really love to meet you face to face, and you can even meet my daughter! I’ve told her all about you. I hope it’s not too much to ask. Until then, best wishes!

Your friend,

Brian Edward Cole

***

It had been a year since Amy began her correspondence with Brian. This was the twelfth letter in the exchange and it read like none other she had received before. Needless to say, Amy found it rather disturbing, not exactly sure how to deal with such an unexpected and graphic confession.

Soon after the initial shock had finally subsided it suddenly became apparent that she might be in considerable danger herself. Immediately, a surge of terror welled up within her and Amy found herself trying to recall the conditions of all her windows and doors of the house. It was a pleasantly warm fall evening and she had remembered there were two windows open upstairs. The sliding back door to the deck was open and the front door was open allowing a nice breeze through. However, the words she had read sent a chill through her body that would not subside. Could he really be on his way here?!

One thing Amy was certain of is that Brian would not be at his home, and with no picture all there was, was an address and her concerns. She found it hard to convince herself that the police would take the matter seriously. But still, she set her phone atop of the letter thinking that might be a course of action to consider later. Right now, she felt it more pertinent to recheck all the doors and windows. Amy hurried upstairs and closed the window in the bathroom and the one in her daughter’s bedroom, locking them both. While she drew the blinds in her daughter’s room, she left the bathroom’s cracked a bit, just enough to get a clear view of the front yard and the driveway. Nothing was out of the ordinary from what she could see; only the occasional car passing by. Amy moved downstairs.

It was disappointing to her, feeling that she had to box herself in like this. The act of fortifying the house made her feel, in a sense, insecure and afraid. Being the only one in the house it was understandable, but to her it was a shot to her confidence. They were here to enjoy life, not to isolate themselves from society. Taking one more look around outside, front and back, Amy felt safe enough and left the doors open, locking only the screen doors on both.

Daylight fading fast Amy returned to the kitchen and picked up her phone to text her daughter. She knew Sadie was out with friends, probably for the night, but she only wanted to know she was okay:

“HEY HONEY, HOW’S THINGS GOING? YOU NEED ANYTHING?”

Something simple; the question was genuine, however, Amy was more so baiting her for a response. With her phone in hand, she once again laid eyes on the letter, and again the thought of calling the police crossed her mind. Soon after she put the matter to rest, tucking the pages into the corner drawer, filing them with the other letters she’d received from Brian; a pile of friendly communiques now looked like a stack of evidence. Finally, she convinced herself she might be overreacting and shut the drawer and put the matter out of mind.

After all this she felt she could use a drink and retrieved a beer from the refrigerator. As the door swung shut, so could a car door shut be heard outside. At this point she was familiar with the resonance of the area and could tell if someone was in her driveway or a neighbor, or just on the street. A quick glance through the blinds confirmed it, though. Someone was here. The motion sensor light over the garage had been tripped.

A late model marron Oldsmobile, a car she hadn’t seen before had parked closely behind her car. A tall thin man, young looking with short black hair and a trimmed beard emerged from the driver’s side, he too was unfamiliar. The man made a quick survey of the surrounding area before opening the back door. He appeared to be struggling with something, trying to heft it out from the back seat. It was then the same wave of terror took control of her body. The possibility had suddenly become more probable, yet she still found it hard to accept the notion of such an extreme situation. At odds with herself, Amy didn’t know whether to confront her visitor or call the police. Standing close to the counter, she watched, as still as she could to not draw any attention to herself.

The man pulled out a large object wrapped in a white floral pattern blanket. At first glance, it looked like a child’s blanket one might find in a crib. It seemed heavy as the man had to reset the weight in his arms several times. He eventually cradled it like a small child that was asleep. Amy couldn’t see what it was, but the fear was overwhelming and the assumption was prevalent. While the light of the kitchen no doubt gave her away through the open blinds, she remained frozen and watching as the man walked behind the wall, out of view for a moment before his steps could be heard thumping on the porch. They ceased, and Amy held her breath in the silence. For a moment she could sense him leering through the screen before she heard the man wrap gently on the storm door…

KNOCK-KNOCK!

 

This is my second story to be submitted to this website, yet another one in my anthology to come. My craft is my passion and I look forward to working with others of the same mind and making this my career. Enjoy, and thanks for the read!

 

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