Alright, so this is the first time I have ever done this. So...please don't be too harsh, let me know what you think. My first actual short story, Mother And John.
The clouds came upon the blue sky as a mother walked her son and herself to the local store, the only store in Sandy Hill. She needed food, they all needed food. The town was in lack of facilities and there wasn’t much that could be done about it. It has been like this for the past decade with everything slowly coming to an end. The mother knows it, the town knows it but they still want to live on with their lives and not complain. The Mother’s son doesn’t know much himself but he certainly knows that he won’t be living in Sandy Hill anymore.
Everyone walks around town, some smile and others just don’t make eye contact. It seems like a normal town, doesn’t it? The mother likes to walk and talk, holding onto John’s hand. John is her 6 year old son who is just learning about life. Unfortunately, he is learning how to survive without the technology that surrounds the rest of the world. No gas, no electricity and hardly any water. The rest of the world doesn’t know about what is happening this town; I would say that the rest of the world doesn’t even know this town exists. All they know is that this world is a happy place, no sign of war or fear.
They don’t know about the people in Sandy Hill because this town isn’t even in your GPS. If you opened up Google Maps, you certainly wouldn’t find it there. Search it, I dare you. Why? No one knows why. Not even the people of Sandy Hill. The Mayor certainly knows and he isn’t telling a soul. The question is, why aren’t there people questioning it?
If someone disappeared, the world would not know. The town would know but they would not be allowed to question or wonder where they disappeared to. They had a feeling that they would disappear too.
John would always hold onto his mother’s hand, especially when the mayor walked by. John was a smart boy. When he had a question, he would keep it to himself. He had many questions. Questions about why it was so difficult to live in this god for sake town. John had things that the people of Sandy Hill wish they had. Guts, an imagination and a bloody god damn brain. He always felt like everyone in this town were robots. No one questioned why people disappeared and why there wasn’t any police. Yes, that’s right. A 6 year old does know about the police. He knows full well that there should be authority and the mayor is getting away with murder.
How does John know all this?
As far as his mother is concerned, he is always with her. Even when she puts young John to bed, turns off the light, leaves the door opened and heads to bed herself. Even when she is fast asleep, as he creeps out of bed, sneaks out of his room, opens the front door quietly and wonders on the long road by himself. To investigate, investigate the town that doesn’t make any sense.
He would walk for a while, I would say 2 hours. This town is so small that no one would even know that someone is walking around at 12am. In a normal town this wouldn’t be safe; in this town…it’s definitely not safe. With the unsure things in this town, no one was safe. On these walks of John’s, he was able to find out things that nobody else knew. How about the fact that Mrs. Buntings was the most insecure person in town? She would always walk around with her head held high, as if she was the best thing to walk on this planet. There was only 200 people living in Sandy Hill and she thought she was next best thing next to sliced bread. In this town, to even have sliced bread…that was something that not many people could have.
But on a certain walk, John would see Mrs. Buntings, staring at herself in the mirror. Not moving. She would scream and punch the mirror. The mirror would smash and you’d see her walking to the store the next day to buy a new one. Everyone would have thought she just loved mirrors, but John knew otherwise. What about Mr. Clifford? He was the principle of the school at Sandy Hill. The school was so tiny; it had a max of 50 students. So, all the students knew him as the principle. The strict man who always punished the same students, he had never had a problem with any other student. Even Alex Hurdle for that matter, a year 12 student. Everyone else at the school had a problem with her; he on the other hand couldn’t see what everyone else saw. John knew why.
He would walk around, looking in people’s homes. He would always stop and stare at Mr. Clifford’s house. The music was loud but not loud enough to worry anyone. All the curtains were closed and Alex Hurdle would leave the house at about precisely 2.30am. She would have a little smile on her face, wink at Mr. Clifford and walk home. John didn’t understand what was going on but he knew at that time of the morning…it wasn’t good. Anything at that time of the morning wasn’t good, but that didn’t worry little John at all.
The next house that gave him a little confusion was the unknown house. He didn’t know who lived there; it was always quiet at night time. During the day when he would around with his mother do to food shopping; they would never walk past that house. John would ask about the house to his mother and she would say ‘Why are you asking? How do you know about that house? Don’t go near that house. No one goes near that house. Listen to me, stop asking and leave it alone.’ So at 2.35am in the morning, that was his only way to figure out who lived there. No one was around, it was quiet and the rain was coming down slightly. He walked up to house and looked through the bare window. It was dark inside. This was the first time that he decided to ‘investigate’ the house. Every other time he would walk past and listen to his mother.
As he looked through the window seeing nothing but black, he raised his little hand and touched the window. It was cold and the thought of knowing what happens in this house was exciting. Staring directly into the window, he saw a movement. He couldn’t tell what it was however he could definitely tell wasn’t normal. That movement lit up, that was the only reason he could tell there was anything there. As he continually stared that movement didn’t move anymore. It stayed in the same place. John didn’t move either; he believed if he did…he may not be here. His hand stayed on the window, the cold window became colder and colder. It felt like he couldn’t move it even if he wanted too. The window blew and the rain became heavier.
The movement disappeared, the light was gone and so was the coldness. John continued to stare and his hand still didn’t want to move. The wind stopped, the rain stopped and so did John’s little heart. His breathing became heavier and deeper. He felt something touching his back but he didn’t move. The shock through his body made all of the hairs on his arms stand up. He had goosebumps. The light from the street lit the area behind him. As he stared at the window, he saw a reflection. It looked like the same movement from inside but this time it was bigger. That feeling on his back started to move, it moved onto his right shoulder. It held into his shoulder and it began to hurt. He screamed in his head because nothing came out of his mouth.
He felt the movement pull him, it pulled him backwards. John let the movement take him. The scream in his head left and so did his mind.
It was black, it was cold and John was sitting on a chair. His hands tied together behind the chair, at his age, how could have he even escaped even without his hands being tired together. He could move his legs but they couldn’t touch the ground. He would have opened his eyes but he couldn’t, when you’re blindfolded there isn’t much you can do about it. Footsteps surrounded the room; it was quiet being the only thing he could hear. The sound of the footsteps became louder and louder. They stopped.
He felt something touch his leg and it was colder than the room itself. It didn’t feel like fingers however it did feel like something sharp. Something his mother used for cooking. He yelped as the sharp object sat on his leg. He heard a laugh. It sounded like someone familiar. The laugh reminded him of home, reminded him of the woman he swore she always protect him. It sounded like his very own mother.
“Mum?” He asked, hoping it wasn’t.
His heart dropped and so did the blindfold.
He saw her standing there smiling, a knife in her hand. He was in shock. He stared at her as she stared back.
“Mummy…why?” He asked.
“Why? WHY?” He saw her move her eyes…they were rolling “I’ll tell you why. I said don’t come here but you didn’t listen. Always listen to what mummy says”
He began to cry.
“What do you mean? I’m confused, why are you here?”
“This is my hide away from you, you annoying little boy. Everything you do is annoying, the fact that you don’t even listen to me, is annoying”
He looked around the room, he saw things hanging. These things they belonged to other people, broken mirrors and pictures of young Alex Hurdle. Alex wasn’t wearing any clothing and she was standing with Mr. Clifford, fully clothed and holding her.
He wondered however he was more scared rather than confused. What was his mother going to do next? Who knew, she may kill or she may torture him. She grabbed his head and looked directly into his eyes. He tried not to look at her, closing his eyes. Staring into her eyes was just pain, seeing the only love of his life with such hatred. She was a different but then again she was the same person. It was his mother and he could see her standing right there in front of him. She laughed again, let go of his face and threw the knife behind her.
“Mummy, I love you...”
“Love? Love isn’t what you think it is. Love is listening to me, I told you not to come here and what do you do? You come here, now I must punish my disobedient son”
She walked off, leaving John sitting there on the chair; he was still nothing but scared.
Heart pumping, blood running and sweat dripping; something young John didn’t like.
He heard rattling coming from another room, he knew she was up to something; he just didn’t know what. Clanking of knives, footsteps walking back and forth; she came back. She looked straight at him while holding a butchers knife. His mother smiled and walked towards him, she stopped at his feet. Looking at them with a smirk on her face she licked her lips.
“John, who gave those shoes?” She asked.
“…You did, mummy”
“Yes, I did. Now I want them back”
He looked at his feet; she could easily have them back. He would let her have anything to let him live.
“Have them, mummy. I don’t want them”
“What? You don’t want the shoes that your own loving mother gave you?”
He went quiet.
She squatted looking at them, running the butchers knife along the laces. She stood up looking around. Who knew what she was looking for however it did give young John a second to breathe and realized that this isn’t his mother anymore. He watched her as she walked off to a bench; she bent down and opened one of the cupboard doors. Her hand reached into the cupboard pulling out what looked like a hand. His eyes opened wider; he began to cry and shake. She turned around; there was hand all bloody in her hand. His mother laughed again.
“Do you know whose hand this is?” She asked, walking slowly towards young John.
“…no…” John said, breathing heavily, shaking thinking that it might be his hand next or foot.
“It’s your father’s. He was a horrible man. He didn’t listen. After that, he still didn’t listen. I hope you’re nothing like your father”
Father? John didn’t even know anything about his father. Who was his father? That hand looked small and chubby. Sitting there completely scared and out of breath, John thought back to yesterday. Staring at somebody who was always scaring looking, someone with similar hands. Whose hands were they? He knew but he didn’t want to say.
The mayor’s hands; the mayor was his father but it seemed like he already knew that. No surprise, still scared and concerned for his own life. She raised the hand to her face, wiped it on her cheek…the blood leaving a trail. She licked the blood away from her mouth with eyes rolling back into her head “The taste is so satisfying” she dropped the hand “he deserved it and now he is gone. Gone has never tasted so good, so yum, so…delicious” she walked towards John again. He gulped as she slid the butcher’s knife near his face. It tickled him but it wasn’t a nice tickle. He breathed; waiting for what was going to happen next. With one blink, he felt everything disappear. He felt his life end as the knife buried itself into the back of his neck.