Hello!!! It's been a while since I've actually shared a short story. It may be my lack of focus or will to write anything lately or I felt somewhat embarrassed with my stories. Good thing Germ Magazine gave me an outlet for my frustrations but also getting some tips from one of the editors. FYI: I'm actually a staff member of Germ Magazine. If you don't know what Germ Magazine is, then I suggest you read All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven or just go to the website.
Anyway, I was given the chance to share my stories to a more diverse set of readers. It was also a good opportunity for me to challenge myself. So, I made this story for Germ, in line with it's February Writing Challenge. Unfortunately, this piece wasn't chosen but it gave me a confidence boost to know that the editor liked it still. I, however, would like to share this story with you lot! Tell me what you think about it in the comments or maybe tweet me :) Enjoy!
As I stare at this shackle that I once called a home, a mixture of love, fear, anger and hatred started brewing again. It has been 10 years since that day, that day when everything went dark as if the sun were no more, leaving me in the cold, sitting next to a pool of blood that wasn't mine.
We used to be fine, my family. There were days when we would just sing songs and play around the garden, pick flowers and climb the now rickety trees. Like how a family is supposed to be. But demons sure know how to make themselves known, and with that, they infested our home.
At the age of 10, I was fully aware of how my father was to my siblings, especially towards my mother. He was caring, supportive and hardworking. He didn't look like the type of man who would raise his fists and send a woman to the other side of the room out of making a simple mistake. No. But then he became one. He became influenced by a few friends to bet on a game of life and he lost. He had to pawn everything, including our little house. But with it, he became mad and angry. His will to work and his passion to get up every morning was now veiled with his intoxication and his eyes, always glazed. He would shout, flare up when things go wrong. He became a ticking time-bomb and we didn't want anything to do with him. But he was family. He mattered. And as my mother accumulated bruises on her arms and legs, my older siblings slapped constantly for not doing what they were told, we stayed. I wanted to question what made them cling to him. Was it gratitude? Was it love? At 10, my eyes were open but I couldn't do anything. I loved him too.
One night, I helped my mother fix dinner while my siblings watched television, all lying down the floor, my father entered the house, demons and all, and started rampaging around the house. He grabbed my mother's neck and strangled it till almost the last minute of her breath was gone, he grabbed a knife and slit her throat.
Screams, violent were they but couldn't be heard. I attacked my father, punching his stomach with all that I had, but he stood there, still, with tears in his eyes. It was wrong for him to feel that way. His face said it all, he didn't know what he was doing.
One of my older brothers grabbed a chair and smashed it into my father's head. The others started kicking and punching him. The horror in my eyes could've been emblazoned through a thousand other stories. Both my mother and father, now lying on the floor, blood soaking their clothes. Everyone cried. We've been infected by his demons too.
My older siblings buried their bodies at the backyard. We know we couldn't stay in much longer at our home. Two of my older brothers decided to split us all up into two groups, and we'll start new lives somewhere. I was then separated from my family, in death and in tragedy.
10 years have passed. We fend off for each other now, living in a city very far from here. I go to university under a scholarship while my older siblings have jobs, their employers unaware of anything that happened that one night. We aren't alright. We still have nightmares of what happened, waking up in the middle of the night, with our father's face stamped in our restless eyes. I don't know what force of nature sent me here. Was it to repent for our sins? Did my father's soul make me come here so he could haunt me?
I stare at the old abandoned building, thinking if it ever had anyone fill it up again with joy after we left it. I then decide to leave the place, leaves crackling under my feet when I saw an old woman who had a smile on her face. She looked at me and then to the house.
"You know, there was an adorable family that used to live there. The man of the house use to work at a deli just near my house. He was the sweetest man. And his wife would visit him sometime with all these goodies in her bag. Did you know them?" she said and asked.
"I wish I got to know them. They sound lovely." I said
"Well, that's a shame. I never got to see him again. I think he moved house with his family that's why it's abandoned. They could've sold this."
I smiled at her, my heart breaking, "Maybe they did. And maybe they're actually happy in their new home."
"Well, I hope so too. Okay, I'm sorry for chatting away young lady." she apologized, offering her hand out with a few sweets wrapped on some glossy paper.
"Thank you very much Ma'am. And no worries. It's nice to know that someone at least thought this house was once a home."