The Not Real Past
Nightmares again. His curse. By the animators' blessings, it was only his. His siblings had no idea of the pain the animators put him through, though most of them were long dead. If he had his way, he would have been the cause of their deaths. For real.
He yawned and shivered as blood gushed through his mind, the sound of a woman screaming, and the boom of a gun. He knew if he whimpered or moaned, his siblings would wake. He could tell nobody. Well, there was…but to be serious for him? Another hour of nightmares and he got out of bed and slipped out of the water tower. He was soon in front of the door. He stood there, shaking miserably, then took a deep breath and knocked. If he didn't answer… The door opened. Dr. Scratchansniff looked distastefully down at him.
"Yakko? I am in no mood for your antics."
"I…You're our psychiatrist, right?" Yakko asked weakly. "And th-that means you'll listen to us, right?"
The doctor was about to yell at the child, but then he looked in his eyes. He was in some serious pain.
"Yakko, are you alright?" he asked hesitantly.
"I…Of course," Yakko lied, trying to perk himself up.
"Come in, Yakko."
Dr. Scratchansniff led him over to his couch. The Warner sat down hesitantly, playing with his hands. The human watched him carefully, searching for deception, but the creature seemed truly upset at something.
"Can I get you anyzing, Yakko?"
"I…The only thing that ever helps is a hot drink," he whispered softly.
Soon a cup of hot chocolate was placed in his hands and he sipped it slowly. The doctor sat in his chair, still studying the Warner brother and expecting any second for him to do something zany. But…he just sat there, sipping the drink. His shoulders were slumped, eyes downcast to the floor. It looked like he hadn't gotten any sleep all night, and the clock's hands were inching towards two.
Dr. Scratchansniff was about to ask Yakko why he was here when the boy's hands began to shake. Without any other warning, he stood to his feet and threw the mug across the room as hard as he could. As it shattered, an agonized scream left his lips and he collapsed to his knees, curling up as small as he could.
"Yakko!" the doctor gasped, hurrying over to place his arm around the boy. "Vatever is zhe matter?"
"I hate them!" he yelled, slamming his fists against the floor. "I hate them with everything I am! I hate them so much it hurts! I-I-I HATE THEM!"
Dr. Scratchansniff hadn't seen such raw pain from the any of the Warners before. He wasn't sure what to do. So he did the only thing he could. For the first time he willingly embraced Yakko, holding him close. He picked up the boy and sat down, placing the oldest Warner sibling beside him. He pet him, rocking him back and forth and shushing him gently. Yakko pulled away, wiping the tears from his eyes.
"Sorry, doc," he whispered.
Dr. Scratchansniff watched worriedly. Yakko was still trying to be small.
"Don't be zorry, Yakko. Vat's wrong?"
"Come now, you can tell me anyzing."
"But…but they can't find out."
"Who? Your ziblings?"
Yakko nodded. "They can't find out. They'd want to know, and I don't need them having nightmares about it."
"I cannot tell anybody anyzing unless you tell me I can. And past zat, I promise I von't tell them. But you cannot keep zis inside you anymore. Please, Yakko, talk to me."
"Y-you can't ever write this down. We read all your files."
The doctor had guessed that they did that, and he felt a burst of irritation, but Yakko was more important than that. "Very vell. I vill not write it down. Now, talk. It vill help you."
Yakko sat there, tears winding down his furry cheeks. He took a deep breath.
"I wasn't really around to see it. Not really. It was written into my past, with every drop of ink that was drawn into me. It makes sense that only I know it. The other two were 'sleeping' when it happened, and they can't even remember them. They weren't…drawn that way."
"I zee. How exactly vere you drawn?"
"I know what happened to our parents," Yakko said blankly, looking up. "The animators, the writers, they were all in on it. They laughed about it. I know they did because I heard them."
"Our father stabbed our mother to death then shot himself," Yakko said, glancing shyly up at the doctor. He formed his hand in the traditional shape of a gun and placed his outstretched fingers under his chin. "Boom! Right there." He shuddered. "Do you know what brains look like, doc? I mean, when they're spread all over the ceiling with blood dripping down with them?"
"No…No, Yakko, I cannot zay that I do."
Dr. Scratchansniff couldn't believe this story. If he didn't see the pain, the remembrance in Yakko's eyes, he would have guessed that this was a story concocted by the Warner trio to get him. He silently pulled the boy in tighter, stroking his back. Yakko leaned over, sighing and burying his face into the doctor's shirt.
"It's the reason I went zany," he said softly. "The other two followed and blocked the memories of all the ab-abuse that went on in our house. We were beaten bloody a lot of days. Most days we were ignored and starved. All we had was each other. Father and Mother were both hooked on crystal meth and alcohol. It was terrible. She talked about little her 'sweet little Dottie' doing…grown up things to get more money for her. Wakko, too, but she never followed through with it. I wouldn't let her."
"How old vere you?"
"The animators drew me at fourteen, Wakko at eleven, and Dot at nine."
"Zat does not answer my qvestion."
"I…I was seven," Yakko said shyly. "Wakko was almost four and Dot was two. They were asleep during the whole thing."
Dr. Scratchansniff frowned, staring hard at the boy. "You're not telling me everyzing. Vat are you hiding?"
"I went insane that night. I…did things…horrible things…" Yakko's voice cracked and he shivered.
"Like vat?" When Yakko stayed silent, the doctor tilted his chin up. "You can tell me."
"M-may I show you instead?"
"Y-yeah. It's one of our zany abilities, pulling people into memories. Usually they're false, you know, what we want them to be, but…it can be used for real memories."
"If you zink it will be easier."
"In some ways. In other ways…it will be more difficult."
With that, Yakko stood, pulling the doctor with him. There was a deep shiver that went through the human's spine as the room around him melted into a dark, dreary place. Dr. Scratchansniff blinked hard, staring at the two…whatever the Warners were. They were clearly adults and they looked high out of their minds. There were open bottles of alcohol spilled over, including one upside down in the female's hand.
"Get your ass away from me!" she shrieked.
"Drunk whore! I want sex, and you better give it to me!"
"So we can have more mistakes?! Besides, you're not the one who has to spend nine months sober just to pop something out that's not even useful."
Dr. Scratchansniff heard two sharp intakes of breath. One was from Yakko, who was standing beside him, crying hard. He looked around for the other source, but saw nothing. He turned to ask, and Yakko pointed to a corner back by the hallway leading to the bedrooms. There, standing in the shadows was a very young-looking Yakko. He was crying, too, staring with wide eyes at his parents, but they didn't see him.
Suddenly, there was the sound of shattering glass as the female broke the bottle over her husband's head. He roared in anger and she screamed lightly and ran out of the room into the kitchen. Seconds later the male backed out, holding his hands up.
"Now, darling…" he said. "I love you. Don't you love me, snuggle-puppy?"
She stared at him, holding the large knife out between them. With gentle hands, he toyed the knife away from her and began to kiss her. The kisses became very heavy then she pushed him away.
"I said, no sex!" she spat.
The next thing anybody knew, the knife was sticking out of her stomach. She screamed and writhed, but the knife came down on her again and again until she collapsed on the blood-soaked floor. He dropped the knife beside her and panted. A soft whimper sounded out and the adult male looked at Yakko. He silently left the room and came back with a gun. He pointed the gun under his chin and looked at the boy again.
"This is all your fault," he growled then pulled the trigger.
The boom sounded out loud and strong, and young Yakko stared in shocked horror at the brains oozing off the ceiling. His expression suddenly went blank and he slowly approached the bodies. He knelt down in the blood, touching it with his furry black hand. He rubbed his finger and thumb together.
"Mommy and Daddy are dead," he said blankly. Then a maniacal grin spread across his face. "That means they can't hurt us anymore! But…what if they get up? They'll hurt Wakko and Dot. I can't let that happen. How can I…?" He saw the knife. He wrapped his hand around the hilt of the blade and gently picked it up. "I know…"
Suddenly he began to hack his mother to pieces. The vision suddenly began to fall apart as the boy moved on to his father. When he was done, blood soaked his clothes.
"Now you can't hurt us anymore!" young Yakko sang happily. Then he danced.
There an explosion around them and the deafening noise of shattering glass as the vision fell to pieces. Yakko hit the ground, sobbing desperately. He was gently picked up again and settled beside the good doctor, who just held him close again. He was numb. For a child to have suffered so much was unthinkable. The worst part? None of it had actually happened. It was all written and drawn into the boy's past. He shivered as Yakko hiccupped.
"Zere zere, Yakko," he said softly. "It vill be alright."
Yakko sniffled. "After that," he whispered hoarsely, "I got Wakko and Dot outside and set the house on fire. Wakko asked me what all the blood was. Do you know what I said?"
"I said it was juice. Then I waved my hand and all the blood came off and turned into grape juice pouches. We sat there and watched our house burn with our dead parents in it, drinking the blood-turned-juice. I knew I couldn't let my siblings know, so when Dot asked about Mommy, I lied. I've been lying ever since, too. I told her we didn't have a Mommy or Daddy. I told her and Wakko that we were too special for a Mommy and Daddy.
"'Special?' she asked. 'How are we special, Yakko?'
"''Cause we're zany, that's why,' I replied.
"'What's zany?' Wakko asked.
"'This!' I cried.
"Then I waved my hands and the flames, which were still leaping toward the sky, turned colors. I changed the colors many times, and they were satisfied with that. I was glad because I didn't know how to do much of anything else."
Yakko fell silent. Dr. Scratchansniff hummed, stroking the Warner's back to comfort him.
"Zo…you need to be zany?"
"Yes…it's written into me. If I stop being zany for a long while, I start hallucinating and dreaming while I'm awake. With the other two, it's all they know, but with me…sanity's overrated anyway, right?" Yakko forced a laugh; it was harsh and grating.
"I zink you need to ztart zeeing me regularly."
"No. My siblings would be too curious and spy on us. I could stop them, but then they'd be suspicious."
"How could you ztop zem?"
"I have more…let's call them zany powers. I have more than the other two combined. I think it's 'cause I'm the only one that's tasted insanity. I can turn theirs on and off at will. And I don't think I was purposely drawn that way, either. It's to such a strong degree that it's kind of scary. I can bend reality in terrifying ways. You know, to the point that it's scary to somebody instead of funny."
"I zee. I ztill vant to zee you regularly, Yakko. How does Tuesday night sound?"
"Night? I didn't know you saw patients at…Oh. Sounds…good, I guess. I put my sibs to bed at ten. They're usually asleep by ten thirty."
"Gut. I zhall zee you at eleven on Tuesday night."
"A-are we done?" Yakko asked, looking upset.
"Ve both need zleep, Yakko."
"C-can I sleep here for now? Please? I'll be gone before my sibs wake up."
The doctor looked at him carefully. "No zaniness until you break out of zhe vater tover tomorrow, ja?"
Yakko nodded. "Okay."
"Gut. Now, vait right here."
He returned with a blanket and a pillow, and Yakko stood to allow him to make out a makeshift bed on the sofa. For the first time in his life, he was tucked in gently. After some hesitation, a gentle kiss was placed on his head. Yakko sighed contentedly and fell asleep quickly, smiling softly.
Dr. Scratchansniff stared at him. After all he had learned, he realized that he could de-zanitze the other two, with lots and lots and lots of work, but Yakko? He needed it or he would be thrown into an insane asylum. The doctor felt his resolve harden. He wouldn't tell Plotz. He couldn't. That grouchy old man would never understand. Ever. And he couldn't tell the other Warners. He could tell his nurse, but he wouldn't. So that left…nobody. Nobody but Yakko. Suddenly, the doctor wondered how Yakko had managed for all those years. Oh well. It didn't matter anymore. Now he was there for the boy.
"You know zomezing?" he asked nobody in particular as he stroked Yakko's head gently. "You're like zhe zon I never had."
The doctor was shocked by the statement, but it was true. And he thought maybe, just maybe, they could get out of this without somebody getting killed because of a past mistake.