“Dad, what’s going on?”
She hugged me.
“You are always out for work daddy, you’re never at the parent’s meetings, you never spend time with us. And yesterday, you even missed my football game”
I pushed her away as I growled. Suddenly, the lights was switched back on. There was a woman standing at the door. I quickly turned around.
“Janice? Pattrick? What’s going on?”
“Mom I think dad is not feeling well”
“Go to your room Janice”
What was I going to do? Did I just have the feeling to Janice? My own daughter?
“Helen is that you babe?“, I asked.
“Hey, yeah It’s me. What’s the matter?”
“Can you turn off the lights please?”
“Turn off the lights? What? Why?”
“Just do it please!”
“Helen something is wrong with me!”
“Pattrick, I can’t even see you”
“I’m having these strange feelings. I feel like there is something inside me that’s going to burst out”, I sat on the bed.
She sat besides and held my hand “Hey It’s gonna be ok! You hear me? Whatever is going on with you, we’ll figure it out”
“No! You don’t understand, for a few seconds, I did not even recognize you, not even Janice. And suddenly, the hunger that I had few minutes ago? That’s not me Helen. You know me. And this is not me. I’m not me anymore!”
“Did you take something at the party or someone mixed something in your drink or anything? Maybe on your way back home? Did something happen to you?”
“That’s the thing. I can’t remember. I can’t remember anything... Helen... Earlier, I had this strange feeling. I wanted to hurt Janice! And right now, I want to hurt you...”
I began scratching my hand...
“Pattrick, you’re scaring me. I think you should take some days off work. How about you go take another quick shower to cool you down huh? Let me turn on the lights first”, she stood.
“NO! Don’t turn on the lights! Please don’t turn on the lights”, I clenched her hand.
“Ok! ok! let’s just get you to bed first huh!“, she said.
I estimated my way to settle Pattrick who was still holding my hands tightly in bed. I noticed how sweaty he was. And he kept on scratching his hand. I for once could not see him properly because of the dark and he just wouldn’t let me turn on the lights.
I can’t wait for tomorrow. I need to find out what’s going on. The bill!
I was about to close the door behind me but Pattrick suddenly called at me ” Helen! I love you, you know that right? And I would never do anything to hurt you”, he smiled hesitantly.
“I know”, I whispered and I slowly closed the door, while looking at him desperately, smiling back.
The bill! That’s the first awkward thing I remarked. Where is it!?
I searched the bin, my hands all messy and I finally saw it, torn in pieces.
Why would he buy $500 of food? The car? Lemme check the car. Perhaps I can find something there that could reason what’s going on!
I opened the garage door. A stinking smell filled the room. I immediately covered my nose. It smelled really bad. It smelled... it smelled like puke! I took a closer look inside the car. The smell concentrated. To my horror, there was puke all over the back seat with a whole variety of chicken pieces, some still packed, some semi-eaten and I was more disgusted when I saw feces on the front seat. Feces!!??
I was stunned.
Did Pattrick do all this? How was...? When I opened the door to him, he was perfectly alright. What the...?
[“That’s the thing. I can’t remember. I can’t remember anything... Helen... Earlier, I had a strange feeling. I wanted to hurt Janice! And right now, I want to hurt you...” ]
I galloped my way to Janice’s room, leaving the garage door open.
“Janice! Janice”, no response. To my dismay, she was not in her room. And I saw traces of blood by the door.
I tip-toed towards Pattrick’s room. Was he even Pattrick? Or was he someone else? Or was he something else? I turned on the lights. Pattrick! He... he was... he was scratching his hand with a knife! His shirt was covered with blood. Was it his? Was it just his? Or Janice’s as well?!! I screamed in terror! His eyes were all red. He looked at me like he did not know who I was. I held my breath. I felt like I could not move. He dropped the knife. He started walking towards me. His face was all pale and sweaty.
It was Janice! I could hear her downstairs calling out for me.
“Pattrick! Stay back!“, I cried.
He came in closer. It was him! It was Pattrick! Those eyes... can’t be of any other person.
“Pattrick it’s me! Helen!“, tears dropped.
He suddenly charged at me, throwing his forearms like an offensive lineman blocking a defensive back as he roared. He pushed me down and reached my neck. I screamed in terror as I thrust him to the side. I felt something but ignored it as I climbed down the stairs to reach for Janice.
“JANICE! JANICE WHERE ARE YOU BABY?”
“Mom! I’m here in the bathroom! What’s going on? Why are you screaming?”
“STAY IN THERE JANICE. DON’T COME OUT!”
I rolled around to see if I could take something to defend ourselves... defend ourselves... from Pattrick??! I could hear him roaring again, Almost like he was not human anymore, almost like he was a beast, or something even worse. All I could see on the dining table was the T.V remote. In rage and desperate, I slammed it hard as I panicked. No time to go to the kitchen to fetch maybe a knife! I went towards the bathroom, opened the door. The T.V suddenly turned on.
“... with the huge massacre that happened today, on Halloween eve at the Endor Forest. Resources have confirmed that multiple deaths, over 30 people...
Endor Forest? That’s where Pattrick was in the afternoon, with Cade and Casey! He did not mention anything at all! What the fuck happened there?
“Mom, what’s going on?”
I slightly opened the door to peek. There were dead bodies all the place, some were beheaded, others had their body parts all over the ground. Pattrick was staring at the T.V.
“...Could the incidents that happened days ago and today be related? Probably! They’re sure as hell weird...”
I suddenly lost balance and the door opened wide. Pattrick faced us, blood all over him, eyes turned white and after a roar, he sprinted towards us. I rapidly closed the door and locked it, holding Janice’s hands as we took steps back, realizing that we were trapped.
“MOM! What’s going on with dad? Why does he want to hurt us?“, poor thing was completely shook. Well, so was I...
“I don’t know”, I held her tightly as tears dropped and she hugged my waist, with the news still playing “...What caused such slaughter? Parents along with their kids, who, should around 8 to 10 to die in such gruesome deaths?...
“WHY DOES DAD WANT TO HURT US MOM?”
“I don’t know Janice” I whispered.
I don’t know...