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Our Side of the Story

By joyce_tuart All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

1.

Every story has two sides. Because of how the murder occurred, many people were interested to hear both sides of the story. But I lived through it personally, and I have to say I am not interested in my stepfather’s side of the story. Yes, we eventually heard it. And, my brother being a policeman, even took the deposition. My mother wasn’t the easiest person to live with, true, but there will never be an excuse for what he did. The following is what happened from mine and my brother’s points of view.

The earliest memories we have of my mother are of being afraid of her. I won’t mince words when I say she was a sadist; it was clear she enjoyed inflicting pain upon others and having power over them. She was great at hiding it, though. She hurt us only on the parts of us that weren’t visible and did menacing things like throttling us and pushing us into walls/other objects. We understood that she enjoyed our pain, our fear and our tears, but we didn't know why. Growing up we knew the children we played with and went to school with had parents who were patient, loving, supportive and above all horrified to see their children in pain. That she enjoyed hurting others was what set my mother apart from the other parents we knew growing up. It was difficult to predict when she would hurt one of us. We knew her bad moods increased her bad behavior. I will say this for my stepfather; after he came into the picture she didn’t abuse us nearly as much. After he had moved in and they were married, she decided to finally show him her true colors.

He had only been living with us for a few days when he was first made aware what sort of person he had just committed to. My brother and I had been ordered to help my mother out with dinner. We were alone with her in the kitchen and my stepfather was in his home office. In mixing the salad my brother accidentally knocked the glass salad bowl off of the counter. We held our breath and watched in fear as it shattered on the kitchen floor. We knew this would be enough to set our mother off. Sure enough, she shouted something quick and incomprehensible, and stalked toward him. Now I am the oldest and it is my job to protect my brother, so of course I allowed him to hide behind me. This attempt at protection only fueled our mother's anger and she slapped me hard enough to knock me to the floor, and move me out of the way so she could get at my brother. A trickle of blood ran down my nose and I remember thinking that hopefully this would bruise and we could finally get someone to believe us. My doctor thinks she somehow crushed my nasal passages, deviating my septum and to this day I am always congested. I was proud of myself that I didn't cry out and I scrambled to my feet to try and get between her and my brother, but it was too late. She had grabbed his wrist and was dragging him toward the stove. I froze in horror as she dipped the edge of his hand briefly in the boiling water, and he did scream. This was what brought my stepfather running to the kitchen in time to observe me trying to pry mother's hand off of my brother as she was struggling to dip his fingers once more in the boiling water. He had only a minute to take in the scene, and I'll admit he must have been very confused. Sensing things were far from right and had gotten way beyond his control, our stepfather bellowed at all of us to stop. Immediately. Mother froze, her son's hand just inches above the pot on the stove. Instead of looking chagrined or remorseful, she instead looked to be hiding a pleasant little secret, like the cat that ate the canary. This further confused our stepfather and it was a couple of minutes before anyone moved. When he got over his surprise he too attempted to pry mother off of my brother. She reacted by dropping his wrist and then screaming in our stepfather's face. She was pretty worked up, so it was hard to make out what she was saying but all of us caught a few phrases: "...my children, not yours..." and "it's none of your business! I'll discipline them however I want!" For a moment I thought we finally had an adult protector, someone who would believe us and stop her from harming us, but incredibly, our mother's assertion that it was "none of his business" caused him to back off. He witnessed several more instances of abuse and though I could tell he felt sympathy for us, he didn't interfere. No one at school worried much about my bruised face, as my mother told the school administrators it was my clumsy brother's fault. She told any curious people that it happened when he was playing catch in the yard as I was sunning myself and reading.

There were few pleasant times, living under our mother's roof, but the most pleasant was when our stepfather would take us to see his mother in hospice. She was genuinely warm and loving and interested in what we had to say. Best of all, no one hurt us during those visits. But we always had to return to our mother and her sadism.

According to my stepfather the events surrounding the murder unfolded after he had left her. To be honest my brother and I have had to piece together what really happened, since the whole experience was so traumatic that we could only recall bits and pieces. We know he finally left her after she broke my brother's rib. Mother wanted my brother to do the dishes and he was busy playing a video game. In what may have been the first time either of us was brave enough to stand up to her, he tried to tell her no. She lost all semblance of sanity and, screaming a string of obscenities, yanked him to his feet by one arm, dislocating it at the shoulder. Hand still firmly clamped to his arm, she dragged him along behind her as far as the stairs. She then flung him toward the top step. He didn't want to take a tumble down the stairs, so he held on as best he could, pinning his arms in the door frame as she frantically tried to push him downward. Eventually, the pain in his arm was too much to withstand and she succeeded in tumbling him down the staircase. He lay at the bottom in an odd pose, looking up at her with glassy eyes. Our stepfather arrived home from work just then and he rushed my brother to the hospital. The doctor told my brother one rib was broken and several others were cracked and that the pain was normal and would heal eventually. Recently, we had gotten the news that our stepfather's mother had passed away, and I think having to witness this abuse was his final straw. When we returned from the hospital he packed a suitcase and left that very night. It wasn't long before our mother decided to go after him, leaving us home alone with very little food and no money. She was gone for days and at the end of that time we were sick with fear, starting at every little noise. We were also out of our minds with hunger. This is why neither of us can remember our stepfather returning. We can't remember him stabbing our mother and we have no recollection of his cutting parts off of her to feed to us. Our mental states had been reduced to those of feral animals, and I am deeply ashamed to say we must have hungrily accepted the meat he gave us. After that he must have fled, because that was how the authorities found us, our mother's blood still on our lips and her flesh in our bellies.

He was not caught until we had put the past well behind us and grown into fine adults. In his deposition he claimed he returned out of a nagging feeling of concern for our well-being and found us feasting on our dead mother's flesh. However, I have been allowed to read the official police report and nowhere does it make any mention of bite marks on our mother's body.


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