My Mommy Made MeDecember 5, 2011 at 12:25 AM | Posted in Fiction | 6 Comments
Tags: 1000 Words
This is some more flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig’s site “Terrible Minds.” I haven’t done a thousand words for one in a while. The theme this week was to use alliteration in the title, and to NOT write about vampires. Check and check.
To see more catch a wave and surf over here:
Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: Affliction of Alliteration
As my mother tucked me in, she said, “It’s going to be time soon. You’re going to have to kill him.”
“It has to be, Miriam. You know that.”
I knew. I had been taught since I was young. Martin was my twin. When Mommy figured out which one of us was the evil twin, Martin went to live in the cage. We moved to the country, so now Martin’s cage was in the barn. It’s nice out there, except in the summer it gets awful hot.
“He needs to get used to it, hon. He’s going to burn in Hell, anyway. This is practice.” I thought I would get in trouble for bringing a bucket of water to him. But Mommy just cautioned me not to get too close.
That night I lay awake, thinking all the things I knew. Mommy said every family has secrets, and this was ours. No one talks about them. I think it’s sad when someone’s secret gets on the news. People act all shocked, like they can’t believe it. Then they go home to whatever they have locked in the basement.
It could have been me—I was the lucky one. “We never know, hon, until you’re about five or six. Then the evil comes out.”
“How did you know, Mommy?”
Mommy paused. She was trying to figure out how to tell a six year old. “Daddy is gone, sweetheart. Because of Martin.” She wouldn’t explain further, but I remember on a trip out to the farm before we moved there, just me and Mommy went. I played on the old swingset and Mommy did some digging in the garden. We never saw Daddy again.
When I was ten, I started to put things together in my head. I guess I grew up. “Why, Mommy?”
“If he’s evil, why can’t we kill him now? Why couldn’t we kill him then?”
Mommy took me in her arms. “Oh, sweety. It’s part of the curse. We have to wait until his thirteenth birthday.” I pretended to understand, and I did, a little.
It was my job to take care of him, like a pony. Martin could talk and understand like a five year old. But he couldn’t read. I would sit out by his cage sometimes and read stories to him. It was good to be with him like that. For the first month or so he was in the cage I couldn’t see him. After he stopped begging to be let out, it was easier.
The day of my birthday was a big deal. Family from all over came. My uncles lit a bonfire and drank beer. My aunts prepared food and gossiped, and my cousins did what cousins do at family gatherings—act bored and try to get into trouble.
When it got towards midnight, Uncle Hector and Uncle Merle went into the barn to fetch Martin for the ceremony or whatever you call it. They was laughing and joking when they walked in.
There was a scream and a thud, and Uncle Hector came running out of the barn. “He’s loose! He’s loose!”
We heard a demonic, animal-like howl come from the barn. Something round, like a ball, came rolling out of the barn door.
Uncle Merle’s head.
The women-folk started to scream and try to gather up the children. The men backed up and looked for weapons. I stood there, bewildered, until I heard my mommy’s voice behind me.
“Miriam.” She was oddly calm. “It’s time, sweetheart.” I went over to the stump by the fire. There was Mommy’s small hope chest on it. I opened it, and took out the Family Stone.
I had practiced before, with a hand-carved wooden replica of the Family Stone. It was carved from hard rock and shaped like a dagger. This was the first time I had ever seen it.
I held the Family Stone and entered the doorway to the barn. Dim light shone in, and I waited for my eyes to get accustomed. I could see his naked body, crouching and heaving. I didn’t let him know I could see him.
Suddenly I had no choice. Martin’s eyes flashed, and there was a fire, a glow in them that was unnatural. Mommy had told me to expect it, but the first time is always a shock.
Then he was gone. I peered around the open barn, but couldn’t find him. “Miriam—“
He was calling out to me. I need to use this to find out where he is.
“Marty, where are you?”
“Let’s play a game, Miriam.”
“No, Marty. You’ve been a bad boy.”
“There’s voices, Miriam. In my head. They want me to play a game with you.”
“You need to get back in your cage, Marty. I mean it.”
His voice sounded strangely adult. “No, Miriam. No more cage. Not ever.”
Ah—there! In the loft.
As soon as I saw him, he jumped down. He was on me, trying to claw at me. I fell backward, over Uncle Merle’s body. He held me down and threw his head back, and let out a triumphant howl.
He looked down and came at me with his teeth. His mouth seemed to open wider than a person’s should be able to.
Almost automatically, I plunged the Family Stone into his chest. I closed my eyes.
Mommy and other family members were standing over me. “Oh, honey, you did so good!”
Uncle Joe directed two of the older boys to grab Marty and put him on the fire. I looked as they did. Marty was not human. He was reddish all over, with a tail, and claws, and horns. And scales down his back. The Family Stone was still in him, and I reached for it. Hector swatted me away.
Mommy said, “No, dear. We have to leave it in. Otherwise we have all kinds of problems. We’ll get it out of the fire when it’s done.”