Warning: this story is VERY disturbing. Read previous stories in this thread here.
I put my phone down, sighing heavily. I had just been speaking to my father, Spence. He told me he wasn’t going to make it to Stephanie’s for Sunday lunch tomorrow. He sounded tired, worn. But then again, he always sounded like that. I couldn’t blame him. I felt the same exhaustion myself. We had carried it with us for years. The memories we held, the nightmares we had survived. He told me mom wanted to go away, maybe to the mountains for a while. She wasn’t doing well these days either. It seemed like every week she was trying a new medication.
The nights were the worst. My father had quietly admitted this to me. The tossing and turning, the fearful glances at the door…jumping at every sound. For my father and I, the passage of time wasn’t enough to erase the fear that was seared into our minds like a brand.
Stephanie seemed to be doing the best out of the four of us. She was happily married and her baby twins were almost three months old now. She had named them Jack and Jill. She thought it was cute. It was. Her husband Lewis was a good guy. He took care of them, a selfless strong man who put his children and wife before all.
I sat in the darkness of my apartment, glancing at the clock. It was almost eleven. I thought about retiring for the night, but instead got up and poured myself a shot of rum. I downed it without even thinking and let the heat settle my worn mind.
I went to take a piss and heard my phone ringing from where I had left it on the couch. I zipped up my pants and went to pick it up. I expected it to be my father again.
It was Stephanie.
Why is she calling me this late? I thought to myself, immediately going to full alert.
I placed the cell to my ear, “Hello? Steph?”
It was silent for a few moments, something rubbing against the speaker.
Then, my sister’s voice trickled through the line, terrified and thin, “Matt?”
My brow furrowed, “Yeah, I’m here. Is everything ok?”
More heavy breathing, then in a thick whisper, “Matt…he’s here.”
The line went dead.
My heart began to race, fear suddenly roaring in the silence. I stood in the darkness, phone pressed to my head, eyes growing wide.
No…Jesus Christ, please no…not yet…
I immediately redialed Stephanie, but it went to voicemail. As I placed the phone down on the counter I realized my hands were shaking. I poured myself another shot of rum and threw it back. I began to pace, trembling in the dark, mind spinning.
It was everything I had ever feared. But it was too soon…way too soon…
“FUCK!” I screamed, throwing my glass against the wall, hysteria splintering my throat. “FUCK FUCK FUCK!”
I collapsed on the couch and tried to call Stephanie again.
It rang once…twice…then it picked up.
“Steph!? Steph tell me exactly what’s going on! Are you ok?!”
There was no response, but I could hear something in the background, muffled and urgent.
Tears were forming in my eyes, “Jesus, Steph, please tell me you’re ok!?”
Then a voice like cold silk, “Hello Matt. Oh it has been some time hasn’t it?”
Recognition blasted through me like an icy wind, swirling through the depths of my mind and ripping apart every horror I had ever experienced. Bile lurched in my stomach and sweat broke out across my forehead.
Voice trembling, I asked in a whisper, “T-Tommy?”
The line went dead again.
I stood up, clawing at my hair, vomit threatening my throat. No, no, no, no, this wasn’t happening, please God FUCK FUCK FUCK!
I couldn’t stop shaking, the voice on the phone opening up years of suppressed nightmares, tearing the chains and shattering the locks. I collapsed on my knees and vomited onto the floor, unable to hold it back any longer.
I stared at nothing, bloodshot eyes blinking rapidly.
“NO!” I screamed, pounding the floor with a fist.
I got to my feet and snatched my keys from the counter top. Stephanie only lived a couple minutes away. I wasn’t going to let this happen.
I slammed the car into park, panting. Stephanie’s house was lit up like a distress beacon, but the drapes were drawn across the front windows. I couldn’t see any signs of movement, no shadows, nothing. I wrung my hands, wracking my brain. What exactly was I going to do? What was my plan here?
I just knew I had to do something. I wasn’t going to let my sister’s family suffer like ours had. And what about Lewis?! He would have no idea what was going on! He would fight back…oh no…
Taking a deep breath, I opened my car door, the cool night air hitting my face like a splash of water. My sister’s street was dark, the quaint line of single story houses lining the road like blacked out bricks. Except for Stephanie’s.
Rubbing my hands on my pant legs, I approached the front door, heart hammering in my chest like a wild drum. My throat was dry and a voice in my head screamed to just go back home. But I couldn’t. Not until I knew Stephanie and her family were ok. Maybe I could…fuck…maybe I could WHAT!?
I was standing before the front door. I ran a hand across my forehead and then knocked. It sounded like gunshots in the night. I pressed my ear to the door, but couldn’t hear anything through the thick wood.
As I raised my fist to knock again, the lights in the house went out.
I pounded on the door now, terror and urgency detonating in my chest like a bomb.
“Steph! Stephanie! It’s me Matt! Please, open the door if you can!”
Suddenly, I heard the dead bolt turn. I stepped back as the door cracked open, breath rushing from my lungs like a discarded balloon.
Two blue eyes shined from the darkness, glowing like crystals of fire.
And then a voice, smooth as cream, “A little late for a visit, don’t you think, Matt?”
Staring into those burning blue eyes, hearing my name from his foul lips, it took everything I had to keep standing.
“Where’s Stephanie and the babies? Where’s Lewis?” I finally choked out, frozen on the front steps, unable to look away from his eyes gazing at me from the black.
“We’re all here. Just getting…reacquainted. Lewis…wasn’t very welcoming.”
“What have you done?” I hissed.
Suddenly, the lights in the house went on and the eyes in the door melted into a face and head and body.
A shock wave of horrific memory rocketed through me, almost sending me to my knees.
Tommy Taffy looked exactly how I had remembered him from all those years ago. His short blond hair, the small nub jutting from his face where his nose should have been, the eerie strip of seamless white where his teeth should have been…and his ever glowing blue eyes, so intense they threatened to drown me.
His perfect, impossibly flawless skin gleamed in the light, reminding me of soft plastic. Tommy pulled the door open, gesturing inside with his hand.
“You came to see your sister, didn’t you?”
From my place on the steps, I could see directly into the kitchen. Lewis was slumped on the floor, motionless by the table. Stephanie was next to him, weeping, clutching at his still body.
She looked towards the door and saw me, her eyes widening, desperation shaking her voice, “Matt! Matt help us! PLEASE!”
The agony stretched across her face tore me apart. Tears blooming in my own eyes, I went to push past Tommy, but he grabbed my shoulder, stopping me.
“Ah, ah, ah…you saw your sister. No need to get involved,” Tommy said, his grip like an iron clamp, digging into my collarbone.
I turned to Tommy, one foot in the house, “Please…leave them alone…haven’t you taken enough from our family?”
“It’s time for you to go, Matt,” Tommy said, pushing me back outside. Stephanie wailed, screaming my name from her place beside Lewis.
I tried to step around Tommy, desperation raking my voice, “Please, just let-” I was cut off as Tommy suddenly stepped forward and grabbed me by the throat. He slammed me against the side of the house, never releasing his grip.
His face was inches from mine, his voice like burning coals but his face remained calm, “I told you to go. Don’t make it worse for them. This isn’t about you anymore.”
I gasped as he released me, slumping to my knees in the dewy grass.
I watched helpless as Tommy went back inside and slammed the front door.
The lights in the house went out.
And then the screaming began.
I sat in my dark apartment, the bottle of rum beside me almost as empty as my gaze. The sun was rising, a soft pink glow tickling the horizon through the window. I hadn’t slept, my imagination running rampant.
I couldn’t let Stephanie live through this, not again. Not for another five years. Time had hidden the abominations of our childhood from my sister; Tommy entering our lives at an age she could still forget. The twins…he had come back because of the twins, Jack and Jill, to continue his reign of terror through the generations of our family.
When would it end? How could it end? The hours offered no solution, the rum burning in my gut giving no comfort.
Suddenly my cell rang, startling me. I blinked and realized the sun now was burning cheerily through the window. How long had I been sitting here?
My heart jumped as I saw it was Stephanie calling me.
I hurriedly answered, “Hello? Steph are you ok? What has he done?”