* This is a fictionalized account of some shit that actually happened. All the names, locations, etc. have been changed to protect the innocent. – JG *
- Jason. Wake up. -
I sit up, still dreaming, my wife asleep at my side. They are arrayed at the foot of our bed, the women sitting, the men standing behind them. They are five in number, a little family – although I remember later that only three of them are actually related. The teenage Girl sits to the left of me, a strawberry blonde in a black t-shirt under a denim vest. She is scrawny and kind of trashy but she has a very pretty, vulnerable smile. She also has a deep gouge in her forehead and a thin red line dug into her throat where she was strangled.
The older woman, the Mother, sits to my right, covered in blood from what appear to be innumerable stab wounds. Underneath the blood her dress is plain, her face even plainer. The older man, the Father, and a young teenage boy stand together behind her, the older man’s hand placed awkwardly on his Son’s shoulder. The boy, kind of punk-rock, kind of skater-ish, is also bleeding but less so than his Mother. Fewer stab wounds are visible. The Father appears nearly untouched but for the blood seeping forward into the front of his work shirt – all of his stab wounds were in his back.
The last – the other teenage boy, the Suicide – is a little older than the Son but, admittedly, it is hard to determine his age because half of his face is gone and his jaw hangs awkwardly from the right side, the intact side. The shotgun took care of the rest. It appears that there may be another figure or two standing behind him but the outlines are vague, ghostly.
-Jason. Wake up.-
Oddly enough, I am more irritated than scared, which is strange considering how much anxiety fills my waking life. I must still be asleep.
-What. What do you want.-
-Tell the story.-
-Why me. Why not someone who knew you. Any of you.-
-There is no one. No one wants to remember.-
-I don’t want to remember.-
-But you do.-
They’re right. I do, and it bothers me that I still remember, and I don’t know why, and I can’t forget.
-But I don’t write about things that actually happened in real life. I write fiction.-
They look at each other and smile sadly.
-No one will believe you anyway.-