Written In Blood

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by PJ Griffin
Illustrated by Kenneth Gallant

The boy with the brown eyes tried not to think about the man in the basement; the man that was not his father. The man in the basement was similar in shape and build, but completely different in personality. The boy with the brown eyes' father was a joyous man, full of life. But the man downstairs was tired and weak. The boy with the brown eyes had never so much as seen the man in the basement move from his spot on the couch. He always laid on his stomach with his head on the arm of the couch, and all he ever seemed to want to do is sleep. This had been going on for a while, ever since the father of the boy with the brown eyes had left.

“He's not coming back,” the sister of the boy with the brown eyes said once again. The boy with the brown eyes turned to his sister, as he usually did, with a look of scorn.

“Stop saying that.”

“It's true,” sister told him. “I miss him too but he isn't coming back.”

The boy wiped his nose and looked up at sister.

“Can you please come over here and sit with me?” The boy with the brown eyes asked.

“I would but I'm doing my exercises,” sister said.

Her arms, as usual were stretched out as far as they could go, grasping tightly to the posts of her bed.

“It's weird that you do that.”

“You're weird, shut up,” sister said, and adjusted her neck briefly, wincing at the exhaustion in her arms.

“Does that really help you get strong?” the boy with the brown eyes asked.

“I think so.”

The boy with the brown eyes sighed. “I don't like the new man in our house.”

“The man in the basement?” sister asked.


“He's not so bad, just quiet is all.”

“He smells strange,” the boy with the brown eyes said.

Sister rolled her eyes, her arms still stretched to her sides. “What do you expect? He's probably some homeless guy that mom brought home, she's always doing weird things like that. He's probably a new boyfriend or something, He has similar looks to dad, must be mom's type.”

The boy with the brown eyes stood up and tried his best to seem authoritative.

“Stop saying that!” he demanded. “Dad's coming back home!” Sister's face softened. “I'm sorry, you're right. When mom gets home from her business, I'm sure she'll tell us when dad will be back. I'm sure of it.”

The boy with the brown eyes went over and hugged his sister. She didn't move her arms from the posts, but rested her head on his shoulder.

“It's okay little bro,” she said, “everything will be just fine.”

* * * *

It wasn't until the boy had been alone for over two weeks that a neighbor had noticed a strange smell coming from the house next door and called the police. Officer Todd Bloomfield was the first on the scene. When he first entered the house he said that he thought it was completely deserted until he heard the voice coming from upstairs.

Officer Bloomfield had wished he had other officers with him when he stumbled upon the boy with the brown eyes upstairs. This was before anything was found out about the mother, her unbalanced brain or her violent tendencies. It was later discovered, through interviews with the boy with the brown eyes, that he was at a friend’s house when the major events unfolded which is, most likely, why he was spared.

His mother was long gone by the time he had arrived. All of this was unknown when Officer Bloomfield answered the call and so the sight he stumbled upon was quite the shocker. It was never determined why the mother had gone through the trouble of dragging her husband; the father of her children, into the basement after the first murder took place. Blood splatter indicated that she had bashed his head in with a wrench in the living room. It was also unknown why the mother had positioned him on a couch in the basement, leaving his corpse to drain from the head while she fled.

After she was found dead from a heroin overdose in a motel bathroom a few miles away several days later, it was made clear that her motives would never be fully realized. It would never be known why she killed her husband, or why when she was done she went upstairs and strangled her twelve-year old daughter to death. Officer Bloomfield would spend many sleepless nights wondering, even more-so, why the mother felt the need to nail her daughter’s hands to the posts of her bed, making the second homicide look almost ritualistic.

Officer Todd Bloomfield had been a police officer for over five years when he found himself the responding officer at the house, the one where he found the boy with the brown eyes. Nothing in his career before or after would haunt him as much as the look on the boy’s face when he saw him. Just a kid, barely eleven, the corpse of his sister nuzzling his shoulder. The boy’s confusion must have been overwhelming. This was made clear when the boy had looked up at him and said, “Did you find our father? You better tell mom's new boyfriend in the basement that he better get out before dad gets home. He won't be happy.”

It took hours to coax the boy with the brown eyes out of that house. But taking him out of the reality he had created for himself would take much, much longer.

By P.J. Griffin for HMS

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