How could he not know?
“Why, why, why?” he howls till I silence him. A slither of red dribbles from my father’s spine, as he lies across my mother’s lifeless body. Her pale eyes stare up at me, empty, uncaring.
They assured me they would look after them.
My books. Dependable. Beginning, middle, end. No broken promises. No matter how many times my fingers caress the solid dark print the protagonist always gets what they deserve. No meddling “experts” interfering. How it should be.
“They’ll be waiting just as you left them,” he promised. “On my life,” he swore as the nurse led me to the ward, my arms pinned to my side.
Promises must be kept. I have honored his wish.
Twelve months waiting, remembering. Every sentence inscribed on my cortex, protected from the prying shrinks.
And for what? Paperbacks are piled erratically in the attic; moldy and limp, disintegrating amongst the detritus of lace curtains, baby toys and suitcases. Left to rot, like me in that godforsaken psych’ ward. A slither of cotton dangles from the hard red spine of Poe, King’s werewolf stares back, disfigured, his one remaining eye now pale, accusing: how could you leave us with them?
Tears score the fine layer of dust settled on my cheeks as a lone globe swings back and forth, a monotonous rhythm to accompany my aching wrists as I scrub.
Breathe. It’s only the beginning. My story, without them, without anybody. Just me. Beginning, middle, end.
NYC Midnight 25o word competition entry
Rules: 250 words
Action: Cleaning the attic
Word: sure (I put it in assured)