Just to finish it all off…
It’s the end that sticks most with me. The beginning is vague, the middle a convoluted mess of emotions, missed clues and regrets. But the end was so quick, so sharp, so tragic. It was an end that was impossible to see, yet I still don’t know how I missed it.
Where the months of recuperation and drama have blended into one big mess, I can remember the final day like it was only moments ago. Even though years have passed, I am still trying to understand how it happened. What happened.
I’ve spent hours staring at the piece of paper, trying to figure out how to write the next bit, how to tell this part of the story in a way that doesn’t tell you how it ends. That will give you a warning, but help you to understand that I just didn’t know. And honestly, I think that the best way to tell you this part of the story is to tell you as if it were happening again. The moments of confusion. The seconds that changed the trajectory of my life forever.
The door is open. Not just unlocked like it always is these days, but swinging open and closed in the slight wind that ruffles my hair. I’m hesitating – not sure what to do. The dogs aren’t barking. Finally, I know what it means when it’s so quiet that you can hear a pin drop.
The clacking of my boots on the lino bounces off of the hallway walls. Mum’s always hated how long her hallway is – such a waste of space. I think I finally understand what she means – the clacking is going on forever. The eerie silence building. Maybe I should have bought Rosco, anything to destroy this horrifying lack. Anything to bring life back into this lifeless walkway.
Into the kitchen, still no rambunctious greeting from the over excitable Labrador – maybe Mum has taken her on an adventure again?
The lights aren’t working. I stand there, flicking the switch back and forth for what feels like forever. Why isn’t the light working? Has something happened to the power? I’ll check the power box. Grandfather must be so confused, sitting here in the darkness, wondering where the power has gone. I’m not sure we’ve really managed to get him using a phone again. I guess with age, you struggle with new ideas, and it’s just worse when you’ve been so sick. Preoccupied (again) I head across the kitchen.
Lucky my bum is so cushioned. Whoever spilt cordial on the floor is going to get in a lot of trouble. Not sure who would heat up cordial though. It’s warm. And sticky. It’s coating my jeans and hands. After a moment of sheer fury at the inconvenience of it all and the pain, I decided I may as well get up. The power box needs to be fixed after all.
Warm. Sticky. Matted fur. A tennis ball dislodged by my fumblings.
I ran towards the window, thrust the curtain aside. The scream that had been bubbling in my throat died on impact. My blood soaked hands flew to my mouth as I tasted the copper of death. Suddenly all of the scents of the room flooded through my head. My sister was flung behind her protective Labrador – the companion that she had always said would protect her.
Slipping and slidding – how could two bodies contain so much liquid? I ran into the lounge room, the games room. There’s nothing like the horror of anticipation to give one wings. I practically flew through the house in my quest to find someone. Anyone.
Bloody handprints trailed the wall after me as I searched aimlessly, hoping to find someone who had survived this massacre. Terror seeped through the very pores of the house.
Finally, quaking in horror, I hurled open the master bedroom.
Words can’t describe the sight that greeted me. I had finally found someone who had survived the massacre. It just so happened to be the one who had carried out the plundering and murdering. He stood there over my mother’s body, caressingly carving piece by piece out of her flesh. The knife glinting in the dancing sunlight that filtered through the gap in the curtain.
The scream that had been lingering in my throat burst forth. Startling the creature in front of me. With a grin in my direction, he bought the knife slashing downwards. Neatly severing her head from her shoulders.
Still grinning, he licked my mother’s cheek, dropped the knife and leapt out of the window.
As the sound of shattering glass reached my stunned brain, I ran forwards. Only to see his back disappearing down the street.
The sirens finally reached my ears, and with it came the realisation that had been threatening to break through my consciousness all along.
That man was NOT my Grandfather.