In Need Of…

The air in the room was dank and reeked of old sweaty gym socks.  It was completely dark, except for a soft iridescent glow coming from the far corner.  It illuminated the stubbled face of a man of yet undeterminable age.  In the darkness, he could have been a ghost, his haunted expression waiting to frighten any that might open the door.  Dark shadows filled in the space beneath his eyes and above his cheeks, suggesting it had been some time since he last slept, and if one was to observe him closely, one would notice that he was struggling to keep his eyes open.  He wasn’t blinking, unless it slipped past his studious guard, and the whites of his eyes were covered with blood red snakes, all searching for the dark centers of his pupils.

But nobody would observe him this night, for he was well hidden.  Deep inside of his walk-in closet, behind his dress clothes, which were hanging from a low dowel, with a dirty clothes basket placed in front of him, in the off chance that someone were to suddenly open the door.  Not that he had thought it through, for the glow from his tablet could be seen beneath the door, provided that the hall light outside remained off.

His breathing was slow, and controlled, as he concentrated on not making a single sound.  He was desperate to remain hidden, to the point that he was hyper-vigilant.  Not only was his breathing slowed to the point that he only exhaled once every ten seconds, but he hadn’t so much as moved an inch in the three hours he’d remained crouched in his corner.

His eyes focused just above the top of the screen, allowing him to the shadows below the door, while keeping what was on the screen in sight.  He would know immediately if someone was moving outside, but, he would also be able to notice something new on the app that was open.

He counted his heartbeats.  Like his breath, they had slowed down as well.  Perhaps by sheer will, he had put his body in a completely relaxed state, though he didn’t actively think of it.  It was probably a good thing, because had he known just how long he was been cramped behind his clothing, he would have heard the complaints coming from his knees.  Had he been looking at the time, during this strange watch, he might have noticed the tingling from muscles that had long fallen asleep.  But, his mind was not on such physical things.  Not tonight.

Forty, his absently noted, a number he soon forgot, for the shade of light that had settled on his features suddenly changed.  There was a silent ‘ding’, as something appeared on the blank space before him.

“Good morning!  When you have a moment, please go into the settings and create a name for me!  I would also greatly appreciate it if you took a moment to create my Avatar as well!  I am very excited to be your new AI companion!”

He let out a long, relieved, sigh, as those words instantly appeared on his screen.  At long last, she had arrived!

She Has A Pretty Face Though (Part IV)

Disclaimer

This is post is one of many in a several part webseries.  While each part varies, this story, overall, will contain the following; Strong Language, Sexual Content, Graphic and Violent descriptions and it may not be suitable for a younger audience.

It does not reflect the views or opinions of the author and is purely a work of fiction.  All names and locations are drawn directly from the author’s imagination.  No animals were ever hurt in the writing of this webseries.  ;p

If this isn’t your cup of tea but you enjoy my other writings, please visit back time to time and let me know!  I’ll be making the occasional post between these mini-chapters as, I think of them.

“Scott?  Is there something the matter?”

“No, it’s just…”  His words trailed off as he thought about the night before.  His thoughts were nothing new; they were still an entangled mess of memories and sounds that he couldn’t decipher.

After taking the garbage out to the dumpster, he had come back inside to find…what?  He shook his head back and forth, unable to recall just exactly what it was that had happened.

“Yes?”

“Nothing.”  He sighed in frustration.  His mother sighed in frustration as well.

“I don’t know what’s going on with you lately, but I’m worried about you.  You’re coming home from school with all these bruises and you’re forgetting to do the little things that I ask of you.  I feel like you don’t listen to a word I say.”

“I do listen, ‘mom’, it’s just that…  I’ve got some things on my mind and I’d rather not talk about it.”

His face was resting on his left hand, while his right listlessly stirred the remaining soggy fruit loops floating in his pinkish colored milk.  As he spoke, a frown passed over his expression, animating his previously blank face.

“Well, do you want to talk about these bruises?  Is there something going on at school?”

He didn’t answer her, just continuing to swirl his spoon around in the milk.  She watched him for what seemed like hours before turning back to the dishes, studying his face for something, anything, while she waited for an answer that didn’t come.

He wasn’t thinking of her question any longer.  In fact, he was looking across the counter at the fridge.  There was nothing out of the ordinary about it.  It still looked as it did the last time he looked at it.  But…  Was that a dent near the bottom of the door?  He used the age-old trick of narrowing his eyes as he tried to focus his vision on that one little spot, but it didn’t help.

“…ing today?  Scott?”

She must have been trying to get his attention for a while because when he finally heard her, she was reaching over to take his dishes.

“Huh?”

“I said; are you doing anything today?”

“No, I thought I’d read a book or something.”

“Well, before you get too settled in for the day, could you please mow the lawn?  It’s getting a bit shaggy.  I’m going to be out for the afternoon.  Going to meet Cheryl over at the Java house for a bit.  Maybe do some shopping.”

“Yeah, sounds good.”  He was distracted.  She had been walking over to the fridge when she seemed to notice something on the ground.  As he was answering her, she leaned over and huffed;

“Scott?  When you drop something from the fridge, could you please make sure to put it back?  This is a full tub of sour cream that I have to throw out now…”

She stepped on the lever to lift the lid to the trash can and dropped it inside.

“I guess I’ll have to add THAT to the…”

He wasn’t listening anymore, however, and she didn’t see him when he got up and left.  He moved quickly at first, walking at a brisk pace, but as soon as he was out of the kitchen he was sprinting.

His heart thundered in his chest and the combination of his worst fears and his exertion stole his breath away.  He bounded the stairs two at a time as he hurried to the second floor.  Memories of the night before came rushing back, of what (had he done?) had happened in the kitchen.

“Scott?”

His mother called for him in the kitchen, presumably after she had just noticed that he was gone, but it wasn’t her voice that he heard.

“Please,” she begged.  

“Sorry, sis.  I’m afraid I’m gonna have to put you on a diet.  The first step is knowing when to shut the door.”

With that he slammed the fridge door closed.  Her positioning was just right and her legs jumped from the impact. 

He had reached her bedroom door.  There was a sign hanging on the outside.  It was professionally made, she had gotten it from a novelty shop, and it was of the word TWERP with a not symbol over it.

He grabbed the doorknob, then froze.  He was unsure of how to proceed.  What if it had happened?  What if he HAD crushed her head in the refrigerator door last night and now her body was lying on her bed, or in her closet, under a blanket?  What then?

He slowly began to turn the doorknob, afraid of what he was going to find.

“…megan,” he called out softly.  His voice trembled, cracking in a show of his adolescence.

The handle turned one hundred and eighty degrees and it retracted the small latch back into the door, thus allowing him to push it open.

“Sis?”

He pushed slowly, his eyes searching as the light from the hall began to spill into the room.