Conned, again. Once more realizing the evil Fay had warned me about; the evil that men do.
Sam and Charlie had me successfully straying so far away from the light I questioned whether the past, two months were even a part of everyone else's reality. Granted, vastly different situations, but let me have my allegories in peace. They both fell under the same theme: smoke and mirrors.
And to think Charlie was the master illusionist, sending me off on a wild monster chase where the payoff was a mere paycheck and the feeling of having accomplished something. Meanwhile, his family disintegrated, rendered unto obscurity. All so he could have his childhood home to himself? If the reveal had come a few weeks back I may have refused to accept that people could go to such extremes for satisfaction, now, well, things were a lot clearer.
The brief meeting was awkward. Don't pin it all on me, just because I refused to tilt my even slightly in Sam's direction. I picked up litter and clutter around my room while we processed all we had learned individually over the course of the evening, Sam examined himself in the mirror on top of my drawer while wiping dust off my record player with his finger.
I was angry enough when I had my revelation in the living room with Isaac, somehow I topped that five minutes after Isaac passed out, and Sam came knocking at my door. He was in obvious distress, choking on it, trying to act casual, neither of us were comfortable enough to show any sort of emotion. Even now, in the aftermath of combining our discoveries and heading down an insufferable shame spiral.
"Imagine how much time we'd have saved if we stuck with our first theory," Sam said, pulling off a lighthearted tone before revealing his dejection, "how could we ever have thought it was anyone but Charlie?"
"We're some idiots, aren't we?"
Sam's suppressed emotion was about to come out in the form of a tantrum pretty soon, I was sure. Mind you, though, at the moment, I only felt sorry for myself.
"I think we already knew that," he added.
"Speak for yourself."
I threw another handful of crumpled papers in the wastebasket by my desk. I wanted him to leave, but for me to get my wish meant I we had to keep talking about this.
"How do you do it?" I asked, looking out the window, "how do you create this kind of chaos out of nothing?"
In this case, how do you make your family believe they're being followed by an otherworldly god, using a silly myth and a broken tape recorder?
It took me two months to put all the pieces together, mapping out every detail of what happened to the Derricks, to Peachbode, and to me. I uncovered a mythos beyond anyone's imagination.
And to think it was just that: someone's imagination.
I folded my arms, having my untended nails scratch at my skin until I was sure they'd left their mark. There wasn't a pit in my stomach anymore, it had been filled up with concentrated anger; and disbelief.
"What a fucking asshole," Sam responded, stealing words from my mouth, there was no better way of putting it.
Time moved too slow. Just forty minutes ago I had Sam help me carry Isaac's near-lifeless body into his bed, tuck him in, and carefully close the door to his room as if he had gone off to sleep on his own accord. It was still an hour left until the rest of my family were set to pull up in the driveway.
"My family's gonna be home soon," I said, "we better wrap this up."
"Don't you think we should figure out what to do first?"
YOU ARE READING
ShadrachMystery / Thriller
1987: teenaged stoner Marcia Hazan finds herself trapped in a mystery larger than life when she takes it upon herself to solve the mystery of her neighbor's disappearance one cold night in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. WATTY'S WINNER AND EDITOR'...