Two in One

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Closing his eyes enhances his hearing – yet he couldn’t remember what he was listening for. Footsteps – no, someone was running toward him.

“Kevin! Kevin!” He would recognize that gentle voice anywhere – his little sister, Kelly. Kevin opened his eyes and a little girl staring at him, her face pale and her eyes wide. Her tangible fear could only signify his return.

“Kelly,” Kevin took the little girl by her shoulders. “Kelly, is he here?” His voice urgent and strained only scared Kelly further. Her semi-hysterical sob served as both answer and evidence.

Alex was back. The monster that haunted and taunted his dear sister was back. Alex seemed to be everywhere and nowhere at once, he knew things and acted accordingly. Kevin had never seen him, not once in the six years since Kelly’s birth. He would not have believed if it wasn’t for the bruises and cuts all over Kelly’s body.

Kevin pulled Kelly close to him and gripped her in a tight hug. “It’s okay. It’s okay. This time I’m going to get him, Kelly. He’s going to pay.” He pulled back to look at her face, to reassure her. A wary expression passed quickly over her face before she could stop it.

Kevin ignored it and looked around them. He frowned deeply. When did they get to the beach house? They only came to the beach house on vacations with their parents. Somewhere in the back of his mind, something sinister shifted.

“Come on,” Kevin said, taking Kelly by the hand and leading her back into the house. He’d wonder about his memory gaps later, he decided.

The white house stood solemn and dark before them. It was quiet inside, no sign of their parents. With caution and some suspicion, Kevin walked through the house, checking every room and window. He found nothing, both to his relief and frustration.

It was getting late; the sun was already sinking beyond the horizon. Kevin assumed their parents were out with friends. He fed his sister and put her to bed, singing silly lullabies until she finally drifted off.

He left her bedroom door open, feeling certain that he’d hear any noise in her room from the living room. Kevin slumped on the sofa and switched on the T.V. He channel hopped for a while, nothing interesting showing. He settled for a documentary about mental disorders and illnesses. He kept the volume low enough for it wouldn’t wake Kelly.

The sudden darkness made goose bumps pop out all over his body. There was a sinister feel to the air in their house. Panic made his heart pound painfully against his ribs. He slowly sat up. Kevin realized he’d fallen asleep in front of the T.V. He looked at the dark shadow of where he guessed it would be. Dead. Somebody had switched it off.

Jerkily he patted around for the end table light and managed to switch it on. Soft light spilled across the room.  Kevin hoped it was his parents who came home and not… him.

He walked through the house, each step making it clearer that it was empty. Completely empty. No parents. No Kelly. Panic and unease churned his stomach and his neck hair stood on end. Adrenaline rushed through his veins and he started noticing signs of struggle, evidence of him. Evidence of Alex.

Kevin followed the sign meticulously. He was so focused he was aware of every object in his sight. He walked out of the house. Outside only the streetlights were on. Kevin squatted, trying to find a footprint or something. Something in his pocket poked his leg. He straightened and carefully stuck his hand into his pocket. His heart was in his throat and some unfamiliar emotion washed through him. The light showed their basement door key in his bloody hand. Kevin lifted the other hand. Blood stained. Dizziness slammed into him but panic drove it away.

Kevin sprinted back into the house. He stopped in front of the basement door. There was no sounds coming from the other side of the door. As silently as he could he opened the door and stepped through. The stairs creaked under his weight but still he heard no other sounds.

At the end of the stairs, every muscle in his body froze. Kevin stood there staring. His mind unable to process the sight before him. His mouth opened and closed silently. A raw, primal scream burst from his throat and he fell to his knees. He had won. He had gotten Kelly.

Blood was already flowing past him. Kevin wished he could drown in it. Loud and piercing sirens woke him from his fixation on her mauled body.

When he looked up, his parents and police officers were running down the stairs. Kevin got up and ran to his mother with outstretched arms. Just before he was within reach, her fist hit him sideways across the face and he stumbled to the left.

“You monster, Alex! What have you done?” His mother was crying and screaming at him, she was completely out of control as her hands closed around Kevin’s throat. 

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