([This is a short story from 'Hallucinatory Tribulation Vol 1.' You can get all the stories shared here plus more by purchasing the book on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Books-a-Million, or Smashwords!)]
"I'm so sorry for your loss."
She nodded at the other woman, not even bothering to attempt a smile. It was probably the fiftieth time she'd heard some variation of those same words today, and closer to a couple hundred times since he had actually passed. The lady, however, did give a short smile before walking away to join the huddled mass of people cloaked in black sitting around the funeral parlor. The mother didn't blame them for their simple offers; what else could they do? At least they meant well, unlike the bastards who had ripped her son away.
Three days, seven hours, and forty-two...the clock on the wall clicked loudly in her ear...forty-three minutes, since he had been killed.
"I'm sorry for-" yet another voice approached her, but she was no longer listening.
"That's fine, honey, but stay away from the road."
"I love you, Mom," the eleven year-old beamed happily.
"I love you too. Did you hear me?"
The boy continued to grin and nodded slightly before turning and running out the screen door he'd been holding open. He had been playing quietly inside for the entire morning, occasionally finding his mother and telling her something completely arbitrary as if it was some profound wisdom, or running up and hugging her legs before disappearing again. Not neglecting the child yet not paying him too much heed, the mother had gone about her daily chores as usual. At one point directly following the lunch hour, he had become insistent on going outside. At first, he'd been denied as the woman would much prefer keeping a close eye on the young one whilst out there. However, she finally caved in to his demands, knowing the boy was well behaved and she had taught him properly the dangers of venturing too far. Besides, she'd be out there in just a few minutes once she had loaded the dishwasher...
Screeching tires, a sudden crash, and the growing despair of a mother's instinctual senses creating a pit in the woman, pulled her from her work and she gave no hesitation in dropping the plate in her hand, ignoring its shattering as she rushed to the front door.
"Aaron? AARON!" her scream echoed loudly in the empty air created by the abrupt loss of precious life. Rushing to the street where she had spotted a car that had run off its path and smashed into the home's mailbox, the woman threw her hands onto the chest of the young man who neared her apologetically, and shoved him aside.
"I-I didn't see him! I swear he ran out in front of me the minute we came close!" the other teenager rambled nervously as the mother knelt on the ground with him, staring down at her son.
"GET THE HELL AWAY FROM HIM!" she yelled at the older boy who had murdered her baby.
Shocked by what had occurred and utterly terrified of what would come next, the teen obeyed, scrambling back to his feet and to his friend. The two were frantic, pacing in circles around the scene as one called the emergency line. But none of that concerned the woman. Her gaze stayed trained upon the motionless body in front of her, its side crushed under the wheel of the vehicle, his head bloodied from the impact of the sedan's grill.
"Aaron," the woman breathed, stroking his curly brown locks and caressing his cheek as moisture welled in her eyes.
Suddenly, she was in the present again, overlooking the small coffin displayed on the table before her. This couldn't be happening, but it was. The past three days had been filled with a constant cycle of denial, acceptance, grieving, and then back to denying... They said grief came in stages; they were like layers that you gradually peeled away, not to return to the previous one. However, nobody ever told you that in trying to make sense of tragedy, the mind could become a muddled mess of irrational emotion and cold logic as it attempted to quicker get you to those stages you knew were necessary for healing.
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Hallucinatory Tribulation [Anthology]Short Story
Inspired by the author's own struggles with mental illness, Hallucinatory Tribulation is an anthology of short psychological horror stories which revolve around the mind, mental health, the human experience, and human perception of existence. Althou...