Chris

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I just did the stupidest thing I could have ever done in my life. After years of pain and anger towards her, I couldn't take it anymore. I had to see my mother, even though she had me committed. Even though she told me it was Disney World. Even though I haven't seen her in years. And even though Ashley told me it was a bad idea. I had to.

I sit quietly in the basement, waiting for her to come downstairs. When I arrived, she opened the door and just stared at me like she was seeing a ghost. She probably thought that's exactly what she was seeing.

"Baby?" She said. "Did they make ya'better?"

"No, Mamma. There was never anything wrong with me." I say, standing my ground.

She takes a good look at me and nods her head, "We'll have tea and cookies to celebrate you coming home." At first, I think it's a trap, but when I read her thoughts I don't hear anything negative, all I hear is her thinking about getting the good teapot out.

I take my shoes off and walk in. The house smells just like I knew it would, like freshly baked sugar cookies. Mamma smiles up at me, I'm way taller than her now that I'm almost eighteen, and says, "Go down to the basement and wait for me. I have a surprise for you, for all of the birthdays I missed." I shouldn't do it, but I do. Down to the basement I go and wait for her to bring my surprise.

After about twenty minutes of hearing her banging around upstairs in the kitchen, I notice that she's quieted down. I guess the surprise is ready. I smell something strange that I know I should recognize, I think maybe the cookies are burnt. I keep sniffing until I hear her come downstairs, holding a pot of tea and a plate of her famous sugar cookies. They're not burnt. What is that smell? I wonder. Is it the tea? I know in my heart that it's not.

All of a sudden, I recognize the smell to be gas. Why would the house smell like gas? Ignoring the smell and not wanting to believe the inevitable, I get up and run with my arms outstretched towards my mother. For the first time in years, she accepts it.

She's crying and my heart breaks just a little bit. "Mamma, why are you crying? I'm not crazy, I'm not crazy!" I say as she holds me tight to her. She looks me straight in the eyes and says, "You'll be free of the Devil, Hun. We are 'goin to make him go away. Don't you ever say that Mamma didn't love you."

She begins to sob which only terrifies me worse. Something's going to happen. She lets go of me and runs up the stairs. I'm too slow and she closes the door, locking it behind her. Leaving me alone in the basement, with the smell of my childhood.

I hear her car drive away and I know I'm alone. I bang on the door and yell as loud as I can but nobody's there to hear me. The smell of gas is stronger now, mixed with something else...something that I realize too late when there's a loud bang and everything goes black.

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