Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New Story - Griefer

Neil Demont - New Jersey - July 2004

He awakens in the middle of the night to the sounds of shouting and breaking glass.  Something was happening downstairs.  He sits up, his heart pounding and he sees a figure standing by his bedroom door.  He opens his mouth to scream, but at the last minute, he realizes that it is his brother.

"What is it?" Fear has choked his voice to a loud whisper.

"Something is in the house," Karl hisses back to him.  He gropes around in the darkness and picks up a large heavy object.  It looks like the leg of his drawing table that had broken last year.  To save space, they had disassembled it, but never got around to fixing it or replacing it.  Now Karl held the heavy wooden leg, to defend himself and his brother.

"Stay here," his brother whispered.  Neil nodded slid out of bed and inched underneath it.  Karl went through the door and out into the unknown.

Long silence.  Then a loud gunshot.  Silence.  Then Another.

His mother's screams... suddenly cut off by a third gunshot.  Then the footsteps up the stairs, coming towards his room.

Demont sucked in a breath of air as his eyes opened.  The damn dream again.  The dream of how his family had died, leaving him an orphan.  He had heard of other people, suffering extreme trauma with gaps in the memories.  Not him.  His mind lovingly recreated the events in exquisite detail for him to review every few days or so.  His brain hated him.  Lousy ingrate.

He glanced at the digital clock on the nightstand.  Four twenty A.M.  Might as well get up.  He mentally shored up the effort to rouse himself up, when he heard the sound.

A clunk.  No several of them.  Footsteps.  Someone was in the house.  Was he still dreaming?  No, he was thirty years older and bigger.  And he was not afraid this time, he was pissed.

He also had resources that his younger self lacked.  He opened up his nightstand drawer and pulled out the Browning Hi-Power he kept underneath his socks.  Chances were that if he just shouted, the intruder would haul ass out the window or wherever he had crawled in from.  But Demont was not the kind of person to give an intruder fair warning.  The mood he was in, he might start shooting pieces off of the intruder, leaving the head for last.

He paused.  The alarm.  Why hadn't it gone off?  Whoever it was, had enough skill to get around the system that he spent a fortune on.  That meant that whoever it was was not a random punk.  This person knew what he was doing.  Be careful.

He checked the safety on the Browning, then he slid out of bed.  He walked on the balls of his feet, maintaining absolute silence.  He knew his room well enough that he wouldn't trip, but out of habit, he pushed his foot out carefully in front of him, to probe for any obstacles.  He had crept along like this a hundred times in strange rooms and had only given himself away once. 

He heard more movement. Then, incredibly, there was a click and the light in his kitchen went on. He heard the sound of his refrigerator door open. Oh he was beyond pissed now. Arrogant asshole was having a goddamn midnight snack! If he drank any of the beer, Eddie thought he might have to take a minute to look for his hunting knife, in order to carve his initials in this guy's butt cheeks.

Stealth was forgotten. He stomped into the hallway and turned into the kitchen. He pointed the 9 mil in front of him giving his eyes time to adjust to the light. "You picked the wrong house to burgle, you fuck," he growled.

She was sitting at his kitchen table spooning sugar into a mug. "Well, actually I can see now that I'm in the right house, Eddie." She was an older woman about forty or fifty with jet black long hair. She moved precisely with no wasted movement, as she took out a tea bag from his box and sniffed at it, wrinkling her nose. "These were buried in the back of your pantry. I imagine that the tea leaves originally came over with Columbus but I'm dying for a cup, so I won't quibble."

Stunned, he lowered his gun an inch, but instinct allowed him to keep his grip on it. "Who the hell...?"

"Dreams keeping you up, Neil? I imagine they are Quite a horrible thing for a child to have to go through. But you've survived, haven't you?"

He pointed the gun at her head. "You'd better convince me in the next ten seconds why I shouldn't spatter your brains across my kitchen. Don't think I won't do it. I've killed..."

"Lot's of people." Her mouth was set in a hard line. "I know all about it. In fact I know more about you then you probably know yourself. I'm here to enlighten you about the kind of person you are."

"I know who I am!" 

"Do you? Those dreams you have? That's their way of punishing you. They think that a few sleepless nights will make up for what you did. Make up for destroying families? Well I don't think it does, so I'm here to change that."

She cupped her chin in her hand looking at him with contempt.  He'd had enough.  He had no patience for people who kept flapping their gums instead of either doing something or at least getting to the point.  He aimed directly at her forehead.  "Say goodnight, bitch."


She laughed at the confused look on his face.  "You are such a sad little man.  You almost convince me that your fate is wretched enough for me to leave you be."  She leaned forward.  "Almost but not quite." 


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