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Ramblings of an Artist Scorned

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Ramblings of an Artist Scorned

Post by Darkborne on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:36 am

Written 3 years ago, when I was first learning to write. Short story.


Dim light from the old fluorescent light illuminated the room softly. It buzzed gently, filling the room with ambient sound that drowned out the maddening depths of silence. The room was bare, very little adorning the walls. A small, white light switch in the corner of the room at the entrance. It was the door’s only companion. Sean laid upon his bed groaning in boredom. Dirty tile covered the floor in a pattern. The stains seemed to take a pattern of their own, warping the decoration of the floor in strange and twisted ways, yet no matter how one scrubbed, it was impossible to remove the stains. Sean would often spend his time counting the tiles from one side to another, as there wasn’t a whole lot to do these days. Sometimes, he would play games with himself, like trying to count every 3rd tile, or naming each tile and trying to remember the names of the tiles in order. Sometimes, he would memorize a particular feature of the tile, a stain or a crack, and would try to find them based solely on that feature a few days later.

There wasn’t a lot to do in his room when he was grounded. He hated being grounded and only wished to be let out. Sean shivered and bundled up in his dinosaur pajamas. It was unusually cold. The walls, though thick and unforgiving, did little to keep the cold out. Sean always thought they were useless. He cast a glance at the door solemnly. It remained as still and ever-present as always, a silent sentinel continuously watching over Sean and his brother when they were grounded. My brother, he thought, and shot a peek at Patrick. His brother’s sleeping form was still visible under the sheets, and Sean smiled. He watched and for a brief moment forgot the cold. He walked to Patrick and stroked his side with care. He raised the covers around Patrick’s shoulders and tucked him in tighter.

Satisfied, he took the thinnest sheet for himself and moved away from the bed, towards the small air conditioning unit hovering a foot off the floor on the opposite wall. He walked to it and examined its various knobs for a moment, and turned one. The old machine sputtered to life and emitted a low hum, and cool air rushed upward. The other side of the room would get cold, but Sean and Patrick would be left untouched. Sean crawled under the unit and curled up in his sheet, creating a warm nest under the clunky air conditioner. He wriggled in delight as the exhaust of the air conditioning unit warmed his freezing form. It was one of his favorite things to do during the winter months. And he absolutely hated the cold months. Even worse when he was grounded. It meant he couldn’t go outside to the warmer areas of the house, and had to stay in his room. Soon, Sean was warm and toasty inside his itchy cocoon. He afforded another glance at his sleeping brother. Filled with happiness, and yet, also sorrow, he silently wished his brother would wake from his slumber, if only to break the tedium and solitude of the room. The room was oppressively quiet, and Sean hated every second of it. When his brother was awake, Sean laughed and smiled and played with him. When he was asleep, which he so often was, Sean was alone. Soon, however, the warmth of the cocoon would prove to be too much for Sean. He felt his breath lighten and his pulse get heavier. Fuzzy warmth clouded Sean’s head, and he drifted off to sleep.


The smell of lilacs permeates the room. Mom always liked lilacs. Dad’s in the kitchen, making dinner. Macaroni and cheese! My favorite. Patrick sits beside the roaring fireplace, a small bear in his hand. It was torn, but lovingly stitched back together many times over. One of its eyes are missing, and replaced with a sweater button. Patrick loves playing with it so much, a present from Uncle Clyde, Mom’s brother. Mom pats my head and lifts me to her lap. I love watching movies with Mom! It’s the best! And this one was her favorite, Shrek! It’s secretly my favorite too, but I don’t tell Mom these kinds of things. Mom’s really good at guessing them! I call to Patrick to join us, and he runs to me and snuggles with his bear against mom’s side. “Boys! It’s dinner time!” Dad calls from the kitchen. “Hold on a minute, babe, our favorite scene is coming up!” Mom shouts back. Dad hops into the living room with us, and puts his hand on my shoulder as we watch Shrek and Donkey storm the dragon’s castle. I love the part when the Dragon kisses the Donkey’s butt! It’s always so funny! 15 minutes pass, and I start to drift against mom’s side.

“Whoa, hold up there, big guy! Dinner’s gonna get cold if you fall asleep!” Dad shakes me awake lightly and I walk blurry eyed to the kitchen. The smell is all it takes to wake me from my stupor. MAC AND CHEESE! I hop on my seat excitedly as Dad passes me a big steaming plate of Kraft goodness! Thump. A sound from the front of the house? Dad looks up from his plate of pasta and ground beef chunks and looks at Mom. “I’ve got it.” He pokes me in the side like he always does as he passes me. I laugh uncontrollably when tickled, and he LOVES to tease me about it. THUMP. Louder. Dad opens the door in the next room. “Hey. How are you? Come to join us? It’s mac an—Hey whoa, what are you doing with that?”Bang! “Hey! You can’t come in here with that! The fuck do you think you’re doing? You can’t go in there! HEY!”

Bang! Sean awoke from his dream and opened his eyes. The room remained unchanged. Patrick laid sound asleep on the bed still. He could sleep through anything. Loud noises came from just outside the room. “I’m telling you, you can’t go in there yet! You have to wait.” One voice pleaded. “This can’t wait. I HAVE to speak with him now.”, another voice commanded. It was gruff and unyielding. The first voice, softer than before, “Look, let me talk to him first, okay? Let him know what’s going on. Then you can talk to him.”. A few more sounds came from the outside, and finally, a shrill squeal as the door opened inward. A man in white walks in. Sean breathed a sigh of relief. The man in white was kind, but annoying. He asked a lot of questions, and not a lot of it made sense. Patrick said he might be crazy. But he fed Sean and Patrick, and played with them a lot, so he was okay in their book. The man in white had brown hair that hung a little off his head in a big fuzzy mess. His eyes were light, but usually obscured behind big round glasses. It made his eyes look like owl’s eyes sometimes, which made Patrick laugh. But…. What was he doing here now?

The man in white came in and smiled, kneeling to Sean’s level like he usually did. “Hey there, champ. How are you doing today?” Sean didn’t answer, but sat back on his butt under the air conditioning.

“Cold in here, huh buddy? That’s okay. I’m gonna go and get some really big blankets for you, okay? Then it won’t be so cold in here, right?” He smiled widely at Sean and tousled his hair. Sean liked him. He was a lot like Dad. Sean got up and started to walk back to the door. Usually when the man in white came in, that meant he wasn’t grounded anymore. A thin hand shot out and held Sean back.

“Err, hold on, buddy. I gotta talk to you.” Sean looked at him quizzically. Did he do something wrong? “I have someone who wants to talk to you, okay? Can you do that?”

A man in brown came in, and nodded his head at Mr.White. He had an unkempt beard, closely cropped hair, and a nasty look on his face. Sean didn’t like him at all, already. Mr.White backed away slowly and winked at Sean before leaving the room, and leaving the door slightly ajar. Sean stared at the door for a while before returning his gaze to Mr.Brown. Brown didn’t move or say anything for a moment.

Then, “Do you know who I am?” Sean didn’t answer, but he sighed audibly. Brown continued unhindered.

“Look, I’m here to ask you some questions about that night.”

Sean stiffened. Night? He thought. And immediately Sean remembered. He turned away from Brown and tried to count the tiles again. 1…..2…..3…..4…..

“Don’t trust him”, came a small voice from the corner. Sean flinched. He didn’t know his brother was awake. Patrick stayed on the bed and Sean went to him and curled up around him. Brown continued.

“I need to know what happened.”



“Don’t answer and he’ll go away” Patrick whispered.

“Look I’m not leaving until I get what I want”. Sean looked up at Brown.

“So what is it you want?” He asked. Patrick shot an angry glance at his brother. Brown looked pleased.

“I want to talk. I want answers. Tell me about that night.”

Don’t do it” Patrick hissed. Sean looked at him.

“Do you promise to leave me alone if I do?” He asked. Brown nodded curtly. Sean sighed.

“It was macaroni and cheese night. I love mac and cheese, did you know that?”

Brown nodded. “I know a lot about you. Probably more than you do.” Brown’s response was snide. Sean really didn’t like him. “Don’t talk to him” Patrick ordered. Sean was surprised. Patrick was normally so calm. Bad news.

“We were eating dinner when he came in. It was late and very cold.” Brown raised an eyebrow.

“When who came in?” Sean looked down and replied “Uncle Clyde. He came in our house yelling at my Dad. I heard them fight, but then they got all quiet. Uncle Clyde walked in and he didn’t look… right.”

Patrick tensed and clenched. “Shut up, Sean…” he said in a threatening tone.

Brown stared directly into Sean’s eyes. “Go on”, he offered. Sean looked down thoughtfully for a moment, curious about what would happen to him if he gave Brown what he wanted.

He continued, “Dad didn’t come in right away. My mom did that thing where you breathe in real fast. She looked at Uncle Clyde’s hand. He had something in it, shiny and red. Pointy. I think it was a knife.” Sean stopped suddenly.

“Don’t say it, Sean!” Patrick urged. Brown looked at Sean, then Patrick, then back at Sean.

‘Then what happened? C’mon, we have a deal. What happened next?”

“Don’t do it!” Patrick shouted.

“What happened?” Brown was persistent. Sean, softer than before, continued. “He… he grabbed mom….”

“SHUT UP!” Patrick roared!

“What did he do?” Brown insisted.

“DON’T SAY ANOTHER GODDAMN WORD!” Patrick was red with anger.

“What did he do?!” Brown shouted.


“He stabbed her!” Sean shouted. The everyone in the room went silent. Brown stopped and looked at Sean almost confoundedly for a moment. Sean continued.

“He stabbed her. Again and again. Patrick and I… we ran into the other room. Dad… dad was crawling to the room. He was… he was bleeding. A lot. It was everywhere. There was this… rubbery stuff coming out his side… I…” Sean stopped a moment and shook his head.

Patrick, in a deadly silent voice, whispered to his brother. “Kill him.” Sean stared in shock as his brother returned his stare.

Brown continued as if he didn’t hear a word. “What happened next?” Patrick whispered into his brother’s ear. “Get rid of him…”

Sean bridled with sorrow at what his brother had become.


Brown raised his eyebrow once more. “No?” Patrick urged again “Kill him!”

Sean shook his head violently. Brown pushed… “What happened next?!” Patrick shouted “DO IT!”

Sean screamed at the top of his lungs.


He ran towards Brown, trying to grab him, to make him understand. Brown grunted and yelled, he tried to get away from Sean. Sean dug into Brown’s arms. He didn’t mean it, he just didn’t want him to go. THUD! A forced bashed Sean in the face and he was thrown back. Sean was on the floor and saw the flutter of Brown’s coat as the door slammed shut behind him.

“NO!” he yelled. ‘DON’T GO!!!” He ran at the door with all his might and slammed against it.

‘PLEASE! DON’T GO! DON’T LEAVE ME ALONE! PLEEEEEEAAAASE!” He bashed against the door until his hands turned bloody.

He shut the door with all his might and locked it. A dull thud resounded behind him as a body slammed against the door. A man in white rushed to his side and helped him up. “Jesus fuck! What happened in there, Anderson?! Why are you bleeding?” He helped Anderson to the nearby chair and began inspecting his wounds.

“The fucker dug his nails into my arm, that’s what happened! Don’t you trim those things? ” Screams sounded from the room.

“PLEASE! PLEASE LET ME OUT! PLEASE! Please. Please….. Please……” The screams dimmed to whimpers. Anderson could hear crying. Soft, but there.

“He’s not going to recover anytime soon, is he Dr. Kellner?” Kellner pushed a clean cloth onto Anderson’s wound hard, hard enough to cause him to hiss in pain. For a mousy little man, Kellner had some serious brute strength. He should, though, to deal with That every day. Kellner sighed and shook his head.

“After what happened, can you blame him? I hope for his sake he never remembers.” Anderson stared for a moment. “Doctor, what about that bear he’s been holding on to? It’s fucking creepy. Why don’t you take it away?”

Kellner sighed and shrugged his shoulders. “He’s had it since that night. It belonged to the youngest of the Stevens.” Anderson stared into space, the inklings of something in the corners of his mind. Pity?

Kellner tapped him on the face “Stay awake, Detective. We gotta get those cuts looked at. Don’t want them getting infected.” Anderson grinned and laughed a rough, tired laugh. “yeah, guess not.” Kellner shoved a clipboard in front of him. “Still gotta sign this though.”

Anderson almost laughed in the Doctor’s face. “Your guy cuts the shit outta me and you’re still making me do paperwork. Un-fucking-believable.” Anderson takes the paper and signs his name on the dotted line.

San Antonio Institute of Mental Rehabilitation

Date Name of the Patient visited Signature
02/01/98 Clyde Robinson

SMP Admin

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