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Aiden wasn't one to complain, but he knew when he was getting the short end of the stick. He lived with both his parents and his pet. His dad was a pale, scrawny, pathetic, shell of a man, and his mother was muscular and a very forceful type. Since the odds were against his father, things weren't always going well at the end of the day. His father would often be lying on the couch, bruised and tired. Aiden would ask, but they both knew what was going on. His mother had a violent perspective on things. If things didn't go her way, she would resort to violence.
He remembered how he ran home one day to his little white house in the woods, beaten up from school. His father, of course, ran over to check on him, but his mother quickly shoved him out of the way. Aiden kept mumbling through his salty tears, explaining how a girl had beaten him up. She scoffed at him and told him what he should have done to the person that beat him up, then she said it. “There is no room for the weak in a world like ours.” His mind lingered on those words, pondering them over and over. Still to this day at seventeen years of age, Aiden Carter still didn't understand what she had meant.
His mother’s footsteps broke his concentration and silence throughout the house. Without any hesitation, he quickly clasped his hands over his ears tightly, trying to push the world out. Ever since he was ten, he remembered the term ‘Misophonia’ being passed around from his doctor to his parents. Aiden always had hatred for sounds. He usually fled the scene and was greatly distressed afterward for a long period of time if he heard a lot of noise. The doctor had warned about this turning Aiden into an angered child, but that problem never occurred.
He hurried up the stairs, two steps at a time, and went into his small room. A petite black husky was sitting on his pillow. This was Home, the eight month old puppy. Aiden adopted Home when the dog was about a month or so old. His parents thought since he was alone and quiet too often, and he would need something to make sure he wouldn't be completely isolated from the world. He loved his pet dearly, it was one of the only things he loved after all. Aiden sat down and pulled Home onto his lap, gently running his fingers through the black dog’s hair.
Once again, his mother’s footsteps creaked up the old wooden steps. He had be waiting before for the chorus of screaming and slamming doors to begin, though it never came. This is the calm before the storm Aiden thought to himself as he glared at the closed door. Home sensed his master’s distress and looked at the closed wooden door, growling softly as if he was disturbed as well. His mother opened the door and peeked her head in, holding a bag of cookies and various other pastries in her hand.
“Aid, I brought you cookies.” She tossed over the bag and he caught it quickly, setting it aside. His saffron-colored eyes meet her emerald ones. He didn't resemble his mother as much as he did his father. He had his mother’s muscular build, which developed over time like his mother wanted. He had his father’s face structure though, he had that charcoal hair and those lifeless eyes as well.
He could have pulled off being a model, if his body wasn't covered in scars and burns. He nodded and averted her gaze. He could feel her eyes staring into his soul and he quickly glared at his wall, which was draped with posters.
“Good day mother...” He politely answered, with a bit of a harsh growl. She shrugged it off and left. As long as he lived in her house, he was still under her rules. He looked inside the bag, slowly digging out only the sugar cookies with Hershey Kisses in the middle, those were the kind he enjoyed the most. He quickly wolfed them down, then set the bag up high where Home couldn't get to them. He sat up quickly and prepared for the horrors that would await him downstairs.
He hurried down the steps and wandered around. His father was watching the golf game silently and his mother was making dinner. This was one of those ‘Once in a Blue Moon’ moments where everything and everyone were at peace. Although he knew it wouldn't last long, he sat down next to his father and watched the game.
“Dinner will be ready soon. I want this to be a nice family dinner tonight. So both of you can get your asses up and join me at the table.” Aiden rolled his eyes in annoyance and looked away, but quickly agreed. His father didn't say a word, he didn't need to.
They waited for his mother to finish then they all sat around the oak table. Home sat between his master’s legs, patiently waiting for Aiden to slip him a little food every once in a while. Nothing was really said during dinner, and you wouldn't even tell he lived in a terrible home. Aiden slowly and silently ate his meatloaf and finished off the corn and mashed potato sides. He excused himself and walked to the sink to wash his plate off. Aiden could hear his parents talking quietly behind him, although his sensitive ears could pick up their talking.
“Henry, you've got to do something about that damn dog.” Aiden tensed up, but resisted the urge to make it noticeable that he was distressed. His mother loved the dog for the first few weeks, but started hating him afterward and was just itching for a way to get rid of the mutt. He continued scrubbing the dishes until he could make out his reflection in one of the now pristine plates.
“You know he loves that dog Sandy... He ain't doin’ no harm to us. He’s good for Aid’s social problems, that’s why we got ‘im right?” His father ate quietly, talking between mouthfuls.
“He is doing harm! He ate my sandals and peed in my room! Get rid of him, or I’ll do it for you!” She stood up after their discussion, her patience running dangerously low, pushed in her chair roughly, and went to clean her dish.
“Henry go now...” She said faking a calm expression, giving Aiden’s father sharp glares while Aiden wasn't looking. Henry hesitated then quickly got up and walked to Aiden’s room. Aiden quickly turned to grab his father, but was caught by his mother’s arm. Aiden’s father walked down with the small dog in his arms. Home started thrashing and bit one of Henry’s fingers. He quickly dropped the small dog and Home sat there barking and snapping at Aiden’s mother and father. She wouldn't even give Home a chance. In the Carter house, you have one shot. If you mess up, you're out.
“He... bit you… Henry we are putting that damn dog down now…” She ordered at her husband, with an angry flare in her eyes. As if she would spend money on the dog when she could kill it out back herself. Aiden kicked and thrashed against her, but it was no use. Nothing he did or could do would help his situation, nor prevent what was going to happen. Henry looked at her almost as desperate as Aiden trying to change her mind, but it was to no avail.
“You don’t need to put him down!!!” Aiden screamed as his mother tried yelling over him. He lost control of his body for a moment and it was just him struggling. He was watching himself. He looked like a monster, or a wild animal. He clawed at his mother's arms and was almost sure of it that she would punish him later for fighting against her.
“He bit your father!!! It has to be rabid! Henry take him out back and do it!” She gestured to the backyard. Aiden’s father slowly went to the backyard, carrying the small dog in his arms, holding the dog's muzzle shut firmly with one of his hands. Aiden didn't know what to do anymore. His heart grew heavy as he watched the small dog squirm for its life. Henry tied the dog down and went to the shed picking up an old hatchet.
“NOOOO!!!! PLEASE!! ANYTHING!!! PLEASE!!!” Aiden began crying. His mother walked over to the window and placed his head against it.
“This is why weak beings can not survive in our world.” She said heartlessly, with an emotionless look plastered on her face. The hatchet rose up, then came down. Blood flew through the air like rain and the dog’s insides spilled out onto the wet evening grass. Aiden's face had a horrified look across it as his whole body began to shake slightly. The rattling of the chains from the dog's struggle had stopped. All the noise stopped. His heart dropped completely. His father, the man he loved and trusted, had betrayed him and destroyed his trust in one instant. His mother let go of Aiden then went upstairs, saying good-night to them all. Henry walked inside silently, looking down at the ground.
“Aiden… I’m-” Aiden whipped his hand across his father’s face, tears trailing down his own. Aiden's eyes were bright red and his lip trembled as he screamed at his father, angering himself even more because of the noise.
“WHERE WAS THE FATHER I KNEW WHEN I NEEDED HIM MOST?! WHERE WERE YOU?! YOU SAID YOU’D ALWAYS BE THERE FOR ME!!! WHERE WERE YOU THEN!?” He raised his voice and gestured outside to the hatchet, still stuck into the bloody dirt with the small dog lying next to it. His father gave a defeated expression, knowing nothing he could say or do would make his only child forgive him again. Aiden sank to his knees and sobbed into his hands, trying to muffle the sobs, but they grew louder with each minute. Henry stared at him for a while, wanting to say something. After giving up, he walked away with a guilty feeling burning in his chest.
Aiden had passed out on the floor after crying for a while, when he arose, it was 10:30 at night. He got up, then stumbled to his room, not looking forward to sleeping alone tonight. He slowly trudged up the old stairs once again. He shuffled up to his room, sinking down to his knees in front of his bed. He laid his arms down, burying his face into his sleeves. He sobbed, taking in the realization. Home was dead. He arched his back to bury into his sleeves more and let all his bottled up emotions out. He was never really the type of person to openly express himself. He ran his fingers through his auburn hair, holding onto his head. He was afraid if he didn't he might just explode from his anger towards his parents. Aiden would have taken the hit for Home. He would have skipped lunch, dinner, for God's sake, he would have starved to death for his best friend. He couldn't do anything though. He knew it was going to happen one day, he just didn't know it was going to happen so soon. Slowly, his eyes grew heavy and he fell asleep praying that this day was only just a dream.
Aiden woke up and walked downstairs, he looked around, waiting for the scratching of tiny paws at the door to come, but they never did. He ate silently having breakfast by himself, holding a piece of greasy bacon between his fingers, ready to drop it for Home, but the wagging tail never hit either of his legs. He was alone. Each day was the same. He woke up, took a shower, ate, and went back to bed, lying in bed until night came. This behavior went on for many weeks. His mother and father didn't notice. It's not like they cared, Aiden would think to himself as he laid underneath his navy blue sheets. It was about three weeks after Home was killed. Aiden sat up and looked out his window. It was raining and pouring outside, puddles were covering his yard. He stood up, walked over to his closet, and picked out a white t-shirt and a pair of grey, stained, and ripped sweat pants. He hurried down his stairs and sat down on the couch. He glanced around and noticed the garage door was open. He sat up and walked to it, peeking his head in. The smell of car oil and the overall musky garage smell filled his nose. His dad sat on an upside down bucket, tinkering with something between his fingers. He noticed Aiden then gave a small smile to him.
"Hey Aid, why ya up so early? I was goin' to let ya sleep in fer a while." He shrugged and looked back down at the thing between his father's fingers. Aiden walked over and sat on the ground next to him. He started to shake a little again. Murder. Killer. Traitor. Those words cluttered his thoughts as sat against the cold cement floor. Aiden looked around and took in his new surroundings. He was never really allowed in the garage. It had so many sharp objects, that Aiden could have taken them and stabbed himself or something. They used to be better parents, but they eventually gave up. Why would they bother treating trash like it was worth something?
"Anyway, I'm really sorry 'bout yer dog." His dad mumbling quietly, so if Aiden's mother was around she wouldn't hear. Traitor. Betrayed. Those words slowly began to clutter his vision, on the walls, on the floor, everywhere. He began glancing around quickly and stood up, feeling light-headed. He looked at his father, his eyes creamy white and blood trickling down his face from his eyes and nose. Aiden backed up and covered his mouth, trying not to gag from the hideous sight. His father stood up and out stretched a hand towards him. Aiden screamed and squirmed in his grasp, he shut his eyes and shouted. When he opened them, everything was how it used to be. The words were gone, the blood wasn't on his father's cheeks, and his dad's eyes were their usual slate color.
"Aid?" His father had a concerned expression on his face. Aiden looked at his father then pushed his hands away from himself. He quickly walked out of the garage, turned the corner, and hurried up his stairs, practically flying up them. He ran to his bed and dove onto it, shutting and covering his eyes. That wasn't real... Was it? He couldn't tell what just happened. He didn't like it though.
Slowly, Aiden began getting these visions more frequently, each one worse than the last. He began going outside to see Home's corpse, which his mother had neglected to clean up. One day, he scooped up the half-decomposed body and walked inside. He walked to his room and sat on his bed, running his fingers through the hair like he used to. He would sleep with the dog's corpse, then hid it under his bed when morning came.
His mother noticed something was wrong, but she was too frugal to pay for therapy or even bother taking him anywhere. Aiden slowly began rotting away. If his mother said anything to him, it would take minutes for him to acknowledge her or respond. He was holding both his mother and father responsible for Home's death. Betrayed. Betrayed. The words began circling around the room again. He started shaking and laughing quietly. He was unable to stop no matter how bad he wanted to.
"He was weak after all, wasn't he? So... I... It would be his fault! Weak beings don't belong in our world!" He took out the puppy's body, gripping it firmly, and shaking it violently. He began screaming and crying looking at the puppy's small black eyes stare lifelessly at nothing.
"Y-YOU DESERVE TO DIE! YOU DESERVED IT! YOU WERE WEAK! YOU ARE NOTHING!" He dropped the corpse and looking around. Something shining outside caught his eye. The chains and the hatchet stuck into the ground. He walked downstairs and out the door, towards both the weapons. He pulled the hatchet out of the ground, holding it firmly in one hand. He raised it up, letting the sunlight reflect off its rusted and blood-stained blade. He wrapped the chains around his arm, letting part of it dangle loosely from his arm. He glanced back at his house. His mother and father were probably sleeping. It was Saturday after all, they didn't have work on Saturdays. He opened the door wide, then walked around making sure he was correct about their presence. He slowly creaked up the stairs. Silent and stealthy. Not only did he love it, but he was good at it. He peeked open their door, finding them both sleeping silently. He unwrapped the chain from his arm and wrapped it around their necks, wrapping one end firmly to a bedpost.
"...The weak don't belong here..." He whispered. As their eyelids fluttered open, he pulled the chain tightly, forcing both heads to fly off and tumble off the bed. He grinned widely as his eyes began shaking violently at the sight. His face was pale and bloodstained, with his slate eyes staring at the dead corpses. His t-shirt was torn and blood was spattered across it. His grey sweat pants hung loosely at his feet, which were dirty from going outside without shoes. Aiden slowly backed up out of their room, slamming the door. He was hyping himself up. He screamed and yelled, finally free from the curse he was born into. He looked around, then ran down the hallway. He grabbed his dog's corpse, tucked it into a bag, and jumped down the stairs. He glanced at himself in the mirror. A tall, slender, bloodied boy, with pale skin, and auburn hair was staring wildly at him. He shakily walked over and threw the hatchet into the mirror, sending shards flying like stars through sky. He laughed at the young man who used to be standing before him.
"Is it too tough out there for you? Stay inside with the rest of these weak pathetic people, your time has come to an end." As he turned out the door he laughed to himself, twirling the chains in a circle and holding the hatchet in one hand.
Neighbors from the other houses came to visit days after, finding the mess that used to be known as the Carter household. A young girl, Mary, held tightly onto her mother's hand as she looked at the house, she was too young to understand what was going on still, but she wasn't allowed to stay home alone. After her mother and father surveyed the house, they all went home. They didn't speak a word of what happened again. They ate dinner together, having chicken at Mary's request and went on with their lives as if nothing had happened.
“Mommy? Can we go back to see Kira tomorrow?” Mary chirped as she asked her mother happily.
“Yes we can if Kira and her mother aren't busy, make sure you brush your teeth then go to bed.” Her mother answered and walked to her own room. The small girl’s footsteps hurried up the stairs and ran into the bathroom. She brushed her teeth and gave a toothy grin in the mirror after she was finished. She walked to her room, then stopped in the doorway when she saw a dark figure standing in the corner. Light shone off chains which were tightly wrapped around the figure's arm.
“...Is anyone there…?” She walked over slowly to the corner hesitantly. “C-Can I help you?” The figure walked over and slowly wrapped the chains around her neck.
“No... You can’t even help yourself…” He pulled the chains steadfast and the room filled with a sudden silence.