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External Paranoia

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It started on New Years Eve 2012. My wife, my two daughters, and I were watching the coverage of the celebrations on TV in the living room. 2013 was only minutes away. I was looking forward to the New Year. Things were going very well in my life. I had a good job, was making good money, the kids were doing well in school, and my wife was happy (which was good so then I could be happy too).

I don't know what exactly happened that night, or why, but my entire life fell apart from the moment the colorful ball in Times Square dropped, ushering in the New Year. When the ball did drop, we all cheered and I turned and kissed my wife. When she pulled away she bit my lip hard with her teeth, tearing off a small piece of flesh. A shot of pain ran through my face and the metallic taste of blood filled my mouth. I asked my wife about it later that night in bed, but she acted as if she knew nothing of it.

I dismissed the event as if it was nothing and went on with my life. I was determined to make 2013 even better than the previous year. I wanted to make my life even better. Was that too much too ask?

I came home from work a couple weeks later to find my youngest daughter using one of my nicest dress shirts to dry off the dog after it's bath. Sure I was upset, but things like that happen sometimes. What are you going to do, right?

A few weeks later I was going to go out to the liquor store but I couldn't find my car keys. Strangely enough, they were in my older daughter's room sitting on her nightstand. I went out to the car and was startled to find a long key scratch on the driver's side door. I went inside to speak to my daughter about it, but she said she didn't do anything to my car, and that she didn't even have any idea how the keys got into her bedroom. Now, my daughters are usually truthful--that's how my wife and I taught them to be--but I could tell she was lying. She must've been. I mean really, the evidence was clear...

Key scratch

Anyway, I grounded her for the weekend. It seemed like a suitable punishment, but that night when I went to see my wife in the kitchen, where she was making dinner, she "accidentally" brushed a knife off the counter which landed, point down, in my foot. I jumped up in pain and yanked the knife out of my bloody foot, dropping it on the counter. I looked up at my wife, and was disturbed to see she was still preparing dinner as if nothing had happened. She turned and looked at me, leaning up against the counter, clutching my bloody foot, and said, "Is there something wrong, honey?" I slept that night with a strange, overwhelming sense of fear in my mind.

Blood tipped knife

Nothing strange happened for at least a month, until one Sunday morning when I was home alone--the rest of the family was at church, while I had stayed home to finish up some paperwork for my job tomorrow. I got up from my desk and was on my way into the kitchen when I felt like I was being watched. There was an extremely eerie silence in the house. There was gray light streaming through the windows of the house from the cloudy day outside. I slowly turned around, with a strange fear of what I would see behind me. What I did see shouldn't have been frightening at all, but for some reason, it scared the living hell out of me. Our dog, a fully-grown German Shepherd, was sitting straight up at the end of the dark hallway that separated the kitchen from my office. It had a dead, bleeding bird clenched between it's jaws. Our dog didn't move an inch. It sat completely still and stared at me with it's big dark eyes. I was locked in it's gaze for several seconds until a drop of blood from the dead bird hit the floor and the dog immediately turned and pranced away out of my sight. I heard the swinging of the dog door at the back of the house a moment later.

I was puzzled for a second, trying to make anything sensible of what just happened. Then I found myself gripped in fear, like something horrible was surrounding my, enveloping me. I closed my eyes, immediately finding myself truly terrified to open them. I don't know how long I stood there for, or what happened while I was, but when I finally opened my eyes, my family was standing at the doorway of the house, looking at the floor beneath my feet. I wondered what the matter was, but when I looked down I was startled to find the kitchen floor covered in smashed plates, bowls, and drinking glasses. The refrigerator had been flung open and food littered the floor around it.

Shmashed plates

"What did YOU do?!?" my wife exclaimed. I just stood there, speechless.

Later on I found myself shopping for all new sets of plates, bowls, and glasses. I also had to buy all new groceries. I tried to explain to my wife that I had no idea how all of this had happened. She didn't want to hear it. From that moment on, I felt uncomfortable around everybody in the house: my wife, my kids, even the damn dog. I hired a therapist, who told me all of this was in my head, that it was just stress at work and at home that was causing me to over exaggerate on little things. But they weren't just little things. It was my entire family. They were out to get me. They wanted to make my life a stressful and as uncomfortable as possible. I tried to avoid that notion, but I couldn't. This idea that my family had turned against me had so much truth to it that it possessed me.

It was a hot, humid July night that started to make me think I was going insane. I woke up in the middle of the night, lying in the middle of my bed, staring at the ceiling. A dim light from the hallway lit the bedroom. I continued to stare at the ceiling, suddenly realizing that my wife was not in bed with me. I slowly sat up, and was massively confused and afraid by what I saw. Our German Shepherd was sitting at the end of my bed, completely still, just as he had a couple months earlier in the hallway. But it wasn't just him who was staring at my this time. My two daughters stood on either side of him, and my wife stood right behind the dog. And they all stared at me with dark, startlingly evil eyes. They didn't move or make a sound, they just stared at me. It was then that I finally looked down at the bed to see that I was covered in hundreds of dead birds. I nearly screamed, looking up to find that my family had disappeared. I looked back down, discovering that the dead birds had also disappeared. I then broke down in what I think was some sort of trauma, holding my head in my hands. It was then that I heard my wife's voice whispering in my ear, saying, "You belong to me." I jumped up and looked to where the voice came from, and sure enough, my wife was sitting next to me in bed. I looked at her in a state of pure horror. She looked at me with concern and said, "Is everything alright, sweetheart?"

I stayed home from work next day, pondering what to do about all this. I was going crazy. I couldn't live like this. I sat in my dark office all day, wondering what I was going to do. After hours and hours, I finally decided.

It was about 8:00 at night. The family was getting ready for bed. I was downstairs in the kitchen. I took the biggest, sharpest knife I could find and headed upstairs, where everybody was. I was going to end this. I first marched into my bedroom, where my wife was laying in bed reading a magazine. Without any hesitation, I slit her throat with the knife. The gurgling sounds of her drowning in her own blood brought pleasant relief to my mind. But I wasn't done yet. I walked into my older daughter's room where she was playing with our dog. I pushed her away and stabbed the dog several times in it's chest. The whimpering sounds of it dying gave me a strange sense of freedom. My daughter started screaming as the pool of blood crept towards her. My younger daughter then ran into the room, and after seeing the sight, she began to scream too. I silenced both of their screams and exited the room with the knife far bloodier than it had been moments before.

I walked out into the hallway and savored the sweet silence in the house. I dropped the knife and closed my eyes. I was free. I was FREE.

When I opened my eyes, however, all my relief went away. I looked at the hallway wall in horror. On it, a pentagram was drawn in blood. Underneath the pentagram were the words also written in blood: "YOU BELONG TO ME." I stood there staring at those words, paralyzed by the most pure form of terror. Then I passed out.

Padded room

I woke up in what I believe is a mental hospital. I'm sitting in a padded cell with a straight jacket on. They keep telling me I killed my family. That they were good people. That they didn't deserve what happened to them. That they never did anything to me. That I was crazy.

But I had to do it. I had to! I would still be in a living hell right now if I hadn't ended it. Whether I told myself to do it or something else did, it was the right thing to do. I KNOW it.

None of that matters now, of course. What's done is done. The only thing that keeps running through my mind now are the words "YOU BELONG TO ME."

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