“Luke! I’m dying! Please, Luke, when I die—don’t forget to feed my gerbil,” Jason said, feigning a melodramatic death. He laid himself out on the carpeted bedroom and jutted his arms and legs out above him, like a dead animal, and stayed in that position with his eyes closed, and his tongue slapped over on his right cheek.
“Jason, it’s not that bad. We’ll only be there for the week,” Luke explained.
“Not that bad?” Jason said, now sitting cross-legged on the floor, “Dude, last time we were there all she did was tell stories about her cats. And she acts as if they are still alive!” Jason hissed the last sentence.
“Well hey, look on the bright side. We’re getting paid.” Luke said.
“Yeah, last year she got a bit worse and now they need us now more than ever to take care of her”
Luke and Jason were best friends. That was a given. Where you found one, you found the other. Since the fifth grade, they’ve been inseparable. Luke was tall and had pale skin. He had long red hair that was usually in a small pony tail in the back that touched the nape of his neck. Jason had always told him if he cut his hair like his, high and tight, he’d be much better off. Jason was a short five-foot eight, but always acted like he was bigger than he was. In middle school, he would always tell stories of how he’s done nearly impossible feats. One of his most famous, although more funny than anything, was how he was able to get on a carnival ride while being six inches too short, when he was nine.
Currently, now seniors in high school, the pair were discussing the upcoming trip to Luke’s Great Aunt Bea’s house. Three years ago, she developed Alzheimer’s and progressively got worse. The reason Luke’s parents sent them over there at least once a month, is because it seems that they are the only two that she seems to remember, due to the duo always hanging around at her house. She was a kindly lady and always had treats for guests, who usually happened to be Luke and Jason.
“Just, don’t worry,” Luke said, “she’s taking her new medication, and it should calm the effects, or at least her mind. We’re leaving tomorrow, by the way.” The rest of the night went on and the two slept peacefully through the night. It was nine in the morning when they woke up, had breakfast, and headed off. On the way while Luke was driving, they started singing “To Grandmother’s House We Go”. By the time they got there, after stopping for lunch, it was going on 1 in the afternoon.
“Why does she have to live so far away?” Jason said while stretching after exiting the car, “I mean, I know it’s Ohio, but couldn’t she have bought a house closer to the cities?”
Luke just chuckled, and walked to the front door of the old cottage. He knocked loudly three times. “Aunt Bea! It’s Luke and Jason!” he yelled. Hurried footsteps were heard traveling down the hallway. The door opened slowly and a skinny old lady with pure white hair, in a ponytail, trailing down her neck and around her left shoulder, peeked out from behind the door. She had visible bags under her eyes, as well as crow’s feet. Although in her seventies, she was beautiful in an odd way.
“Come in, dears,” Bea said, as she opened the door wide enough to let the two teenagers in. She closed the door behind them and took small quick steps to the dining room to the right. “Sit down, boys. I have some hot cocoa for you,” she said with a smile on her face.
Before she could go, Luke stood up and placed his hands on her bony shoulders and guided her to a chair, “Aunt Bea, let us get it. You should sit.”
Bea had a tentative look on her face, “Now, I may be a bit older, but I’m still capable of fetching a few cups of hot cocoa.” Luke gave her a look showing he meant well. “Oh, I suppose,” Bea said, “I have been feeling a bit winded. Perhaps I should sit for a while.”
Luke proceeded to grab the three cups of cocoa and sat down with Jason and Bea. After a few minutes of drinking in silence, Jason announced that he had to go to the bathroom and that he would be right back. When he got to the bathroom he closed the door and locked it. He stared at his reflection in the mirror. When had he let himself get his far? He opened the medicine cabinet and found what he was looking for: Bea’s new medicine. It was designed to help you focus and remember. It wouldn’t extinguish Alzheimer’s but delay the effects. Jason didn’t need to know any of this though. All he needed to know is that he had a drug problem that no one knew about. He was ashamed but he couldn’t help it. He popped off the white child proof cap on the clear-orange bottle and tossed a handful of five blue and white oblong pills into his mouth and swallowed.
After he swallowed the pills, he stared at himself in the mirror again. He half expected a ghost of some sort, to appear in the mirror. He chuckled a nervous chuckle, and ran his hands through his short hair. He knew he shouldn’t have, but the temptation was too real. He swiftly exited the bathroom and went down the hall back to the dining room, “Aunt Bea, did you want to go outside and get some fresh—“ he stopped short as he saw both Aunt Bea and Luke face down on the table. “Oh God!” Jason screamed as he ran for a phone, and hurriedly dialed nine-one-one on home phone.
“Nine-one-one, what’s your emergency?” a female operator said from the other side of the receiver.
Before he was able to speak a hand touched his shoulder and a calm and elderly voice spoke, “Jason dear, what has you so rattled?” Jason turned around to see Aunt Bea standing behind him with a concerned look on her face.
Jason slowly hung the phone up with a steadily quieter voice saying, “Hello? He-LLOO?” followed by the satisfying click of the ended call. “But I—I saw you guys—dead,” Jason stuttered.
“Oh you poor dear,” Bea said gently while leading him to a room at the farthest end of the hallway, “you’ve had a long drive from California, you should rest. I’ve heard that lack of sleep can cause you to see things. And no matter how old you are sleep is good for the body.” Jason smiled. Perhaps he did need sleep after the long drive, albeit not from California. “Oh, and try to keep it down please. Stephan is sleeping in the next room,” Bea advised before disappearing down the hall and into the dining room.
Stephan, who had been Bea’s husband, had been dead for ten years by then, but with her illness, Bea was convinced that he was either asleep or at work. Jason knew this, but out of curiosity, decided to investigate Stephan’s old room. There wasn’t much to see. There was a bed in the middle of the left wall upon entering and a single mirror and dresser set on the other side. Jason walked slowly around as if the floor was somehow fragile.
He walked over to the bed and sat down on the bed sighing. As he looked in the mirror from across the room he noticed something on the bed. It looked as if someone was laying there. But only in the mirror. In reality, there wasn’t anything there. He looked back and forth between the reflection and the spot on the bed and progressively became more confused. He walked up to the mirror, with a puzzled look and began to investigate closely.
The mirror broke suddenly causing him to stumble backwards onto the bed. When he fell onto the bed he saw the lump that he previously only saw in the mirror, in the bed next to him. It rolled over and opened its eyes. It was a carbon copy of Jason. It spoke, “I hope it was worth it Jason. I really do."
Jason had overdosed that day. The pills he took were designed to make the mind clearer and allow someone to use more of their brain power if they had lost some of the power. In Bea’s case, it was needed. She had Alzheimer’s and was therefore very forgetful. She needed the pills to increase her potential for memory. Her brain power was lacking and slowly degrading. Jason’s however was not. He was young, and had a brain at the apex of its ability. The pills were too much for him and caused him to go into a brief coma on the bathroom floor before expiring. There’s a reason they tell you to just say no.
Written by supersatan25
This pasta has received a rating of 6/10 or higher and has moved on to the finals of the 2015 freestyle pasta challenge.