When I was younger, I lived on a farm with my family consisting of my father, mother, and younger brother. We were a small happy family. My ways of transportation were slim, split into two ways of getting places beyond the farm and town. The way we used the most was, of course, walking. The second way was the wagon but we used that for long supply trips and vacations. The road we always traveled was the long dusty one that arose right from our house into the other roads that lead to town and other locations. The thing that got my interest was a rusty gate that appeared on the right side when we left the house.
The gate was rusted with a red blotchy color that showed all round its edges. The gate itself was crumpled and dangling on the ground, barely kept up by wooden sticks that were stuck and planted under it. It had a bronze plate that was also rusted and had a single word on it that read "Skrim". Beyond the gate were long thick stems of grass and plants. The road was heavily covered in old debris and had a long dirt path that seemed to stretch on forever.
I was nine when I first acknowledged the gate and it gave me chills. It intrigued me so much and the picture was forever put into my mind. The sheer curiosity had gotten to me one day as my father, brother and me were riding the wagon to town to get some supplies. I asked my father about the gate but he told me that he had no idea what Skrim meant and kept going. At the time I knew that my parents had lied about certain things to keep my innocence. The question was asked ten more times as we passed with more nagging from me until my father had grown angry and told me if I asked again, he would severely punish me. It came to me then that my father actually didn't know.
You can imagine how much it pained me that I would never know what Skrim meant, but soon after a few months, it never bothered me again. I would not ask anyone about the gate again until a year later, my grandfather had come to stay with the family for his last years. My grandfather was really old, he never told me how old because I never asked as it seemed an unnecessary question to ask. He had owned this property before my father and would most likely tell me what Skrim was! When I asked though, he told me to not worry and to never pass the gate and would argue and curse every time I mentioned it. I gave up and did as he said to never cross the gate and follow the path.
My grandfather was dying soon though. He had a rare heart disease that was afflicted him from time to time. He was on a bed one day and was having a fit again. I was older now, sixteen, but I am still pondering what was beyond the gate and road of Skrim. I asked my grandfather that day and it came to my surprise that he finally decided to tell the tale. He asked me if knew Great Aunt Rose and I said I did, but never saw her because she died years before I was born. He told us that she died as a teenager when he and her were young. My grandfather then told me what Skrim was.
It was the last name of a family. The Skrims were our neighbors. They were a poor family made out of two parents but the most known Skrims were their three sons; Bobby, Leon, and Jack. The boys were dirty everywhere and always hung out at the gate. Grandpa and Rose would always pass the gate and be harassed by the brothers. The scariest thing about them was their behavior.
They were violent psychopaths who always harmed each other. My grandfather explained the most detailed and disturbing action they did was the accident Jack had faced. While they were hanging out, Jack had pissed on Bobby from on top of a tree. This made him really angry and he shook the tree Jack was on until he fell flat onto his face. His front teeth were cracked and broken and he cried out. Bobby went to him and pulled the shards out, leaving bloody nerves and shoved his face into the dirt and told him to stop crying.
When they had grown into their adulthood, the Skrim boys were maniacs and had gotten accused of animal cruelty and bestiality as well. One day, Rose was followed by Bobby Skrim back to the house. Rose was in the fields and Bobby had gotten to her and beat her badly. He then raped her. The thought made my blood run cold and told my grandfather that she died of a disease, and I realized what kind of disease. My grandfather found out and became belligerent. He knew exactly who it was due to Bobby having quickly left the scene, burping and laughing like a maniac. He seemed to become uncomfortable before telling me his next actions. What he did the next night had haunted him and me forever.
He journeyed to the Skrim house in the morning with a combat knife and rifle with three bullets. He got there at dawn and saw the Skrim boys laughing at Bobby's cruel story. They saw him approach and told him to fuck off. He didn't. Leon walked over to him and spit in his direction. It didn't reach him but distracted him enough for Leon to charge him. Leon wasn't able to reach him due to my grandfather already having his rifle out.
He shot once and the bullet pierced through Leon's chest and he died instantly. Bobby and Jack had stood still as they could not believe what they just saw. My grandfather then raised his rifle again and shot Jack. The bullet passed right through his head, with brain matter and skull pieces coming out of the back. Bobby ran swiftly trying to escape; but he was not fast enough.
My grandfather was able to shoot Bobby's leg and that stopped him. The next minute, Mr. and Mrs. Skrim burst out the front door, the man armed with a hatchet and the woman with a metal rake. My grandfather was forced to get rid of them too. He had killed them with his knife. He then noticed that Bobby was missing, having run into the grass. He searched the whole day but could not find him. He hurried home but found no Bobby in sight. He sat outside waiting all day and night for two months, even hiding in the house once. Bobby never came.
My grandfather told me to leave the room and I did. He walked onto the porch and began to look over the field. I stayed near him for an hour or so until I decided to go to sleep. I was awakened at 5:30 in the morning by gunshots from a rifle and my mother screaming. I ran downstairs and out on the porch and saw my grandfather, his ankles were mutilated and he had a lot of rips in his shirt and I could tell that he was beaten up bad but still had the strength to lean on the porch's fence and shoot at someone in the fields. I looked in the direction of the fields and heard something. I saw a far away a figure in the fields, along with burping and a menacing laugh...