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The man stepped out of his car. He found himself in front of his old house. The mere sight of it brought back memories. He began to walk through the yard, towards the door, while noticing how much the house had changed. The yard was a wasteland, vegetation either dead or overgrowing onto the decrepit house. Time had taken its toll on the house, most of it now rotting wood. He slowed down his pace once he got close to the front door. He began to once again think of the many days he came in this place as a child --the feel of the cold metal doorknob, the stale dull colored door, and his mother’s face... He hesitated to even knock on the door. Right as his breath started to leave him, he armed himself with what little courage he had left and knocked on the now rotting door. The man waited for a moment, each and every second filled with anxiety in his mind. 'Come on, I’m a thirty-seven-year-old man! I can’t get afraid so easily. Remember, she is your mother and she did everything for a reason,' he thought to himself.
He was a young fellow, tall with brown hair and innocence in his face, the same of a boy waiting to reunite with his mother. He was fit, with piercing blue eyes, and a soft, yet dominant voice.
He did not have to wait long until a figure from within the house opened the door. The person that opened was an old woman, around her seventies, with pale skin and a fragile voice. She warmly said, “Oh come in! I am so glad to see you! Thanks for coming.”
“Thanks for inviting me over mom. That was real sweet of you,” he replied as nicely as he could manage to sound.
“Now don’t just stand there! Come in! Let's go have a conversation inside,” his mother insisted.
He obeyed without arguing, even though every fiber in his body was screaming at him to turn back. He saw the remnants of the place he once called “home”. Dust --like fresh snow in a cold morning-- left a thick blanket of pollution on everything in the house. The curtains next to some windows were scratched to rags; some walls were showing residue that looked like mold. They moved through the house until they got to the kitchen. This room compared to the others, was the neatest of them all. It was somewhat cleaned and showed only faint signs of the dust.
The old woman got behind a counter and began to set up things for making coffee. The man took a seat on a chair next to a big revolving door that led to the house’s backyard. He saw flashbacks, of him, of his games, of his whole childhood.
“So, mom, what did you want to talk to me about?” the man asked.
The old woman stopped in her tracks. She looked at the man, whom was too busy looking out the window. She began to tighten her fist with anger.
“Well mom? What is it?” the man duly asked again, “What did you want to talk abo...”
“Don’t you dare call me that again!” she screamed.
The man perplexed at her reaction turned to face her. “What’s the matter? Are you ok?”
“I have a confession to make to you. You are not my son! You are just a bastard whom I decided to take care of; so don’t you dare call me that disgusting term again.”
The man could only sit there, surprised at what he thought was his mother.
“So I’m adopted?” he meekly asked.
“Yes, from when you were a putrid baby, I raised you. Why? Because I fucking killed your parents!” she furiously explained.
The man could not move, he was silent. He couldn’t do anything, he was in a catatonic state due to the shocking news. All he could do was breathe and listen to the stranger now in front of him. He shed a tear thinking of his past.
“So why are you telling me this?” he managed to get out of his chest.
“Because raising you was the worst decision of my life. The day I killed your parents, you were a small baby. Your father had begged me not to kill you..." She gave a harsh laugh. "He begged... like a dog,” she mocked.
The man could only sit there listening to her talk.
“I was about to kill you when I thought of a brilliant idea... well... it seemed brilliant at the time,” she explained, “I thought of what would be more agonizing for you, a small little baby. I could have blown your brains out, but that wouldn't have been any fun. I thought of something much more nefarious. I would just have you be my personal slave. You remember now? All those times I made you do backbreaking work? All those times I beat you?" Another harsh laugh. "It was all just part of my pleasure for torturing you... but then one day I began to see something in your face.”
The old woman had finished looking through the counter. She pulled a magnum from inside one of the cabinets. She stared at every inch of the gun studying it, while she continued her story. The man was still catatonic, and could only stare at the window.
“Every time I heard your voice... it wasn’t yours... it was your father’s. Every damn time I looked at your face, I stopped seeing the innocent little kid, and only found a reflection of your mother. You were an embodiment of their ghosts coming back from hell to haunt me.”
The old woman began to move across the room. She kept the gun pointed to the man. Even then it was useless, the man did not plan on fighting back. He still could not even move.
He thought of the past, of the horrible things he had endured; she may as well put him out of his misery.
She moved behind him, and put the magnum to the back of his head.
“Every night I fantasized about killing you. In your sleep, with poison, with acid, all really neat ways, but every time I tortured you, I found it too fun to kill you.”
She readied the gun to fire. She held the trigger, but didn’t pull it. She then slowly pulled away the gun from his head.
“Even after all that I kept you alive. I raised you like my own, I even pleasured you...”
The woman rubbed her trusty magnum. The man was once again, only able to breathe. He did not care whether he lived or died anymore.
“As much as I hated you, and your putrid memories, I still raised you, I spared you, and I even let you go into the real world once you were eighteen. I bet you enjoyed your freedom outside of these walls...” She sighed.
“I loved it at first as well, but then again you came back to haunt me!” she screamed, enraged. “I started to see you running down the halls, sobbing in the corner, playing in the back yard, I even saw your face on the walls.”
The woman walked to a counter next to the table. She laid the magnum onto it and walked to one of the chairs around the table. She sat down, exhausted from her rant. She looked once more to the man lost in his past.
“After nineteen years not seeing you, only hearing you on the phone, I HAD to confess this to you.”
She looked away from the man. She tried to build guilt from her looks.
“Now I wanted you to know that if you want, you can have your revenge. I know that after all that you MUST be mad at me. The gun is there at your disposal.”
The man saw the gun. He numbly got up and walked to it. The old woman failed to notice his subtle actions.
“Still, remember, I am the woman who raised you. I cared for you for eighteen long years...”
He raised it.
“I spared you for hundreds of times...I know you may be mad, but just reME--“
The bullet pierced the back of her head killing her instantly. It came out straight through her face, taking the woman’s jaw with it. She fell over to the floor, what was left of her slowly created a puddle of blood. The man had done it without hesitation. He finally stared at his masterpiece in pleasure, the person he once used to call mother. His only thoughts raced, but finally made him think of the future ahead of him.
The man walked into the dark room. With the faint moonlight coming from his window, he could only see the outline of the bed in the room. He was fully dressed in tie and slacks, but even then he got into his bed. He felt a warm body next to him move.
“Oh honey, you woke me up...” his wife said as she stirred from her sleep. She turned on the lamp on the nightstand next to her.
“How was your day, hon?” she asked.
“It was... okay, but I had some... issues.”
“Why? Did something bad happen at work?”
“No. Well... do you remember my mother?”
“She died today.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that honey!” the wife gasped. She tried to embrace him in her arms.
“Nah, don’t worry about it sweetie.” He tried to relax her with his tone.
“But, are you okay?” She inquired persistently.
“Yes, but again, don’t worry about it too much.”
They both relaxed and laid down on their bed again.
“Hey, well look at the bright side. At least, we won’t have to pay for a coffin, just for an urn.”
“Why is that?”
“Because she died in a fire, and the whole house burned down...”