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The Curious Case of Rupert

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Even from the beginning of his life, it seemed everything in Rupert’s life was stacked against him. From the moment of his birth, it was clear there he had quite a degree of physical deformity. His face was mostly affected, but as he grew, it was also obvious that he had a limp in his walk. It was also obvious, as he grew, that his mental abilities were hindered. It was soon after his birth that his father left, seeing how his first son turned out. Consequently, Rupert would be his mother’s first and only child.

Rupert's mother worked day and night to provide food and shelter for the both of them. The mother had to make their clothes, grow their food, and trade her wares for anything they needed. Her income was meager, as they lived out in the rural and forested countryside with only a few far neighbors.

Raising Rupert was no easy task. He kicked, whined, spit, and would never sit still long enough to be easily fed by his mother. She felt confined to the life of raising Rupert, and could not leave for long periods of time, for fear that Rupert may accidentally hurt himself. She often wondered what would become of her son after she passed, and it worried her.

Eventually, the mother grew old and feeble. She could no longer care for Rupert in the way he needed. The mother had to hire a helper to come way out to their home and take care of Rupert as she laid in wait of the inevitable.

Rupert had grown to become a young adult, but had not improved greatly. He was still hard to control and was not much easier to take care of. However, he had grown a bit more independent, and could say basic words.

When the mother died, she was buried next to the forest behind the house. Rupert, the helper, and all of the neighbors were in attendance of the burial. By now, the helper knew Rupert’s mannerisms well, and she noticed a striking change in Rupert at the burial. It seemed for once that he was not moving about, or protesting. He stood quietly, and almost looked as if in a trance as he stared down at his mother’s coffin.

Everyone eventually left and gave their condolences to Rupert who stood in the same place he had been standing the whole time at the burial. His demeanor had not changed, and he only stood staring at the grave. Soon, only Rupert and the helper were left at the home. The sky was dim, and the sun could no longer be seen on the horizon. The helper tried to get Rupert to come inside for the night, but he remained fixed on the grave. It seemed she could not get him to move. She started to feel a bit uncomfortable, and eventually returned to the empty house, leaving Rupert alone with his deceased mother.

The next morning, the helper woke up, and immediately remembered Rupert having stayed outside by himself last night. She walked to his room to see if he had come in at some time during the night. However, his bedroom was empty. With a feeling of disbelief, the helper hurried to the back of the house to see if Rupert had actually stayed up the whole night at his mother’s grave, but he was not there, either.

She felt worried that he might have run off and perhaps gotten lost, but just then, she heard a rustle of leaves in the forest next to her. To her surprise, it was Rupert emerging dazed and dirty. It was obvious to her that he had not actually been sleeping, and looked exhausted. She started to question him, but with a flat expression, Rupert walked with his limp back to the house. The helper assumed this was only the beginning of a short phase, and he would eventually move on from his mother’s passing.

However, Rupert’s behavior changed noticeably over the next few days. He was prone to disappearing into the woods, sometimes for the whole day, and not showing up until morning. He was more prone to lashing out at the helper when provoked. He would also refuse to eat much of the time. He never seemed to act as lively as he once was. The helper would only find Rupert sitting and staring down at the ground. More and more, she felt she was not welcome around him.

One day, after Rupert had been sitting in a chair in the main room for the whole day, the helper accosted him about not having eaten, or even moving. She was worried, and even started to feel afraid of him. He would only quickly glance at her, then resume staring downward. She brought out a plate of food and tried to get him to eat something. He would not take the plate. No begging or repeated asking would get him to move from his fixed position to eat.

Suddenly, he swiped the plate of food out of her hands, and knocked all of it onto the floor. He then started to swipe his hands at her, in an attempt to claw her with his long, untrimmed fingernails. She backed away quickly in panic, her eyes wide with fear. He started to stand up, but then, equally as suddenly, he stopped and sat back down to resume staring at the floor.

The helper wanted to get out of the house altogether after that. It was starting to get dark, and she did not want be asleep with Rupert in the next room after that experience. She knew the neighbors down the street just enough to feel comfortable asking them if she could stay for the night.

She left the house with Rupert still staring at the floor with the food still on the floor next to him. The sun was on the horizon as she arrived to the neighbor’s house down the road. She could still see the home she just left not far away. To her surprise, her neighbors, an older couple, emerged right as she was walking from the road to the door. The helper explained to the couple her situation, and told the couple she came to their house to ask if she could stay the night after what had happened at home. The couple agreed, and confided with the helper that they had always found Rupert to be a curious case. They sympathized with the helper and gave her a key to the house and their guest bedroom.

However, the helper would be staying the night alone, as the couple explained to her that they were leaving to visit the husband’s family a town over. This news did not sit well with the helper, as she was hoping to have some company to stay with after being alone with Rupert for so long, and especially after Rupert’s outburst just before. She made herself at home, and ate some dinner. She made herself feel better by thinking how tomorrow, she will start the search to hire a new helper to take care of Rupert, as she did not feel she could handle his change in behavior anymore.

Night came not long after, and she went to her room to prepare herself for bed. She eventually settled into her bed and finally went to sleep.

Then, in the middle of the night, she woke up in her bed. She let her eyes adjust to the dim light and wondered what had woken her up. Then she heard it: a shuffling of feet down the hall outside of the bedroom in the kitchen. She was immediately frightened, but thought that, perhaps, the couple had come back late and were taking care of a few things before going to bed.

She kept listening, but then, her heart about stopped. The shuffle of the feet she heard were familiar, the shuffling sounded exactly like Rupert’s feet when he walked with his limp. She was paralyzed with fear wondering how Rupert could have possibly gotten in here, and why he would be here.

The helper got up from her bed, and locked the bedroom door silently. She tried to listen to exactly what was going on in the kitchen through her closed bedroom door. The sound of silverware being rustled was discernible. It was slow and faint, much like the speed Rupert would move at while performing tasks. The helper did not want to believe that Rupert was the one making the noise outside of her door, and she thought that it might just only be her paranoia after the events that happened that evening. However, something kept her from opening the bedroom to discover who was out there.

Suddenly feeling tired again, she backed away from the door and quietly got back into bed. She felt if she was quiet enough, the person in the kitchen would have no reason to bother her. The night dragged on, and the noise was a gone for some time. The helper felt at ease, and attempted to return to sleep.

In an instant, her eyes flung open and she sat up in the bed when she heard the sound of the door handle being rattled. Upon finding the door to be locked, the person began pounding on the door. It was aggressive and relentless. She was panicking and was shaking violently while trying to hold herself from screaming in horror. The door started to have small cracks forming in it. It would not hold for long. The helper now knew this was someone who knew she was in this house.

With nowhere to run, the helper stood at the back of the room paralyzed with fear. She could not hold herself from screaming anymore. She knew that the door was about to be busted down, and her fate soon to come. The only noise to be heard in the neighborhood that night was her screaming.

The next morning, the couple returned from their visit. They found their front door ajar. Curiously, they stepped in and immediately noticed blood on the floor. It was in a messy trail that started in the guest bedroom and went out of the front door. The couple quickly investigated the bedroom, only to discover a pool of blood in the middle of the room on the floor. The helper’s day clothes were still folded on a chair next to the wall. They quickly called for the police to report a possible murder.

The investigation came up almost entirely blank. However, it was discovered that the blood led out to the forest next to the couple’s home. The police also investigated over at Rupert’s home. However, nobody was found there. The investigators ultimately could not find Rupert to bring in for questioning.

Neither Rupert nor the helper were seen around the area again. The house he lived at eventually fell into disrepair unfit for human habitation, and did not look to have anyone living in it. However, when passing by, some have reported seeing someone standing next to the grave behind the house.

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