My doctor told me that I had to write about it so that I can read over what happened the next time I forget... So here we go...
I can still remember the first time that my friend took me to the Piggy Room. I was five years old and I was drifting off to sleep, the darkness of my room is what sticks most vividly in my mind. My sleep was interrupted by a tapping noise. Tiny little taps, like fingernails on wood. After hearing it a few times I sat up in my covers to investigate. It appeared that the tapping was coming from underneath my bed. Needless to say, I was a little startled by this.
But then I saw my friend Tomtom's hand reach out from underneath and knew that everything was okay. Tomtom was an older boy than me and I looked up to him greatly. I took his hand upon that night, his grey hand that was always very cold and rubbery. Sometimes I could put my finger through his skin and feel what was underneath. He didn't like me doing that much, though. I think that it was because it reminded him of what he was. Tomtom didn't like talking, he liked playing with me instead. We sat there in the darkness for a few moments before he spoke.
"Do you want to see the secret place I found?" he asked.
"It's bed time," I remember replying. "I can't play with you now. Mummy will shout at me if I leave bed."
"You won't have to leave the room. Just come under here with me and I'll show you the secret place."
I can remember letting out a deep sigh but I did what I was told and let him lead me under the bed. I can remember being somewhat nervous, for some reason the floor underneath my bed had turned to soil and I was covered in dirt as I crawled after Tomtom.
When I think back upon that night I get this awful feeling in my gut, this foreboding, hellish kind of emptiness, a void in my chest. I followed Tomtom through the dirt and into a forest. It was a sickening place. Leafless trees in perfect rows and a lifeless black sky spread above. There was no sound there, no birds to chirp and no wind to rustle the trees. As I followed Tomtom through the thicket I noticed the air was tight, it was hard to breath in as if it had clotted years before. Tomtom was in great spirits, dancing about the Forest as he lead me. I couldn't quite share his enthusiasm.
"Where are you taking me?" I asked him meekly.
"To a secret room!" he said.
Eventually we got to the place that he was talking about. It was a stone staircase in the middle of the woods that lead down into darkness. Tomtom gestured downwards but I told him that I was too scared so he should go down first. As he did so I followed, tentatively making my way down each step. The stairs ended abruptly at a battered wooden door that Tomtom gently opened and ushered me inside.
The room inside was dimly lit by a hanging light bulb that would occasionally flicker. There was a rug on the floor, although in hindsight I think it was made out of leather, and a table resting on top of it. The table was empty aside a word carved into the wood. "Replace."
Other than that there was only a grey wardrobe in the corner that's door was firmly shut and bound with leather. There was a funny smell in that room which I now know to be the smell of rotting meat... festering meat. The floorboards creaked as we stepped inside, I looked around with a strong feeling of dread rumbling inside me.
"I found it a while ago," Tomtom said. "Back when Dad was still around."
"Oh," I nodded, feeling very sad all of a sudden.
"Do you want to play?"
I nodded once more and we played all night in that room. It wasn't until just before home time that Tomtom asked me if I wanted to see what was in that wardrobe. When I said no he shrugged and lead me back to bed.
Over the next few months Tomtom and I went to the Piggy Room every night and played. At the end of every session he would ask me if I wanted to look in the wardrobe and I would always say no. I didn't want to see what was in there. I didn't want what we had to end. Eventually, one night months later we found ourselves in the wood walking to the Piggy Room and he said something strange.
"How is Mummy?"
"With Daddy being... Gone. How is Mummy?"
I replied that I didn't know, I hadn't even ever thought of that at the age of five. So I shrugged the question off and we went down into the Piggy Room once more to play. The festering smell was particularly bad that night, but I ignored it. Eventually, when the time came to leave Tomtom told me that this time I had to look in the wardrobe. He took an unsure step towards it, a solemn look upon his face as he unbound the leather. The doors swung open. Inside hung the piggy child. He was about my age, perhaps older, his body swung gently backwards and forwards. His body was clothed in pajamas, just like mine but his face was a pig. Tomtom carefully explained to me that the boy's face had been removed, and a pig's had been stitched on by his father.
I was terrified, as a fresh wave of the body's putrid scent hit me I backed up against the wall and burst into a flustered wail. Tomtom looked confused.
"Wouldn't you like to hang like this?" he asked gently.
I screamed at him to shut the doors and reluctantly he did so. He then stared at me for a long time with his sunken eyes and wrinkled, rubbery skin. He didn't understand why I didn't like it.
"He needs a replacement," he explained. "One day."
After that night I ignored Tomtom. I would scream every time he tapped for me, and my Mother would come and comfort me. I never told her about him, instead I just said I had a "nightmare."
Years later and I became a man. It had been a very, very long time since Tomtom had called for me, so long that I was sure the piggy room was nothing but a dream. I had written off the Piggy Room as nothing more than a strange delusion. I had told nobody about it, nobody at all for fear of sound deranged. One day I found myself looking through some old papers for some kind of story to inspire my writing. I had made a pretty good life for myself writing crime fiction. Of course it wasn't the best pay in the world, but it was just enough to get by without having to work some boring nine till five kind of job. After a few hours of reading faded papers I came across an article that made my skin crawl.
Date: October 1987, a year before Tomtom took me to the Piggy Room.
Headline: Father Murders Child And Hangs Body In Wardrobe.
I thought back to the Piggy Room. The article triggered it and I remembered it all. I remembered my Mother crying... I remembered my big brother Tom, and I remembered what my Father did to him. I remembered the old wooden shed where he hung, the piggy boy with the piggy face. The Piggy Room where I had found him.