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March 27th, 2004


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mentalkayse
12:10 pm - "Amy" Short Story
Amy

Amy was my best friend; I never wanted to hurt her. Wait… let me introduce myself first, my name is Joseph, most people call me Joe and my closest friends call me Jay. I think it would be fine if you went with Jay. My mother called me Jay, Amy called me Jay, and now you can call me Jay, maybe for the last time.
Everyone has something they want to forget. Maybe it's something embarrassing like when your pants ripped in gym class, or maybe it's something awful that you did, like the time you threw a rock at Mr. Barrot’s dog. No matter what secrets you have buried away, it seems these are the things we are least likely to ever forget. Sure, we hide them away in unmarked graves and never plan on visiting these dark places again, but the graves have a way of shifting. The dirt erodes, the coffins collapse, and the memories seep through, exposing their skeletons to the sunlight. We may forget for a while but it always comes back and then what do we do? We just throw more dirt on the grave and hope this time it stays buried. Well, I’m tired of throwing dirt on a forgotten grave. I’ve kept this memory tucked away for too long. I guess I'm writing this because I want someone to know what happened, I want someone to know my fears. Are they real or am I completely and utterly insane? Maybe I should start from the beginning and let you decide.
I suppose it all started about 11 years ago. I would have been 12 or maybe 13 years old at the time. I lived with my mother in this rural village and had little friends, as I was home schooled and rarely ventured out. I did have one friend though, a neighbor girl who kept at me until I finally overcame my shy ways. That would be Amy. Amy Pizer. Of all the things I've forgotten in my lifetime, Amy would not be one of them. Amy would never be forgotten, and not because I haven't tried.
Amy and I used to play together at the park. In a small town such as this, there isn't much else to do. She would come over to my house early in the morning and we would walk the three miles to the park together. We would push each other on the swings, chase each other across the monkey bars, and build castles together in the sand box. We were inseparable. Had the tragedy I'm about to describe not happened, we quite possibly could have been boyfriend and girlfriend in our later years. As it is, something terrible did happen. And something far, far worse is still happening.
I had known Amy for a year or more at the time; we were in the park, as usual. I remember it was early spring, still a bit cold outside, and we were running, chasing each other, and having a great time that only children can have, when Amy climbed to the top of the spiral slide. I know you've seen these contraptions before, great big structures which twist around themselves as you slide down the smooth cold metal. On this day, Amy climbed to the very top and taunted me to come and get her.
I can still hear her childhood chant ringing in my head, echoing in my thoughts. "You can't catch me! You can't catch me!"
I climbed the ladder rungs as quickly as I could, panting and out of breath from running around the park with her already. As I neared the top, Amy turned around and was going to go down the slide, thus escaping from me, but her feet slid out from under her. I watched, seemingly in slow motion, as she flipped over the little bar at the top that's supposed to help keep kids from falling, and fell from the slide. After I was finally able to shake myself from a stupefied daze, I called out to her. I ran to her. I screamed over and over. I shook her. But it was useless. She was gone. I held her lifeless body, hugged her close to me. I cried the saddest tears. I don't know how long I stayed like that but it must have been an hour or two before I finally realized that I was in trouble.
Now, I was raised to know right from wrong and I know what I did next was wrong but I felt at the time that I had no choice. I guess the only way I can explain what I did later is that my babysitter was the television. My nanny was police shows, monster movies, and cartoons. Television had taught me that murderers go to jail and that's what I was then, a murderer. I couldn't let anyone know that I had killed Amy.
It took every bit of strength I had but eventually I took Amy home with me. I carried, dragged, and pulled her the entire way but I managed. Luckily for me my mother was taking a nap and had probably been asleep most of the day. She usually slept all day after drinking in the morning and she had been drinking heavy when we left that morning.
I've always been afraid of our attic. Although it rarely happened, the times I had the urge to venture into it was very frightening. To me, it just felt wrong up there. It felt like someone was watching me. I constantly looked over my shoulder to make sure nothing was going to grab me. On the day Amy died, I had to venture up to the attic for the very last time. My mother was asleep when I carried Amy in through the back door. She was still asleep when I pulled Amy up the attic stairs by her arms, her feet striking each step with a bump, bump.
Of course it was well known that Amy and I were best friends, of course Amy's mother got worried when Amy didn't come home that evening, and the police, of course, questioned me about her disappearance. I told them that I had gotten sick that morning and went home early, leaving Amy to play with some other children. I had told my mother the same thing when she woke up, that I was feeling ill. My story was made more believable by the fact that I was, in fact, physically ill a number of times that day and that I stayed in bed for the entire following week.
By now you're probably thinking that either I was either a horrible, horrible monster or do you realize that I was just a very confused boy? I want to say, to you, reader, that I would never have harmed Amy intentionally and I know that hiding her in the attic was wrong. I was scared, I was confused, I was a child who wasn't ready to deal with the consequences. Regardless of whether what I did was right or wrong, that isn't the point of this writing. Enough with the past, now I will tell about the present.
About two weeks ago I began hearing scratching noises coming from the attic. Being a rational sort, I passed it off as rats in the walls. A big house like this always has problems with rats and mice, little did I know. Around the same time the scratching began, I also started having strange dreams. Dreams in which a voice from the attic questions "why?" in a terrified voice over and over, gaining in volume until it's deafening and I wake up with my hands clamped over my ears. Dreams in which a little girl is begging me to set her free, to please let her go, to please set her free so she can kill me. The dreams began getting more and more horrid as time went on. I dream of standing in a semi-dark hallway with little girl at the other end, slowly coming towards me. Her arms rising as she gets closer, as if to hug me. Her mouth opening and maggots crawling out. Blood oozing from the dark, ragged holes that were once her eyes.
It didn't take me long to realize who this little girl was. As I'm sure you've guessed by now, it's Amy haunting my sleep every night. But it's not just my sleep anymore. Oh no, my friend. Bad dreams are something I can handle but when I see her reflection in my mirror as I brush my teeth, that's when things get serious. And then there are the sounds. The sounds that are now almost constant. The sounds that are driving my insane. I can't tell most times if I'm awake or dreaming of them. Scratching and rattling coming from the attic, footsteps on the ceiling above my bed, pounding that shakes the walls, but the worst is the wailing. An awful, terrible cry that seems to wretch at my heart and sear my brain at the same time.
Is Amy haunting me for killing her? Or is there something else going on? Is it possible that she has survived all these years in the attic, feeding off the rodents and roaches and whatever else she could find? Could it be that I've become insane with the memory of what I've done? That is what I intend to find out. I've thought about suicide, many times and came close to it quite a few of those times. I could easily open my mouth, place the cold, nickel-plated barrel against the back of my throat, and release. I could but, at the same time, I can't. Whatever is in the attic, whether real or imagined, is driving me beyond the breaking point. I have to know the truth. They say curiosity killed the cat. Will it also kill me? Or am I imagining it all? Could I be so overwhelmed with grief and guilt over what I did that I'm hallucinating? Maybe I'm just crazy. We shall see.
I looked up at the ceiling just now, at the sound of footsteps above me, and the ceiling is stained with a dark red. A deep, wet red. I'm assuming this is another of Amy's manifestations. Blood perhaps? I don't dare try to find
A drop just landed on this leave of paper. I see it as clear as I can see this writing. A tiny little dot of red, spreading and soaking into the paper. Do you see it? Do you see the blood? Please tell me you can, it's the only proof you have that I'm not insane. Then again, if you do see any of this then I must be dead, for if I go to the attic and find out that this is all in my head then I am burning this letter and leaving. I will move to a new town. I will move to a new house, one without an attic. One without an Amy. And if I find Amy, I can only guess what will happen if I find Amy. I'm taking the gun with me and making one last trek up to the attic. I'm going up there for you Amy. I'm coming for you, Amy. I’m coming for you before you come for me. Wish me luck.
Jay
© 2002 MentalKayse, © 2004 PSJ/Psychopathic Writers

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