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What & Why (part IV)

Being chased: A manifestation of feeling under pressure | FindATopDoc

So here he was now, in his family’s warehouse, running for his life, hoping like hell he could find his way out of this place without being boxed in. Kyle knew the hallways well enough, he’d practically grown up in this place and had watched as it had expanded much in the same way his father’s tuna business had over the years. They’d seen thin years and fat years alike, but the tuna cannery had remained one of the most successful in this part of the world, and it was the last refuge he could think of at the moment. He’d already been to several friends and family members in the last hour, seeking safety but finding only another angry face, or faces, that had wanted to harm him.

Coming to the cannery had been a last option since among his family the only ones that really knew that much about its layout were his siblings and his parents and grandparents, who had helped build the place. Right now he was counting on the knowledge he possessed of the layout to save him, since his friends and a good number of his family members didn’t know about every room and hallway in this place. They also weren’t likely to know about some of the secret modifications he’d made throughout the years when the world had started to go a bit crazy, as his father would have agreed. He could hear footsteps running behind him, but looking back down the hallway he’d just come from Kyle could see nothing. They were close though, that much was obvious.

It was time to rely on the modifications he’d had installed in the place without his parents knowing. Having had the business handed to him a while back had its perks, as he didn’t need to get their approval for anything these days. That helped when it came to secret compartments, such as the one he accessed now as he reached a certain spot in the wall, located just under a family photo that depicted the founders of the business, his ancestors and his grandparents, when they were children no less. Hitting a well-hidden button in the wall he heard the telltale click he’d wanted, and in only a few seconds he was squirreling his way into a hidden passage, ducking to pass through the opening before swinging it shut again.

The sound of running feet as they thundered by the hiding spot told him that he’d gone unnoticed, for now. Maybe with the few spare moments to breathe he could try to figure out why his family was trying to kill him, and what that damned pulse had been. Pulling his cell phone from his hip pocket he pulled up the email that his wife had spoken of before she’d turned into a murderous harpy like the rest of their family. The return address had his eyes widening immediately.

“Son of a bitch,” he muttered.

(to be continued)

What & Why (part III)

Being chased: A manifestation of feeling under pressure | FindATopDoc

The first knife that had flashed at him had come from his grandfather, who had actually growled at him as he’d tried to hammer a steak knife into his grandson’s eye. Leaning back he’d avoided losing his eye, but the edge of the knife had still raked across his eyebrow and split the skin open.

“What the hell grandpa?!” he’d yelled, not even thinking about it. But that had been the last thought that had come as he’d noticed the look of those around the table. They’d all been arming themselves, as even his kids had picked up knives and forks. A plate had come sailing his direction as he’d turned to run away, figuring it was better than standing his ground. His wife had almost smashed him in the face with a frying pan that she’d apparently taken from the sink, the remnants of their dinner still clinging to the black interior.

Kyle hadn’t even bothered to worry about asking the rest of them what was going on, he’d just ran, making his way quickly to the key ring near the side door before dashing outside, looking behind him to see that several of his family were following behind and had already reached the door while several of them were headed towards the front door, which was far closer to the driveway than the side door. His breath came in hurried gasps as he sped up, seeking to reach his truck before the others could. As it was he’d reached the passenger side of his truck even as he’d seen his older sister reach for the driver’s side door. Hopping in his mind had gone into overdrive as he’d clicked the lock behind him, reaching for the handle to the driver’s side as he grabbed it and yanked it towards him, tearing it right of her grip as she howled at him.

The key was in the ignition and he was reversing before anyone could get behind the truck thankfully, and he’d torn out of the driveway in a cloud of dust and gravel as his family were quick to follow him, seeking to keep up. He’d made his way towards the only place he could think of to go, and now here he was, still being chased.

But he still had no idea why.

(to be continued)

What & Why (part II)

Being chased: A manifestation of feeling under pressure | FindATopDoc

“Kyle, what is this?”

“What?” He turned the hot water off with a flick of his wrist as his fingers connected with the handle, turning about while he was drying his hands on a nearby towel. Turning about he could see his wife looking at her phone while the family was still finishing their dessert. It had been a good night so far, especially since none of his family members had decided to discuss politics or religion, which was rare. Even his grandfather, who was of the opinion that talking about politics and religion was all that was worth talking about, had taken to discussing the finer points of anything from ‘back in my day’ with his granddaughters.

“This,” his wife said, turning the phone in her hand face him. The screen was blank save for a button in the middle that read PUSH. As he watched the black outline of the button pulsed once, as though prompting him to push it. Instead he handed the phone back to his wife.

“I don’t know,” he replied, “Where did it come from?”

“It was an email attachment,” she said, “I don’t know who it was from though.”

Kyle rolled his eyes, “Hon, you shouldn’t open those, they could be from hackers or it could be a virus.”

“You worry too much,” she said with a smile, pushing the button as he rolled his eyes. Everything had kind of went south after that. What he remembered now was kind of a blur, but a strange pulse had been felt by pretty much everyone within the house, though he’d been the only one to stay upright afterward. He’d had to stumble forward a step to accomplish this, but upon looking back to see if anyone else had felt it, he’d noticed a few of his family members looking dazedly at him. Kyle had walked over to see if everyone was okay, and to ask if they’d felt the pulse as he had, and it had almost been the last thing he’d done.

(to be continued)

What & Why (part I)

Being chased: A manifestation of feeling under pressure | FindATopDoc

He didn’t want to do this, no matter that slamming the nearest door into his brother’s face was kind of cathartic in a way. After all, the ass had had this coming for years, so in his case it was a bit of payback that was long overdue. But as for the rest of them, running was the only option he’d come up with thus far, but there was one problem: they knew most of the place he would be likely to run to. That had already led to another problem, it wasn’t just his family that was out to get him, as friends had taken up the chase as well, and they knew even more of the places he’d be likely to go, so a headlong flight towards the only place he could think of was in order, meaning that he had to get away from the small mob of people that were chasing him at this point.

Having a big family and a lot of friends was usually a good thing, but in this case it was a bother since the lot of those that he’d thought were those that would never turn on him were now out for blood, as the cut over his left eye, a wound given to him by his war veteran grandfather no less, would attest to. His brother was still firmly on his butt nursing a broken nose or something that was hopefully just as painful but not mortal, and at the moment Kyle couldn’t help but keep his gaze forward, wondering if he was about to make his way into a new room or hallway that would be blocked off or otherwise occupied with someone willing to end him in that moment. It was a conundrum that he’d never expected to face in his life, and one that he could just barely keep up with despite knowing absolutely nothing about why those he cared about wanted to end him.

It had all started only an hour ago, when life had been at least some semblance of normal…

(to be continued)

Missed Out (part VIII)

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This is the part, dear reader, where you hope to be inspired and to see the happy ending to an otherwise sorrowful tale, is it not? But this time, unlike many others, I find it necessary to keep what is said between Fred and his daughter private, as many such things should be. The frustration of not knowing, of having to guess what might be said between the two, will have to be assuaged by the idea that Fred and his daughter did reconnect, that she filled him in on what he’d missed, and that she had a chance to say goodbye to him before whatever direction his spirit was bound to head opened up.

Is that enough? Can your imagination come up with a satisfying ending? If so, then you might very well grant Fred his wish to reunite with his beloved wife, and to gain the peace he wanted for so long. If not, then one might have imagine that you’ll wonder for a while.

The End

Missed Out (part VII)

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The soft brown curls that framed her face cut at Fred’s heart as he felt certain that he was looking at his wife, but that couldn’t be. This woman resembled his wife, that was certain, but as he looked into the hazel eyes that had sat above a smiling, gap-toothed face in the past, eyes that had looked upon him in happiness and sadness alike, Fred felt his heart clench.

But he could say nothing. He opened his mouth, he tried to say something, anything, but it wouldn’t come out, not now when he really needed it.

“Dad? Is that you?”

He tried to nod, but something wouldn’t let him. Instead he did the only thing he could, he smiled.

“I heard stories about this place growing up you know,” the woman, his eldest daughter Katie, said with a mild grin and wide, sorrowful eyes, “I heard tell of a ghost that haunted this house, and I didn’t think it could be true. I,” she swallowed hard, obviously biting back emotion, “I wanted to think you were in heaven, with mom.”

Again his heart clenched. His wife was dead? When? How? There were so many questions he wanted to ask, but he could only close his eyes, feeling the pain more acutely now than when he’d been alive.

“Dad, can you talk to me?”

To his surprise, Fred found that he could mouth the word ‘no’, but couldn’t vocalize it. The sniffle and nod that he saw Katie give affirmed that she’d seen it at least.

“Then, can you listen? There’s a lot I want to tell you.”

He mouthed the word ‘yes’, finding himself pleasantly surprised again. Katie managed a smile as she said, “Let’s go sit down. You’ve missed out on a lot.”

(to be concluded)

Missed Out (part VI)

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Time passed. Fred somehow knew it was passing but could do nothing about it. He was a part of the house, his prison, his keeper, his tormentor. The family left, along with the dullard, though the father had apparently had a falling out with the mother and was leaving her upon selling the house.

The house sold to three other families in the next decade as Fred could tell, each one of them selling once they figured out he was there. More priests came, a paranormal show was based on the house, and still nothing happened. Spirits came and went, some nasty, some mundane, and others just as boring as he felt that he’d become. The one attempt he made to possess someone went horribly wrong when he almost killed the middle-aged man. Something had ruptured within the man’s brain apparently, though he couldn’t figure out how it had happened. He knew the man had fought his presence, as he’d expected, but it had been like fighting a child, as Fred had taken over quite easily. The best analogy he could think of was of someone beating their head against a wall for no other reason than because they could. Something had burst in the man’s brain as he’d tried to exert control, and that was it.

After that Fred kind of disappeared for a while, only appearing now and then when a new family came along just to see who they were. Each time he was seen it was time for the family to leave apparently, or not. He didn’t care any longer, especially since he was content to just sit in the shadows and try to imagine what he’d done that was so terrible that karma was kicking his ass in such a fashion. He’d railed at God more than once and cursed the devil, wondering just which one of them had consigned him to this condition. It didn’t matter any longer though, another family had bought the house once again, and it was time to-

“Dad?”

He knew that voice. Fred almost slipped into the shadows near the back of the hallway once again before realizing the light was on, and had dispelled any possible shadows at the moment. When the voice spoke again he registered the voice, the familiar tone that he hadn’t heard in so long, but would never mistake for anything else.

“Dad, is that you?”

(to be continued)

Missed Out (part V)

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He’d had the idea of trying to possess the idiot father of the family more than once to try and get his message across. He could have probably told them why he was here, what he wanted to do, and why. but he hadn’t been willing to try just yet. There was something holding him back, a conscience perhaps, because it wasn’t that he liked the guy. Fred had found a reason to actually spook the guy more than once by making an odd noise around him or tipping something off a shelf or opening and closing something just to unnerve the father. But nothing worked, the moron acted nervous for all of a few seconds and then went back to being a dullard.

It was still tempting though. He wanted to know what had happened to his wife and kids, and not being able to leave the house or speak to anyone else, or even indicate what he wanted, was maddening. But trying to possess someone didn’t sound like it would be as simple as it sounded, and it didn’t sound as though it might be something that might endear him to a higher power, if there was one.

That was another maddening turn of events, since if there was a God and a devil then it was hard to figure out why he hadn’t met either one of them yet.