Jason mowed down a young teenage boy while in control of his pickup, drunk. A year into his prison sentence his brother told him that he had seen the victim.
“NO BRO, NO!” Jason screamed at him. “YOU CAN’T HAVE SEEN HIM! YOU CAN’T OF!” Jason couldn’t believe how outraged he was at his own brother. It felt like a breakdown in progress.
“I SAW HIM DIE!” Jason added. “I WITNESSED THEM PRONOUNCE HIM DEAD AT THE SCENE!” Only unadulterated terror belittled the traumatic sadness.
His brother stared at him gravely. The victim was back and he had seen him.
“NOOO!” Jason screamed. “NOOO!” Jason shouted. And his harrowing noises woke everyone in the cell up.
“What the fuck is wrong with you, dawg?” they said. “You’re one spook-assed messed-up mofo,” they said. “I want this dude transferred in the morning,” they said.
Jason breathed sighs of relief but was the last to fall asleep again. Within the blink of an eye it was morning, and the cell was empty. The only thing in it was a bleached photograph of his victim, the young teenage boy who he had murdered in his pickup. This photograph was a close-up of the face, enlarged to poster size on the wall, altered and blurred to look menacing and scary.
“He sleep walks,” they said. “He was trying to pull something down off the wall in his sleep,” they said. “It was like we weren’t there,” they said.
Jason was transferred to psych wing and put on medication. Just because it was a dream didn’t mean it didn’t feel real at the time.
He was allowed to the chapel once a week. There, he prayed for his victim. He prayed for himself. He prayed for his brother, who had also died at the scene.
I’m not totally comfortable with this. I’d much prefer some romance at the moment. Happiness and joy and laughter and smiles and happy endings in spring meadows beside live bands and ice cream stands. Unfortunately, horror is part of life, and this IS the Wheel of Life.
2nd Opinion. It’s strange how our brains work, how we interpret the dead. If we are delirious with fear, we tell ourselves that the other side is only scaring us because it’s the only way to make us listen, and that they are doing it for our own good to give us a kick up the backside. Otherwise, it’s merely chemicals in the brain on overdrive. We take comfort either way. Compact message, this. R. Stevens