Dying Child


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1. Chapter 1

 

Dying Child

There was a middle aged man named Peter who was an alcoholic. He had a wife and a young son named Georgie.  The man loved to drink and was hardly ever sober. After years of abuse, his wife couldn’t take it anymore and she finally left him and their young son behind, to start a new life for herself.

The man never cared much for his son and considered the boy a nuisance. He couldn’t be bothered taking care of the boy and left him to fend for himself. He never spent a penny on his son’s upkeep, and instead wasted all his money on liquor and booze.

Then one day the boy grew seriously ill. Peter was tired of hearing his son moaning and withering in agony, so he took him to the hospital. The doctors took some x-rays and came back with a grave look on their faces. They told him the boy had a cancerous tumour on his brain. They said he was terminally ill and only had a few months to live.

Far from being upset by the terrible news, Peter was relieved. The boy had always been a burden to him, he felt. Soon the boy would be out of his life forever.

He took the boy home and sent him straight to bed. Later that night, the man heard laughter coming from the boy’s room.

“Georgie! I thought I told you to go to sleep!” the man shouted angrily.

“It’s not me it’s Isabelle!” Georgie called back.

The man swore under his breath then ran up the stairs and burst into Georgie’s room. His son was sitting on the bed in his pyjamas, legs crossed and a bright smile on his face.

“Stop playing around a go to sleep!” he ordered.

“I couldn’t sleep. So Isabelle was telling me a story.”

The man grabbed the boy angrily and dragged him off the bed. Then, he took off one of his shoes and started beating the boy round the head with it.

“Don’t lie to me again!” he screamed.

With that he left.

Later that same night, as he was going to bed, he thought a voice whisper softly.

It sounded like a little girl saying. “Never do that to a dying child…”

The man froze for a few seconds then shook his head. Probably just the wind he thought, and went straight to sleep.

A month later, the man came home late from the pub. He heard Georgie’s voice coming from upstairs.

“Be quiet Isabelle you’ll get me in trouble.” said the boy.

Angry, his father stormed upstairs and threw open the bedroom door.

“I told you to cut this imaginary friend nonsense!”

“It’s not nonsense she’s real!” Georgie replied fearfully.

“Well, where is she then?” the man sneered.

“You can’t see her because you’re not dying.” said the boy.

The father lost his temper and dragged his son to the cupboard under the stairs and locked him inside.

Later that night, he once again heard the little girl’s voice whispering, “Never do that to a dying child.”

Even after being locked in the cupboard for days, Georgie carried on talking to the imaginary Isabelle. Every time he caught him he would punish him severely and every time he did, he would hear the voice whispering, “Never do that to a dying child.”   

Eventually, the man grew fed up with his son and called the psychiatrists at the local mental hospital.

“Hello, Brookhaven Mental Asylum. How can I help you?” said a soft drawling voice on the other end of the line.

“It’s my son. He keeps talking to an imaginary girl.” explained the man.

“Children do sometimes imagine things,” replied the psychiatrist.

“Maybe that’s true, but that’s not the point. My son is clearly insane. He’s 12 and he should have grown out of imaginary friends already. The boy is delusional and he insists this imaginary friend is real. I want to have my son committed.”

“Well in that case, you are his guardian and you have the right to commit him to a mental asylum if you see fit. You just need to sign some documents and we’ll deal with the rest. We’ll take him in tomorrow to examine him.”

“Thank you,” said Peter and he hung up the phone.

The next day, when Peter and his son were sitting in the living room, watching TV, the doorbell rang. The father stood up and went to answer it. Two men in white coats were standing there and he saw a white van parked in the street behind him.

“Hello, we’re from Brookhaven Mental Asylum. You called last night?”

“Yes,” replied Peter happily. “He’s in the living room.”

The two men walked past him and he followed. They both took hold of the boy, one on either side.

“What’s going on? Dad, what’s happening? Dad! Dad!”

The men dragged him out the door kicking and screaming. Peter quickly closed the door on his sons yells. For the first time ever he felt a small twinge of love for the boy and felt a bit guilty about how he had treated him. However, he wasted no time and drowned these feelings with a bottle of alcohol.

The same night, he once again heard a girl’s voice whisper, “Never do that to a dying child.”

A month later, the man received the phone call he’d been waiting for. It was a psychiatrist from the mental home, calling to inform him his son had died the night before, during an operation to remove his brain tumour.

“Where would you like us to send your son’s body?” they asked.

“Just cremate him and sprinkle him around the grounds,” replied Peter.

As soon as he put the phone down, a single tear ran down his cheek. That night, he drowned his sorrows like never before and drank more than he’d ever drunk in his life. Too wasted to go to bed, he collapsed on the living room floor and fell into a deep sleep.

He woke just as the clock was striking midnight. Sitting up and rubbing his forehead, he suddenly caught a glimpse of a small figure standing in the corner of the room.  In a daze, he reached out and turned on the light.

Peter tried to scream, but he couldn’t make the sound. Standing there in the door way was his young son. The boy was wearing dirty white trousers and a blood-stained unbuckled straight jacket. His eyes were cold and dead and his mouth was twisted in an evil grin. But, the most horrifying part was what had happened to his head.           

His blonde hair had all been shaved of and his skull had been sawn open, revealing his pulsating brain. Chunks of his brain were missing.  Georgie grabbed a bottle of liquor and started stumbling towards his father, the unsettling grin still on his face. The man begged and pleaded, but the boy showed no mercy.

The next morning, Georgie’s mother came home. After all these years, she had finally decided to visit her son. She knocked on the front door, but no one answered.  She tried the handle and it creaked open.

“Hello Peter!” she called as she stepped into the hallway. “It’s me, Elizabeth. I’m here to see Georgie. Peter?”

She went into the living room and screamed. Lying in the middle of the floor was her ex-husband Peter. A bottle of alcohol had been shoved all the way down his throat and he had choked to death. His head had roughly been cut open and his brain removed.

On the wall, written in blood, were the words “NEVER DO THAT TO A DYING CHILD!”   

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