- 20 –
END OF THE ROAD
Ugh, I’m not feeling myself again. The same door is staring right at me; I’m starting to see a face where the handle should be. It’s mocking me, and it’s just laughing at how stupid I look sitting in this goddamn chair. No visitors from the amount of time I’ve been here alone. I’m now dreading the fact that another person could walk through the same door I did.
Just a few hours ago I was dreaming of a place where I could feel myself. Not just feel myself, but also get it out into the air. Sounds sick I know, but there’s nowhere else I can do this kind of thing. And they’re not going to let me see the light until I’m out. Until all of the people in here have suffered like me. Whether I’m facing this world alone, I’m still the one they need to be alive.
Small glass vials, little knots in the wiring that’s hooked up the machine. The taste of metal on the end of my tongue, I can taste copper from the inside. Quite a smoky texture to the whole flavour, but I can feel the warmth it’s trying to give me. A sharp needle in one arm, the other resting on its final limb. Oh, that’s right… there isn’t a final limb for it to stand on. Sweat dripping off the end of my chin, I can’t feel the sense of pain anymore. It’s like they radiated the insides of this texture. No longer will I see beauty through my two piercing eyes.
Just from the doorway there’s an entrance small enough for a mouse to climb through. Just off to the side is another few thousand crack that nobody has thought to seal up. Above these stretched out walls lives the cobwebs, and the entry ways to deeper, darker secrets. There’s not a single person who’s been swaying their arms in those directions. If I could reach the ceiling, I’d love to feel the warmth that these cobwebs have embedded in silk.
Dusty surfaces, stretched out ceilings, and the wires hanging down from all places. There’s not a sight to be missed, you would always see the wires. Every machine they’ve got hooked up to us are sapping away our energy. All of our healthy cells are being removed, and with ever such slow pace we are losing more molecules to survive an earthquake. I’m not saying I’m going to miss my organisms.
Thinking back to the whole event where precious Susan was living on her own. Yeah, it’s a little too far back and not even possible to think of. I’m going in circles here; I’ve got no real evidence to suggest that Susan is no longer with us. Driven through my brain are several needles that they’ve stuck inside to lock away the key information. Just how the recycling craze has taken over our minds, we must recycle, we must follow through with what they want us to do.
Hello, I remember when I was telling you about the deaths in this place. I’m not counting, but I sure hope you’ve been counting up the digits that are hidden in other rooms. If you could recall the countless times I’ve tried to count up the odds, and then the evens that come with those odds. Well, I wouldn’t even be imaginarily standing with my arms waving in front of you. That’s not happening, but I sure wish I had the freedom that you have.
It must be nice being able to circle the area, to then go into a locked room that you should never go inside. Hence the ‘KEEP OUT’ signs that they’ve placed around almost every door you’ll encounter in this place. I’ve been lucky enough to see what goes in those rooms. I’ve been unfortunate enough to count three signs that I could never take you to.
You see, all my information is being driven out by several black cabs. Every one of my fingers is being tested by machinery. If you could see my digits, you’d have a better understanding on what I’m sharing with you here. Don’t go off on your own, make yourself useful and stay with me.
Stay with me… ‘Stay with me,’ that’s so strange, I keep thinking that these words are important. Only you know the reason to why I’m remembering this. I’m scared, I’m making it official; I’m afraid of what they might do to me. What they might do to you. All of these words are flowing through my brain with the needles sinking deeper through every memory it breaks.
I thought our memories were stronger than ever. Being once told that our memories could hold up the world’s tallest tree. That tree may not even exist, but inside our minds it can exist in two ways. One, you can find yourself that happy place to exist in. Two, the tree is just a made-up name for our own life purposes. It’s like me telling you that you were uprooted from my very veins. You wouldn’t believe me, and I don’t blame you for thinking it’s all fake.
The stretched walls, the crazy people that spend hours of their own time to make others feel misery. There’s no actual goals here, it’s all for no reason. What? You think that I’m telling you a lie? You’re calling me crazy like all the others in this place? No, I’ll tell you who’s crazy. You are the crazy on here, I mean who the fuck goes flying around rooms, watching others die for amusement? That’s sick, real sick, and you know that don’t you.
It’s almost like I’m talking to myself here. Like you don’t exist in this world. Is it all for nothing? Answer me.
That’s right, none of this is real. If you’re failing to answer my questions, and can’t even respond like you used to. How am I supposed to believe that any of this is in fact real? I can’t believe it. You’ve proven to me that nobody here is existing in the same timeline. All this time you’ve told me that time itself is important. You’ve given me nothing to think about, just a whole lot of distractions to keep me away from the real goals in this place.
It’s almost like… you don’t exist.
Nobody knows why I’m still here, not even myself knows why I’m still here. I convinced myself that all of this was just some tangled threaded discovery. That all of this was a ball of yarn that couldn’t be unknot. But it’s all making sense to me with how your ignorance is starting to annoy me. Your silence is holding me back, and the quiet voices that linger in this room are filling me with desperation.
You’re telling me that it’s precisely 1:00 AM again. I’m listening closer than before; I’m not reading you like I once did. It’s like our connection is no longer with me. All this time where you’ve been reminding me of why Susan was so important to everything here. I’m still nowhere near the real reasons to why you held me in this room. Is it for my own good? Am I a threat to this world? All these questions keep filling up my mind, and I’m now drowning in them. Tell me is this what you wanted?
‘You’re a monster, Flynn. She was afraid to go near you, all of the mirrors in the rooms. It’s like you weren’t you anymore. She tried to call someone who mattered in her life. Don’t you remember what you did to her?’
“One moment, one moment.” My eyes don’t feel like they can stay open. “One moment you’re telling me that Susan died. The next I’m being told that I’m responsible for how she turned out?”
‘It’s all for Andrew, I’m doing this for Andrew.”
“Hang on a minute! How is all of this for him?”
‘Think. Think, just think of why you chose him over her.’
There’s that voice again, it’s the same one from hours ago. Counting on the clock two hours, I’m sitting here for more hours to come. Time itself has me tangled in a timeline. I’m lost within the clockwork, and there’s no essential time that’s needed to remember why I’m here. All of the rust, the dust, and the cracks in the walls. Not a single mouse in sight, not a single living breathing person trying to manipulate my thoughts.
This chair feels like its losing against my own weight. The legs that should be four are no longer supporting each other. Looking down at my feet that they’ve placed in a bucket with boiled water. The whole room is reflecting on everything around me. I’m seeing faces, I’m seeing time, I’m seeing many clocks that are ticking by. Susan’s laughing from above, I can hear her voice throughout all the chained blades that are on overdrive.
Chains? Blades? They shouldn’t be in this room with me. Wait, I shouldn’t be anywhere near sharp objects. She told me to stay away from the knives, the kitchen table that had her own body chained to the surface. Legs? No, no, I didn’t see them before. Her legs were missing too, and I’m forced to live with this. There’s nobody in the room except me and her.
Mrs. Summer, I never thought I’d ever let a teacher into my own bedroom. God, I’m not even saint enough to say that I led her on. No, why do I remember it like this? The hanging wires should be untied, and the rope between me and the door should be cut. Something doesn’t add up, and the missing handle is making me think back to the times where I met her.
School time, that’s the one time where I met Mrs. Summers, but I always called her ‘Mrs. Summer’ as she was the only teacher who could make December feel warm. Two bodies rubbing against each other. Ugh, I wasn’t that kind of person. I was a kid, just a stupid kid who wanted to grow up sooner than later. My own dad didn’t believe I could do it, and perfect mom wasn’t going to show up anytime soon. Not even for my birthday…
“Mrs. Summers went missing near December.”
“Officer, I would never harm my own teacher.”
“We didn’t even ask you the question, son.” His breath was as toxic as my own father’s.
“Why has it taken you so long to come clean?”
“Because I can’t live like this. I can’t live knowing that she’s no longer here because of me.”
“You confessed? You told everyone who wanted to prove you were a cruel, fucked-up being to live with.”
“It was me.”
Their eyes didn’t look away from me for the next few hours that passed. I thought the tension in room was going to make me sweat, but I didn’t break a sweat as they stared right into me. 3:00 AM, that’s the time I confessed to them. That’s just an hour before I had confessed to the world that my own teacher, or Mrs. Summer as only I had known her as was going to never say a word to us again. That silhouette on my bedroom wall will never be the same.
“You’re thirteen years old, kid. I’m finding it hard to believe that you did this on your own.”
“Yeah, I am too.”
“That doesn’t explain the missing little girl. How does she fit into all this?” He had to drive deeper into my mind, it’s just like how these needles won’t leave me alone today.
“Officer, would you ever believe that she went missing on her own accord?”
He raised an eyebrow, I couldn’t even tell him the truth. It’s like the truth itself wasn’t even believable to me.
“Pardon to abrupt, but I’m almost certain that you’re responsible for this kid missing too.” That second officer waited all this time to put me into deep waters.
I shrugged at first, it’s not like I could tell them the same thing again. But I’m so used to telling people the same thing over and over, and over again.
“She made herself disappear.” I worded it differently, maybe they’d be stupid enough to overlook it.
“Son, I can’t see how she would do that at such a young age. I mean you hear about kids going on adventures to then get lost, can’t find their way home.” He paused, it’s like he started to believe me.
“But it doesn’t explain all the other things. All the other reports of how she’s missing her clothes, she’s somehow left large amounts of blood in several different locations.”
“I didn’t say she made herself disappear on her own. I said she made it happen, but I don’t know anything other than that.”
“Kid, this is already looking bad for you. Why not just confessed to the big old officer, huh? Cut him some slack?” Ah, the second one. I still know his name, I looked through his online files.
“Quiet please, Jarvis.”
This was the one moment where I thought about getting them two to go against each other. A thought came to mind; what if I could twist the knife deeper? If I could just hold the cards a little longer, just long enough to make them hate each other. Two cases against one report? It’s the perfect crime.
“Now, where was I?” He looked at me with his eyes swelling with redness underneath. “Ah, that’s right. How you are responsible for hurting this little girl.”
“He’s not responsible for hurting her, chief.”
“What? Are you contradicting me? Don’t try to act like you weren’t thinking the same thing.”
“I wasn’t thinking at all, sir.”
Can’t hide it anymore, I can’t even live with these thoughts going on in my head. Every hour that’s going by is not giving me any time to think other than the facts. I may have confessed to something that I know Flynn did. But I didn’t confess to several things that didn’t concern me. Flynn was responsible for Mrs. Summers not showing up. I was responsible for Flynn’s behaviour, and I know deep down that you know that too.
It wasn’t the worst night of my life, but it was a night worth remembering. Susan upstairs crying as if she’d seen something creepy in the mirror. Dad nowhere to be seen, and our own mother not letting us know where either of them are. No phone calls for the first few hours spent together, and not a single knock on the door to interrupt the madness that was going to happen.
The living room was immaculate, popcorn sitting in a bowl waiting for me. I’m on the stairs trying to think about something. Susan wishes she could be downstairs with us. Ah, it was not even a simple night. If we wanted a night of simplicity, we would’ve called someone round. That’s when it happened, just as Susan had stopped crying upstairs.
Knock, knock, knock
‘She’s here, Susan! She’s here.’ Those were the words I heard in that house. Just I went towards the door, I kind of blacked out. Not a single thought came to mind on why it happened. A few hours later I think, and I’m back with Susan now whispering in my left ear. The lighting had dimmed, and the door was wide open. The sound of knocking echoed in my ears, I couldn’t hear anything other than Susan whispering and that ongoing knocking.
My hand was out of control, it led me right up the stairs where little Susan was sleeping with her stuffed bear. All of the tissues that she had wasted on her dripping nose. All of the late coughing, and here I am following my own hand into her bedroom. Somehow, I don’t know how she got there; Mrs. Summers laying on the ground with so much blood. I can’t hide it; I can’t even tell you that it was just red liquid. It’s deeper than that, it’s darker and involved a lot of other fluids. Ugh, I can’t describe this without feeling sick.
Sleeping Susan, me drifting off to sleep as I’m looking at Mrs. Summers no longer with us. Yeah, it was a night to remember. Several hours had passed between my blackout, I remembered something else too; she wasn’t at the door when Susan answered it. You knew that, I’ve trusted you since the beginning, friend. I’ve never asked you anything other than having my back.
Restless nights, I’m left alone with Susan still sleeping throughout all of them. That dreadful night I remember Mrs. Summers moving from upstairs to downstairs. I don’t remember a blackout; do you remember me blacking out? You would tell me, wouldn’t you?
‘You would’ve known, you’re smart just like me.’
“Thank you, I always knew I could rely on you.”
‘Remember the first hour where you let me live?’
“Yeah, it was just like how our own mother let me live.”
‘That’s right, only you and I will know that. Nobody else will ask anything other than us being together.’
“That’s what we are ‘together’ and we will never split apart.”
‘Keep telling yourself that I’m with you, and you can stare into the empty bottles that she got us.’
“Yes, and that’s all I want.”
Mrs. Summers was no longer going to keep us warm. She was no longer going to teach us the difference on what’s wrong and what’s right. I was left downstairs with her body chained against the table. I held her up with the last of my strength, I wanted to sleep. Susan slept through everything, and that’s why I miss her. She remembers thing differently, and she would’ve told me that none of this ever happened.
‘I told you that she’d be there for you.’
“You told me that she’d never leave me.”
That’s when the voice drifted off, I no longer had it with me. On that very hour, it was just me alone. Susan would never remember me this way. Thirteen years old, and there’s a whole cellar downstairs holding many bottles that need to be emptied. I don’t know what I was thinking, I had so many thoughts on how to get you back with me. I ended up taking too many, and it knocked me out.
‘I’m with you right now, I’ll always be with you.’
“It’s just I wish we were free like we used to be.”
‘We can be as free as you make us.’
“I don’t feel free, Flynn...”
A/N: Well, here is the chapter that I've been more than excited on sharing with you all. Not only does this make you ask many questions, but it also ends up answering those many other questions that you already have. It's taken us a while to reach CH. 20, but it's actually my favourite of all the chapters. This may not only be the scariest, the darkest, but it's also a chapter that makes me feel sad... I actually shed a few tears from reading this back to myself. I've spent a whole lot of time preparing this story, and I don't want it to feel like it was ever rushed.
Hence, this author's note being longer than all the other ones. I promise to keep delivering the answers and possibly make you question some of your conclusions. But I'm now happy with how everything has turned out. Sure, there's still minor errors to fix. I'm working on fixes tomorrow! Huge thanks goes out to you amazing, wonderful, supportive, just overall AWESOME people who have supported me from the very beginning! KNIFE SKIVE will always be the story of my choice. Not because I wrote it, it's because it means something to me. It's as close as a story can get for me. I'm getting emotional over my own writing because this story has more than enough meaning for me. It may make you feel sad too, and if it does... I'm happy that it did, because not only did I want this to have emotion. I wanted to deliver a tale that's not unrealistic, it's possible, it's as real as you and me.
If you could do me one last thing before waiting for the next chapter. Please, please, could you write me a REVIEW below? Just a review on what you've thought about this story so far... what you've liked, what you've enjoyed, and whether you'll ever want to read it again? I'm also looking for longer reviews, so please spend time on them :D THANK YOU!!!!
Not quite sure whether we are real... ;)