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“We’ll never be separated, we’ll never be apart.”
The last words Cain told his brother before their parents separated them. It had been years since he had last seen Abel, weeks since Abel’s last letter.
“You have to stop. Disappear for a bit.”
For a moment, Cain felt emptiness and despair. All he had done up to this point was all for Abel, and how did his brother repay him? He wrote for him to stop and disappear. Peeking from the bushes surrounding Abel’s new home, he couldn’t help but feel a little betrayed, a little abandoned. It was as if Abel was replacing him. No, that couldn’t be true, this was all a guise. Abel just needed a place to stay. Abel needed him, he always needed him. Though he had told Cain to disappear, Cain couldn’t do that. He had to protect his brother at all costs, protect him from the people that threatened to hurt him. He could never live peacefully with Abel, not while others still threatened to separate them. He had to be patient, in time they’d be reunited. Presenting himself right now would only complicate matters and go against the plan. And so Cain watched and waited.
“H-How…How do you know all this?” Mrs. Vaan asked me hesitantly shocked by the matching details of my dreams and the ongoing murder investigations.
Opening up isn’t easy, it’s downright terrifying. But the people you love should always know the truth, no matter how horrible. Though I’ve been living with the Vaan’s for a few weeks, Mrs. Vaan took me in, during my time of need. She deserved to know everything.
“Cain and I…have this special connection,” I finally said, glancing at her. She remained silent, a concerned expression printed on her face.
“Through my dreams…I’m able to see…What’s going on through Cain’s mind…his thoughts, his actions…” I trailed off, bringing my eyes to look into hers, waiting for that look of realization. The realization that my brother was a murderer.
It was silent for a long time. The silence made me uncomfortable, bringing back my usual self-depreciating thoughts. Why wasn’t she saying anything? Did she view me as a menace? A threat to her and Sarah? What compelled me to tell her? If I hadn’t this awkward situation could have been avoided. I was a bloody fool. I was incapable of—
“Where is he?”
Mrs. Vaan’s unusually calm question surprised me.
“I-I don’t know. Our connection’s been fading, ever since I told him to stop and disappear. The last I remember, he escaped the asylum for the criminally insane…”
I grimaced, as she absorbed what I had just told her, her face turning as white as a sheet.
“Cr-Criminally insane? What did he do?”
I hesitated in answering, fearful of how she’d react. With a defeated sigh, I recalled how Cain had manage to kill anyone who’d hurt me, explaining how he killed my father and drove my mother to commit suicide.
“A-Abel, you have to report him. He has to be stopped before another tragedy occurs!” She cried, grasping my forearm.
“I can’t turn in my own brother,” I said, yanking my forearm from her grasp. How could she say such a thing? She didn’t understand. No one ever did.
“But Abel he’s—“
“MY BROTHER,” I exclaimed, rising from my chair and pacing the kitchen floor.
“Look, Cain has always been there for me; he’s always defended me no matter the consequences. He always stood up for me. When my parents separated us, it was traumatizing to him. It isn’t his fault! He needs me now more than ever…and I…I—”
A bitter laugh escaped my throat. “I’m…scared. I’m afraid. I-I just don’t know what to do. If-If I can just talk to him, maybe…You know? He’s my brother…but—GYARHH!”
Mrs. Vaan rose from her seat, startled by my sudden yell. I sat back down, taking deep breaths to quell my frustration.
“Abel…” She began, reluctant to approach me.
“I’m sorry.” I said, heading towards the stairs. I couldn’t stay here anymore. She was afraid. It was clear in her manners and actions. Upon reaching my room I told her: “I’ll get out of here tomorrow.”
“You’re leaving us?”
My attention quickly turned to the door, where little Sarah stood rubbing the sleep from her eyes. I didn’t want to leave, but I had no choice, my presence here was dangerous. I opened my mouth, thinking of the gentlest way to break it down to Sarah, but was interrupted by Mrs. Vaan.
“No, he’s not going anywhere Sarah. We’re family, Abel. Your problems are our problems. We’ll find a way to fix it.”
As I laid in bed that night, I felt safe and secure for the first time.
Watching from the bedroom window, Cain was not pleased. He didn’t like this. Not. One. Bit. It was the infernal hag and her daughter that presented the problem. His brother was a sentimental fool, allowing himself to get close to them. There was no doubt they’d betray his brother. Hurt him like all the others. But he wouldn’t let them hurt Abel, not this time. Goal in mind, Cain made his move.
“Wake up, Abel.”
The sound of a familiar voice woke me from my peaceful slumber. With squinted eyes, I made out the figure of someone standing at my door.
The figure motioned for me to follow before walking out of my room
Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I got out of bed making my way towards the hallway. It was dark, but I saw the figure descend the stairs. Groping my way towards the light, I turned them on, their brightness causing my pupils to dilate and my eyes to tear up. Blinking furiously, I walked down the stairs, peering into the rooms for whoever woke me. The living room and the den were empty. Maybe my mind was playing tricks on me. Regardless, there was one room left to check.
Nearing the kitchen, I felt a draft. Mrs. Vaan always made sure to close the windows. Puzzled, I turned on the lights.
The lifeless body of Mrs. Vaan greeted me, sprawled across the kitchen floor. Her face, bloody and distorted thanks to the wooden meat pounder her killer bashed her with repeatedly.
Fear and panic slowly crept into my system, paralyzing me, freezing me in place, I was unable to do anything but stare at her lifeless body. I began to hyperventilate; short ragged breaths escaped me, giving me that light-headed feeling. I had to get out of here. For my sanity and well-being. Slowly regaining control over my body, I inched my way out backward, never taking my eyes off of Mrs. Vaan. If little Sarah had seen this…
Little Sarah…I had completely forgotten about her! If this had happened to her mother then…My heart froze. This wasn’t good.
With renewed vigor, I raced up the stairs and burst into her room…
I nearly fainted at the gruesome sight instead, falling on my knees I wept. Through teary eyes I looked at Sarah sprawled just a few inches before me, a knife buried deep in her throat, her teddy bear clutched tightly in her tiny arms. But what was that? Right next to Sarah laid a piece of paper. With trembling hands, I picked it up and with tear-filled eyes I read it.
I won’t let them hurt you. Not like the others.
Cain…Cain…CAIN! My sorrow quickly turned to rage, all traces of fear gone. He went too far this time.
“ WHERE ARE YOU CAIN!?” I roared, prying the knife from Sarah’s throat and turning to face the hallway. The sound of footsteps turned my attention down the hallway, where I saw the silhouette of a person enter the bathroom.
“YOU’RE NOT GETTING AWAY THIS TIME!” I cried, racing down the hallway, knife in hand, and ready to make him pay. I slowed to a halt as I reached the bathroom. I was going to put an end to all this. Gripping the knife tightly, I charged in.
“CAIN!” I cried, looking wildly around.
“I’m sorry, Abel.”
The voice came from behind me. I turned to face Cain, thrusting the knife…
Into thin air, puzzled, I looked up. Looking into the mirror, I instantly froze. The reflection that looked back at me was me but it…wasn’t me. He smiled a smile that wasn’t my smile. I tried to move, to speak, but to no avail, all I could do was watch.
“I’m tired of killing people,” He said, twirling the knife in my hand, exhibiting complete control over my body.
““There’s just too many that threaten to separate us…But I found a way! A way we’ll never be separated!” He said with a huge smile, slowly the knife in my hand moved closer and closer towards my neck.
Cain’s smile grew larger as the knife drew nearer.
“We’ll never be separated. We’ll never be apart.”