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My Little Psychopath

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My Little Psychopath

As I looked at the glistening blade of the knife, I asked myself how it had got to this point. It seemed like just yesterday, I was caring for my kids. My babies. It seemed just yesterday that I was helping my husband with Christmas shopping. But Christmas was long gone, as were my husband and my kids. My pride and joy that I had shaped in my own hands, the only people in the whole world that looked up to me, had been ripped out of my careful clutches and killed. By the hand of my own brother. Spencer “Sparky” Cleave. He was my only brother, and when he was growing up, my parents had been worried. He spent much time by himself and he would spend that time looking up how to kill—animals and humans.
Sparky was taken to many, many psychiatrists and physiologists over the years, but all of them were too scared of him to actually spend more than 20 minutes in the same room as him. I loved my young brother dearly, and I helped him the best I could. In fact, 10 years later, I invited him into my home with a warm and welcoming heart. Although, sitting here in this dark and empty house, I regret every single minute I had spent with my brother, every single second I had cared for him in my home.
Sparky was born in 1975 on the 15th of June. In 1985, at the age of ten years old, he started to keep to himself. He started to design his own weapons and bombs, and checked out as many books on death, war, and tragedies from the library as the limit allowed. In 1990, five years later, Sparky was fifteen. In 1990, after hundreds of doctors’ visits, after years of worry and stress, Sparky was diagnosed with the worst thing possible—my little brother was a psychopath.

Chapter 1
“Mommy, Mommy! Uncle Spencer is here!” my four year old daughter called from the front room. I put down the bowl of pasta I had been straining and hurried to my daughter.
“Uhm, Anne?” I said to her, pushing her up the stairs. “Why don’t you go join Lissa upstairs?” My twelve year old was watching TV in her room along with her fraternal twin, Marie Elizabeth. Anne hurried up eagerly at the rare invitation to be in her sisters’ room. As much as I hated to admit it, I didn’t feel safe with my kids around Sparky. I hurried to the front door and opened it to reveal a broken man. Sparky was the most handsome Joe in town, but his, er, condition, had changed him. His once curly dark hair had reduced to a gray tangled mess. His blue-green eyes were far away and filled with a pure hatred for everything he saw. Sparky was fairly tall, and he once walked tall and confident, but that hadn’t been since 1984, almost 28 years ago. Now he was hunched over, his posture almost as twisted as his mind.
“Carrie.” Sparky smiled to reveal uneven and yellowed teeth, the result of poor dental health and 19 years of being a dedicated smoker. In fact, he brought one of the disgusting things to his lips as he walked in, an arm of smoke reaching out and disappearing in the air.
“Sparky, please don’t smoke in the house.” I said, giving him an awkward hug. Disappointed, he threw the cigarette outside.
“So where will I be staying?” He followed me into the kitchen, taking a particular interest in my knife block. I quickly moved it to a locked cabinet that was filled with all the toxic cleaning supplies I had in the house.
“The guest quarters. I’ll have my husband unlock the door when he comes home in about…” I heard the sound of a car door closing. “Now.” My husband, Geoffrey Austerlitz, had no knowledge of my brother’s problem. No need to tell him anytime soon.
Geoffrey came in and immediately smiled wide. “Ah, this is the famous Spencer Cleave.” His German accent came through thick, and I think it scared my brother a little. “Willkommen auf meiner home, sir. “ he said, translating to welcome to my home, sir in German. My brother just gave a nervous smile.
"Geoffrey, dear... I think Sparky needs the guest quarters unlocked?“ I didn’t need Sparky to have a reason to harm my husband.
“Of course, of course.“ Geoff took a key down from the key rack and walked over to a door in the back of the house. That door led to an in laws add-on, and that was where Sparky would stay—far away from the rest of the family. Sparky immediately shut himself up in his space, and Geoff joined me in the kitchen. “Not much of a conversationalist.“
“Not really.“ I said, adding tomato sauce and German sausage to the pasta. “Never was, never will be.“ I finished the meal and threw it in the microwave to heat it up. “I’m so glad Sparky could make it up for my 42nd birthday.“
Geoff embraced me. “42 and still the most schöne Frau I have ever laid eyes on.“
“Awe, honey, thank you. “ I said, blushing ever so slightly.
Geoff smiled in reply. “Girls! Dinner is ready!“ he yelled, taking the bowl out of the beeping microwave. The sound of my daughters’ feet pounded down the stairs, and they all ran for the table, claiming a seat before the other one could.
"Where's Uncle Spencer?" Marie Elizabeth asked.
"I haven't got the slightest idea." I said, almost as puzzled as she was. "Spencer?" I called in the direction of his room so he could hear me a little better. Several seconds later, he joined the rest of us in the kitchen.
"I'd like to take my bowl to go." He spoke so quietly I didn't think he spoke at all.
"Well, okay, but we were all really looking forward to eating with you tonight." I handed him the bowl that was set in front of the seat I had planned for him to sit in.
"Sorry, but I'm not much of a family man." Sparky grabbed his bowl and headed to his room. I really wish I had made him eat with us. I really do. Because what he was doing behind that door was to be the end of my life as I knew it. But who could've predicted what was about to happen? No one, no one in the whole world.

At about midnight, I was awoken by the sound of a pan or something metal crashing to the floor in the kitchen. I shook Geoff awake. "Someone's in the kitchen!" I hissed, pulling on my robe. Anne ran into my room, hugging me tight.

"Momma, there's a bad man in the kitchen. I heard him."

"Sh, I know, I know. Me and Daddy are going to go see, okay?" I set her on the bed and cautiously followed my husband downstairs. Geoff was already armed with a shotgun and a baseball bat. He motioned for me to be quiet. Creeping on our tiptoes, we reached the entrance of the kitchen. Geoff reached for the light switch.

"3...2...1." he whispered, flicking the lights on. He thrust his weapons out in front of him, both at the ready.

But it wasn't a robber, nor was it a murderer, nor was it even a raccoon that had snuck into the house. No, it was Sparky. Yes, just Sparky, casually trying to break into the cabinet where I had locked away the knives. "Sparky?" I said, tugging my robe tighter. "What are you doing?"

Without reply, he ran back to his room. I went over to the cabinet and saw the lock twisted beyond repair and almost broken off. I covered my mouth and felt like crying. Sparky had been trying to get to the knives. Who knows what for, but he was. God forbid it was to hurt my kids or my husband.

“I love him to death, Geoffrey.” I said, tossing the lock in the trash and hiding the knives in the also locked pantry. “I love him more than anything. But he was trying to get to these knives, and…” I laughed nervously, totally forgetting that Geoff didn’t know about my brother.

“And…?” he pushed.

“Forget it, I’m tired and spewing my mind. I don’t even know what’s going on up here.” I tapped my temple and flicked off the lights. Yawning, I headed for the staircase. “Let’s go to bed now, babe.”

“Yes, of course.” My husband, puzzled, followed behind me upstairs, clutching his shotgun and baseball bat close to him—just in case.
Chapter 2

I awoke to the bed shaking underneath me, and the feeling of someone punching my body. My first thought was, Sparky is trying to kill me somehow. But somewhere, deep down, I knew that wasn’t plausible. Only one way to find out. I opened my eyes, only to reveal my three daughters bouncing on the bed. As soon as they saw I was awake, they screamed-sang “Happy Birthday”. When they finished, I gave each of them a hug. Laughing, I kissed them all. “Thank you, lovelies. Where’s Daddy?”

“Daddy is ‘preparing’.” Anne said, using air quotes she had gotten from her sisters. “C’mon, it’s his turn to say happy birthday!” Marie Elizabeth and Lissa pulled me out of bed and dragged me downstairs where my husband was cooking breakfast. Geoff came towards me with a spatula in hand.

“Why don’t you girls go get dressed and then come down and eat some of my yummy breakfast?” he suggested. They all hurried upstairs in reply. “Morning, sweetheart. Happy 42nd birthday to you.” He kissed me good morning.

“Thank you, honey. Is Sparky awake yet?” Geoff’s smile turned off for a split second, and then it came back.

“Fortunately, no. What the hell was he doing last night?”

I started to load the dishwasher to busy myself from answering the question. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Geoff mocked me playfully. “Oh, so you don’t remember the fact that your brother was trying to break into our things last night?”

I wiped my hands on a nearby towel. “Oh, did he now?”

Throwing the spatula down angrily, my husband turned bright red. “Dammit, Carrie. You know what he did. Now tell me why he did it, and don’t you pull any crap.”

Sighing, I closed the door of the dishwasher. I couldn’t hide this any longer. “My brother is a psychopath, ok? I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier but he is really struggling, Geoffrey.”

Before Geoff could reply, Marie Elizabeth, Lissa, and Anne came running downstairs to eat the finished breakfast. Taking a seat at the table, they eagerly wolfed down the bacon and eggs Geoffrey placed on their plates. He gave me a bit of a dirty look while moving about the kitchen. I picked at my corn beef hash and waffles he had made just for me. I felt terrible, but there was no way this could be undone. It was what it was, and if my husband couldn’t handle that, well then… he could live somewhere else. This was my little brother, the man who I loved before Geoff. But that doesn’t mean I would let Sparky harm my family, either.

I had just gotten out of the shower when I heard a shriek. I wrapped a bathrobe around me and hurried downstairs leaving a trail of water droplets behind me. Anne was in the kitchen, white faced, staring at… oh no. Sparky. He was trying to break into the pantry for the knives. And he had succeeded.

“Sparky, please. Give me the kni—“ When he turned to face me, he had nothing but the pantry key and a package of pretzels. Two flags of color rose in my cheeks, and automatically I felt extremely apologetic. Sparky looked at me puzzled, but continued on to his room. I turned to Anne. I was completely confused. “What was that all about?”

“I—I saw a roach.” she stuttered. I put my hands on my hips, stretching up to my full height, and looked down at her.

“Really, Anne? Really.” I picked her up, a task that had been getting more and more difficult lately. I set her on the couch beside a napping Geoff and went back upstairs to dry off and get dressed. I pulled on jeans and a pink tee shirt, blow drying my hair so its natural curliness could come through. “Jesus Christ.” I muttered, throwing on mascara and heading downstairs. Anne was contently watching some TV show with annoying singing characters.

“Mom!” I heard from upstairs as soon as I sat down.

“Of course.” I said to myself, running back up the stairs. Another urgent “mom” was yelled before I was outside Marie Elizabeth’s and Lissa’s door. “Yes, dear?”

“Mom! Come in, quick!” I heard Lissa whisper nervously. I opened the door and saw a white-faced Lissa looking in a corner of her room. “Mom, there’s a camera.” she informed me quietly. I heard a lens focusing.

“Oh my. Stay calm, honey. Why don’t you just sit tight for a bit?” I hurried around the upstairs floor, weaving in and out of every room. Yup. There was a camera in every room. “GEOFF!” I screamed. It took awhile, but my husband finally met me in our room.

“What?” he muttered, wiping his eyes free of sleep.

“There are cameras everywhere.” I hissed. “Who put them there?”

“Oh, I did.” he yawned. “They’re in every room. Just not Sparky’s. You know, for safety reasons.” He gave me an accusing glare and walked back downstairs.

I sat down on the bed, defeated. I had let a supposed monster into my house. But, so far, he was innocent, and everyone was out to get him. “Nice, Carrie.” I said to myself, lying back and closing my eyes. “Nice.”


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