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Twelve Hours

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The moment I entered the house the darkness of the room filled my senses. My eyes slowly adjusted to the dim natural light of the full moon outside, and a gruesome smile obscured my face. A deep breath allowed the smell of the old house to permeate my every thought-to blank out my unnecessary feelings and morals. My gloved hand felt its way around my pocket, and the cold knife touched my awaiting fingers.

“Soon,” I whisper to myself. I glance at the clock ticking endlessly across the room: 1:30 am. I take another deep breath and the steady swinging of the pendulum gives me the confidence I need to continue forward, deeper into the house. A sharp creak resonates from the hard wood floor, and I am frozen in place, listening for any signs of wakefulness. After an agonizing five minutes, I go down the winding staircase into the basement, each creaking step causing me to wince. I place my hand against the cool wall and feel around until I hit it: the furnace. Whipping out my briefcase, I get to work, replacing each piece in the furnace with my own. A final turn of a screw and it is complete. I flip the on switch and sit back as the “air” pours out. With little thought I place a rubbery gas mask over my face. I then sit down to wait. 2:30, 3:30, the hours pass by as fast as seconds, but I can’t risk continuing until I am sure it is time to make my move. Not yet. 4:30, 5:30, the loud blaring of an alarm upstairs disturbs the peace and quiet. Not yet. 6:30, 7:30, the sun raises high into the brilliant blue sky, spring birds sing their hideous melodies. Not yet. 8:30, 9:30, the lawn is mowed, and a pimply nuisance rings the doorbell in hopes of a payment for his services. Not yet. 10:30, 11:30, I prepare. My clothes are replaced with a black, rubber suit that slips over my entire body. I cover up any tracks or fingerprints I may have caused from my arrival. It’s time. 12:30, I hold the shining knife in my rubber hand, my body squeaks slightly from each step. I am caught momentarily in front of a mirror, and I am thrown into my childhood. Daddy is chasing me in the very suit I wear today.

“Die!” he screams over and over again. He is trying to stab me with the same knife that is in my hand.

“Daddy, no!” I cry. Suddenly police storm our house and take my daddy away. I scream and cry, trying to grab him, but the evil police hold me back. Returning to reality, I shake my head and grunt. I’ll show those officers, I’ll show them all. Tears attempt to run down my face, but are stopped by the rubber. I continue towards my target, nothing must stand in my way. I enter the master bedroom, and sadness overwhelms me, the rubber still stopping my tears, but not stopping the unbearable pain. Everything in the room looks exactly the same: a large water bed with shelves and drawers all wrapped up in an elegant wooden frame, a long wooden dresser leaning against the wall, clean beige shag carpeting to match the clean beige walls, and there she lies, my sleeping beauty. My chest clenches, and I jam the knife into her body, her blood pooling around her limp body. I scream and plunge the knife into her chest again and again. Panting, I walk out of the room and into the nursery. A small baby, not one of mine, undeserving of life, lies in the white crib. He receives the same fate as his mother, and each new hole in his pink, squishy body relieves the pain a little more. A final job to do, I enter my child’s room. His white room burns my eyes, the color covering the paint job I had done just for him. Another scream as his head is sliced off. I kick the ball as hard as I can, and I repaint the walls a brilliant dark red. Back into the master bedroom, I place the knife gently on top of her hand. I plant a sweet kiss on her stained but still beautiful cheek, and I write a letter of her suicide, a letter that states that she killed everyone. I delicately place it on the dresser, right in the sight anyone who enters the room. I leave the house through the back, no one sees me go. The grass bounces a little under my foot, and the sun shines bright. Although I climb the dump’s fence carefully, I still cut my hand along with the suit open on the barbed wire. I moan in pleasure as the pain moves its way through my body. Once safely inside, I peel the suit away from my body, the rubber sticks to my sweaty skin, and again I allow the pain to become me. I thrust the suit forward into the incinerator and, as if in a trance, I watch the suit bubble away to nothing. It takes a few moments afterward for me to realize the suit has completely disappeared. With the symbol of my oppression destroyed, I throw myself into the fiery grave burning below me. As I fall, I smile with the first genuine happiness I've had since I was a child, the happiness of finally dying at peace with myself.



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