Fear is an emotion I never quite understood until the year of 1996. This was the year I turned sixteen and my life changed forever on of all days, my birthday. The date was November 27, 1996, at exactly 7:03 a.m. I woke up to the piercing sound of something being thrown against a hard, dry surface. My first impression was that it was my 10 year old brother, Jordan, throwing his toy action figures again as he did quite often. But when the sound turned from a familiar noise to a harsh loud bang, I started to get curious. I crept my door open a crack and peeked out of the small sliver of opening between my door and the staircase. I listened for the familiar warm voice of my family and heard nothing but cold, still air. I began to feel an uneasy feeling arise in my stomach as I got up off the floor and opened the door to step out into the hallway.
“Mom, Dad…...Jordan,” I cried out. My voice rang throughout the hallway and down the stairs and I heard nothing but my deep harsh breaths ringing in my ears. I pranced down the stairs and looked into the dark, empty living room. My eyes scanned the room for imprints of my family. I saw my dad's car keys hanging from the keyhook and wondered where on earth they had disappeared to. I walked on the cold tile with my bare feet and opened the back door out into the backyard.
Looking out into the brisk morning air, I felt a rush a relief when I saw the back of Jordan facing the sunrise. “Where is mom and dad, Jordan?,” I asked curiously.
He turned around and suddenly my rush of relief turned to a rush of terror. His warm brown eyes were now bloodshot with tears streaked down his rosy cheeks. In his hand he carried a small blue felt blanket and I noticed the tip of it had a small section of fresh blood on it. He said nothing to my question. All he did was slowly raise his trembling arm in the direction of the side corner of the house. As he did this his face turned from olive to red when he burst into a shrieking cry.
Terrified, I ran to him and caressed him in my arms. “Jordan, what’s happened? Please talk to me,” I repeatedly asked him. He was so shook with fear that he couldn’t answer. I kept my head turned from the direction he was pointing to in fear of seeing something I didn’t want to see. Once, I got enough courage, I slowly turned my head into the direction of the back corner.
Vomit rose from my stomach and burned my throat with a pungent taste. I swallowed it down to the realization of what my eyes were adjusting to. Instant tears came rushing down from my wide blue eyes; my knees buckled and I went crashing into the ground. I picked up my head, knowing I had to get it together for the sake of Jordan.
“Jordan go get the house phone and bring it to me,” I shrieked. He just stood there, as if he were cemented to the lawn. His eyes were fixated on the gory scene of what had happened. I knew right then and there that my little brother was traumatized.
Knowing he wouldn’t move, I picked him up and ran him into the house to go grab the phone. “Don’t move, Stay here, I’ll be right back,” I ordered him. He gave me a slight nod and stood there staring into the empty darkness of the house.
I ran back outside and dialed 911:
“911 how can I help you?”
“It’s my parents, they’re…… they’re dead,” I cried out.
“What’s your name?”
“Maya…. Maya Waterfield. I live on 129 fireside st. please, please come fast, I’m scared.”
“Okay Maya, it is important that you stay calm, is there anyone else in the house with you?”
“Just my seven year old brother, Jordan. He found them….. I….. I don’t know what to do”
With that reply I heard a scream from inside the house. I dropped the phone and ran inside to see Jordan standing in front of the back door screaming. He appeared to be screaming out my parents names. I ran him out to the front lawn and waited on the curb for the police to show up.
When they finally arrived I took them into the back and showed them the horrid scene. The scene consisted of my mom and dad lying limp in the corner of the dark, brittle house. Their throats had been slashed open and blood…… blood was everywhere. My once lively and happy parents were now covered in each other’s blood and I knew this was the end. The end of every happy memory I’d ever have. Happy sixteenth birthday to me.
1 Year Later Background:
I’m seventeen now. I still wake up every morning with the remembrance of my last birthday. The case of our parents still remains unsolved. The cops said there was no sign of a break in and that the whole thing just seemed out of place. It took them a whole week to finally clean up the crime scene and scrub my parents blood off the side corner of the house. After that week the only living relatives Jordan and I had were my grandparents in Oklahoma. So, we were sent to live in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. The name seemed fitting, everything seemed semi broken there. From fixtures, to relationships, to the whole town. I was forced to enroll in Broken Bow’s school system for my senior year and Jordan was now in the 5th grade. As for the family situation, moving to a completely new town with these two grandparents that I knew nothing about was kind of scary at first, but nothing could be as close to scary as my last birthday. As the year went on, Jordan and I became slightly more comfortable.
My grandma was a little old woman, aging around 73. She always had on a simple outfit with her therapeutic sneakers, due to her bad knees and ankles. Her hair was dyed brown, but her grey’s poked out slightly from the roots. She had warm blue eyes with a soft smile that always seemed genuine. Her aging face showed nothing but a deep appreciated beauty. The only qualities she has shown me in this past year had been positive ones, which made me a little hesitant on my opinion towards her. Maybe eventually her true colors will show.
My grandfather, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. He was tall and had a hunched over back, from the decades spent doing manual labor. His eyes were a dark shade of brown, that one could mistake for black if you looked into them long enough. His wardrobe consisted of a pair of worn down muddy workboots, a variety of different white and blue shirts, and about six different pairs of old blue jeans. He was a simple man, with simple taste. I liked that about him. Behind his musty appearance and aging skin, was a hardworking man.
The house that we stayed in was in the middle of this nowhere town. We lived on an old ranch house that was connected to a small farm. The nearest store or neighbor was about 13 miles down the stone road. There were four milking cows, ten chickens, a rooster, and a goat. This was a huge change of scenery from New York. I used to stay awake at night listening to the roaring sounds of the city. Now I stay awake at night with the constant sound of nothing but thoughts of my parents.
1 Year later Present:
Today is December 24. Christmas is right around the corner. The first Christmas I will spend without my parents. The thoughts of all the happy memories hurt my head to think about. I get out of bed and walk down the cold wooden stairs into the dining room and am greeted by Jordan.
“Good morning sunshine,” I tease while smiling at him.
All he does is give me a slight smile, and goes straight back to drawing in his journal. He hasn’t been the same since the incident. Whenever he smiles, they are always forced, never genuine. I can’t blame him. Since the move he has had trouble making friends and spends most of his nights in his room drawing or sleeping. We used to talk all the time, but now I have to force him into talking with me.
“Hey, how about we go to the park later today and you can invite some of your new friends?”
“What new friends?,” he muttered.
“Come on, I know you’ve made some new friends since the move.”
“No, Maya, I havn’t.”
“Okay, well I’ve met some new people who have brothers your age, how about I invite them to meet us at the park and we can hang out for a bit,” I pleaded.
“Fine,” he obliged.
Since it was a saturday and there was no school, I decided to go to the only library in town. It was about 14 miles down this never ending stone road, so I took an old rusty bike that used to be my grandfathers, that I happened to stumble across one day in the tool shed. He told me I could use it whenever I needed to get away for a bit.
I hopped on the rusty bike and noticed that it was far too small for me. However, being in this house was killing me and I needed to use the library’s phone to call some of the girls from school for later. So, I decided to deal with it. I pumped the pedals over and over again, it wasn’t that difficult because most of the ride was downhill. It took me about an hour till I finally arrived at Broken Bow’s only town library.
The town central was where most of the locals lived, including the girls I was planning on asking to hang out with Jordan and I tonight. By the time I got to the library it was about three in the afternoon. The sun was blazing directly down on the town of Broken Bow, an unusual sighting during the end of December, coming from a New Yorker who was used to blizzards during this time.
I walked into the creaky library filled with thousands of glowing, dusty books. The sight was the best thing I’d seen in this boring old town. The walls were lined head to toe with them and everything had a cozy warm feeling, that made me want to snuggle up in a chair and read them. I, for now, was focused on finding the library phone.
After scoping around for a bit, I finally came across the phone. It was hanging limply on the wall right next to the librarian's desk. I briskly made my way over and was just about to pick up the phone, when I was stopped.
“What do you think you’re doing?,” the old librarian said with raging eyes.
“I….I was just seeing if I could use the phone, to make a couple quick calls,” I quietly replied.
“Well, you should have just asked first.”
“I’m sorry, you see, I’m new to this town and my grandparents don’t have a phone, I was just hoping to make a few quick calls..”
“Well, I suppose that is alright.”
“Thank you,” I smiled.
I quickly called the two girls whom I had befriended in school, Rose Filer and Jessica Gather. They agree to meet me at the park and Rose would bring her younger brother, George, who was the same age as Jordan as well. It was set for Jordan and I to meet them around seven, and we would from there figure out what to do. I felt a thrill of excitement arise in my stomach, something I had not felt in a while. I knew my life would never be normal again, but this was a small stepping stone.
On the way home from the library, it was about five o’clock now. The ride back was much more difficult, because it was all uphill. I, however, didn’t mind that. I loved feeling the rush of dry air hit my face and blow my hair in the wind when I went downhill. It made the work to get to the top much more rewarding.
When I finally arrived to the old ranch house I noticed something was a little off. I stood in front of the house and looked around for sights of my grandparents or Jordan. I saw nothing, I heard nothing. This feeling felt all too familiar and my body started to tremble at the thought of this happening again to me.
I pranced up the old wooden porch steps and crept the door open. Slowly opening the door more and more until I was looking inside the house and saw no sights of anyone. Walking around the old creaky house and heard nothing but the sound of the wind hitting the shutters. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something strange. It was Jordan’s sketchbook lying limp on the bottom of the dining room stairs. I walked over and picked up the hard cover sketchbook. I opened the first page and suddenly realized just how messed up my brother really was. Just as I was turning to the second page I heard a loud shriek followed by a harsh cry.
Dropping the book on the cold wooden floor, I sprint into the direction of the scream.
“Grandma? Is that you? What has happened?,” I yell.
“I’m in the barn, child, stay back, you do not want to see this,” she cried.
I walked into the barn and was hit with the immediate stench of deteriorating flesh mixed with feces. Bile began to rise into my throat, but I forced myself to swallow it down, once again. The sight consisted of all of the once lively farm animals, lying there still next to all the barrels of hay. The only color I could see was red. It stretched out across the entire barn and it all blurred into one realization; death. Cold, harsh, violent, deaths. The cows stomachs were slashed from head to toe, their insides had spilled out of their enormous bodies and coated the floor with a waxy, gooey appearance. The chickens were slaughtered; their heads were slightly sawed off uncleanly and were left dangling from their lifeless bodies. Worst of all the loan goat was split cleanly down the middle. One half of him was in the corner of the barn and the other in the completely opposite corner, its insides were dragged and scattered across different places in the barn.
“Who…. who did this?,” I quivered.
“ I, have no idea…. Your grandfather went to get the sheriff, this is just awful,” she croaked.
The realization then hit me. Where was Jordan?
“Grandma, where is Jordan?”
“I haven't seen him…. I went to the market and came back to this…,” her voice froze as she walked towards the front lawn to greet my grandfather and the Sheriff.
I ran into the house and repeatedly shouted Jordan’s name, and received no response. Running up the stairs as fast as my legs would let me, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I realized, Jordan was gone.
My mind racing with places that he could have gone, I ran back downstairs and was about to hop onto the bike, when I saw heard a slightly unfamiliar female's voice outside. I wheeled the bike towards the front lawn and was greeted by the hysteric face of Rose Filer. I checked my watch and saw that it was a half an hour past 7. I thought it unusual for her to be this upset about me being late to meeting her at the park.
“Rose, I’m sorry I’m late, I just have something I need to take care of first.”
“No, Maya, it’s not that, it’s my brother George,” she broke into a cry.
“What about him?,” I began to feel uneasy.
“Well, he’s gone missing, I can’t find him anywhere. My parents are out of town and I don’t know what to do,” she sadly blurted out.
“Jordan had gone missing too, I was just about to go search for him. Maybe they’re with each other,” I suggested.
“Yeah, maybe. Could I tag along and help find them, the police aren’t helping and I need to find him now,” she dried her tears and said with a sniffle.
“Sure, hop on the back of my bike. We’ll find them together.”
The only place I had in mind that he could’ve gone was a hint I was given by Jordan’s sketchbook he had left lying out. I had a gut feeling I had to brush aside that whatever Jordan was doing, wasn’t good. I peddled as fast as my legs would let me, towards the town central. It took a good 40 minutes, and the whole time was spent listening to Rose ramble on about how much trouble she would be in when her parents came back into town. When we finally hit the center of the town I got off the bike and proceeded to lead Rose in the back entrance of the library. It was now around 9 at night and as soon as I opened the door, I knew we had found them. I heard Rose’s brother, George cry for help three times in a row.
Her immediate reaction was the go rush down the stairs to go get him.
“Rose, listen to me. If you go down there something awful might happen to you, I need you to go into the front of the library and call 911. Tell them that the person who slaughtered all the animals and is holding your brother captive is here. I will take care of the rest.”
“But, Maya, I can’t just leave him…. He needs me, I’m all he has,” she whimpered.
“I understand, but please, I know you don’t know me well, but just trust me. I will get George out and back to your family safely.”
She waited a couple of seconds and then ran up the stairs to do exactly as I informed her to do.
I waited for a little bit and listened to hear if there were any sudden movements or acts of violence. After about two minutes I decided to take the matters into my own hands. I quietly maneuvered my way down the bare cement staircase. As I grew closer and closer to the scene and went over thoughts in my head to prepare myself for anything at this point. When I got to the bottom of the staircase I heard an all too familiar calm voice.
“Hello, Maya, I’ve been expecting you,” his shrill voice rang through my ears and filled my body with a sudden rush of terror as I turned my head to see my 10 year old brother standing in the corner of the library’s basement.
In his hand he held a worn down butcher knife garnished with rusted blood along the edges. His clothes were drenched head to toe in stale blood. The odor from the barn lingered on him and I bit my tongue at the thought of that terrible sight. Beside him laid a black table cloth hanging over George’s face. I could see his legs poking out from underneath the tablecloth, his whole body was trembling.
“Jordan, what have you done,” I said while covering my mouth and holding in my tears.
He just stared at me with an emotionless face and worn down eyes. “I’ve only simple done what needed to be taken care of.”
“What are you talking about,” I demanded.
“I’ll explain. You see, when I turned seven mom and dad told me that I was going to have a bright future, if I followed the certain criteria they had in mind for me. Now, you may have been okay with them planning your entire life, but I wasn’t. You had everything.They gave you everything Maya. I was sick of living in your shadow. So that morning of your birthday I innocently lured them out into the backyard. It was rather easy really. I went inside and told them I’d go wake you up for your birthday breakfast. I came back outside with a cake knife and told them I would cut the cake this year for you. But instead I slashed dad’s throat open first. Mom, as expected was rather hysteric. I then chased her around a bit until I was finally able to get her to fall, at which I pranced and sliced her neck open too. The truly exhausting part was really waiting for you to finally get out of bed to see the look on my ‘terror stricken, innocent face’,” he mockingly laughed.
I stood there frozen to the cement. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. The sounds of sirens went off in the background and that really got Jordan going. Before I was able to respond to his twisted explanation, he whipped the tablecloth off of George’s face. I could see the fresh wounds he had inflicted upon him. The word “corner” was engraved onto the boys face.
“Just like you to call the cops, Maya. Even on your own brother” he muttered.
“ I figured it out from your graphic sketches of deaths, including the one you were planning on doing with George,” I spit the words out at him with a look of disgust.
The library front entrance slammed open and I could hear the sounds of the police rushing down the stairs. When I turned my head back to the direction of Jordan, I noticed he had pulled out a handgun. I had no idea where he would have acquired such a thing.
“Jordan, what are you doing, put that thing down!,” I screamed.
“See sis, I knew you still cared about me. If George can’t die tonight then someone has to,” he posed a smile and lifted the gun up to his temple.
“The corner is where it began, and the corner is where it ends.”
Those were his final words, followed by a loud sound of the handgun. The police then piled in and pronounced him dead at 12:01, December 25th, 1997. Merry Christmas to me.
1 Month Later:
The word “corner” has been haunting my thoughts for the past month, along with many other things. My life has truly has become a series of unfortunate events, to sum it up. I’ve analyzed the word corner over and over again in my mind, and believe I finally have come to a conscientious on the meaning of Jordan’s final words. He killed our parents first and he left them in the corner of our house, where the imprints of them still remains. He then killed all the farm animals, but then left the lone goat, of whom he valued most, in the corner. Lastly, he killed himself, where it ends, in the corner of the library basement. I believe that he thought the bloodshed was of whom he valued most in the places that he went. Not the persona that he was trying to make me believe that night in the library. He, ultimately left them in the corner, where their bloodstains, would be forever remembered. Thus, making him known to the locals as the “Corner Killer.” That is the only explanation I will allow myself to believe.