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"Hey, man!" A voice from behind startled the redheaded man standing in the hallway. "Oh! Hey, Alex!" He responded. Picking up his heavy bag from the hall floor, he turned to his best friend and asked, "What are you up to after school today, bro?" "Oh, nothing much, man, just... Hangin' with mah girl." Alex said as he shyly ran a hand through his auburn-brown hair. The young man with red hair laughed. "Well I was hoping that you could come over sometime today after school and-" Alex had stopped him in his tracks. "I don't think so, man! You need some time to relax from... You know..." The man was busy fixing his very expensive jacket, and was about to rebuke, when a flood of memories overcame him...
A darkened room surrounded him as he walked toward the kitchen of his own house. “Father?” The redheaded young man called out. “Father, are you here?” He called, getting a bit more quiet. “Daniel!? Is that you?” His father called. Walking over to the kitchen, he grabbed a knife off of the counter, and headed up the stairs to his father's study. “Yes, it's me, Danny!” He called as he hid the knife behind his back and stepped into the room. “H-how was your day, Father? Bring anything home for me?” The fifteen-year-old boy stuttered as he stepped closer to his father.
“Oh, son, I had quite a rough day.” His father explained as he nervously twiddled his thumbs. “But yes, I brought you something! Come here, son.” Danny took a couple steps closer toward his father, gripping the knife tighter with every footfall that brought him nearer to his father. Danny secretly hated his father, but he acted it out so that no one could tell. 'Do it!!' He thought to himself. 'Just a couple more steps forward! Then I can blame it on the Butler...' He thought through his sinister plan as he took the few extra steps that brought him within arm's reach of his father. “Here, son, I brought you another rock from the miners that work for me! Isn't it fascinating!?” 'Every day...' Danny thought sharply to himself. 'Every day, he brings me those silly rocks! And he expects me to get something out of them!?' Danny was outraged. He pulled the knife, firm in his grip, from behind his back and raised it above his head. 'And I have something for you!' He thought as his mind raced and he watched his father's horrified face. As the grandfather clock struck nine tolls, he brought his tightly gripped hand down toward his father, sitting in his favorite chair...
“Hey! Dude!” The same voice snapped Danny from his daydream. Alex was standing in front of him, waving his hand inches from his eyes. “You okay, Danny!?” Alex asked, looking concerned. “You kinda... Blacked out there, for a minute or so!” Danny stood up from the hallway floor. “Y-yeah, I'm f-fine...” Danny stuttered as he took a step toward the large red School door. “So,” He continued, “What are you up to today? You really should come over!” Alex dismissed the idea.
“No man, you need a break. Maybe we could go somewhere else? Like the Diner?” He offered.
“Yeah, okay, that's fine. I could use a drink!” He explained as they walked out to the school buses.
“A Large Mocha-Java with extra whipped cream,” Alex told the cashier, “Make that two.” Danny laughed as Alex ordered their drinks. “You know me so well, you even remember my favorite drink!”
“How could I forget? We come here everySaturdayay!” Alex said as he placed his favorite piece of clothing, a jet-black Peacoat, into the booth next to him. “Besides, this is the favored drink around here!” He added. Danny took off his expensive jacket and hung it up by the front counter. “Aren't you afraid that someone would take such an awesome jacket?” Alex asked, looking around.
“Nah, but if they do, I have a couple extras still at home, so it wouldn't be so bad. My dad would be furious with me, though...” Danny added as he spaced off once more.
A high-pitched noise was emanating from the alarm clock he'd set the day before. “Andres!” Danny called happily, “Andres, where are- Oh, hello mother!” Danny smiled, seeing his mother standing in the doorway. “Andres is gone, Danny. I fired the Butler this morning, after...” She hesitated, “After the tragedy he caused us last night. He knew that was your father's favorite chair...” Danny's mother had started to cry as she scurried out of the room and down the stairs. Danny had hardly taken a step out of his own room, when a Policeman stopped him. “Where are you goin', kid? I've got some questions to ask ya!” He asked, trying hard to sound kind to the teen.
The police officer was standing up at the edge of the kitchen table. He motioned toward a chair opposite him. “Sit down, son.” Danny sat obediently. “Am I in trouble, officer?” He asked the policeman.
“If you answer these questions wrong, you are.” The policeman responded in a sinister voice. “Now, first question: Where were you last night?”
“I was...” Danny thought hard to come up with a lie for an excuse. “I was at the Diner.” He told the officer.
“You were at the Diner at ten o'clock at night!?” The policeman exclaimed.
“No, I was there at eight! Then when I got home-”
“You found your father. I see.” The policeman pulled out his phone and dialed the investigation agency. “Hello? Dr. Oswald? We need you at 2425 North Acer Road, to determine the time of death of Roger E. Liam... Okay... Alright, see you then.” The officer hung up and put the phone down. “Now, where were we?” He asked menacingly, seeing the horrified expression on Danny's face.
A cup of water scared Danny as it splashed across his face. Danny looked around, but he was so dazed and wet, he could not determine where he was. “Father? Are you here?” He asked, trying to focus his eyes. “Danny!” His father's voice was alarmingly close. “Come here, son! I've brought you something! And now that you've stopped daydreaming, you can have it!” Danny smiled, knowing his father's humor. “How long was I spaced out for?” He asked, questioningly. “Oh, about 30 minutes! Long enough for me to finish my work for the day!” Danny laughed, hoping his father was just joking around with him. “Oh, come on now, father! There's no way I was daydreaming for that long!!” His father laughed, saying, “Oh, but you were! Come here, son! I have something for you!”
Danny took a couple steps toward his father. “Here, son, I brought you another rock from the miners that work for me! Isn't it fascinating?” He said as he offered the rock to his son. 'Every day...' Danny thought to himself. 'Every day, he brings me those silly rocks! And he expects me to get something out of them... And I do!' Danny smiled as he took the rock from his father and examined it. “Oh!” He exclaimed, “I don't have this one yet! I can add it to my collection!” Danny hugged his father as he ran out the door to put the new rock in his room. 'I love that man, I really do. I now know how bad it would be without him...' Danny thought to himself as he ran, unnoticed, past his mother, who was cutting the fruit for supper... With the big kitchen knives.
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"I don't think I'm crazy when I talk to myself.
I don't think I'm crazy when I answer myself, either.
It's the times when I have to ask myself to repeat what I said, because I wasn't paying enough attention in the first place, that worries me..."