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I wrote this piece as an English project. The goal of the project was to write a short story in the style of an author. My author is Stephen King.
The road flew by under Jim Thornton’s truck. Drivers honked, brakes squealed, heads turned watching him cut in between lanes of traffic. He had to get to the hospital. His wife was alone and she needed him. She was at her elementary school when her water broke. Meanwhile Jim was an hour away picking up carpentry supplies at the lumber yard. He took the exit of Route 95 on two wheels and was stopped abruptly by bumper to bumper traffic.
“F***,” Jim yelled smashing his fist into the steering wheel.
The traffic jam went on for miles hundreds of cars inching forward like a line of ants. The heat was stifling even with the windows down.
Jim looked around taking in the enormity of his situation. The cars ahead of him were going nowhere slowly. He had to get out of there or he wasn’t going to make it to the hospital in time. Jim began to cross over out of his lane cutting off a red pickup with a confederate flag sticker on his right. The man in the pickup let out a string of curses that would have put a sailor to shame. Enough was enough and Jim pulled into the parking lot of a Dunkin Donuts and got out of his car.
He took off jogging down the road. When his football career ended with high school his gut started. This was his first run in 4 years. His well worn work boots slapped the concrete step after step as he jogged down the sidewalk. 5 miles later, when he got to the hospital he was in bad shape. Sweat dripping from his chin, his face beet red, and his eyes nearly bulging out of their sockets. He bent over to catch his breath and nearly collapsed onto the floor of the lobby.
“ I need to see my wife,” he gasped reaching out to grab the attention of a nurse, “Her name's Jill and she giving birth. Right now.”
“ Right this way sir, follow me. She’s in the OR right now. There's been a complication.” The nurse motioned towards a set of closed double doors.
“A what?” Jim said fear creeping into his voice, “Whats going on with Jill?”
“We don’t know the full extent of it now but we needed to perform an emergency c-section. She’s still in surgery.”
Jim was quiet. He was worried for the baby but mostly he just cared about his wife and he prayed that she would be okay.
Jim and the nurse turned a corner and entered the OR. The smell of bleach mixed with the metallic odor of blood. Two paramedics ran by pushing a gurney with a patient covered in a white sheet on top. Jim began to taste the remnants of the egg sandwich he had earlier that morning.
“She's in that room at the end of the hallway. You can’t go in until they’re done so just sit by the door for now.”
“Alright,” Jim sat down on the tile floor and wrapped his arms around his knees. He sat there for what seemed like hours and then ended up pacing the stark white hallways wringing his hands out endlessly. The door opened and two exhausted surgeons wandered out covered in blood. He felt nauseous. When he tried to walk his feet turned to lead. He took a deep breath, then pushed open the door slowly.
His wife was sleeping peacefully in a hospital bed. Jim was struck by how beautiful she was even after giving birth. Her crimson hair ran in streaks against the papery pillow cases.
Then he saw his kids and almost threw up a second time that day.
A greying nurse stood over it in a crib. It was repulsive, he was glad his wife was asleep so she couldn’t see the look of disgust on his face. It had four chubby arms and legs along with two grotesque heads. His “Twins” were conjoined at the torso.
He ran from the room after the surgeon. “Separate them, Separate them please,” he yelled out after the doctor.
“ It is a very risky surgery which your wife did not want to take the chances with. Any ways we checked your finances, you couldn’t afford it even if we could.”
Defeated Jim wallowed back to the hospital room.Jim knew how badly Jill wanted kids. From their first date she had told him how she always dreamed of having a family. He, on the other hand, wasn’t so enthusiastic about the idea, but he loved Jill so he went along with it. But the thought of life with that thing in the operating room drastically changed his opinion.
It was dark when Jill woke up. Jim had been waiting by her bedside the whole time while she slept.
“Hey baby, how’s it going?”
“I’m doing great. How’s our little twins,” Jill whispered.
Jim smiled, but on the inside he cringed when she mentioned the twins. “ They are doing alright. The doctor said they are healthy, but . . . but what are we going to do with them?”
“We say we had a beautiful set of amazing children, Jim I have no shame about them they are my children and I will love them no matter what. If the surgery was safer I would be okay with it, but operations like that cost millions of dollars. Will never have that kind of money.” Jill replied before falling back asleep.
Later that day Jim drove Jill back home in her car and proceeded to hire a tow truck to bring his truck back from Dunkin Donuts. Jill didn’t want to leave her twins, but Jim demanded she got some rest at home. Secretly he was just anxious to get away from them. The electric blue light of Jim's desktop monitor illuminated his dark study. A grandfather clock ticked away in the corner. The study wasn’t used often by Jim, but no he took it as an opportunity to be alone. Jill was passed out in their bedroom exhausted from surgery and the twins were in the hospital. Jim was frustrated. With himself, with Jill, with God, but mostly he was angry at them his twins that couldn’t just come out right like a normal birth.
The Wikipedia page did not cover much information about how his twins were connected. Just that they did not share any major organs. He was lucky in a way that it they didn’t share a face or just have one torso like some of the freaks he had seen, but that didn’t change anything. They were still connected, still an embarrassment, still an abomination.
Unless ... no he couldn’t do that. That would be unthinkable, horrible.
But he could. Jim was a carpenter, born and raised. His father was a carpenter and so was his father before him. Jim could build anything from furniture to porches. He was an expert with a saw. He had a collection of them in his workshop in the garage, but his favorite was his hacksaw. It cut the cleanest and the fastest. Doctors used them in the civil war and revolutionary war for amputations.
“It couldn’t be that hard at all,” Jim thought, “Jill will understand when she sees her beautiful and normal kids. The only evidence would be a little scar.” But he couldn’t do that only an insane person would try to do that.
Jim made up his mind and decided to give them a little while and see if they grew on him. With that thought Jim closed his monitor and climbed back in bed next to Jill.
The morning brought a big breakfast of pancakes and bacon before a trip back to the hospital. The ride there Jim and Jill discussed names for their twins. Jill decided on Hannah and Molly, and Jim didn’t stop her.
Hannah and Molly were crying. A sound that split open Jim’s skull like a chainsaw. However Jill ran right up to the incubator but couldn’t pick up Hannah and Molly, so she settled with brushing her fingers against the warm chubby cheeks of her twins. She smiled down on them happily with the compassion only a mother could have.
“A carnival,” Jim thought, “That's where they belong, in a freak show . I should have just worn a condom. Then all of this wouldn’t be happening.” For reasons Jim did not understand Jill loved them, and Jim loved her so he was going to put up with them.
The year that followed was hell for Jim. Asides from the normal duties that come with being a father, Jim was going broke. The medical cost of keeping Hannah and Molly financially crippled him.
Doctors and surgeons frequented their house to examine the twins. Every single one of them wanted to take Hannah and Molly away for examination. Jill camly declined all of the offers, but Jim could see the process was taking a toll on her. Jim found her too often sitting on the edge of their bed, head in hands crying. His best attempts at comforting her were often met with rejection and he sensed she wanted to be left alone.
The nights where the worst.
Hannah and Molly terrorized Jim and Jill every hour once the sun set.
Prescribed medicine from the doctor didn't help sedate them as they moaned and cried. Being the dominant twin Molly liked to roll over on top of Hannah to sleep. A scene that reminded Jim of a human spider and made Jill worry about SUDC.
It was on one of these nights that Jim snapped. The demonic wailing of the creature in the crib woke something in him. He was done with the late nights dealing with his freaks of children. If the Surgeons wouldn’t do it he would. Jill would see and she would love him for it.
Floorboards creaked as Jim stormed down the hallway. The dim night light in Hannah and Molly’s room approached on his right. His mind was a red haze. “I’m done, I’m done, I’m done,” he repeated to himself over and over again. Behind him in the bedroom he could hear his wife stir. “I should have done this a year ago,” he whispered to himself.
The twins were rolling around in their crib each trying to surpress the other one. Jim began to laugh maniacally. Jim wrapped Hannah and Molly up in one arm and swung them over his shoulder roughly, Their wailing began again, and Jim’s mind continued to melt away. “Don’t you worry one bit it will all be over with soon.” Jim cooed, “ and then we can all live happy normal lives.” They were in the kitchen now, Jim fondled for the handle of the cabinet under the sink. Reaching in he pulled out the family first aid kid. The contents of the box rattled as Jim continued his march to the garage.
The garage was where he kept all of his tools and worked on small projects for his clients. The overhead light was dim and brightened little except for the work bench in the center of the room. It was here where Jim put down the twins. He turned to the rack on the wall searching for the red rubber handle of his hacksaw. The blade was in immaculate condition for its owner kept it as sharp as a diamond. Just to be make sure it was sharp Jim ran his finger across the blade. It drew blood.
Poised over the workbench, Jim stood like an Aztec priest at a sacrificial altar. He adjusted his children carefully so that their connected torso aligned with a gap that had been chewed out of the table years before. Hannah and Molly’s wailing had been reduced to an almost inaudible whimper.
“Jim Honey, what’s going on? Where are our kids?” Jill called out from the crib room.
“Go back to bed sweetie, they’re with me everything's fine.” Jim clenched the grip of the saw in his hand.
“Alright honey I’ll be reading.”
Seconds turned to minutes as Jim waited for Jill’s footsteps to fade away. Head c***ed, he listened . . . nothing but the whooshing of passing motorists on the highway. Gently he folded the sleeves of his flannel up along his arms. His grip was firm, squeezing the handle of his saw. There was not a hint of sanity left in his eyes.
Flesh tore off in chunks by the blades jagged teeth. Immediately Hannah and Mollies faces were streaked with tears of betrayal. The second stroke brought a wail like an air raid alarm. None of this phased Jim. One hand secured his children while the other pulled the saw back.
The single bulb brought enough light for Jim to operate by, however the room was nearly in complete dark. Until the door was flung open by his wife.
“Jim?” Jill’s voice was weak as she took in the scene before her. Jim knew what she was going to do before she fully did.
“Don’t, I need to do this!” He didn’t realize he was yelling.
Jill didn’t stop, she ran at Jim. They say when a mother’s kids are in danger they become something else. They fight of bears and lift cars and fallen trees off of their children. This is only partially true.
Jill’s maternal instincts kicked in and she pounced at Jim with a cry that rivalled the screams of her kids. In real life a woman of Jill's frail stature would never be able to stop the crazed animal attacking her kids. Jim raised the hand holding down the kids and brought her down with the back of his hand. Jill collapsed on the floor, unconscious.
He resumed his work. The blade continued to carve a channel between Hannah and Molly. Their screams continued to pierced the air. Back and forth. The twins blood which had pooled earlier began to fountain. Back and forth. His shirt and face were soaked crimson. The bloody gash widened. Back and Forth. Jim was close only a couple more strokes away. Back and forth. Hannah and molly were unconscious now and their screams had stopped. Back and forth. Blood dripped of the table and pooled around Jim’s feet. Back and forth.
Hannah and Molly’s hearts were both beating so rapidly Jim paused for just a second to stare down at his bloody twins with an executioner's gaze. Their eyes were closed though not peacefully. He pushed them out of his mind and got back to work. The final strand of flesh twisted and strained then finally ripped.
Jim stumbled backwards he was done he had finished. He could live a normal life with his normal kids. “His kids,” The thought flashed through his mind and he turned back around towards Hannah and Molly.
They were unconscious on the workbench. “Wake up! Oh God! please wake up!” Jim was distraught. “Hannah? Molly?” It was too late. Nothing he could do would save them. They had already lost too much blood.
His kids were gone.
He had to get out of there. He needed to get away from his twins, from Jill. “Oh God Jill,” He stammered, “I’m so so sorry.” She didn’t hear his last words to her. She was out cold lying in a warm pool of her children’s blood.
He stepped outside into the night. Streetlights illuminated the empty road. They casted shadows on the homes of happy sleeping families. Tears of remorse stung his face. The faux leather seat of his truck was hard with cold brought on by the change of seasons. The engine sputtered coughed then came on with a roar. He pulled out of his driveway and began his journey to nowhere. He turned onto the freeway not caring that he was swerving all over the road. In the distance the Tobin bridge approached. The road flew by under Jim Thornton’s truck.
A headline the next morning read: Unidentified body recovered from Charles river after car accident.