Fiction: Dead in the Flesh by Sharlene O.
I walked out of my bedroom and was greeted with the static sounds of the TV ceasing, allowing the news reporter to be heard. However, I didn’t hear a word he said. I realized I couldn’t recall anything that happened in the last 24 hours.
“News report just in. We have received more information on the mysterious murder of Em…”
Suddenly the TV cut and the only sounds heard were the labored breathing of a dark haired women. She sat on the couch staring absentmindedly at the TV that just gave her bitter news. I walked past her to enter the kitchen but found about a dozen men snooping around. Some were wearing white gloves and white biohazard coats while the others wore blue.
A man walked in the room right past me as I stood at the door frame.
“Ms.Brown,” he called. I noticed he was dressed in navy blue with a badge on his right breast.
“I’m sorry for your loss, but we need you to come to the station with your husband to fill out some paperwork.” His face was grim as if he didn’t want to do this. I didn’t blame him; the woman looked extremely exhausted and pained, and now was told she had to fill out paperwork for it when all she wanted to do was grieve in peace.
I was wondering what had happened that could cause the police to come to our home and why the atmosphere was dark. Another man entered the living room, face riddled with wrinkles that could only be there from stress and time. His face held a grim shadow like the other two in the room, causing him to sigh.
“Come on June.” He nudged her but she remained still, staring at the blank screen of the TV.
“Honey, come on, let's go fill out those papers.” He gently grabbed her hand and led her to the door, followed by the man in the navy blue uniform.
I asked them if I could come along but they just walk past me. I thought nothing of it; they were probably too upset with whatever happened to hear me. So when they left I turned on the TV to see what could possibly cause my parents to be this upset, but the news was over and the 330rd episode of The View was on instead.
“Well that’s great,” I thought angrily. I wanted to know if my mom was okay but I didn’t want to bother her or dad.
“I’ll just do some investigating myself.” I grabbed my jacket and exited my house, walking down the usually quiet streets of Chamber Town where everyone waved at another. Nothing ever happened in Chamber Town, but today everyone on the block surrounded the area by my house only being held off by the police tape.
“That’s odd,” I thought outloud. My family is usually quiet. Although we socialize, my parents almost always keep to themselves. As I walked further down into town I saw the local butcher, Jason Hyde. He was my mother’s closest friend. He was talking to another lady, Martha Wayne, my mom’s other best friend. I couldn’t quite hear what they were saying but I knew it was about what got my parents all upset.
“I didn’t think she’d actually do it,” exclaimed Hyde as his eyebrows pulled up and his eyes widened at the new information. Hyde stood at six foot one, and was a well built man, considering his occupation. His light brown hair reached his shoulder blades and he had a beard to go along with it courtesy of his German background. Wayne, who stood at five foot four, rolled her eyes and flipped her shoulder length hair behind her ears.
“ Of course she did; it’s June,” she whispered harshly, clearly annoyed at Jason's antics.
I could not hear much of what they were saying considering my position across the street from them so I decided to head towards them to ask. I couldn’t help but feel like something was entirely wrong. Pushing that thought aside, I approached them while waving.
“Oh hi there,” Wayne said, her smile curled up, reaching her eyes.
“Hello little lady,” Hyde greeted with his usual gentleman-like manners. I was about to ask my question until I realized those greetings weren’t for me but another teenage girl standing behind me, Rose Walker, a sweet ginger that I went to school with.
“Hello Ms. Wayne. Mr. Hyde,” she nodded her hello. “May I hang up these flyers on your shop?” Rose asked as the corners of her lips twisted upward, and her eyes sparkled almost pleadingly.
“Go ahead dear, however me and Ms. Wayne must be on our way now. Have a good day.” He ushered Ms. Wayne to begin walking as they both smiled at the girl and departed. Rose then hung up two flyers on the window of the butcher shop, the next on the door of it. What happened next made my heart skip a beat. The flyer had a picture of a teenage girl with long black curls, her eyes sparking and smile stretched from cheek to cheek. This was no doubt a picture of me, Emily Brown. The flyer read:
Come to Emily Brown’s Wake
Date: August 24, 2016
Place: The Browns’ house in Chamber Town
I felt my eyes water as I suddenly forgot how to breathe. In due time my breathing came in short huffs. I leaned against the walls of the butcher shop.
“What the hell is going on. I can’t be dead I’m right here.” Panic began to spread throughout my body as I found my way back home wanting answers. Every step caused more dread to trickle down inside me. Finally I reached my street and bypassed the growing crowd and police officers. I raced up to my room, and the door almost flew off the hinges with the amount of force I used to open it. Almost immediately I regretted my decision as I saw a body draped with a white sheet in the center of my room. Slowing, I made my way to the center and kneeled beside the corpse. My hand found its way to the tip of the sheet and rolled it up to the corpse’s shoulders.
“No, no no no no no no it can’t.”
On the ground was me with my throat slashed. I ran out the room, my breathing labored. I could not get my breathing under control as I tried to process what had happened.
“I’m dead. But who would—why would anyone do this to me?”
The front door creaked open, allowing my grief struck parents to enter. I ran down the stairs and stopped at the door frame to watch them. I missed them so much, but now I knew I couldn’t do anything about it but watch. My father guided my mother inside as he sat her down at the kitchen table and turned around to get her some water. Mother slid on her favorite black gloves. I noticed she had them on whenever something happened, mainly when someone went missing or died. When asked about them years ago she told me they scared the demons away so nothing would happen to us. She had put them on a little too late this time.
I turned back into the living room, allowing them space. My dad was always a gentle soul always caring for us, putting us before himself no matter what. I loved him and I hoped he would be alright after this incident.
Suddenly I heard my father scream, followed by shattered glass. I ran back into the kitchen and saw his fallen body, eyes staring blank ahead, gasping as he grabbed his neck trying to stop the blood flow.
“NO! DAD!” I cried, falling beside him helpless. I couldn’t do anything but watch. Who would do this? Why?
I then remembered there was another person in the room with us.
“Mom? But why?” I knew she couldn’t hear or see me but I couldn’t help but say it aloud. I noticed she started to walk towards us so I ran back to the door frame.
She knelt down beside dad and her lips twitched upward.
“Stupid fools, never even knew what hit them.” She laughed as she stood up, and began to walk out until she stopped right in front of me and smiled. My heart dropped even lower than before, and I felt my hands dripping with sweat.
“Can she see me?” I thought. My psychopathic mother was looking right at me, and I had no idea what to do. She then walked right past me to the front door where Mr. Hyde and Ms. Wayne awaited her.
“Do you have our sacrifices, darling?” Mr. Hyde asked innocently, putting his hands on her hips impatiently.
“Of course she does, Hyde,” Wayne said irritated as she pushed past him. “I never doubted you for a second, June Brown.” She smiled at her old friend.
“Good.” June said as she guided them inside the house.