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Andy stared down at the tiny baby being cradled in Mommy’s arms.
“Do you want to say hello to your new baby sister?” Mommy asked in a tired voice. Andy nodded and picked up the small hand. The baby babbled and squirmed, and Andy looked up to Mommy in alarm.
“Don’t worry,” Mommy giggled. “She won’t bite.” Andy gave the hand a quick, hesitant shake and released it.
“I guess she’s kinda cute,” Andy said, studying her. She had a few wisps of blonde hair on her head and had beautiful blue eyes. Andy shook his head, unable to believe that this child, looking completely opposite to his brown hair and brown eyes, could be related to him. Andy glanced over at the birth certificate lying on the nearby table. He picked it up and read the name written in perfect calligraphy: Amy. He looked at the baby and repeated the name aloud. She stared at him with her big, curious eyes and smiled, almost as if to say that she accepted the name. Andy placed his hand on her soft cheek and stroked it tentatively. This was his first experience with a baby so young, and he was amazed by everything, from her size to the wonder at which she looked at the world. She turned her head slightly and his thumb was caught in her mouth. He gasped as she began gently gumming him, and Andy ripped his thumb out of her mouth in alarm.
“She bit me!” he cried.
“She’s just teething,” Mommy said calmly.
“Y-you lied to me,” Andy stammered. Mommy shook her head, dismissing his reaction as ten year old nonsense, but he stared at his thumb in horror. Amy continued to babble as if nothing had happened, and Andy glared at her.
“You did that on purpose,” he mumbled, and she nodded. His hand balled into a fist, and she stuck out her tongue. From then on, their sibling rivalry grew, and Andy became more and more violent in his attacks on Amy. It started small: pulling hair, unscrewing the lid on the salt, occasional bickering, but as Amy grew old enough to understand, she used his attacks against him.
“Mommy!” she would wail in a convincing cry. “Andy hurt me again.” Andy would try to explain that he hadn’t done anything, and quite often he hadn’t even been around for the incident, but Mommy always sided with Amy. Always. This continued on for many years, and it hit its peak at Amy’s fifth birthday party. She awoke excitedly and sprang out of bed the minute her alarm went off, contrary to her usual mornings of struggling to get up after the twentieth time the alarm rang. She threw on her brand new yellow dress covered in flowers and admired herself in the mirror. Amy brushed the white-blonde hair out of her face and placed a hat on top of her head. It matched perfectly with the dress, and she squealed in delight at her completed look. Amy ran out of her room and crashed into Andy. He grimaced at the sight of her, and Amy laughed; nothing could spoil her special day. She ran down the wooden stairs to the kitchen, and Andy retreated into his room.
“I can’t take it anymore!” he texted his friend Jake.
“Are you gonna do it?” Jake replied.
“Yeah, no more waiting,” Andy gingerly placed his phone down and removed his running shoe. Underneath a thick layer of rubber laid a razor tied to a thin rope. Andy gazed at his reflection in the metal, and his gruesome smile widened. Andy placed a mask over his face and prepared for what would happen before, during, and after the attack.
“I cannot fail,” he said to himself, clenching his hands into fists. Meanwhile, outside Amy played with her friends. Pinning the tale on the donkey, drinking punch, and getting burned out in the blazing sun. Each child laughed and ran around the yard, and Andy watched them all with disgust. As the sun reached its peak in the sky, Mommy brought out a large cake with a picture of Amy’s face on it.
“Happy birthday, Sweety,” she said, giving Amy a kiss on the forehead. As the children sang happy birthday, anger that had been simmering within Andy for five years came to a loud boil, and he screamed. Andy raced out into the backyard swinging the razor like a maniac. It sliced effortlessly through everything in the yard, and the children went into a frenzy. They crashed into each other, the fence, and the supervising adults, while Andy swung the blade around and around into the nearest person. Andy cornered Amy, and with a quick jerk of his wrist, the blade connected with her neck. Blood exploded out of her and stained everything. The fresh blood dripped down the fence, and the nearby cake turned from white into a deep red. Amy dropped to the ground with glassy eyes, and Mommy raced over to her. Mommy hugged and kissed her, but knew there was nothing she could do. Paramedics and police showed up, and even though they were experienced with gruesome injuries, they had to gasp at the bloody scene before them. Many of the children had cuts of various intensities, blood pooled around a few of them, and one by one the children were driven to the hospital. Andy re-hid the razor and mask, and he followed Mommy and Amy into the ambulance. As they arrived at the hospital, the sun had hidden itself behind a black veil. Thunder pounded through everyone’s exasperated heads, and they all ran into the ER. Mommy watched as they attempted to perform a blood transfusion to make up for what Amy lost. Mommy watched as Amy’s body broke into a seizure and her heart rate shot up. Mommy watched as several charges failed and Amy flat lined. Mommy watched as Amy’s body was covered by sheets and declared dead. Mommy watched until she was escorted out of the room. Tears streamed down her face, and Andy patted her back.
“Every cloud has a silver lining,” he said in an attempt to cheer her up.
“Not this one,” Mommy mumbled. Andy shrugged and took out his phone.
“It went perfectly,” he texted Jake, and Jake replied with a thumbs up sign.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Mommy suddenly. “Of all days, it had to be her birthday,” Mommy gasped and shuddered, but her face remained dry; there were no more tears left. Andy gave her a supportive hug.
“We’ll get through this,” he said, trying as hard as he could not to smile. Mommy’s shoulders heaved shakily, and Andy pulled away. They watched as each parent left with their child; only Amy had been killed in the attack. They left the hospital as it was getting dark, and Mommy walked through the house in a daze. She placed her hands on top of everything associated with Amy, and Andy followed her. As the clock struck midnight, rain pounded down, and Andy led Mommy to bed. Mommy didn’t sleep at all that night; Andy, however, slept very peacefully. The next morning, the doorbell rang before the sun had come up. Mommy opened the door, and two policemen bumped past her, one tall and one short.
“We’d like to ask you some questions ma’am,” the tall one said. Mommy answered everything they asked, but she didn’t hear any of the questions. They tipped their hats and left; Mommy didn’t notice.
“Mom, are you alright?” Andy asked nervously. Mommy broke out of her trance just enough to form a weak smile.
“I will be,” she sighed. Andy looked over at a picture of their family, and a pang of guilt hit him. He went up to his room and sighed, wondering if he had made the right decision. The following days blurred into each other after that, and one week later, they all stood around the small, brown coffin holding Amy. The damp grass seemed almost gray, matching the silver sky above them. Rain drizzled down softly, and thunder rumbled in the distance, giving a warning about the storm to come. A huge ceremony honored Amy, featuring every single one of her friends saying something about their lost companion. At the end, it was time to open the coffin. When the priest lifted the heavy wooden lid so that everyone could say their last goodbyes, he gasped; the coffin was empty. Mommy ran up to the wooden box in alarm.
“Where is she?” she cried in dismay. “Where is my baby?” Mommy repeated it over and over again, and Andy and Mommy’s sister, Helen, led her back to her car.
“I better drive you two home,” Helen said to Andy with a nervous glance at Mommy. They all sat in an uncomfortable silence on the ride home, and Helen couldn’t usher them into the house fast enough once they were home. Helen said her goodbyes, and she called her husband to come pick her up. The sun set and Mommy lay down in her bed, prepared for another sleepless night. Andy shut off his light and drifted off to sleep. Towards the middle of the night, however, he was awakened by a dim light filling his room. He rubbed his tired eyes, and to his surprise, there were five candles floating one foot away from his face. The bitter smell of wax filled his nose, and Andy tried to back away. The sound of a child humming the tune to happy birthday filled the air. Andy squinted at the light, and he could just make out a familiar smile. The humming grew louder, and one by one the candles were blown out. As the song came to an end, the final flame was turned to a wisp of smoke, and Andy was plunged into darkness.
The next morning, Mommy read the newspaper while she waited for Andy to wake up. She gasped as she saw an article about a mass murderer on the loose.
Mystery Murderer Massacres Millions
All over the world, thousands of deaths have been reported. Police are baffled by the series of unfortunate deaths from the night. All of the victims have been found with a single cut on their throat artery leading to a quick but gory death. It has also been found that each victim has a sibling. Age and sex don’t seem to be an important factor. There are no fingerprints left behind, but some people have reported finding candle wax mixed in with the blood of the victims. Police have no leads as to who could have committed these crimes, but some have a good idea of how to find them.
Officer Kraemer, chief of police, says, “To carry out this many killings in one night, there must be a large group of…”
Mommy set the newspaper down with an unusual calmness.
“Andy, sweety, could you come down here?” she called in a dry, flat voice. No answer.
“Andy?” she asked again. The silence was deafening, and she walked steadily up to his room. She opened the door, and there lay Andy, a blood pool surrounding his pale body, and a bit of wax floating unnaturally within it. Mommy suddenly cried out in pain and collapsed to her knees.
“Why?” she cried. “WHY?” She returned to her room and closed the blinds, cutting herself off from the light of the world. Mommy laid her head on her pillow, and for the first time in weeks, she fell asleep. Mommy awoke at nearly midnight, and she opened her eyes to see five candles floating dangerously close to her face as happy birthday was sung by a painfully familiar voice. The hot wax dripped down in a mockingly gentle manner, and a few drops of the sticky substance fell onto Mommy’s lap. She didn’t react; she was numb from all of the recent events clouding her mind. The candles flickered slightly from Mommy’s heavy breathing, and one by one, the gentle fire disappeared. The next morning, a newspaper with the heading Murderer Strikes Again landed with a thunk on the front step of the lonely house. The door never opened, and day after day newspapers with similar headings landed on top of the one from the previous day, until one day, the newspapers stopped.
Cornish, New Hampshire
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