They call me crazy. Here I am, caged in this room The only thing I’m able to do is think about things. I imagine what it’s like to be normal again…
On Wednesdays and Saturdays I’m permitted to have visits with my family and the few friends I have left. That’s about all though. When my parents come to see me they talk about how they miss me around the house and how they’ve left my room just the way it was before I came to this place. My friends visit and bring me presents sometimes, but I don’t think they enjoy coming here. Only a few more weeks and I’m out of this place. You might be wondering what happened to me. Sure, I’ll tell you. I’ve only thought about it for the past four months, every night before I go to sleep on the small bed in the corner.
Every Sunday I would go to my grandmother’s house. My grandfather had died a few years ago from lung cancer. Most people would tell you that they looked forward to going to their grandparent’s house, but not me. I dreaded every Sunday I had to go there. My parents had scheduled meetings with our church however, so I was forced to go, regardless of how much I disliked it.
My grandmother would always read more stories when I went visited. Stories of dragons and warlocks, of barbarians and sorcerers. I’d listen intently every time, she always read them with such gusto. I swear my grandma should have tried out for those books on tape. She could make a unique voice for any type of character, man or woman, talking animal, or evil monster. Story time was definitely the most interesting part of going to my grandmother’s house; everything else was quite boring.
However, one night I asked for a scary story. My grandmother looked at me carefully and then proceeded with a story that she was working on for a short novel she was writing. The story was narrated and didn’t require my grandmother to make any alterations to her voice. At first I thought this made it boring, but it soon picked up its pace and became a bit more interesting.
The story began simply enough with a boy who was growing up in a lonely town somewhere in Illinois. His name was Gregory Smith and he was just shy of nice years old. He was an only child. His mother and father had desperately tried many times to have more children, but couldn’t. They hoped and prayed for a daughter, but God seems to ignore their wishes.
At night, Gregory would go out into the kitchen pantry and look for food to eat. Usually he was starving. His parents neglected him, as if he was a burden to their lives. They fed him only small portions for his meals, they dressed him in old, worn, hand-me-downs clothes, and ignored him almost entirely. Growing up in an environment like this, Gregory adapted quite adequately. Though he was very young, he could get free lunch downtown from sweeping the floors of the local general store. He liked the owner of the General Store. He was kind, generous, and very polite to all of customers. Gregory hated when 7PM came around and the general store closed for the night. He would walk back home and quietly slip into his room until his mother or father banged on his door for dinner. Gregory didn’t hate his parents. No matter what happens, the strong bond between parents and children remains intact.
About two months later Gregory’s wish finally came true. His mother was pregnant with another child, this time a girl. Gregory was so happy for his Mom and Dad. However his parents didn’t stop neglecting gregory after the baby sister, Rebecca, was born. It actually worsened. They focused almost all their attention on Rebecca. Soon, Gregory began to not feel good. He was practically getting only one meal a day at the general store, and hardly anything when he got home. When he asked his mother and father if they could take them to doctors, they just laughed. Instead they gave him a half full glass of milk, and sent him to his room. The next morning when his mother came banging on his room door for him to do his chores, she got no response. She opened the door and yelled at Gregory to get up, but still no response. She went over and shook him, but no response. As she shook him, underneath his shirt revealed red sores covering his stomach and chest. She knew what had happened. Gregory was dead.
She let out a horrible scream, and Gregory’s father came in from the other room tying his tie as he entered the room. Once he realized the problem, he ran over to the side of the dirty bed. The two parents panicked; they didn’t know what to do. They knew if they reported the death, the consequences would result in losing the custody of their daughter, and ultimately, probably going to jail. So they carefully carried the body up into their attic and put it in a large thick plastic box. They firmly put the lid on it once Gregory’s body was all in. They used duck tape around the crevasses and edges and placed the container in the far corner of the attic shielded by other various cardboard boxes and storage containers. And there Gregory’s body lay. When the owner of the general store called their house, his parents told him that they didn’t want Gregory to go to store anymore; that they needed him at home.
I was kind of stricken from how depressing the story was. But I thanked my grandmother for reading it to me and letting me stay up a bit past my bedtime. I went to go brush my teeth and wash my face. After I had gotten in to my PJs, I went into my room to unfortunately find my grandmother’s cat Oscar had urinated on my bed. It was too late to do a load of laundry, so my grandma suggested that I could sleep in her bed, or there was also a side bedroom in the cellar that I could sleep in for the night. I told my grandmother that I wasn’t a child anymore and that I didn’t have to sleep with her. I took an afghan from the living room couch and the pillow from my bed, which the cat had fortunately missed, and headed downstairs to the small bedroom. It was quite a tiny room, with an antique desk in the corner and a small closet on the opposite side of the room. The bed was pressed up against the wall underneath a window.
During the middle of the night I was awoken by the light of the full moon shining in through the window. Unfortunately there wasn’t curtains of any sorts to block out the light, so I put one of the pillows from the bed against the ledge on the window. I tossed and turned for awhile after that; I was never good at going back to sleep if I had been woken up in the middle of the night. I finally found a comfortable position on my side facing the closet, which was ajar. My eyes were about to close when I noticed something in the corner of the closet. Fear ran through my body and I froze in my bed staring at the object. It was a box; a large plastic storage box. Hastily around the lid’s edges there was aged tape. I pulled the covers my face slowly and closed my eyes tightly, hoping that the box would disappear. It didn’t. From that point the only things I remember is running as fast as I could out of the room and up the stairs. I recall tripping on one of the steps leading upstairs and hitting my head as I fell forward.
When I came too, I saw my mother and father standing above me in a bed. My mother bent down to give me a hug, and I tried to wrap my arms around her, but I couldn’t. I had restraints on my hands and feet. I struggled for a minute, but my father calmed me down and told me everything that had happened. I had, apparently been “out of it” for about a week. They told me that I had been screaming about a box that had a dead boy in it. I didn’t remember and of it, the screaming, being conscious, any of it.
So here I am, that was what happened. In a few days I’ll be able to get out of these restraints and go back home. The doctor tells me that I must visit him weekly. He also gave me pills, but I don’t know if I’ll take them. Maybe I’ll just fake it when my parents give them to me. I’m not insane. I know what I saw. And I know that I am never going to step foot in my grandmother’s house ever again.