"Why have you brought me to this place of sorrow and bitter memories?" The man trembled, beads of sweat glistened upon his brow.
"Bitter for you, Papa? I think not, but for them... perhaps." The serene voice gently chided him.
"What do you want from me, after all these years? Why have you come back?"
"I needed to see you one last time, Papa. You're tired from the walk. Come sit down for a while. Lean back and rest against Mama's headstone."
"We will talk, but not here. It's late. Please take me back to the house and I will explain if that's what you wish."
"You knew they were coming that night, didn't you? Those men, bent on exacting their blood money, seeking revenge for your mistakes."
"I don't know what you are talking about." He wondered how she knew.
"I saw them, Papa. I watched them burst through the door, heard them yelling for you to pay up or die.
"You couldn't have seen that. You were gone by the time they arrived."
"Oh, but I did, and so much more. You planned it well. I saw you place the knife in their car. I followed you as you ran next door, lying your way inside."
"Impossible! You weren't there."
She ignored him, continued to speak. "The words flowed from your mouth, begging the police to hurry. You knew the cops would track them down; discover the evidence of 'their' crime. How long had you rehearsed such a scene?"
"Don't bring the memories to life, I beg of you."
"Do you remember how Mama begged? Can you see once again the pool of blood as she lay dying?"
"How do you know this? You weren't there." Desperation crept into his voice as memories flowed, unbidden.
"I saw it all, Papa. I heard her voice, pleading to no avail, telling my brother to run and hide."
"Please stop. I still hear his screams at night. My dreams carry me along a river of blood."
"But you still dream, Papa. A luxury they no longer possess. Why did you treat me differently? Perhaps that is the question I'd like to ask most of all."
Anger overcame fear now, hatred rose above all other considerations. "Is that why you've come here, to seek the answer? All right. You are the essence of your mother's betrayal. I found I couldn't live the lie, studying your face each day, wondering who stared back at me."
"Rest your hand against my brother's tiny headstone, Papa. Why did he feel your revenge?"
"My son... so much blood. For that I weep." He fought against the vision called up before him.
"And for Mama? Is there not even one tear for her?"
"What do you want from me?"
"I would think the answer obvious, Papa. I've brought you here to join us. Do you see Mama, her throat slashed by your hand? And brother, his nightclothes stained with the blood you spilled? Can you see me, Papa? Can you see the gaping hole in my chest, the emptiness within? Lay your head down upon my grave and rest. We've been waiting to embrace you."
Copyright: (c) 2009 Laura Eno
Laura Eno (http://lauraeno.blogspot.com) lives in Florida with her husband. She has written two YA fantasy novels and a paranormal romance, but lately feels compelled to write in the dark fantasy/horror genre. Her flash fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Twisted Dreams, The Monsters Next Door, Flashes In the Dark, 10Flash, The New Flesh, Everyday Weirdness and MicroHorror.