Orange Street News

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OSN SHORT STORY: BEHIND THE EMPTY

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NOTE FROM EDITOR: Recently, the OSN has been working on fiction writing. Short stories are another passion of mine. I feel good about my journalism but am trying to improve at the writing fiction. Thank you. 

By Hilde Kate Lysiak

Samantha sat down and stared at her air conditioner. She saw a man smiling looking at her through the window. She kept staring at her air conditioner. He stared back. They looked at each other for 5 and a half hours. His head started to shake around the air conditioner. Soon after the head began to shake, the head of the man slowly began to disappear.
“Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye,” Samantha kept whispering and murmuring to her self in a deep voice.
“You do not fool me. I know you are not there. I wish you were, though. I wish you would come out of there and talk. Do you get cold in there? I wouldn’t if I were you. I always get too hot out here in the desert. It sucks. Do you ever get lonely in their? I do out here.”
Samantha waited in silence for a few minutes.
“I am sorry. I know you are not real. You are all in my head. Well that’s what my mom says. My mom, Emma, is always right. There has never been a time where she was wrong. Well, at least not when I was alive. So that means that for a whole entire thirteen years she hasn’t been wrong. That’s a very impressive streak! I could never be so impressive. For example, I am wrong every day when I believe in you,” Samantha said sighing.
Samantha heard foot steps on the upstairs staircase.
“Sam… Sam, I made you a snack,” Samantha’s mother said.
Her mom noticed her sitting on her bed when she walked in the bed room.
“What are you doing?” Her mom asked with a fearful look on her face.
“It is ok, Mom? I am just talking to Bob,” Samantha said.
Her mom dropped her tray of cookies. She quickly bent down to pick them up. They were both silent for a moment. Samantha stared at her mom but her mom did not stare back.
“No,” Her mom said finaly, “We have been over this. You can only talk to Cathy. She is the only nice one in the air conditioner. Every one else up there is rotten. Bob is not real. Cathy and the other people are. Now, have you told anyone about your friends, and Cathy? Have you?”
“NO of course not,” Sam said.
They both paused for a moment.
“Maybe you can let them go now. Maybe now I can make some friends my self,” Sam said.
“No one will like you out there. You will be bullied and picked on until you can not take it any more. These are the people you need to be with. No one else. Do you understand me?” Her mom said.
“Do you want me to be like Bob?” Sam asked.
“There is no Bob!” Her mom screamed at the top of her lungs.
Finally she had snapped. The quiet room echoed with her screamed words of terror.
“I am sorry, Mom. I did not mean to make you yell. I just… Bob is so lonely. I mean, I know Bob is not real. But he feels real to me. I need help. I need someone to talk to. All these kids do is scream and ask to be let out of their chains,” Sam said in a high pitched yet quiet voice, looking at her mom.
Quiet voices whispered all around.
It is okay. There is nothing wrong.
“It is okay. But there is really something wrong with you I will tell you that. Seeing people, thinking I am a bad person, just for locking people up so you have friends. But all I am doing is protecting you. You are the awful person—not me, I am a great, helping, kind person. Unlike you. If you try to have friends it will not turn out well. Bye,” Her mom said in a very cheery voice while picking up the cookies.
Her mom picked up the last cookie off the ground. She held it up to her mouth slowly and took a a few big bites from the cookie. She smiled then left.
THE NEXT MORNING
Sam grabbed her phone, math book, and LA book from her drawer. She grabbed her back pack and emptied all those items into it. She put on her back pack and left her room.
Sam ran down the stairs.
“Hi mom,” Sam said.
“Hi. Good morning. You are ready for school already? It is only 6:00,” her mom said.
“Yeah, of course. Today is Monday and on Mondays I have a club before school. I am very popular at school now. Everyone likes me now. I am having such a nice time at school,” Sam said.
“I am not so glad to hear that. I expected better then this from you. Please do not become one of those girls. Those girls who are obsessed with make up and being cool and popular. Please, please do not. I beg of you,” Her mom said.
“I would never do that to you mom. I love you. I will not. I promise. I will be a good child. But I am going and I am going to make friends. I was thinking about what you said last night and I do not agree with it. I am sorry, but I will not obey you in this matter. But I will make sure I do not become one of those girls,” Sam said.
Sam placed her hand on the door knob.
“No! Don’t!” her mom said screaming and grabbing Sam’s hand. “You do not know what will happen to you! They will hurt you. Burn you. Kill you. Vanish you! Do not… please I beg of you. Stay, my daughter. Please, Please, Please,” Her mother begged with fear in her eyes.
Sam got free from her mother’s grip and walked out the door.
TWENTY MINUTES LATER
“Hi Sam. How are you?” A long haired girl named Ally said. “We have been waiting on you for a while. What took you so long?”
“Oh, well, I had to eat breakfast and my mom…well she made me finish my plate,” Sam said.
“Ugh—moms are the worst. I wish we just did not have them, don’t you?” Ally said.
“Well kind of. Sometimes. I mean, I still love my mom. And she loves me…I know she loves me… I just know it. Just sometimes she does not show it but I know she thinks it,” Sam said.
“Well I guess it is the same with my mom. But from what it sounds like you have such an amazing mom who would do anything for you. So many people would love to have a mom like yours and mine. Cause many people do not have caring moms like we do,” Ally said smiling.
Sam noticed a poster in the auditorium as she was walking with Ally around the auditorium. The poster read: We will remember. Maybe Sam didn’t remember what the poster meant, but something struck her immediately.
“Hey, who is that—that kid on the poster? I know him,” Sam said.
“Oh… that is Bob. He was my best friend. In elementary school all we would do after school was hang out,” Ally said.
“Oh what happened to him?” Sam asked cheerfully.
Ally started to cry.
“Well, he went missing. Some people around here and the police think it was just some really insane murderer who was on drugs or something. But I know that is not what happened. He always talked about some woman following him, not to kill him, but just to keep, so when they didn’t find his body, I knew what happened,” Ally said crying.
“Oh since we are friends, I can tell you a secret,” Sam said, gathering her courage. “That’s what my mom does for a living. I know Bob. He is in my air conditioner,” Sam said cheerfully.
“Is this some kind of joke to you?” Ally said.
“No! Of course not. I would never joke so close to my birth day they say it is bad luck. Did you know tomorrow is my birthday?” Sam said, trying to change the subject.
“What do you want me to say? Happy Birth Day? You are crazy if you really believe that. Bob is gone! He was my best friend! How can you joke about that? Get away from me, you crazy person!” Ally said.
“But we are friends. I mean… I thought we were,” Sam said.
“I did, too. Now get away from me. Now!” Ally yelled.
FIVE AND ONE HALF HOURS LATER.
“I just got a call from the office in your school,” Her mom said.
“You did…well, it was not my fault at all,” Sam said.
Sam then got pale with fear and started to shake.
“Do not interrupt me when I am speaking, It was an anonymous call saying you told this ‘un known person’ that I kidnap people,” her mom screamed while smiling.
Sam ran upstairs crying.
THE NEXT DAY
Sam heard a voice singing and feet running up the stairs.
“OHH NOOO,”  Sam said to herself.
Sam then hid under her covers.
The singing got louder. Soon Sam realized what song it was. Happy Birthday. She had not heard that song in a year. Hearing that song made her feel so good. She felt good for the first time in a long time. Her mind felt clear. It was an amazing feeling. That amazing feeling would soon go away.
Her mom, Emma, slowly opened Sam’s bedroom door. Then Emma stopped. She started to feel something. She felt what Sam was feeling. She knew Sam was feeling happy. Happy for the first time in a long time. Emma was happy, too. All she ever wanted was for Sam, her only daughter, to be happy. That was all she ever wanted.
Emma smiled and opened the door.
No one was in the room. Emma blinked and there Sam was.
“You can come out of your room now. I invited the whole town to the party we are having tonight. It will be so amazing! Oh, Sam, I love you so much, You know that, right? I know it seems like I am a bad guy, but no. You know when I was your age I did not have any friends. My mom made sure I did not make any and now that I am older, I know she did that cause she loved me. She took people like I do now and made them my friends. At the time I thought that was wrong. So I was sick of it and I rebelled. I ran away from home because I thought she was wrong. I thought her lifestyle was wrong. That was the worst decision I ever made. When I ran away I had a bad feeling. I had a bad feeling that I was making the wrong choice or something bad was going to happen. I should have listened to that feeling, that awful feeling, but I did not. And now I feel terrible.    That was the last time I saw her. And now I miss her so much and I want you to never have to experience that. So listen to me, please, please, listen to me. If you listen to me good things will happen. I promise you that,” Emma said.
“I understand, Mom. But you do not. Look around. You are fake. You are really, really fake. Well, you are not, so never mind. You pretend that everything is fine but it is not,” Sam said.
“Samantha, that is really rude. I am so disappointed that I raised a daughter as awful and disrespectful as you. You should be happy I allow you to live in this house. I came to wish you a happy birthday, but I can see now that you will never deserve a birthday,” Emma said.
“You are right. I should be more grateful. You even threw me a birthday party tonight,” Sam said.
“The party is not for you, it is for me. You have to stay in your room all day, so you do not make any dangerous friends,” Emma said.
Emma walked downstairs. Emma went to her kitchen to start making party food. After she was done, it was still two hours until the party. She sat down on her couch. She thought about Sam.
She thought about a lot of different things. She thought a lot about how Sam was doing. Emma’s childhood did not go well so she wanted to make sure Sam’s did.
But was what Emma was doing really good for Sam? Was it really making Emma feel better about her childhood? That is what it was supposed to do. But it was not working. She often thought of her horrific childhood.
Even before she ran away, she was still a miserable child. She thought often about how she would sometimes be invited to parties but her mom would not let her go. She would go in her room and cry for hours about not being able to go. Everything would be awful. But then she would wake up in the morning and things would be okay.
She also thought a lot about her Mom. She wondered how she was doing. What if she was caught or hurt? Emma could imagine many different things that could have happened to her mom. She wondered if her mom ever looked for her.
She was so, so sad that her mom never found her. Well maybe she did not even look. Emma always wanted to reunite with her mom. She never got the courage to and now it was too late. She forgot where her mom lived.
So she decided that she should visit her mom. She loved her mom and also needed parenting advice. She typed her moms name in google. Hopefully it would show an address or phone number or some type  of information. She typed her mom’s name in but did not search it.
She was scared that she would not find any information, or that she would call her mom and she would not want to talk to her. She had not seen her mom in so long. It was a terrifying feeling she got right before she searched her mom’s name. But she finally did it. What came up terrified Emma.
It was news articles. She read the news and it turns out her mom was in jail for kidnapping. Emma did not know what to do. She started to sob. She cried and cried for an hour.
Before she knew it, it was time for the party. The door bell rang.
Emma rushed to get the door. She smiled as she opened it. More and more people came. Emma was so happy that people came to her party. After she put so, so much hard work into setting every thing up, it seemed like it was going to pay off.
Emma was having an awesome time. Everyone was having fun talking and eating her party food. They were sitting down telling stories. Everyone was hanging out by Emma’s fireplace. It was just a good time for everyone.
Then, suddenly, the door bell rang. Emma got up to get it. At the door, there was an old women. She looked around the room then frowned.
“Hello, welcome to the party. Can I get you something to eat, or drink?” Emma said to the elderly woman.
“No thank you, dear. I guess I am the first one to the party?” the elderly women asked.
“I am not sure what you mean,” Emma said with a strange look on her face.
“Well I mean I am the first one here. My name is Cam, by the way,” The elderly women said.
“Oh,… ok then. Would you like to sit down?” Emma said.
“Of course. Now, do you have any kids?” Cam asked.
“Yes, I have one. Her name is Samantha. I call her Sam. She is thirteen now. I love her so much. Would you like to see her?” Emma said.
“Yes that would be quite lovely. I have a daughter too, She is 51,” Cam said.

“Oh. Well, why didn’t she come?” Emma said.
“Well, do you really want to here the truth?” Cam said.
“Ummm sure,” Emma said.
“I am sure you are aware of the reason nobody is at your party,” Cam said.
“What do you mean? Everyone is here. We are all having a great time,” Emma said.
“Let me finish. People are afraid of you. You never leave your house. And also there is a rumor going on at my grand daughter’s school that you are a kidnapper, and I do not think that—not at all. Not even a little bit. But I came cause I felt bad for you. And I saw you walking around town and you did not seem well. Before I retired, I used to work with people on their mental state. And I am not saying you are crazy or anything like that. All I am saying is that you clearly need help. And I think I can help you. You should come to my house some time. For tea. We can talk about your problems and work everything out, everything will be fine,” Cam said.
“You think I am making everything up. I am not crazy! You are. I am calling the cops. Sam come down here! And bring the phone,” Emma said.
Sam came down. As she was walking down the spiral staircase, she tripped down .
“Oh my gosh,” Emma screamed.

Emma ran and ran as fast as she could to the staircase. Cam followed her. Emma bent down to Sam’s body and started to cry.
Cam stared at Emma. She was confused why Emma was knelling down to an empty spot in the floor.

3 comments on “OSN SHORT STORY: BEHIND THE EMPTY

  1. Soufian Al Kadaoui
    June 12, 2018

    Really impressive! You definitively have talent for deep psychological writing. It was thrilling till the end! Congrats.

    Like

  2. John S. R. Lawrence
    June 12, 2018

    Hilde
    Thanks for the update on your status. I was worrying about you.
    John

    Like

  3. Dennis Mulder
    June 15, 2018

    More of this! It’s actually very good!
    Keep it up…

    Dennis

    Like

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