Here is my prompt for Day two of the October horror writing! I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with this time!!!

Family Business

I’ve always been able to see things. I never realized it was something abnormal until I was eight years old and I told my friend’s parent about the young boy who fell into their swimming pool. He was struggling, and I’d wanted them to help him. Instead of helping, Michael’s mother went pale, her lips pursed. I didn’t understand why they’d called my mother to come and pick me up, until that night when she’d asked me if Michael had told me about his younger brother drowning the year earlier.

For a long time, I didn’t understand what I could do. I saw people in glimpses. I saw people dying. It was uncomfortable and frightening… but I became to used to it that it was normal.

What wasn’t normal was the first time I saw the image of my father strangling a young boy in the basement of our new house.

A scream tore out of my throat, and I actually ran forward to stop him. When I fell through the images, tumbling to the ground and catching myself against the stone wall, I could do nothing other than turn and sit with a numb feeling spreading along my entire body as the image of my father shook the child violently until he wasn’t moving anymore. The image faded away as my father turned and grinned, holding the small limp body in hands that had picked me up and twirled me around when I was a child.

I wasn’t a child anymore, and my seventeen year old mind was having trouble keeping a scream from erupting out of my throat. It was even harder to stay silent when I heard a rush of foot steps and my father’s face peered in through the basement doorway, concern clearly painted on his visage.

“Charlie, are you okay?” He was coming down the stairs two at a time, and I recoiled when he grabbed for my hands. He frowned, but took my wrists. I didn’t notice that my palms were bleeding until he pulled them upward. “What happened? Are you all right?”

I was having trouble speaking. Everything that I saw was true. I’d never seen an image that wasn’t an actual event. I’d started researching to make sure.

“Dad, I…” But looking into those blue eyes full of concern, I couldn’t tell him. I couldn’t accuse him. I had to be wrong.

“Charlie?”

“I tripped. This basement is dark even with the lighting. Do you think we can add in some more lights?” My father was an electrician, and he was teaching me the tricks of the trade. A smile spread across his face and he nodded, pulling me to my feet.

“Of course. We can make a project of it. For now, let’s get you washed up, okay?” He shook his head, and I saw his eyes flicker to the wall behind me. For a moment, I noticed a coldness flit through his gaze. It chilled me to the core.

I was still shaking as I made my way upstairs, but I’d almost managed to talk myself into thinking that I’d been wrong, that I’d seen wrong when I got into the bathroom. I turned to wash my bleeding hands in the sink and stopped cold. Behind me my mother was holding a young woman’s head under the overflowing water of the bathtub. The woman was thrashing and struggling, and my mother was laughing.

“What the fuck!” I jerked around. I could see water stains on the floor, but my mother and the dying woman were gone. “What the fuck!” I whimpered the words out again. I actually clenched my fists, the pain from the pressure on my palms telling me that I wasn’t dreaming.

“Charlie, baby? Are you all right?” It was my mother’s voice now, coming to check on me. I didn’t want to answer. I didn’t know what to do. Images flashed in front of my eyes again, my mother dragging the body out of the room, my father telling her to bring it to the basement.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. We weren’t even unpacked. This was supposed to be a fresh start. We’d moved here because our old neighborhood had been so full of crime that the images were driving me crazy. My parents had thought I was stressed. They’d told me a change of scenery would help me to calm down. My father had said he was ready to get me in to the family business, that we could start working together…

I opened the door, feeling numb. My mother was standing there, concern on her gaze. Behind her, I saw an image of her dragging a bleeding woman into the room that we’d just moved my bed into. As I watched, she slammed the door against the woman’s head with a sickening crack and the image faded away.

“Mom… have you been here before?” The concern faded away from her eyes as I looked at her. There wasn’t anger there, but a sense of understanding. A knowing smile slowly spilled across her lips.

“I think you need to come with me, Charlie.” Fear spilled cold through my chest.

“Mom?” I think that she could hear the fear in my voice. She stepped forward, wrapping her arms around me.

“Don’t worry, baby. It’s going to be okay.” Her arm stayed around me, and she led me to the basement door again. My father was standing at the bottom of the stairs. He had a brick in his hand and his shirt was dirty.

“Mom… Dad…” I didn’t want to ask them if they were going to hurt me, but an image of them throwing a thrashing body down the stairs played before my eyes, that body falling through my dad and fading away.

“I told you, Charlie… it’s time for you to join the family business. I have something to show you…” I could see the wall that I’d fallen into earlier, the hole in the wall… and the smell of decaying flesh was creeping up the stairs. My parents… my sweet parents… the family who dressed in matching sweaters to take Christmas photos… and this was their secret? I knew what was going on now, and I had to make a decision. I didn’t know if I was safe – not if I didn’t agree to what they were wanting to show me. At least for now. With a quaver to my voice, I started down the stair and asked softly.

“The… family business…?”

An image of my father sealing up a woman, eyes wide and mouth taped shut, alive and frightened behind the brick wall played before my eyes. When the image faded, I could see the shriveled, rotting body.

“Oh, God…”

My parents were murderers… and they wanted me to join their ‘business’?

What was I going to do?

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