My Thanksgiving break was unforgettable.
|Today was the one year anniversary of the worst day of my life. It was also Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving. What do I have to be thankful for? The frozen pot pie I had for dinner? Or being unemployed with no hope of finding a job? Oh, wait, I know! I should be thankful I didn't go home to a bloodbath today. Because that's exactly what I did one year ago. I drove home from college and arrived to find my entire family drowning in blood. My name is Tyler Evans, and this is my story.
I hadn't been home since starting my Fall semester, and my parents were as anxious to see me as I was to come home. It was Thanksgiving break, and I had two weeks free. On my drive home, I was making plans to apply for a few jobs in my hometown. After all, I would be graduating in May. My cell rang, bringing me out of my reverie. It was my mom - her third call today.
"Around 300 miles to go," I said when I answered to save her the trouble of asking.
"It isn't that. I just wanted to make sure you were alright. It's been all over the news that 'The Butcher' escaped, and, well, you know..."
I did know. 'The Butcher', formally known as Marcus Tanner, had been our next-door neighbor when I was a child. When I was thirteen, I watched the cops haul him away in handcuffs after he brutally murdered his wife. As far as I knew, he had never revealed his motive. Then again, I hadn't heard much about him since he was sentenced to life in prison.
"Are you listening to me, Tyler? Your father and I are worried about you."
"Mom, psychos escape from prison every day, but that doesn't mean they're going to come after me. I'm 300 miles away from there..."
"I know, but your dad told me to call and tell you to be careful when you stop to get gas or food. And don't pick up any hitchhikers!"
"I won't, mom. I love you guys and will see you soon." I ended the call before she could reply. Her tendency to go overboard with worrying was exhausting at times. Plus, as soon as she mentioned food, my stomach rumbled at the realization that I hadn't eaten since breakfast. I pulled in at the next burger joint I saw.
I wolfed down my burgers as I drove, and the rest of the trip was uneventful. There were no more calls from my mother, and I was relieved that she was saving her lectures for my arrival.
I pulled into the driveway and felt a sense of foreboding. Jasper, my sister Lisa's poodle, was running around in circles, yipping like he had seen a ghost. This couldn't be right. Jasper wasn't allowed in the front yard. Even worse, his white fur appeared matted with a sticky-looking red substance. It looked like...blood.
I rushed past the poodle and noticed the front door was standing wide open. With my heart hammering in my throat, I ran into the house. And time stood still...
The walls were painted red, blood still dripping from the pictures adorning them. My eyes darted frantically until they settled on what I soon discovered was my father's eyeless corpse, his traditional Thanksgiving carving knife plunged deep into his torso. My stomach lurched at the ghastly scene before me. Quickly turning away to regurgitate my grease laden meal, I stumbled over the body of my mother.
Her clothes had been cut away from her body, and a fire poker had been inserted in a part of her body that a son should never see. I sank to my knees in despair, bathed in her blood as I cradled her lifeless head. I sat there sobbing until I remembered my sister. Where was Lisa? Mustering all the energy and courage I had left, I got to my feet and began to search the rest of the house.
The kitchen was pristine, only marred by the blood from my sneakers making a trail on the linoleum. I searched a few more rooms before I saw a set of bloody footprints that weren't my own leading from the bathroom. Steeling myself, I opened the door.
Lisa's headless body was slumped over the bathtub. Blood was everywhere - on the mirror and covering the walls. Her head was in the sink and, through the drying blood, I saw that she had the most horrified expression imaginable. That expression still haunts my dreams. Looking into a small area of the mirror that wasn't covered with blood, I caught a glimpse of my bloody face and felt lightheaded. And that's the last thing I remember until I woke up in the emergency room.
I spent the following day in the hospital. All I can remember is a nurse urging me to eat Thanksgiving dinner, consisting of a cafeteria tray filled with turkey and mashed potatoes. And dried cranberries. The color of blood. My family's blood...
To make a long story short and to wrap up the past year of my miserable life in a few short paragraphs, 'The Butcher' was found a few days later. This time, he had a motive. He had returned to get the mother of his child. When she didn't go willingly, he killed her and her entire family. Well, he killed most of them. His child wasn't there. I am that child. Paternity tests proved as much.
I dropped out of college. I flirted with drug addiction, but I couldn't afford it. I live off the life insurance from my family, or at least those people I thought were my family. I'm unemployable. Nobody wants to hire the son of a murderer. And, even worse, I think I inherited some of my father's genes. Because, something I failed to mention earlier, I liked all the blood.