I just wanted to give my condolences to the family and leave. So, yeah...
|SCREAMS!!! Entry 2/23/20
Theme: One family’s bizarre rituals at funerals
All I had said was “my deepest condolences,” but the raven-haired twins stared at me as if I had just said I was on my way to Mars.
“Gwen was your friend, right?” said the girl twin.
“Yes. More of an acquaintance, really, but yes. We worked on a class project a couple of years ago. When I heard about what happened, I just wanted to stop by before the funeral and pay my respects,” I gave her a reassuring smile.
“Gwen didn’t have many friends. You’re the only one who showed,” said the boy twin matter-of-factly. Neither of the two kids seemed upset in the least. Neither were they happy. Just completely devoid of emotion.
“Well, that’s too bad. I’m so sorry. I don’t really know anyone else who knew her. I guess she was sort of the wallflower type…” I said, turning my eyes to the boy.
“We should be offering you condolences,” said the girl twin.
“What? Why? I mean, I barely knew her. You’re her sister, right?” I said, shifting my eyes back to her.
“Your name is Methuselah?” said the boy twin.
“Well… yeah.” I was growing a bit dizzy from glancing back and forth between the two. They were rapidly firing comments and questions at me in alternating fashion. Keeping up was like watching a pendulum swinging back and forth. Adding to the effect was the fact that I was a little creeped out by their odd questions. Even more by their stoic demeanor. Shouldn’t they be pretty broken up about the death of their sister? They were just kids!
“How appropriate,” said the boy.
What was that supposed to mean? Before I could stop and consider that statement any more, however, I felt a massive hand grip my shoulder and spin me around. I came nose-to-nose with Gwen’s father, a goliath of a man.
He wrapped his massive arms around me in an absolutely suffocating hug. And I mean that in the literal sense! He didn’t let go until I attempted to squirm away. I gasped for air as he finally released me. I looked up to see tears streaming down his face.
“I’m so sorry that you lost her, son. How long had you been dating?” he asked me.
I looked behind me. No one was there, but the twins, staring holes into my back.
“Dating, sir? We were just friends. I didn’t actually know her all that well,” I said, noticing a slight waver in my voice. Her family was just so strange! It was really making me uncomfortable.
“All the same,” he said before whirling and walking to see some of the other guests at the funeral. That didn’t even make sense! What did he mean by that?
“Did you fuck her?” asked the girl twin once her father had gone.
I spun around to face her, I could feel a flush rising up my cheeks.
”What?! No!” I cried sharply.
“You thought she was ugly, didn’t you?” said the boy twin.
My eyes found his lit with amusement—the first emotion I’d seen in him at all.
“You thought she was ugly?” said the girl twin, loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.
Every head in the room whirled, pupils dilating to focus on my horrified face.
What the hell was happening here?! I had just stopped by for a brief moment to pay my respects to Gwen’s family. This whole thing was getting to be too much! My shoulders slumped, and I hustled toward the exit, unsure what else to do but tuck tail and run.
As I reached the entrance, I felt a light tap on my elbow, I glanced behind me. It was a tall, almost skeletally thin woman. She gave me a trembling smile under melancholy eyes.
“I’m so sorry, young man. The twins aren’t themselves. It’s Gwen’s death. I know that their way of showing it is… unconventional. They’re just hurting.” She reached up with a handkerchief to dab at the corners of her eyes.
I could feel my tensed jaw relaxed and my eyes widen with empathy.
“If you could help us and take them to the other room. Maybe being away from the coffin and all of these people will help them.”
I didn’t relish the thought of spending more time with the twins, but I couldn’t say no to this grieving woman. I sighed and reluctantly agreed, gathering the twins and taking them to the back room.
As I closed the door to the room, I felt piercing pain burst from the center of my back. I reached behind me to feel a blade sliding out. I staggered around to see a flash of silver just before the boy jammed into my stomach.
His features were tranquil, unconcerned. He didn’t seem angry or horrified. He wasn’t upset in the least.
“W-why?” I wheezed. It was difficult to speak or even breathe with the throbbing pain in my back and stomach. Maybe he had punctured a lung?
The boy’s only answer was to pull the knife back out. I could see his muscles tense to thrust it forward a third time. I reached out, clamping my hands around his wrist. I squeezed until the knife clattered to the floor.
The sound of the knife hitting the floor shook the girl out of her trance, and she lunged for it with unnatural speed. I twisted the boy’s arm, pulling him toward me, his back against my bloody stomach. I held him there, immobile, preventing him from going for the knife.
The girl, still expressionless, held the knife before her, twirling it with small, nimble fingers. Those fingers curled around its hilt, and I thought I saw a dark flash across her black eyes as she shoved it into her brother’s heart. She pounded the butt of the knife several times with her palm, sinking it deeper into his chest with every strike.
The instant she struck it the final time, his knees gave out, and he crumpled to the floor. His eyes stared up at me. They twitched once before going still looking up at me.
“Thank you, little girl,” I said in a raspy whisper. It was as much as I could muster with the hole in my lung. “Now get help!”
I felt my vision begin to dim and I slumped to the ground, back to the wall. I held my hands over the wound in my stomach, but blood was flowing freely through my fingers. I needed help urgently or I would bleed out.
My eyes darted to the girl for a moment. She was standing patiently in the corner, her features relaxed, her hands empty but painted red with her brother’s blood. She didn’t seem shocked, didn’t seem anything.
I couldn’t speak anymore, but apparently my eyes asked a question that she felt compelled to answer.
“Deaths happen in threes. I didn’t want to be one of the three. Neither did my brother, but he made the mistake of not killing me first.”
Her nonchalant shrug was the last thing I saw before the world spun into blackness.