Dark Pages


By Kalei Wilson


Prologue

                11/4/97

I finally did it; after months of studying and waiting, I did it. I found the perfect one to analyze, the perfect one to pursue. She is the town mayor, and she did not suspect a thing. I knew this one was going to be a challenge, but I am one for challenges, so I wasn’t worried. How, you ask? Well, I found her schedule to be very simple to memorize and she wasn’t particularly cautious when it came to things like closing her blinds on the windows or locking the doors. I waited for one night when I noticed she had gone to bed earlier than usual, and I went inside. I slowly opened the door and closed it quietly, waiting for the safety of the click that came with the door shutting. I waited a moment, and looked around the familiar room. Large, open room, big door frames, a beautiful staircase that I have only admired in secret. This woman clearly lives a life of luxury. I wanted to understand a piece of that.

I started to walk towards the stairs, knowing her bedroom was on the second floor and that the stairs did not creek. I walked slowly, tormenting myself with the suspense of what was about to ensue. Coming to the top of the stairs, I turned and slowly took in the essence that was her. Her home, her safety. How I was here, and she did not know that. It gave me a rush.

I started on again, knowing that the first door to my right side was her study, and on the left side was a room I had not entered yet. After those two rooms, at the end of the hallway, there was one last door-her bedroom. I walked eagerly towards the door and paused and to listen to the silence. After a moment, I could hear the shallow breaths of her sleeping soul, and I smiled to myself. I put my hand on the doorknob, and turned it slowly. I felt the anticipation rise in my stomach, and I pushed the door open. There was no sound, just like how her stairs didn’t creek. Her breathing stayed even, although, mine was not. I pushed all the weight I held to the front of my feet and took a few steps towards her. Her room was illuminated by a soft, glowing light. In that light laid a sleeping child. I hadn’t noticed this before, so I was caught off guard. In normal circumstances, I would sit next to her and take in her presence, but being a child was here-there was a witness. I acted in fear, and I took the child as a token. It went smoothly, as now I am writing this to keep note. The child is a boy, and I have named him Guy. He is currently sleeping peacefully and hasn’t taken notice. I will raise him as my own.  The ultimate token: a child. A piece of her, forever with me.

 

 

11/5/16

                It was my birthday yesterday, and I found something strange. My father told me to go into his basement to get the presents he got for me, and when I went down there I found an odd pile of books. I walked over to them, and picked up the first one. It was my father’s handwriting, his named scrawled along the top of the cover with a date written in the upper right corner.

Crowwell

                I opened the notebook to a random page and found a journal entry, written in a very frantic tone about a woman. She remained unnamed throughout the whole entry, but I was curious to know why she was so important. I continued to flip through pages, seeing numerous pages all about this woman. I put the notebook down and picked up another, forgetting what I was sent down to the basement to do. The second notebook was dated a little bit before my birthday, 10/24/97. I flipped through, scanning the pages quickly, and I found an entry about my father going to visit a woman’s house one night.

                10/24/97

I went to her house today, and I sat next to her while she slept. I was there for about five hours before she started stirring, and I quickly made my way out. I believe she saw me leaving, but I am not completely concerned about that. If she was worried about her safety, she would lock her doors at night and not keep the spare key under the door mat. I plan on visiting the sleeping angel soon, but I need a token. A bigger token than I’ve had in the last few women.

                “Guy, are you finding everything okay?” I heard him open the basement door; it had a creek to it. He started coming down the stairs, his tall and lean shadow casting down the stairs. I quickly closed the book and put it on top of the pile of notebooks and tried to act as if I was looking for presents.

                “No, father, I do not see them. Are you sure they’re down here?” I tried to cover the slight panic in my voice with confusion, hoping he wouldn’t notice. The thing about my father is there is not a thing that I could hide from him. He has a very keen sense of knowing when things are going badly or when I’m bothered. I moved closer to the bottom of the steps and looked up, making eye contact for a split second.

                He pushed past me and headed to the corner of the room near the books I was looking at. He stopped walking and pointed down, “They were right here. You can see them from the stairs, Guy.” He sounded condescending, and the look on his face was of great disbelief. “How did you possibly miss that?” He was looking at me, now. I met his gaze, and I shrugged nonchalantly, maintaining the confusion that I had earlier. “Guy? Answer me.” He leaned down and started picking up the presents, and I stood where I was, watching him.

                “I just didn’t look over there. I thought you had them on a table or something like that…” I mumbled, turning to go up the stairs. I checked over my shoulder to see if he was following me, and to my shock, he wasn’t. I went up the stairs and left the door open and went back into the living room. My house wasn’t exactly your average house. We had high book shelves filled with novels, a lot of anatomy text books, and other books that weighed half as much as I do. We had a lot of antiques and older furniture. We had a television, but we don’t have cable, so we don’t really do anything with it. Our kitchen is very small; I don’t spend a lot of time in this part of the house, mostly because it’s close to the basement, and that’s where my dad always is. I don’t like to know what he does; I mean, at least I didn’t before.

 I sat down on the old couch and waited for him to come up the stairs, staring at the door in anticipation. I waited a few minutes, and then the door opened farther than what I had let it, and here he was, arms full of presents.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t get you these yesterday; something came up.” My father said, actually sounding apologetic. He set the presents down next to me on the couch and motioned to them, “Well? Open them.” He went from almost sorry to snappy in a split second. I looked up at him to see his face, but he was covering it with his wiry hands. I grabbed the smallest one first, of the three first. It was a little box, wrapped in bright yellow paper with a big white bow on it. “Guy.” It read. I carefully took the paper off and found a little box with a lid. I slid the lid off and found a picture of a child, sleeping thoughtfully in a crib. Why would he give me my own baby picture for my birthday? Why is that a present? “Thank you.” I said, replacing the lid and picking up another equally small box, but it was heavier. I put the present down and looked at my father, “I don’t want to open these.”

 

11/7/16

                This morning when I woke up, I left my dark bedroom and went into the living room. The other night I told my father I didn’t want his gifts, and I went to bed. He hasn’t been home much since, and I don’t really know what he has done with the gifts that I didn’t open. I haven’t looked; I really don’t want to know. I walked around the empty house, feeling a little uneasy because I knew my dad wasn’t home. I spent all day yesterday alone, trying to convince myself to go into the basement and take some of the books that I had seen the other night. Maybe another day?

11/8/16

                Father still hasn’t come home; I don’t know where he is. I stayed up a little later last night to see if he would try to sneak into the house, but nothing happened. I sat next to a lamp on the old couch, curled up in a ball until I fell asleep. When I woke up this morning, I was still alone. I decided to take this opportunity to look for the books. I stretched my legs out, and stood up. The door from the basement wasn’t far away, but I felt like the second, I would leave the living room, he would come barreling down those steps and see me reading his private journals.

                I walked quickly to the door and went down the stairs, closing the door behind me, so I could hear if he did come home. The door squeaks when someone pushes it, so I would have a warning.

                I observed the room to see if he changed anything in the basement from the last time I had been down here. From what I could see, nothing was different. The same pile of old journals, old welted tables, the lack of light in such a small room. I walked over to the pile of books and took off the one from the bottom and flipped it around in my hands. Did I really want to read these? Did I want to know who my father really was? I took three more of the journals off the top of the pile and went back upstairs, heading towards my room. I opened the door to my bedroom and put the books under my pillow. I’ll read them later.

11/10/16

                A lot of things to write today, very little time to write. I have a lot I have to do today, to prepare for tomorrow. In case anyone finds this, they need to know that I am the victim in this situation.

                First of all, all of those journals that I took, they were not about some random woman that he stalked. That woman that he stalked was my mother, my real mom, my actual blood family. He took me from her one night as a token. He kidnapped me and raised me to believe I was his own child. All I remember is him, so I can see why he got away with it for as long as he did. My entire life is a lie.

                Second, he came back today. I acted as if I was a lost puppy; I hugged him and talked with him and pretended I missed him. He seemed to enjoy that little act. He never told me where he was, just a simple, “I was out; sorry bud.” What he doesn’t know? I know where he was. I know what he was doing. My birthday was the nineteenth anniversary of me being kidnapped, so where would he go? To visit my mother-naturally. Something else that he doesn’t know I know? My mother is the mayor of the town. He wrote about her for years in those journals. This wasn’t a simple fixation, Crowwell was obsessed. He had been in her house many times during the night without her noticing. He had spent hours taking notes on her day-to-day schedule. This was a normal thing to him.

                So now that he is back, I’m going to take action. Tonight while he sleeps, he’s going to get a taste of his own medicine. I’m going to show him real pain and what it’s like to be scared for your own life. For someone else’s life. I went out to the shed while he was gone and found lighter fluid, and we have lots of candles around the house, so we have matches. I’ll wait until he is asleep, and then I’ll spray the lighter fluid and set it all ablaze. He won’t know what’s coming!

11/11/16

                He’s sleeping. I have my belongings ready. I’m going to hide my journal outside the house, so if I make it out alive, I can write the details.

***

Guy leaves his bedroom, taking the cap off of his lighter fluid. He creeps towards the living room, spraying the fluid along the walls and the floor. Getting towards the basement, he starts to spray the old couches and the book shelves. He slowly opens the basement door and sprays down the stairs. The smell of gas starts to fill the air, thickening, making it harder to breathe. Guy holds his breath and goes towards Crowwell’s bedroom, spraying the entire door with the rest of the bottle. He tosses the bottle aside, and takes out matches. Walking closer to the entrance of the house, by the living room, he strikes the match and drops it. The gas lights up slowly and when it reaches Crowwell’s door, it ignites. Guy stands in the doorway and watches for a moment, and then walks out of the house. He continues to walk away from his home, the only place he knew, and watches the amber glow in the dark sky. Guy finds a spot near the smoldering home where he knows he won’t be at risk, and sits. After a few minutes, there was a scream that broke the silence, and Guy laid his head down.