Dead Echo

In a small bedroom, there sat a young man on the edge of a bed—rocking. He held his head heavy in his hands. His eyes were clenched shut, and streams of salty tears rolled down his flushed cheeks. Small tufts of sandy brown hair poked through his pale fingers as he slid them front to back. In his troubled mind, invisible knots twisted together, binding themselves tightly.
The doorknob began to twist and rattle violently. The muffled voices behind it demanded his attention; their suspicion having been aroused and they had laid blame on him for the crime.
“Leave me alone! What more do you want from me?!” The young man pleaded.
Silence did not fall. The turmoil only strengthened the problematic matter and increased the tension within. While the persistent pounding on the door and shouting from the other side seemed to subside, subtle thoughts had begun to seep from his mind. They surged and utterly destroyed the dam he had so foolishly tried to build. It had not even been a week since. . .
A smile scrawled across his lips as two familiar figures pierced the veil before him—a woman and child—both came to his side. They were distinguished with hoary garments, yet held a holy presence. A bright light radiated around them, bathing him in a golden glow that soothed his troubled mind. However, it did not disclose their faces, yet he knew who they were.
The woman’s voice echoed in his mind—offering comfort, and it so soothed and loosened the bindings within. “Eventually, you will have to confront them. It wasn’t your fault. Hiding and locking yourself up will not solve the pain or allow you to be rid of it.”
The man lifted up his now light head, gazing upon the familiars. The thoughts continued to swell and overwhelm him. Memories vividly flashed on the back of his eyeballs—like a replay of a home movie. When days and times were better. . .when he had it all. . . He rubbed his eyes as they began to swell up with tears—the tears of remembrance. Before his mind’s eye, was a young woman—his wife—holding their little girl in her arms. Fashioned in typical casual attire, he grinned, how casual she always was. Her long black hair covered her face, cuddling close to the giggling girl who sat on her lap. Their daughter—in her small white spring gown—glowing much like her long golden locks. . .just like they did when they’d shine brilliantly on that bright sunny summer day at the park. They both smiled back at the man.
His daughter’s voice echoed, “I love you daddy!”
While his wife giggled at him. “I love you, baby.”
Screams followed thereafter. . .horrible, excruciatingly painful screams. . .followed by gunshots. He began to sob uncontrollably, repeating to himself multiple times. “I’m so sorry! Please forgive me!” Soon, the vision dispersed before him, as he sat rocking back and forth. “I’d do anything—anything to have you back. Anything to be with you both again. I’d give up anything and everything.”
Simultaneously, the doorknob and door continued to shake and rattle violently.
Again, the woman spoke in his mind. “There is one way. . .”
He closed his eyes as the voice spoke with assurance, and nodded to himself. He picked himself up, and shuffled over to the dresser that stood in solitude before where he once sat. He opened the top drawer and pushed the many socks aside. Finally, his quest came to a complete as he removed the small handgun from the dresser and held it firmly in his hand. He looked it over making sure it was suitable for the job he had the intention for. Once assured it was fit and ready for its final stand, the young man calmly walked over to the window.
He gazed out into the outside world, where the trees were vibrant with the verdant fertility of life. . .swaying in its breath. The harmonization of the birds singing to everyone, everywhere. The sun’s last caress, bathed his face. Finally, the door buckled. . .weakened from the continuous pounding of many fists and obscured words. He looked the gun over once more and then shifted his sight back outside.
The door exploded open as the navy blue blob rushed in. The young man turned about and aimed lazily at the million-eyed blob that drawed as many arms in return at him. The man fired a shot with the gun; purposefully missing. The blob returned fire—one hundred fold—upon him, resulting in the man falling to the floor. . .
As the warmth of life and its breath began to leave him, the familiar figures came once more—mother and child. Tears that laid in the waiting, rolled off onto the floor, coagulating with the blood that pooled beneath him; comparable to the cherry hardwood floor. The blob surrounded his dying body. Some took note of toy gun that laid in the man’s hand, while bits and pieces broke off and ran out of the room to retrieve a pair of white cells to attempt to treat his wounds. . .but it was all for naught.
The young man laid with a smile as all the pain evaporated. His head became light, his vision blurred, and all feeling had left his body. His last sight was that of finally returning to the arms of his familiar loves—his loving wife and daughter.

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