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Chapter 1 of my novel i am writing

by Brian Sattler about a month ago in fiction
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just the first chapter i want to see if people love it

Chapter 1 of my novel i am writing
Photo by Phoebe T on Unsplash

The end, just kidding, I wish it was that simple. I walk through the wooden oak door into my parent's poorly lit house, taking a deep breath of the stale air that haunted this place. The walk to the kitchen sink seemed to take years as I mournfully washed my parent's blood from my arms. I scrub my hands, not feeling the burn from the hot water as I angrily scratch at the dry blood still residing on my hands. I turn to glance back at the empty, lifeless living room, placing memories as if ghosts roamed the room. I watch as my dad sits in his chair and laughs as my mom spills flour all over the kitchen. The smell of fresh pine on a cool Christmas day with gifts scattered around the tree. These thoughts vanish along with the memories ripped away with the cold-blooded murder of my parents leaving the darkroom quiet and empty.

My mind remains blank with growing darkness as I saunter through the living room only hearing the creak of loose floorboards under my feet with every step I take. I stopped at my parent's room where dry blood was still crusted on the floor and walls of the room. I can only remember the picture of the lifeless bodies of my parents laying on their bedroom floor with a blank expression. My mind flashbacks to the events of the night I found them dead. It started with an argument with my mom

“You are twenty-five years old! When are you going to find a real job and move out of our house?” she exclaims with a worried expression. We locked eyes, hers glinting with tears and mine narrowed in anger

“ I have a real job! I am a writer. I am writing a biography about myself! I yell at her with my fist balled.

She looks down and shakes her head, “ our life isn't even interesting, find a job that makes actual money not just some fantasy. We don't lead lives that people would find worth reading about,” she speaks firmly yet gently. She never understood what it's like to have goals, as she lived like a trophy wife. Her husband, my father, earned all their income cheating people out of their money and she had never had to reach any goals.

“I am better than both of you. I am an interesting person and if my life isn't interesting then I will make it so interesting people wouldn't be able to put my book down!” I turn around, “I am done with this conversation. You always tear me down and you try to ruin my success” I speak just fantasizing she would believe me.

“Jonathan, please! I just want you to have backup plans and be financially safe. We will not support you for much longer,” She looks down at her feet,” I will have to kick you out. We don't want to support a grown man anymore,” she speaks as I slam the door shut behind me.

The midnight sky has a calming effect on me as I walk down the street lit by the moonlight. My mind was overflowed with thoughts of irritation, “How can they think that I am not going to be successful enough with this biography, it takes a lot of time and hard work, I have to plan everything that is going to happen. I HAVE to make my life interesting enough to make a great biography” these words run through my mind as I walk down the narrow street of Harlem. The cool air glides through my hair taking my thoughts with it as it vanishes into the midnight sky. I look up to find myself at Sneaky Caverns bar, the perfect place to clear my head to write ideas in my notebook. I walked through the creaky old doors and look around the old-fashioned style bar built with a mahogany finish.

“Johnathan!” shouted the middle-aged bartender and owner, Paul, with a smile that lit up the room. Paul was a dear family friend who always had a bright smile and what people described as a lovable personality. I always had trouble expressing, or sometimes even feeling emotions I know I should be feeling. I gave him a half-hearted smile and made my way to the barstool. Sneaky Caverns was perfect to sit and brainstorm ideas and write. The low hum of talking and the mellow music were perfect to let your mind wander. I make my way through the buzzing bar to a stool in front of Paul and take a seat pulling out my notebook ready to write about the argument I had with my mom.

“Another argument with your parents huh?” Paul asked while wiping the inside of a glass out. I glanced up to meet his eyes, I was not in the mood to talk so I just replied with a” yea” and looked back down at my notebook scribbling events of the night in it. The rest of that night was a blur. After a couple of drinks, all I remember was finishing writing and starting the walk home. The night got cooler with frosty, misty rain, and the street was illuminated with an ominous light that would send chills down anyone's spine. The night was completely silent like a ghost town with the only noise being the shuffling of my shoes as they hit the wet concrete. I stop at my front door thinking about what I should say to my parents, “I need to apologize. I know that I am right but that doesn't matter I need to stay here so I can publish my biography.” I grabbed the frigid, round doorknob and opened the door to an oddly empty house not even bothering to lock the door as it slammed behind me.

My parents were normally loud people and they stayed awake late for their age so the empty house was very unsettling.

“Mom, dad, anyone home!?” I shout as I take my jacket off and lay it over the back of a chair. Nothing shouted back, no response, not even a shuffle was heard, just a ghostly silence echoed through the house. I walked through the living room and saw, in the doorway to my parent's room, an image that made my heart drop to my stomach. I ran into the hall looking into my parent's room and saw what I would describe as the sculpture of hell itself. Both my parents lie there, expressionless. Blood was splattered over the walls and over the bed. A river of red ran from my mom to my dad and now to my feet in the hall. A shadow grips my body, taking my ability to run, or scream away, and I slowly glide to my mom. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, except when there is no soul, what are you looking at? The thought runs through my head as I look into my mother's eyes who didn't look back they just stared into an abyss. My mother was sprawled on the floor at the foot of the bed, her throat slit with multiple wounds all over her body. Her face looked like she cried for help in terror and confusion. My father lay about five feet away in the doorway, on his stomach with his arm stretched into the hallway. Knife wounds on every part of his body like the attacker relentlessly and mindfully stabbed until a wave of demonic rage diminished from within. The sight of his body was terrifying even when I rolled him over and saw his glassy eyes staring at me almost menacingly.

I pulled my phone from my pocket and quickly dialed the police. After a couple of rings, the operator finally answers, “Nine one one what is your emergency? Spoke a gentle, soft-spoken voice.

“My parents are dead, lying in their own blood they aren't breathing I-I think they are gone” I spoke with the reality of what has happened finally setting in.

“Have you checked for a pulse yet” the operator frantically spoke with keys tapping in the background.

“There is none! Her throat is slit and he is stabbed all over, the blood is already starting to dry,” I frantically started to raise my voice. I started losing my mind, almost like it was drifting away in darkness. My words started to vanish and my throat became numb. Everything around me was in complete silence, the world almost transformed into a third-person story. I hung up the phone and stood up, it felt like my soul left my body as I walked out of the bedroom. It was like I was watching myself trudge to the living room and flop on the L-shaped couch.

“Bang Bang Bang, Palm Springs police department!” a loud knocking and a dominant voice came from the front door.

I felt myself mouth the words “come in” but was not sure if I actually spoke or not. I felt numb, unable to move still as the door creaked open and the officer looked at me on the couch. I think he knew what I felt, he didn't ask any questions, he just walked into the living room. He glanced into the kitchen which was connected to the living room and made his way to the hallway where he stopped very abruptly at the entrance to my parent's room from hell. He grabbed his radio panic-stricken and called for backup and an ambulance as he unholstered his gun and ran through the front door leaving the door open. In the distance, I heard multiple sirens disturbing the silent, peaceful night and knew it was going to be a long night. The officer walks back in and meets my eyes and I can feel the awkward tension building in the room.

He clears his throat and speaks in a sympathetic tone, “ I'm so sorry that you have to see this, I've checked in the entire area and I could not find anybody. Please let me take you to the station while we gather evidence and clean up and we can ask you some questions” I nodded my head and stood up. I know how I should feel. I know how I should act and what to respond with, I need to keep this character. I know it seems wrong and heartless but, as I've said before, it's hard for me to feel emotions that I know I should be feeling.

I followed the officer through that oak door And I noticed that the nightly mist had turned into a downpour. The officer led me to his car in silence. The only noise was the raindrops as they smacked against the house and cars. The back seat of the cruizer was cold and hard and I knew I deserved better than to have to sit in that seat. I lay back and stare out of the window thinking about how I should act next. I have to act like I am sad and like I regret everything. I have no problem faking emotions or even pretending to cry. It's what I've been doing since I found their bodies…acting. You should always start when no one is looking. It always makes the acting so much easier when they are looking. The officer looked at me through the rearview mirror and I knew his brain was scrambling for something to say, just to let me know he feels for me. After a while, he decided silence was the best approach…after all. They are about to interrogate a victim, interrogate someone who just lost his parents who walked into their bloody mess of a room and discovered a murder. I pull myself back to reality and see we are at the police station about to park. The car comes to a gentle stop and the engine cuts out, the officer gives a long, deep sigh and looks at me.

“When we get inside, just take a seat and Detective Danielson will be in touch with you to ask you a few questions. Please don't think of this as an interrogation, we just want to get you out while we take care of them and get the questioning done now,” he says through a faint smile. I know he is trying to comfort me but the smile is disgustingly fake. This officer had a face that would scare the shit out of kids on Halloween so that smile was the furthest thing from comforting. I gave him a half nod keeping the quiet characteristic I'm choosing to stick with for now.

We walked through the puddles to the police station and opened the doors. A rush of warm air hit my face as I opened the doors and the bright lights almost blinded me. The building was small and built thick with iron doors. I heard the distant chanter of people that were detained obviously not leaving here any time soon. They were screaming and cussing, it reminded me of the east side of town. I took a seat in the minuscule waiting room with only four seats and an end table masking a normal table with a stack of about three magazines on it. I sat in a worn-out chair that looked like it crawled out of the fifties and started to wait for Detective Danielson. Sitting across from me was this methed-up-looking character staring at me through eyes that almost looked like my parent's dead glaze.

“Johnathan?” I heard a deep voice coming from my right. I stand up to see a skinny man about five foot nine. I laughed in my head thinking that his voice was completely the opposite of what he looked like. The man was so small you would think he sounded like a rat. I ambled into his office preparing to put on my emotional masks.

“I would like to begin by apologizing for bringing you in after such a tragic incident. I know you've heard it a million times but I just wanted you to get out of there.” Danielson said in a light voice. I caught a minor glimpse of the masks that they use. Something was fake by what he was saying, how he was talking.

I looked him in the eyes and said, “if you are truly sorry and mean what you are saying then take me home.” I met his eyes with mine letting him know that I run the show here

“ I was hoping you'd understand but I can tell that after this kind of trauma it was a huge understatement bringing you here today. Since you are here can you please just answer one question just so I can get this investigation started!” Danielson asked, obviously feeling desperate. I said “sure” but only because it was clear as day that he needed me. “I just need to know if they had any friends that you guys were close with? It seems whoever did this was someone the family was very familiar with” Danielson asked softly

“The only family friend we really had was the owner of Sneaky Caverns, Paul. Now please can you take me home?” I asked now feeling groggy and exhausted. “Thank you so much! I will arrange transport for you immediately and again I am so sorry for your loss.” Danielson spoke through a sigh of relief.

I couldn't do anything to help them, not that it would have made a whole lot of difference with the number of enemies they made securing their fortune. In a way, they got what they got what they've feared for a long time. They got what was coming to them. They always wore a mask, making people THINK they were nice, caring, and all-around good people. I knew the truth and I'm sure they despised me for it. They twisted the truth to make people look beneath them, they wanted to be better than everyone else. They could never surpass me and they knew that. They knew they could never be better than me. My mom was emotionally abusive and she took every opportunity to tear me down mentally, I knew what she was doing and it never worked. My father was abusive more on the physical side. He would normally take his stress out by drinking, hitting, or throwing me, anything that would be physically painful he would do. I guess in the end they finally gave me something. They gave me an interesting part of the biography that I am writing. They hated it so much and in the end, they made it better. It's ironic and I should be somewhat thankful that they gave me something in the end.

This is what I finished my statement with. Even though the Detective said he only needed that one question answered I decided to stay and answer more because I could tell he was hopeless and he was desperate for my information. The rest of that night was foggy as I was so tired I felt myself falling asleep while the detective was talking. He probably saw that as a red flag but I couldn't help it at all. I thought about telling him that I couldn't feel emotions like other people but then he would look way too far into that so I decided to keep my mask on the best that I could. In the end, I told him I needed to go home and I couldn't answer anything else and I made my eyes swell with fake tears to add some effect and it worked because he arranged for the officer to take me home.

The flashbacks finally fade and I bring myself to stare into the room from hell again. I should be feeling something, anything. It's not like I never feel any emotion. I can feel anger very easily and I know when I'm just feeling normal because that's mainly what I feel. But sympathy and feelings of despair I can't feel at all. Staring at the only thing left of my parents I know I should feel sorrowful. I should be feeling remorse for the events of the night and what transpired. I turn to the right to walk to my room as I feel the exhaustion creeping on me I stumble into the wall. I collapse in my bed not even bothering to take a shower and the world turns black as I begin to drift off into the night.

This memory haunted me the next day. I woke up with blood still crusted on my skin and clothes. I sit up in bed, my mind still gloomy and racing from the night before. Light drifted through the window next to my bed and I could see the front yard. In the same yard that dad taught me how to ride a bike and how to play baseball or at least tried to teach me. The same yard where he would throw me when he got drunk. My father would hit the bottle to a point where he would physically take out his emotions on me. It wasn't always like that, as shitty as it was.

He did try when I was younger, but being an actual father only lasted until I was about eight years old before it all changed for the absolute worse. He never finished teaching me those things once he started grabbing the bottle. My mother was just as bad, tearing me down mentally, and reminding me that I would never live up to anything. I only needed their help to stay in their house while I wrote my groundbreaking biography. My mind is always flooded with thoughts and a type of unforgettable negativity that should scar me for as long as I could remember, but, she raised a creature with barely any emotion.

This is the reality that I told the Detective during my questioning the night before. I kept eye contact and asserted a kind of dominance I felt would be needed in these interviews. “It's not that I'm happy they are gone!” I needed to continuously remind them the night before. Of course, I'm their prime suspect, the family always is.

I stand up out of bed knowing I should feel angry or discomposed. Except I felt…odd, I felt something that I've never felt before, and I couldn't describe it only that it was deep in my chest. I walk out of the bedroom and take a right down the hall to the bathroom. The bathroom is small, just big enough to be comfortable. I step into the shower not even bothering to remove my bloody clothes and turn on the hot water. I couldn't even feel the hot water burning my skin I just looked up with tears streaming out of my eyes. Feeling emotions that I never thought were possible for me to feel rushed through my mind like a rapid river. The emotions all flowing through me make me feel manic and I start to laugh as the water runs through my hair and through the bloody clothes. I look down and see the last part of my parents wash down the drain disappearing from reality. I am better than what they were and this is a new chapter for me… a new chapter for my biography. I start to write this new chapter in my head noting to write it down on my computer later. A new chapter about “A blessing in disguise” about the irony of the biography that my parents hated to hear about so much became a success in the end from their death. “It sounds so fucked up,” I tell myself, but I can't stop. I never stop no matter what the situation was that's one of the things that makes me a great person.

I step out of the shower not even bothering to grab a towel or even use any sort of soap and hear a loud bang at the door,” one minute” I yell as I dart to the bedroom leaving behind a path of puddles. I look into my closet for new clothes and begin to strip. I find a pair of grey sweats and a plain black shirt to throw onto my still soaked body instantly regretting it because of the way it stuck to my skin. I rush to open the door being careful not to slip on any of the puddles I left after my shower. I open the door and see the Detective with some people in some hazard cleaning gear.

“Hi, Johnathan. I'm here to ask you some more questions, and I have the crime scene cleaners with me as well” stated detective Danielson. I'm sorry to come so abruptly

“If you were sorry you would not have come at all,” I say as I stare into his eyes. I knew this response threw him off a bit maybe he even felt a bit intimidated.

“I'm sorry, I know last night was a little unorthodox. I am here for you. I want to solve this case before this person does anything else.” Danielson spoke, having that desperate tone in his voice again. I looked at the cleaning crew and ushered them in so they can begin their cleaning. I turn around to look at Detective Danielson, “I am not gonna talk for long. I am tired and ready to move past it all.” I spoke determined to make Danielson leave.

Danielson looks at me, “look I am truly sorry for your loss. This is genuinely how investigations go. I will do my best to leave you alone after this. I just have to take pictures and look around so the cleaning crew can get things together and I want to talk just a little more with you.” Against my better judgment, I move aside and let him come in.

I know what these guys look for. He is only asking me any sort of questions because he needs to see if I crack or admit anything. Jokes on him, ever since I was a child I had an amazing ability to switch whatever emotion I want. It was a skill I had to learn since I always had trouble feeling emotions I knew I needed to learn since I lacked the ability to feel certain emotions. People always believed my switches to be real whether I switched to a different emotion or I just shut it off altogether. Officer Danielson takes a seat at the kitchen table just adjacent to the living room waiting for me to have a seat.

He speaks first, “ I would like to apologize personally for your loss. It seems you've been through a lot, growing up and now this. I appreciate the statement you gave us yesterday. How are you doing?” He asked patiently. I turn on the waterworks instantly at this question. It might seem dumb but they look for anything just to finish the case and blame the person who might be the easiest to accuse. Even though there are bad feelings between my parents and me, they don't need to know how deep my resentment really goes.

I replied, making my voice sound deeper as if it was hard to talk, “I never thought that I would lose them this suddenly.” Danielson took a second to check my eyes and I could tell he was looking for breaks and lies.

“Did your parents have any enemies that you know of?” He asked. I looked at his eyes and I could sense a feeling of some sort of confidence. It felt almost sickening, knowing that he is trying to get some recognition for my parent's murder.

I cleared my throat and responded, “who wasn't their enemy? They walked over anyone in their way and had no issue financially ruining someone just to see money in their account. They were very, very selfish people.”

The detective stated almost instantly as if he was waiting for me to stop talking, “ We do know some stuff. There was no forceful entry, and it looks like the attacker knew your parents very well. You told me last night that there was a family friend, Paul? We will be taking him in for questioning next.”.

I responded through tear-soaked lips, “I doubt Paul did anything. He is a very nice and kind person. I'm not sure he would have any motive to do this”. He nodded and I knew he understood.

“I know this is very hard for you,” he spoke in a very sympathetic tone. “I appreciate your statements and we will be in contact soon,” he said as he handed me his card. “I need you to call if you think of anything at all”. He stood up and walked to meet up with the cleaning people in my parent's room. I sat there tracing the card with my index finger feeling the sharp corners. I was wondering if I should keep his card, after all, what information could I have?

The cleaning crew was still there with the detective washing away the final moments of my family. I walked past the room not even looking at the detective as he takes pictures and sets up the crime scene. Grasping the memory of what happened the past two days, I walk into my room and sit at my desk, ready to write. I was just barely able to open my computer when I heard a subtle knock on my bedroom door. Yet again it was the detective interrupting another aspect of my life.” sorry to bother you. I just wanted to let you know that the crew has finished and I have collected everything that I needed to start my investigation. Please use my card if you need anything at all.” The detective said. I looked at him and muttered, ”thank you.” I looked over his left shoulder and noticed there was one of the cleaning crew that looked rugged and ugly. He was eying me down like he was judging me. I felt a tension building around him as if he thought he knew something that other people didn't and it made him angry. I just smirked at him. To me, it's my parent's death, the start of a whole new chapter, but to a cleaning crew like them, it's another day on the job so I didn't feel the need to thank them or even thank the detective as I walked them to the front door.

“Finally, it's over,” I think as I drop onto the L-shaped couch and a large ottoman sitting within the L. There was a glass end table at each end of the couch with a seventy-five-inch T.V. mounted on the wall just across the couch. My parents loved this living room they had. They were rich so everything was paid off and… I guess it was all mine now. Plus a small fortune that I will inherit, it just seemed all fake like a fairy tale and I feel extremely weird spending any amount of that money. I am just going to enjoy the silence now that the situation is finally over.

Please let me know if you like this. Its the first chapter to a novel i am writing and i want to know if it is engaging enough

fiction

About the author

Brian Sattler

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