The Friend

Good morning!  This story is the one that I posted on Book Boro for their Plot Twist Challenge.  I unfortunately did not win but I have a good time posting my story for others to read.  And congratulations to the winner, they deserved it!

There was a writing prompt for this story, which goes as follows: The sun had finally set.  The day was finally over.  All was quiet – until that fateful knock at the door.  So we had to write a story of less than 1000 words with a plot twist that started with this line.  And let me tell you, I LOVE long stories.  So trying to keep it to less than 1000 words proved slightly difficult for me.

I’m going to throw a little twist in here and NOT tell you the theme.  Basically if I tell you the theme it will ruin the entire story.  So…here’s a nondescript themed story!  Enjoy!

The Friend

The sun had finally set.  The day was finally over. All was quiet – until that fateful knock at the door.  There was a clatter of footsteps through the hallway of the quiet house. Mary yelled toward the door.  “Stop running down the hallway! I don’t want to tell you again.”

The clattering stopped and the creak of the front door was heard throughout the house.  There was a pause before a small voice echoed through the hall. “Hello?”

Mary walked to the hallway to see her son William standing in the doorway.  The small boys silhouette stood out in the darkness of the outside world. “Who’s at the door sweetheart?”

Another small boy walked into the house.  William’s face lit up. “Hi! I’m William!  Do you wanna play?” The little boy sheepishly smiled and nodded.  William giggled. “Let’s go upstairs and play!” The two boys ran up the stairs to the bedrooms.

Mary was worried.  William had a hard time making friends, maybe it was because he was so outgoing.  Some kids were scared of other kids who were too loud, and William was definitely loud.  She shook her head, that wasn’t possible. William was a very sweet boy, he just had a hard time meeting new people.

She walked into the kitchen and continued to get dinner ready for the three of them.  Mary wasn’t sure if the new little boy wanted to stay or not, but she thought it would be better to be prepared.  She cut through her potatoes and put them in the pot with the rest of her stew, bringing the pot down to a simmer rather than a boil.  Her hand reached for the loaf of bread that was on the counter and put it in the oven. That should be good.  A nice full meal for all of us.

Meanwhile the boys played upstairs.  William had a lot of tiny cars that they could play with, zipping and zooming the toys around the room.  The little boy was quiet the entire time they were upstairs, almost like he only wanted to watch William play.  William frowned. “Don’t you wanna play?” The boy shook his head, his eyes as wide as saucers. “What wrong? Are you hungry?”  The boy shrugged, not making eye contact with William. William grabbed the boy’s hand and pulled him toward the door. “Come on!  Let’s go get some dinner.”

They made their way down the stairs to see Mary in the kitchen.  She seemed to be waiting for the food for dinner to finish cooking.  William cleared his throat. “Mama?”

Mary turned around to see the boys.  She smiled. “Yes sweetheart. Can I help you?”

“Can he stay for dinner?”

She looked at the boy; his face was very pale, almost white.  She frowned. “Are you alright?” The boy nodded quickly but it still made Mary skeptical.  “Are you sure? You don’t have to stay for dinner if you don’t want to.” The boy didn’t say anything, but instead walked over to the table and sat down.  Mary grabbed William’s arm and dragged him into the living room. “What did you do to him?”

William’s eyes widened.  “Nothing! We just played with the cars and drove them around.”

“Are you sure?  You didn’t scare him did you?”

William shook his head.  “No mama.”

Mary let out a sigh and hugged William.  “We just have to be careful, a lot of people don’t like us.  But let’s forget about that and have dinner and act like a normal family.  Okay?” William nodded and they made their way back to the kitchen where the boy was still sitting at the table.  Mary pulled some dishes out of the cabinets and set the table before putting the food on the table. She served the boys before sitting down herself and eating her soup.

She looked up to see the boy sitting at the table, not touching his food.  Mary swallowed her food and reached out her hand to touch his shoulder. He flinched.  “Don’t touch me.”

This was the first time Mary had him talk.  She was a little shocked. “Sweetheart, let’s take you home.  You don’t look well.”

“No!  I can go home myself.  I don’t need you following me.”

Mary tried to calm him down.  “We aren’t here to hurt you. We just want to make sure you get home safely.”

The boy stood up and pushed the chair backwards, making it fall on the floor.  He looked like he had just seen a ghost. “No! I can’t do this. You have come here to hurt me.  My mom warned me about this. She said if I was bad that bad then bad people will come to hurt me.  I wasn’t bad. I wasn’t bad. I wasn’t bad.” He kept repeating the last thing he said as he ran out of the kitchen and out the front door.

Mary and William followed him as he raced out of the house.  The door slammed, shaking the old rickety house. It became very quiet, almost a little bit eerie.  Mary wrapped her arm around William and hugged him. “I’m sorry honey.”

William sighed.  “It’s okay mama. I understand that people don’t like us.  It just makes me sad that I can’t be friends with them.”

Mary felt saddened knowing that William was never going to have another friend.  They floated there in the hallway, listening to the silence of their abandoned house.  Mary apparated through the wall to clean up their ghostly dinner before floating up the stairs to William’s room.  They played with his toys and read books throughout the night, just like the normally did. It was the same routine every night and it would be the same for every night in the afterlife.  They couldn’t leave the house they were murdered in, but it was the house that they called home.

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