Chapter 3: ACCEPTANCE
A few minutes felt like ages, but both of us picked ourselves up. The demon was still standing there, watching over us, and the dogs had returned, but remained still, knowing that the demon would protect us.
“Marcus, I’m sorry. It’s so hard to handle that he’s gone.”
“I know, Mom. I’m barely over it myself. Actually, I’m not sure that I’m over his death. I’m over being angry about his death. That’s why he’s here.”
He pointed at the purple demon in front of us, protecting us. Strangely enough, he was now protecting me, just as I had protected him for such a long time.
“I don’t get it.”
“Mom, that guy in front of us…that was myself…my anger. Why it took that form, I don’t know, probably my imagination.”
“You always had one,” I said with a smile.
“Thanks, mom. As I was saying, that guy…was me in some respect.”
Marcus was staring at the demon in awe at his own realization. The dogs and the demon continued to stare at each other, unflinching.
I squeezed my son’s hand.
“Thank you. We have to go.”
“Where are we going?” Marcus asked.
“Back to the house. I’m going to need your help.”
We ran past Marcus’s friend, and past the dogs. They all closely followed, yet the dogs were strangely calm, instead of bearing their monstrous fangs like before. As we re-entered the damaged kitchen, I grabbed Neil’s shoes, and his jacket.
“I want you to grab some boxes from upstairs. There are some in Neil’s room, and some in my room.
Marcus’s eyes were wide, but he quickly obeyed. He soon returned, and was even trying on Neil’s jacket and shoes. They always did borrow clothes from each other when necessary, although Marcus was a bit bigger than Neil. Neil looked funny if he ever borrowed something from Marcus.
“If you want anything of his, it’s yours, you may fit into some of his stuff, but it never played well in the other direction. There’s no reason for me to keep it anymore. Just label the boxes with the correct clothing choice.”
Marcus smiled a sad smile, caught between emotions. I proceeded quickly, not only under the watch of our respective monsters, but most likely because of how uncomfortable this made us both. My hands trembled, despite the swift definitiveness of my actions. Marcus took his time, as if saying goodbye once more, or reliving memories.
“I guess we finally did it…” Marcus said.
“It’s pretty terrible, Mom.”
know. But being uncomfortable may just make us stronger, draw us closer together. You can always talk to me about this.”
Two of the dogs were calm, almost ready to leave. But the third was glaring at me like I had wronged it, and a low, guttural growl was filling the room.
“Mom, what is going on? Why is that thing so angry? They were ok when we were boxing things up.” Marcus yelled.
“I think I figured it out…1 of those beasts must be for you, the second, for Neil.” I replied, shifting my attention from the calm beasts. “The third must be for one person who I didn’t completely reconcile with…my sister.”