The Reward

The asthmatic Son woke sometime after three in the morning. He did not need to pee. The winter outside was quite. It was he who woke himself not nature. The Boy had read about mental alarms all month. This week he had put what he had learnt into practice.

Tonight was not practice. He slipped on his Spiderman slippers, shuffled to his desk, pulled open the top drawer, and retrieved the Boning Knife that Father had looked everywhere for. Sliding the drawer shut he shuffled to the hallway with nothing but his red underwear, Spiderman slippers, and the Boning knife.

Father and Mother never went to sleep. Sometime last month they moved their bed across the room, diagonal to the door that is shut but not locked. The lock had broken earlier in the week. It was too expensive to change on a fixed income. Father had his bolt action 700 loaded and pointed at the door across the room. Mother kneeled behind him. Both trembled. Father and Mother knew if they slept on this night they would not wake.

For a week the Son would enter Father and Mothers room. First they slept until the small asthmatic breathing woke them. Sharp air out of open mouth. They called to him soothingly. When the Boy realized they had wakened he shuffled out the room. This continued for a fortnight. After awhile Father and Mother pretended to sleep. When they did this the Son and his strangled breathing would get closer and closer. They would wake again and call out to him. Again he would shuffle out of the room with a soft click of the bedroom door. That is when the voices spoke to them.

The Son held the Bone knife tight in his hands as he shuffled through the long shadow soaked hallway that led to Father and Mothers room. He passed family photos but did not care to look at them. His boney chest heaved and rattled as his mouth exhausted the breath within. The boy did stop at the frosted bay window that looked out from the second floor. He went on his tip toes and craned his neck.

The forest in the backyard was draped with snow. The dead trees beyond revealed the moon was full. The boy licked his lips and smiled. He dropped down and sat. Across from him stood a very old oak Grandfather clock. The Son looked up at the top of the clock where a carved face of an old man leered down. The son picked his nose and waited for his parents to fall asleep.

The attic space above Father and Mothers room groaned. The night was long and they felt the warm sleep pull at their eyes. Father bit his lower lip. It filled his mouth with copper but it did not aid him. Mother had already rested the back of her head against the wall. The weights continued to pull and his lids grew heavy. The thin barrel of the 700 fell to his knees. Father and Mother did not know why the fell asleep. They did not know what the boy had put in their coffee. The gun fell to the floor with thump.

The Son heard the disturbance. He looked at the clock. It read three and a thirty. It was just like The Thin Man had said. The son nibbled on his inner cheek with excitement as he shuffled and wheezed to the last door at the end of the hallway. He turned the knob and popped open the door. He entered with the shadows of the hallway.

Inside the room Father and Mother slept unwillingly. Father was still somewhere between worlds. He desired not to sleep so he fought it. His thoughts were distant. Farther back. Not centered. Yet, he could faintly hear the familiar voice that spoke not only to him but to Mother as well. It was a shared dream that slowly dripped into a shared waking thought. He felt his teeth grind. What did the voice say? He pressed harder until a tooth cracked. And he remembered the shared voice. It said to them: Beware the Boy. Father fought to surface from the chemical sleep.

The tip of the Bone knife pressed against the skin of mothers throat. The skin went back until it popped. The knife slid through easily. It stopped halfway when it hit something hard. The Son was intrigued by the blood that gloved around his hand. It was warm and his hands had grown cold. Mother choked on the blood and on the knife. The Son pulled it out and pushed it through her left eye. The eye gave a soft squelching sound that was enjoyable to the boys ears. He crawled over to Father after the right eye was dealt with.

Father woke sharply as he heard what sounded like fabric being ripped open. He felt movement from his gut. He looked down to see the boy quickly dashing a knife back and forth across his belly. It went deeper and deeper until his gut spilled out.

Beware the boy.

He grabbed at the Sons face. He squeezed the child’s head. His nails dug deep but that did not stop the rapid cutting of the knife. Fathers hands dropped from the childs head. His body shook like he was cold as he looked down at the mess of his gut. His mouth dropped opened and he finally knew what had happened to his missing Bone Knife.

The Sons eyes watered in pain but he did not let that bother him. He had things to do. He put the knife inside fathers open mouth until it could not be seen. He slid off the bed and left the room. The Son did not know but Father and Mother lay slaughtered on the very bed they conceived him in. He left the room.

A long moment had passed when the Son returned to the room. He brought with him wooden toboggan that he dragged with a rope. He pulled the toboggan where mother was. He climbed back on the bed and pushed mother off and onto the toboggan. She fell mostly on the sled. The Boys breathing was sharp and painful but he continued. He dragged Mother out of the room, down the hallway, to the edge of the staircase.

The staircase went down, down to the darkness below. The Son stared wheezing at the inkiness below. He was looking forward to this part. Walking behind the toboggan where he had purposefully positioned the curved end, the boy pushed and pushed until the toboggan dipped and finally cascaded down the stairs into the ebony below. The boy smiled and went down to retrieve the sled.

By the time he dropped Father down the stairs the moon had already risen above the trees. The Boy could not be blamed for this as Father was much heavier than Mother.

He was thirsty after this. So he decided he wanted something to drink but as he thought this the house shuttered and groaned. The boy forgot about his thirst and remembered the task at hand.

Father and Mother lay at the bottom of the stairs. Their bodies twisted and wet with each others viscera and inside stuff. Mothers neck had broken against the wall. They lay under a a tall draped window. The Son wen to the window and yanked the drapes opened. The moonlight spilled inside and covered everything in a brilliant way.

Acting fast the boy quickly shuffled to Father and Mother. He dipped his hands inside Mothers slit neck and Fathers opened belly. He then stepped on their bodies as to gain height. He carefully crouched down, put his arms apart, and smeared a large arch as high as he could on the moon drenched wall with blood. After doing this he took the palm of his hand he made a circle in middle of the arch. He stepped back.

The silver moonlight turned the bloody arch into a glowing liquid. It shimmered magically. It grew bright and brighter. The bloody arch began to make a crumbling noise as the moonlight highlighted it. Small flakes of the wall fell from the outline. Suddenly a door appeared.

The Son watched in awe as this happened. He could not believe it. It was just like the Thin Man had said. Not wasting a minute the boy shuffled to the Moon Door and pushed. It swung open with swoosh. The door opened into obsidian. The child could not see anything but he could hear and feel heavy breathing and hot stagnate air escaping from within. Somewhere deep inside a voice rumbled out.


The Son pushed the bodies into the doorway as far and as much as he could. They did not go completely in. They had knotted together. The boy began to whimper as he tried and tried. His strength was all but wasted. His chest protested the air that struggled to escape from his ragged lungs.

He did not whimper for long. Something from the dark of dark pulled the knotted bodies in with such force that they disappeared with a snap. Heavy crunching, ripping and slopping filled the whole of the house. The Son, wide eyed, stepped backwards and stared at the gaping black mass that the door revealed. A wet slurping sound ended the cacophony of flesh and bone.

Still staring the Son sat down indian style and waited. His breathing slowed. He licked his lips ravenously. It was his turn. His reward. The reason why he had obeyed the Thin Mans request to feed the house was here. It came. From within the door way emerged an immense red and muscular arm covered in thick black hair. In its monstrous hand it held a large gold bar. The arm dropped the bar into the boys lap and retreated into the nether regions of the house. The blood door slammed shut.

And now it was the child’s time to feed. He took the bar and pulled off the gold foil to reveal a thick chocolate bar inside. The Son finally feasted.