The Darkness Inside
“What do you remember about your mother?” the man in the shadows asked.
“Why are you doing this?” I asked, tears dripping off my chin.
“Because you deserve to know the truth of your family,” he replied.
I pulled my .22 out of its holster as quick as I could, firing three shots into the shadows. I knew that I had aimed true but the shadow’s mouth cracked and bright pointed teeth smiled back at me unphased by the weapon.
“You can’t kill me, Henry,” he said, “I’m not something that can be killed. Now, are you going to tell me what you remember, or should I continue doing this until you do?”
“My mother was a quiet woman,” I replied, lowering the gun as memories of my childhood filled my mind of their own accord. “She spent her time crafting blankets, making clothing, and cooking food for the neighborhood. We lived in a poor area, and she always told me that those in need are in need, we are not so we should help them.”
“Do you remember what she did for work?” the shadow asked.
“She didn’t work-”
“She did! She worked long hours into your teenage years. She spent more time away from home than in it. Do you remember?” he asked, pressing a bit.
The memories that were in my head began to unravel, feeling wrong and awkward. My head felt as though it were splitting open. Images of her angry face staring down at me as I shied away from her wrath while my father stood behind her looking defeated.
“Why are you doing this?” I cried, uncertain if it was to her or the man in the shadows.
“She was a monster, Henry,” it said, “she is the reason you began killing people. She was the one who taught you how to shut off your emotions and your mind to complete the tasks you needed to complete.”
“No!” I screamed as I emptied the rest of the .22 into the shadow, “She was a good woman! She was caring and humble! She cared about the world more than I ever could!”
“You are right about one of those things. She did care about the world,” the shadow agreed. “She cared so much that she flew to Russia and killed half of the corrupt government before they could stop her. She had killed thirty-five people in less than three minutes. I had never seen anything like it before. Until I met you, Henry.”
“I’m not a monster!” I protested, “I do what’s necessary to make the world a better place for everyone. You’re the monster!”
“All monsters think they are justified in their actions. It all balances out in the wash in the end. You’re wrong though, do you ever stop to consider the families of the people you murder? You can justify your actions all you want, but in the end, it is just bad begetting bad begetting bad…”