Elmo and I

October 31st. 2017 by Patrick Starks 

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Part 2: Happy Halloween!

It was December 25th, 1996—Christmas morning. The room was bright, filled with jolliness, but cold for a day in Texas as the chattering of teeth surrounded the table. But to warm things up, Mom had cooked the family her famous blueberry pancakes with chocolate chip, as it was accompanied by her renowned homemade maple syrup. Yet, through it all, through the heavenly mountain of gluttony my face would nose dive towards, without hesitation, I’d work my way to the bacon, then to the sausage, and around the eggs, as I was never fond of the gooey substance. And I’d repeat the same cycle again, begging for another plate, begging for larger arteries, giving me second wind only to consume more.

To mom I was always greedy, somewhat over the top for a girl, but dad was different, he loved that I was my own person—never to conform with the stereotypes that were typically put on us, that being us girls. Dad would encourage mom to do the same, but the years she spent being taught the opposite would influence her reasons not to—she felt what she did was right, and was right for me. But out of what felt to be a delightful morning of breakfast, my younger sister Athena would beg to differ—fears of the night before had scarred her fragile mine. But I felt it was all just a dream, just a simple nightmare she and I had, but Athena would reassure me that it wasn’t.  After all, how could two people have the same dream…

“What should we do? Should we tell mom and dad, or should we call the police?” Athena grumbled.

“Ask them what?”

“You can’t be serious. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten already? Elmo… Your doll! The freaking doll!”

The whole kitchen then went mute, just like when dad’s paranoia would make him turn the volume off the T.V, feeling there might’ve been a robber in the midst. All heads turned as their eyes would center the room.  “Honey, are you okay? Did you forget to take your medication again?” Mom asked. Athena was known to get delusional at times, but it wasn’t her fault. Just a year ago Athena was diagnosed with psychosis, doctor told us that it was from the Parkinson’s she had, and sadly, over time it would become worst.

Athena remained silent. She never really felt confident about it, but who could. She felt embarrassed, shamed by it; still, she was my little sister, and I knew whatever she had, she was gifted more than most who didn’t have the symptom; she was perfect in her own way, she was perfect to me. But Athena’s insecurities would make her doubt the very evils she saw the night before one way or another, although, the vision of Elmo sitting to the chair next me would retain confidence in her thoughts.  Elmo’s eyes were inanimate, his body was still—that of dolls, in which Athena and I were certain was full of cotton and four energizer batteries.

Eventually, the silence would fade and everyone would continue to stuff their faces—blueberry, chocolate chip and maple syrup all in the form of what I depicted as mud was all that remained around their sticky lips. No need for a paper towel, no one dared to reach for one, only the touch of their tongues  was needed. And out of all the fear and hunger in the room, there was still something missing from all the madness, and the empty chair across from me would tell me just that.

“Morgan! Morgan! Honey its time to eat, get your little chocolate butt down here for I make it turn from dawn to dusk. I don’t want you crying telling me no one left you anything when you weren’t down here in the first place,” mom yelled. Morgan was nowhere to be found or heard, and dad as well would find it suspicious, even absurd—it wasn’t normal for Morgan to be such a rebel, especially to the family. Overtime, Athena would leave her chair empty as well, the  door of her room would almost hit her on the cheeks she rushed to her room so fast, from dawn to dusk I’d laugh.

Everyone left the kitchen to take a power nap, as most people with full belly’s did, but for dad I was sure it was just the early morning whiskey that set his sleepy head in motion—not even half the bottle remained, no eggnog for the mix, he’d drank it all.  It was now just Elmo and I. And as much as I thought myself to not be afraid of him, the bumps on my adolescent skin would tell me otherwise.

Elmo turned his head towards me slowly, leaning it to the side, as if the cotton that held it up deteriorated. Like hell I ran up the stairs, nearly face planting on my way up. I begged for Athena to open the door, but the fear she had wouldn’t allow her to open the door for anything—not even a slice of her favorite pizzas from Bruno’s. I had to think fast, I had to hurry, I doubled checked my progress of escape, peaking over the stairs to verify that Elmo was still there—his seat was empty.

I ran to Morgan’s room, and his door was open, his lights were off; although, his video game still played in the background, but not on pause, which shocked me more than anything. I’d call out Morgan’s name, but just like in the kitchen, no response was given, only the sounds of Mario’s Woooohooo! I heard, creeping me out even more. Still, I went in the room idiotically, hoping that big brother would be the rescue of what was becoming my nightmare, my reality. I of course would have asked mom or dad, but dad was still tainted by Jim Bean, and mom, well… I wasn’t sure what she was doing, probably mom stuff I’d guess. I put another one of my thinking caps on, I thought the window was open for how gelid the room was, just the touch of my bare feet resting on the carpet was enough to give one the assumption that it was, yet, oddly it wasn’t.

Driven by the fear of the worst, I would spin like Michael Jackson back to the door, but the door would close before my hand could even reach the knob. Eager to get out, I still persisted, twisting the knob as hard as I could—the knob eventually became so cold my hands would nearly become glued to it, but no submission did I give it, I pulled away. I then rushed to the window as well, but it was locked, I still was baffled on how it could be so cold in a room with windows closed, but as you know, that was the least of my problems.

The door I’d evade would begin to raddle and bang, plunging me straight for the semen infested covers of Morgan’s bed, making my day even more horrific than it now was. But I won’t go into detail of any of that—to painful.

“Yo bro, what the hell! You can’t hog the game all day, mom and dad said we each get an hour. They said it was for all of us,” said Tom and Liam. Morgan’s response would typically be, ‘Had my name on it bitches!’ and Tom and Liam would storm off in a rant as usual, and ironically, the silence from Morgan would make them do just that.

 A voice would then whisper my name and my eyes followed in its direction, it was Elmo. But how did he get in the room, the very room I found it impossible to escape; the very room Tom and Liam couldn’t breach, but somehow Elmo did. His red hair glowed radiantly, just as Mario would on Morgan’s tube T.V.

He started laughing, tickling himself as he caressed his fury body with cynical intent. All horror drifted through my veins, I’d hadn’t been this scared since the movie “Little Monsters,” and deja vu would hit me, i’fd realize Elmo was a little monster, in his own way. Screams from the walls would pierce from Athena’s room. Her screams gave pleasure to Elmo’s ears as he’d soaked up what filled the air—all the fear. It was now just Elmo and I in a dark, and frosty room, as I all I hoped for was to be out soon. 

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