Final Confession. Short Story.

Didn’t get up to much this weekend. Plans fell through. Helped make some delicious food though, so that was something. Also made pancakes. Which was fun although I was slightly scared of the batter. It seemed to keep getting thicker, for no discernible reason. It was strange. I watered it down a few times but it didn’t seem to help all that much. Still, they were nice which is the important thing, plus enough batter left over to make pancakes again today!

On with the show!

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“My name is Agatha Jones and my sister Annabel, is a murderer.

It’s been the same, ever since I was a little girl.

She was always the evil one, always playing mean tricks on people, always saying something barbed and cruel. Everyone knew you couldn’t trust her, couldn’t turn your back on her for a second. That was just the way she was. We knew this and  adapted to her, what else could we do? We could allow ourselves to be cowed when she was around and spent the rest of the day walking tall or we could fight and fight until there was nothing left of our family.

The first time she killed something, or at least the first one I was aware of, was Trixie, our cat. She was seven. She had just given birth to kittens, and they were being weaned. Trixie went missing, though we didn’t worry at first. She was always a very independent cat. She would go off for days and we thought that maybe it was just her going to have a break from the newborns. Of course, she was our first cat, so we were never really sure what to expect. I noticed Annabel had a few scratches on her arms, she said that they were days old, and though they looked fresh to me, I believed her. Perhaps because it was easier, perhaps because I was scared. I’m not entirely sure all these years later. We found Trixie in the rain barrel. My parents thought she had fallen in and couldn’t get back out. I cried for days, thinking of how frightened and alone she was when she died. Then I found Trixies collar. It was underneath Annabel’s bed, hidden behind her dolls. I had believed that she had simply taken it to remember our cat, but then I remembered that Trixie didn’t have her collar on when we found her. I had hoped that maybe Annabel had removed it before it happened and, in fear of getting in trouble, had hid it. I clung to that belief until three days later, when the kittens started to go missing. Only one was found, it had been resting at the base of a tree, it’s little body broken. When I saw the kitten lying there, motionless, I knew what Annabel had done and her cold, emotionless stare only confirmed it.

I do not know if our parents knew the truth, if they denied it or if they simple had no idea. All I know is that they never said a word about it to anyone, least of all Annabel, Life continued on and soon we moved on from the pain of losing one pet and we got another. At first I feared for it, I followed that pup everywhere until he was big enough to fend for himself. Annabel never touched him, she couldn’t. She was never one to poison you see, she liked to do things head on. Sometimes she would resort to underhanded tricks if needed, but then I had never even thought of such a thing. Buster lived a happy and healthy life with us until he died of old age at fifteen. Again, Annabel didn’t care while I was inconsolable. Our parents would sometimes remark that she was made of stern stuff, our Annabel. My mother sometimes claimed that I, being her twin, had taken all the emotional burden on myself. I think that was just my mothers way of living with things, of allowing herself to ignore it all.

I’m sure that there were other animals, ones before and after poor Trixie, but I never found them. Annabel was always good at covering her tracks. When we were thirteen, Mr. Jacobs next door died. He fell down the stairs and broke his neck. It was of course seen as a terrible accident, only I had seen Annabel go through our backyard and into his house not twenty minutes before he fell. Mr. Jacobs was a kind old man, but very lonely since his wife had died three years before. He was always delighted to have company and most times, had them stay as long as possible. He sometimes brought someone up to his wife’s old sewing room and, occasionally, he would allow someone to take something if they needed it. I myself had gotten a set of needles from the room as well as some charming lace. He said it would just go to waste otherwise. I have no doubt that Annabel had lured him upstairs, looking for something. A few weeks later my suspicions were confirmed when she started sporting a bright red scarf, made of silk. Of course it was too luxurious for her to have bought. She confided that she had seen Mr. Jacobs a few hours before he had his fall and he insisted she took it. She claimed it was in the old wooden box. I knew very well that the box was off limits to everyone. He would never had parted with anything from that box. She was also wearing a new ring and necklace, she was evasive as to where she got them and, soon after, never wore them again. I am convinced that they had once belonged to Mrs. Jacobs.

Our lives went on as normal as possible. I didn’t tell anyone because though I suspected and believed, I had no concrete proof that anyone could use. So I kept things to myself and as the years went on and the deeds she committed became worse, I couldn’t speak up. It was due partially to fear, but I would be lying to say it wasn’t also selfishness. I couldn’t stand the thought of the questions and accusations. People wondering why I didn’t say anything sooner, how I could allow it to happen. So I kept my suspicions to myself. Death always followed us, through out our lives. Houses were burned down, people disappeared. I sometimes even fear my dear Ernest was taken by her. Neither of us had any children, our parents are both dead and there is no reason to keep quiet any longer, not when I have proof. I found something, the other day, her box of trophies, Mrs. Jacobs ring and necklace, Trixies collar, a book of photographs owned by John Stevenson, one that was supposed to have burned in the fire that killed him and his family. A monogrammed handkerchief of someone who went missing in 1972. The list goes on and I have catalogued them as best I can. You will find the list attached to this letter.

I do not think I will live to see her go to justice, I hope I might. As we now live together I cannot deliver this letter in person, as I will be gone too long, she was always suspicious. I fear that she will know I have found the box and that I will be her next victim. I am old now and so very tired. I do not want to live in fear any more, I do not want to run. I’m sorry for the secrets I have kept. I hope that I can find peace before the end comes and that my sister will come to justice for her terrible, terrible crimes.

I’m sorry I never said anything futher. I hope God may one day forgive me.

Agatha Jones.”

Agatha looked at the letter again, then read it a few times to herself, getting a feel for it. It all seemed perfect. Now she just had to perfectly orchestrate her death. She sealed the letter and carefully printed the address. Agatha looked at the clock, Annabel wasn’t due home for another hour, plenty of time for her to go to the post box and back.

She put on her heavy coat and picked up her walking stick, then she opened the door and stepped outside, letter carefully gripped in her hand. The letter box wasn’t too far away, but the walk still took her twenty minutes, there and back. When it was done she shrugged off her heavy coat, feeling good. She could never be without Annabel, and Annabel could never be without her, even knowing all the things she had done. Agatha considered Annabel as guilty as if she had done them herself. Not that it mattered now. Soon it would all be blamed on Annabel and she would have committed the final, perfect crime. Her spree would be the greatest that had ever been pulled. She lamented that no one would ever know it was her, but then that was the price she had to pay for perfection.

She was old and frail now, not much time left in the world. She knew that and accepted it. That bitch Annabel still had years ahead of her and it took Agatha the better part of a week to figure out just what a suitable punishment was for her. She took her memento box and looked through them all lovingly, it was a shame they would go to waste. Agatha closed the box and brought it upstairs where she shoved it deep underneath Annabel’s bed. Snickering to herself, she left the room and continued with her preparations.

In the weeks leading up to the final day, she had been careful about how she punished Annabel for her transgressions, they couldn’t leave a mark. No one could know the truth. So she had been careful and Annabel had begun to relax, ever so slightly. At least until yesterday. Agatha had ripped a chunk of hair from Annabel’s head for the soup being “too salty.” Annabel, being the  vain bitch she was, wore a hat to hide the damage. No one would notice the missing patch, not until it condemned her.

Agatha stood at the top of the stairs, a clump of hair clutched in her fist, then she took a deep breath, smiled, and leaned forward, allowing gravity to pull her down.

Annabel walked slowly, she always did when returning to the house. She never liked coming back to this place, where she’d be yelled at constantly, but she had no where else to go. She had never had children and her husband had died of a heart attack a few years ago. There was no one left for her, no one but Agatha. They were family, they had to look out for one another, that was what families did.

She stuck her key in the door and twisted it, taking a deep breath, she stepped inside. She froze. At the base of the stairs was her sisters body, a brief moment of shock and horror was replaced by jubilation. She was free, finally and completely free. She moved into the house and closed the door. The evil bitch had tripped on the stairs and done herself in. It was finally over. She took a few calming breaths, she didn’t want to over excite herself, and then she hobbled towards the kitchen and picked up the phone.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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