Anniversary

Just a note, Gardai are Irish police officers! :-)

Twilight.

The fluorescent orange street lamps stood out from the dimming sky that was beginning its transition into darkness. Calming dark blue began to sprint across the sky, making the lights of every house become more striking, alluring more curiosity compared to the morning, standing out like twinkly stars.

Matthew sat calmly on the garden wall, kicking his mucky Converse against the strong, off-white cement, his hood messing up his curly dark hair. The baggy hoody was useless, letting the cold chill through its material and strike his skin, sending multiple shivers tingling through his entire body, his muscles spasming. As neighbours began to stroll by Matthew's heart began to beat uncontrollably as they glanced at him suspiciously, speed-walking away at a rate that suddenly made him laugh and cause his adrenaline to decrease. They didn't recognise him; he was just a rough teenager to them, encouraging their paranoia.

As the final beam of blue disappeared, succumbing to the darkness, Matthew stretched and surveyed his surroundings. Hardly a soul was out walking the quiet streets. The only signs of life were the few cars that passed by at a snails' pace, and some children returning home from their friends' homes, looking around worryingly, suddenly remembering every horror film they'd ever seen as they walked the eerie street.

Matthew hopped over the wall, landing on a half-empty beer can hidden in the knee-lenth grass. He trudged through the overgrown lawn, feeling like he was in a jungle, on an adventure, facing the fears that had haunted him. The house looked like it was still inhabited by residents that didn't care much about their garden or the dirty smudges that were beginning to appear on the white walls. The accommodation wasn't a popular attraction, just an element of conversation around this rural town. It made an appearance in practically every confabulation between the town folk around this time of year. The anniversary of insanity.

Matthew took a deep breath, feeling the cold air sprint through his lungs, practically feeling it diffuse into his blood and disperse through his body. He took the key from his pocket slowly and slotted it into the keyhole, experiencing a state of agitation as he heard the familiar click.Flicking on the lights he sighed when he remained in darkness and took out his flashlight, the strong beam blinding him; he could feel his pupils contract to tiny specks. His footsteps echoed through the entire interior. Complete emptiness greeted him; the sinister staircase -the conversant holes in the wall, the indelible stain around them, replicas of these in certain rooms of the house - leading to the second floor. He imagined he was a potential buyer, a real estate agent welcoming him and offering to show him around. He knew this house too well.

Ignoring the downstairs completely, Matthew began to climb the stairs, hearing the agents voice echoing through the house. He glanced at the holes in the wall, looking away quickly when he realised they encased nothing. "The house has a history...but what house doesn't?" the agent would chuckle nervously, his eyes darting as if he were watching a tennis match.

The agent would be a man that would probably chuckle after every sentence. He would have a toupee, which he would adjust every few minutes, making it clearly obvious. A strong nose would be the feature that stood out from his angular face.

Matthew stared at the room at the end of the hallway, the door slightly ajar, taunting him. Each step he took made him feel like he was going against a current. It would be easier to drift away, but it was too tempting; what lay beyond was why he had came.

The flashlight exposed every part of the room that was formerly his. Bits of paper were strewn around, dust gathering on the windowsill and perfectly varnished floorboards. He could picture his possessions in this room, virtual illusions of his bed, his study desk, clothes tossed in random places, his guitar in the corner... Matthew's blood transformed to ice as he shone the flashlight, exposing three distinct holes in the wall, cracks spreading out like tree branches. Only one metal cylinder was still wedged into the wall, causing the flashbacks to hit him like an unexpected truck. Bullets, firing, screams, shots...He hadn't meant to. He hadn't realised what had happened, a feeling of complete numbness as he lost control over his actions. The anger he had felt after he had committed the homicide, meaning to shoot himself but too afraid of what lay ahead of this life, so, he shot into his bedroom corner instead; three shots for three people...a reminder.

Matthew thought deeply, suddenly feeling a ghostly chill come over him. The supernatural element of his mind feared about the souls of his past, but he pushed this notion away; it wasn't logical. "Matthew!" Blue and red lights started to flash from outside, lighting up the room like a boring rainbow. The voice was megaphoned, a clear strong Irish accent, possibly from Dublin. Matthew felt like he was in a crime film. "Matthew, we know you're in there!" Glancing out the window, Matthew counted three Garda cars

Matthew choked on his fear; the flashlight had drawn suspicion and attracted attention. He should have known; of course they'd expect him to return tonight! One year since his lucid state had been masked by instability.

Matthew pulled the metal handle from the waistline of his jeans, drawing back the hammer, his index finger shaking as he placed it on the trigger. 

He crawled into the corner, hugging his knees as he rocked back and forth. The Gardai were conversing outside, telling everybody to calm down, that nothing was going to happened and to go home. They were lying; if he went out there they would lock him up for eternity, forever blaming for his hour of madness.

Outside the Gardai were starting to panic; what if Matthew flipped and hurt all these gathering people? Would it become a shoot-out? A loud single gunshot caused everybody to jump, feelings of horror rushing through them as they realised the blast came from inside the house.

The Gardai stormed through the house, pounding up the stairs, guns armed and ready to fire. Bursting into the end room they found Matthew. He was just standing there, staring at the wall. A new hole had been freshly fired into it.

"Four holes, four people...same gun," Matthew whispered. He pulled the hammer back one again and looked back at the Gardai, watching as they blatantly reached for their guns. He held the gun up, pointing to his temple, his finger posed over the trigger.

The End

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