I was born in Germany to my parents and three older siblings. I didn’t know much about my life before I was seven. I don’t think it really mattered. My father got severely ill when I’d just turned eight, some disease that not even the doctors had a name for. He was always sick and so was my mother, but she was not sick in the same way as my father.
He had a physical sickness, my mother had it mentally. She was always so worried about my father’s health and us children. She could hardly feed us every day and the war between my family and another wasn’t helping her condition. We had been in a battle for years with the Moreno Family.
It had begun even before I was born, pretty much even before my second oldest sister was born. They were good friends at first; for generations, our families had got along but it was when my grandfather died that everything changed. My father began doing business with Mr. Moreno not knowing really what he was doing. My father had thought it would be an easy job. The Moreno family, noticing my father’s ignorance quickly began monitoring him during his work. He was fired within two weeks of the surveillance. My father was furious when he was told that he was under surveillance and that they said he had been stealing money.
The rage my father had, came out in an argument that quickly led to a fistfight. That’s when the two families stopped being companions and became enemies. Ever since that day the war continued, every year and for years to come. Their youngest son, Roberto, hated me only because I was the youngest of my family. You see, I didn’t hate any of them during that time. I was too concerned about my father’s health and my mother’s nerves.
As I grew older, my father grew worse and I feared he would leave me before he would have the chance to see his youngest and only son get married and have children; but he didn’t. I got married young, at seventeen, to my beautiful wife Antoinette and together we brought two beautiful boys into the world; Maximillian and Donte. He was so proud and he loved his grandchildren more than life. I was the only of four children to give him grandchildren and of course, my sisters were angry. Though they were all married, none of them could bear a child; the one thing they all wanted.
Though it was a joyful time for my father, he had two grandchildren and a daughter-in-law, he was also getting worse health wise. He didn’t think we noticed but how couldn’t we; he was paler, weaker and beginning to lose memory. The Moreno’s thought this wonderful, they believed that when my father died they would get all his riches, the ones he supposedly took from them, but they would get nothing. Hell, we would get nothing.
My father wasn’t a rich man. He was of the lower class, the whole family was. Our house was small, shingles fell from every angle and we had nothing to keep heat in the house. It would always be freezing and when it rained, we would have puddles in every hole that our floor contained. We had only one master bedroom, which contained the bed of my three sisters (they all shared one) and the bed of my parents. There was no space for any more beds in the house, let alone that room so I slept on the couch, an old beat up one in the living room. It was hard and lump and was hardly staying together. It had white spots (now yellow and green), the cushions had cotton falling out of every corner and had strings holding them together.
The couch wasn’t going to work for my wife and kids, so I moved. Not too far, but the other side of town about five minutes from my family. I had found a suitable job, something dealing with children, it didn’t pay much but it was enough to feed my family.
One night I came home from work and I saw the eyes of my beautiful wife red with all the tears she had shed. She was holding Donte but Max was nowhere to be seen.
“Where is Max, Anette tell me!” I grabbed her by the shoulders, shaking her gently but quickly. She could hardly speak because of her all sobbing but then I saw Donte holding a piece of paper.
It has been a long time since this is all happened, yet I still remember completely what the letter said when I read it He is gone Leo, there’s nothing you can do now except bring me what I want. I want the money, the money your father stole from me and my family. Bring it to me at the entrance of the lakeside woods tomorrow night. It was signed, your beloved, Roberto.
I crumpled the paper in my hand and I threw it away from me. Anette grabbed my arm and I held her and Donte close to my shaking, angry body with care. Donte fell asleep that night, I didn’t nor did Anette; we had to figure out how to get money, any amount to get our son back safe and sound. We didn’t honestly have enough money for clothes so we didn’t have money to give Roberto but I thought perhaps my father would help; he didn’t. When I arrived at his house, there was a sign on the door saying the family had left on some vacation. A lie, a pure life written on the door. The son-of-a-bitch knew they would come after my family and he didn’t want to be part of it even though he started it and was the only person they really wanted.
The second night came quickly and I went to the meeting place with only three hundred dollars, all I was able to get from friends, but it didn’t matter. I found my son’s body hanging from a tree branch; beaten, stabbed, burnt and his beautiful baby eyes plucked out. It was a brutal murder, it was something I wished I hadn’t seen. It pained me so bad to see his limp helpless body dead. I heard myself screaming, screaming why my son, why not me!
I took his body down and held it, cold and lifeless. They had killed him the day they took him, they never wanted the money they wanted to see my family suffer and by family, I mean only my father. That’s what they wanted really for my father to suffer and die quickly, more than he was already. I carried my son home and waited for the horrible crying and suffering of my wife and other son. I stood in front of my house and saw police everywhere. The police were shaking their heads and almost crying. One turned and saw me holding my dead child, he ran over to me followed by two more officers. I handed Max over to them and pushed my way into the house, fighting police officers as I ran by them. When I got into the house I witnessed another tragedy; the death of my other son and my wife.
Donte was dead, the same way as Max brutally murdered in cold blood and my wife; my beautiful wife raped, ravaged and killed. I fell to my knees and wept long and hard, longer than I had ever in all my life.
That was the end of my fuse. I’d had enough and I swore on my own life I would kill Roberto and I would kill all of his family, even if I had to die doing it. I looked for Roberto for months at a time but I couldn’t find him, no matter how long I looked. It was as if the devil had put him in hiding and the only place I would find him would be hell, but that was not true. He was in hiding but he was searching for me and one day he found me.
Two years had passed and I was living on the streets. I hadn’t wanted to go to my father’s house after what the bastard had allowed to happen to my family. I had also left the town, hell the state! I didn’t know where I was going but I had to leave, far away from the tragic hell that was my life. I was begging for food when he caught me, grabbed my arm and helped me off the dirty ground I kneeled on.
I couldn’t understand the look on his face, it was something in-between sorrow and hate. I pushed him away from me and tried to punch him but he didn’t move, he let me hit him. Two hit was all and he fell to the ground, he was weeping.
“Why do you cry? Get up and take this like a man! Get up, you deserve this and more.” I yelled and as I did I kicked him, all my anger finally coming out. When I was done and out of breath, I saw him bleeding and in pain. I smiled and he put his hand up barely being able to move it and began to speak.
“I know you are angry and hurt and wish me dead that is fine. You can kill me once I have told you why I am here. The pain of your family’s death hurt me, though I thought it wouldn’t. After it had been done, I felt horrible more than words can describe and to help my forsaken soul I wanted to find you and take you to your father. He is on his deathbed.”
The words he spoke made me even more furious and angered. The look on his face made it seem like he was bothered and hurt but I couldn’t let him take me for a fool. I kicked him once again, then spat in his face.
“I do not care for my father as I do not care for you. I will kill you now as I have wanted to do for so long.”
He didn’t seem surprised and he laid down flat on the ground and awaited death. I wanted to kill him. I could have killed him but I thought it better if he suffered. I left him there in pain and broken. I walked away and heard him crying, crying for me to kill him. I had lied to him when I said I didn’t care about my father because deep down, no matter how much anger I had he was my only father.
I needed to see him before he died. I wanted him to see his only son again before he died. Now, of course, I didn’t have money and I wasn’t going to go back to Roberto and search him for some. So I thought of an easy way to make money before it was too late. The only way I thought of was carrying bags for all the wealthy that toured first class. They would give tons of money for a young boy bag carrier or so I thought. They hardly gave me enough to make a dollar and I was getting nowhere until a man approached me. This man was a very rich man, dressed in fine silks and velvet. He handed me two bags, they were as light as two feathers and he could have easily carried them himself. His eyes were bright green, the brightest green I could have ever imagined. He looked away from me quickly when he noticed me staring into them.
“Take them to my car and get in, you will take them all the way to my house.” He said. His voice, oh his amazing voice was so deep and beautiful that I wanted him to speak forever.
“Sir, I am sorry but I cannot take them to your house. I can only take them to your car.”
I spoke to him hoping he would speak again and I could savor his voice once again. He smiled at me, a wonderful brightening smile and then he moved his arm into his silk pocket and pulled out money. Dozens of bills caressing his hands and I wished my hands could caress his too. His long blonde hair was being raved by the heavy wind of the night but he didn’t seem to mind. He began laughing, he looked dead at me and laughed.
“But my boy, I know you need the money for your family to see you or better for you to see your father. Please, I understand. Come with me.”
It was ludicrous, his words ludicrous! How could this man, a man I had never seen in my life know about my need for money? I let go of the bags and the whole place seemed silent after those words were spoken. He grabbed my hands and help them in his.
“Please, there are reasons I know these things and reasons you need to come with me. My son, please. Come.”
I had but all left my body, my mind was wandering in confusion. I didn’t really notice my surroundings or what was going on but I did know I was placed in a car. This man had managed to take me and to where I didn’t know. Now, you can imagine the fear that struck me in that instant, but it wasn’t as much fear as it was excitement. Sounds strange, I know but I wanted to be there; I wanted to know where I was going but I was scared to do it myself. I also just wanted to be with him. I didn’t want to lose him, he struck me as beautiful and I didn’t want to lose sight of him.
I had never had these type of feelings before.
I must have fallen asleep because I awoke in a house. I was in a room completely blue. All types of amazing shades of blue. I laid in a canopy bed, large and comfortable; the nicest thing I had ever slept on my entire life. The bed was swaying and it made me feel nauseous but I didn’t know why. I saw three large windows opened wide, letting the little snow that fell flurry into the room. The room being warmed melted the flurries mid-air. I looked down to notice that someone had bathed me and changed my dirty ragged clothing into silk white pajamas. The fabric felt so good against the nude body underneath them but they were so smooth that I thought I would slide right out of them.
I wanted to explore the magnificent room I was in but the swaying of the bed wouldn’t allow me. I tossed and turned sunk and floated and it was making my stomach turn. I heard footsteps then a door open, the man I had talked to before stood in the doorway in all his beauty.
“Having trouble my dear friend?” His amazing voice once again rung in my ears. “It’s a waterbed, I thought you would enjoy it, or be amazed by it. Are you not?”
“Oh, yes. I do enjoy it in some way but I don’t know how to get out.”
I felt ashamed, embarrassed and young. He was smiling at me, a laughing smile but he looked adorable. He walked over to the bed and put out his hand to help me off. I took his hand, it was cold and hard not warm and caressing as they had been the night before.
“This room is amazingly beautiful. Did you –?”
“Construct it myself? No, no. I have decorators that come to my aid. I know nothing of colors or anything else.”
“But you have so many paintings and you don’t understand them?” I asked, now walking around him look at the paintings on the wall still holding his cold hand.
“Exactly and I don’t necessarily want to. I’ve never been an art major.” He pulled me back in front of him and began touching my clothes. “They look marvelous on you. Perfect.” He said nodding and smiling.
“Yes, thank you. This is all too nice. I do not deserve it, besides I must be leaving.”
His smile quickly faded into an angry frown.
“You will stay, you have no choice.” He said under his breath as he walked over to the window to look out.
“What do you mean I have no choice? You cannot keep me here. I do not want to stay here, I will not be your prisoner!”
He turned from the window and look at me, then began to walk toward the door.
“That’s where you are wrong.” He left. Walked through the door and closed it behind him. I heard it lock. I thought I had to get out, I needed to leave so I wouldn’t be a prisoner. I ran to the window, I was thinking of jumping out. I reached it and looked out; the sixth floor. To jump, would be suicide.
I heard many footsteps coming and began to panic, I couldn’t think of what to do. At once the door flew open and guards rushed in. They grabbed my arms and dragged me towards the door but I dragged my feet to try and stop myself from sliding but I couldn’t. I was dragged down long hallways and taken to a basement. I could hear I wasn’t the only person who was going to be there. I heard people screaming, crying and others just talking but the words did not make sense.
I allowed myself to stop struggling with the guards, the fact was I was tired of struggling; it had gotten me nowhere.
Ahead there was a door, a tall black door with red decorations of things I couldn’t see well from fear but as we got closer, I could see things clearly and I realized my face was painted there. On the door with red paint, I saw my face staring back at me and I grew more frightened as we got closer to the opening. Looking at the door, I once again began to struggle with the guards but I couldn’t get out of their grip no matter how hard I tried. They pushed the door open and I closed my eyes then began to scream in excruciating pain.
Copyright © 2018 by Elly V
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without the express written permission of the author.