Author’s Note: Hmm… Poor Carson?
“We need to get you in the bath now. Get you all cleaned up,” his mother said, fussing with his shirt, and Carson didn’t answer her. He didn’t try and stop her. He didn’t know how. All he could do was stand there. “Come on now. In the tub.”
She tried to pull him over, but he couldn’t move. He didn’t want to move. He didn’t deserve to be clean. She shouldn’t be fussing. He wasn’t worth it. She’d been all worried about him, but he didn’t know why she bothered. She shouldn’t. He knew that much, at least.
“You know I can’t lift you anymore. You’re too big for that. You have to get in the tub,” she said, getting him close to the side of it. He stared down at the water. He didn’t want to be in the water. He didn’t think he needed a bath or any of it. He knew he didn’t deserve it. “Your side has to hurt. Get in there so we can take care of it.”
He looked at her and then back at the water. He didn’t feel anything. He was fine. He shouldn’t be, but he was. He should be anything but okay, but he was.
“We’ll take care of your side after we’ve gotten you all clean. I need to know… Need to know where all that blood came from.”
“I killed him.”
Carson jerked himself awake, stumbling out of the bed and over to the desk, catching hold of the trash can just in time to lose his stomach in it. He bent over it and tried to calm himself down. He could feel a sting in his eyes, and he knew that he wanted to cry. Oh, sure, they’d discussed it plenty, talked about the ways it could have been him and why it might have been, but to hear himself say it, that was something different.
He didn’t know what to do now. He had his answer—almost—and it was the one that he did not want to have. He knew there were worse possibilities than him being the killer—unless he assumed that his father had molested him and that was why he’d killed him. If his father hadn’t hurt him one way or another, what did that make him? Cold-blooded? At eight?
He supposed it might have been an accident. Maybe he had that scar on his side because the gun had gone off by mistake. Maybe he’d taken a pot-shot at the car, and when his father realized what he’d done, he tried to take the gun away, and it went off, killing him.
That was the best explanation, and Carson wanted it to be that. He did. He didn’t know that he could accept it, but he liked it better than any other possibility. He curled up against the desk, not sure what to think or do. A part of him wanted to go in and wake Mackenna and have her tell him he was wrong, but he wasn’t. He’d had a memory resurface, and he didn’t get to deny it just because it wasn’t one that he liked. He’d done it. He had to accept that.
He felt his stomach twist, and he leaned over the trashcan, puking a second time. This was not going to work. He had to settle down somehow. Maybe he did have to wake Mackenna. He didn’t know what else to do.
He didn’t like this. He couldn’t handle it. He’d thought he could, after talking about it and theorizing and preparing himself for it, but he was wrong. He couldn’t. He did not want to accept that he’d killed his father. He’d been hoping all this time for the memories to say that he wasn’t the killer, but they didn’t.
He sighed. How was he supposed to go on, knowing what he’d done? He didn’t have any idea. How did one go about dealing with the fact that they were a killer? He supposed that the ones who chose to kill didn’t have much of an issue with it. Others might be tormented with guilt. He was the second type—or at least he hoped he was.
Damn it. He should have gone when he’d thought of it, gone and found a shrink and committed himself. He wasn’t fit to be wandering around free. He was a killer. He’d made up eyes watching him and imagined shadows so that he wouldn’t have to face it, but it was true. He’d killed his father.
He had murdered his own father.
He shoved the trash can away and started to cry.