The Frightening Tale of the Mysterious Charlie Dud - Continued
Published: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 01:10
In the spirit of Halloween, the following is Part II of a short work of fiction published Oct. 22. Click here for Part I.
As Charlie grew older, the episodes continued. While his doctors were never privy to the violent details, he did describe the symptoms that came just before his blackouts. At first, with the information they were given, the doctors suspected a tumor. They ran EEG’s and MRI’s to pinpoint the problem spot in Charlie’s brain, but they never found one. Unable to diagnose Charlie, they prescribed medication in hopes of reducing the number and intensity of his episodes. Charlie told himself that the pills helped, but really, he was doubtful.
Nevertheless, Charlie attempted to make the best of things; he gave it a shot. He took his pills every day, once in the morning and once at night. Never did he miss a dose; he couldn’t afford to make that mistake. But it was to no avail. The years went by, and the episodes continued. He would be sitting on the couch in the living room, or getting dressed in his bedroom, or doing whatever other daily activity that begged to be interrupted. Then it would happen; the first warning sign would make its presence known. Often it was a fleeting smell of something that wasn’t there, then a hint of nausea that would grow in the pit of his stomach, followed by an unforgettable sensation. His head became a balloon filled with rocks and helium. It was light; it begged to float away, but at the same time it was weighted down by an overwhelming heaviness. Charlie would look around at his surroundings as his cognitive abilities faded.
He would see his television and be able to recognize that it was called a television, but he couldn’t bring his lips to say the word, which had become trapped within his disoriented mind. Things and names that wouldn’t connect surrounded him. The whiff of nonexistent brownies lingered. What happened next was never a surprise to him. Within only five seconds of the episode’s onset, Charlie Dud’s conscious control would be lost, but his body was left awake and functioning—acting. In an hour or so, Charlie would blink, and in an instant be returned to his normal state of mind.
As he grew up, Charlie learned to control himself, or at least isolate himself when his control began to weaken, but, on occasion, violence was unavoidable. He considered his options. He could keep taking the pills and tell himself that they worked, or he could give up what little freedom he had left and commit himself to one of those facilities. However, there was a third option. It was a drastic one, but he preferred it over the second—he couldn’t imagine having to live out his days in those fluorescent rooms, sharing the dead air with the clinically insane—he would prefer death. He considered it on multiple occasions.
On a lighter note, it’s funny—I mean it’s funny the way life seems to work out as if someone’s been planning it all along. Charlie spent years trying to remember the death of his mother and torturing himself with doubts and suspicions. He was seriously considering ending it all, but then Clara came along. Clara’s the kind of beauty you’d never expect to look your way—long chocolate ribbons of hair draped over soft velvet shoulders, and emerald irises deep enough to dive into head first. It was as if she had been sent for the sole purpose of bringing Charlie Dud a little happiness in life, and that’s exactly what she has done for the past eight months they have been together. For the fear of causing more harm, Charlie had long ago sacrificed the idea of ever getting close to anyone—that is, until Clara came along. For reasons that would remain a mystery to all, Clara took the time to understand Charlie, to appreciate his sweet nature, and it wasn’t long before she had fallen for him.
For the first time in a very long time, Charlie had found something worth living for. They became that inseparable couple; the kind of couple you envy. Things weren’t actually perfect, even though to most they would seem that way. Charlie still worried that the inevitable lingered, ready to rip everything apart. Charlie had fallen in love, moved in with his girl, and had even dropped a few subtle hints about marriage. You have to remember though, this is Charlie Dud I’m talking about; whoever wrote his story didn’t mean for it to be a happy one, and part of him knew that.
It was around seven thirty one rainy evening. Clara and Charlie had just finished their dinner, and were about to top it off with a batch of freshly baked brownies. Without having to be asked, Charlie cleared the dishes, and then sat down at the kitchen table and stared out the window. He watched in a trance, the thin blades of lush grass dancing as the tiny droplets struck their surface. The oven door opened and the brownies sizzled as Clara set them down on the table before him. The familiar aroma filled the air with a warming sensation. Clara pulled the knife from the drawer next to the refrigerator and began cutting. Its sharp blade slipped effortlessly through the perfectly baked sweets, leaving brown remnants on its shiny surface.
That’s when it started. One second passed and Charlie Dud began to feel the nausea in the pit of his stomach. Two seconds passed and Charlie Dud began to feel his head growing heavy. Three seconds passed and Charlie Dud’s eyes glazed over. Four seconds passed and Charlie Dud rose to his feet. Five seconds passed and Charlie Dud took one stumbling step away from Clara.
The five seconds were up, and what happened next should be no surprise.His control fading, he lunged forward, taking the burning pan in his hands and cracking it across Clara’s frightened face. Within an instant she was sprawled on the ground and Charlie stood above her, knife in hand. He looked down at his love’s pleading expression and something sparked inside of him. He remembered the look on his mother’s face as he pushed her off the balcony.