It’s dark. I’m sitting in the corner of the Miller’s living room trying to catch my breath. The sickening mess I’m covered in is cool as it dries on my skin. George Miller is on his back between the living room and the dining room. I hit him pretty hard. Didn’t mean to but the old bastard went crazy on me. Now I’m waiting to see if he gets back up. Sure he’s dead, but it’s been a weird couple of days so better safe than sorry.
I watch his eyes begin to cloud over as ice crystals click against the aluminum eaves outside. The wind gusts against the thin window panes and makes them rattle, adding to the sense of being trapped in some low budget horror movie. Perspiration on my forehead drips into my eyes. I blink the salty moisture away, afraid to touch my face and risk exposure. I wonder if George would have given the same consideration.
George said it was all a lie, that God would never let such a thing happen. He said it was all made up to keep us isolated and afraid. He told me once in a surreal moment of clarity that everything is fear. I’m not sure why he kept his wife locked up in the basement. Maybe he thought that one day she would be normal again. That’s why I came here though, for his wife, to confirm my own worst fears. What I didn’t anticipate was George coming home from his daily firewood run early.
Darina Miller came across as being generic in every way. Average height, average weight, short permed hair, and surrounded by the scent of old lady perfume wherever she went. The Millers had no children of their own but Darina loved to play substitute grandmother to the local kids. She had babysat for most of the families in town, some for two generations. She had directed the kindergarten play at the local county school for the last 23 years. It would be hard to find anyone that had a bad word to say against her.
It was all a façade though. Mrs. Miller turned into Mrs. Hyde behind closed doors. I would hear her late at night screaming at George. Tormenting and berating him. I know for a fact the abuse would sometimes turn physical. And that’s why it’s so confusing to me that George was fighting so hard for her. Trying so hard to hold on to someone that must have been making his life miserable. Who knows, maybe he got some enjoyment out of it all. Maybe it was the only way he knew how to be. People are funny I guess.
My train of thought is derailed as I look up to see George begin to twitch. His head starts to rock back and forth, then his body begins to shake and convulse. After spilling the contents of his stomach the tell-tale foul, tarry mess follows shortly after. I tighten my grip on the axe handle in my right hand and start the slow climb back to my feet. Time to get back to work I guess.