When the children start acting strangely, do we ignore them, or do we do something about it? When the line between ‘normal’ and ‘disturbing’ behaviour starts to blur, it’s time to call in some help. But just what is this ‘organisation’? And who even is ‘#####’?
First part HERE
Final part HERE
Mackenzie: ########, you’re not answering my question. What ‘stuff’? What organisation?
#####: If I don’t want to talk about something, how far will you push me? What does your training teach you about that? There’s an organisation that deals in stuff which I don’t want to talk about. Maybe you’ll get it out of me next session.
Mackenzie: Very well, ########, I’m making a note of this and we’ll talk about it next session. I won’t forget. So your mother agreed to come to the house you were babysitting at, and then?
#####: So my folks live about an hour away, over in Redcastle, and I waited for them in the kitchen. I listened to the kids singing that song, but I couldn’t be in the same room as them. I would have lost my mind. As long as I could hear both voices, I hoped that counted as babysitting. Terri got home before my folks arrived, and I wanted to talk to her about the children, but she wouldn’t listen to me. She thought I was crazy, I think. Then the kids started crying, both of them, and really loud – obnoxious, in my opinion, but who cares about that? Then Terri saw some fresh scratches on Peter’s arm and all hell broke loose. I mean, maybe he got them at school? I didn’t see them when he got in, but then I barely looked at him, and I had sat in the kitchen drinking tea most of the afternoon. Maybe Martha did it while they were singing, but I never heard them move, and Peter never said anything, not even like: “Ouch.”
Mackenzie: What did the scratches look like? Were they deep?
#####: Surface scratches, but the arm was pretty red around them. Maybe he got some dirt in them. Terri was screaming at me – overreaction, I think, but like I said: who cares? It was only a couple of scratches. I’m trying to defend myself but she’s screaming at me, telling me to get out, but she’s in the way of the door. I don’t want to push past her, she could take me to court or something. In the end she takes the children and runs upstairs. I was a little shaken up, so I took a seat, and then my mobile rang and mum was there. I let them in the back door to the kitchen and mum went pale straight away. Even my sister felt sick, but she’s quite sensitive anyway. She went straight to the toilet, which is attached to the kitchen. Bit unhygienic, I always thought. I suddenly noticed it was dark outside, which is odd for this time of year. Shouldn’t get dark at that time, but whatever. Light, dark, I was getting worried about what was going on inside the house, not outside.
My mum had this girl – don’t know her name – she had this girl start mixing something up and I started helping. Don’t know what she put in there, but a massive part of it was salt, and heaps and heaps of coffee. I was worried about the children, so I told mum to go upstairs, make sure nothing happened. I was still putting the coffee in this empty sugar bowl, because we didn’t have time to find a proper cup – we were rushing, I don’t know why – when I heard this commotion from upstairs. I left that girl to it and ran upstairs, and Peter was there at the top of the stairs trying to throw himself down. I’m sure he would have broken his neck; he wasn’t big. But Terri was at the top of the stairs holding him back, and my mum was about halfway down; they have this little landing where the stairs double back, and she was waiting for him there, waiting to catch him. It looked like she was scared to approach him, but I wasn’t. I ran up those stairs and helped Terri control him. He was struggling like hell, but when I gripped him hard, in a sort of bear hug, he sort of gave up, then Terri took him back to the bedroom.
That’s when I realised that whatever was happening, was happening right now. I think my mum must have realised the same thing, because we locked eyes just before I shot back downstairs and I could see she was terrified. I didn’t know what she was planning and I don’t think she was at all prepared for what was going on in that house. Mum was less than ten seconds behind me re-entering the kitchen, and was now fully appraised of the problem. We both realised at this point that we hadn’t seen Margaret since she went into the toilet downstairs.
Mackenzie: So how long had she been in there?
#####: I couldn’t say. The thing on the stairs can’t have lasted more than a few minutes. Mum had been sitting on the stairs for a few minutes before that, and before that I’d been helping the girl with mum in the kitchen. Maybe ten minutes. So I guess she’d been in there close to twenty minutes.
So I’m banging on the door, which of course won’t open, mum’s talking to Margaret through the door, and I can’t hear what Margaret’s saying. I remember she sounded really upset, and I was hoping against hope that she wasn’t saying something awful, like, I don’t know, “I feel siiiiiiiiiick…” or something. That would have been horrible. I was really worried, don’t remember being scared for myself, but I was really scared for my sister. I was banging on this door, but I couldn’t get it open. That’s not too strange, I’m not very strong. But the door wasn’t even shaking when I hit it; it was like hitting a cliff, like someone had damn piano on the other side. And all the time she’s saying something from the other side, but like I said, I couldn’t hear her.
Mackenzie: Did you get the door open?
#####: No. I grabbed this sugar bowl. It was a deep one – no handle, obviously, but quite deep. Nearly burned my fingers off, it was so hot. Looking back, I don’t know why, but I just sort of assumed it was for me, that I had to drink it. I tried to run as fast as I could back up the stairs without spilling any – not easy. Plus it was hot, really hot. I think I said. I tried to drink a bit before I started on the stairs but, damn, that thing was hot. Nearly melted my tongue off, but it helped not to spill it as I went up the stairs.
Mackenzie: Why upstairs?
#####: Jesus, Doctor – have you been listening? That’s where everything was happening! Anyway, I wasn’t thinking too clearly at the time, everything was happening at a hundred miles an hour. In my mind I remember a lot of noise and excitement, but when I really think about it, maybe that was just me. The house, especially upstairs, must have been quiet. To anyone else it was just a normal house with normal people sleeping in a normal bedroom. The door was closed.
I took another sip of this stuff, a longer one this time. Can’t remember what it tasted like. It should have been salty as hell, but I think the coffee helped. I started getting really…pumped up at this point. I don’t know how else to describe it, maybe it was the excitement, the adrenaline, this weird drink, I don’t know, but I started getting really pumped up. I walked into that bedroom, and when I got in there, I finished this stuff, and then I roared. I mean, really, I roared like a bloody lion, or, I don’t know. The way this sound came out of me, it was like vomiting gravel – no, more like fire. I’ve never heard a sound like that come out of a human before, but I knew I wanted to scare the shit out of whatever was in that room, make it as scared as I had been that whole afternoon.
Over on the bed I can see Terri, Peter and Martha. It’s pretty dark but I can just about see them, and I know that every hair in my body is standing straight out and I just want to crush something.
Mackenzie: You wanted to ‘crush’ something? Something specific?
#####: Nothing… specific…