An Occupied Mind Is The Devil's Workshop Too
Thanks to wonderful reception of our fictional story last week, we bring you one more story that'll give you goosebumps.
We’ve got one more story for you before we continue with our old ways. It’s fiction. It’s gripping. It’s startling and yet entertaining.
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A Fictional Story For You
Chaos had spread across the Anderson household.
The family were finally moving and Mrs. Anderson was in no mood to disrupt the smooth flow of events. She made sure of it. Her eyes could shift easily from loving to commanding and that was something she took in her stride often. She was a beautiful woman but her eyes did all the talking for her. She took charge as the kids – Simon, Ashley and Amber squandered across the hallways trying to get up to speed with their mother’s instructions.
“Amber! The trash. Now.” She ordered as Amber set down the pile of boxes to throw the black, smelly pile of garbage gathering dust in the trash can.
As Mrs. Anderson struggled with packing, she intermittently thought about the construction at their new home. It was five bus stops away and there was a bit of work left before they moved in. All the workers had gone home for the day but she wanted to hurry things up. Even the plumber was due to come at four o’clock to brush up on the fixtures in place and make sure everything was perfect. It was mayhem. The clock struck three and she decided to send her husband, Richard, instead. She couldn’t manage everything on her own and it was the best idea at the time.
Richard, who was staring into abyss in his bedroom shuddered as his wife called for him. He glanced at his notebook, read thoroughly as he flipped through the pages and started walking down the stairs.
Richard was tall and broad. His sculpted shoulders narrowed down to a thin waist and reasonably strong legs, almost like a rugby player. He had to maintain the physique for his profession, or at least that’s what he thought. In his prime, he was the lead actor for a television series that stretched on for a good six seasons before his character was killed off. He was greatly appreciated for his role. He really brought the character to life on and off screen. Richard, prior to playing the lead actor, immersed himself into the role a year in advance. The character on the show was rash and abusive and he became the part off screen too. What he was on screen, he was off the screen as well.
It had been two years since he had not acted but that was going to change. He had been offered a role in a crime series in-the-making, right after his exit from the lead actor stint. He was awaiting production to start and had been preparing for the same. However, a lot had changed since his character in the show before, had been killed. His family was concerned about him and how he was going to play a role in the new crime series. Nonetheless, they supported him and felt no need to discourage him.
“Yes?” Richard answered as he galloped down the stairs.
“Richard, can you please go to the new house to finish up the work the workers have left? Write this down – the plumber will be there at four. Before that, you have to patch up the huge hole in the middle of the garden. Can you do that for me?
“Sure darling.” Richard confirmed as he scribbled down the additional tasks in the To-Do list in his notebook.
“Richard, I’ll send Simon to help you out with the work once he’s done here.”
“No problem darling.” With that, Richard took off with his keys, his wallet and his notebook in his overcoat.
It was a welcoming afternoon. Richard’s morning had been bustling with activities and that’s what he loved most – something to do. Often he thought about his television series and daydreamed about the fame that came with it if they had let him continue. It was nonetheless a bright day and no one could take that away from Richard. He reached the bus stop and hopped on. He kept his notebook by his side on the seat next to him as he sat down by the window. The breeze that blew past him was his meditation, a form of relaxation that he hadn’t felt in a long time. He looked at the different houses on the street as the bus continued on its route.
Winston Ave, the neighbourhood in which the Andersons were setting up their new haven, was a wonderful location. The neighbours were kind and accepting and all the amenities were at a hundred-metre walk, perfect for the Andersons. Richard hurried down as the bus driver called out the next stop – Winston Ave.
Richard, after a short and brisk walk, finally reached his new home. He stood fifteen metres from it thinking about how well-built it was. The care and the precision that his wife and him had put in while making this home was unparalleled which is why Richard played a huge role in actually, physically helping out with the construction of the house. He stood there, starstruck.
All of a sudden, Richard frowned and found himself staring into abyss yet again. He turned around, looking left and right. He checked his pockets only to find his keys and wallet. He couldn’t fathom what was happening to him. He tried to remain calm. The notebook was not on his person and for some reason, Richard was not worried about the book at all, in fact, he had forgotten that he ever carried anything with him apart from his keys and wallet. In all the mess that was going on, Mr. Wesley, Richard’s neighbour walked out of his house and into the front yard.
“Hey Richard, how are you? The house you guys built looks amazing. It has been under construction for a long time.” He complemented.
“Ah! Yes. Thank you so much. Ready to shift in right after some tweaks.” Richard responded graciously, still perplexed.
Richard walked into the house and started looking around. He appreciated the finesse in every detail as he wandered about. He walked up and down the stairs frantically, trying to recollect what his next move was going to be. He walked out to the garden and saw a huge hole in the middle of it. On the side of the hole, there was a mountain of soil with a shovel pierced through. In the midst of it all, the doorbell rang. Richard darted to open the door. On the other side of the door, stood a man with a toolbox. He was dressed in a blue jumpsuit and a matching cap.
“Hey. Aaron,” the man said as he extended his hand in anticipation of handshake, “here to make sure everything’s good with the taps and whatnot.”
Richard shook the man’s hand, his eyes still bewildered, “So you know what to do right?” Richard was trying to make sure he did not look like a fool.
“Yeah sure. They sent me instead of your regular man, what was his name? Oh yes, Shaun. But I’ll make sure everything is fine, no worries.”
Richard let the man in and sat on the chair, trying to recollect his thoughts. Aaron strolled around the house trying to find the bathroom and the kitchen, not asking Richard questions to look a bit professional. It was his first day on the job and he did not want to look like a newbie.
“So, how long you been doing this?” Richard asked.
“So long, can’t even remember.” Aaron swiftly replied as he fumbled on the steps.
Richard and Aaron found a starting point to their conversation as they talked and talked. Richard really embraced the young man as there was a lot in common between them. He too, was an electrician once upon a time and knew the struggles of life before he made his mark through the series.
“Oh yes! You’re Richard Anderson. I thought I’ve seen you somewhere. Big fan, Mr. Anderson. Really loved your character on the show,” Aaron complemented as the conversation continued.
“Thank you Aaron. I’m glad you liked the show. There is a positive aspect to everything. After I left the show, I really started to spend some time with my family. It has been wonderful. My son just turned 17, growing into a fine young man!”
“I’m sure, Mr. Anderson. I would love some pointers. My wife’s pregnant. Could be delivering any moment now. After finishing up here, will rush to the hospital to check on her.”
As Aaron started rounding up his work, Richard felt it necessary to offer the young man a beverage before he left. The stove had recently been set up and it was a great opportunity to make some coffee.
“Let us chat some more over coffee before you set off to the hospital, is that okay, Aaron?” Richard asked.
“Sure, sure Mr. Anderson.” Aaron hesitantly accepted.
As Richard stomped towards the stove with his hefty body and brewed some coffee, Aaron explored and applauded the detailing and delicate work of the house. Richard poured the coffee into two mugs and carefully walked, calling out to Aaron. Aaron’s phone started ringing. It was wife. She had called to inform Aaron that her water broke. Richard could hear Aaron letting out a cry of excitement as he jolted from the inside of the house to the garden. Richard continued walking slowly to the garden when he heard a loud sound. The kind of sound made when someone falls into a pit. He presumed Aaron had not seen the hole in the garden and had fallen into it. He placed the coffee down and ran to see if he was okay.
“AARON, Aaron,” He called out but it seemed that Aaron had hit his head and fainted, “let me call for help.” Richard thought to himself as the hole was deep. Richard was having difficulty even seeing Aaron, given how narrow and sunk the hole was. It was as if the darkness had swallowed Aaron.
The doorbell rang. Suddenly, Richard frowned and found himself staring into abyss yet again. He turned around, looking left and right. He checked his pockets only to find his keys and wallet. He couldn’t fathom what was happening to him. He tried to remain calm.
He staggered across the garden and into the hallway. He opened the door with a puzzled expression.
“Dad, are you okay? I found your notebook on the bus. You must have forgotten it. You must have had an episode.” Simon claimed.
“Episode? What kind of episode?” Richard questioned.
“Oh, come on!” Simon sighed.
“Hey, you’re seventeen. With respect, Simon.”
“I’m nineteen, dad. Sit down, this is not going to be easy. Two years ago, after your character was killed off, you got into a car accident. You hit your head bad. We took you to the hospital. After you came back home, you started forgetting things. You have short-term memory loss. Here is your notebook. Read it. You’ll know what you missed,” Simon confirmed as he glanced back at the garden and the mountain of soil and mud, “Oh no. You didn’t patch up the garden? Mom is going to kill both of us.”
Simon rushed and picked up one shovel. Scouring and finding another one, he gave one to his dad. Both started the task that Mrs. Anderson had assigned them to do… Meanwhile Aaron lay there, unconscious, unable to cry for help, while his wife waited for him, for the birth of their first child.
“It’s weird, right, dad? The role in the new crime series also requires you to play someone who has short-term memory loss.” Simon mentioned.
As Richard shovelled the first scoop of soil and mud, he thought about the first call he received for the new crime series role and how he wanted to prepare for the role. It was his method acting that made him reach places. The car accident he had was to make everything look believable. He had been living a lie for the past two years, even lying to his family about having short-term memory loss. He did everything to prepare for the new role and he could not let that go. He had to make sure everyone believed he had short-term memory loss, even if it was at the cost of somebody getting buried alive.
With a heavy heart, he mumbled, “Can’t break character. Cannot break character,” as he continued shoveling dirt over Aaron, the plumber.
Until next time,