The Pines

As a child I was always curious about places and things. I was very observant. I used to carry around a mini notebook just to copy down anything interesting. Which didn’t happen often. We grew up very subtly. No glitz or glam or silver platter around our macaroni and cheese stained paper plates. The place we called home was a small town outside of northern Indiana called “The Pines.”

I used to ride my bike in and out of our town without worry. I miss that old Huffy too. It was definitely the fastest bike I had. I distinctly remember being the only kid in that town though. Which I didn’t think much of. Considering we inherited the house from my grandma. To explain in detail a little more about this place. The Pines were nothing but retired people and us. We knew we would stand out but my mother was already working three jobs. So when a free house came our way through tragedy, it was a positive. We moved into our new home around early June. Mother always wanted me to finish my schooling before “drastic life things took over.” I love my mother dearly and her sacrifice for me made her my hero. I wasn’t a great kid but I was a kid nonetheless. Aside from my bike rides, I used to throw rocks at the passing trains. It wasn’t anything constructive or useful, it was just me being a kid. Mother had dinner ready at 5:30pm everyday. Even if it was more mac n cheese, I would never miss it or be late. I did my best to create friendships with the local kids. But even at school they never wanted to come to my house. I had friends, but not the kind you knew everything about. At that point life was decent enough. Aside from mother grieving over losing her mother, and acclimating myself to the new environment. Everything seemed okay, but I’d be lying if I said it stayed that way.

My father has been gone for three years now. He was gone before mother had this beautiful home to call her own. I miss him, but I don’t reminisce. I’m the man of the house now, and I must make mother herself again. During the few weeks before school started again mother and I spent days cleaning and fixing. It’s starting to feel like a home. Our nosy neighbors kept watch on our every move. They saw the progression from worn down siding, and chipping cement to a home to be proud of.

All the hard work I was doing for this summer was making me strong. Obviously strong. Riding my bike everywhere was helping as well. My freshman year was about to start and I had no real friends, not a clue as to why. I was in amazing shape, and I feel like I look normal enough to get one girl to talk to me. Unfortunately it didn’t happen. I invited people over to my house on numerous occasions, but to my surprise nobody was interested. In the beginning I thought it was me, or my house or The Pines themselves. As time moved on the clock, so did the rumors about my mother. They were terrified of her. I never would’ve guessed my sweet little mom was the reason I was alone.

I started letting school fall waist side. Nothing mattered anymore but being around my mother. Even when she wanted me to leave, I’d watch her through the windows. When she would go to work or shopping, I’d be so close I could touch her, yet she would never know. Over the first few weeks trailing her I found nothing. No evidence of anything shameful or horrifying. She was just being a mother, and they were just being kids.

I decided to go to school again after finding the rumors false. I ended up doing some detective work around the highschool. I found that not only students assumed these things about my mother but the staff as well. So I went to the true source, my mother.

I finally got home that day and decided to have a heart to heart. She was washing dishes when I came in. I nervously ate a snack while conjuring up the questions most important. After hours of this odd interrogation from son to mother, I end with same results. She didn’t kill my father.

I managed to get through highschool and planned for college. The rumors were swept under the rug. People stopped being afraid and we actually got trick or treaters at our house. First time ever. I still rode my bike everywhere and planned to live at my college. So I was worried about mother being alone so long. After the holidays and first of the year I try explaining to mother how I wouldn’t be that far and would travel constantly. Like any mother she wasn’t happy with it. When I would come home she would have a calendar marking off each day till I arrived. It was adorable to say the least. Mother hated being alone as much as me. After my first few trips back home while in school, I found myself falling behind. So thanksgiving came and went with barely a phone call. I assumed she would be furious with me but as Christmas arrived and I prepared to join my mother again, she wasn’t there. I ran through the house thirty times, screaming and yelling. No mother. Why would she be out in this weather alone? I finally calm down thinking she’s okay, she’s fine, and she’s tough. With my hands on my knees, barely keeping my standing, through the silent house I hear a distant squelching. I move slowly tracking the sounds location. It grows in volume the closer I am to the basement. I open the door and walk the creaking stairs. A song like hum is added to the squelching. Almost mathematical timing. I turn the corner and see her with a man. He’s tied to a chair. Mother is stabbing him over and over. I’ve never seen this man and how could she let me see this? After I defended her and protected us. Everything they said was true. My mother is a killer. I do everything I can to quietly leave the basement then the house. During my ride back I feel like I’ve gone crazy. My thoughts are at war in my head. I arrive back at the empty college. As festive as the decorations made it look, it was a wasteland to me. I’m more alone now then ever before. How can I be a part of that women. That horrible, deviant women. She’s been at it for years. She had to have killed my father. I can’t think otherwise. I just want to know why.

I focused all my negativity to my school work. I end up doing quite well. I never reach out to my mother again. She made many attempts to bring me home, I refused. I don’t think she knows I know, but if she does would she kill me? The next morning I decide to call a relative who could possibly help. My uncle, and her brother. He wasn’t a good guy, but I refused to go alone. It had been weeks since any phone calls or letters. Even though I didn’t wanna see or speak to her, I didn’t like this. So my uncle and I head to The Pines for the first time in months for myself, years for him. As we approach the house, it’s rancid. I’ve never smelt anything like this before. We go to the front door, and I unlock it. It creaks forward and there it is. All the answers to this. I stare at it for what feels like forever. Then my uncle grabs it and hands it to me. A small piece of white paper. In what could only be panicky writing it read: Don’t look for your father. I love you, mom. It was true she killed him. What hurts the most is I defended her when no one would. My uncle and I travel through the house into the basement. Just like I assumed my mother had more then one victim here. She was a killer.

After we leave we phone an anonymous tip to the police. A few weeks go by then I read in the newspaper they found over forty bodies on our property and they still haven’t found my mother.

Now to say I had a teacher would be false. She taught me how to be reclusive, and very much a part of the shadows. My exterior only builds the character I want you to see. Deep down the true me fights his mask. Ms. Belle Guness was a mother just the same. You learn by accident. I know we will never speak again, but she will know it’s her son trying to speak to her.