Jeff walked down the empty street on the outskirts of this town that he had not visited in years.
His home town. Memories began to conflict with the feeling that constantly dominated his mind. Jeff had come to love the feeling.
It was a subtle pulling now; a small tugging at the back of his mind reminding him that he had something to focus on.
That soon he would need to spill more blood. He walked along the sidewalk past the bus stop. This was the same bus stop that he had a fragmented memory of. A sound of wheels on concrete.
A bully. Knives. The feeling. The feeling was growing stronger, but the fragmented memories were coming together. Jeff remembered Randy. More accurately, Jeff remembered the hatred that he had for the boy. Randy had destroyed his family, his face. Randy had broken him. Randy was to blame. Jeff would have killed him again if it were possible. Jeff stopped. He was home.
He noticed a condemned sign posted by the city on the door. The house looked vacant and derelict from the outside, but Jeff picked up the key they always kept under the rug, which was now covered in a blanket of dirt and dust. Jeff entered the house.
If Jeff was the first one to get home before his parents or brother did, he always let himself in with the spare house key his folks got for him, which came in handy for him. He looked around the house. Everything seemed preserved as if he had just left the house the day before. Not a single thing had been move or taken down. Jeff fought back the urge to call out to his parents. He knew that he would not be getting a response; he saw to that all those many years ago.
The moonlight from outside beamed in through Jeff's kitchen and faintly illuminated the counter and living room. The TV and furniture remained undisturbed, even the plastic plants, which added a civilized touch to the museum that was Jeff's past life. Jeff expected the power to be out in the entire house, but to his astonishment, the digital alarm clock in LIU's old bedroom glowed an eerie blue, showing the correct time and current date.
(Flash back with echo)
Shh... Just go to sleep...
Was what Jeff heard in his mind, echoing, becoming faint as he remembered everything that happened. A part of him just wanted to cry over the loss of his brother, but another part of him, the feeling, felt no remorse.
As Jeff was about to explore the rest of the house, he came across his dad's liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle of whiskey, a stubby glass and began drinking.
Who would go through all this trouble to not have the power shut off? Doesn't the city order a house which is condemned to have its power cut off and its water discontinued? Jeff thought.
Jeff's mind could register that something didn't seem right, but twitching and shaking to put the pieces together, the feeling held any deep cognition at bay. Already, it was 3:50 AM. As Jeff sat in the dark, in total silence...
Jeff then heard a voice, he thought someone saw him but the voice came from a younger man, bottle in hand and covered in rags.
The young man glanced up at Jeff. It was... Liu?
"Liu...? I-I can't believe it."
"Believe it, bro. Ha-ha. Man, my side still hurts like heck after you stabbed me. But there's one thing you forgot. If you were going to stab anyone... L-Let alone your own flesh and blood, do it in a vital area, not a non-vital!"
Jeff was almost at a loss for words. This was impossible. Of everyone that Jeff had killed over the years he could remember Liu. Liu looked at him in the eyes when he died. Jeff remembered sliding the knife between Liu's ribs He remembered the blood on the walls from his hands as he ran out of the house. Liu didn't scream or cry. Liu just watched Jeff as he died, as if he was expecting this to happen. Jeff remembered the feeling left him compleletly for the last time at that point. He remembered the feeling of regret.
"Liu... I'm... I'm sorry I tried to kill you. But how did you...?"
"How did I stop myself from bleeding you ask?"
He got up, still staggering from the tequila he was drinking, lifted up his shirt, and showed his brother the place on his side.
"Well... while mom and dad were asleep, I went to our kitchen, turned on one of the gas burners, and cauterized it. A little something you learn from watching a few episodes of 'E.R.', 'HOUSE', and some of those other medical shows you come across. It hurt like heck, but I'm... I'm alright."
"I'm... I... I didn't mea—"
"Jeff, Jeff. It's alright. I knew you were just kidding' with me. Remember when you kicked those guys’ rears for me, bro? That's when to kill, not to kill your own brother. But it was an accident; you didn't mean to stab me. Don't worry about it!"
"So, you forgive me?"
"Duuuude! Of course I do! Stop worrying for goodness sake. There is nothing in the world that would stop loving my brother. Love ya, buddy."
"I... I love you too Liu"
"Hey. Well I've got things to do. I'll see you soon."
"Yeah.... of course... soon...."
With that, lost in what he could have said, or what he could have done. Jeff stood. He met eyes with his brother again. Thoughts filled his head thousands at a time. Had his mind not broken so many years ago at Billy's party, he might have been able to make sense of them. He might have been able to ask the questions that were still burning inside him.
He might have been able to feel something more than the memories of what his emotions should be, but he couldn't. Jeff simply nodded, turned his back, and began the walk out of the house and onto the next location. Liu saw Jeff depart into the night until his white hoodie faded from view.
"But you sure as heck aren't going to love what's in store for you, you ignorant thing..."