Back of the Drawer #WEPFF Challenge No. 4 featuring “He Knew It; I Knew It” #amwriting #flashfiction

Surprise, surprise, I waited to the last minute, but here it is. Hope you like it.

He Knew It; I Knew It

No one saw what happened, but I did.

He knows I saw, but he doesn’t care. He knows I have no voice and he knows about my spells. He knows no one would believe me even if they did take the time read my handwritten statement with is childlike lettering.

I can’t help being what I am. I was born this way. I can’t help that sleep doesn’t always come so easy for me. And I can’t help that I was out digging for worms to put in my tank the night Larry turned dangerous.

It had just stopped raining and the ground was soft and sponging. The perfect time to pluck out worms, causing them little harm, and the perfect time to drag a body around. One sweep of the garden hose and the evidence would disappear with all the other mud and leaves that the rain washed away.

I tried to hide myself as he passed by, huffing and straining against the heft of the body. He never would have seen me had I remained behind the bush, but something caught my eye and I could ignore it. I ran out and scooped it up. That’s when he grabbed me by my hair and pulled me to my feet.

Tears ran down my face and my fists clenched in agony. When looked into my eyes and saw my silent scream, he dared to chuckle, but quickly silenced himself. He dropped me to the ground. “No one can hear your scream, stupid mute girl. No one will come to your rescue if I end you right here.”

I curled in the fetal position and protected my jar of worms from the point of his boot. Vomit spewed from my mouth when the blow hit my stomach. He ran for the hose and sprayed the evidence away, dousing me just for fun.

He walked to put the hose away as I rocked in my cradle of protection, hoping this was the end of my pain. Hoping that he’d simply kill me or leave me there to pass out. When I heard birds chirping and sensed a brightness behind my lids, I knew he’d spared me.

I opened my eyes to let the sun burn away my sleepiness. I could hear the morning nurse, Samone, screaming for help as her heavy feet thudded toward me. “Oh Clara. Oh Clara, what are you doing out here? Are you hurt? You’ll catch your death.”

She tossed a blanket over me and rubbed my head. Soon Terence followed and scooped me up. “What happened Miss Samone?”

“I don’t know. Looks like she was collecting worms again.”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t on duty last night.” Terence winked at me and slowed his pace as he turned a corner, so as not to bang my head. “I never would have let this happened if I had been.”

Samone was livid. “Don’t know if you could have stopped her. This one is stubborn. Seems the harder I try to keep her safe, the more harm she causes herself.”

Terence placed me down on a cot and two more nurses rushed in to tend to my cleaning and injuries. One of them called out, “Go get her note pad. See if she can tell us what happened.”

Terence began to step out of the room, but I kicked my feet and shook my head. I stared at him, willing him to look my way. He paused a moment, leaning his head as if baffled by my sudden outburst. Then he looked me in the eyes.

I blinked as fast as I could and extended the jar still wrapped in my arms. Terence smiled at me and stepped forward. “It’s okay Clara. I’ll put them in your room.” He slid the jar out of my hand and I exhaled. “Get better so you can take care of these little guys.”

After Terence left, a note pad was shoved into my hands as my soiled clothes were ripped away and warm soapy water washed across my skin. Samone grasped my hand, “Clara, tell us what happened.” Despite her strict rules and military-like marching about, Samone really did care about each and every one of her patients. I hated to see her so worried over me. I was happy to tell her exactly what had happened, but then he walked past the exam room.

He stood there, outside the window, with a broom in his hand pretending to clean the floors. I couldn’t stop myself from reacting. I flinched and kicked my feet again. Samone became agitated with not having the answers she sought. Leaving the other nurses to finish my clean up, she ran out the room and retuned shortly with a needle. It was time for me to calm down whether I want to or not.

After I was calm and fully treated, Samone asked me again what happened. Again he was there, outside the window of my room. Surely his shift was over. Did no one else wonder why the Larry, the night custodian was still hanging around? Under his scrutiny, I couldn’t tell the truth.

I wrote slowly, “I fell on the ground and hit a rock.”

Samone rubbed my head, clearly blinking to hold back tears. “You were collecting worms, weren’t you?”

I shook my head.

“Why, why do that alone in the middle of the night? What if you had an episode and suffocated in the mud?”

I nodded my head, “I couldn’t sleep. I’m sorry.”

After a while, Samone left me to attend to other patients. Larry walked by my room few more times that day before finally heading home. A week went by and Larry was starting to act smug, no doubt thinking no one would ever find out. None of the other nurses or staff could explain why Gail had stopped coming to work, but she was new and they all agreed that this wasn’t the right job for every nurse.

One Saturday afternoon I convinced Terence to play cards with me in the kitchen. We programmed my communication board to say ‘go fish’ and “you got any…”, then all I had to do is hold up the card I wanted. Terence and I had played the game a lot and figured a single suit of cards for me to use as choice options was the best way to go.

As we played, Ron the handy man came through to fix one of the drawers that had gotten stuck at some point during the week. It held all the specialty utensils for grilling, and with family day coming up, we’d surely need those.

Only partially paying attention to my game, I watched Ron out the corner of the eyes as he banged on the drawer trying to loosen it. Finally, the drawer snapped out and fell to the floor with a crash. Then Ron yelp.

“Oh my God!”

Terence was already on his feet, standing in front of me protectively. “What it is Ron?”

“Look what’s in the back of the drawer.”

Terence patted my shoulder and then stepped toward the drawer. Just then Samone and Larry came rushing in from the hallway, each just starting their evening shift. There it was; even with the sparkly new engagement ring missing, the moon shaped birthmark gave it away.

Terence yelled, “I think it’s Gail’s finger. Gail’s finger is in the back of the drawer.”

Samone covered her mouth and gasped. She blinked a few times and then pulled out her cell phone. “I’m calling the cops. I hope no one here has anything to hide.”

Larry stared daggers into the back of my head, but I didn’t bother turning around to look at him. He knew I’d done it; just like I knew he’d done it.

1306 words – He Knew It; I Knew It © Toinette J. Thomas 2017

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

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Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

34 thoughts on “Back of the Drawer #WEPFF Challenge No. 4 featuring “He Knew It; I Knew It” #amwriting #flashfiction”

  1. Hi Toi – that was fascinating … what a great way to tell a story and I bet there are many like the mute … sad, but so aware of life … lots of creativity in there … the finger and the engagement ring … oh gosh not nice at all … He Knew It; I Knew It. I surely hope he got done for it … cheers Hilary

    1. Thanks for that. I actually drew a little bit from my experience working with special needs kids. Even I sometimes forget that they do have voices; just really small ones you can’t use your ears to hear.

  2. Truly loved this. What a great ending, so unexpected! Clever little girl! I was so fearful for her, what a monster!

    Thanks for another great tale, Toi, so thrilled to have you as a participant of the WEP!

    1. Thanks for always making it so easy to jump right in when I’ve been away for a while. I’m really glad you liked the story.

  3. This was a very twisted tale, Toi!

    I like how you made us feel bad for the little girl and then it was she who turned out to be the monster. But I have to wonder what made her do it? She might not be the only monster after all. And of course, the night custodian is no angel.

    Very well done,

    1. Well, I guess I need to give this another run through. It was not my intention to make the girl the monster. She put the finger in the drawer so someone would find it. That’s what caught her eye on the ground. That’s why she wanted Terence to make sure her worm jar made it to her room. Still, I’m glad you liked it. I’ll work on setting the scene a little better next time.

  4. That was so powerful, Toi, having a mute girl as protagonist. I didn’t think she was a monster at all, I think she was only fighting to be eventually believed in the only way she could think of on the spur of the moment. Great tension as we wonder will the murderer come for her.

    Thanks for posting for WEP, Toi. A great entry.

    Denise 🙂

    1. Thank you. I knew I wanted the finger in the drawer; it was just simply a matter of deciding why someone would do that.

  5. This was a super creative take on the prompt – and a very different kind of mc. I also didn’t think she was the monster. Very resourceful, brave little girl. Creepy, chilling and scary-fun flash. Well done.

    1. Glad to hear you liked it. I wasn’t sure how everyone would respond to the mild gore, but I think it worked.

  6. What a twist at the end. Amazing story. I had to think of course to figure out that she had, through her spell, put that particular finger with the moon shaped birthmark into the back of the drawer. The emotions were so real. Brilliant.

    1. Thanks. I’m happy with how it turned out, especially considering I didn’t put the time into it I should have.

  7. A story about institutions always seem to have secrets, whether in the inmates or residents or the staff. Thoroughly creepy, and a page turner, even if you say you didn’t have a lot of time. Sometimes that spur of the moment idea can still be a great read.. Enjoyed this eerie tale. (Collecting worms is kind of weird unless you’re going fishing. . .)

    1. I’ve worked with special needs kids for nine years. Not much is weird to me anymore. Some of them are scared of soap and some of them love mudd. It’s just part of who they are.

  8. I agree with everyone here. That was a wonderful take on the prompt.

    What I love most about it is that you created such a tense atmosphere and created such a creepy back and forth with the protagonist and Larry hanging around, I completely forgot this was a ‘back of the drawer’ story. Then, at the end the drawer comes tumbling out with its gruesome secret and ties everything up. Just fantastic.

    1. Thank you. I’m glad you enjoed it. I took a real gamble with this last minute idea. I’m glad it paid off.

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