Weird Billy

Billy was nine when his parents jumped from the top of their ten-floor apartment. The police said his parents committed suicide to avoid prison. The truth was somewhat different.

Billy’s parents worked in the City Bank. On the morning of the day Billy became an orphan, they came home early. For the last six months, they were busy defrauding the bank. They planned to buy a cottage in the countryside and retire young. They dreamed of sending Billy to a boarding school and traveling the world. But their ambitions were cut short, their hopes thwarted. Their sly schemes were no longer secret. The bank authorities suspected their shenanigans and were about to bust them.

Billy’s parents scrambled up the stairs. Billy was lolling on the sofa watching his favorite cartoon show.

“Get up, Billy. Let’s go upstairs. We have a surprise for you,” said the father.

“But dad, Birdie is singing!” said Billy.

“No more TV. Be a good boy. Get moving,” said the mother, turning off the television.

The sun blazed in the sky above. The city hurried about like any other day below. Billy stood between his parents holding their hands close to the squat parapet. When they stepped on it, Billy started shaking with fear.

“No, Mom! No, Dad! I’m not climbing there! I’m scared!” screamed Billy.

“Don’t be afraid, Billy. We’re with you,” said the parents, together.

By now, they were standing on the edge of the roof. Billy struggled to get away, thrashing his hands to escape from their grip. In the ruckus that followed, he bumped them unawares, in all his innocence. They slipped letting go his hands and fell headlong to their deaths. Billy watched his parents plummet all the way down the ten floors. He saw them crash on the road below. He saw their mangled bodies lying side by side as cars screeched to a halt and people came running.

Billy did not have any relatives. The orphanage became his home. But after that fatal day, Billy never felt at home anywhere. He heard strange voices in his head and saw scary visions in his dreams. The children at the orphanage bullied him.

“There goes Weird Billy. Who’s in your head today? Does Mama still talk to you? So bad poor Papa burns in hell!”

Most days, Billy stayed in his room, hiding from everyone. When he turned eighteen, he left the orphanage and did odd jobs. He saved enough money to buy an old car, in which he lived moving from place to place.

As time passed, the voices in his head disappeared and his nightmares left him. Billy spent his days alone, living and sleeping in his creaking car in the streets.

After many years of drifting, one evening Billy heard a voice calling him. He cranked his car and made his way out of the city. The sun was setting like a bloodred rose casting an eerie glow on the highway. Billy drove for miles along deserted roads. Finally, he came to a halt and got down from the car. The road ahead was blocked for repairs.

Billy wandered into the surrounding woods. The voice led him to an isolated cabin in the middle of nowhere. The door was open and candles were burning as though someone expected his coming.

When he entered, familiar voices greeted him.

“Hello, Billy! How are you, dear?”

Billy’s parents were sitting before him, their faces glowing in the candlelight.

“Mom! Dad! It’s been terrible since you left! I’m so lonely! Why did you leave me alone?” Billy’s words came stuttering between his sobs.

“We’re so sorry, dear, for making your life miserable. We didn’t plan on it. If only you hadn’t struggled that day! Why didn’t you tag along with us, Billy?”

“I was so afraid, Mom! I am so sorry, Dad!” Billy mumbled.

“It’s ok, dear. Everything’s going to be alright now we’re together again!” said his parents, in one voice.

Then they got up and walked towards Billy. Both held in their hands what appeared to be a club. Before Billy knew, they had begun bludgeoning him from head to toe. Billy’s screams faded in the darkness as the night drowned the cabin in her embrace.

A few days later, the police found Billy in a ravine deep in the woods. The bruises on his body suggested he had tumbled while walking in the steep hills above the ravine. The police declared his death an accident and closed the case.

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Beryl Zephyr

An occasional writer but a regular thinker, Beryl sometimes fiddles in speculative fiction. He sees both humour and tragedy in everyday events and is extremely concerned with the fate of other creatures trapped in the monstrous march of 21st-century human civilization.

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