The Night Michael Came Home
Joe Sanders always have nightmares every day, and that he couldn't get enough sleep at all. As a journalist, he worked on spooky tales, regarding the things that never got explained. Sort of like Fox Mulder of "The X-Files" department. But this was not a TV show, and Joe knew that very well. He had other important matters to handle. His rent was due, and he needed to pay the credit card companies, before they sack him off. Joe was facing a very bad situation here.
As if that wasn't enough, his own boss at the Daily Chronicle, got tired of printing spooky stories, which were based on real accounts of the people that they had witnessed. Joe had interviewed these people, and he figured that their stories were enough to make the world believe, that there were things that could easily scare any kid in town. A kid had told him, that he witnessed a brutal murder of his parents, while trying to sleep. Joe had remembered the interview all right. It had happened a couple of years ago.
"I saw the man with the white mask, mister," the kid had said. "I didn't know who he was. But I saw him, killing my parents. He was stabbing them with a kitchen knife. My parents... They were screaming..."
Joe felt sorry for the kid. Sometimes, he wished that the kid could be taken care by his relatives. But the problem was, the kid was placed in a mental institution. The police had found evidence of the kid's DNA from the kitchen knife, that he used to kill his own parents. But he claimed the judge, and the jury that he had never killed them, and that they were nice to him, and that he didn't cause any trouble. But his psychiatrist had said that the kid had a delusion, and fantasied himself as a masked killer. Any kid who watch a lot of horror movies, would certainly keep their mind straight, and figure out the difference between reality and fantasy.
Joe didn't know what to say, when he had heard the kid's story. He then asked him, "Are you sure?" Surprisingly, it seemed the only question, that he can come up with, during the interview. It was bad enough that a journalist like Joe had to question the kid like that. As if he thought that the kid was darn crazy to imagine, that a masked madman would break into his house, and then kill his parents. If that were true, then why the masked man didn't kill the kid? It didn't make sense.
"I'm sure, mister," the kid had said. "I really did see him, but my doctor..." He paused, thinking about his psychiatrist, who had forced him to admit, that he had killed his parents, so he couldn't go to the junior penitentiary. He was only 13 years old at the time of the killing. Now, he was 15-years old, and still being placed in the asylum. He continued, "My doctor said it wasn't true. I know he was trying to help me, and all. But..." The kid paused again, and stared at the window.
Joe Sanders had to come here, and find out answers, regarding the masked killer, and it wasn't easy. Whether the killer existed or not, Joe still had to find out. But the papers had said years ago, that a masked killer known as Michael Myers had killed several people in the neighborhood during Halloween. It was that bad, and the police couldn't figure if the killer was still Michael Myers, because he had been killed so many times, that he always came back and continue the killings. Most likely, it could be a copycat killer. Any police officer would have said the same thing. These days, some killers get really inspired by the gruesome murders, which had been committed by the original killer. Now, this was a story of a lifetime, and Joe had to work on it. But it turned out to be the same. His boss wasn't too happy about it. After all, the press charges against the kid had almost been dropped, when the homicide detectives forced the judge to place the kid in trial. During the trial, the psychiatrist had said his patient was mentally unstable at the time, and that he had experienced hallucinations. But the kid had shouted throughout the court. "The killer was there. I saw him! I saw him!" The kid had also cried, and it made the jury to question their decision, whether or not the kid was found guilty. He had to comes back for the next trial date. That was the time, the judge decided to send the kid to a mental institution, even without the jury's decision. The case ended there.
It might be a good thing for the kid, now that he was taken care of. But it was bad for the public. The kid's relatives weren't sure if they were happy or not. But still, they just didn't want to see him. Joe had a bad feeling that the kid must have gone through tough emotions of his life. The kid clearly loved his parents, and that he would never harm them. He claimed to be sane at the time. Joe didn't know for sure, if he can believe the kid at this point. But he might as well have to find clues to the account of his story.
Joe ended the interview, hoping that he could come back, and see the kid again. It hadn't been easy to get the chance to meet the kid at the asylum. He had to thank his boss for that.
Joe still had nightmares. But he knew that he was still at his childhood home, witnessing a brutal murder. He hadn't told anyone else, including his co-workers about his scary story, because he was too scared that nobody would believe him, and that he might be accused of a possible murder. It even mirrored the kid's story that he had to question himself, whether Michael Myers was real. He stood there like a statue, and still watching the murder of his parents. He recalled the kid's same exact words in the court.
The killer was there. I saw him! I saw him!
The alarm clock kept ringing his ears. Joe woke up with a sweat, coming down from his forehead. He looked at the time on the clock, which said 3:00 am. Jesus Christ! What's happening to me? He got out of the bed, and went to the bathroom to wash his face. His phone rang.
Joe came back to the bedroom, and picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"It's me, Danny," Joe's boss said. "How did the interview go?"
Joe wasn't surprised to get a call at a time like this. Because Danny always call late as usual, whenever Joe was sleeping. He said, "It went well, Dan. The kid told me the story."
"Did you believe him?" Danny asked. Of course, he was going to ask that question in front of Joe. What else was there to ask?
"I don't know, Dan," Joe said. "That's what I wanted to find out."
"Hm..." Danny said. "Listen, Joe..." He paused on the other line, and wasn't sure of what else he had to say. Then, he said, "You'll have to stop this story. Why don't you find something else? Eh? Give the world a break for a change, and write a real story. I'm just tired of you fooling around with your mumbo jumbo. I mean, I have other stories to print, real stories. Do you know that the mayor came to my office? He said..."
"Just hold on a minute," Joe said, stopping him. He knew that his boss was very tired of his spooky stories, and that he had to write something else. "Did you just say the mayor?"
Danny sighed, and said, "Yeah. The mayor was here all right."
Joe was stunned to hear the news. Why would a mayor be coming to Danny's office? That's what he wanted to find out. But then again, Danny was about to tell him anyways.
"Joe..." Danny said. "I hate to break the news to you. But the mayor said that if you continue the Michael Myers story, then I'll have to fire you. That's what is going to happen. Do you understand?"
There was a moment of silence. Joe wanted to investigate further into the Michael Myers story. But he had to know why this story had to be stopped.
"Why did he say that?" Joe said. "This is my story; we're talking about here."
Danny sighed again, and said, "Because the people will get panicked, Joe. Don't you get it? It would look bad on the mayor, and he had other important matters to deal with. He has an election coming up in the next few months. He has no time to deal with a killer, who was dead a long time ago. You're chasing a ghost, Joe. Just leave it."
"But he does exist," Joe said loudly to his boss. Great! He just sounded like the kid back in the asylum.
"Joe..." Danny said, getting angry this time. "I'm warning you. You're wasting your time. Hell, I've helped you to get the interview with the boy. You should thank me. Right? But the mayor came here, and told me about you. I had no other choice. I would have done the same thing, even he hadn't come here. I knew this thing was going to happen. So, you better listen to me, Joe. Or else..."
Or else, I'll get fired, Joe thought. Then, he said, "Okay, Dan. I get the message. Thank you."
"Alright," Danny said, almost feeling relieved. "I got to go. I'll see you in the morning." He ended the call.
Joe stared at his phone, and threw it away. It hit the wall, and broke.
Joe had to go to an electronics store to buy a new phone. He was too tired, that he did a very stupid thing for the first time. All his contact information, and other important data was stored on the hard drive. What was he thinking?
He told the store owner to transfer the entire data from the broken phone's hard drive to the new model. It took almost an hour to do so. Joe had never felt so angry in his life, that he actually threw his 2-year old phone at the wall of his apartment.
Now that Joe got his brand-new phone, he decided against Danny's orders to continue the Michael Myers story. He had to find out the truth, because he was there, and his own parents were killed in front of his eyes. And the police didn't find any evidence, that could prove if Michael Myers had killed his parents, or that Joe himself did it.
Jesus Christ! Joe thought. I never should have run from there. But that was probably a good thing, because if he didn't run at the time, and thinking that the masked killer would chase him, he would have been accused of killing his own parents. That would land him in an asylum, or possibly even jail. He didn't want that.
But I still shouldn't have done it, Joe thought. He could have done something else to stop the killer. After all, it was a natural thing to escape. Right? He was just a kid, and didn't know what else to do. But he had to wonder if Michael Myers really killed his parents. Or was it someone else? He didn't know.
Joe knew that he would get in trouble for pursuing the Michael Myers story. But he didn't care. He had to find out. whether the masked killer was an urban legend. So, what was he going to do about the current situation?
He decided to go to the hometown of Michael Myers. The house, where he had killed his sister on the Halloween night of 1963.
The hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois seemed quiet as usual. But it was still dark at night. Nobody had gone out to take a walk, and have fresh air. Not even sitting on a bench. There were a few people sitting on the front porch of their own houses, staring into space or waiting for someone to have dinner. And one of them, was staring at Joe, when he drove, and park in front of the former Myers residence. Now, the house looked completely abandoned. The real estate agent had planned to put a top sale on the house, but a solicitor of the surviving Myers family, forced him not to do it.
Joe had learned the news all right. But he had to come here, and find the truth. Someone might notice him in the neighborhood, and figure out why a guy like Joe would come at a place like this. The former Myers residence looked too spooky for anyone to enter. And if anyone had to ask Joe to leave the place, he might as well have to tell them to bug off, and leave him alone.
Joe looked around to see if anyone was watching, because he had to pick the lock of the house. He had learned this trick years ago from his friend, during the Halloween season. His friend used to say that the house was haunted. But this house, the former Myers residence didn't seem to be haunted. Because Michael Myers wasn't a ghost. He was just a man, who couldn't get killed. Unless, someone else was wearing behind the mask. It could be anyone other than Michael Myers.
When Joe went inside the house, he closed the door behind him. He felt like a burglar, who was about to rob some goodies. But he didn't come here for that reason. He wanted to know that the real Michael Myers did exist. If anyone can see him that is.
The house looked too dark, and Joe had to be careful enough to see, where he was going. He found a switch, and tried flicking it. There was no light. So, he took his own flashlight, and turned it on.
There was a sound coming from the kitchen. Joe froze, wondering if the killer came back. When he went there, there was nobody. It must be the wind, Joe thought.
But when he came to the guest room, he saw something moving. He couldn't see what it was, or whom. He turned the flashlight towards the moving figure. The figure, whatever it was, moved too fast for even Joe to see it, as if it didn't want to be found.
"Who goes there?" Joe called out. He had noticed someone all right. He came towards the figure, and gasped. It was him. The masked killer came back.
Joe rushed back to the kitchen, and grabbed a knife from one of the drawers. He shook so badly, that he couldn't hold the weapon properly. The masked killer was following him, step by step. Joe finally gripped his knife, and shouted at him. He stabbed on the killer's chest, so many times that he couldn't keep count of it. Then, he stepped back, and gasped.
What Joe saw the figure standing in front of him, it wasn't the killer at all. It turned out to be Danny. He stabbed his own boss.
"What... What the hell?" Joe said, wanting to scream. What was he doing here? Then, he realized that Danny knew that Joe wouldn't listen, and probably came here to finish the Michael Myers story.
He dropped the knife on the floor, and screamed.
Joe Sanders was escorted to the insane asylum. As funny as it sounds, another journalist like Joe, came to visit him, and probably wanted to ask the same questions, that Joe had asked the kid, three years ago.
The new journalist, who just replaced Joe Sanders back at the Daily Chronicle, sat on the chair across Joe, and asked him questions about the current murder case. In fact, Joe had a court date to settle the matters in his own bloody hands.
The new journalist introduced himself, and sipped a glass of water.
"Mr. Sanders," the new journalist said, after a moment of silence. "What can you tell me about the murder, that you've just committed?"
Joe didn't want to say anything, because he knew that Michael Myers wasn't there at his own house, and that he was delusional enough not to say anything else about the case.
"I'm sorry," Joe said. "I have nothing else to say."
The new journalist sighed. He came all the way here, hoping to get the answers from the former journalist. Like it or not, he had expected this thing to happen.
"Mr. Sanders," the new journalist said, trying another question. "Do you remember your parents? The night they were killed at your place?"
"Yeah..." Joe said. "How... How did you know that?"
The new journalist wanted to laugh. After all, it was his job to find things out, and that Joe probably had no clue, what he was talking about.
"There was an eye-witness in your neighborhood, who heard the screams that came from your house. He also claimed to see nobody came from inside. Isn't that right?"
Joe was stunned to hear this news. "But I ran away from the house, after I saw Michael Myers..." He paused. Because he figured that the new journalist wouldn't believe his crazy story.
"Michael Myers wasn't there, Mr. Sanders," the new journalist said. He sipped his glass of water again, and continued, "And you didn't run away from your house. The eye-witness reported that nobody ran away from your house. Not even an intruder, who had broken into your house. You were there all along, Mr. Sanders."
"What?" Joe thought, gripping his legs. That can't be. "I was there," he said to the new journalist. "I saw..."
"Were you?" The new journalist asked him. "Or did you imagine that you ran away from your house? Or did you run to the kitchen, and grabbed the knife, just like what you did to your boss?"
"No!" Joe yelled at him. "I know what I saw! I know it! He was there. Okay? I saw him killed my parents. I saw him!"
The new journalist had enough of the interview, and feeling afraid now. "Okay, Mr. Sanders. I must go now. Thank you for your time." He got up from the chair, and left the interrogation room.
But Joe Sanders kept yelling, and yelling... The white orderlies came to the room, and held him tightly with their strong arms. As they were dragging him back to his cell, he still kept yelling about the false accusation, and that the nurses, doctors, and other patients stared at him.
"I saw him! I saw him! I saw him!"
End of Volume 4
Next- So Scary, Volume 5- Tales of Damnation