George just sat there at his mother’s side, watching her sleep. Another tear ran down his cheek.
He watched the rising and falling of her chest, each rise and fall reassuring him, if only for the moment, that she was still alive.
He checked her vital signs as they were displayed on the medical equipment by her bed. All was fine.
Still, he had that fear of something going wrong. The paradox was that he felt compelled to be there with her at all times, to watch over her and make sure she was OK, but also, there was that haunting voice that had kept telling him the only danger to her life was him.
She just lay there, sleeping peacefully. Her chest kept rising and falling, as it should have. The vital signs display still showed no problems.
He let out a huge sigh of relief.
She’s fine, he reassured himself in his thoughts. Don’t worry. You’re thinking too much. That voice in my head is probably just my unconscious expressing my resentment over never having been freed from her to live my own life. Such resentment is natural, it’s understandable; but it doesn’t mean I’m really, literally planning on murdering her. It’s just my mind acting out, in all probability. We all have dark thoughts: even the saints do.
He looked at her again–sleeping like a baby. Her chest kept rising and falling…good. He checked her vital signs one more time; no problems.
He let out another sigh.
Then he heard that voice again…this time, though, it was a little differently worded.
You’re going to murder her…today.
He jumped up from his chair with a yelp that woke up his mother. His heart was pounding. Now, a drop of sweat was running down his cheek.
He looked around the room frantically to find the source of that voice. Every time he’d heard it before, the whispered voice of what seemed a teenage girl, no one was there to be seen. This time, however, he saw her: Tiffany, the goth-girl ghost, with those malevolent red eyes.
“Tiffany?” he gasped with agape eyes.
Suddenly, the ghost flew into his chest with the speed of a racing arrow. His body shook as the spirit took possession of his body.
“George?” his mother asked in the weakest of voices. “What’s wrong? You woke me. Are you okay?”
His back had been to her, but now he turned around to face her with an icy expression.
“George? Please don’t look at me like that. You’re scaring me. Are you alright? You seem…a little…”
He ignored her words…that is, bodily, he ignored her. The George in his mind, however, desperately wanted to tell her he was not alright, that he was sorry for scaring her with that cold look on his face, that he was sorry for having woken her. He wanted to scream out to the hospital staff to come in the room and stop him from doing what he knew Tiffany’s ghost was making him do.
But he couldn’t say or do any of those things.
He felt himself compelled to get up and walk over to where his bag of medical instruments was, by his bed. He picked it up and unzipped it.
Tiffany, he thought. What are you doing?
He was made to take out a syringe. He walked back with it to his mother’s bed. He was eyeing her IV external tubing, through which blood was going into her body. He put two and two together.
Oh, my God! he thought. She wants to give my mother an air embolism. No, Tiffany, no!
Her ghost made him stick the syringe into the tubing and introduce an air bubble into it.
He had absolutely no control over his body. He couldn’t fidget or jerk his arms in the slightest. Tiffany’s ghost even made him look into his mother’s eyes to see the terror emanating from them.
“George,” she gasped. “What did you do that for? You’re killing me. Why?“
He couldn’t weep. He couldn’t say sorry to her.
She looked at the long air bubble moving in the tube, getting closer and closer to her body. She began yelping, but the ghost made him cup his hand over her mouth to muffle out the sound.
As she fidgeted and struggled, she whined audibly enough that, if one of the hospital staff should have been close enough to their room, he or she just might have heard his mother’s muffled cries for help. Since he still had no control over his body, he could only hope a staff member was close enough to be in earshot, rush into the room, and stop him in time.
No such luck.
That air bubble, long enough to have been a three-to-five millilitres per kilogram dose, was inching closer and closer to entry in her body. She kept struggling and whining; he kept one hand on her mouth, the other on her chest to minimize the noise of the shaking of her bed.
Tiffany’s ghost forced him to look straight in his mother’s horrified eyes. He would not be spared a thorough observation of her pain, her terror, and her heartbreak over his oh, so unfilial act.
…and he had no way of telling her that it wasn’t himself who was doing this to her.
Why? her eyes kept asking him. Why, George?
I can’t tell you, he thought. I’m so sorry, and you’ll never even know I’m sorry. Tiffany, I may have bullied you in school, but punish me, not her.
Now, the ghost made him watch the air bubble reach her body and enter her. He looked back at her face. She was shaking all over for several seconds, then she moved no more.
The ghost left his body and, visible, faced him.
Finally, a waterfall of tears was soaking his face.
“I wish that block of ice we hit you with had killed you,” he hissed at the apparition.
Don’t be mad, George, she said. I did you a favour. I freed you from her. Now you can live your own life. She giggled at his teary face.
“Free to do what?” he asked in sobs. “Go to jail for murder? You fucking bitch.”
Only one thing left to do, George, Tiffany’s ghost said with a grin.
“Yes, I know,” he said. “I’ll see you in Hell…and when I get there, I’ll get you.“
She laughed. There’s nothing to get. We’re in Hell. We’re already suffering beyond hope. How are you going to add to that?
“I’ll figure out a way.”
He walked back over to his bag, found a scalpel in it, slashed his wrists, and lay on the floor, soaking it with his blood until a nurse walked in and screamed.
Only by then, of course, it was too late.