It was a bright summer morning when Carlos found his mother dead in the garage, suffocated by the carbon monoxide fumes. She was slumped in the back seat of the huge Cadillac, the same car that twenty six years ago witnessed the first kiss between her and his father. The windows were closed apart from a narrow creak that let in a plastic hose. Carlos recognized the hose; it belonged to an old vacuum cleaner. He remembered the day she asked him to buy her a new one and gave him one hundred pounds; bribing him by saying he can keep the rest. That was four years ago, he had just graduated from university, and was taking a few months off to adjust his bearings. He was very close to his mother; throughout his life she was the warm cushion that protected him from the sharp blows of life. She was always there, always present and caring. She devoted her life to him and his sister and never wanted anything in return or so he thought. But on that day, as she handed him the hundred pound note he noticed something in her eyes that he never saw before. Instead of the usual tenderness and familiarity he noticed a glint of hate and evil. It was very brief but it was enough to change the way he felt about her for ever. He never disclosed that to her nor did he to any one else. It was his secret and he decided to keep it that way. But Carlos did not know that another secret was brewing inside him, one that he himself would not be aware off until a fateful night, the day before his mother’s death.
The engine was still running, while walking around the side of the car to switch it off he stumbled on to his old bicycle – now rusty with macerated tyres. It was his mother’s gift on his thirteenth birthday. He remembered passing by the neighbour’s daughter, Tasha, that same day and taking her for a ride on his new bicycle across the river and into the nearby woods. He made a deal with her that if she finds a four leaf clover before him she would drive the shiny bike back home. An hour passed and he wasn’t able to find any; defeated he returned to the bike but Tasha was not there. He waited and waited then decided to walk in the direction she took to try and find her….
Carlos switched the engine off then sat down on the dusty floor next to the bike. His mind was already fermenting with memories. He remembered the first time he had sex, he was seventeen at the time. It was a frenzied act with the school slut, and all through it his eyes were shut and he was thinking of Tasha. He would have gone to any lengths to have experienced that moment with her. But what could he have done? He had already settled that matter years ago, precisely a few hours after he received his thirteenth birthday gift from his mother.
As he was walking through the woods looking for her his legs started feeling heavy and his chest tightened. Something was not right, he just knew it. A few minutes later he found her, lifeless, with her clothes torn and blood flowing down her thighs. He had lost the girl he loved. Little did he care to know what happened to her. Nothing mattered, nothing but finding out who was responsible for taking her away from him. And the answer was ready, the blame was placed where it should be and to him it was settled.
A few years later he was to notice the evil glint in his mother’s eyes and deep down that had only one meaning, although he was still not aware of it at the time. Gradually he withdrew from her but maintained a façade that made her rarely notice that he had changed. The years went by and increasingly he found himself unable to see anything in her eyes apart from that flash of brutality and violence. He became convinced that she was an evil person. He started bringing forth new hypotheses about the true nature of that creature that has been acting out all those years, acting out that she loves them and cares for them. He easily found evidence to prove his doubts in his mother’s looks and her behaviour. It had to be her.
It was midday when he felt some movement inside the house. His sister must have returned early from school. How was he going to break the news that their mother is dead? But did he really have to he thought. A slow smile started developing across his face and a thought crossed his mind. Carefully he pulled his mothers body out of the back seat, placed it in the corner and covered it with a heavy sheet. He removed the hose hanging through the front window and coiled it under the car. A weight was off his shoulders, with an immense sense of relief he entered the house determined to complete what he started for only that will set things right.