Tyler, a star athlete, must come to terms with his family’s ways after a terrible incident changes his life. This short story is a bit unusual because it has some supernatural elements.
He stood on the starting block with his eyes locked on the end of the pool. A warmth came over him as though the sunlight beamed solely on him. The starting pistol took everyone by surprise, but not him.
Tyler dove in and swam as smooth as a ripple drifting across the pool. Before he realized it, his feet touched the pool’s scratchy surface. He pushed off. With his hands pointed ahead, he pierced through the chlorine-blue water. Once his fingertips touched the edge of the pool, he raised his head out of the water to hear an eruption of cheers. He searched the stands for his mother, but she wasn’t there.
Tyler walked home with his friends. Rob had a towel draped over his head while Vick tied his running shoes together and slung them over his shoulder.
“You talk to those recruiters?”said Rob.
Ty nodded indifferently.
“Why ain’t you excited? I’d be in heaven if colleges were giving me a scholarship,” Rob jumped to smack a low hanging branch.
“His mom wasn’t there,” said Vick.
“So?” said Rob, “No one in your family comes to the games. Not your mom, grandma, or your aunts-” Vick slapped Rob’s arm to shut him up, “What? We all know Ty’s family is-”
“Is what?!” said Tyler stopping in the middle of the road.
“I’m sorry,” said Rob, “it’s just the whole town knows your family is…different.”
“You’ve said your family has strange beliefs,” said Vick.
“You don’t understand,” said Tyler, “it’s not a belief, it’s-” Rob and Vick hung on his words, but Tyler knew he couldn’t tell them, “it’s nothing.”
“You’re nothing like your family,” said Rob and all three continued walking.
Tyler found himself walking alone. Dozens of cars had parked along the path leading to home. Relatives from all over had come to celebrate the special event. He sighed, but his mood soon changed.
The front door had been torn to pieces. Without thinking, Tyler ran inside. Bodies littered the floor. Blood was smeared across the walls and wood floors.
“Ma!” screamed Tyler as he searched the rooms.
Throats had been slashed and torn; Blood stained the carpet; Chairs and tables were turned over and broken. Then, he spotted his mother’s black shoes beneath a pile of bodies in the kitchen. He pushed away the corpses lifting his mother by her waist, only to discover she’d been decapitated. Instinctively, he dropped her.
He stumbled backward as a warmth spread across his chest, his breathing became heavier. Normally, he could contain it by swimming or running, but not today.
He touched his chest and screamed as his entire body grew hot. The walls, curtains, and counters began to melt and warp. As the flames emerged scorching and consuming everything in sight, he noticed the thick, leather bound book clenched in his mother’s arms. For a thousand years, each generation shared knowledge that would help the next. Knowing he was now the sole heir, Tyler gently took the book from his mother’s arms.
He watched the house burn as sirens blared in the distance. Rob was right. He was nothing like his family. Tyler was stronger and more powerful. Clenching the ancient book in his hand, he set off. He knew what had killed them and he was determined to find them.