Archive for the ‘Short story – ‘GONE’’ Category

‘GONE’ (Part 3…)

Bradley began throwing himself at the wall in the kitchen. The phone he had held snuggly to his ear, for the duration so far, was tossed to the ground.

Laughter reverberated through earpiece.

His hands were now useless. He had no control of them. They were literally strapped behind his back. He continued to throw himself against the wall.

Shoulder first.

Head first.

The kitchen and the house disappeared entirely.

The disposed phone had ‘GONE’ from the floor.

A door opened, and three burly porters grabbed his straitjacket whilst a fourth injected him with a sedative. Before long, Bradley was flat out on his mattress. Completely calmed and free – temporarily – from his recurring nightmare.

Two of the porters left the room.

They were replaced by Doctor Sheldon and a student psychiatrist.

“Ah, Bradley Stewell.” he looked at his student. “This man is one of the most severe cases here. He was sent here three and a half years ago. He murdered his wife after he discovered she was having an affair.”

“What happened?” the eager student asked.

“Apparently, her phone rang one morning when she was in the shower and a man on the other end spilled the beans about the affair. When she got out of the shower, Bradley strangled her. He kept her body on the bed for four days. After four days, he text the mystery man and invited him round in the pretence that he was his wife – Kate, I believe. When he came round, he bludgeoned him to death. Bradley has admitted to all of this.”

“So why is he in a psychiatric hospital and not in prison?” a legitimate question from the Doctor’s student.

“I’m glad you asked because this is where it gets interesting.” Doctor Sheldon nodded at one of the porters, and he turned to leave the room. His student turned on his heels and followed him out of the door. The pair began walking down the corridor in the direction they had originally come from. The porters also left the room and locked the door. “Bradley is in no fit state to be put in prison. He is a huge risk to himself because when he is asleep he suffers from somnambulism.” The doctor stopped and looked at his student. “Please explain what you know about the condition.”

His student looked up to recall the facts of the condition. “Though popularly believed as sleep walking, it is not sleep walking in fact.” he began spewing out the facts from a text book. “Rather it is a sleep like state during which the individual may experience a stressful event. It takes place at a particular time during the night either in the waking state or in the sleep state. The same route is followed and the same kind of behaviour is shown every time.”

“Good, so you know what the books say. Let me give you a little more information. At night he has to wear a straitjacket. He is in a padded room because of the injuries he will sustain otherwise. His experience always happens at exactly 4.39 a.m. – the time of the phone call which wrecked his life. We’re always ready to sedate him, but we don’t want to restrict this process. It is important for his recovery that he battles this, and therefore, we allow it to manifest itself. He wakes up after sedation and doesn’t remember physically throwing himself against the wall. In his conscious state he is a lovely man and full of remorse for what he did to his wife and her lover. He always describes his dream…his nightmare. It’s always the same. He has had a history of Hysterical Neurosis Associative Type Multiple Personality, which was self-medicated since he was twelve. However, the news of his wife’s affair made him flip. Very typical in the Jekyll and Hyde disorder. During sedation now, he will repeat the word ‘gone’ over and over. It’s by far the most severe case of this type I have seen.

Bradley Stewell opened his eyes. He began his mantra. “Gone, gone, gone, gone, gone…” he suddenly stopped and smirked with sinister intent. “…gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.”



‘GONE’ (Part 2…)

… A few seconds passed. Bradley removed the phone from his ear and quickly glanced at the display. It was still connected. The time counter was running, but there had been no noise from the other end. He put the phone back to his ear.

“Hello!” he repeated, with anxious authority.

“Ah, that’s better.”

A voice.

A man’s voice.

It suddenly reverberated through the ear piece. “It’s good to hear your voice with a hint of fire in it.”

“Who are you? Why are you phoning my wife at this time?” Bradley was wide awake now, and he backed up towards the light switch. He fumbled around slightly around the switch casing until his finger hit the mark. The light instantaneously filled the room. Bradley covered his eyes fleetingly.

A sinister chuckle came through the earpiece. “I’m not phoning your wife, Bradley. I’m phoning you!”

“What? Who…who are you? What do you want?” Bradley was confused. After all, it wasn’t even 5 a.m. yet. This was all too much to take in.

“You’ve not asked me the most obvious question yet?”

Bradley took a deep breath and knew exactly what this strange man was referring to. “My wife! My Katie! What have you done with her?”

“Oh dear, Bradley. What makes you automatically think I’ve done something with her? Let’s look at the facts.” The voice stopped.

Bradley waited… As he was about to speak, the voice continued.

“Your wife may be in the house. You’ve only just been woken, and you’ve only just turned on your bedroom light.”

This sparked a surge of panic in Bradley’s chest. Bradley sprang to the curtains and drew open the left drapery with a sharp tug.

He looked out.

He saw the familiarity of his street. Quiet. Still. Undisturbed. He was looking in a multitude of directions seemingly simultaneously.

“Ah, good morning. How nice to see you.” the voice on the phone mocked.

Bradley could still not see his tormentor. He turned from the window and fled through his room onto the upstairs landing. “Katie! Katie! Where are you? He flicked the switch to illuminate the landing, the two back bedrooms and the bathroom. He peered into each room.

He bounded down stairs and into his living room.

He ran into the kitchen, followed by the dining room.

All the while, during this brief melee of activity, the phone was pressed to his ear. The oppressor on the end of the line listened happily to Bradley’s panicky breaths.

Bradley had checked the entire house for his wife. Light was illuminating every room.

She wasn’t in the shadows.

She wasn’t in the light.

She was… GONE!


‘GONE’ (Part 1…)
The noise was infesting his dream.
It was so out of place here though.
No, wait! It wasn’t in his dream. It was stirring him from his slumber. He was in limbo – half way between dream and reality. A tad closer to reality though, unfortunately.
The noise persisted.
Now, Bradley Mutch was virtually awake, yet his eyes remained closed, and the noise wasn’t relenting.
An unfamiliar trill.
After a moment’s thought, he presumed it was his wife’s mobile ringing on the bedside table on her side of the bed. This wasn’t a ring tone set up on his own phone.
He moved his left arm over to nudge his wife, but all he felt was the cold void and a misaligned pillow. He moved his arm around aimlessly for a feel of her.
The warble continued.
“Honey?” a croaky voice attempted to holler out.
No reply came. The irritating noise was unrelenting.
Bradley opened one eye. It was dark. He glanced right to where the digital clock boasted the time in large, red digits. 4.39 a.m.
He opened both eyes and double checked the display. Yes, what he had read first time was indeed fact.
He looked to his left at where his wife ought to have been at this time of day. The covers were pulled back, and one of her two pillows was indeed strewn on the bed where her slumbering torso should have been.
“Honey?” a slight pause. “Kate?” another pause. “Where are you?” his voice had grown in those three short sentences, so he was now louder than the incessant ringing of the mobile phone. He could see the display flashing brightly in the dark familiarity of his bedroom.
He reached over and eyed the display. ‘Unknown’ was displayed on the screen in front of him.
This was his wife’s phone. It was ringing and had been for the past minute or so. An unknown caller was not giving up on their call being answered.
One final attempt. He knelt on the bed on Kate’s side and yelled, “Kate!” he moved off the bed and walked to the open bedroom door. The house was still.
He took the three steps necessary to move back towards the bedside table. Bradley picked up the phone in his right hand and once gazed at the display. He swiped the directive to answer the call. He put the phone to his ear.
“Hello.” Bradley said weakly into the receiver…