We’ve met before
Evan was lying in bed, he was playing candy crush, he was supposed to be doing homework, but it was equal parts boring and annoying, so Evan took a break. Evan was thirteen years old, black and he was sick of his parents, the pandemic, and most of all, his little sister. He was dropping a hot pink piece of candy into place when his screen suddenly went black.
“Wha?” Evan exclaimed. The phone wasn’t off; it just wasn’t doing anything. “Ugh.” If it were broken, his Mom wouldn’t get him a new one. She has already said more than once when he would ask her for things. (Money is tight right now) An image reappeared; however, it wasn’t Candy Crush. It was an illustration of his house, full color, and it was quite close to reality. Evan’s brow furrowed. He sat up, confused. The white house was a cottage-style building with four large windows at the front of the house, two upstairs, and two ground floor. On the left side of the house were five steps that led up to the front porch and door. The lawn was immaculate in its cut and health. The large yard had a white picket fence across the entire yard. There were words printed over the image.
In this house lived five souls; Bruce, Sarah, Evan, Rebecca, and Joseph.
Bruce and Sarah were his parent’s names, Rebecca, his little sister’s name. Who the hell was Joseph? He must have been hacked. There was an arrow that blinked and beckoned him to turn the page. The image didn’t change, but the words did.
The other’s were all one family, but Joseph Carmicheal wasn’t, despite being the longest occupant of the house, the other’s ignored him and pretended as if he were not there. It angered him, but he thought if he introduced himself that perhaps he could become apart of their family.
In the picture of the house, a figure of a boy, white, thirteen years old maybe. He opened the little lock on the gate. He had a bouquet in his hand. However, we were behind him so we couldn’t see his face. Evan heard the lock of the front gate open. Evan’s eyes darted around, a moment later the gate swung back closed. Evan got up and went to the window; he looked out on the yard. There was no one out there, Evan looked again at the phone, scrolling to the next image. The white boy went up the steps; he was wearing old-timey shorts, with high brown and grey socks and dark shoes. He wore a long-sleeve brown shirt with a sweater over it. He looked as if he’d stepped right out of nineteen fifteen. Even still, Evan couldn’t see his face. What the fuck was this?
I came up with a plan; I would let them see me, I would ring the doorbell and say ‘Hello, my name is Joseph Carmicheal, may I come in?’ I don’t know how they could ever refuse me? I just want to be friends
Evan flipped to the next image. It was of Evan’s Dad, Bruce had opened the door halfway, and now he was speaking with Joseph. They talked through a screen door, locked, the illustration was accurate. Bruce was wearing his vest over his shirt. Evan hated when his father did this because it made him look old; they managed to capture his crow’s feet around his eyes and his imperial beard. But mostly Bruce’s face was surprised, concerned, this made Evan’s skin burst out into gooseflesh. The words appeared directly over the image.
‘Hello, my name is Joseph Carmicheal, may I come in?‘
“No, young man, you may not.” Bruce returned.
‘We’ve met before Bruce. Don’t you remember? I pushed the cup off the kitchen counter. I sent Evan an instant message.’
“Get off my property!” Bruce said.
Joseph grabbed the doorknob of the screen door and pulled, the screen door creaked and gave way breaking both locks. Bruce held onto the other side of the door, being dragged outwards.
‘Are you sure I can’t come in?‘
The next image had no words. It was an image of Rebecca face down at the base of the stairs; her colorful braids splayed out around her head, her legs and arms broken.
Evan was repulsed, but he slid over to the next image. It was himself! He had been stabbed at the very window at which he stood, the phone on the floor, he had multiple stab wounds to his neck and a dozen in his back. He lay on the floor in a pool of blood. The knife still in his back.
The final image was of his mother Sarah; her surprise and fear were total. Her hands up, attempting to defend herself from attack, failing. His father’s hands around her throat. He saw his father’s ring. Evan scrolled back through the images.
The doorbell rang.