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16+ Language Violence

No Witnesses

by AceassinOfTheMoon


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.

Everything started going wrong when Mom brought home the baby.

See, that sounds like I'm just being a jealous big sister who doesn't want a new sibling to take away her parent's attention, but that's not it.

The thing is, I'm pretty sure it wasn't Mom's baby.

I had a friend, Mara, whose mom was going to have a baby, and she was BIG. Her tummy was like a big ball. Mara complained that her mom couldn't give her hugs properly anymore. 

Mom wasn't like that. Mom could still give me hugs properly.

That's why Dad and I were so shocked when she walked through the door holding a baby.

I dropped the dolls I'd been playing with on the floor and got out of the room immediately, but I stayed near the door. I knew Mom and Dad were about to blow up at each other and most of the time, they said important things that let me know how long it would be until I could be around either of them again.

"Sweetheart. Love of my life. Sugar. What. In God's name. Is that," Dad spat. I could imagine the thunderclouds gathering in his grey eyes, telling how he was ready to yell and throw things and toss insults at Mom until she started yelling back and then stormed away.

"This," Mom said calmly, "is a baby." I imagined her pristine, emotionless expression as she looked at Dad, prepared to defend herself again.

She'd go to bed with bruises tonight, I knew.

"I can see that, but what is it doing in my house?"

"Hunter-"

"What is it doing in my house?"

Mom exhaled slowly, and I imagined her lips pressing into a thin line, turning light pink.

"I know I should have talked to you first-"

"Damn straight you should've."

"-but I already had the child in my arms. You can't expect me to just leave the baby to come and talk to you at that point."

"I can when it involves this."

There was a moment of silence, and then I felt the urge to go in the room and take the baby from Mom. It was irresistible. I took slow, dragging steps, but went in and wordlessly took the baby. Mom crouched next to me and whispered quickly in my ear. "Don't let your father get his hands on her. Her name is Astra."

I nodded and turned to leave. I caught a glimpse of Dad, his eyes just as dangerous and angry as I'd imagined, fixated on Mom as if he thought he could change her mind just by looking at her. He didn't look at me at all.

I returned to my place by the door.

"You can take the damn child right back where you found her," Dad said, his voice quiet.

"I can't."

I looked down at the baby. She was so tiny, so fragile looking as she slept.

"We already have two daughters. We aren't taking a third."

"Please," Mom begged. "She needs a home-"

"And there are plenty of orphanages and foster homes that'd be willing to take her."

"What kind of monster would abandon a child to that kind of place when we could give her a perfectly good home here?" Mom snapped.

There it was. Mom was upset now, and there wasn't any backing down.

"Oh, so I'm a monster now?" Dad's voice rose with every word.

"That's not-"

"Damn it, woman, that's exactly what you meant!"

"Alright, fine, it was!" Mom's voice was rising too. "You're a monster. You're a bloody monster."

I winced at the sound of flesh hitting flesh.

"I've had enough of your attitude," Dad snarled, as the faint sound of Mom sobbing filtered out of the room. "You're always gone, never raising our daughters, never doing anything around the house, never supporting me, never doing ANYTHING!"

"Anything?" Mom shouted. "I do EVERYTHING around here, you bastard! What do you do, go off and get drunk with your friends?"

"That's ENOUGH!" Dad shouted. His voice suddenly lowered again, becoming soft and deadly. "Get back in the kitchen, bitch. That's the only place you're worth anything."

"Oh? The kitchen, you say?" Mom's voice had become sickly sweet with an edge to it that made me shiver. "The kitchen? Where we keep the knives and cleaning supplies and the food I could easily slip something into and you'd never know?"

I knew something had changed, then. Mom had never threatened Dad before. Never.

An icy cold feeling dripped down my spine, and I wanted to burst in and scream at Mom to run, Dad was about to break and do something horrible, please get out of here!

"... that's it," Dad whispered, just barely loud enough for me to hear him. Then again, louder and hysterical, "THAT'S IT!"

I stood frozen, half-peering in through the doorway, watching Mom's back as she stood and watched Dad step into the kitchen, then back again, a silver glint in his hand-

I stood frozen as Mom screamed.

I stood frozen until she stopped.

I unfroze when Dad looked at me as if he didn't recognize me.

"No witnesses," he whispered, taking a step toward me over Mom's body.

No- witnesses? What-

Oh.

Oh.

I scrambled backwards for the stairs, hot tears dripping down my cheeks, a wordless wail building up in my throat. I had to get away, had to get away, had to get away, hadtogetaway-

I could hear Dad behind me, moving slowly, as if he knew he'd catch me eventually.

I raced down the hall and to the end where I stopped, composed myself, and gently pushed open the door to the room I shared with my sister.

My sister looked up at me, and then at the baby.

"Wha-"

"No time," I said as calmly as I could. "Mom and Dad are gone. We gotta get out of here."

She accepted this without question, like I knew she would. She trusted me. Trusted that whatever I did was right.

"Out the window," I ordered, looking behind me. Dad was on the last step, about to enter the hallway.

She nodded and dashed to our window, throwing it opening and scrambling down the ivy trellis like we had a million times before. I quickly crossed the room and watched her until she was on the ground. "I'm gonna drop the baby down, make sure you catch her!" I called, nerves making my voice sound angry. She nodded and I let go of the small bundle in my arms, watching anxiously until she caught the infant. She then stepped away so I could climb down.

"No witnesses," Dad said softly, and then there was a blinding pain in my back, tearing downwards.

I threw myself out the window.

I twisted in mid-air, looking up at my Dad, the last view I'd ever get of him.

I didn't even recognize him.

The crazed look in his eyes, the blood on his hands, the cruel smile that was more baring his teeth than a smile.

I hit something with a thud.

My sister.

She'd reached out to catch me.

"Are you-" 

"Don't look up. We need to run," I ordered. "We're going on an adventure."

My voice was surprisingly calm. 

My sister obeyed.

She bent down to pick up the baby, who was screaming now. She must've dropped her to catch me.

I didn't look back, just ran. 

I heard her following me.

We were almost free.



~~~



The sun was setting now. My sister, the baby, and I were in a dark alleyway, trying to keep warm. My back hurt, but it wasn't warm and sticky anymore. We'd found a puddle to clean it off in. I'd told my sister I caught it on the windowframe, and she didn't question me.



The scene kept replaying in my mind. Over and over and over.

Mom's screams. Dad's smile.

"No witnesses."

I looked at the baby. I was holding her, rocking her gently, and I suddenly felt a hot flash of anger toward her.

If it wasn't for this baby, I'd still have Mom and Dad. I'd still be home. I would be happy and safe.

I hated this baby. 

I'd take care of her all the same, but I hated this baby.

I'd never forgive this baby for what she'd done to my family.

Never.


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163 Reviews


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Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:17 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi AceassinOfTheMoon,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

After reading it, I had to go back and look at what categories you put your short story in and was surprised that it didn't end up in "Supernatural" or something in a way.

I really assumed at the beginning that maybe there was something demonic or dangerous about the baby. I was really wrong about that. I liked the story very much. It seemed very enjoyable to read in many ways, despite the drama that ensued, but that's what I liked. The simplicity of the narrative, the perspective from which the story was told and the dialogue. I thought these were already very well written.
You can clearly see that the father is about to explode and the mother is pursuing her feelings and pleading, as she would like, to keep the child. I didn't find it over the top in any aspect and also liked the transition from the "normal" volume of the conversation to the argument where they threatened each other to the point where the father killed her.

See, that sounds like I'm just being a jealous big sister who doesn't want a new sibling to take away her parent's attention, but that's not it.


That's exactly what misled me into thinking that the narrator is really just jealous of the new addition. A very good way to mislead the reader.

"... that's it," Dad whispered, just barely loud enough for me to hear him. Then again, louder and hysterical, "THAT'S IT!"


That's a very good move on your part and I think that also sums up very well how the father breathes in and out for a moment and realises that he's not winning at this argument.

No- witnesses? What-
Oh.
Oh.


Here you have chosen a very good way of illustrating how the narrator suddenly realises that she is in danger. You didn't write the subsequent escape badly, despite the hectic nature of the events. It is written from a very good point of view. Especially when they still hear the father repeating his "No witnesses", it seems to me as if he has lost all of his humanity.

The ending already surprised me a lot that the narrator wants to keep and raise the baby. I like the fact that it's not really clarified where it came from and that the story ends like that. It gives you that goosebump feeling, precisely because it seems realistic. (Of course, I hope this doesn't happen to anyone). There are no supernatural powers or magic, it's just the breakdown of a family and a bad decision. For a short story, it left a lasting impression on me!

Mailice.






Thank you for the review!!!



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Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:27 pm
VolcanoSpirit wrote a review...



I really liked this story! It's so well written and captivating.

The beginning of the story when it's saying how it wasn't her mom's baby made me curious and want to read more. I really liked the part about the tummy being really big because it was a unique way of saying she wasn't pregnant before the baby came.

From the very start of the dialogue, I can already sense the personalities of her parents. Her mom seemed pretty defiant and calm in the beginning, while the dad seemed dangerous and not in control of his anger. The way he talks and acts makes me want to stay away from him at all costs.

When they start arguing and misunderstanding each other, it reminded me of a wolf and a sheep. I could feel the dangerous aura, which made it very suspenseful.

When the mom screamed and everything froze, it felt like my heart froze as well. I could not take my eyes off the screen.

Finally, when the dad chased her and her sister, and they jumped out the window with the baby, I couldn't believe her sister actually did what she told her to do. The fact that her sister trusts her so much is unbelievable, like I expected at least a little resistance.

I love the phrase "No Witnesses", because it's like the center of all evil. In every show, the killer needs to kill the witnesses to have a chance at not getting killed. I can somewhat understand why the dad would want to do that, but his own daughters?? What an evil parent.

In the end, I highly expected her to kill the baby. I really really really want to read more of this story. This feels like it could be the beginning of an amazing book or something.

I loved this story so much! Please continue to write stories like this :)




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Thu Mar 11, 2021 1:25 pm
stygianmoon17 wrote a review...



Oh god this was a hell of a ride.

I was skimming through works, and everything just felt so simple. Most of what is published on this site is either poems or soft books- which are good, don't get me wrong on that- but there's nothing thrilling about them. Nothing that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end. Whether it's an adventure or horror novel.

That's probably why I love horror so much, it's just so captivating.

And then I fell on this, and god was this great :D

I can't wait for a new chapter of this coming out, since I definitely see a follow up. Maybe a skip in time, with the dad that keeps hunting them, and the children trying to survive all alone- and maybe as a twist at the end, we see how the MC's hate for his little sister grows, until he becomes just as his father. I see so much promise in this concept lol, but it's as you want. This was published a few weeks back, so you're probably not working on a follow-up, but hey. Tag me if you do :P

I don't really have much to critique..
The transition of the dad to almost immediately a monster was pretty sudden, maybe you could've added a previous scene depicting him as a kind father that's become annoyed and hard-hearted because of his wife that keeps pushing him too far, you know. It'd make his transition more realistic, and just more horrifying. But that's pretty much it
Nice work <3






Thank you for the review!! <3



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Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:57 pm
Torres wrote a review...



Hi! I’m here to do a review.
Overall, the story is great! It captures the darkness and the horrors of the human heart when we get emotionally out of control.
The beginning was really attention grabbing. “Everything started going wrong when Mom brought home the baby.” Good job! I like it!
It going good so far but then I’ve read “I had a friend, Mara, whose mom was going to have a baby, and she was BIG. Her tummy was like a big ball. Mara complained that her mom couldn't give her hugs properly anymore. Mom wasn't like that. Mom could still give me hugs properly.” I guess you were trying to show the innocence of the main character, how old she is and, how she thinks that her mom never got pregnant but in my opinion, this part is really confusing and the tone does not really match with the story. I think you should try and rephrase it or make it a bit longer to bring out the image that you want to show to your readers.
After that part, it got really exciting and I can’t stop reading it. The argument between the mom and the dad is really engaging and it made me picture some people that I know personally that had arguments similar to how the mom and dad in the story is arguing. I say that this is really realistic.
I really liked the part where the dad said “Get back in the kitchen, bitch. That's the only place you're worth anything." It really showed that he was really mad and he was gradually losing control of his rational thinking and emotions.
The part after that was so engaging! I can see how much the main character was really scared while racing to get out of their house. It also made me question what I would do if I was in that situation. I got to say, her sister is a badass! She did not question her sister and just trusted her like it was nothing and supported her sister when she jumped down the window! Oh and she just casually dropped the baby and picked it up afterwards. That part was hilarious!
I like the ending. It was neither a good ending nor a bad ending for the main character. It was a bit soft in my opinion. (What if she killed the baby in the end? It’s really dark and I like it but I guess it’s not for most people HAHA) Anyways, this story shows how a person can easily change based on a single experience that changed their lives forever. This is a great story for people who want to experience the hardships of a child going through family problems and a great story for parents to inform them how they should act and how they affect the future of their children. Overall, this is a great read! Thank you for writing it! I look forward for your future works!






Thank you for your review!!!!



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Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:56 pm
Torres says...



Hi! I’m here to do a review.
Overall, the story is great! It captures the darkness and the horrors of the human heart when we get emotionally out of control.
The beginning was really attention grabbing. “Everything started going wrong when Mom brought home the baby.” Good job! I like it!
It going good so far but then I’ve read “I had a friend, Mara, whose mom was going to have a baby, and she was BIG. Her tummy was like a big ball. Mara complained that her mom couldn't give her hugs properly anymore. Mom wasn't like that. Mom could still give me hugs properly.” I guess you were trying to show the innocence of the main character, how old she is and, how she thinks that her mom never got pregnant but in my opinion, this part is really confusing and the tone does not really match with the story. I think you should try and rephrase it or make it a bit longer to bring out the image that you want to show to your readers.
After that part, it got really exciting and I can’t stop reading it. The argument between the mom and the dad is really engaging and it made me picture some people that I know personally that had arguments similar to how the mom and dad in the story is arguing. I say that this is really realistic.
I really liked the part where the dad said “Get back in the kitchen, bitch. That's the only place you're worth anything." It really showed that he was really mad and he was gradually losing control of his rational thinking and emotions.
The part after that was so engaging! I can see how much the main character was really scared while racing to get out of their house. It also made me question what I would do if I was in that situation. I got to say, her sister is a badass! She did not question her sister and just trusted her like it was nothing and supported her sister when she jumped down the window! Oh and she just casually dropped the baby and picked it up afterwards. That part was hilarious!
I like the ending. It was neither a good ending nor a bad ending for the main character. It was a bit soft in my opinion. (What if she killed the baby in the end? It’s really dark and I like it but I guess it’s not for most people HAHA) Anyways, this story shows how a person can easily change based on a single experience that changed their lives forever. This is a great story for people who want to experience the hardships of a child going through family problems and a great story for parents to inform them how they should act and how they affect the future of their children. Overall, this is a great read! Thank you for writing it! I look forward for your future works!




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Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:16 pm
ChesTacos wrote a review...



I-

Wow.

This story was very well written. Also dark, very, very dark, but also a nice story.

Just a few small problems (nothing super big) it seems that the formatting for the italics is off because this is what it looks like for me.

monster


It's the same for all the italics. Also this line, I know why you put the words together but I think it would be better if you didn't since it may be slightly hard to read. However, since this is about formatting you can choose to completely ignore this.

hadtogetaway


Overall very well written. I'm impressed, you captured the events very well. Good job! I look forward to seeing your other works.

-Ches Tacos






Thank you for the review! Idk why the italics are being stupid :P



ChesTacos says...


I just realized the italics are normal in my review so now I look goofy XD





Oof XD
Well, thanks for pointing that out anyway XD




A classic is a book which people praise and don't read.
— Mark Twain