Title: First Kill
Rating: M for disturbing content and thematic elements.
Summary: He felt absolutely no connection to her—no sort of attachment, no love, not even the feeling he felt towards the family dog. He supposed that would make it easier. ONESHOT.
Disclaimers: I do not own Once Upon a Time in Mexico, directed by Robert Rodriguez in association with Columbia Pictures and Dimension Films, nor any of the characters affiliated with it. Credit given to Stephen King.
Author's Notes: This started off as probably a PG/PG-13 fic. Then it turned into this. Some inspiration from Stephen King's It. I think it is a little too rushed, but maybe that's just me.
Sunlight dappled the grass where Sheldon Jeffery Sands—who even now, at the tender age of ten, was already preferring to be called Jeffery—was currently laying. His thin back against a massive oak, he sat watching the shimmering surface of the lake. He could hear the constant whirr of cicadas and grasshoppers, along with the occasional cry of some bird native to the region. Downy bits of fluff from trees going to seed and grasses spitting up their own offspring into the air glowed fiercely as they drifted lazily on the slight breeze. It was really quite beautiful.
Pity the boy didn't care.
The entire Sands household—his parents (George and Denise), his four sisters (Teresa, the eldest, the twins, Charlotte and Christie, and the three month old recent addition, Annie), the dog (Rocky), and what felt like half of their possessions—had been loaded into a van a week before. They'd cruised away from the big city with its smog, cramped living space, and constant drone of traffic to come and rest here, the cabin by the lake. The family vacation, taken at the exact same time every single year. It was always the same for every family member. The girls usually responded well, even though Teresa was thirteen now and becoming contrary and moody. The dog loved being able to run for long distances without a leash or a fence. Mr. and Mrs. Sands felt marvelously good about themselves, patting themselves on the backs for being such great parents. And he, Sheldon, would be deceptively happy and spend most of his time alone, being "one with nature."
In reality, he just wanted to get away from them all.
He truly hated his family—not the childish hate that most children feel when things don't go their way, but genuine hatred and disgust. He hated his parents because he felt that they could have done a better job of hiding their regret whenever they thought about him for an extended period of time. Sheldon was not stupid (quite the opposite—he was unnaturally bright, that sort of intelligence that sometimes compromised a person's sanity); he knew his parents preferred their daughters to the odd male child they'd wound up with. He supposed that, if he acted more like the boy his father was continually trying to make him, they wouldn't regret him so much. Unfortunately, he was not like everyone else. He didn't want to spend hours tossing a ball back and forth with his father—he thought it was stupid. He preferred to sit in his room and arrange and rearrange his books. He preferred to stay up late reading. He preferred to catch and impale insects for his bug collection, watching them run on air as they slowly died (his parents didn't know about that, though). His behavior was considered abnormal by his parents, and that opinion leaked into their parenting. It was subtle, but Sheldon's sharp eyes saw it—the girls were allowed to stay up just a little later. The girls didn't get punished as much or as long. Praise came quicker and more often with the girls.
But all of that wasn't why he hated his siblings just as much as he hated his parents.
Teresa, Charlotte, and Christie had a favorite pastime—tormenting him. Yes, they would be punished when caught, but they found it worth it—the punishments were relatively minor when compared to the actions. They loved pinning him and smearing his face with makeup. They loved putting him in women's clothes. He'd learned early that propping a chair against his doorknob was wise, because if he didn't, he'd probably wake up with things missing from his room and nail polish on. They adored doing these things, all the while telling him that they were just trying to make their parents happy, since they wished every day and every night that he'd been born a girl.
He found that he didn't mind the words nearly as much as their physical torments. The words didn't hurt him at all, because he'd figured that out a long time ago and didn't care anymore. It was the incessant needling that made him so furious, because he knew that if he retaliated, they would wind up grounded and he would wind up whipped. His best defense was to avoid them altogether—something he'd grown exceptionally good at over the years.
And now there was a new one. Annie. She was living, breathing proof that there was no God, or if there was, He didn't listen very well. From the moment Sheldon had found out about his mother's newest pregnancy, he'd prayed and prayed for a little brother—instead, he'd gotten another sister. He was so aggravated by it he'd actually let his sisters' smug taunts about the whole ordeal get to him and he'd chased Charlotte through the house with his baseball bat (an instrument he'd previously never used, despite his father's attempts to get him interested in sports like a normal boy) and them hurled it a Teresa and caught her nicely on the shin with it. She had limped for weeks—it was almost worth the whipping he'd gotten for it.
It wasn't just the fact that Annie was a girl that made him hate her—she was not supposed to be here. She was an accident, and he knew it. The first four were planned. Three years apart each. The twins had completed the even amount early—six family members. Seven made it all uneven. The only way to even it back out was to have another one, but Sheldon didn't want that at all—that would only result in another girl. He had enough trouble against three—four was going to be hellish, and five would be impossible.
He clenched his hands into fists around clumps of grass. Three months of Annie—no, one month had been enough. He already hated her as much as he hated the rest of them. She woke him up at night with her incessant wailing. She stunk up the house. His mother always wanted him to come over and cuddle with her. She was fat, ugly, and helpless. She would grow up to be as empty-headed and girlish as his sisters.
He tilted his head backwards and stared up at the sky. Ordinarily, he'd be wishing Annie would disappear, but he knew that God wouldn't listen—God ignored Sheldon. He knew he was on his own. If anything was to be done, he'd have to do it himself, and he couldn't make Annie disappear.
For a moment, Sheldon's hands kept picking at the grass, his eyes drifting shut. Then, his hands froze. His eyes snapped back open and his head swung forward.
He couldn't make Annie disappear. But he could—
He flew to his feet instantly, fear plucking at him for a moment before he realized who it was. Teresa. There she was, her sundress fluttering a little. She spotted him and began picking her way to him.
"Come on, Shelly. Dinner," she called, her hands on her rapidly developing hips. She loved putting her hands on her hips these days—it made her breasts stick out more. She waited impatiently for him, so he took his time, pausing to throw a rock into the lake before reaching her.
"About time. Come on," she snapped, grabbing at his arm. He jerked it away from her.
"I can walk on my own," he growled at her before breaking into a run, knowing she wouldn't be able to keep up.
The crickets were providing a full symphony that night. Occasionally, a coyote would let out a lonely wail. Sheldon didn't hear any of it. He slipped quietly from his bunk, eyes wide open, mind completely absorbed with a single thought. The thought that had been interrupted, but not forgotten. He moved through the house like fog, stopping first to listen outside of Teresa's room. No sound. She was asleep. He padded to the twins' room next—same result. He peered into his parents' room last. Their door was open, but he didn't dare shut it—that would be too suspicious, and the door sometimes creaked. They too were sound asleep.
So it was just him awake. Perfect.
Annie was being kept in the room beside his—he logically knew it was because his parents slept in the one on the other side, but the childish part of him that hadn't quite vanished liked to think it was because they didn't want to disturb his sisters. He slipped into the small room, being sure not to disturb the door. Carefully, he moved to stand over the white crib where the baby lay sleeping peacefully for once.
Sheldon had no idea how long he stood over her, just staring at her tiny, helpless form. He felt absolutely no connection to her—no sort of brotherly attachment, no love, not even the feeling he felt towards the family dog. He supposed that would make it easier. However…how should he proceed? He knew it could be done—he'd seen it in the news, he'd read about it in the paper. However, some part of him screamed at him—no, he shouldn't, couldn't.
Well, why not? Nature programs dictate that this is only natural—survival of the fittest, and all that, he reasoned calmly.
It's not right, it's wrong, you can't do it, he countered.
Oh, but I can. I know it's easy—it's just a matter of doing it.
She's your sister!
It can't be called my sister if I don't feel any love towards it. I don't want it. God didn't make it a boy, so I might as well return it. Just to show him.
It'll be easy. You watch.
He moved closer to the crib. He noted the exact location of every pillow that surrounded the baby. He smiled an empty smile down at the bundle of flesh called Annie.
"I don't want you here. You make everything uneven. Survival of the fittest," he whispered.
Off in the distance, the coyote howled again.
The doctors called it SIDS—Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Said it happened sometimes. It was very sad. Mrs. Sands had required an injection before she would stop screaming. Mr. Sands was in shock. Teresa, Charlotte, and Christine were all wailing their laments. Sheldon appeared to be silently mourning.
The funeral was well-attended—the Sands's were fairly well-known in their neighborhood. All of Sheldon's friends (what few he had) offered their condolences. He accepted them, agreeing that it was very sad. He immensely enjoyed riding in the limo on the way to the graveyard.
When Annie was lowered into the ground, everybody saw Sheldon throw the flower into the grave. He'd picked it himself on the way over. Everybody saw, and thought it so heart-rending.
Nobody saw the slight smile he wore when they buried her.
Meh…I think it jumps into the killing a little fast, but I couldn't think of anything else to put in there. Maybe I'll revamp and repost later, but for now, there it is.
Thank you for reading, please tell me what was good and what was bad.