Hello! This is my first story, so be nice! I used a kind of Faulkner-esque, stream-of-consciousness style in certain parts. Things in parentheses and italics are Michael's thoughts. If you don't like that kind of thing, just ignore it. You'll probably understand the story without it anyway.
I have a long way to go, writing-wise, so praise and constructive criticism is much appreciated! If you flame me, I will flame back. And I can be very nasty when pissed. Consider this your only warning.
Disclaimer: I own nothing and nothing owns me. I am just fooling around in the wonderful world of Halloween, and will leave... eventually. Hopefully. Maybe. Probably not.
"Laurie, Annie! Pay attention!"
It was Friday afternoon, a hot humid summer day near the end of school. The schoolchildren were restless; there was only half an hour of school left before the weekend.
The blonde girl instantly sat up, making the darker, petite one giggle. The teacher glared at them for a few minutes, watching Laurie squirm. Eventually, though, the teacher started to speak.
"Before we were rudely interrupted -" another glare at Laurie and Annie, "we were talking about a new project. Now, this is the first time I've done something like this, and I really hope you guys will have fun with it!"
The teacher smiled at the students cheerfully. Laurie could actually hear Lynda's eyes roll.
"The project," the teacher continued, "is a family tree. I want you to show up to four generations – you can do more of course – with all siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents... and so on. Any questions?"
Half a dozen hands sprang up. While the teacher was distracted, Lynda turned around to Laurie.
"Well, this is a sucky situation," Lynda muttered. She turned quickly as the teacher finished a question, whipping her hair in Laurie's face.
"All I have is my mom and dad, and they hate talking about their family!" Annie cried. "How am I supposed to do this?"
"Just BS it," Lynda answered, watching the teacher carefully. "That's what I'm gonna do. I mean, how could she find out anyway?"
Laurie gave a more reasonable solution. "There are online things that track your family tree. Or try searching through your parents' stuff. They probably have photos and stuff. I know mine do"
"Good idea Laurie!" Annie exclaimed. "See Lynda, this is why she gets A's and you -"
"Annie! Do I have to tell you again?"
Laurie buried her head in her arms to cover her laugh.
Going through the files was harder than Laurie had expected. The papers were not organized in any coherent order; she found tax audits mixed newspaper clippings and tossed inside with passports, all of which had been stuffed into the birth certificates file. But then, her father was horribly messy – and it looked like this was his handiwork.
"Gotcha!" she crowed, pulling out a yellowed paper. Underneath the beautifully typed cursive were blocky letters:
This certifies that LAURIE ANN MYERS, sex FEMALE, was born to DEBORAH MYERS and DONALD MYERS on SATUDAY at 10:31 hours, this 24th day of MARCH 1990 at HADDONFIELD MEMORIAL HOSPITAL.
Laurie stared at the paper. That wasn't her name, and those were not her parents.
What was going on?
"So how was working with Corporate America?"
"What do you think?" Mason Strode sighed. "It was hell. Bells every half an hour, do this, do that, never get to see your boss's face – I'm telling you, the Industrial Revolution was the worst piece of sh -"
Cynthia shushed him, pointing at Laurie in the doorway.
"Hi honey." Mason scooped her up and tickled her. She glared at him. "What's wrong?"
Laurie stuck out her hand, giving him a piece of paper. A wave of foreboding swept through Cynthia – she recognized that piece of paper.
"What's this?" Mason opened it up carefully, shook off a bit of dust, and read it. His expression became more serious. "Oh. That."
"It's her real birth certificate, isn't it?" Cynthia said resignedly.
"Yeah. Laurie, honey, I'm sorry we didn't tell you about this before, but really… you're only eight. It's a pretty difficult subject, isn't it?"
Laurie was still staring at them grouchily. Cynthia was feeling a dull panic. They had to tell her now, had to tell her everything that they had tried to cover up about her real family…
"Laurie?" Cynthia said softly. "Are you really sure you want to know about this? Don't you want to wait a bit?"
"No!" Laurie said. "I wanna know now! How come you never told me?"
"We had our reasons," Mason said darkly. "Trust me."
"What reasons? What happened to my real family?"
They winced – real family. She had already separated them, the family that had cared for her, from them, the biological family that she couldn't even remember.
Laurie dropped her angry face. "What?" she asked. "What happened to my… other mommy and daddy?"
"Not just a mommy and daddy Laurie. A brother and sister too – Judith and… and Michael." Mason looked at his wife helplessly, but she gestured for him to go on. He sighed.
"Okay… well see, your dad died before you were even born, so you wouldn't have known him anyway," Mason said. "What?" he said, as Cynthia rolled her eyes. "It's true!"
Cynthia shook her head and took up the story. "Anyway, honey, everyone thought your family was going along… okay… not fine, but they were all right. But on Halloween night, eight years ago, your brother Michael killed his sister, Judith, her boyfriend, and his mother's boyfriend. It was later found that he had killed another child a few hours before"
Laurie's eyes were wide. "Then what happened?"
"Well, Michael was only ten years old, so they put him in a mental institution. He's been there all this time. I think they have a doctor looking after him."
There was a long pause. "Is that all?" Laurie prompted.
"No. Your mother survived, but she killed herself a year later. The sheriff – you know, Sheriff Brackett, Annie's dad – he took you away, so you wouldn't grow up with this history around you. And we adopted you. When he found out, he came over and told us about your family. And that's it," Cynthia finished quietly. "That's the story."
Laurie stared at the floor, her young mind unable to process everything. Murder and insanity and suicide… and all because of one birth certificate.
"He's still there? Michael, at the… the…"
"Institution? Yes, he's still there," Mason answered. "And let's hope he stays there." He looked at her suspiciously. "Laurie, you're not thinking… you don't want to go there, do you?"
She hadn't, but it sounded pretty good to her.
"Can I Daddy?"
"But honey, he's crazy. He's dangerous! He killed everyone in the house!" Mason exclaimed desperately.
"But he's my brother!"
"We know that Laurie," Cynthia said sharply. "But he has never seen you, he'll probably hate you."
Mason and Cynthia exchanged a look. She's never going to give it up, Cynthia thought. Might as well bring her there, banish the hope forever.
"Alright Laurie. But don't expect any miracles"
Smith's-Grove Sanitarium was almost hidden behind thick brick walls and a mess of barbed wire. The large, gray building loomed over them as they entered the gate. Laurie stared at it as her parents spoke to the guard in front. There were small slits for windows cut into the building. Several of them were barred, especially near the top. She wondered if her brother – her brother, she had a murderer for a brother – was watching out of them. Did he know that his sister was here?
They followed a blue-clothed guard down the long tiled hallway. The large windows were letting in a dull, grayish sunlight, doing nothing to relieve the gloomy atmosphere. Laurie spied several small cameras in the corners. A long, shrill scream echoed from another room, abruptly cut off. She shivered.
The guard opened a massive door and let Laurie in. She looked at her parents.
"You can stay behind this," the guard suggested. He pointed to a one side of the room, where there was a large sheet of glass. "It's soundproof on your side, and nothing can break it." He rapped on it sharply. It didn't even shudder.
"What do you want Laurie?" Cynthia asked.
"I want to see him alone," Laurie murmured, hearing her voice spread over the room and feeling very small. "Please?" He's my brother, she thought.
"Okay," they nodded, a little too eager to please, and left the room. She saw them go behind the glass. They waved to her, and she gave a tiny smile, not noticing the guard as he left the room.
Despite having the privilege of three windows, the small room was still cold and dark. The wires covered up any residual sunlight, and masks hung from the skylight, blocking any light.
(It's so small and I'm so lonely, when can I leave)
"Knock knock." The door opened, and an unfamiliar guard opened the door.
(Am I leaving)
"Come on big guy," the guard said. "Let's go. Got a special surprise for you. Time to get out of this hole."
He pulled on Michael's arm. After a few seconds, Michael stood. Fear flitted across the man's face at Michael's size, quickly replaced by unruffled calm. He fumbled with some chains. "Hold still."
(Mommy Doctor Mommy Doctor… Boo)
Laurie swung her legs on top of the table, ignoring the many clusters of chairs. She peered out the window, squinting through the layers of wire.
The room was bright and large, but bare of any decorations. There were several tables, with four to six chairs grouped around each. There was a glaring whiteness about the entire place, and it was horribly hot and humid. She fanned herself with her hand, wondering if the heater was broken.
The door opened, the creak especially loud in the oppressive silence. She turned around quickly, some sort of greeting on her lips. But this faded when she saw Michael.
He was so tall – taller than anyone she had ever met. And not only that, but he was big – he looked as if he could smash through the walls and then shrug off a bit of plaster at the end (when can I leave, I wanna go home).
As the guard sat him down, Laurie noticed other things – his long, shoulder-length hair, darkened from years spent in one room, but still with streaks of blonde. It covered his face, hiding him. His clothing – too short for him, ragged at the edges and torn around his shoulders and back.
But most of all, the way he moved, he way he acted. He was slumped over, staring at the ground, shuffling when he walked, his head bowed down (this is not Mommy). She frowned; he hadn't seen her yet.
(Small, I like your hair this way, it looks nice, Boo is a baby, who is this)
The guard unlocked the chains around Michael's limbs and left.
(Boo is it you…)
"Ummm…." Laurie said as a greeting. "Hi."
Michael's head snapped up quickly. His hair fell back from his head, and Laurie gasped. He was wearing a strange mask, made of papier-mâché. It was crudely made, edges of paper sticking out and many small bumps over the surface. It was blank and unpainted.
(Don't hide for Boo, Boo loves me…)
He stared at her a bit more, moving forward. His gaze seemed to pierce through her, examining mind, body, and heart. She shivered suddenly, despite the heat. The eyes were completely black and remorseless.
(Boo, why aren't you happy, do they hurt you, please be happy)
He stood, moving with a swiftness that made her fall back (Boo, what's wrong). She fled to the back of the room as Michael drew closer, (it's THEIR fault, they're hurting her, why would she run, it's me, it's Michael) trying to grab her. He had her trapped in a corner, and she screamed as he grabbed her shoulder (it's really you) dragging her towards him.
An alarm started to go off, the shriek crashing through Laurie's head (no, they'll take me and I won't see her again, Mommy, Mommy left, Mommy Boo Mommy Boo). The heat and the noise and the shock were too much and her mind shattered; she sank to the floor, blacking out completely. Michael bent to her prone body (Boo).
Cynthia and Mason burst through the doors, their cries echoing over the room as they saw Michael carrying their daughter. Half a dozen guards followed, surrounding Michael and trying to pull him away from Laurie (no leave her alone I want her happy). He clutched Laurie closer (not her not her not her) but they overpowered him, pulling out needles and poking them into him (no). He sagged and tumbled to the ground as Mason scooped his unconscious daughter (sister) into his arms.
"Shit! SHIT! I told you this was a bad idea!" Mason raged, pacing outside Laurie's room. "I knew that fucking nutcase would get her! I told you!"
"Mason, be quiet!" Cynthia hissed, though she was being just as loud. "Don't wake her!"
"She's probably in a fucking coma by now!" Mason said. "If she's not completely traumatized by this, I don't know what…"
Laurie rolled over in bed and opened her eyes. Her parents crowded around her; Cynthia made to hug her but quickly stopped.
Laurie looked around. She didn't remember being brought back to her room. "What am I doing in here?" she asked.
Her parents exchanged glances. "Laurie, don't you remember? We took you…"
She blinked. "Took me where?" She searched her memory, remembering, struggling through it. She focused on the family tree – it felt important somehow…
Mason opened his mouth but Cynthia had already dragged him outside.
"She's repressed it. She's repressed the memory," Cynthia whispered outside. "She doesn't remember, not even about the birth certificate or her being adopted!"
"What? But we have to tell her."
"We're not telling her anything. She's happier off not knowing," Cynthia insisted. "Mason, would you have her know, and see her go running back to that monster again? It's safer this way. She's safer."
Mason stared at his daughter, who was trying to eavesdrop on their conversation. "It's dishonest. We should tell her the truth."
Cynthia moved into another room. "It's better this way."
They were silent for a moment; Laurie tried to get out of bed but seemed too dizzy to do so, collapsing against her pillows.
"She might find out anyway," Mason murmured. "She found the birth certificate before, she might find it again."
"Hide it. Put it in the city records; she'll never look there. Just make sure she can't get to it."
Mason sighed, but didn't protest. Cynthia gave him a reassuring smile.
They entered the room, and Laurie was instantly suspicious, their false grins plastered across their faces.
"What were you talking about?" she asked.
"We were wondering how to tell you this," Cynthia said. "Laurie, you had an accident. You were looking for things in the files, and one of the boxes fell and hit your head, see?" She tapped a spot on the back of her daughter's head. Laurie winced as a dull pain went through her head.
"You've been out for a day or two now," Mason continued for her. "You did that on Friday, and it's Saturday now. Doctor said you would be fine though. Just don't go searching through things without our permission, okay honey?"
Their false smiles were gone; there was only worry in their faces. Laurie nodded solemnly. Yes, she could remember searching through the boxes and a kind of shock at something. That must have been the box falling on her head.
"This is my family tree," Laurie said, proudly displaying the colorful poster board. Thick, multi-colored lines arched and joined and crisscrossed each other, ending in names and dates.
"My dad is Mason Strode, and my mom is Cynthia Strode. My dad has a brother called John, and he's married to a woman called Debra…"
Laurie was in bed. Mason pulled out a thick file, containing Laurie's old birth certificate, adoption records, and old photos from the Myers house. He paused at one, depicting a little boy cuddling a baby.
You'll never get her, you crazy sonofabitch.
He threw the papers into the fire. It blackened at the edges and slowly curled up, meeting fiery red hole in the center and crumbling into ashes.
From the records of Smith's-Grove Sanitarium, as written by Dr. Loomis, June 2nd, 1998
An interesting incident today. An eight-year-old, Caucasian female, named Laurie Strode, was attacked by Michael.
Girl was accompanied by parents; guards state that they wished to visit Michael and that they were related to him. Must ask them to recheck facts, as Michael has no relatives left that I know of. Parents left before they could be questioned.
Michael has not responded to queries about incident. Recommended treatment: suspension of any and all visits.
They pushed Michael back into his cell, and the doctors were outside, yelling and gesturing wildly over him and how they had to change procedure and put him in another room.
He collapsed on his bed and pulled a small photo off his wall. She wasn't a baby anymore (she looks like Mommy), she was a child.
(She was so sad, what were they doing to her, get out, find her, but when…)