Richard Castle was six years old. He and his mother were traveling again. He didn't really mind all the car rides, they always went to cool places, and he got to watch people make fun of themselves on stage, especially Mommy. She always did the funniest things. He looked out the window, all he saw was green. Lots of green. "Mommy, I have to pee." He said.
"I know, darling, I know, but can you hang on ten more minutes?"
"How long is that?" Martha pointed to the clock on the dash of the car. "When this number says three again then it will be ten minutes and we should be near a gas station."
"Okay." Rick turned all of his attention to the numbers. Right now it said 1:23. He waited patiently for it to change, but it didn't seem like it ever would. He drummed his fingers on his lap, sighed, looked out the window again, and looked back at the clock. The same numbers were still there. "Mommy, I can't wait that long."
"Yes you can, darling, why don't you think of something to do?"
Martha thought for a second, "Tell Mommy a story."
"What kind of story?" Rick asked, interested. He liked stories, especially stories like the Three Little Pigs, that one was his favourite.
"Tell me about one that you really like." Martha suggested.
Rick really liked the Three Little Pigs, but Mommy had read it to him last night. He didn't want her to get bored. "The Emperor's New Clothes." Rick decided.
"That sounds interesting, tell me all about it." Martha smiled as Rick began to talk, this would keep him occupied for hours yet.
"Here, Ricky, let's go pee and get something to eat." Martha had stopped outside of a fast food chain.
"Can I get a burger?" He asked.
"Of course," Martha took Rick into the bathroom, "You can even get a chocolate shake." Rick beamed.
For the rest of the drive Rick Castle was asleep. He snored as Martha drove. At eight o'clock Martha parked outside of the hotel room they would be staying at for the next week. Then hopefully they would get to go home for a little while. Reaching behind her Martha said, "Ricky, time to get up." Rick opened his eyes and yawned.
He stared at the hotel as Mommy grabbed the bags from the trunk. Then she helped him out. "What do you think?"
"I don't like it. I won't stay here." Rick said, sounding slightly panicked.
"Honey, there's nothing wrong with it. It's just a new place. It will be fine." Martha comforted him. Rick didn't believe her, but this was Mommy. She had to be right, even so, Rick took her hand as they walked into the lobby.
That night he had a scary dream. There was a bad man, and he was trying to hurt Mommy. Rick woke up crying, but Mommy was still asleep beside him. Rick hugged his pillow tight. Taking one last look at the dark hotel room he squeezed his eyes shut, but quickly opened them again when the bad man returned. The man didn't really have a face. It kept changing, but the man felt evil to Rick. He shuddered. He really didn't like this hotel.
The next day Rick took his bag of toys backstage and played while Mommy put on her make-up and costume. "Ricky," Martha called.
Rick stood up and waved. "I'm about to go on stage. Be good, stay put and if you need anything go see Lila." Martha pointed to a harried blonde in the corner. Rick didn't like the look of her.
"Okay." He blinked his wide baby blues at his mother. "You look pretty, Mommy."
"Thank you baby, now give me a hug." Rick hugged Martha and waved as she stepped onto the stage. Rick slipped over to a place where he could watch the play, he hadn't seen this one before.
He watched in awe as the people in the pretty costumes did things on the stage. He didn't understand half of the dialogue, but he didn't need too. He laughed when the audience did, and even he, at six, knew a sappy romantic scene. He didn't like those. He liked it when the man jumped on the other man and yelled things about the second man stealing the first man's wife. Rick didn't understand how you could steal a woman, but it was still fun to watch the men get hurt.
Hours later Martha gathered Rick in her arms and deposited him in his car seat. Rick yawned. "Are we going back to the creepy motel, Mommy?"
"Yes, darling, we are staying there for the seven days that I'm doing the play." Martha explained starting the car.
"Isn't there another place?" Rick begged, he didn't want to see the scary man in his dreams again.
"This is the only place that I can afford right now, but someday we'll have lots of money and you can stay in any place you want." Martha assured him.
"And get that new dinosaur toy?" Rick asked sleepily. Martha smiled at the dozing boy in the mirror.
"Yes," she whispered even though he couldn't hear her, "even that new toy."
When Rick woke up that night, it wasn't because of a bad dream, it was because he really had to pee. He didn't want to have to wake Mommy up, he was a big boy, he should be able to go to the bathroom, but he saw the bad man in the shadows. Curling his hands into fists Rick summoned all of the courage a six-year-old possessed and slid out of bed. He padded across the bedroom floor, always looking around with wide, frightened eyes. He touched the doorknob. There was wet stuff on it. Rick drew back his hand disgusted, but the need to pee soon overpowered that. Putting his hand back on the knob Rick twisted it, but it wouldn't open.
Rick bounced up and down, hands in between his legs. He wanted to be a big boy, but he had to pee. Mommy could get the door opened. Hesitantly Rick put a hand on Martha's shoulder and shook her. "Hmm?" She muttered sleepily.
"Mommy the bathroom door won't open."
With a sigh Martha slipped out of bed. She took the knob in her hand, too tired to noticed the wet matter that had disgusted her son. The door opened easily under her hand. "There, you prob'ly just turned it the wrong way," Martha said through a yawn. She flicked the light on for her son and was suddenly wide awake.
Rick continued to hold 'it' in as Mommy opened the door. He didn't really care why it was so easy for her when he couldn't do it. He just really needed to get into the bathroom. He sighed in relief as Mommy flicked on the light, he started to run into the bathroom, before he stopped and screamed.
A man with black hair was lying in the tub, red liquid all around him. A feeling of dread overcoming him, the young boy looked at his hand, then at the doorknob. The same red stuff. Mommy ran over and picked up the phone, but he couldn't stop staring. It was horrible, but he felt like he was frozen in place. Mommy soon noticed and whisked him away, but Rick always remembered the man's eyes. Wide open, still staring at nothingness.
Richard Castle never learned the man's name, who killed him, or why. He never learned anything about the case. It had been tempting, at times, especially when he suddenly got all of his 'connections', but he didn't do it. Maybe to preserve the mystery of the black-haired man, or the first mystery of his childhood. Maybe because it was it was the most memorable moment of his childhood. Sad but true. Either way, that night when he was six, in a creepy hotel room, was the most significant moment in his life. And why, nine times out of ten, the dead person in his novels had black hair.
I do not own Castle. This was written for the Vampire Weekend Challange issued by TheOneToParanoidToTellHerName. I hope that this is what she was looking for, and I hope you all like it enough to review.