Home, Sweet Home

It's that lurid face.

That gruesomely, cadaverous face staring back; but she was so beautiful, so full of life. Her hair went on forever, her eyes were picturesque windows to the soul, and her lips were as sweet as honey when she smiled. But now she is dead. She's been dead for forty years. But if she's dead why does she keep coming back? Why can't she just be happy dead? But she's not happy and she's not dead. She's always there; she always knows what you're thinking. She knows what you are going to do before you do. How? How can she stay ahead of you? How does she know?

She knows because she's your mother.

The chirp of a phone ringing shatters the placid house and wakes him. He springs up from the couch drenched in sweat, uncomfortable in his unfamiliar surroundings.

Where did she go? She was right there! She was standing right in front of him inside Cabin One! But he wasn't in Cabin One. He wasn't at the motel and he wasn't even in Fairvale.

He was at home, he was safe, and most importantly he was sure that she was still dead.

He reaches for the phone, uncertain if he was still in a dream; hoping, just hoping, it was truly over.

"H-e-el-llo?" He stammers weakly.

"Norman…"

Reality came crashing over him like an unforgiving wave of ocean water devouring the beach in a storm. It was his wife Connie, not the voice he expected but certainly the voice he would rather talk to.

"Oh hey, Swe-sweet heart. I was expecting Dr. Rosenblum to call," He says, wiping the sweat from his brow, "How was the doctor's visit? Did Adam chhh-e-eck out ok?"

Norman casts his eyes over to the TV where a reflection that wasn't his is glaring back at him. Those dark, dead sunken eyes, that perfectly preserved lifeless body, that neatly kept wig that hid the rotten skull, and the hair that was falling out, it almost looks like…he quickly closes his eyes.

"Yes Norman, Dr. Willingham said Adam was fine, although he does have a cold. But it's nothing unusual for a child of his age. He'll be back to his normal three year old, temper tantrum self in a few days," Connie says with a laugh.

Norman burst into laughter. He never thought he would be able to associate the word 'normal' with his bloodline let alone his own son. Connie had been right. Adam was a blessing and not the foreboding curse Norman had feared. The heinousness ended with Norman and his rein of monstrosity.

"Yes, I suppose your right. When are you coming home?"

"We're on our way now. Do you want me to stop by and get anything on the way?"

"Oh no," he says opening his eyes, "No, I don't need anything. I cooked you're favorite dinner tonight. Hurry home so it doesn't get too co-o-old and be careful the storm is getting closer."

"I will. Norman you know you didn't have to…"

A cacophony noise shattered the pleasant conversation abruptly. Norman startled and lost his grip on the phone. He watched helplessly as it appeared to fall in slow motion to the floor and then landed with a loud thump. He looks down and a vision, a mirage misconstrued his sight. The phone shimmers and turns into a butcher knife covered in blood. He stares down at the phone blinking, unsure if what he was seeing was real, or his frantic mind running away again. An earsplitting static erupted from the receiver waking him from his delusion. The phone had returned so he reaches down and picks it up staring into the earpiece.

He hangs up and dials Connie's cell phone back. There's no answer.

A loud thunder clasp made the house rattle. The lights begin to flicker.

Norman decided he needed to hunt down some candles. It was only a matter of time before the power went out.

He walks over to the kitchen and just as he was about to open the junk drawer in the island the power goes out.

A lighting bolt lit up in the inside of the kitchen. Norman sees a figure standing over in the living room.

"Connie?" he calls out.

Another lighting strike lights up the living room where he can see the figure clearly.

It was his mother standing in front of him.

She looked like the mummified remains he used to keep in the fruit cellar of the old house.

He screams and runs out the back door. He stops in the yard and stares through the bay windows into the kitchen desperately trying to catch his breath.

Another lightning strike illuminates the empty kitchen and yard.

Norman stood in the yard as the rain begins to fall. It washes over him like a baptism for a tortured soul but he refuses to move. He refused to walk closer to the nightmare awaiting him.

No matter how hard it rained or how close the lightning got to him, Norman stood staring into the dark house. He couldn't bring himself to take a step inside. He couldn't bring himself to see if she was still there.

He swore under his breathe. He was acting like a child afraid of his own shadow and the boogeyman in the dark. He was letting his imagination run away with itself. Damn him for letting her win. No, damn her for still having power over him after all these years.

A sigh escapes his lips.

"Get it together Norman," he whispers, "Your acting like a fool. She's not in there and she can't hurt you anymore. She's dead DAMMIT!"

A voice came from behind him.

"Norman! Watch your mouth boy…or I'll wash it out with soap!"

Norman's eyes widened. The frail, elderly voice rang in his ears like a church bell. He could feel his heart take off and leap into his throat. His mouth suddenly dry he couldn't speak…or scream.

A hand gripped his shoulder.

"Do you hear me boy or has that whore taken your ears with your innocence?"

Norman closed his eyes tightly. He could feel the pressure of the hand on his shoulder. He could feel the fingernails dig into his soaked shirt and wet skin.

"Norman, get inside before you catch cold boy; I can't have you gettin' sick on me. You know what the neighbors will say…I don't take care of you…all that nonsense."

"Y—e—es, mother," he whispers on the verge of tears.

Norman took a slow, long step forward feeling the hand on his shoulder let go of its hold. He held his breathe and finally turned around slowly opening his eyes.

Lightning lit up the yard showing Norman his fears were not warranted. There was no one in the yard but him.

He suddenly turns and runs into the house locking the door behind him. He leans his head against the door breathing heavily just before hyperventilation.

Tears fall down on his cheeks and his nose begins to run.

The power finally came back on.

The longest sigh in history came out of his mouth. He wipes his nose and eyes off with his wet sleeve.

It was just his mind playing tricks on him. Dr. Rosenblum had told him, it might take a couple of weeks to get the dose of his new medication right. As if as the all tests weren't bad enough now the doctors were using Norman as a guinea pig. Every time a new anti-psychotic drug comes out they always test it out on him because 'he is a unique case'. Or so he was told. He kind of understood what they were talking about. It took over twenty years for him to realize that he killed all those people. But the frightening thing was he still didn't remember doing any of it. He had always blacked out so every time a body was found it was as much a surprise to him as everyone else.

He remembered seeing that woman in the lake. She had been there a few days. Her body was bloated and grossly disfigured. She had been stabbed and dumped in the lake, weighted down by a cement block. Norman had apparently killed her but he didn't recall the event. He had been out at the swamp looking for something when the body surfaced in the lake next to him.

He was still convinced to this day, the Sheriff heard him scream fifteen miles away in his office and that's how they knew where she was.

The phone chirped behind him.

"That must be Connie," he says.

Norman turns to walk toward the phone but is halted by his mother standing before him inches from his face.

A sharp pain hit him in the eyes and the room starts to spin.

"NORMAN! What did I tell you boy? Are you listening to me?"

"Mmm—mother?"

The old woman stepped up closer to him. She looked just as she did a week after he killed her. Her body preserved by the sand he used after he disemboweled her. The wig she wore looked almost like her natural hair.

He remembered the way she would cast her hair across his face tickling his nose. He always loved her hair. He was disappointed that it had fallen out in large clumps when he poisoned her…wait… he killed her…she can't be in front of him now. She's dead…she can't be here she's dead!

The room started to spin faster. The corners of Norman's eyes grew dark. He knew his eyes were opened but he could no longer see. He felt his heart pick up its pace. Sweat suddenly drenched his already damp shirt. He passed out and fell to the hard floor.