Uncle Pat, 4

James walked out of the room like a soldier that survived a failed mission. He was not man enough. He pondered how he would see the plan through if he couldn’t even accommodate the sight of Patricia observing Uncle Pat while he slept. He laid down on his bed with a heavy mind and eyes. Somehow he must get himself to swallow the plan, but he didn’t know how.

James woke up the next morning with a heavy mind. He had slept on his thoughts about the plan overnight. Now that he was awake, he wasn’t still sure how he felt about the plan. Tormenting Uncle Pat in his sleep didn’t seem quite right, not to talk about possible. ‘How could a grown up man be tormented in his sleep?’ James thought. He knew his twin sister was smart about most things, but maybe she’s taking a rather simple plan overboard. But was there any simple plan in kicking Uncle Pat out of the house? Could a rat or spider or anything for that matter scare Uncle Pat out of the house? Uncle Pat worked for a construction firm, so he must have seen a lot of scary things, and spiders and rats don’t measure. James kept ruminating. But if he has seen a lot of scary things, then why and how should he get haunted in his sleep?

When James eventually got out of the room, mum knew something was off.

“Jamey boy, is everything alright? You look like you had a bad dream,’ mum asked.

“I’m fine, mum, I just have a heavy head,” James replied.

“Okay then, we are having pancakes for breakfast, so go dish some for yourself.”

“Alright, mum, thanks.”

“Are you sure you’re okay, Jamey boy?” mum quizzed once more.

“I promise, mum, I’m fine.”

While James scarcely munched his breakfast, he wondered what Patricia was still doing indoors. Had she already decided to go on without him? Was she practicing her scare tactics? Was she still angry with him from their conversation the night before? James decided to drop the slab of pancake and go check out Patricia for himself. When he opened the door, he saw her on the bed with her phone relaxing. She didn’t pay heed to who was at the door, she just continued with her phone. James stood backing the door and was moping at Patricia for a statement. Still she said nothing. He felt like he was in a maze full of dead ends. He left the room but stood behind the door contemplating what to do next. Seconds later, he opened the door with heightened pace and walked straight to Patricia.

“Okay! I’m in, whatever you want, I’m in,” he gushed.

Still Patricia didn’t pay him heed.

“Patricia!” he called out, “I said I’m in!” he yelled.

“I’m not deaf, James, I’m busy.”

“Whatever,” James replied, “by the way, breakfast is ready.”

James stepped out of the room still unresolved. He had thought Patricia was going to light up at hearing he had changed his mind. Sometimes he even doubts she’s his sister, the way she behaves, so cold at times. John was sitting on the long couch watching SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon. Mum had covered the remains of his breakfast before she went upstairs. He had lost interesting in eating. For a moment James didn’t know what to do with himself, then he decided to go check out the guest room. Uncle Pat had stepped out while they were still in bed, so no one was in the guest room.

When James got to the guest room, he didn’t exactly know what he was looking for. In fact, he wasn’t supposed to be there. He felt like he was snooping on Uncle Pat. But the guest room had pestered his mind for days since Uncle Pat arrived. Now he was in the guest room, the much talked about guest room. There were two beds in the guest room, a couple of feet from each other. James sat in the unused one facing the bed Uncle Pat slept on. The room had a dark hue caused by the closed curtains. James thought of turning the lights on, but he liked it just the way it was, it added an air of mystery to the room. James compelled himself to feel what it was like sleeping on the other bed, Uncle Pat’s bed. It was just as Patricia observed, except hers was real. He felt like this was the only opportunity he had to be in the room before Uncle Pat arrives or mum figures he’s in there. In no time he started searching, nothing specific, he just felt the need to snoop around. He bent low to look under the bed, there was nothing. He opened the wardrobe and all he saw were office clothes hanging on one side, casuals on the other, and shoes below among other accessories. Still he felt compelled to keep searching. He roughed the bed covering for something, anything, but there was nothing. He made the bad back just the way it was to cover his tracks. He moved the pillow to tuck in that side. Then he saw something that left him transfixed. A crucifix.

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