Title: In The Eyes Of Madness by Michael Pang
Genre: YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
As Declan approached his mother’s room, he clutched at the pendant that hung around his neck. The pendant didn’t have any expensive jewels on it or anything, just a smooth stone with a few symbols carved on it. The pendant had been one of the few articles of jewelry that Declan had found amongst his mother’s belongings soon after she had been committed. Ever since he was seven, he had worn that pendant around his neck. And whenever he thought about his mother, he would unconsciously clutch at the pendant as if trying to grasp and hold on to a time when everything had been good.His arrival at his mother’s door broke him out of his thoughts, and he realized that he was clutching his pendant so hard that the symbols had imprinted onto his palm. He stared at the door for a while as if deciding whether or not he should turn around and leave instead. He took a deep breath. He placed his hand on the cold doorknob, and he felt goose bumps traveling up his arm. He was hesitant to open the door because he didn’t know what state of mind she would be in. Taking in another deep breath before he turned the knob, he swung the door open.Declan’s mother greeted him with a smile. She looked healthy, rosy cheeks, fair skin, and big warm brown eyes. The same eyes that that had always given Declan peace. With a smile she said, “There’s my boy. How was your day honey?”Declan let out the breath he realized he had been holding the whole time. “My day was fine, Mom. How are you feeling today?”She walked over to him and gave him a long hug. “I feel great!”Declan almost teared up as his mother embraced him. From the day that he’s just had, he was afraid that he would find his mother in a state of mind similar to that of Kyle’s. “Do you need anything? Can I get you some more water or blankets? I hear that it might get a little cooler tonight,” replied Declan as he quickly turned around so that his mother didn’t see his eyes water up. He pretended to check the thermostat in the room and adjusted it keep it at a warm 78 degree Fahrenheit.She replied, “No worries, I’ll be fine. I had a chat with Dr. Lanier today, and he said that I might be able to come home with you soon. I can’t wait to get out of here. It’s been too long. But enough about me; you told me yesterday that Caleb came into town last night. How is he doing?”Caleb and Declan had been best friends since the second grade. They used to do everything together, but when they graduated, Caleb went off to college, while Declan had to start working to help support his family.“He seemed to be having the time of his life last time I spoke with him on the phone. I’m supposed to have dinner with him tonight. I guess I’ll hear all about his awesome college adventures then. Yay…” he replied sarcastically as he walked over to the window and looked out at the setting sun.At least Keira will be there, he thought as he face started to heat up.“As soon as I’m out of here, Declan, I promise you I’ll help financially, and you can go to college,” she said, interrupting Declan’s thoughts. “I know that it’s been hard on you and your uncle and aunt. As a matter of fact, I’ve been working on a little something. I made these during craft time. I think I can sell them as jewelry and maybe make a business out of it. Here let me show you,” she declared as she walked toward a box on her nightstand. She took out of the box a flower with a string on it. It was an orchid that had been preserved in some sort of glossy resin. The sunlight from the setting sun reflected brightly on the glossy flower, making it shine brightly.“That’s beautiful, Mom. I bet you there will be people who would want to buy these,” responded Declan as he examined the flower while taking hold of his mother’s hands. Declan felt his hand burn and looked up when he thought he saw something move in the corner of his eye. Suddenly still, he realized his mother was staring off into the box. As calmly as he could manage, he asked, “Mom? What are you looking for? Mom?” He got no response from her, and he felt a chill go down his spine. The remainder of the setting sunlight seemed to have withdrawn from the room. A sense of panic engulfed all his senses, and suddenly she looked up, grabbing his arms.Then she screamed, “You can stop pretending to be my son! I will never tell you!” And she grabbed Declan by the back of his shirt collar and started hulling Declan toward the bathroom in her room. Struggling to free himself from his mother, he thrashed his arms and legs around trying to grab hold of something.Declan choked, “Stop, Mom! Please stop it! I’m your son! Can’t you remember? I’m your son! Please Mom, don’t do this!” as his collar bit into his throat.She bashed Declan’s head against the base of the bathroom sink, and she tried to push Declan’s head into the toilet bowl. Pain exploded from the side of his head, and everything started to look blurry.“I will drown you this time, demon child! You took everything from me! I won’t let you hurt anyone else!”Declan pushed off with his arms and legs and slammed her against the bathroom wall opposite from the toilet. The room seemed immensely longer than it had been as he ran back to her bed to push the call button for one of her nurses. He had almost reached the button as she grabbed him by the hair to drag him back to the bathroom screaming, “Not this time! I’ve got you this time!”Declan reached out once again to the hospital bed where the call button was, and the bed moved forward a couple of inches. Declan’s finger collided with the button. Despite, having to fight off his mother, he squeezed his eyes shut for a second as he thought he must have somehow hallucinated the hospital bed’s movement.Within twenty seconds, three UAPs rushed in and restrained his mother. She continued to struggle and hiss, screaming, “I will get you, demon! I will kill you if it’s the last thing I do!” Declan walked out of the room. His eyes burned as tears streamed down his cheeks. He said, “Goodnight Mom, sleep tight,” as the doors closed behind him.