[This one is mild. The Flying the Plane thing is true, it happened to me, and it sucked. Other than that, this is a fiction horror short. I loved writing this one. I hope you like reading it!]
“I know you’re in there. Don’t worry I won’t tell my mom, but can I tell my sister? Move something if it’s okay.” Billy asked.
A baseball sitting atop his shoe divider that didn’t have many shoes in it, but other toys and items you would find in a six year old boys closet, wiggled and rolled onto the floor, which wasn’t carpeted but tiled with dark and light colored squares. Under the tiling was wood, and the ball hitting the floor and rolling made a sound that was heard by Felicia, Billie’s mother.
“I thought I said bed-time, Billy!” She called from the living room.
“I’m IN bed, Mom!” He answered.
“Good! Now go to sleep!”
This last didn’t need a response except silence. Billy had tried on multiple occasions, but mom was stubborn. Bed time meant bed time. “No ifs, ands, or buts, except for your butt in that bed!” she would say. Any resistance was met with hostility. And any attempts to sneak a play when she wasn’t looking, was always discovered, and then it was time to fly the plane.
Billy and Shannon HATED flying the plane. Shannon was eight, therefore much more knowledgeable about things. She told Billy once that flying the plane was torture and their were rules against that sort of thing. Well Mom didn’t seem to care about this little known fact when Billy mentioned it to her the last time he was forced to fly the plane, and responded with, “Good! Report me!” Oh she really was the very definition of evil when it came to bed-time and the punishment for not doing as she wished.
Flying the plane was the go-to torture method to tire out children that weren’t “Ready” to go to sleep yet. Felicia and Monty were firm believers that spanking children was not necessary, but there were other ways to abuse your children, like feeding them anything that was green and tasted like dirt or socks, or dirty socks! The worst though, was flying the plane. That was when Felicia would call Billy out of his room, to stand in front of her in the living room. There was no sense in arguing or trying to fight, hide, or run. If she had to get up to go get him herself, it was an instant extra five minutes. Thirty seconds was death, so five minutes was eternity in the lowest level of hell.
Sometimes she would start off funny, Billy even laughed the first time. Something he would never EVER do again. “Billy Brigsby, you are clear for take off! Get em up.” That first time, he had no idea what she meant. So Monty, Billy’s dad, politely explained and demonstrated. “Stand like this.” He stretched his arms out to the side, just like an air-plane, and held them there until Billy imitated him. That first time, Billy had heard Shannon snicker from her room, which was next to his. Mom heard it, too.
“If you want to laugh, you can join him!” Felicia called.
Little bare-feet quickly patted the floor and the springs of a bed could be heard recoiling as if a little girl had just jumped up on it. Billy was smiling, but it wouldn’t last long. Oh no, not long at all.
“We’ll start with three minutes. Does that sound fair, Mont?” Felicia asked Monty, trying her best not to smile.
“Sure, three minutes is a good start.” He wasn’t even trying to hide it. They were enjoying this immensely.
Three minutes. That’s a count to sixty three times. Billy could hold his breath that long. Only just, though. He had practiced in the tub. He might be able to go longer, but making it to the third sixty was a pretty big accomplishment, he didn’t want to soil it by trying for a forth and failing. So he began to count.
At about twenty, the pain started to creep in. At twenty five; the fire. By thirty: Death. Billy would never know how long he stood after that first thirty, because that’s right around the time he would forget he was even counting. Seconds later, the attempts to lower the arms started.
“Get em up! Keep em up” Felicia had said.
Then Billy would straighten his arms back out. And then they would start to go down again.
“Get em up!”
Rinse. Repeat. About a minute in, though. That was when the tears started up. Then the sobs. Finally the begging.
“Do you promise to go and get right in your bed and go to sleep?” Felicia asked.
“YESSSSSS!” Billy squealed.
“Alright, come here and give me a kiss.”
Billy’s arms dropped like lead weights to his side. He couldn’t even raise them to wipe the tears streaming down his face and onto his Ben 10 pajamas. He ran to Felicia and quickly kissed her on the lips and ran, full speed, to his bedroom and climbed into bed. He was asleep before the after-tremors of his sobs had ceased.
That terrible terrible experience only happened once more, after that, and this time, Shannon DID join him, because it was her fault to begin with. He had been beating her at hand slaps, and she just couldn’t take it lying down, literally. After being told three different times to go her room and go to bed, she insisted on returning, as quietly as possible, to Billy’s room and continue the event. However, neither child realized that playing hand slaps was not the sneakiest sort of game when your parents are both reading quietly only fifteen feet away.
After the third time, it was time to fly the plane. Now, had Billy simply called out to his parents after the first time, and told them that Shannon was in his room, he could have saved them both the torture. But he didn’t. Therefore, he was complicit in his sister’s crime, guilty of harboring a fugitive, and sentenced to five minutes air time.
Billy couldn’t make it past two minutes, but Shannon was a trooper. She could hold out till three minutes had passed, but that’s as far as she had ever made it. Felicia and Monty both kept time, and though Shannon impressed them with her stamina, they were never really worried about making sure the sentence had been fulfilled, and always released them early for good behavior.
Knowing what could befall him if he was caught, Billy risked it all anyway. He had to tell Shannon about what was in the closet, at any cost. He slipped out of his bed, went to his door and peeked around the side. All clear. He tip-toed to his sister’s room and ducked inside and went to her bed and poked her.
“Go away. You’re going to get us in trouble. I really don’t want to fly the plane tonight.” Shannon whispered.
“I have to tell you something. It’s important.”
“Not as important as not flying the plane!” She nearly raised her voice.
“Yes it is. There’s someone in my closet.”
“No there’s not.”
“Yes there is!” This time Billy nearly raised his voice, and the idea of getting caught spooked Shannon.
She wasn’t about to fly the plane because Billy was afraid of the bogeyman.
“MOM! BILLY’S IN MY ROOM!”
Billy bolted back to his room and jumped in his bed.
“Billy! Get out here now!” Felicia called.
“NO … PLEASE NO. I don’t want to fly! PLEASE!”
“NOW!” Monty called.
Billy got out of his bed and went to the living room. When Monty said now, he meant now, and no amount of pleading for mercy would help his cause. Best to just get it over with.
“You know the drill. Get em up. Three minutes.”
Billy raised his arms, and started crying.
“Whats wrong?! It hasn’t even been twenty seconds!” Felicia asked.
Billy didn’t answer. He just kept crying, until his sobs became wails. That was when Felicia took pity. It had only taken about fifty seconds, but it was the worst fifty seconds of Billy’s life to date. Partly because of his sister’s betrayal, and partly because of his parent’s failure to show mercy. He ran to his mom and kissed her as per the usual routine, and ran to bed. He had forgotten all about the thing in the closet.
As he was on his way to getting his Zs, he whispered out loud to the room.
“I wish someone would make them fly the plane. All of them. Forever.”
And then drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, Billy woke up on his own. That was strange, but not totally uncommon. Mostly, Felicia woke him to get ready for school in the mornings, but he must have woken up early. He decided to get up and get himself dressed before heading out to breakfast. He thought about the Fruit Loops he was going to have. Felicia bought them as a favor upon request, because he was getting tired of Cheerio’s and Corn Flakes. She said he can have the sugary Fruit Loops just this once, but once they were gone, it was back to the healthy stuff. He had hugged her and kissed her a bunch of times when she pulled them out of the grocery bag. And now, finally, he was going to have a full bowl! Two, if he could talk her into letting him.
He dressed quickly, in a his school uniform. A black pair of shorts, and red polo T-shirt that had the Webster Primary logo above his right breast. Once he was dressed he went into the bathroom to relieve himself, brush his teeth, comb his hair, and finish off with washing his hands. Felicia hated when they forgot to wash their hands. He walked back up the hall, but didn’t hear anyone talking, so he figured Shannon was still asleep. Monty would have already left for work, and Felicia would probably still be getting ready, herself. Billy figured he would save Felicia the trouble of waking up Shannon, so he turned into her room and was about to shake her, but she wasn’t there. Her bed was a mess, but she wasn’t in it. That was really strange, because they were not even allowed out of their room without making the bed.
Bed standards were not that strict. Half the time, you could barely tell it had been done at all, but an attempt had to at least been made. Later, Felicia would go behind them and fix their covers properly. It wasn’t a huge deal, but what was a huge deal was if the bed wasn’t made, there would be no breakfast. “No ifs, ands, or buts!”
Billy started for the kitchen to see if something was wrong, but he never made it that far. What was wrong was found right in the living room, before he would ever get to the kitchen. There, Billy saw his mom, his dad, and his sister all standing facing against the wall. Arms spread wide as if flying a plane, and steak knives nailed their hands in place.
Billy realized what he was seeing, and turned around. He walked back to his bedroom, took off his school clothes, put his pajamas back on, and climbed back into bed. He would remain there until his Aunt Jessy found him later that evening, after a bunch of missed calls.