Chapter 7 - Memories
CHARRRRRRGE!!! Bill was gliding to my left and Murphy was running on my right as we went headlong into battle. The Goblins were trying to flank from the right as the Troll was coming straight at us. Murphy cast a dark shield to our right as Bill threw up his shield to block the Troll’s arm as it came crushing down on us.
“There’s too many, my shield won’t hold for long.” Murphy yelled.
“Damn this Troll’s arm is heavy. How are we going to defeat this thing?” grunted Bill.
For a second it seemed we were going to fall to the Goblin horde and Mountain Troll when I noticed an open wound on the Troll. Me being a Rogue class I figured I could slip behind the Troll and eviscerate the wound to weaken the Troll. If I could cause the troll to run in pain he could trample and rampage over the Goblins.
“When I tell you to release the shield Murphy.”
“Are you crazy Ken?” Bill yells.
“Yeah but do you trust me? Murphy NOW!!!”
I slide under the Troll and slice the wound on the Trolls back. He screams in pain and begins to rampage running forward. Murphy lowers the shield and jumps out of the way as the Troll begins to pummel and stomp on the Goblins behind the shield. Now is our chance to finish this fight. I nod at Murphy and Bill and we charge into the Goblin horde cleaning up the leftovers. It was a brutal fight but we managed to come out victorious and steal the Goblin King’s treasure.
“It’s getting late, I better get home.” Murphy says sadly.
“We still have 2 hours until daylight is gone.” Said Bill
“Yeah but if I’m even a second late my dad will beat me again.”
“It’s cool Murphy we understand if you have to leave. Bill and I should get home too.”
“Seriously?! We calling this adventure early? This sucks.”
“Bill come on we won and the adventure is over until next time. We don’t want to get Murphy in trouble,
remember what happened to him last time?”
“Alright whatever but next time I’m making the adventure and I say when it ends.”
“Bill your adventures suck, they never use magic.”
“Magic is for wussy people who can’t fight Murphy!”
“You take that back I can fight Bill, I’ll show you!”
Murphy and Bill start to wrestle and roll on the ground. As always Bill entangled Murphy and immobilized him from throwing punches. I walked over and removed the two from each other and reminded everyone we needed to get home. As we walked home we came to Bill’s house first and said goodbye to him. We continued to Murphy’s house next since mine was the furthest away from where we would have our adventures.
“Why is Bill always so mean?”
“That’s just how he is Murph.”
“He acts like he’s so special and we should listen to whatever he says.”
“I think since me and you are human and he’s outnumbered, he thinks he has to be louder.”
“Maybe you’re right but sometimes I just want to punch him. He’s so arrogant sometimes it drives me crazy.”
“Yeah he can be a jerk but he’s a good friend. I’m sure he would help you if you needed it.”
“I feel like he doesn’t like me at times and that I’m nothing but another person to hang around with you.”
“I’m sure he does like you and its good you are the Mage in the group, will we do the close combat fighting.”
“He acts like magic isn’t real and it means you are weak if you need it. Magic is real and it helps.”
“I think he’s jealous that he didn’t get to choose mage first. Don’t worry you will always be our mage and our friend.”
We arrived at Murphy’s house and his dad was sitting on the porch smoking a cigarette. Murphy’s dad was scraggly looking person. He was wearing an untucked long sleeve button shirt that was wrinkled from overuse and unwashed. Cigarette smoke stained his scruffy beard and his yellow teeth. He was skinny and sick looking, probably from the excessive drinking. He had no job and stayed home will Murphy’s mom worked 2 jobs to provide for the family. The house they lived in was overcrowded with 10 people in in. Murphy was the youngest of the family and got the brunt of must issues in the house. His dad and older brothers beat him, his sisters teased him and ignored him, but his mother tried her best to love him when she had what little time she had at home. She was gone for most of his life working but was the only one who ever saw him and his potential. Murphy’s mom was a kind soul who was too kind for her own good. She was faithful to Murphy’s dad even though he wasn’t. I still to this day think she only stayed for Murphy because without her he had nobody. I felt bad for Murphy and I think he knew this.
“Where you been boy? You’re late!” yelled Murphy’s dad.
“We are 30 minutes early! You said 6 o clock and its 5:30!”
“You giving me sass boy?”
“I’m sorry what did you say?”
“Get your ass in the house and clean the kitchen! What your staring at you piece of shit?”
“Nothing Mr. Brown.”
“That’s right now get off my porch punk.”
I turned around and walked off the porch to head home. I wanted to punch Murphy’s dad in the face for the way he treated us. The next day Bill, Murphy, and I walked to school which was a Monday and we all hated Monday’s. It meant we had to wait another 5 days before we could do an adventure. It was a cool spring morning in March and as we walked you cool feel the cool air mixed with the smell of flowers making it feel like it was going to be a good day. Even for a Monday it was nice out but I could see Murphy didn’t look well.
“What’s up Murph?” I asked.
“I’m not feeling too good, my stomach hurts.”
“Maybe you should stay home and sleep.” Bill chimed in.
Murphy and I looked at each other; we both knew why Murphy didn’t want to stay home.
“Nah I’ll be fine, just hungry. I’ll eat when we get to school.”
“Why didn’t you eat something before you left?” Bill asked.
I knew why Murphy didn’t eat before he left but again Bill was clueless and shrugged. We continued to school and headed for our class. Early morning was English time which I hated English. I liked math and science because of the problems and solving them made sense. There was a definitive answer for each problem that was presented which was simple. We sat down at our desks, Mrs. Anderson greeted us all and told us to open our books to page 129 of our English books. As I bent over to grab a pencil out of my bag I heard what I thought was a fart. At first I thought I had done it when I bent over but realized it wasn’t me. I turned around to look at Murphy who had a surprised look on his face.
“You okay Murphy?” I asked concerned.
“I … I … I think I just shit my pants.”
Bill erupted in laughter and I tried to hold in a laugh as well.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“I felt shit come out right now when I farted. I didn’t mean to it just happened.”
“What’s going on?” a girl to the right of us asked.
“Murph shit his pants.” Bill whispered to her.
“Bill shut up, don’t be telling everyone.” I whispered to Bill.
“Okay.” Bill said angrily
“I’ll ask for the bathroom pass and you can go clean up.”
I ask Mrs. Anderson for the bathroom pass and Murphy heads to the bathroom. We don’t see Murphy again until recess when I find him and Bill on the playground. As I am leaving my class to head outside I see three boys walking up to Murphy sitting on a bench.
“Hey Murphy still crying over you shitting your pants in class?” one boy says.
“Yeah Murphy, was it the color of your last name, Brown?” another boy chimes in.
The three boys erupt into laughter and I see a squid walking up behind the group. Bill walks up and pushes one of the boys from behind knocking him to the ground.
“Leave him alone guys he’s been tortured enough.” Says Bill.
“Watch it Bill we have no problems with you,” says the boy on the ground.
“If you keep picking on him you will have a problem with me.”
“Well maybe you should have thought about that before you and Ken told everyone about it.”
“That may be true but he is our friend and we will look after him even if we did tell everyone. It was funny to a
point now it has gone too far.”
“Ooooh Bill what are you going to do try to slap me with your tentacles, I’m so scared don’t hurt me.”
“That’s it I’ve had enough of your shit!”
Bill jumps on top of the boy on the ground and begins slapping him with his tentacles. The other two boys try to pull Bill off as I run over to help him. At this point we have caused enough of a scene to get the attentions of teachers. They run over to break up the fight and end up taking Bill, me and the three boys to the office. After a good tongue lashing and being handed 1 week of detention we were allowed to leave and go home for the day. As I walked home I couldn’t help but think of Murphy and wondering how he was doing. I decided to head over to his house to check on him. When I got there Murphy’s dad was sitting on the porch smoking a cigarette and drinking what looked like whiskey.
“What you want you little shit, Murphy ain’t here.”
“Do you know where he went?” I ask.
“Hasn’t been home since he left for school this morning, if you see him tell him to get his ass home.”
I turn around and start heading down the street towards the park we frequently have our adventures at. I’m assuming Murphy went there after school, it’s where he felt safe and could get away from his family. There was a warehouse we would play in and use it as a cave, castle, or any other building we could imagine. It was abandon and run down to a point where I think even the city didn’t care about trying to fix it or remove it. Since it was on the outskirts of town it was neglected and was perfect for us to use. We have done some improvements on it but there is only so much three 11 year olds can do to a building. Walking up to the park I see the warehouse in the distance with the sun setting behind it. The red-orange glow of the sunset casts over it like a warm blanket. The trees shudder from the cool breeze that is flowing by as night begins to set in. I see a small glow from the warehouse coming out of a window. I can only think that Murphy is in there hiding from his family and the embarrassment of the day. I cut through the park past the swing set where the swings are eerily swaying from the breeze. I arrive at the warehouse and push open the door slowly, it makes a scrapping sound of metal against metal. I hear Murphy scamper to his feet and call out.
“It’s me Murph, Ken.”
“What are you doing here, did my father send you to come get me?”
“No but I was worried about you. You okay?”
“Everyone is so mean, Bill is such a jerk for telling everyone. And … and you didn’t even stop him.”
“Murphy I tried to tell him not to say anything but…”
“I don’t want to talk to you anymore, GO AWAY!!!”
“Murphy I’m sorry, I want to help.”
“You can help by going away and not coming back.”
“What about your mom? What do I tell her?”
“Don’t worry about that, I’ll go home when I’m ready and tell her.”
“You can stay at my house tonight, I’m sure my mom won’t mind.”
“I want to be left alone.”
“I’m sorry Murph”
Murphy turned around and sat down with his back to me. I felt so helpless and just wanted to make Murphy feel better but no matter what I tried he just didn’t want anything to do with me or what I offered. I decided I better head home and just let him be. He just needed time to vent and recover, I’m sure he will be fine in a couple of days. As I walked home I was nearing Murphy’s block when I saw a bunch of blue and red flashing lights coming from the direction of Murphy’s house. Had something happened since I left him alone? Is Murphy hurt or worse? I ran to the house to find a couple of patrol cars and an ambulance. The paramedics were wheeling a body out on a stretcher out of the house. The body was covered with a sheet, but I could see a hand dangling from it. It looked like a woman’s hand with a gold bracelet on the wrist. It was Murphy’s mom but what happened? I ran closer to try and get a better look to see if she was still alive. A police officer was standing nearby to which I tried to get his attention.
“Excuse me … sir?”
“What you want kid?” snarked the police officer.
“What happened here?” I ask.
“None of your business now scram,” he yelled.
The policeman turned and walked into the house. At that moment Murphy’s dad walked out of the house in handcuffs and was escorted by 2 other police officers. He had blood on his hands and shirt and had an evil grin. I suspect he had something to do with whatever happened to Mrs. Brown. Suddenly I remember Murphy and I turn around and run back to the warehouse. I get there to see Murphy has not left yet and is still sitting in the corner where I left him. He looks up at me and I feel this wave of emotion hit me like a semi-truck. The pain of having to tell your friend that his mom might be dead and it’s because of his shit bag father. My heart feels like it is being ripped out of my chest and being set on fire. I can’t get the words out to tell him little own breathe. My chest feels as if it has been beaten so badly it has caved in.
“Murph … your … mom. Your mom … I … I think something. I … think something bad happened.” I mutter through the tears.
“What?! What do you mean, what happen tell me,” He shouts.
“I was walking home and … and passed by your house. There were police and … and … and an ambulance.”
“What else, did you see my mom?”
I shake my head yes because now that is all I can do seeing the look on his face of horror. He tells me he needs to go, and I tell him I’ll be fine he should go. As he bolts out the door I can only being to imagine the pain in his heart. I get up and wipe the tears from my eyes and start to head home. The whole way home I feel the sting of the events of the day. I pass by Murphy’s house on the way home but there is no one home. I can only image that they all went to see what was happening to their mother and father.
The following day at school Murphy was absent and everyone was talking about what happened. Rumors started to spread that Mrs. Brown was go to leave her husband and take the kids. Mr. Brown was upset because Mrs. Brown was having an affair with someone and Mr. Brown found out. Whatever the reason so didn’t deserve what he did to her. Rumors of that started to spread as well. Some say he beat her bloody with a frying pan and others were saying he stabbed her with a knife serval times. The Murphy children were all absent from school that day which I believe to be that Mr. Brown had killed her.
“Have you seen Murphy?” Bill asked me.
“No not since last night when I told him what I saw at his house.”
“You saw what happened?”
“No, I just saw them wheeling out Mrs. Brown on and stretcher and Mr. Brown was in handcuffs.”
“What a dirtbag, she should have left him years ago.”
“I know Bill and I think Murphy tried to tell her but she was loyal to the end.”
Bill and I left school to go check the warehouse where we often played at but Murphy was not there. We waited there until sundown hoping to see him show up but he did not show. We decided to head home but made it a point we would return everyday until he showed up to school or the warehouse. Weeks went by but we never saw Murphy again. Some say the death of his mother drove him crazy while others were saying that he killed himself. I didn’t want to believe any of the rumors but the more days that passed the more the rumors started to feel like the truth.