Fingerprints 3

Somewhere in Columbus, Ohio there lived a young boy. Josh was always a normal child, always doing normal things.

At least, that's what it looked like from the outside. Inside Josh always felt alone, his father was a cocaine addict and his mother not too bright.

Keeping to himself in his room and playing with the many toys they bought to occupy him with, it always felt so empty.

That's when Josh had wished for a friend. When Josh was 6, he spent most of the time in the bathroom, playing with the water, or in his room, playing with his toys.

One day a large mirror on the inside of the bathroom door caught his attention. It was himself, he knew that. He always knew that but there was something about him that was different. His appearance didn't move and smile like he did.

The mirror was a long mirror, about half the size of the door and could easily show his full stature. It was the middle of the afternoon, his mother was sleeping and his father was at work when the young boy he was looking at spoke to him.

"Want to play?"

Josh didn't know what to make of it. He didn't feel scared, but it all felt so real to him. The reality overtook him as the boy seemed to move from the mirror in front of him.

Josh just smiled like usual, and nodded his head.

The boy led himself to Josh's room, where the ground was cluttered with Josh's toys. This allowed the two to laugh and play together with ease. Over the next few months, Josh's parents always noticed the loud noises coming from Josh and his room. Always talking to himself, toys moving around as he played. His parents always asked who he was talking to or who he was playing with. Several times assuming he had an imaginary friend but Josh always answered with absolute certainty, "Jacob."

Over the next two years, Josh had been focusing more on cartoons and real life friends then playing with Jacob. Sometimes, when Josh wasn't home, his mother could hear toys dropping upstairs. Jacob didn't appear too often but there was always a sign that he was there and Josh was beginning to fear his room. Josh was afraid of even being near upstairs if he was alone.

When Josh turned nine, a lot of things were going wrong. He was beginning to feel others' emotions easily; however, it wasn't like empathy. It was more like feeling sympathy and sorrow. Josh was already showing signs of anxiety because of his fears and now this new turn was worrying everyone around him. No one believed that he had a friend in his own room. Although his father didn't believe him, his father could sense the adamant fear within Josh's eyes whenever he was forced to go to his room alone. Over this year, Josh had forced himself to sleep in the living room.

In the fall, Josh entered fourth grade and was beginning to forget all about his young friend. That was when the nightmares began. They were nothing serious at first. Things disappearing, his pets dying, his friends leaving. Things that one day did happen and not too far fetched either. But not in the way they were shown. His dreams were over exaggerated, a lot more gory and frightening for a child his age to even think up but he kept their existence to himself.

Weeks passed and the dreams got more intense as his birthday passed, the next year coming around and everything went by normally. In March, the dreams began again except this time. It showed his father. Someone breaking in and killing him.

Repeatedly mutilating his body until there was nothing left. The next day, his mother and father got into a large fight but nothing too different, there was just so much negative energy in the air. It was as if anger and rage itself was filling the house but still, Josh was scared of his dream and begged his mother to stay home though she ignored his pleads.

Earlier that day, Josh's uncle had dropped off a computer for his father fix it up. It was so that Josh could have it for school and socializing. Josh's father had stayed up late to finish it after Josh had fallen asleep on the living room floor.

A small mattress from a pull-out couch was laid across the floor so he could rest peacefully. The next morning, Josh woke up. His morning cartoons were over and he was almost late for school. The first thing that he did was try to wake his father up. Screaming at him for making him miss his cartoons.

Josh's father didn't wake. No matter how many times his small hands pushed his fathers body, rocking it back and forth, he didn't move. Screaming 'Daddy!' over and over before noticing a pale gray bubble formed around his lips. Out of instinct, Josh ran into the kitchen and grabbed a knife. Protruding the bubble and breaking it open. The foam moved but his father still wasn't breathing.

His mother worked night shift and would be home within the hour and his mind couldn't even think about the police. His mom was the only thing running through his mind as he ran up the steps. His fear, disappearing as he rummaged through his room for the phone book to call the number his mom had left him. Returning downstairs, Josh called the number but she was already on her way home. Still in his pajamas, Josh walked outside and sat on the front steps. He couldn't cry anymore. He just couldn't.

He couldn't tell how long it took his mother to come home but the moment she drove into the drive way, she could tell something was wrong. Asking Josh what was wrong, he replied in a single, monotone voice. Over and over.

"Dad Dead."

"Dad Dead."

"Dad Dead."

Running inside, she found his father's corpse on the floor. Josh walked in slowly, keeping still, watching as she fumbled for the phone to call the police. Crying for him to come back. Crying for him to be okay. Josh just stood there. His eyes watching the scene.

It wasn't long for the police and medics to arrive. They said that his father had not died in his sleep, but in fact fell. Having a heart attack and a stroke at the same time as if something scared him. While the Medics were there, Josh sat on the top step of the stairs looking down. He swore he could hear Jacob's laughter, however drowned out by the people. As the medics left, one thing bore into Josh's mind as the medics spoke loud enough so that he could hear.

"If your son knew CPR, he could have saved his life."

Depression took hold of Josh from that point on. Things leaving and dying around him. Disappearing. None of it could even be explained and anyone that dated him stated that something told them to leave. Josh was forever cursed and haunted by that little boy from the mirror. The little boy now trapped within himself. Forever watching his very step.

If you're ever lonely... Never try to play with yourself.

Written by Fallen Itami
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