Alfred was a disturbed child. His parents most of the time ignored him, and paid more attention to their new baby girl. So he spent most of his childhood alone, in his room, playing with his action figures. Until the day he met a strange new friend, what most people would call imaginary.
Alfred named him Shadow, because, well... he was pretty much Alfred's shadow. Though most would call him imaginary, he seemed too real for Alfred. Shadow spoke, played with his action figures, and even smiled from time to time.
Though the years went on, and Shadow grew more and more silent. His glowing white grin slowly faded away until there was not a hint of what was left of Shadow. As Shadow disappeared, so did Alfred's knowledge of his existence.
Alfred's life began to straighten up. He grew up into a healthy sixteen year old boy. He made new hobbies, such as football. He fell in love with a wonderful, beautiful girl. Nothing in the world could be wrong. Though Alfred at one point had to go to therapy. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, though it was at a low level. Alfred couldn't even fall asleep, for he was afraid of his own terrible dream that he couldn't even remember.
Alfred walked into an old brick building. The building had vines curling up its walls, making it seem more sinister. It smelled of rusted metal and burned paper. Huge letters hung over its door. The letters were once proud and welcoming, but now have been lost in time. They spelled, "Gretal High School."
The 'T' leaned over the 'A' as if asking it for support.
As Alfred stepped into the old high school, he was greeted by his many friends there. As he returned the greeting, his lover walked up to him and kissed him on his pale cheek. She giggled and skipped back into the Gym, her high-heels clanking over the plain white tiles.
Alfred finally walked into his class and took a seat just as the bell rang. He looked in front of him, seeing big words printed on a sheet of paper:
"#2 WEEK MATH TEST."
The class fell silent as they scribbled and wrote with their pens on the test.
As the room filled with silence, a soft hum whispered though the teen's ear. The same tune played and Alfred became nervous. He tapped his pen on his paper, his eyes peering around frantically. Though something was off, as normal as this was for Alfred. He felt off balanced, almost lightheaded. He turned to his teacher, her voice becoming muffled. As he turned away the scene around him slowed. They ground opened up as the tiles fell into the darkness. Right before Alfred could scream, the scene faded to black.
"Alfred, head up please." Alfred jolted up, as if a loud noise scared him.
He turned towards his teacher, who was right in front of him, and calmly said, "Sorry, my bad." The girls behind him giggled and gossiped with each other.
Alfred turned to his test slowly. His blurry vision cleared as he saw the problems on the test paired with answers.
'Odd,' he thought.
He pushed his paper to the side, revealing large letters carved into the desk.
"LOVE." The messy letters spelled. Alfred didn't think too much about this, so he turned in his paper.
The teen walked back home in silence after a stressful day at school. He zipped up his gray hoodie even though it was hot out. His red backpack slumped on his shoulders with the weight it carried. Alfred pushed his dark brown hair away from his face and turned at his neighborhood.
He paused, turning at his house in which cars surrounded. Alfred walked through the crowds of people. For an instant, he could see his house. Black letters were lurking on the brick walls. They spelled out the ugly word, "Hate."
Alfred began to push through. "Stop! This is a crime scene! I'm going to ask you to get out of the way!"
A tall, quite fat, cop snapped as he pushed Alfred away.
"This is my house! Get out of the way!"
In a rage, the teen pushed his way through to see what all the trouble was about. Another man stopped him, "Is your name Alfred?" He said, pushing up his thin wire glasses. Alfred nodded and the man led him towards the front of the house.
He looked down at him and gave a depressed look, "I'm afraid your parents have been... Murdered. We don't know who the killer is." Alfred stared at the man, his eyes wide in shock and his mouth slightly parted.
Alfred sat upon a bed at his aunt's house. It's been a month since Alfred's parents died, and it was still hard to take in. His alarm clock began to buzz, its metallic chime ringing throughout the house. Alfred stood up, pulled his backpack over his shoulder, waved to his sister, and walked out.
The same old happenings of the day repeated itself till he ended up sitting in the gym watching a prep finale. A shark mascot danced wildly on the gym floors as the cheerleaders gathered around for a final cheer. The room grew silent and a soft tune began to hum. Alfred panicked as again he began to black out. He only heard the muffled sounds of cheering and clapping. Slowly the scene once again faded to darkness. Though this time, besides waking up without remembering, he dreamed. A little white speck glowed in the distance, it growing quite larger with time. At first Alfred thought this was a way out, but it twisted and turned till it was closer to Alfred. There, in front of his eyes, was a white grin peering at him. It stared blankly at him as memories rushed into his head. Now he saw his childhood playmate in front of him, Shadow.
Finally, Alfred woke from his second black out. He jolted upwards just to be pulled back down. He wearily looked down to see he was in a hospital bed. That wasn't the strangest thing though. He peered at his hands which were tightly strapped down with leather straps. A door creaked open as a tall doctor walked in. His eyes were wide in shock as he saw Alfred awake, "Excuse me?! What's going on?!" Alfred snapped. The doctor was shaken, and responded slowly, "Y-you blacked out after-" He began to shake, "How could you do that to so many people? Where did the knife even come from!" Alfred looked at his torso, which was bandaged up pretty tight.
"You killed sixteen people.... How-" The doctor shuddered, "Nine students, seven adults. Also—the test results came back from your parent's crime scene. All the evidence pointed to you! The teachers said you were in school!"
So there Alfred sat, his shadow lurking behind him. He sat there silently in the empty metal room. The mental institute's walls were dark and rusty. All he could do is listen to his childhood friend sing. Shadow's smile was bright and glowing. A door creaked open, letting out a tiny light.
"Alright, lunch time." The man in front of the doorway tossed a gray hoodie towards Alfred. The teen caught it and pulled in on. As he did so the man pushed a lunch tray in the cell. Alfred looked at the tray, not feeling that hungry. The man closed the door abruptly as Alfred crawled over to the tray. He looked down, still seeing bandages wrapped around his torso.
Curiously, he took off his hoodie and slowly unwrapped it. Layers and layers came off and more blood specks were seen. Finally the last layer came off, revealing his wound. There across his torso was a carved in word. Alfred's eyes widened as he sounded it out, "Murder."
Shadow began to sing louder and louder. The same awful tune that haunted Alfred's life:
"Three bad mistakes."
"Three bad mistakes."
"Three bad mistakes."
"Love, hate, murder."
"Now you go to hell..."