Chapter 2 “Family Secrets”

Every family has them. But as the Brandon’s pick up and move into their dearly departed grandmother’s house, the locked up secrets will be waiting like a deadly undercurrent to welcome them home.

(excerpt from Ch. 2 Tunneling)

Hallie could tell that the storyteller in their mother was emerging because she took off the hair tie she wore on her wrist and swept up her long coppery locks into a ponytail. This was always a telltale sign that Mom was about to elaborate on her crazy past.

“My mother was beautiful and exotic. She was from Brazil and moved here with her family as a teenager. She knew only a little English and spoke mostly Portuguese. My dad used to tell me how captivated he was by her rich black curls and pale blue eyes and how spellbound he was  by all the fanciful stories she could weave in and out of her imagination. At first he thought she was incredibly gifted and would always encourage her to write down her fairytales, believing that someday he’d help her get them published. After years passed, my mother’s stories got more intense. It was after giving birth to me, though, when Dad began to understand that these elaborate stories were actual paranoid fantasies, which turned these fears into her reality.”

Collin flopped onto his back, pressing his head deep into the pillow. “Whew, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be trapped in your own fairytale nightmare!”

“That’s why my dad tried desperately to get help. After going to different psychologists in Hawthorne, the doctors diagnosed my mother with severe schizophrenia and tried convincing him she would be best cared for at their facility. He refused and had to keep her heavily medicated at home, trying to keep her as comfortable as he could. We also had a live-in nurse. That helped until she just got too unmanageable and needed constant care.”

“Were you sad when she moved out?” Hallie asked.

“Not really, because I never got to know who she was. I remember the day they came to pick her up. I sneaked into her room to look through the window, peering down as they escorted her out. She stopped midway in the driveway and just took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and smiled, as if content for the first time.” Mom stopped and thought for a while. “I can almost picture her now that she’s gone, with that same contented look on her face, because she finally doesn’t have to suffer anymore.” She looked down at Hallie and brushed her wayward bangs aside.

ch3 FamilySecrets


How many times does history repeat itself? Only when we face our past can we go on to change our future.

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