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Fantasticoe 1997

The Last Thursday

Lisa Holub

"Hey Jimmy. Lets skateboard down Elmcrest Street?" They stood at the bottom of the hill that led to old man Hudson's House.

"No Bobby. Mom said it is too dangerous to be around old man Hudson when it is so close to the first Thursday of November. Besides Mom is probably wondering where we are. We should probably go home."

Old man Hudson's house was eerie and creepy. Nobody dared to go up there unless it was daylight. His white house had been chipping paint for years. What windows weren't broken, were so grimy that nobody could see what the inside of his house looked like. Hudson's lawn looked like a junk yard. He was a pack rat and saved everything. Hudson was the outcast of the town. The old man never had any friends. Even the newcomers that moved in wouldn't talk to him. He looked so filthy wearing the same holey red and black flannel and worn out blue jeans everyday. In the town of two thousand people, everyone thought he had murdered his three manly sons, his wife, and his darling baby daughter. On the first Thursday in November one family member died for the last five years. This year would be different. He had no more family members to kill. Still, it didn't make it any easier for people to talk to him.

"Don't give me that! You are just a momma's boy and will do whatever she says."

"Hudson makes me feel weird. He gives me the creeps."

"I don't care! I'm going to visit that old man." Bobby screamed as he started slowly up the ghastly street.

Jim couldn't just sit there and watch his brother. He was tired of Bobby demanding and controlling his every move ever since their father died in a fatal car accident. As a twelve-year-old, Bobby acted like the man of the house and Jimmy couldn't understand because he was only two years younger. Jimmy had been terrified of death ever since his father had died. He began having nightmares about himself dying in a tragic accident. Every night he would die differently. This forced him to act more as a coward. He didn't try new experiences and he was no longer brave.

"Hey Bobby! Wait up!"

After a long struggle, they both made it up Elmcrest Hill. Exhausted and out of breath the two boys looked at each other amazed to see old man Hudson outside. He was never outside in daylight. The only time anyone saw him was on late Saturday nights when he would go to St. Jonathan's Church, and mourn for his loved ones that had died. People in the town thought it was just a plea to make him look more innocent. Before his family had died, Hudson had never stepped a foot into church. Everyone suspected the reason he went to church was because he didn't want anyone to think he murdered his family. Nobody would visit the church after they noticed. People would walk by the church on Saturday nights, Hudson would be in the first pew, on his knees with his hands pressed tightly together and his head resting on them. Father Nabels would be directing the sermon like always but, he would be staring only at one person. All the other pews were completely empty and the priest's voice echoed throughout St. Jonathan's. People often thought that Father Nabels believed in Hudson's innocence, and that is why he kept the sermon going each Saturday.

The two boys kept their eyes on Hudson. He slowly limped to his shed, and stayed in there for a few minutes. The boys just stood there like statues. When Hudson came out he was carrying an axe, and looked insane with anger. Frustration showed upon his withered and aged face. His facial features were distorted, which were undescribable to the boys. But yet the boys saw in the distance his eyes. People could never see Hudson's eyes, his grey hair and beard covered it up. Even though the two boys saw the same pair of eyes, Bobby, who was like all the people in the town, saw eyes capable . . . capable of the unknown dangers and rage that he had for his family. Jimmy looked deeper into his eyes. They looked dead; without feeling or emotion. Then Hudson whipped his head in the direction of the boys, stared into their eyes, and screamed, "What in the hell are you two boys doing on my property. Get out of here before I sick my dog on you."

The two boys immediately skateboarded down the hill as fast as their little muscular legs could take them. Bobby and Jimmy didn't stop at the bottom of the hill they kept going until they reached the driveway. The boys didn't speak a word of what they saw to anyone. Bobby and Jimmy made an oath to keep it between themselves.

"Bobby I have never seen you so scared before. It's not like he is going to kill both of us in broad day light. He is not that insane!"

"Shut up! I was not scared. I was trying to protect you. You looked petrified."

Both Jimmy and Bobby knew that was a lie. Bobby remembered the look he saw in Jimmy's eyes. The fear vanished and confidence replaced it. Old man Hudson made Jimmy sparkle just like Dad used to. Ever since that night Jimmy was a different boy. He no longer was scared of trying new things. He became brave again; brave like he was before Dad died.

A couple days had passed and everybody couldn't wait for Thursday to end. The town had dreaded this day for many years. The people of Cellan were very jumpy and unexpected of what was going to happen on this particular night. Nobody was left in his family for Hudson to murder. Normally, everybody would lock their doors before dark and remain in their house for the night. Bob's place, the local bar in town, Jack and Jill's, and The Food Mart would shut down for the remaining part of the evening. Even the town police officer would go home to his family because nobody would be out on the streets. It was very peculiar how an old man like Hudson could have control over everybody's lives on the first Thursday in November. That was his day and the town knew it.

Jimmy started to act very unusual. Bobby thought he should keep an eye on him. Ever since they were on Elmcrest Street, Jimmy had been acting unlike is normal little kid self. In nine short days Jimmy had turned into a man who wasn't scared of anything. Bobby didn't have to tuck him into bed and Jimmy even brought in the firewood at night time by himself.

"Is there anything wrong Jimmy? You've been acting kind of strange lately."

"No I'm just tired. I think I'm going to bed."

Jimmy had been waiting for the last Thursday in November to come ever since he saw Hudson when they were skateboarding. It was crucial for Jimmy to see what was going to happen to Hudson or what Hudson was going to do before anyone else in town would. His Dad had taught him to be an individual. Jimmy knew he couldn't be like everyone else and stay locked up at home, he had to go to Hudson's house. Jimmy decided he would sneak out of the house and go alone to Hudson's.

Jimmy couldn't wait until the neighborhood lights shut off. It seemed like an eternity, but after a couple of hours the whole town was dark except for the dim streetlights that were scattered throughout the neighborhood. Jimmy slowly got out of bed and threw on the same clothes he had on earlier that night. He nervously tiptoed throughout the house, careful not to wake anyone. He grabbed his skateboard and rode like he never rode that skateboard before. When Jimmy came to Elmcrest Street, he took a deep breath and started creeping up the hill. It was a little chilly outside, and he could see his own breath throughout the darkness. Finally he was at the top. There was one light that gleamed from what seemed to be the living room window. He slowly walked through old man Hudson's yard and rubbed off some grease and slime that had appeared on the broken down window. It was hard for Jimmy to get his eyes to focus but, when they did his eyes were amazed to find an immaculate house. The floors were gleaming from black and white tiles, the fireplace was lit with burning firewood, the white leathered love seat was placed in the center of the room with a glass end table that had ivory legs that supported it. On the table was a bottle of wine and an opener. Then appeared Hudson, Jimmy never noticed that Hudson's house represented him, they were both gloomy and hellish on the outside but rather innocent and heartful on the inside, he entered the room and gently sat on the couch. His eyes weren't saying anything. They still looked dead. But then Jimmy heard him scream, "Why is my life so awful, why doesn't this town believe that I had nothing to do with killing my family, my own flesh and blood." By this time he was standing up. He started to wail! Jimmy also felt a tear fall from his cheek because Jimmy also felt Hudson's innocence. Soon it was too much, he grabbed the glass of wine took a long gasping drink and held the opener in his hand with the long needle pointing to his chest that was used to pull the cork out of the full bottle of wine and then in one moment took his own life and fell to the floor. On his last breath I heard him say I love my family and I should soon be with you, as a single tear flowed from his sorrow stricken eyes.

Jimmy was in shock and a little bit puzzled. He had no idea what he was going to do. Suddenly Jimmy started to run, then immediately he stopped and wondered why he was running. He wasn't running because he was scared of what he had just seen. He was running because he was free from thinking he was going to die. A humongous barrier had been lifted from his shoulders.

"I am not afraid of dying," gasped Jimmy.

As Jimmy walked home, he understood that Hudson really didn't commit suicide; some people die for a reason and Hudson was one of those guys. Jimmy believed that Hudson's job was to be with his family because his family still needed a father to raise them in heaven. Maybe, God took my Dad's life because he needed to be with his parents and God knew my mother could raise Bobby and me by herself.

Acknowledgments: I would like to thank everyone in my class because they provided me with important suggestions in making my story more developed and descriptive. I enjoyed reading everyone's ideas and I used many of them in my story. I also would like to thank Terry Heller; his advice was used often with the revision process, and it made my story more complete.

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