This story is based on the song “Caleb” by the Finnish power metal band, Sonata Arctica. Unlike most of my other fan fictions, this has only one chapter, and thus placed within this page.
A very long time ago, in a small, yet upper part of a rich suburb area, there lived a boy named Caleb. He didn’t live much of a social life, not when his father was concerned with his high paying position and always gave Caleb harsh lessons when mistakes were made. The father only showed kindness when Caleb was broken within and gave up hope, filling his ears with how the world will never show mercy to the weak, and to never be like Caleb’s mother. That alone, to not be like his mother, was the only thing Caleb and his father could agree to.
His mother, watched Caleb like a hawk, at most times. Not that she loved him dearly, oh no. She often vented her anger upon him, for being such a burden in her life. His face and eyes reminded her too much of his father, too good for her. When she wasn’t lashing out at him, she would spread lies of how great he was to her friends, trying to keep up the charade, waltzing with lies. Even at parties, she would grab Caleb’s arm, force him into a room and warn him not to make a fool in front of anyone. Not to speak unless spoken to, and not to talk to any of the girls. The last thing she would ever want is for her burden to do is find happiness.
After that, she would bring him out back to the party, smiling and clasping her son’s hand. She was such an angel in front of everyone, but Caleb saw the devil’s smile on her face. Soon after the party, back at the house, the parents could be heard yelling at each other.
“He’s a shame! He’s not right in the head!” Caleb would hear from his mother.
“He’s your mistake! Now we have to deal with him like we deal with any other damn issue!” Caleb would hear from his father. He could do nothing, and nothingness was always a welcomed guest in his life. He was in his room, holding himself together. In his dreams, he would find himself being at his parent’s funeral, saying “I’m happy you’re both dead”.
Time has passed, and Caleb grew to become a fine young man. And his father, got older and less prone to what his wife was doing behind his back. He knew very well that she was capable of doing many evil deeds, planning out those long vacations only for herself, and receiving offers for property they owned. He also became more attached to Caleb, telling little by little of what is going on. The father knew that this would not end well with his wife, but he had to put his trust into what Caleb could become. Something that the wife drew to hate, Caleb becoming the same portrait of his father.
Caleb’s father would still lash out whenever a mistake was made, but settled down because of his heart. It was growing weak due to this unholy and chaotic marriage, while the wife’s grew dark and corrupt. She still told lies about how happy she was, and that they were planning on moving to a bigger and better house. Somewhere up north, near a small fishing town and an abandoned lighthouse. Caleb shuddered to think that she would live a happy life, one without having to pay for her sins. Caleb’s father saw in him the desire for revenge…
During one summer’s night, Caleb’s father called him to his bedroom. There, his father lying in bed, weak and feeling his heart giving out. Caleb drew near to him, and the father clutched his jacket, bringing him closer.
“Listen well, Caleb,” the father said with a faint voice, “Your mother and I never gave you the love that most other children have received from their parents. But I only did what I thought was necessary to make you into a fine, young man that you are now.” But he never knew of the long nights Caleb would have alone in his room, stealing some beer and wine from the basement. Drinking away his pain and problems, it all seemed to be the only solution. Caleb actually became more distressed with his situation, and wanted to rid himself of it. And now, it would seem that opportunity would come at last.
“Now it is time to ring the bells for your mother, and bring forth her fall” Caleb’s father said, still breaking for air. He pointed towards a key on the desk, “Use that key for the box in my closet” he finished with a faint voice. Caleb got up, grabbed the key and headed into the closet. The father could no longer see Caleb, for he was deep into the thickness of coats and other clothing. He did however, hear that metal box being picked up, and the rattling within. Nothing more to be said when Caleb came out, gun in hand. He walked towards his father, sat back down, and tucked him in.
Caleb’s father felt the cold clutch of Death around his heart, a few heavy breathes, then silence, and finally darkness shrouding his vision. Still, there was silence. It was loud. It could be heard all around Caleb, but not in his mind. No, for in there you could hear the gears turning, and they have been since he was a child. This was the time to end it all. To bring an end to his mother’s deadly waltz.
She was staying in her summer home, off by the lake. Her guest arrived, flowers and money in hand. This was a common theme to her, leave for a long vacation by herself, and sell off as much land that her dumb husband owned. She poisoned the marriage right from the beginning, but it was Caleb’s birth that made her regret not using the pills. For all this time, she was with others, scheming on how to live in paradise of ignorance, and leaving behind all that was expendable.
On the lake, Caleb rowed towards that monster, one that enslaved him over the years. A deadly saint she was, wrong in mind and wicked in her ways. That was a constant reminder from his father, and they were words he had kept since childhood. He arrived at the docks, got out, and crept towards the windows. There, he saw a man with a bundle of flowers, a brief case, and his mother walking down the stairs. She greeted him with a long and firm kiss, and each passing moment told Caleb to wait. He had to, but he didn’t know why. The couple went up the stairs, and the window was already opened. Caleb slipped inside, silently walking up the stairs. He hid in the room filed with boxes next to where his mother and guest were. He would have to wait for his time. An hour passed, and all he could her was his mother’s moans and laughter. A drop of sweat dropped on the gun. The wait had to end, this all had to end now!
Time slowed down, as if the Devil wanted to savor each and every moment. Caleb burst into the room with the gun pointing between his mother’s eyes. She gasped in shock, and then he shot. The bullet went quickly through her skull and hit the wall, but that wasn’t enough. The bells tolled. He continued to shoot her body as it fell. The man’s eyes were filled with horror, then blank as Caleb put an end to him as well. Three shots through the heart. The bells tolled even louder. Caleb’s finger couldn’t stop moving, the gun kept firing at the dead bodies.
In the end, all he could hear were the clicks from his empty gun. Caleb felt a cold shiver all over his body. The sudden realization of what happened hit him like a train, he was free. First a smile, then laughter. His tears came rolling down as he dropped to the floor. He did what his father could not, thinking that this was a decision he could live with. Again, silence crept in from all around, covering the noise reality made with those dead bodies.
Twenty years have passed since then, and Caleb already had gotten married. His wife is expecting a baby soon, not sure if it was a boy or a girl. That didn’t matter to him, not as long as it won’t know the grand mother. He would make sure no one would ever remember her.
While this story is the property of Eric McVinney, the title and references from any Sonata Arctica song belongs to Sonata Arctica. Distribution to any unauthorized persons are prohibited.