6 in Stepping into Psycho

  • June 25, 2022, 7:31 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

Kenneth Rand opened the door to his luxury home which sat on a sprawling five-acre parcel of land just outside the city. “Hiya, sis.”

“Hello, Kenneth,” said Flora. Flora took a moment to give her brother a once over as he leaned casually in his doorway. He was dressed in a simple polo shirt and jeans, but there was no mistaking the very expensive Gucci watch he wore as well as his gold necklace and bracelet. His loafers probably cost a fortune as well.

“What’s up?” he asked her.

“You going to invite me in?”

“Of course. Come on in.” Kenneth stepped out of the way to allow his older sister to enter his home.

Flora stepped into the foyer. Not much had changed since she’d last been there a few months ago. The rooms were spacious and sparsely decorated, the dominant color being gray, maroon and black. Very masculine.

“What’s going on these days?”

“Quite a bit actually,” she told him.

“Oh, anything good?”

“I think so.”

“So, what brings you around?”

“Promised I’d always check on my little brother, didn’t I?”

Kenneth gave her the typical eye roll that he always gave her when she said stuff like that.

“You look out for me. I look out for you. Just like always.” She glanced at her brother’s home office, perfectly aware of what he did in there and how he made what kind of income it took to live in such luxury.

“Let’s go in the kitchen and have a beer.”

Flora followed her brother into his spacious and sunny kitchen. Beyond the sliding glass doors that were beside a large oak table was a large swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Beautiful water fountains were scattered about and the lawn and flowerbeds were perfectly manicured by her brother’s hired help.

She wondered why her brother felt he needed so much space when he was usually single. He did have many friends and many parties, however. Image and social status had always seemed to be very important to her brother. Perhaps it had been because their parents had always made him feel so worthless and like he would amount to nothing. That was before he had killed them.

Seated at the table she said, “How has life been treating you?”

“Great,” said Kenneth.

Flora looked into her brother’s eyes. Such a perfect life he had. His life was now nothing but sex and money. Lots of it.

“Got a lady living with me now.”


“Remember the coma patient I told you about? The cute little Italian girl that had been in a coma for nearly thirty years?”

Kenneth shook his head and she wasn’t surprised. Anything she told him usually went in one ear and out the other unless he could somehow benefit from it.

“She woke up a couple months ago and she’s been living with me for a couple weeks now.”

“Oh, that’s nice. Is she cute?”

Ignoring him, she continued. “Recovery has been a long road for her. She still has some ways to go.”

Kenneth nodded but didn’t seem the least bit empathetic. Flora was pretty sure that he was incapable of feeling any such thing to begin with.

“I know how you make your living, Kenneth. I won’t say how I know, but I’ll just say that I know.”

A flicker of surprise and panic crossed her brother’s features.

“Oh, don’t worry. You already know that I’m good at keeping secrets.”

“What’s your point then, sis?”

“I don’t know. I guess I’m just tired of being stuck in the same old rut as I was for the longest time. I went to work, came home to an empty house, and repeated the cycle over and over, day after day, year after year.”

“Want to buy something in particular?”

“No, but I may have something to sell if things don’t work out.”

“Work out? But you said you’re not alone now. Is something else going on?”

“I’m not alone now, but I don’t know that Carissa is as happy to be with me as I was hoping she would be. Having lost so much of her life I thought she would be more adventurous, more daring, more open-minded.”

Her brother frowned with confusion. “I don’t get you. Are you saying you need my help finding a new place for her?”

“Possibly, but I sure hope not.”

Kenneth studied his older sister. Flora could tell he wasn’t sure what to make of what she was saying and realized his paranoia could be kicking in and he could be wondering if she was trying to trick or deceive him somehow. Hopefully, he was smart enough to know that if she hadn’t turned him in for murder, she wouldn’t turn him in for what he was doing now, even if his present actions affected the lives of innocent people and not physically and emotionally abusive people like their parents had been.

“I don’t know that one in her condition would be very useful. You said she was in a coma?”

“She was. She’s a bit weak and on the slow side but she’s not incapacitated in any way. She’s still a very beautiful woman. You wouldn’t know she spent nearly three decades in a coma. She doesn’t have any friends or family either. Her being slow and not having connections may be a good thing if I have to turn her over to you.”

Kenneth surprised her with a flicker of sympathy crossing his features. “Why no family?”

“They’re either dead or have moved on. I really hope things will work out, though, because she really doesn’t have any other choice and I’d really like to hang onto her.”

“Doesn’t she qualify for government assistance?”

“Yeah, but you know how shitty that is. Transportation would also be a big issue for her. She’s not going to get to the point where she can drive again, and public transportation is such a bitch that it would be quite a strain on her. I doubt she’ll ever be able to walk long distances and riding a bike is out of the question, too.”

“Uber would cost a fortune,” Kenneth pointed out, “but given her circumstances, there are probably places she could go.”

Flora nodded knowingly. “Assisted living. It isn’t like she’s completely without other alternatives.”

“Then what’s the problem? What’s going on?”

“I really like her a lot. A lot more than I think she likes me.”

Kenneth’s eyebrows shot up. “Wow, sis, you’re full of surprises at times.”

Flora grinned.

“How does she feel?”

“I’m not sure she’s picking up on my vibes. I don’t know that we’re ever going to really be on the same page there or not. Or maybe she isn’t aware of how I feel. I find that a bit hard to believe she wouldn’t be that perceptive, though.”

“The intuitive type?” Kenneth asked quizzically.

“Well, she’s no idiot. She just woke up barely two months ago, so I can’t say I know her very well. I can only go by what I sense and what my gut is telling me.”

With nothing more to say on the matter, they began to talk about other things. An hour later, Flora left the spacious house that she believed could never be a home. Kenneth was too materialistic to ever turn his house into a home. Instead, it would be a shrine to show off expensive items he collected while he screwed any woman he could lure into his lair. Her brother was plenty handsome enough, but she couldn’t see how what women would see in him other than the false hope of getting some money along with a romp in the sack. Kenneth, however, who had always had serious trust issues, would never get serious just for that matter; he would be worried the woman was only after his money. It wasn’t just that, though. Kenneth loved variety. He would easily get bored with the same woman after just a few months. Any time she had visited when he had female company, it had never been the same woman.

Flora got in her car feeling a bit glum. She usually felt that way after leaving her brother’s place. It couldn’t really be helped, though. Her brother was the only remaining link to their horrible parents and the memories they brought. But she wasn’t going to abandon her brother either. All these years she had felt guilty. Had she done a better job of protecting her little brother from their abusive father and their unhelpful mother then maybe he wouldn’t have killed them. Guilt ate at her and she felt obligated to protect Kenneth, even with all the illegal activity she knew he was into. About a decade ago, she had discovered it one day by accident when she went to use his computer. He had stepped into the bathroom and she thought she would quickly run into his office and let a friend know she would be a little late meeting her for the Christmas shopping they had planned to do together.

She honestly couldn’t say that Kenneth had literally murdered their parents and that she was an accomplice. The law might see it that way because they tended to favor parents over kids back in those days and they were the ones they believed, but it was their father that actually threw the first punch. Kenneth had returned home too late one night or something like that. But by the time their father had thrown that particular punch, Kenneth was big enough to fight back. She happened to witness that fateful night because she did live there, after all, but that didn’t make her an accomplice to murder. At least not quite.

When Kenneth had returned the punch, his aim had been perfect and with just the right amount of force to knock their father backward. As he fell back he hit his head on the corner of the coffee table. He was knocked out instantly. Flora assumed he was simply unconscious and that he would come to eventually. But they couldn’t find a pulse and it was later confirmed that he had sustained severe brain damage from the injury.

Their mother came running into the room when she heard the commotion and immediately threatened to call the police and have them both arrested for murder, swearing that she never wanted them in the first place and that they were the biggest mistake she had ever made.

“Your father never wanted children! I should have agreed to birth control!” she screamed as she charged into the kitchen for the phone. “You two screw-ups are out of here for good!”

Without hesitation, Kenneth ran after her. Flora was too stunned to open her mouth in protest. He strangled her with the phone cord and then they did their best to make it look like it had been a home invasion.

“I’ll punch out a pane of glass in the back door,” Kenneth said.

“Be sure you put on a glove first and punch it from the outside in otherwise it won’t look right,” Flora said, barely aware of her voice as she gazed down at the still form of her mother.

A horn honked behind Flora at a traffic light, shaking her from her reverie. She stepped on the gas pedal.

Thoughts of Clarissa waiting at home for her overrode the terrible images of one of the worst nights of her life.

A smile began to play across her face.

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