Ever since Jeff the Killer had left his home many years ago, no one had dared go near his old house. Not even the police. Therefore, the bodies of his parents and his brother, Liu, had been untouched, decomposing, rotting away in the house that was once so happy. Now it reminded the town of nothing but what had happened all those years ago.
Jeff was 19 years old when he happened upon the house again. He had been killing people nationwide, and travelled wherever the flow of blood would take him. Today it lured him back to the neighborhood. He saw the house he once lived in. "Well well WELL!" he said, somewhat surprised. "If it isn't my old home!" He ran to the door and opened it, and called into the house, "Hi mommy! Hi daddy! I'm home!" He laughed, knowing no living human being was still in the house. All of his old electronics and drawings were still scattered on the floor. His homework assignments from when he was in the hospital were on the dining room table collecting dust. What's more, the TV was still on. He was surprised the electric company hadn't cut off the electricity yet. Maybe they had just decided to ignore the state of this old house. Jeff kicked off his shoes and plopped onto the dusty old couch. It smelled like an old book now.
Something hard hurt his back as he laid down. He sat up to see what it was, and it was just an old NES controller. NES... He recalled that before bedtime, before his smile ever even existed, Jeff and Liu had played a round of Super Mario Bros. A memory came into his mind of that very moment.
Jeff was laughing. "Ah, Liu, I'm so glad I survived that fire!" he had said to his older brother. "I feel fantastic! I think I might even be able to go to school tomorrow!"
Liu chuckled a little, worried for his brother. "Jeff, don't get ahead of yourself. You still need to rest."
Jeff interrupted him, "And we will go together! Promise!"
Jeff had never recalled breaking a promise before that night.
He shook the memory out of his head. However, there was still someone he wanted to see. Jeff got off the couch and started up the stairs. "Oh, LIUUUU~ BROTHER DEAAAARRR~~~" he called. Of course, there was no reply. He reached a door with a sign on it that read, "Liu's Room. No entry unless you knock." So, respecting his deceased brother's wishes, Jeff knocked thrice on the door, then barged right in. "Hey Liu! How've you been??" he asked the bloody corpse that lay on the floor. The knife was still in Liu's chest, his eyes remained open, and his chin and lips were stained with blood. His body looked dry and grey, dead as a doorknob. Jeff laughed. "Wow, bro! You don't look so good! You need to go outside! Get a life!" Jeff laughed more, rolling on the floor and banging his fist on the carpet. Liu didn't move.
Jeff's laughter slowly began to fade, and with tears of joy in his eyes, he looked at his dead brother again. Suddenly, something came over Jeff. It was a warm wave of affection that seemed to wash over his whole body and eliminate some of his insanity. Other than the smile carved into his cheeks, Jeff's actual smile faded. His eyes widened in horror as he saw what he had done to Liu. He even doubted what he saw was real at first.
"Liu...?" he whispered. He crawled to the corpse and shook it. "Come on, Liu, wake up." Liu's body was cold, and it didn't move other than a few drops of cold, dark blood springing up from the knife in his heart. "Liu, this isn't funny!!" Jeff began to scream. "Come on, get up!! Wake up!!" Jeff shook Liu violently. Liu's eyes rolled into the back of his head. Jeff started to laugh and cry at the same time. "This is all just a joke, isn't it?" he said. "Yeah, you're just pulling a trick on me! You're not dead! I missed stabbing your stomach! You survived, and pretended to be dead just so I wouldn't come back for you! And you're just asleep right now is all! Yeah! And when you wake up you'll say, 'Surprise! I got you good, Jeff!' And then you'll laugh, and I'll laugh with you, just like old times!" He shook Liu as hard as he could. "ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS WAKE UP!!!"
Liu didn't move.
Jeff suddenly realized, he had killed his only brother who loved him unconditionally. He held the body of his closest family member and sobbed into the bloody chest. As he cried, he whispered, "I'm so sorry, Liu."
Later that evening, Jeff dragged Liu's body into the backyard and got the shovel from the garage. Jeff dug a grave for Liu, wrapped his brother's body in a blanket, and lowered it into the shallow hole. Before he covered Liu's body with the dirt again, he laid something onto his body. It was a picture Jeff had drawn in kindergarten, of him and Liu as stick figures, holding hands with a heart above them. In a small child's handwriting it read, "I love you big bubber," with all the E's backwards. Once the parchment was with his older brother, Jeff proceeded to toss the dirt onto Liu. When he was completely covered, Jeff made a small tombstone out of an old brick that had fallen off of the house as it decomposed with time, as well. He wrote in Sharpie, "Liu Anderson, 199X - 200X, R.I.P. Brother" and put it at the head of the grave.
Jeff retreated inside as it began to rain. He couldn't go anywhere as long as the rain was this heavy, so he decided to stay one more night at his old house. He went to his room and slipped under the covers to rest. Rest, but not sleep. He hadn't slept in years. He couldn't, he had no eyelids. So he lay there, thinking about how Liu must have felt to see Jeff above him with that knife. Much to his surprise, Jeff was terrified.
All of a sudden he heard glass break downstairs. Jeff sat up in his bed and grabbed the knife on his bedside table to protect himself. "Wh-who's there?!" he screamed.
No reply. Just the refrigerator door opening.
It must be a burglar, Jeff thought, and ran down the stairs with his knife in hand. Just as he was about to thrust the knife into whoever had broken in, he stopped cold at the threshold of the kitchen. There, in the middle of the kitchen floor, was a blue, glowing figure. It had no specific features about it, other than it seemed like just a glowing mist. Jeff pointed his knife at the mist and shook. "Wh...what are you?" The mist seemed to turn to face Jeff, but did not change or do anything otherwise. "COWARD! SHOW ME WHO THE HELL YOU ARE!!" Jeff screamed at the mist.
Just as he said that, the mist began to grow until it was about 6 feet high, Liu's height. It shook its head, letting its hair fall to its shoulders. The same length of hair Liu had. Then it opened its eyes. They were blood red, and as soon as its eyes opened, blood flowed from its eyes, nose, mouth... and a stab in its chest. The figure spoke. "...hello...brother..."
Jeff's mouth fell agape, and he dropped the knife, his eyes filled with tears. "Liu... It's really you...?"
The ghost nodded.
"Liu...!" Jeff cried, and he ran to the figure. Knowing what Jeff was going to do, Liu solidified himself as best as he could, and Jeff was able to wrap his arms around his brother and cry into his shoulder. Liu petted the back of his killer and whispered, "...sshh...it's okay..."
Jeff cried louder, "No, it's NOT okay! It's FAR from okay!!" Jeff shivered with sorrow. "I'm so sorry, Liu, I didn't mean to kill you... I just... My sanity... I... I couldn't help it... I had to kill... I couldn't see who was in front of me when I was killing, I didn't know where my feet were taking me, all I know is I had to kill! I didn't even know I killed YOU until later on! Even then I was too insane to mourn! So I just left you... Oh, God, Liu, you must have been so scared... And I... I did this to you..." Jeff touched the stab on his brother's chest. "I'm sorry, Liu, it wasn't my fault I got this way, I... It was those...those...those bullies! Those heartless bullies who sent you to JDC and changed my sanity and appearance... Randy, Kieth and Troy... Those idiots... They're the ones who made us like this... I didn't want this to happen, Liu, honestly, I was hoping we were going to live, and be able to watch each other grow up and see our families..." Jeff kept rambling on like this, explaining why he thought this wasn't fair, and how it was all the bullie's faults, then all HIS fault, then all their parents' faults, then all his fault again, then--
A hard hand hit Jeff across the head. Jeff lost his balance and fell on the floor. He looked up at Liu, who gazed down at him. Liu wasn't happy.
"STOP," ordered Liu. Jeff shrank away and became quiet. Liu sighed. "I know it wasn't your fault. I know my brother, Jeff. And my brother was not the one who killed me."
Jeff's lower lip trembled, and his face twisted into what appeared to be a happy grimace. Jeff hid his face in his hands and cried again. This was the most he had cried in many years. And in crying, he felt his face. The gaps in his cheeks. The leathery texture of his skin. Most of all, the lack of eyelids. Desperately, Jeff scrambled to his feet and up the stairs. In the bathroom, on the floor, were his mostly rotten chunks of cheek he had carved out many years ago. He washed them off as best as he could and got out a needle and some thread. He tried to sew the cheeks back in to his face, but it was no use. The chunks had dried out and shrunk like jerky. Jeff ripped the cheeks out of his face and sobbed into the sink. He got out a spare knife he kept in his pocket, and started for his leg, to cut some skin out to replace his cheeks and eyelids. But he couldn't carve anything more into his body. He couldn't stand it. So much pain had been done. Jeff had killed everyone; his parents, his brother, complete strangers, everyone he'd met on his journeys.
Jeff made up his mind that he wanted out.
He went back down to the kitchen and got the bigger knife he had before. He stood at the kitchen window, looking out at Liu's grave. "Wait up, bro," he whispered, "I'm coming." As he said this, he held the knife to his chest. He was going to die the way he had killed his brother.
Jeff felt the knife get knocked out of his hands. Liu stood/floated on the floor, steaming. "Jeff, what are you doing?!" he lashed out at his brother.
"I can't take it anymore, Liu," Jeff cried, "I can't stand the thought of what I've done! There's only one way out and that's with my final kill! MY kill!"
Liu restrained his brother in his arms. "Calm down," he told Jeff. "Don't kill yourself, you idiot." He held Jeff by his shoulders and looked him straight in the eyes. "Listen, Jeff. I understand that you killed me because you were insane. Killing people makes your insanity grow, makes it happy. But it doesn't make YOU happy. And I know becoming what I am now isn't going to make you happy either. You have the opportunity to do something I can't do anymore, Jeff, and that's LIVE. USE this opportunity to change the world for the better, if killing is all you can do!"
"But how??" Jeff sobbed. "Killing brings about nothing but sadness... I should have realized this sooner."
"No! Use your killing to benefit the world! Not destroy it!"
"I can't! My insanity will make me want to kill for fun again."
"Then kill for fun, Jeff. Just do what makes you happy. That's all I want for you is to see my brother be happy. Hey, maybe someday you'll be like the next Jack the Ripper, huh? Sheesh, Jeff, some people LOVE that guy! Besides, for some reason the ladies are into killers these days. It's some sort of phase, I guess. But anyway, go out and do what makes you happy. Go out and kill." Liu put his cold hand on Jeff's heart. "I'll always be with you. And I'll support you no matter what choice you make... As long as it's not killing yourself. That's off limits."
"Don't kill yourself or I won't let you play Super Mario Bros. with me in the afterlife!"
Jeff gasped as though that were a serious punishment. Jeff and Liu stared at each other for what seemed to be hours. Suddenly Jeff stifled a chuckle. His chuckle began to grow into a laugh. As he laughed louder, his insanity began to grow again. He held his head to the sky and laughed like the maniac he really was. He looked Liu in the eyes again. "You're right!" he spoke. "I wouldn't want that at all! Okay, Liu, I'll make myself happy and I won't kill myself. But first, you gotta do me a favor."
"Anything," Liu said.
Jeff smiled the signature eternal smile of his, and poked Liu with one finger, then dashed away. "Tag, you're it!!"
Liu smiled and floated after his brother, and the ghost and his killer played tag for a while, and then some video games, until Jeff got tired of the video games. "I'm bored," he groaned. Liu looked outside and saw a blond-haired girl with too many freckles on her face.
"Jeff," he said, "isn't that...?"
Jeff looked at the girl Liu was talking about. "Oh, yeah," Jeff said, "Ella, that girl who kept knocking the binders and papers out of my hands at school. Man, I hate her."
Liu raised his eyebrows at his little brother. "Well?"
Jeff smiled and took up his knife. He opened the door and stopped at the threshold. "...Liu?"
"Yes, Jeff?" Liu replied.
"Once I step out this door and start killing again, I may not come back for a very long time."
"I'll be right here waiting for you, brother."
Jeff turned around and walked to his ghost of a brother, and hugged him one last time. "Love you, Liu. See you later."
"Love you too, Jeff. See ya. Have fun!" Liu called as Jeff rushed out the door. Jeff tackled Ella to the ground and sent the knife straight through her hideous mouth, killing her at once. Jeff looked through the window to see if Liu was watching, to see if Liu was proud of him.
All he could see was black.
Jeff sighed and walked away from the old house.
Underground, wrapped in a blanket, soaking wet with the fresh rainwater that had just fallen, the cold, dead body of Liu...smiled.