Once upon a time, a rather ordinary boy walked into the kitchen, picked up the knife they used for cutting potatoes, and stabbed his mother 30 times.
It was actually closer to twelve but the more the story was told the more people added to it.
“Daddy, tell me a story!”
The little pigtailed girl climbed into his lap, trained as all children are to delay her bedtime. He played with his oiled mustache–really the only remarkable thing about him–and looked up at the ceiling, as though he was thinking.
“Hmm. What kind of story?”
“The bad kind!” she grinned rather naughtily. He looked down at her and smiled.
“Once upon a time, there was a girl. And even though she had been married for seven years, she could not have a baby.”
“Was it because she was evil?”
“No. Sometimes it just happens.”
“And after seven years, she arrived in town with a baby.”
“Where’d she get him?” the little girl asked before being quieted by a look from her father.
“She claimed–according to the townspeople–she found him in a ditch beside the road on her way to pick some blueberries.”
The little girl fairly vibrated but stayed quiet.
“The word was put out but no one came forth to claim the child. So, she raised him as her own.”
He paused. The little girl waited.
He continued, “After a time, no one thought of it. The boy–it was a boy–was a good baby and an even better child. Some commented he was so quiet around others, it was almost as if he wasn’t there. But at home, he did everything normal little boys would do. He ran. He yelled. He pulled cats tails to see what it would do, and he snuck food from the pantry.” The little girl blushed at this. He looked at her. “Do you sneak food from the pantry?”
“I’m not a boy!” she said defiantly. “But sometimes if there’s sweets.”
He patted her hand and continued. “The woman loved the boy and appeared happy. But as he approached his seventh birthday–“
“I’m about to be seven!” She interrupted excitedly.
“–she began to be sad.”
“Why?” A whisper slipped out.
“No one knew. She didn’t talk much to anyone besides her boy. The morning of his birthday, she rose from sitting by his bedside and went into the kitchen to bake him a cake.” As though he could divine her thoughts he added “Chocolate. With blueberries atop the frosting.”
She licked her lips.
“The woman heard him enter the kitchen but didn’t turn around. And when the knife plunged deep into her, the only sound was a tiny gasp of air that escaped her lips.”
The little girl’s eyes were bright and she held her hands up to her mouth. “What happened then?”
The man gazed at her for a moment before motioning for her to get into bed. She did, knowing he would answer.
“They never saw him again.”
He tucked her in.
“Daddy! That’s not the end!”
“Is it not?” he joked with her. “Are you ready for tomorrow?”
She grinned. “Yes! And because it’s my birthday I get to eat all the blueberries I want!”
“That’s right.” He kissed her forehead and went to turn off the light.
Just then, she asked “Daddy?”
He paused, his hands still on the downward turn of the switch. “Yes?”
“Are you ready for tomorrow?”