's 2015 Horror Write-off:

" Same As It Ever Was "

Submitted by Stickydot

    This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. Lyrics from 'Once in A Lifetime', the only song by Talking Heads that most people know, and the most relevant song in my life right now. This wasn't my house, and that wasn't my wife.

    It's so obvious, but they won't stop trying to fool me. My wife is five-foot-three, with black hair in a bob cut, and beautiful green eyes. What is sitting at the other side of the table, is a mop. A mop that has been dyed black, with those little googly eyes glued to it. There are long strings attached to it, and they reach up through the ceiling. Whenever my 'wife' moves, she just bounces around, and a high-pitched voice that sounds nothing like my wife's velvety tones and more like a muppet, often accompanies it. Aubrey and Lisa don't seem to notice anything different, but they're both two years old, so I'm just chalking that up to childhood stupidity.

    This is not my house, either. For one thing, the walls in my house are not colored like a coloring book, but instead painted like that of a normal persons house. Another is that all the furniture is hard, even the bed. I cut open a pillow yesterday and found that it was actually a piece of puffed-up cardboard.

    I don't know who is doing this, but I'm getting fed up. I haven't been able to leave the house for three damn days, because my damn mop-wife keeps blocking the door and saying she wants to spend more time with me. Even sneaking out at night is impossible, since the windows seem to be nailed shut, although I haven't seen any nails. If this doesn't stop soon, I will do whatever it takes to get myself and the kids out of here.


    Today, I pushed my mop-wife. I didn't mean to, but she forced my hand. She was laying on the couch, pretending to watch a program on our cardboard television, when I asked her why she was doing this to me. "Doing what, honey?" she asked, and she knew damn well what she was doing. I grabbed her by the handle, and shook her, screaming in her face, not saying anything, but just screaming. Then, I shoved her. She flew backwards, and landed on the floor. Mop-wife then started to cry, and I ran for the door.

    The door was unlocked, so I opened it and went through it as quickly as possible. I came out in my bedroom, having not left the house at all. This can't be a nightmare, it's lasted far too long, but now my mop-wife won't speak to me, and the children seem frightened that daddy will hurt them, too. I would never hurt my kids.


    Aubrey was replaced yesterday, a small dust-pan took her place. She sounds just like her mother, only pretending to speak like a baby. Aubrey could say full sentences before. I've taken to ignoring her, and not letting Lisa out of my sight. I don't want them to take her, too.

    While mop-wife was pretending to cut up chicken for dinner, which meant she was bobbing up and down in front of a cutting board with raw meat and a knife on it, I came up with a plan.


    I cut her strings. Mop-wifes, not dust-pan-Aubreys. Real or not, I will never hurt my children. She fell to the floor, milk pouring out of her mop-strand-hair and the voice shrieked. The house shook, and I fell to my knees. Lisa held on to Aubrey, and was starting to be lifted into the air. I grabbed them both, and pulled them back down as best as I could, but whatever was controlling the strings was too strong. All I could do was watch as Lisa and dust-pan-Aubrey were pulled into the ceiling. I climbed up on a chair, and slammed the remains of mop-wife against the ceiling, screaming for them to return my children, but it accomplished nothing.

    I'm alone now, in this cardboard house. I've been writing down every possibility; aliens, government social experiment, psychotic breakdown; and nothing makes sense. Whatever had me, has abandoned me. The food ran out two days ago, and I've been eating cardboard. I wonder if my real family is in a cardboard house somewhere else, but mostly, I regret killing mop-wife. She wasn't my beautiful wife, but it was better than being alone here.