The Stain on our Souls (flash fiction)

The old man speaks of phantoms. He lay on his death-bed, and his face is ashen and sickly.

“Our home,” he says, “it’s haunted. Haunted by my sins. Haunted by my father’s sins, and his father’s sins.”

“What do you mean?” I ask.

“The things I did there, the things we did there – unspeakable crimes against humanity. The ghosts of our victims still remain.”

This old man is my father, and I live in that haunted house. I can tell you, I’ve seen the ghosts, the phantom-children. They wake me when I sleep. They crawl through the walls. They scream. They tell me what my family has done.

My father watches me with his tired, gray eyes. As he cries, I wonder if I’ll continue the family legacy of sin. I wonder if the ghosts will ever let me go. I wonder if I’ll ever sleep again.

I wonder most of all if this sin is too deep-rooted in our family ever to remove the black stain on our souls.

(Original photo by Enzo B on Unsplash – edited by Nick Pipitone)

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