If you're thinking.. of playing catch.. with your dead brother DON'T!
Not at all from the creators of Charlie St. Cloud comes the long awaited sequel, Charlie St. Cloud 2: There Will Be Blood. The sequel is a retelling of the original but from a different point of view. It tells what actually happened. These events are based on actual transcripts of what happened from those who witnessed it and from analysis of Charlie St. Cloud under hypnosis.
On July 30, 2010, Tess Carroll's body was found in the Vancouver woods. She had been bludgeoned with blunt force trauma to the back of her head and left there decomposing for days. To add to the complete horror, Ms. Carroll was found with the badly decomposed body of Samuel St. Cloud who was supposed to be buried in a nearby cemetery. For five long years, no one suspected that the young St. Cloud's body was missing.
When police arrived at the St. Cloud residence to question Samuel's older brother, Charlie, they found him incoherent and appeared to be on some sort of narcotic. Ms. Carroll had been spotted spending much of her free time with Charlie St. Cloud and police were hoping to gain some insight on what her whereabouts might have been on the days leading to her death. When Mr. St. Cloud was made known that her body as well as Samuel's had been recovered from the woods, he became hysterical attempting to fight the officers and flee. He was then placed under arrest for being complicit in the murder of Ms. Carroll.
St.Cloud told the questioning officers that Samuel and Tess were still alive and that he had seen them earlier that afternoon. Then he confessed an unbelievable story. He claimed that while Sam had in fact died five years ago that his ghost had remained on Earth. He visited Sam's ghost in the woods every afternoon to play baseball. He had fallen in love with Ms. Carroll in the previous months and his erratic behavior since the death of his brother had dramatically decreased. He was sailing again. He was no longer publicly intoxicated and initiating bar fights. He was picking back up the pieces of his life, or so it seemed.
In order to paint a clearer picture of the events that led to Ms. Carroll's death, we must go back to the beginning of the story of Charlie St.Cloud.
Charlie St. Cloud was born to Jon and Claire St. Cloud. He was adored from the moment he was born and showed great athletic and academic promise. Jon was a minor league baseball player and devoted hours into teaching young Charlie the sport. Claire, a nurse, was much more interested in Charlie's education and devoted most of her free time to assisting him with all his coursework from his gifted classes. At age five, Charlie became interested in sailing and began to take lessons. He had a natural aptitude for boating and became a fixture at the Boston Yacht Club.
When Charlie was six, his younger brother Samuel was born. His birth marked a terrible change to the St. Cloud family. Jon and Claire had not wanted another child but decided to go through with it anyway. Jon wanted nothing to do with the child and Claire looked at young Sam with resentment for having to care solely for him. This is when Jon deserted the family to play for the Red Sox, abandoning his wife and two sons.
This is the point where Charlie stepped up and took on the role of father as well as big brother to young Sam. While all this responsibility would be daunting to an adult, the seven year old Charlie excelled. He was able to make time to become a near professional level sailor, class Valedictorian and a wonderful role model to his younger brother. He was a National Merit Finalist and he even was awarded a prestigious scholarship to Stanford University for his sailing abilities.
What Charlie did not realize is that Sam was universally disliked. Charlie's constant doting on him made him spoiled. Claire indulged Sam's every whim to compensate for her lack of attention and affection. This showering of gifts and undivided attention from his older brother, turned Sam into a know it all and a self entitled brat. He antagonized those around him by making them feel stupid or in debt to him. Sam did not perform well academically. Despite his best efforts in sports, he never managed to be good enough to make any team. Baseball was his focus because his father had left them for the sport. He obsessed over the Red Sox to the point where all his spare time was reading about the team, collecting cards and watching games.
The summer before Charlie St. Cloud was to start at Stanford, he aimed to spend all his free time with Sam. His goal was to help Sam to be good enough to land on the local baseball team by practicing catch with him everyday. Sam enjoyed the attention but mainly he wanted Charlie to feel guilty for abandoning him for college. He wanted Charlie to stay in Vancouver forever, to never leave as their father had. As always, Sam's trick worked on Charlie and he indulged Sam's every whim until he had to leave. One of these indulgences led to Sam's grizzly end.
Charlie had been avoiding parties all the summer of his senior year to stay at home with Sam while his mother worked the late shift. He was finally talked into coming to one and attempted to sneak out while Sam was preoccupied. Sam always watched Charlie closely and demanded Charlie take him with him. After being rear-ended, Charlie's car was pushed in front of a Mack truck killing Sam instantly.
Claire McCormack, formerly St. Cloud, is now living in Portland, Oregon. She has remarried and is trying to move on with her life for the past five years. But it has not been easy. "I should have turned to someone, anyone after the accident. Charlie was devastated. He could barely communicate." She says, her eyes filling with tears. "Before the funeral, Jon sent a card saying one word: sorry. Charlie flew into a rage punching walls and breaking glasses. At the funeral, Charlie was supposed to speak. He would deliver a short speech he had been practicing for days and then throw Sam's baseball glove in the grave." Accounts from all at the funeral confirm that when called upon to speak, Charlie fled the funeral and disappeared for hours.
Claire recounts that as months went by, Charlie only worsened. "He would sleep most of the day away and then disappear all afternoon. When he finally came back at night he was drunk and often bloody from a fight." When Charlie decided to defer his admission to Stanford, it shattered her dreams that he may recover. After enough time had passed, Claire decided to move to Portland where she had a job waiting for a fresh start. Upon hearing the news, Charlie became enraged. "I know I should have tried to stay but I couldn't watch as my baby threw his life away. When he asked why, I told him the truth although I probably shouldn't have. I said that I had never viewed Sam as much of a son and that all of my being was devoted to him. I urged him to come with me to Portland because there was nothing was keeping us in Vancouver." Claire is now crying and shaking her head tragically as she recounts the most shocking details of all. "'But Mom, Sam isn't in the ground. He is here with me. I see him everyday. He said. I couldn't understand what he could possibly mean. He said, 'I play catch everyday with my dead brother.' I really could tell he truly believed it. I left. I know I should have told someone, the authorities maybe, but I couldn't turn my baby into some home."
The next five years were a blur for Charlie St. Cloud. He took a job as a caretaker at Waterside Cemetery. His fellow workers described him as "mostly keeping to himself" but occasionally talking when there was no one there. He became a hermit of sorts except for venturing to the bars at night where he would get extremely intoxicated. He was known for picking fights with anyone he came into contact with.
One fateful night, he encountered Tess Carroll on her boat. Carroll was also an experienced sailor, often going on trips that lasted several months. Carroll was familiar with St. Cloud because she graduated in the same class as he. She was a new face to Charlie as she had kept a low profile for most of her life. The two struck up a friendship and were inseparable. Under the influence of Tess, Charlie stopped his public drunkenness. He appeared to many to be "a new man."
Ben Carroll, Tess' father and sailing partner, recalls his impression of Charlie St. Cloud. "I remember he was a golden boy a few years back but he had turned into a sort of failure. Needless to say, I worried when I heard he had taken up with my daughter. But Tessie was just crazy about him. Tessie could be real convincing when she wanted to be. She brought him over one night and he proved to be-- well-- charming sort of and really fond of her."
While the relationship of Tess Carroll and Charlie St. Cloud appeared to be going well, Tess had some reservations. Charlie would never see her in the afternoon. If he had spent the night with her, he would run off suddenly always at around 4pm. She tried following him to work to find that he had not been going to work for more than a week. She confronted him and he told her his dark secret.
The next information was obtained from Charlie St. Cloud's testimony while under hypnosis. The details will shock you.
"I told her that everyday I played catch with my dead brother. She tried to tell me just how wrong I was, saying he was gone and all that. But I told her no. I knew he was dead and it may sound odd to her but it was his ghost I was playing with. I could tell she didn't believe me and I could tell it was time. You see, Sam was jealous of Tess He felt that she was going to take me away from him. He didn't understand that I just wanted us all to be a family. I decided that they should meet. It would do away with any misconceptions. They would see each other as friends, both essential to my life. So I took her into the woods where Sam lives. I could tell she still was being cautious and I thought it was pretty funny. There was nothing to be scared of. Sam was sitting there where he always was. I could tell she saw him because her eyes grew wide and she got very still. I didn't want to make either of them nervous so I thought I'd show her how good Sam is at catch. When I suggested this, she started crying and shaking all over repeating the word, 'No.' I kept telling her it was okay but she just kept freaking out. I threw the ball at Sam and he just let it fall in his lap. He does that sometimes. I figured he was just being shy or embarrassed. He probably wanted to impress her. So I threw it again and it fell at his feet. I laughed because he was being a rascal and I even told him so. That's when Tess lost it. She said that I was sick and needed help. She said Sam wasn't even moving, that he was a corpse. I told her that he was being shy and that was all. She threatened to leave. She said she was going to 'get someone' to come and help me. I couldn't let her go, though. She'd tell the others and Sam would leave. Maybe she would just leave and I couldn't have that. She was part of our family. She just was having a hard time adjusting to the idea is all. She just kept crying and backing away and I kept trying to tell her we were going to be a family and she had better get used to the idea. That's when she turned to run and I hit her with the baseball, real hard. She fell on the ground and twitched a bit. I put her next to Sam and let them get acquainted. Next thing I knew they were playing catch and I just sat and watched. I knew they would like each other after they got-- well-- accustomed to things."
When asked if he murdered Ms. Carroll, Mr. St. Cloud denied any charges. He believed her to be still alive and living in the woods with Sam. When asked if Sam was alive, Mr. St. Cloud became excited and said "only in body but never in spirit."
Mr. St. Cloud is being held by the Vancouver Police Department without bail. Prosecutors are gunning for life imprisonment while the defense is confident that they can get a defense of mental disorder. St. Cloud's psychiatrist, Dr. Mordecai Abrams believes this to be a fair decision. "Mr. St. Cloud has schizophrenia. He suffered what is called a psychotic break from the death of his younger brother at, what he believed to be, his own hands. Not being able to live with the feelings of guilt, he created a living Sam to distract him from the shrieking nothingness of his world." He further says that St. Cloud truly believes that Sam and Tess are still alive and still visit him.
P.S.-- Thanks to Jeff for his clever creation of the Charlie St. Cloud 2 poster. He's really funny. Check him out at www.k0s.org.