knife-376383_640

~~~

Janet Schuler went to bed earlier that evening with a heavy heart.

Since the big blow out with Gerald a few weeks prior, a deep and long-suppressed depression had surfaced, threatening to overwhelm her after accumulative years of trying to stay afloat in her shipwrecked marriage. Janet had first sought professional help and was given a prescription for anti-depressant medication. She never took a single pill, but kept them at the ready right beside the .38 Special revolver she’d recently acquired through a friend.

Two nights ago, the gun began to beckon, as she started placing it beside the pills in her night stand each evening as matters continued to get worse.

On the surface, she’d always played her part: a well-to-do accessory wife of a successful lawyer and cheating husband. Janet had attended all of Gerald’s dinner functions, laughing at all his jokes and entertaining potential clients’ wives. She’d always been the perfect little hostess/servant when Gerald’s self-important friends all got together in her home and drank too much over-priced whiskey and smoked those horrid imported cigars. They had always carried on late into the evenings, sharing exaggerated stories of war in the courtroom, or the conquests of esteemed virgins from younger days, and of course, Janet’s favorite: stories of the lives they had ruined to climb a little higher on their corporate pedestals of power and corruption. They were always loud, obnoxious and disgusting. Those pigs hit on her whenever Gerald’s back was turned.

She had tolerated all of this and the affairs that came later. She’d long suspected them, although she never confronted him or pushed the matter. A woman knows that something is wrong when her husband stops touching her… she just knows.

Gerald never really loved her. Janet knew that now. He was in love with the idea of making the ‘hot blond’ his wife, like a stamp of ownership allowing him bragging rights among his peers. Perhaps Gerald was simply incapable of real love. Whatever the case, she no longer cared.

The final straw was when Gerald refused to give her children. He had been stalling for years with worn-out lies: “I’m not ready for fatherhood,” or “I just need a little more time,” or “Let me get my career off the ground and then I’ll be ready to focus on having a family.”

Three weeks ago, Gerald had come home after losing an important case in the courtroom (something Janet wished she had not been home for). Gerald had been violently drunk, got into a bar fight, and somehow managed to get his precious Corvette home in one piece.

All she had asked was, “What happened?”

From there, he’d exploded on her.

Gerald was too smart to ever strike her physically. As a lawyer, he knew too well where that would land him. That night, Janet saw the anger and loathing in his eyes. Just before it looked like he would strike her, Gerald took a deep breath, smiled and said, “Bitch, you and I are never going to have kids. So stop waiting around for me with those hope-filled doe eyes of yours and wake the fuck up!”

Janet had never understood where his rage came from. It just came. She honestly thought a punch across the mouth more preferable.

Before she could get a word in, Gerald had continued his verbal assault, striking her where it hurt the most. “I got a vasectomy over a year ago. It hurt like a mother fucker but you never knew because I found you too repulsive by then to want to have sex with you. How do you like them apples?”

Gerald was fond of saying that when he knew the argument was his or after the verbal dagger was firmly inserted into a vital area.

At the time, Janet had wished he had simply put a bullet in the side of her head.

He had gone on to say more hurtful things, unloading his true heart for the first time about how he saw her as weak and pathetic—everything he’d been holding back for years.

In the end, it was Gerald’s confession of how much he despised her that prompted Janet to fly to her family’s home in Phoenix to meet up with an old college boyfriend who had been emailing her for months to come down and run away with him. After one impulsive night, Janet had slept with the boyfriend and then left him high and dry the next morning, taking the earliest flight back to Cleveland.

The nights to follow became a struggle for her to find the will to keep on living, to keep on surviving.

After a long battle with her guilt for committing adultery, but silently praying she would end up pregnant, Janet had her period followed by a mental breakdown. It would seem that sleeping with a man in the desperate hope that she would be impregnated would also leave her barren. By then, Janet wanted it all to end.

Now, it simply came down to choice: a bullet or the pills.

In one of many haunted dreams, Janet struggled to stay afloat in a sea of little white pills while Gerald held her ankle and tried to pull her beneath. In one arm she desperately tried to save a crying infant who simply smiled, held up the gun in its little hands and shot her in the face.

How do you like them apples?

~~~

He stood at the foot of her bed like the Reaper pausing to measure dead time between breaths. Russell’s hand went nearly numb around the hilt of the knife before relaxing his grip. Then, he repeated this ritual again… and again. The long-awaited moment had arrived. His blood boiled with feverish anticipation. If he couldn’t steady himself, Russell would be messy, unable to keep himself from stabbing her in the chest repeatedly.

Like the last time.

Bathe in that bitch, boss! Drown in her blood!

Janet lay partially exposed by moonlight and a discarded blanket. She was drenched in cold sweat, tossing and turning to escape the nightmares that would not let her go. Her chest rose and fell rapidly, revealing the curves of her breasts as nipples attempted to penetrate a transparent cream-colored silk gown.

Why are you fighting it, boss? Bang the shit out of her dying, bloody flesh. Stop resisting me! Do it… NOW!

It was all Russell could do to ignore the other one and resist that black hunger that drove at him to ravage her like a savage beast. He began slicing blindly at the air as if that demon within were something tangible he might slay once and for all. Stop pushing me you filthy animal!

No. Russell would not give the other one an ounce of gratification. It would be clean and quick; one deep cut across the jugular and Janet would be free. He would see it in her eyes—the moment the pain was no more, the moment the fear was no more, the moment of salvation.

She deserves to be tortured, boss. You know what she did! Fucked that old boyfriend, and now she ain’t no better. She’s tainted meat. You hear? Tainted unrighteous fucking meat!

Russell ignored him. He silently moved along the bed, dodging patches of moonlit space, until his shadow fell menacingly across Janet’s face.

With one gloved hand, Russell slowly moved to cover her mouth, holding her down firmly long enough to cut her throat open. The act would be quick, precise… liberating. Then he would simply watch that look of fear and shock fade as the life slowly left those deep, blue eyes forever, never to be enslaved by this world again. He could already envision that warm fluid of life running freely down the front of her gown as she briefly tried to yell out, tried to breathe, tried to struggle… and then, she would be gone. Janet would be free.

Just before his hand reached her mouth, Russell froze. His ears were like finely tuned radars honing in on the faint and muffled sounds coming from the direction of the foyer.

Russell knew what it was immediately.

There was an intruder in the house.

He quickly retreated from the bed and crept back toward the hallway, blending into the darkness. It wasn’t until Russell reached the curved staircase at the top of the large open foyer that he had his immediate questions answered.

Gerald?

No.

There were several intruders.

Cops, then?

No.

There would be lights by now—voices.

The sounds seemed less… human.

He heard what sounded like paw nails striking and sliding across the kitchen linoleum floor.

Rat-a-tat-a-tat

It reminded him of the sound large clumsy dogs make when they get excited and try to maneuver too quickly around corners.

Did Janet buy a dog recently? Wild animals?

No.

That didn’t sound quite right either. There were no sounds of wrappers being ripped open, trash cans being tipped, tables being bumped—all the erratic sounds one would expect when animals were foraging in the dark.

No. Animals aren’t concerned with stealth.

There was just that frantic… Rat-a-tat-a-tat.

Whatever was making those sounds seemed content at the moment to remain in the kitchen. Russell had to get out before he was discovered.

Did I leave the sliding glass door open? he wondered.

No way, boss. You shut that behind you.

The other one was right.

And then the dreaded realization surfaced: Someone opened the sliding glass door and let something inside.

That reasoning came from a strange and dark place that led to all sorts of imaginative possibilities, but Russell dismissed them. It was simply time to go. He decided to make his way down the steps and exit out the front door.

Russell made it to the lower stairs before the trap was sprung.

Rat-a-tat-a-tat

Something was rapidly approaching from the darkest part of the kitchen.

They had been aware of him all along and were only waiting to draw him to the foyer.

Russell had his knife out, twirling it skillfully between two fingers.

No time, boss! Move your ass ‘cause something darker than you is hunting tonight!

Russell was in complete agreement as he rushed back toward the staircase. He could’ve sworn that he heard a slight tremble in that old, monstrous, savage within, and that was a little unnerving.

He was just ascending the stairs when a large shadow growled and leaped from the darkness toward him.

Russell sidestepped, causing the hideous thing to just miss him and crash into the banister. It let loose a hair-raising cry of frustration.

He didn’t dare stop to look as he sprinted up the stairs. He just caught a lucky break.

It sounded fucking human, boss! What the fuck did ya’ get us into?

“Shut up,” Russell said.

He reached the top of the curved staircase as the foyer was overrun. Russell heard a collective low growl, and then all went disturbingly silent.

From the dark corners of the foyer, deliberately avoiding the moonlight, Russell could feel their savage eyes upon him.

They smell blood, boss. You best do what you gotta do before they eat you. The other one was laughing insanely inside his head.

Before Russell could do anything, various windows on the first floor sounded like they were imploding.

Light from Janet’s bedroom poured into the foyer, exposing both Russell and the monstrosities below.

“Shit,” Russell whispered as his eyes adjusted.

They were mostly human, or used to be. When the bedroom light lit up the foyer, five naked, bloody and pale-skinned creatures jumped off the bottom of the stairwell, issuing bone-chilling screeches of pain as they rushed across the linoleum on all fours creating that rat-a-tat-a-tat sound with their hands and feet as they rushed toward the darkness. Russell watched as a naked elderly man, bent over on all fours with what looked like a part of his torso missing and his rib cage partially exposed, stopped and gazed up at him with ghastly red eyes. It hissed at him exposing a set of bloody razors for teeth.

All but two of the creatures fled for the darkness as the old man and a naked, heavy-set, middle-aged woman with scraggly, short, red hair began to creep up the staircase on all fours. Half the woman’s face looked as if some wild animal tore it clean off, revealing what was left of one hideous red eye and a queer smile full of daggers locked in place. The woman’s limbs looked severely disfigured as bones and joints were either broken or twisted in unnatural ways. He could see what was left of her spine penetrating the bare flesh on her back. Her hands and feet were severely swollen, making them look far too big in contrast to the rest of her body. At the end of elongated fingers, her sharp and bloody nails rivaled Russell’s knife.

It was the woman’s large girth that saved Russell’s life. She moved much slower as her large breasts dangled and dragged in front of her against the steps, throwing her off-balance and slowing the old man down that tried to climb over top of her.

Regardless, they were almost to him.

Stop gawking at the fat bitch’s goods, boss, and move your fucking ass!

Russell turned toward Janet’s bedroom at the end of the hall. He’d been quickly but calmly calculating his next move when he heard her voice.

“Who’s there?” Janet called out. “Whoever you are, I just called the police. Gerald… is that you?”

There was only one option remaining.

You should’ve killed that skank when you had the chance, boss. Now she’s gone and called the pigs. I told you she was spoiled! Kill the bitch, now! Feed her to those crazy fucks and get out!

Russell started to move but the woman-thing was there, wrapping her deformed arms around his legs.

It was his murderous skills that saved him.

The red-eyed creatures were fast but Russell was faster. Just before the woman-thing took a large bite out of his leg, Russell thrust his knife directly into what was left of her head, using his other hand to hammer it into her forehead.

The woman staggered for a moment, screaming in pain. She fell backwards down the stairs, knocking the old man down with her.

Russell stared down at the dead woman who was lying spread-eagle at the foot of the staircase, the old man pinned beneath her. His blade was driven deep into her brain—the hilt was all that remained.

That’s my good one, he thought, staring at his knife. He hated leaving evidence, but believed tonight would be the exception.

The others had regained their boldness as three more stormed out of the darkness toward the stairs.

Time to go skin that bitch, boss. Better hurry, though. Better run.

“There will be no skinning, so be silent,” Russell hissed.

The other one filled his head with laughter.

Russell raced toward the bedroom door.

The remaining creatures had just reached the top of the stairs.

Fuck, they’re fast!

Russell was calculating, planning, and fiercely going through the details of all he’d learned about the Schuler house.

They were almost on top of him as Russell stormed into Janet’s bedroom. He had just enough time to close the door and lock it as the beasts began slamming into it from the other side.

It took him a moment to register the three gunshots as rounds struck the door to his left, the last shot grazing his cheek.

~~~

Next Episode 1-3

Previous Episode 1-1

~~~

If you’re enjoying Don’t Feed The Dark so far, please consider voting for it on Top Web Fiction and Top Site List by clicking the links below. This will help increase its visibility and draw in more potential readers. No registration is required. Thanks for your support and for reading :)

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 1-2: Demon Night” Copyright © 2014, 2015 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark, Book One: Southbound Nightmares”.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Comments
  1. Dorh says:

    From the POV of a serial killer, that, is bound to be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sscherr says:

      Welcome, Dorh, I thought the same thing in the planning stages of this project ;) I’ve chosen an interesting cast of characters that I hope carry this little novel. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope you enjoy my zombie tale.

      Like

  2. midnightwriterporvida says:

    You got me hooked! I love good fiction and so far this is outstanding!!!

    Like

  3. Interrogator says:

    Demons within and without. You have characterized the most tortured character I have ever read. It feels a bit excessive to be honest. This is a horror story though. . . I guess excess is what you are going for.

    Like

  4. Paulette says:

    Great so far

    Like

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