Posts Tagged ‘murder’


Note: This short sci-fi horror story is unrelated to Don’t Feed The Dark.

~~~

She was already regretting her decision. It was Eric’s idea to spend spring break on a five day Caribbean cruise aboard the luxury liner, Morning Mist. He insisted the trip would help their marriage. Claire was well aware of his adulterous affairs, but Eric continued to deny them.

The seas were particularly rough this evening as Claire allowed herself to be coaxed topside so Eric could catch some fresh air. As each wave crashed alongside the ship, the spray rose ten feet, nearly soaking them both. Claire was becoming claustrophobic, realizing that only three feet of walkway and a flimsy life line, were all that separated her from the raging seas.

“Eric, I’m going back inside,” she said.

“We’re just about done here anyway,” Eric responded with an unfamiliar, cold detachment. “We’ve been done for a long time.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Eric shrugged his shoulders in reply.

Tiring of his cryptic behavior, Claire toward the interior door.

Before she knew what was happening, she felt a strong pull from behind, causing her to lose her balance, and fall over the life lines and into the sea.

Claire struck the water, horrified, then desperately called up to Eric. Her shouts were drowned out by the roaring sea.

Eric did nothing… but watch.

He did this on purpose! her mind accused.

He then blew her a kiss for confirmation, and departed from view.

My God, he planned this!

There was no time to consider the broader implications of Eric’s actions as the cruise ship became smaller; the deck lights growing dimmer upon the erratic surface of the sea. She called out in vain, but struggling against the waves was taking its toll. Claire turned on her back and floated, trying to remain calm and conserve her strength. Due to shock, she briefly lost consciousness.

When Claire awoke, she was all alone in the darkness, surrounded by an indifferent, black ocean. The Morning Mist was long gone.

Disorientation and panic nearly overwhelmed her.

Then she saw the buoy.

What on earth is that doing out here? Claire wondered.

Just fifty yards away, a dark pillar bobbed up and down in the night – an inviting sight in an otherwise desolate ocean. Claire swam for the buoy, locked an arm around its base to keep her head above water, then passed out.

~~~

The Coast Guard found her at nine o’clock the next morning while conducting routine checks on all navigational aids in the area. Claire was dehydrated and bordering hypothermia. As they pulled her from the sea, she managed to tell them her name and the name of her ship.

The next day, the Coast Guard Captain who rescued Claire, walked into her hospital room with a ship’s manifest and some disturbing news. He looked ill.

“Did you find my husband, Eric?” Claire hissed.

The captain told her that the manifest held the names of all 700 passengers on board the Morning Mist, including Claire and her husband. He took a deep breath and finished, “A terrible storm sank that vessel. No one was believed to have survived. No one, until now.”

Claire felt the blood drain from her face as the Captain told her the rest:

“That buoy you latched on to, Claire, was a hazard buoy.”

She shook her head. “I… I don’t understand.”

“It was there marking the exact location of a wreck… Claire, The Morning Mist was discovered five years ago… 30 feet beneath you.”

~~~

“The Buoy” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~

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Last summer thoughts still chill my bones,
Some things are best just left alone.
Like when we buried John Simone,
A boy we preyed upon with stones.

We didn’t mean to make him fall,
Just scare him for a bit- that’s all.
Unlucky shot with rock quite small,
Struck Johnny’s head- that tree was tall.

We took our prank beyond what’s fun,
As John twitched once beneath cruel sun.
His lifeless eyes, aimed like a gun,
Condemned us all for what we’d done.

Quite desperate to save our skins,
We buried John, but not our sins,
And vowed to never speak again,
Of that dark day kept locked within.

For months we lived enslaved by fear,
And wondered if our crime would clear.
But no one found the grave that year-
Yet something from the dark drew near.

Was late one night I heard the knock
Upon my door at three o’clock.
An eerie voice began to mock,
“Come out, come out, I’ve brought your rock!”

~~~

“The Stoning of John Simone” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~


We’ve made a reservation,
A vacation just for you.
The rooms are kept quite private,
To enhance your special moods.

The meds are recreational,
Provided free of charge.
We recommend you try them all,
To find your ‘shooting star’.

Dinner’s served at seven,
On the other side of time.
Don’t fret about an evening suit,
Your one-sleeve jacket’s fine.

The show tonight’s an improv,
Something from your younger days.
The stage has been sedated,
For the drama, we call, Rage.

Sit right back, enjoy the show,
We promote participation.
What was that? You’re not alone?
They’re just hallucinations.

Just listen to the pleasant voice,
Which hides inside your hide.
At times the show’s quite brutal,
And the actors seem quite dead.

The doctor will come shortly,
For your dose of ‘sweet forget’.
He’ll even help you tie your shoes,
And clean up all the mess.

We ask that you return all props,
You’ve borrowed from the kitchen.
The chef will need his butcher’s knife,
For tomorrow night’s creation.

We’re pleased we could accommodate,
And fan insanity’s spark.
The theater of your mind,
Demands an encore in the dark.

~~~

“Madhouse Theater” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~


Tammy Sirl, that preacher’s girl, was up to no damn good.
Howard’s son, the reckless one, took her to Creed Woods.
Everybody knows you don’t go messin’ ‘round those parts.

Hadn’t been that long since Sally Strong was torn apart.
Aroused by preacher’s child, that foolish boy done lost his head.
Nothin’ could dissuade him gettin’ laid ‘cause Tammy said:
Got the balls to jump the wall and spend the night at Creeds?
If you do (that devil wooed) you’ll have your way with me.
Nine o’clock, the sun was shot, they took the old Creed drive.
Got real close to Sally’s ghost, then parked along the side.

Only then did fear kick in, as both recalled the tale.
Fourteen parts—And Sally’s heart—were scattered on the trail.

Justise Creed, the last lone Creed, had died to ways of Man.
Uncivilized, his savage side, took root and roamed the land.
Sally Strong had wandered long while hiking close to dusk.
Terrified, she moaned and cried, ‘till Justise fetched her up.
Incited by trespass, he slashed that girl from toe to head;
Sliced alive, right down to size, then rumors said he fed.
Everybody searched for Sally Strong a long, long time.

Creed was found, inflamed the town; they hung him from a vine.
Remembering such horrid things brought Howard’s son to pause.
Even Tammy Sirl, that whorish girl, gave up her cause.
Evenin’ swallowed up the path but not the wrath of Creed.
Danglin’ overhead with dread, they found him in his tree.

~~~

“The Hanging of Justise Creed” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~

(Note: This is a story poem written in rhyming quatrains with the stanzas deliberately broken up to accommodate the secondary acrostic form.)


Someone turn a light on,
There’s a darkness in my head.
I’ve been acting strangely
And I always feel half-dead.

I’m sleeping more each evening,
But my dreams fill me with dread.
Someone turn a light on,
For I wake in strangers’ beds.

Someone turn the light off,
For my conscience watched the news.
Another woman murdered,
By her bedside… were my shoes.

I woke today without them
And my clothes were bloody, too.
Someone turn the light off,
Best not know the things I do.

~~~

“Someone Turn a Light On” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~


Note: This short horror story is unrelated to Don’t Feed The Dark.

~~~

It was a beautiful, crisp Sunday evening; going on Monday in about twenty minutes. I felt like the last man alive as I approached the ATM just outside of Hartman’s grocery store on the corner of Parker and Maple Avenue.

I’ve always been appalled by my lack of self-control. A sudden, overpowering urge for ice cream can always get me half-dressed and out the door searching for something open on a Sunday night. Yeah right, ice cream, that’s what I was getting. Who was I kidding. Certainly not my wife. No one drives to the ATM at midnight to get cash for ice cream, especially on a Sunday. Who uses cash anymore, anyway? Unless, you’re looking to hide all debit card traces highlighting shady purchases from unsuspecting wives at home, of course. Besides, there was nothing open except a couple bars, a gas station with a mini mart, and the adult movie store. Sounds almost respectable, doesn’t it? Adult movie store. I know, I’m pathetic, but the sex at home’s not what it used to be. Let’s move on, shall we.

The empty parking lot was an asphalt desert, dimly lit by three street lamps and low security lighting coming from Hartman’s store front windows. I walked over to the ATM, the light over the display flickering on and off and fighting to stay alive with a defiant buzzing sound. The cash machine was brighter than anything else around and left me feeling slightly ridiculous standing there in my boxers. I also felt very vulnerable and exposed, sensing something unfamiliar in the night. Strange thoughts run through the head when surrounded by silence and shadows.

I put my card in the machine and began to type my numerical code on the panel as some strange hindsight was urging me to make my withdrawal quickly and hurry back to my car.

Mind tricks, so I thought at first when I heard a strange sound coming from the opposite side of my vehicle and out of view. I already looked back once, feeling the fool for doing so and letting the silence get to me. There was no reason to feel afraid. This night was anything but threatening. I’ve been to this ATM hundreds of times on many nights just like this one. (Now that admission was truly pathetic).

Of course, it’s thoughts like these that lead one to complacency and that’s how “it” happens.

You can’t imagine what it feels like until you become the victim. I didn’t know which was more alarming: the feel of the gun barrel pressed into my lower back, or the low monotone voice that spoke too calmly in my right ear.

“Give me the money,” the voice demanded, pressing the gun barrel further into my back. I could swear there was absolutely no emotion in that voice.

I’ve heard amazing boasts from people claiming to have been mugged. They all make it sound somehow brave in how they handled the situation, regardless of losing their wallets. As if the exaggerations in the telling helped them save face. Others have claimed they turned the tables on their would-be assailants, and either scared them off or simply got away. I realize now that every one of them were full of shit. I was scared out of my mind. No bravado, no heroics. I froze.

“Give me the money,” the cold voice repeated. Perhaps he was more familiar with the routine than I and expected my sluggish response. He was incredibly patient with me, the amateur victim.

I then found my line, “I’ll give you anything you want, just don’t shoot me, okay?” I immediately expected to hear a gun shot, or perhaps the butt end of the gun striking the back of my head. I became aware of a sudden dampness in my boxers. That’s right, I pissed myself. That’s what being a “victim” really means. No heroics here, unless needing a diaper was considered brave in another part of the universe. I felt faint with fear and then the voice brought me back.

“Give me the money, now.”

I found myself staring blankly at the ATM screen. I still hadn’t made my withdrawal selection. This mugger knew what he was doing. He couldn’t have timed this any better. All I needed to do was type in whatever amount he wanted. Dear God, how much did he want?

“Anything you say, Buddy… just tell me how much?” I managed to get out. (Did I really just call him, Buddy?)

The pause in his response was worse than anything I have ever gone through my entire life. It seemed like an eternity before the mugger finally answered me. “Give me twenty-four dollars and ninety-five cents,” he answered, and said no more.

“Say again?” I almost made a foolish mistake right then, turning to look at the mugger, but caught myself in time. I’d seen enough movies to know that if I didn’t see his face, my chances of being released would improve. He would know that I couldn’t identify him. Good God, I couldn’t believe I was actually relying on fucking late night crime flicks to get me out of this situation.

“Twenty-four dollars and ninety-five cents,” the mugger repeated with emphasis. For the first time I could hear a slight agitation in his voice.

I was puzzled by his peculiar request, but thankful that I wasn’t dead yet, so I overlooked it. “Sure thing, I’ll just pull out forty dollars and you can have it all, no problem… more if you want… whatever you want.” I was a blubbering idiot now. What next, tears?

“NO!” he barked.

I nearly threw up.

The mugger shoved the gun barrel into my back more sharply than before. I heard him making strange noises with his breathing. He sounded like a man on the verge of snapping. I then knew anything could go wrong.

However, as fast as the mugger’s temper flared, he returned just as quickly to that emotionless, cold voice and reclaimed himself.

“Let me make this crystal clear,” the mugger began. “I did not tell you to give me forty dollars. If I wanted forty dollars I would have said, ‘forty dollars’. I told you what I want now give me what I asked for. Do you understand me yet?”

For the first time, I didn’t think there would be a way out of this. This man was obviously fucking crazy.

“Do you understand yet?” the mugger repeated, the agitation in his voice returning much quicker this time.

“Yes, I understand… twenty-four dollars and ninety-five cents… anything you want.” I was frantic now. Before realizing what I was doing, I began typing in that exact amount on the number pad. A message soon appeared telling me that I could not withdrawal that amount. It had to be in multiples of twenty! What the fuck was I going to do now? He almost shot me at forty dollars, how was I going to get away with pulling out a twenty!

Your wallet! Check your wallet! The thought came and I prayed that there was still some bills left in there.

I looked in my wallet and saw five one dollar bills. I might make it out of this one after all.

I withdrew a twenty, combined it with the five singles, and held it up in my trembling hands without looking back. “Here you go… take it… please, just take it and I’m sorry for the mix up.”

I felt a gloved hand reach into mine and take the bills.

Suddenly, I was on the ground, my face hitting the asphalt hard. The mugger had a hand around the back of my neck, and one knee inflicting pain in the small of my back. I could feel him shaking with anger as he spoke. “YOU FUCKING LIE! YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND!”

I didn’t know what else to do, I closed my eyes and began to weep. That’s right, I cried. But pathetic is still better than dead. Somehow I got out, “What did I do wrong? Is it not enough? Do you want-”

“WHAT DID I SAY?” he interrupted.

I was bordering complete shutdown. I just didn’t understand his language and no one ever taught me how to speak ‘Crazy’.

I felt the gun barrel at the back of my head as he demanded, “WHAT DID I TELL YOU TO GIVE ME? TELL ME RIGHT NOW! RIGHT NOW! NOW! NOW!”

I waited for the sound that would end this nightmare, but it just would not come. I blurted out, “Twenty-four dollars and ninety-five cents!”

And just like that, the mugger eased up. He removed the gun from my head and I could feel him lifting the pressure off my neck and back. Again, with the calm voice of a true killer, he said, “Very good. Now one more time, will you give me what I want? Do you understand yet?”

I had a revelation from the land of insanity. For whatever reason, this man wanted exactly twenty-four dollars and ninety-five cents. Not forty, not twenty-five. I could have given him a million dollars and he still would have shot me.

I whispered, “Yes, I understand now.”

“Good,” the mugger said, and just like that I was back on my feet and standing once more before the hellish ATM. I could see my ghastly reflection in that little blue square and a masked individual looming behind me. I looked terrible and wished I could hide within that square until this psycho was long gone.

The mugger even had the courtesy of reaching around and placing my failed monetary offering back on the flat portion of the cash machine. I immediately placed the bills back in my wallet, feeling absurd for doing so. What was I supposed to say? Thank you?

I opted to remain silent, understanding very clearly that I only had one chance left; two strikes against me and there wouldn’t be a third. My remaining hope now rested on the small change compartment in my vehicle. If I was one penny shy of ninety-five fucking cents, I was a dead man.

“Sir,” I said, “I’ll need to go to my vehicle to get the exact change you want. Is that alright?”

There was a pause as the mugger considered my request. He then replied, “Yes, that’s acceptable.” Soon he had me walking back toward my car, the gun still pressed against my back.

As we approached my little, tan Corolla, I watched it transform into something foreign in my mind. My car was now a coffin with wheels. I had to shake these grim thoughts and try to become a survivor. Somehow.

The mugger was no fool. He led me very deliberately to the passenger side of my car, not allowing me easy access to simply get in and drive away. Even if he didn’t, my hands were shaking too much to ever get the key in the ignition.

I opened the door and went to the center compartment between the seats and began to count the change… fifty-five cents… sixty… seventy… (now would be a horrible time to fail math) eighty… ninety… ninety-five cents.

There was a God after all!

Once again, without looking back, never looking back, I combined my new, crisp twenty dollar bill from the cash machine with four singles from my wallet and added in the change. I reached behind and submitted my offering to the mugger. “Here you go, twenty-four dollars and ninety-five cents, exactly what you wanted.”

Again, a gloved hand reached for mine, the hand of death or the hand of chance, I did not know yet.

I was still half-in, half-out of my Corolla when I heard that cold voice say, “Thank you.” Nothing
more. I no longer felt the barrel of that gun at my back.

Several minutes passed and the mugger said nothing. I was actually starting to believe that if I turned around, he would simply be gone.

Was that it? Did I pass the fucking test?

I achieved enough boldness to back out of the car and stand up. My legs felt like Jell-O beneath me.

Do I dare look behind?

Glancing across the top of my car and into the asphalt lot, a stray cat started in my direction. Something about that cat seemed to help my fear drift. Perhaps this small creature represented the return of something, anything, resembling my former normal life. As odd as this was, I took comfort in that cat as it came closer.

When it stopped in the middle of the lot, the cat began cleaning itself, then stopped as it noticed me for the first time.

“I’ll never do it again, I promise. No more porn, no more bad living, no more fucking ATM’s.” My confession to the cat continued, understanding that it wasn’t the cat I was speaking to at all.

Several more minutes of silence followed and I took a deep breath. Watching that cat, I asked it in a whisper as if it were a prophet from God, “Is it over then?”

In response, the prophetic cat looked beyond me and hissed.

I felt something heavy strike the back of my head and my world went black.

~~~

Several days later, the officer who discovered the abandoned tan Toyota Corolla in an unpopulated wooded area, would remember the blood in the trunk more than anything else. He would have nightmares about that trunk, wondering how so much blood could come from a single human body.

There was no body found, of course. Just a bloody trunk with some odds and ends typical of what one may expect to find in a trunk, along with a receipt from Wal-Mart for a large shovel, a painter’s tarp, some rope, and a gas can all purchased two days prior for exactly twenty-four dollars and ninety-five cents.

~~~

“ATM” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~


“For the Love of All the Pieces” Copyright © 2010 John Ecko.  All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~


Note: This short sci-fi horror story is unrelated to Don’t Feed The Dark.

~~~

The 2002 SL1 Saturn wasn’t pretty, but with just under a hundred thousand miles, a minor crack along the bottom of the windshield, and some minor rust beneath, she was a steal for $1500.  Frank Hamilton could care less about appearances.  With a two hour drive to and from work each day, he needed reliability and a way to save on outrageous gas prices that drained his paychecks.

“Now if I could just trade that bitch in for a junker, I’d be set,” Frank confessed out loud, bemused at the differences between his new-used car and his old, nagging wife, Mary.  Appearances certainly weren’t everything. Fifteen years in a run-down marriage had taught him that much.  Reliability?  Only when it came time for her to remind him again what an asshole he was for choosing a job half-a-state away and with long twelve hour shifts.  Paycheck Drainage?  When Mary was unhappy she spent money. Check that block for sure.

As Frank began his long drive home along Interstate 90, he continued to ponder on the depreciating value of his tired marriage, as well as many other exhausted 2am thoughts.  “Well, at least I have you to depend on, my ancient friend,” he reassured the car.

The Saturn hummed its steady appreciation.

It’s funny what happens when we turn that ignition key and embark with our four-wheeled partners of the road. There’s a sense of unspoken trust between man and machine as both become “one” on those long missions called, The Drive Home.  Sometimes, it is our confessional, as we bear all within the confines of manufactured parts; our mobile sanctuary.  At other times, they become fellow collaborators in our need to temporarily dump emotions through fits of rebellion, performing acts of law-breaking speed with just one foot to the gas pedal, or rolling that window down to yell obscenities to passing drivers we will never see again.  There’s an illusion of power behind that steering wheel, and a taste of momentary freedom before returning to the doldrums of our tired routines.   If you doubt this “oneness” I speak of, consider how many times you’ve driven home, dead-tired, arrived in your driveway, and have had no recollection how you got there.  Is this “automatic” mode, or is it really a kind of “auto-magic”?

Frank fell under the spell of such magic as time slipped into oblivion, his favorite rock station blaring the sounds of Led Zeppelin.  For a moment, he was Robert Plant, singing loudly, boldly and proudly the worst rendition of Black Dog imaginable.  But within the car, both stage and audience, he was a legendary rock god.  Auto-magic!

Thirty minutes later, Frank’s blight on vocal stardom came to a crashing halt as the caffeine betrayed him.  The rocks above his eyes began to fall, his vision slipping in and out of focus.  Frank rolled down his window to let the cool night air stimulate his senses, but the hypnotic blur of yellow dashes on dull, unchanging highway continued to lull him to sleep.  The music only distracted from his concentration as did staring out into the meaningless void of shadowed scenery reserved for daylight use.

Frank looked down at the odometer: 99,989.  His new-used Saturn would become a senior citizen in just eleven short miles.  He tried to keep himself busy by counting down the mileage.  Unfortunately, the demon of fatigue had other plans as Frank fell asleep before the next mile and…

~~~

…jerked his head up violently as the bright afternoon assaulted him through the windshield.  “Shit!” He was almost convinced he’d driven off the planet and into the sun as he quickly lowered his visor and slammed on the breaks.  He nearly lost control of the Saturn before coming to a screeching stop, sliding sideways in the center of a two-lane road surrounded by farmland.

A nearby cow behind an old wooden fence turned to look at the strange man, dismissed him, then continued to chew on the grass.

“I’m dreaming,” he declared to the cow.  Frank looked at the illuminated liar on his dashboard.   It continued to defy all reason:  3:15 pm.

“No way in hell is that right.”  But the sunny afternoon supported the lie.

“Think, Frank, think.  There’s a reasonable explanation for this.”  But no matter how hard he tried, Frank could not remember anything beyond falling asleep at the wheel shortly after his Zeppelin concert last night.

“Someone drove me here after I fell asleep.”  He wanted desperately to believe this, but it didn’t explain how he woke up driving, alone, in his car.  Frank could not commit to the fact that somehow, he’d fallen asleep last night around 2:30 am and managed to continue driving unconscious for nearly twelve hours.

Besides, he was no longer on Interstate 90.  Frank had no idea where here was, or if he was even in the same state.  Nothing looked familiar.

“Okay, think back to last night, Frank.  Retrace your steps.  Maybe you just don’t remember the drive, as strange as that sounds.  Maybe you’re suffering a delusion brought on by sleep deprivation.  Maybe-”

Maybe you’ve gone fucking nuts.

As Frank tried to reclaim a thread of sanity, he happened to notice the windshield.  The crack that ran along the base was gone.  He ran his hand along the glass, his eyes needing confirmation from another sense.  It was definitely gone.  He noticed other irregularities as well.  The car smelled different.

Bleach?

Yes, that’s what it was.  The Saturn reeked of bleach.  Also there was an industrial-sized roll of plastic wrap lying on the passenger side floor. Also, a red and white cooler, not his, rested on the seat beside him and-

“Oh, shit… no way!”

Frank stared in shock at the odometer: 55,682.

That’s not right.  None of this is fucking right.

“I’ve got to get out of here,” he decided, not willing to consider this madness any longer.

He needed to regain his bearings; find out where he was for starters, then, try to piece together the missing fragments between last night and now.  He started the Saturn and turned the car around, hoping to back track along his route and stir up any memories.

“Just keep driving, Frank, until you find a gas station, restaurant–anywhere with people–and find out where you are.”  It felt good to have a logical course of action even if trapped inside an automotive madhouse.  Frank continued to take sideway glances at the cooler, unwilling to stare at it too long and acknowledge its existence.  But he couldn’t help noticing another detail.  A blood-smeared handle continued to draw his attention.

“Not my fucking car!”  The admission, sounding like a defense, finally made his situation real.  “I’m just going to find somewhere to ditch this thing and get home.”

Get as far away from this car as I can before…

Like a well-timed portent of impending doom, Frank heard the police sirens from behind him.  He checked the speedometer:  70 miles per hour.  Shit!  He immediately slowed down, pulling over into the shoulder lane, hoping the state police cruiser simply needed the right of way.  No such luck, the cruiser pulled in behind him.

“Fuck!” Frank shouted.  “This can’t be happening.  Not now.”

He suddenly wished he were Dorothy and could tap his muddy work boots together and magically return to Kansas, or at the very least, back to last night when he was still just a sane man driving home from a long day of work.

But now, he was here, in this car, and by the looks of things… that wasn’t good.

Frank, there’s fucking blood on the lunchbox!  his mind screamed.

A tall state trooper wearing sunglasses began to approach the car.

“Shit!” Frank reached over with shaking hands and knocked the lunch box off the seat.  The lid fell open as something with blood-matted hair rolled half-way out the top and took a peek at him with dead eyes.

Frank jerked back violently, reaching for the door handle and trying not to vomit.

“Problem, Sir?”  the state trooper asked, looking down through the window at a safe distance.  His hand rested uneasy along the top of his gun holster.

Frank looked desperately at the officer, using his hands to gesture something he hoped was universal sign language for, “I’ve gotta vomit…now!”

The officer seemed to catch the hint as he backed away while moving to the left, allowing Frank to open the car door and unload.

“Better?” the trooper asked.

Frank waved dismissively and tried to smile.  “Thanks,” he managed to say when some of the blood returned to his face.

“Have you been drinking today, Sir?”

The question seemed to come at him from a million miles away.  Frank needed out of that car before he lost it completely.  He began to get out.

“Now, hold it!”  the trooper barked.  “I need you to stay right where you are.”

Frank heard what he believed was the sound of the trooper’s gun being drawn.  He didn’t care.  Nothing was worse than returning to that hellish car.  Frank managed to get half-way out as the trooper helped him to the ground.  Next thing he knew, Frank’s hands were behind his back, the sound of clicking hand cuffs registering before he realized he couldn’t move his arms.

“Now, just stay where you are.  Keep your head facing away from me, you hear?  I’m going to check your vehicle for anything unsafe.  Is there anything you’d like to tell me, before I start?”

“Not my car!” Frank spat through tears.  Overwhelmed, he began to laugh hysterically.  “Watch out for that head in the lunchbox… scared me shitless…”

“What was that?”

Frank continued to laugh.  “The rest of… whoever that is… probably in the damn trunk.  I haven’t checked yet.”

The officer retrieved his portable radio and was calling for assistance.  Frank heard the trunk pop open.

The dispatcher came back over the radio.  Frank made out bits and pieces, “…Warrant for arrest… car matching description… considered armed and dangerous… registered to Scott Warren, wanted for suspected homicide…”

“Well, there you have it, Officer,” Frank said.  “There’s your man!  It’s his fucking car, not mine!  Not mine!”

“Oh, dear Jesus!” the officer said after a squeaky hood was raised.  “What the fuck have you done?”

“What is it?  What’s back there?”  Frank had to know.

The officer was over him in an instant, his knee pressed firmly into his back while he began to search his pockets.  “You have the right to remain silent…” His voice sounded strained.

“What’s back there?” Frank whispered.

“You know damn well what’s back there,” the officer hissed.  “They’re all cut to shreds.  How the hell could you… looks like you butchered four people… and one’s just a child, a fucking child!”  The knee dug into his back.

“It wasn’t me!”  Frank cried.  “I’m telling you, I did nothing wrong!”

“Tell it to your executioner, Asshole!”

Frank turned his head to look into the officer’s face.  “It’s not even my car!  It’s his!  My name’s Frank, not Scott!  Just check my damn I.D.”

In the reflection of the state trooper’s sunglasses, Frank caught a glimpse of himself, or rather, a glimpse of Scott Warren.

“No!  No!  No!”

“Shut up, killer!  I’ll break your arm if you don’t stop moving!  Damned if I don’t.”

Frank continued to protest as the sounds of multiple approaching sirens drowned him out…

~~~

…He bolted upright as the Saturn struck a guard rail creating fireworks outside his window.

“Shit!” he yelled, turning sharply to the right.  The Saturn fishtailed as he slowly regained control.  The night air mixed with adrenaline woke him up in a hurry.

“What the hell?” he asked the night.

The night had no response.

The radio was blaring what sounded like the end of a Led Zeppelin concert.  He hated that Rock crap.  He noticed the crack along the windshield.

“When did I do that?”

He checked to see if the lunchbox was alright.  It was gone.

“Not again,” he whispered.

The illuminated odometer caught his attention and made him laugh: 99,989.

He tried to remember how he got here.  Everything was a blur… again.  He took a quick glance at himself in the rearview mirror and gasped. Blue eyes this time?

What he wasn’t surprised about was that he knew where he was going.  He knew who was waiting for him when he got there, too.

“Mary?” he asked the night.  Yes, that felt right.  That would have to be enough for now.  Maybe she would have answers. He honestly didn’t believe she would know anything… none of them ever did. He would enjoy the interrogation regardless.

He turned off the radio. He was not a man who bothered himself with trivial things.  He was a man of strange purpose and was often dictated by stranger compulsions.  As bizarre as these situations he found himself in, he always dismissed them and focused on each new opportunity. He gently caressed his Saturn’s steering wheel and laughed at an old inside joke shared between man and machine:

You’ve always been the perfect get-a-way vehicle.

“Mary,” he repeated again as he drove automatically toward the Hamilton house.  Scott Warren was smiling like the devil.

~~~

“Previous Owner”  Copyright © 2012, 2017 Scott Scherr.  All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~