Kim knew she shouldn’t have left her mother, but the little puppy was so cute, and she’d never been able to resist cuteness.
She kept following the little ball of fur farther and farther into the woods. “Here, puppy,” she tried again.
The puppy would stop and look at her, but never come close. He’d cock his head to the side and then run off again. Kim was scared he’d get hurt out there all alone. She didn’t stop to think what might happen to her out there.
Suddenly, the puppy stopped and started whimpering. Kim was able to walk right up to it. She scooped the little bundle up and held him close, trying to quiet his fear. When the puppy settled down, she heard something.
“No, please!” someone begged. “Please don’t hurt me.”
Kim edged closer to the sound. When she peeked through some brush, it was her doing the whimpering and not the puppy. Not too far from where she stood, a man was standing over a woman. He had something in his hands, but Kim couldn’t tell what. She could tell the woman was scared though. Her eyes were wide and she was crying.
Kim stepped back, intent on finding her mom and getting the police. The crack of the branch she stepped on seemed to resonate through the whole forest.
The man’s head snapped toward her.
The woman screamed “No!” when she saw Kim.
The scream broke through Kim’s terror. She spun around and started running.
Behind her, she heard the man grunt and then yell for the woman to let him go. The woman said something Kim couldn’t hear and then yelled, “Run, child, run!”
Kim didn’t have to be told. She was running as fast as her legs would take her. The puppy was trying to get free, but Kim wouldn’t let him. “No,” she told him. “You have to stay with me. You can’t save her.”
She thought she’d made it. The edge of the woods were in sight. Kim raced ahead, but suddenly the breath was knocked from her.
The puppy squealed when Kim landed on him but managed to squirm his way out from under her. Then he charged at the man. Every time the man tried to get close to Kim, the puppy would snarl and bite at him. Finally, the man had enough. Kim watched in dismay as he kicked the puppy. She couldn’t tell where the puppy landed, but the sick thud and silence broke her heart.
The man reached down and picked Kim up. She fought, but was no match for his strength. After she bit his neck, he slapped her so hard she saw stars. “Do that again and I’ll break your neck,” he warned.
Kim was so scared. She didn’t want to die. She wanted her mommy. She promised God that if he got her away from the man, she’d never wander off again, no matter how cute the puppy was.
It seemed they walked forever before getting back to the woman. The man threw Kim down beside her. Kim got sick after seeing all the blood covering the woman’s face. Kim figured the man had hit the woman with the big stick lying beside her.
“Is…sh..e..dea..d?” Kim stammered.
“I sure hope not,” the man said. “I haven’t had enough fun with her yet.”
Kim didn’t understand what he meant. She didn’t think the woman had had any fun at all with the man. She hoped he was right about her not being dead, though.
The man picked up the big stick and told Kim to do as she was told or he’d beat her to death with it. He then grabbed one of the woman’s legs and started dragging her farther into the woods. “Come,” he told Kim.
When she wasn’t moving fast enough, he prodded her along with the stick.
Kim kept glancing back at the woman. She didn’t see how she could sleep while being dragged. Finally, she thought she saw the woman open her eyes. Kim started to say something, but the woman put a finger to her lips. “Get a move on!” the man yelled and swatted Kim with the stick.
They walked a little longer until they came to a tent. The man told Kim to sit on a stump and dropped the woman beside her. The woman acted like she was still sleeping whenever the man looked, but she winked at Kim when his back was turned.
Kim watched as the man rummaged in a bag. When he pulled out some rope and came toward her, she started crying. The man kicked the woman out of the way and started to tie Kim’s wrist.
He was busy with Kim and not paying attention to anything else. Kim saw movement from the corner of her eye. She couldn’t believe it when she saw the puppy. The little dog started nipping at the man’s legs. He was jumping around so fast the man couldn’t catch him.
The man finally got so mad he picked up the stick and hit the puppy.
Kim didn’t think, she just lunged at the man. She hit him hard enough to knock him off balance. The stick flew out of his hand.
Kim was trying to get up off the ground, which wasn’t easy with her hands tied, when she heard the man roar. He was coming after her when the woman stood up.
Kim watched as the woman picked up the stick and ran for the man. She struck him in the head and he went down. Then the woman kept hitting him and hitting him. Kim had to turn away.
The woman finally stopped and fell to her knees. She crawled to Kim and asked her if she was ok. Kim couldn’t stop crying, but she wasn’t hurt. The woman helped her to her feet and told her they needed to find her mother.
They were leaving the campsite when Kim heard it. A slight mewling sound and then a moan.
“The puppy!” she yelled and pulled her hand free.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
“You can’t do this, Donna.”
“It looks like I can,” I replied as I splashed more gasoline on the bed.
I watched as he thrashed around, trying to pull free of the ropes that secured him to the bedposts. Ropes I had tied him with while he slept off the wine. I knew he wouldn’t be able to escape. He had taught me how to tie inescapable knots long ago.
“Please, Donna,” he begged. “We can work this out. Just let me go.”
“So it’s to be nice daddy today, is it?” I asked while I pulled things from my bag.
The surge of power I felt when he turned pale at the sight of the acid bottle must have been what he felt every time he hurt us. I had been ready to get it over with quickly, but the look of terror on his face changed my mind. He deserved for me to take my time.
“This isn’t you, Donna. You can’t do this!”
“You’re singing the same ole tune, Daddy Dearest.”
“Dammit, you bitch, let me lose!” he demanded.
I laughed at the outburst. I knew it wouldn’t take long before the true Tucker Reynolds came out.
“That’s more like it,” I said and patted him on the cheek. “There’s the father we all know and hate.”
“You’ll pay for this, Donna,” he said. When I twisted the cap off the acid, he started yelling for help.
“It won’t do you any good. Remember? You soundproofed the basement years ago. At least that’s what you told us when we’d scream.”
I could tell he didn’t like it when I brought up his sins. He never had. He had always wanted to pretend they never happened after the fact. But I wanted him to remember. I wanted him to think about every evil thing he’d done. Every evil thing he’d made me do.
“You won’t get away with this!” he yelled. “They’ll put you in prison.”
“We’re both going to end up somewhere much worse than prison,” I replied.
He got quiet as I held the acid bottle above his foot. “Please,” he begged, but it did no use. I upturned the bottle and watched as acid ate through to the bones and muscle underneath his skin. His screams were deafening. I finally had to put the earplugs I’d brought in so I could hear myself think.
I waited until he quieted down some before moving to the other foot. “Remember when you hammered the nail in Tom’s foot?” I asked as I poured.
“I remember you held him down for me to do it,” he spat after he caught his breath.
That was the kicker. I had helped in the madness. Oh, not at first. At first, when I was younger, I was subjected to anything his twisted mind could think of. I often think he hated me so much because I survived. Unlike the others.
“Yes, I did. God help me, I held them all down. And what good did it do me?” I asked him as I watched a puddle of acid pool on his stomach. “None. You still came after me time and again, and no matter how often you promised a child would be the last, they never were.”
His screams were almost too much even with the earplugs. The blood bubbling up through the acid eating his stomach was truly a gruesome sight, but I watched. I wanted to see everything. I wanted to watch while he died in anguish.
“There won’t be any more children now though,” I told him. “And guess what,” I said as I poured a line of acid up his chest to his neck. “Angeline lived.”
I could see the surprise in his eyes despite the pain. He thought I’d gotten rid of the little girl’s body like I had all the others. Unlike the others, Angeline was still breathing when he was done with her. I had distracted him and then went back for her. She was resting at the local hospital. I’m sure the cops had talked to her already.
“I will quit,” he said. “I promise. I won’t do it again. Please, just stop!”
“Neither of us will do it again,” I told him.
I waited a few more minutes while the acid worked. I couldn’t wait too long, though, because I didn’t want the cops to arrive before I was finished. He wasn’t going to trial. I was his jury and executioner.
“I thought about using the acid on your eyes,” I said. “But I changed my mind. I want you to see everything that happens. I want your eyes working when you wake up in hell.”
He was still screaming and cursing when I lit the match. I placed it on the end of the bed and then I curled up beside him. We both watched as the flames licked to life.
When the fire started to scorch the bottom of my feet, I hugged him close and whispered, “It’s okay, daddy. I’m right here with you. It’ll only hurt a little.”
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Charles slowly pulled the piece of metal from Tom’s stomach. The sight of the bloody fingerprints where his hand had gripped the steel was more than he could handle.
Tom watched as Charles retched in the bushes. He pulled himself along the sidewalk and wrapped his arm around the crumpled man. “Think of me while you rot in prison,” he whispered.
Charles jerked away and turned his back on the man who had been his best friend for over twenty years. He couldn’t believe what Tom had done. Even though he knew his sin was unforgivable, he still couldn’t believe Tom would go that far to get even.
He had tried to pull the metal away from Tom, but it had done no use. Tom was smarter. He had used Charles’s on strength against him, thrusting the cold steel deeply into his own stomach.
The gurgling sound of Tom’s last breaths brought Charles around. He moved to his friend’s side and held his hand. “I’m sorry, Tom. So sorry.”
Although there was no rational way he could know what Tom meant, Charles believed the slight squeeze of his hand meant he was sorry, too. Not that the mutual apologizes were going to do either one of them any good.
It had been bad enough when Tom had caught Charles and Claire in bed together. The pain and humiliation on her face had almost broken Charles’s heart. He didn’t know if she would be able to handle the shame that would be heaped upon her shoulders when everyone found out the reason for Tom’s death. And he wouldn’t be there to help her through it.
As the flashing blue lights of the first police car reached him, Charles thought the person who was going to be hurt the most was the woman both men had loved, and he wondered if maybe that hadn’t been Tom’s intent. His friend had always had a vindictive streak.
Monday, March 4, 2013
It was a dark and stormy night when Dracula met his end.
I’m still sketchy on the details, but I do remember leaving the bar and walking along the waterfront. Well, I say walking, but it was probably more like stumbling if my knees are any indication. I had been to my brother’s bachelor party, and unfortunately, for me and Dracula, when I party I really party.
I have no recollection of the actual event, but people say Dracula swooped in and bit me when I tripped over a lose board. They watched him do his business and then leave me in a heap. What everyone found most shocking was that when Dracula started to walk away, he was staggering.
Accounts report that he kept trying to take flight, but couldn’t seem to get it together enough to do more than shamble along. Everyone watched, astonished, when he drew close to the end of the pier. With only a few feet left, he started running. People assume he was getting a head start to rise and fly off into the night, but things didn’t quite go as planned. Instead, Dracula jumped and promptly fell.
Unbeknownst to him, a portion of the pier had been damaged in a recent storm. A few posts were broken in half, leaving jagged spikes in their place.
Dracula fell on one such spike.
The newspapers are all abuzz with the demise of our most feared resident. I read them and I laugh. I know it won’t be long until they find my first victim.
Monday, February 25, 2013
The thwack of the oar knocked James into the water. The last thing he saw before going under was Stewart, standing in the boat, smiling. James struggled to stay awake as water seeped into his nose. He couldn't help thinking back to when his father was teaching him to swim. He'd sucked in more water than a sponge before he finally got the hang of it.
Unfortunately, his father wasn't around right then to pull him up, and his body felt more like a rock than a sponge. He shook his head the best he could to clear it and tried to push toward the surface. Funny, he thought, I never knew you could cough under water.