Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Monochromes

"Turn off the camera."


  1. “Turn off the camera.”

    I was not used to the middle school kids getting bossy in the middle of their yearbook session, but I decided to play along. The girl was cute and confident and used to being humored. She was a spoiled brat coming in, she'd be a spoiled brat going out. No use trying to change that.

    “Okay,” I assented. “It's off.”

    “Turn on the room lights.”

    My mixture of annoyance and amusement quickly grew into irritation. I was on a schedule. There were other kids waiting. Even so, I dragged myself over and turned on the lights. “Did you lose a hair pin or something?” I asked more snidely than I'd meant to.

    When I turned back to face her I saw she was holding a gun.

    “Holy – !” I spun for the door, but in my nervous I couldn't even grip the handle.

    “Holiness has nothing to do with this,” she growled. In her young hangs, even the relatively small .38 looked like a large weapon. It shook bad enough I knew her aim would not be any good. At this range, it didn't need to be.

    I tried to say something clever, but I couldn't. I'd never faced a gun before. It wasn't like the movies. It was like looking at death. You know that inner dread when you go in for a risky surgery? The feeling that you know it's probably okay, but you still could die? It's like that without the part about knowing it;'s probably okay.

    I peed my pants and continued to clutch blindly for the door handle. My mouth moved. Only weak, animal sounds came out.

    “You killed my mother,” she raged, stepping closer to me.

    “What?” A real word finally burst forth amidst the gibberish. My hand found knob, clutched it, but couldn't make it operate.

    “You raped her and then killed her!”

    “What are you taking about?” Against my will, I sank to my knees, trembling. I had no idea how to reckon with madman that held my life in her seventh grade hands.

    “Her name was Rachael Sells.”

    In an instant, a new instinct took over. I lunged for the gun, grabbed it, and whipped it up against her head. The girl flew almost across the room. Her eyes rolled back in her head instantly, and the crack of her skull was accompanied by the squirting of blood back onto my hand.

    “Rachael Sells,” I murmured. “I'd forgotten all about that bitch.”

  2. Bradshaw was barking his head off at the front door. At least that junkyard dog was concerned about protecting his family. Okay, it was probably just because he had nothing else to do and the ding-dong was a sure sign that something exciting might be waiting behind door number one.

    I could hear Jerrod, on the other side of the door, yelling at Bradshaw to shut up. Those two were like Frick and Frack, for crying out loud. I wrestled my 120 lb. lab out of the way and yanked open the door.

    “Who’s a good boy?” Jerrod said in that people-who-love-dogs voice as Bradshaw jumped him with glee.

    “When you two are done making out I’ll be in the backyard.” I said.

    “So Carrie, I brought the video camera like you asked. What’s up?” Frick and Frack were following me through the house.

    “I need you to be discreet for once in your life, Jerrod.” I turned to face him, hand on the backdoor. “I need evidence.”

    Jerrod ran his hand through his cropped sandy hair. “Whoa girl, what the hell are you talking about?”

    “I think our neighbor is a serial killer.” I said.

    Jerrod held his hand on Bradshaw’s head. The two of them just stared at me.

    “That’s a pretty serious accusation,” Jerrod’s voice lowered an octave. “What proof do you have?” He was making fun of me.

    “Lots of girls entering his house. And never coming out.” I said.

    “C’mon! That does not prove he’s a serial killer!” Jerrod was laughing now. “How do you know they never came out?”

    “I keep watch.” I said. “His garage door is on my side of the house. It wakes me up every time. There’s been a lot of activity lately.”

    Jerrod shrugged. He was always game for anything.

    We walked into the backyard nonchalant-like and began throwing the Frisbee for Bradshaw. Once we were certain there was no one home next door, we snuck over the fence. Bradshaw wasn’t loving being left behind. He knew better than to make a lot of noise, so he satisfied himself with a subtle whine.

    It was almost too easy. The door at the side of the garage was unlocked. We tiptoed inside and were hit with a foul stench. Pay dirt. Six black garbage bags were shoved up against the wall. A dark liquid was leaking out of one. Jerrod and I looked at each other, eyes wide, hands over our noses.

    “Start the camera!” My shaking hand was reaching for the leaky bag.

    “Turn off the camera.” Definitely not Jerrod’s voice.

    I turned to see someone standing directly behind Jerrod, a freaky huge butcher knife in his hand. Jerrod let out a shrill whistle that made the man wince.

    I saw the yellow blur just before the butcher knife went sailing across the garage with serial-killer neighbor following behind. Bradshaw was on top of the man like he was a piece of raw meat. Jerrod was on his cell phone faster than I could close my gaping mouth.

    “Who’s a good boy?” Jerrod rubbed Bradshaw’s ears as we watched the police load the garbage bags in their van.

  3. You puppies are both a little sick. :) Lots of blood and guts and more guts and more blood. It's a slasher prompt apparently.