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I was amazed how quickly my dad found a new house for us after he was told where his job was headed. I never really try to understand what anyone want...

PREVIEW: Jack in the Box

September 13, 2018

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In The Dark

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Abby frowned.

 

The light switch on her lamp was clicking as she turned it, but no light was coming on, leaving the room covered in the oppressive void that she sought to be rid of. Mostly because she thought she heard a noise somewhere in the house, and she wanted to be able to find her phone, just in case.

 

"Fucking lamp..." Abby growled, patting her nightstand in search of her wayward mobile. But all she felt was the smooth glass over the wooden piece. Even her alarm clock was off.

 

Had the power gone out?

 

She paused as she thought she heard it again.

 

This time, it was in the room though.

 

Her bedroom was the largest one in the house, with an attached bathroom and balcony overlooking her rose garden. Being a botanist, she was justly proud of her rows of premium roses that she sold to flower shops and stores, her crop changing to pumpkins for the fall season. Even now, in her state of near panic, she could smell the lingering aroma of her roses filtering in from the ground below, her door to the balcony open.

 

Wait...

 

"Why is that door open?" Abby asked.

 

A raspy voice next to the bed, nearly a foot from Abby's head, croaked. "Because that's how I let myself in..."

 

Abby instantly was off the bed on the other side, falling to the floor with a hard thud. She heard her bed springs chime as something heavy crawled into her bed.... crawled after her. Abby scratched at her carpet to gain purchase and crawled away, towards where she thought her bathroom was.

 

Behind her, the intruder chuckled dryly. "Where are you going girl? Not a very good hostess if you're running from the guest of the house."

 

Abby bit back a scream as she heard the bed springs squeak once more, a heavy thud reverberating through the floor alerting Abby that whoever was in the room, they were coming after her.

 

Crawling between the double doors leading to the bathroom, she slammed them shut and locked the door, pawing at everything as she struggled against the blinding dark that wrapped over her eyes. Just as she flicked the lock over, she felt the doors rattle from someone slamming into them,

 

Thud!

 

Thud!

 

Thud!

 

Abby crawled over to where her walk in closet was, patting the wall for a sign of where the frame was. Smiling wanly, she pulled open her closet and crawled in, before closing the door. Low hanging shirts and dresses became her cover as she settled in the back of the closet, her back against the wall. She gripped a high heel, ready to strike at anything that opened the door and came in.

 

She heard the bathroom doors crack, flying open to slam against the walls of the bathroom. Heavy footfalls led the man, the voice was too harsh to be a woman, to the center of the room where he paused.

 

"So that's how it's going to be Abby?" The man croaked. "Hide and seek? How banal... but fine! I'll play."

 

She heard a metallic tapping against the tile of the bathroom, along with long sniffs in the air. "You like roses, that much I could tell by your garden... lovely by the way."

 

Abby clapped a hand over her mouth to keep herself quiet. The man continued on, padding along the room, tapping something metal against the walls and floor.

 

"I see plenty of creams and moisturizers in here Abby Are you afraid the sun is going to make your skin old and tired? I wouldn't worry about it... you would normally have years before you have to worry about being old."

 

Abby pulled her knees up to her chest as she heard a clank of metal against the door to the closet. The footfalls paused, the man sniffing the air once more.

 

Then he began to sing, in a deep bass.

 

"One, two, three, you're going to see," he sang as he moved on, walking over to the bathtub. "One, two, three, you'll be coming with me. See the moon and raise your arms, hopeless against the soon-to-come harm."

 

Abby winced when she heard the shower curtain pulled down from the shower rod, the rod itself falling and banging loudly within the tub. The man paused in his singing, humming the eerie tune as he did something with the plastic shower curtain.

 

"Ah, Abby... you're dragging out the inevitable. Just come forward and it'll be over quick. Making me wait just makes me... anticipate the moment of revelry. Who knows, maybe you'll last a few minutes..."

 

Abby didn't like the sound of that. The sudden rushing of stomping feet towards the closet she liked even less. A fresh gust of rose-scented wind blew over her as the door was ripped open. How she wished the darkness was banished, just so she could see who was tormenting her so.

 

"Ah... there you are Abby. Why don't you come out and we can get this settled, eh?" He chuckled. His chuckles grew to loud, mad laughter as he lunged down upon her, a large hand with thick fingers grabbing at her hair, yanking a fistful towards him and dragging her bodily across the floor of her closet.

 

She cried ou in pain before swinging her high heel up, where she gambled his face would be, A satisfying crunch was felt, her face spattered with hot fluid that was as runny as water. She smiled as his tugs stopped for a moment.

 

Then she felt a searing pain as something large and sharp stabbed into her shoulder, going eight inches deep in half a second. The thick blade was holding back her blood loss, though she felt a faint trickle stain her nightclothes. The hand resumed dragging her, ignoring her cries of agony as she brought her hands up to the weapon, hoping to pull it free.

 

The handle, no, handles formed a V, as if they were...

 

They were garden shears. She'd been stabbed with garden shears.

 

The man's smile was evident in his voice. "Yes, those are shears. To be precise, they're your shears. I found them in the shed before I climbed up here. You have a lot of interesting things in your garden, you know? Let's see them, shall we?"

 

She felt two hands grip her arms, the leather of thick gloves scraping across her skin painfully as she was lifted up high, at least five or six feet off the ground. Thudding forward, the man staggered until they were out on the balcony, the breeze of the warm late-summer air wafting over them.

 

The moonlight was faint, and she was being held to where she was staring out over her garden. The rose bushes were sitting silently, leaves waving in the wind as if greeting her.

 

She was suddenly weightless, thrust forward into the air before gravity gripped her, pulling her down to the garden below.

 

She landed painfully, the shears twisting in her shoulder. She was having trouble breathing, and could only move her right arm... the burning pain coming from her left told her it was likely broken. A resounding thud, along with a rain of kicked up earth, signaled that the man had jumped down from the second story. Turning, she looked up at her attacker.

 

Wearing a thick red flannel jacket with worn jeans, the man had an absurdly large head... in fact, his head was the exact same shape as a pumpkin. Atop the head was a familiar wide-brimmed hat that she looked at every day.

 

"George? You're alive?" Abby asked, shocked to see her scarecrow walking about.

 

"Yes," he replied solemnly. "And I'm doing my job, you see. I hope you understand."

 

"I don't, urgh!" Abby cried out as George grabbed the handles of the shears, leaning down over her. The lacquered pumpkin, one that had won an award for it's size two years ago, leered down at her with triangle eyes, the jagged mouth smiling wickedly as the construct chuckled.

 

"I'm just making sure there are no pests in the garden Abby... no birds, rats, or dogs. And now, no humans to shear away rose after rose from the defenseless bushes, to sell off pumpkins to be carved up... that all stops here and now."

 

"George, I'm sorry! Don't kill me!"

 

"This may hurt a little," George said, before pulling the shears wide within her body, shredding her insides with razor sharp blades. Abby screamed herself hoarse as he cut the shears through her body, hacking through bone and organ, until the bloody tool was dropped to the ground, spattering in the pool of blood that was growing larger and larger by the second.

 

And the garden fell silent, save for a few footfalls and a creaking of wood as an old wooden cross was greeted as an old friend by the least likely suspect in the soon-to-be murder investigation. The wood creaked one final time before everything was still, save for the sound of sirens coming in the distance.

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