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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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Arsonist

Monday, February 5, 2018

Samantha paced back and forth in front of her house, waiting for the preacher to make his appearance. He'd shown up an hour ago and asked to be left alone within the house to bless it. Seeing as the stout man had arrived promptly at sunset to her new home, she'd been relegated to the front porch of her old manor, the porch she was walking on carved from solid stone blocks to form a slick surface. She'd sat beneath the lights of her front porch, reading a novel for some time, but then the lights had died, leaving her in the darkness of the night.

 

"I swear to God if this place hadn't been such a steal I would try and resell it in a heartbeat," Samantha groused. The house had been having the odd bump in the night and slaps of feet on wooden floors for the first month or so. But what was really making it unbearable was the ungodly heat. No matter what Samantha did, it was always hot and sticky in the house.

 

Looking down at her cell phone for the time, she decided enough was enough; it didn't take two hours to bless a house! Moving to the front door, she opened it up with a long whining creak. The house was dim, with only a few candles casting light in the otherwise pitch conditions. The paint was fresh and bright, to cover the damage that an old fire had caused to the majority of the house decades ago. Flipping her phone over she turned on the application that made her phone into a flashlight, casting a brilliant blast of light to chase away the shadows.

 

Looking at the phones battery life, she scowled when she saw it was at nine percent.

 

"Knew I should have charged it earlier," she grumbled, walking into the living room before calling out for the preacher. "Mr. Faulk! Where are you?"

 

A distant voice, a weak voice, called from upstairs. "In the master bedroom... come here, you should take a look at this."

 

Shaking her head, she stalked over towards the wooden stairs, slowly easing her way from step to step. Ignoring the cries the house made in protest of her weight resting on the delicate boards making up the stairs. The hall at the top led two ways, one to the guest bedrooms and one to the master bedroom.

 

"Mr. Faulk?" Samantha called out, slowly walking towards the master bedroom. The door was partially closed, and the lights were off, her flashlight lighting up the hall with a search light. Reaching the door, she rested a hand against the wood, but immediately pulled her hand away.

 

It was scorching hot!

 

"Mr. Faulk! Are you okay?" Samantha called out, slightly panicked.

 

"Oh yes, Samantha... we're all okay in here. Come on in." Mr. Faulk called back, his voice hollow and metallic.

Pushing the door open, she looked into the darkness of the master bedroom. A king sized water bed dominated the center of the room, and from the way it was jiggling on its own, as well as the smell of hot plastic, Samantha could tell the water was boiling within. Swinging her phone around, she saw Mr. Faulk leaning against the bed facing her closet, head rolled back. 

 

"Mr. Faulk?" Samantha whispered, silently willing him to answer.

 

"Y-y-yes?" Mr. Faulk hissed, the sound of sizzling meat hitting an open grill.

 

"Are-Are you alright Mr. Faulk?" Samantha asked, taking a few tentative steps into the heated room, wincing as she watched steam rising from his body in curling tendrils.

 

"Mr. Faulk is n-not here Samantha, j-just you and m-m-me for now." Mr. Faulk turned his head, sweat pouring off of him in streams as steam roiled beneath his skin, both of his eyes were cloudy red, pulsating rapidly. He gripped the side of the bed, scorching the wood, pushing himself to his feet in his rapidly dissolving clothing, burnt flesh sloughing off of tender muscle as he moved, leaving smoking hand prints of hot blood as he went. Samantha gasped, turning to run down the hall and back down the stairs, only to discover the door had shut behind her, and audibly locked. 

 

Running to the door with her shoulder against the wood, she winced as she slid back down; there was no way she was going to get through that solid a door. Turning once more, she shrieked as Mr. Faulk was upon her, two bony hands, dripping with molten fat, grasped her harshly by the arms.

 

"You did this you little whore!" Mr. Faulk roared, his grip searing into her skin, the overwhelming stench of burning hair and flesh polluting the air.

 

"What? What did I do?" Samantha screamed, struggling in the grasp of the taller man. Her eyes widened in shock when she felt a hot splatter over her face as both of Mr. Faulk's eyes exploded forward, having to reach their maximum boiling point.

 

"You invited this... man over to bless my house, that's what!" Mr. Faulk screamed hollowly, goo sizzling down his cheekbones; his actual cheeks now naught but ash. "I was resting in relative peace until you did this, along with everything else!"

 

Shaking her, Mr. Faulk bared his yellowed teeth at her as his lips fell away. "Restoring my home! Painting the walls! Moving in! Do I look like I want a roommate?"

 

"N-No sir!"

 

"I want to be left alone! I did enough of this during my life that I think I've earned some peace in the grave. But you forced my hand in this Samantha, you truly did." Mr. Faulk shouted as his back burst into flame, sparks dancing off of him and onto the wooden floorboards, which broke out in smoldering pieces of wood.

 

"What are you doing?" Samantha gritted out, her arms burned beyond recognition in the corpses fiery grasp. Her hands flopped uselessly as the muscles that controlled them had been scorched away, blistered away from her very charred bones.

 

"Taking care of you like I have the preacher man," Mr. Faulk said, despite the fact his mandible had fallen from his cranium. "Buckle up baby, cause I'm cranking up the heat!"

 

Spinning her around, the fiery cadaver held her aloft by her biceps, her arms flapping uselessly below the burned openings while bubbling fat dribbled from the bloody wounds. “You look like you need to cool off,” Mr. Faulk said, lifting Samantha up high. Before she could scream, she was bodily slammed into the top of her mattress, bursting through the half-melted plastic concealing the boiling water within the water bed. The plastic split around her body striking it, searing fluids erupting all around her as she was subsumed in a foot and a half of roiling water. Screaming beneath the sloshing waves, Samantha watched as her flesh slid off her muscles, the way her skin bubbled up and popped as the water seared into it, boiling her alive within the confines of the wooden tub. Above her she watched as sparks danced and leaped from Mr. Faulk’s back, igniting everything they came in contact with. As she finally gave in and inhaled the scorching water, her esophagus swelling at the mere touch of the hot fluid, the last thing she heard before blacking out was Mr. Faulk’s high pitched laughter.

 

+++

 

The blazing inferno that was the old manor house was one that drew the attention of all the neighbors in the surrounding houses, along with three separate fire stations. The heat of the flames was so intense, that some said the cracking of the wooden beams was like the laughter of a madman, and the collapsing of the walls the shrieks of a young woman. The lead fire chief, an older man that had seen a good deal of fires in his time, was faintly reminded of the blazes that had been ignited by a serial arsonist back in the early 50's. They'd never caught him, only cleaning up his messes. Sitting back and watching as the fire burned anything that wasn't cement to the ground, he recalled some ten years ago when he had to put out a fire at this exact spot.

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