31 May The Terror of Flintwood
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"The Terror of Flintwood"Written by Zyon J.
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Estimated reading time — 24 minutes
A yawn escaped my mouth as my truck came to a stop. “Finally…”I mumbled to myself. I had been traveling on the road for the past two hours. I realize that two hours of driving might not sound too bad, but I have always hated driving. Whenever I’m behind the wheel of a vehicle, I become incredibly paranoid and on edge; I guess everything just seems so much more dangerous and scary when you are in control of a 6,000-pound machine that is capable of killing someone in a matter of seconds if you happen to make even the slightest of errors.
The soft dirt greeted my boots as I stepped out of my old pickup, before me stood a small, yet quaint, wood cabin. I let out a sigh of disappointment as I noticed that the cabin was not in the same condition as the one that had been displayed on the website. I anticipated this though; it would be stupid of me to think that I could rent a cabin that nice for such a low price.
Still, I would rather have this one than the ones located closer to town, which were considerably nicer. Right now the very last thing I wanted was to be anywhere near that place. I came here, to Flintwood forest, in an attempt to get away from it all; the town in particular, for which the forest had been named after.
I have always loved Flintwood. The forest, not the town that is. I used to come here with my parents all the time when I was a boy. Of course, we never came to this cabin. My parents didn’t understand that in order to really “get away” you actually needed to get away; not just go and stay somewhere else thirty minutes from where your actual home was. I had always wanted to come and stay at one of the cabins out here, but they always preferred the cabins closer to town, so that’s where we would always end up staying. Being able to come out here, to a place I had fantasized about as a kid, it kinda felt like a dream come true.
As I stood there taking in the sights and scents of the forest I began to realize how truly isolated this cabin really was, which was why I chose it after all. It wasn’t totally isolated though; there were other private cabins somewhat nearby. None of them were too close, however; they were all far enough away that you would never have to see or hear from anyone else yet close enough that you could walk to another cabin and be there in around twenty minutes. If you looked closely, you could see the other wooden lodges in the distance, through the trees. But despite the presence of “neighbors”, I still felt as if I was completely alone out here, as if the world wouldn’t be able to find me even if it tried to.
Out here, deep in Flintwood forest, the only things I could hear were the harmonious sounds of nature. That would of course change once I got inside and began watching one of the many movies I had brought with me, or perhaps even some random low-quality film or TV show on Netflix. The website said that there were wi-fi and cable here, but as I looked at the cabin I found myself questioning whether or not there would even be electricity. Hopefully, the interior would be nicer than the exterior.
As I opened the front door, the wonderful smell of vanilla hit me. Beams of light shone through cracks in the closed curtains that covered the windows, but there was nowhere near enough light to completely illuminate the small cabin. Using my phone as a light source, I found the light switch and promptly flipped it on. I smiled a grin of relief as I took in the cabin and its furnishings. At the center of the cabin was a rather nice living room which contained a large, black sofa, a flat-screen mounted on the wall, an ornate coffee table as well as two end tables with table lamps at both ends of the sofa.
The kitchen was located diagonal to the living room in another corner of the cabin. It was roughly the same size as the living room, but compared to the living room, it was rather drab. There was nothing distinct or intricate about it yet there was nothing particularly awful about it either. At the back corner of the living room was a door along the wall which led into the only bedroom in the cabin. The bedroom, like the Kitchen, was rather drab and average as I came to find out. It contained a king-sized bed, a dresser, a wardrobe and end tables on both sides of the bed. On the far side of the room was a door that led to a cramped bathroom.
I made my way to the passenger door of my pickup truck and began to gather up the bags I had brought with me. It didn’t take long to move them all into the house and unpack the contents; I had brought little with me on this trip. The less there was to remind me of my humdrum day to day life, the better.
The sun was just beginning to set as I finished unpacking the last of the things I had brought with me. I felt a smile begin to cross my lips as I stared out the window and into the autumn forest. The sun’s last peaking rays accented the trees and the dirt so well; it was truly a beauty to behold. But the beautiful scenery was not the primary cause for the warm feeling I felt in my heart or the smile that sat happily upon my face, no. It was the simple feeling of solitude that was making me so happy; the knowledge that I would not have to put up with any of the bullshit that I had become so accustomed too. I mean sure, there were some other cabins nearby, But none of them were close enough that I would see someone if I happened to look out a window. I would be able to enjoy the solace of solitude completely undisturbed.
A loud ding dong broke my peaceful thoughts. It must have been god’s way of letting me know that I could never be so lucky.
I made my way to the door and opened it to be greeted by a short, dark-skinned woman and a little girl with similar features. “Hello, my name is Misha and this is my daughter Michelle,” She said in a friendly and somewhat energetic voice as she looked down towards her daughter. “Hello, my name’s Jack,” I said in an equally polite (yet somewhat exhausted) tone, letting a smile show as I finished my sentence. She returned my smile before saying: “Nice to meet you, Jack. So, listen, we just ran out of sugar in process of baking and are in dire need of some more quickly, you wouldn’t happen to have any you could possibly lend to us, would you?” She said in a friendly but very matter of fact tone.
“I’m afraid I don’t, sorry,” I said to her, attempting to convey genuine sympathy through my tired voice. “Damnit! Well, thanks anyway. We’re going to head back to our cabin and try to make do with what we got. Have a nice night, Jack!” She said with a smile as she turned and began to walk off in the direction of where I presumed her cabin to be. I shut the door and began to make my way to the couch in the living room to finally begin unwinding with some good old fashioned television.
* * * * * *
As soon as I hit that couch, I was gone. Not literally of course, just mentally. All my brain activity came to a grinding halt as I became lost in the world of whatever plot was being conveyed on the screen. I had become the definition of a couch potato. Hours went by as I sat there, mindlessly focused on the TV, unaware of anything from the outside world. Eventually, I found myself nodding off and decided that I should probably go make use of that comfortable looking king size bed in the other room. I stood slowly, stretching at awkward angles as I did so. I brought my wristwatch close to my face. It took a while for my blurry eyes to register the bright, glowing, green numbers on the watch; 10:57 pm. A dry chuckle escaped my throat as I realized that I had just spent nearly six hours on that couch and I couldn’t even remember what I had watched.
I groggily made my way to the bedroom and fell into the sheets and covers. I was asleep in a matter of seconds.
* * * * * *
My eyes shot open as a loud crack echoed through my cabin. I quickly rolled over onto my back and perked my head up. I scanned the dark room to see if anything was out of place and quickly determined that nothing was. Almost as if by instinct, I glanced at my watch and quickly determined the time; it was 11:00 am. The curtains were pulled together, but I could still see dull rays of light piercing through them. I rubbed my eyes and let out a deep yawn as I stepped out of bed.
I left the bedroom and entered the living room; once again scanning over its contents to make sure that everything was still as it had been when I left it. I swiftly deduced that the room had been untouched. Next, I approached the kitchen area and once again established that nothing had changed. My eyes turned towards the front door as I realized that the noise must have come from outside. The thought of going outside churned a bit of fear in my gut; for whatever reason, the thought of doing so frightened me. I decided to wait until later to go outside, but I figured there would be no harm in opening the curtains that still covered the windows.
I started with the bedroom; there was a lone window in there on the back wall of the house, across from the end of the bed. I quickly pulled the musty, olive curtains apart, letting in the fresh light of the morning sun. The light blinded me for a brief second before my eyes adjusted. I scanned the area outside to find nothing out of the ordinary.
I went from window to window throughout the entire house, repeating this process and discovering nothing each time until I found myself at the final pair of drawn curtains. This window overlooked the front porch as well as the road which led me here. I swiftly pulled the drapes apart and immediately noticed something highly unusual; there was a small hatchet embedded into one of the wooden posts that supported the roof which overshadowed the porch.
“What the hell…” I mumbled to myself.
Upon seeing this, any anxiety I had felt previously left me and pure curiosity took over in its place. I quickly rushed outside without a second thought to investigate the axe.
The first thing I noticed when I got close enough was how… weathered it was. It wasn’t rusted or ruined in any way, but by looking at it you could clearly see that this axe had been used quite a bit. I couldn’t see very much of the blade since it was so embedded in the wood, but I could see the rest quite clearly. The brown, leather handle at the bottom was torn and ripped in a couple of places, and the wood which made the upper part of the handle looked as if it were rotten. As I examined it further I began to notice deep, stains in the leather; all of them were varying shades of red. Some were very dark and some were brighter, some looked as if they had been there a very long time while others appeared as if they were fresh.
I grabbed the handle and gave the axe a nice, hard pull in an attempt to free it from the wooden post. It came out easily enough and did not require much effort. My eyes widened as I noticed the fresh and still damp red stains along it, and on the very edge of the blade were small strands of black hair. The familiar feeling of fear began to spread through me once again; I reacted to this feeling by throwing it out into the forest, narrowly missing my truck.
I hurried inside the cabin, locking the door behind me. Whether the red stains on the blade were blood or not, I had convinced myself that they were. I could feel my heartbeat echoing throughout my entire body, the steady Thump Thump rapidly increasing in pace and volume. I sat down on the black sofa and began to regulate my breathing in an attempt to calm myself. I sat there breathing in and out slowly for what must have been a few minutes before I managed to calm myself down. I had a million questions and concerns racing through my head; questions and concerns that I had no answers for. Then one horrifying realization arose in my thoughts; the tone of the black hairs on the blade of the axe seemed to be the same as Misha’s hair color.
Eventually, I decided that in order to dismiss my fears of a possible maniac or murderer (or both), I would need to venture to Misha’s cabin and confront her about the axe. Even if she wasn’t responsible for it, perhaps she would know why it appeared the way it did and who left it at my cabin. I did not know the exact location of her cabin, but I did recall the location she had gone in when leaving my cabin yesterday.
I wasted no time and left immediately in the direction I hoped her cabin would be in.
* * * * * *
It took about thirty minutes for me to find it, but I eventually arrived at Misha’s cabin. Or what I hoped would be HER cabin, at least. A slight fog had fallen upon the autumn forest, making it somewhat difficult to see things far away. The sun was no longer out, it had been replaced by dark grey clouds that threatened rain.
As I approached the small cabin, I noticed that the front door was wide open. I cautiously approached the doorway, more vigilant and aware of my surroundings than I had ever been in my life. My mind was on high alert; it was obvious that something was very very wrong here. I could feel my heartbeat echoing throughout my entire body as I drew closer and closer to the cabin.
After what felt like an eternity of being on edge, I stood before the doorway.
“Hello? Misha, are you here?” I shouted into the cabin. There was no response. “I’m coming in now, Misha, don’t be alarmed, okay?” I called out once again. Silence was the only answer I received. I placed my hand on the door frame for support as I poked my head inside ever so slowly. The curtains had been drawn shut and the light bulbs had been turned off, light was almost entirely absent from the room. The only light that got in was from the open doorway in which I now stood. Slowly, I placed a foot inside the cabin. As my foot met the hard wooden floor, I heard a sound similar to a splash; as if I had just stepped in a small puddle. Fear gripped me as my mind raced with the possibilities of what I was currently standing in.
I looked down; the only thing I could make out was the slight glimmer of a liquid. Even with the open doorway, it was too dark to see what the liquid was.
This cabin seemed to have the same layout as mine, so I had a good idea of where the light switch was. My hand quickly shot out to where I presumed the switch to be, I felt the familiar shape in my fingers and did not hesitate to flip it on. Yellow light flooded the room, but my eyes remained glued to the floor, eager to see what the liquid was. It was water. Or it resembled water, at least. And right beside it laid an empty cup. I breathed a sigh of relief as my eyes turned to examine the rest of the room. I felt my jaw drop in horror at the sight that lay before me.
Blood, blood everywhere. On the floor, on the wall, on the furniture. Everywhere. I felt vomit surge up my throat as I hunched over. I could not contain the bile and the chunks as they spewed from my mouth and into the once clean puddle of water at my feet.
I could feel the beat of my heartbeat quickly increase, pounding like a drum in my chest as I stared at the sight before me. And as I did so, I realized something; there were no bodies. I forced myself to quickly walk through the blood and to the bedroom door. As afraid as I was, I felt as if it were my duty to check if they were alive, dead or missing. As I put my hand on the doorknob a terrifying question crossed my mind: What if whatever did this was still here?
My sense of duty abandoned me as I removed my hand from the doorknob and began to slowly back away from the door. The impulse to leave and go fetch help grew ever stronger. Duty no longer mattered in my terrified state, only survival. After I was a good two feet from the bedroom door, I turned around to face the front door. A tall figure stood in the doorway.
He stood, blocking the exit, fully illuminated by the light bulbs and the shadowed rays of sunlight. The first thing I noticed was the burlap sack that covered his face. The sack was almost entirely covered in deep red stains and stitching. Two holes were roughly cut out, and within them, I could see his eyes staring out at me. They resembled human eyes except for one thing… His iris’s were red, bright and vibrant red. The orbs appeared calm and focused, but more than that, they looked… unquenchably hungry, as if they had been starved for an eternity.
The next thing I noticed was his arms, the only bit of flesh that was visible from where I was at. They were big, fat and big, yet muscular. They looked as if they were bloated and swollen; the skin had a purple tint and I could clearly see deep blue veins pumping blood underneath.
He wore a black, shiny apron across his chest. It was covered in fresh, red liquid, and from beneath it protruded a pot belly stomach that seemed unnaturally… bulbous. And in between the apron and the stomach was a dark red collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He also wore a pair of black, pocket-less work pants, and beneath them were a pair of black, dirty boots that had been neatly tied.
And in his left hand, he held a large bloodied knife, the kind meant for gutting and skinning. The kind that had been specifically made to carve flesh.
We stood there, staring at and examining one another in the utter silence, for what felt like an eternity. And at the end of that brief eternity, I came back to reality.
I bolted for the bedroom door behind me, opening and closing it after entering in a matter of seconds and then quickly pushed the wardrobe over so that it was in front of the door, barricading it.
Shortly after doing so the loud cracks of wood splitting began to erupt from the other side of the door. My eyes turned towards the window as I hurriedly threw the curtains aside and lifted the window open wide enough that I could make my escape. I glanced back once more just as I was lifting my leg out of the bedroom and into the cold, foggy forest to see a bloated fist penetrate through the wooden dresser with impossible ferocity and strength.
After escaping the bedroom, I broke into a sprint. I ran and ran through the forest, not daring to look back behind me lest I meet the man’s – no, the beast’s – hungry red eyes once again.
Never in my life had I been an overly clumsy person. I had never tripped over my own shoelace, dropped a plate while doing dishes, walked into a wall while not looking or even fallen while climbing a jungle gym. I had always been careful, my calculations had always been accurate and they had only rarely failed me. I had never once considered myself accident-prone, heavy-handed, inept or oafish in any sense. But as I felt my foot trip over the stray branch protruding from the ground, I considered myself to be the clumsiest man to ever exist.
I quickly began to lose my footing, and the last thing I saw as I tumbled to the ground before me was the large rock in which my forehead was on course to collide with.
* * * * * *
A bright, blurry yellow light greeted me as my eyes fluttered open. An awful smell flooded my nostrils shortly after, followed by an intensely painful throbbing in my forehead. The wave of pain made me wince, urging my eyes shut momentarily and forcing a sharp hiss of pain from my dry lips. As the hiss escaped my throat, I realized that I was on my back; and whatever I was laying on felt lumpy.
I brought my palm to the source of pain on my forehead instinctually, as if I could make the throbbing stop by simply touching it. This, however, was not the case. Another wave of sharp pain echoed through my body as my fingers came into contact with an open wound, causing me to wince once again. I brought my fingers above my eyes (which were still just a bit blurry) to see small streaks of red along them. Blood, I had been bleeding. Must have been one hell of a fall. I thought to myself. My face felt cold, cold and wet with blood.
The light was obscured for a second as a shape swung in front of it momentarily, before moving away once again. I blinked until the blur left my eyes and I could see clearly. I couldn’t help but gasp as I realized what hung above me. It was a woman; her head hung low and her arms dangled lifelessly at her side. She was suspended on a meat hook that swung aimlessly from side to side, occasionally eclipsing the light so that it did not meet my eyes directly. I quickly recognized the face when the yellow light finally fell upon it; it was Misha. And right beside her on a separate hook swung the lifeless and blood-drenched corpse of her daughter.
I cupped a hand over my mouth, barely stifling a scream as I watched their bloodied bodies swing slowly back and forth. It was then that I also became aware of the fact that I was in a small room of some sort; I was surrounded by wooden walls, a wooden ceiling and a bright, yellow light bulb suspended by a cord at the center of the room. I averted my eyes from the horrific scene that loomed over me and towards the floor, but this did nothing to ease me, for it was then that I realized that I was lying on top of a pile of corpses. I felt my stomach churn as I turned my head and began to vomit onto the chest of one of the corpses.
There were so many of them… They were all scattered around on the floor of the small, wooden room. And all of them were fresh, there was no sign of rot or decay on any of them. I’m not a professional when it comes to decomposition rates and corpses, but if I had to guess, I would say that all of them had been killed within the last day or so. Thankfully, I didn’t recognize any of them aside from… Misha and Michelle, but that did nothing to lessen the fear and the disgust that accompanied the horrific scene in which I found myself in.
Suddenly, I began to hear loud, heavy footsteps approaching the door across the room. Panic began to arise within me as I remembered the beast that was responsible for this; the butcher of all these people. And as the handle of the door began to turn, I did the only thing I could think to do; play dead.
I forced my eyes closed and tried to breathe as slowly and quietly as possible. I could hear the door slowly open with a loud creak.
For a little while, all was silent. As if he was just standing in the doorway and examining the room. Then I heard some rustling from the direction of where he was, it didn’t take long for me to deduce that he must be moving or walking through the corpses. Possibly, towards me.
I felt the corpse near my right leg shift and heard the noise of some more rustling accompanied with it. Then, once again, all was silent. I lay there, barely allowing myself to breathe as I wondered what this beast was doing.
Minutes went by without any noise or movement. Eventually, curiosity got the better of fear; I needed to see what was going on. I slowly and barely opened one eye. At first, I could not see anything different. Then I noticed the familiar bloated arms connected to the large, hulking form that lay among the corpses. The body whose head lay mere inches away from my right foot. Fear gripped me, but I continued to study him with my one, half-opened eye. There was even more blood on him than before, and the new stains looked fresh. He did not move at all, his body was entirely motionless and silent.
I determined that he must be sleeping. I dared not move though, for I feared that even the slightest of movements would cause him to wake. dread spread even further throughout me as I came to the realization that there was no way I could escape with him so close; I would have to lie here in a pile of fresh, still rotting corpses, with him, until he awoke and left…
And he didn’t even bother to turn off the light. It was almost like he wanted me to know that he was there, so close to me.
Fear, Fear was all I could feel as I continued to stare at the beast. No… not the beast, the butcher. And I was trapped with him.
* * * * * *
Seconds turned into minutes and minutes into hours as time wore on. Fear suppressed most of my thoughts, but I couldn’t help but wonder where all these people had come from. Had the butcher slaughtered everyone in the cabins near mine? And why wasn’t I dead, why hadn’t he killed me, why was I still alive? If the wound on my forehead was as terrible looking as it felt, then perhaps he thought I was dead too. Or maybe he was simply toying with me; maybe he wanted my last few hours on earth to be filled with fear and terror.
And if this was his goal, he had been successful thus far; he had succeeded in filling my heart with torment. But… There was one thing he had not yet managed to take from me; the only thing keeping me from simply giving up and accepting my fate, which would certainly be death.
Hope. There was still the hope that my fears were wrong, that he was truly sleeping and did not know that I still drew breath. There was still the hope that he would wake and exit the room, giving me a chance to escape, which I would gladly take. Hope was far from deficient in my mind’s heart as I lay there among the bloodied and rotten corpses with the Butcher so very close nearby.
* * * * * *
After what felt like an eternity – but in reality, was probably only a few hours – I felt a stir of movement near my foot. I did not need to open my eyes in order to know where the movement had come from. The Butcher was awake.
I heard more movement, and shortly after, the sound of something being dragged followed by the loud creak of the door closing. I opened one of my eyes ever so slightly, just enough to see if he was still there. A smile spread across my lips as I came to the conclusion that he had left.
I opened both my eyes for the first time in what must have been hours, blinking a few times as I adjusted to the light once again. Although I did not know where he had gone, I did know that he had gone and that this may be the only opportunity I would get to escape.
I lay there in the pile of rotting corpses listening to the silence. There were so many risks involved with trying to escape; I had no idea what lay beyond this room let alone where I actually was. How would I know where to go once I stepped outside the door, or even where my truck was? On the other hand… Well, who knows what the Butcher would do with me if he discovered I was still alive, which he inevitably would. And what about food and water? I was already feeling the aching pains of hunger and the dryness of thirst. There was nothing edible or drinkable in here except for… No, I wouldn’t let it get to that. I wouldn’t. It was time to leave.
Eventually, I mustered up the courage necessary and found myself at the door with my hand gripping the knob.
I took a deep breath, and then another one.
I opened the door.
* * * * * *
As soon as the door opened, four walls greeted me on every side, as well as a wooden roof above me, and from the wooden roof hung a single light bulb illuminating the room. I quickly surveyed the area. Directly in front of me was a small dining table, which had been decorated with a nice, red tablecloth. A white ceramic plate complete with silverware on either side lay at one end of the table, along with a lonely wooden chair.
The room was also littered with decaying limbs and entrails; some were distinctly human while others appeared to have belonged to an animal at some point. I felt certain that the sight and smell of these things would have knocked me back through the door if I hadn’t spent the last few hours lying in a pile of corpses. But what really caught my eye was the steep stairs to my right leading up and the tall figure that stood ahead of me.
Fortunately, his back was to me. He was leaned over what appeared to be a table or perhaps a workbench, I could hear the sound of flesh being cut and torn by something sharp, his right arm seemed to move back and forth as if he were using a saw. Although his tall frame obscured much of my view, I could see a pair of bloodied human legs lying on one end of the table, connected to whatever the butcher was sawing and cutting away at. I did not need to see more in order to determine what the Butcher was carving into.
I shifted my eyes to the stairs on my right; they lead up towards a pair of wooden cellar doors. This was the only visible exit from the blood-drenched room in which I now stood, my only hope. I began to slowly close the door from which I had come from as I moved towards the stairs. When it was almost closed, a loud creak sounded from its hinges. Immediately, the butcher stopped what he was doing and stood up straight.
I didn’t wait for him to turn around; I bolted up the stairs and through the cellar doors, almost slipping on the steep, blood-streaked stairs as I did so. The morning sun greeted me as I stepped out into the forest, I took no time however to bask in it. I began running in a random direction, knowing that he would give chase. I did not know where I was at or where I was going, but I ran as fast as I could in my mentally and physically exhausted state. And as I did so, I took the time to briefly glance behind me. What I saw did not put me at ease. He had emerged from the cellar doors and was covered in blood. What was most disconcerting, however, was that he was carrying a large cleaver and he was taking long confident strides towards me.
I kept running, even with the pain of branches whipping me in the face I made no effort to slow down. Needless to say, it wasn’t too long before my legs began to become incapable of carrying me at sprinting speed. After about five minutes of running, I was forced to stop. It was then that I saw my truck parked in front of what must have been my cabin in the distance. A smile spread across my face as I saw how close I was to escape. The smile quickly faded when I looked behind me once again to see that the bloody butcher had not only kept up with me, but was gaining on me by merely walking.
I used all my remaining energy to run for the truck, completely exhausting my already weakened physical state. I quickly searched my pockets for the keys, letting out a sigh of relief as I gripped the metal keyring. I hastily brought the keyring out of my pocket and slid the corresponding key into the lock, twisting it to the side and causing the click which meant the door had been unlocked. I opened the door and slid into the seat behind the wheel, closing the door as I did so. I then slid the key into the ignition and twisted it in an effort to start the car. The old truck choked and sputtered as it began to come to life. I released the twist out of fear of flooding the engine. I gave it a second before giving it another go. More sputtering and choking, but no life, the truck once again failed to start.
It was then that a large hand covered in a black rubber glove smashed through the driver side window, took hold of my shirt and pulled me through the window and out of the truck, thrusting me face-first into the damp soil.
I felt dizzy and disoriented as I slowly rolled onto my back, by the time I had done so the butcher was already towering over me. A couple of seconds passed as we simply stared into one another; I into his wicked red eyes and him into my own blue eyes. The red orbs buried in his eye sockets seemed hungrier now than ever. And although his face was still concealed by the burlap mask, it seemed as if a smile was arched across his lips.
Exhaustion had completely overtaken me; I had no time to react and was powerless to stop him as he brought the cleaver down upon me.
* * * * * *
In a quaint, little home deep in the suburbs of the town of Flintwood, a bald man with an old face and sad eyes sat silently across from his wife at the table in their dining room. Upon the walls of their home sat the many framed photos of the man, his wife and their only son. All of which were happy photos, depicting cheerful expressions and joyful stares. The nature of these photos, however, was not reflected in the dining room.
The old man had kept his gaze downward, toward the wooden table at which he had sat for the past hour or so. A clock echoed throughout the household, announcing every second that passed with a loud tick. The expressions upon the faces of the elderly couple were worn and dismal expressions that conveyed a sharp sense of hopelessness and grief.
For the first time in what could have been an eternity to him, the old man shifted his head toward the clock; it read 9:34 pm. He let out a sigh and lifted his head so that his eyes could meet his wife. When he did so, he saw that her gaze was shifted down towards the plain empty mug which had been full of coffee an hour earlier when the police had arrived. Her head slowly began to lift. As the man met his wife’s eyes, he was able to see his own misery reflected in them.
“I’m sorry, Sarah,” said the old man to his wife.
“Me too…” she replied quietly.
They kept each other’s gaze, not daring to glance or look away. “Why did this have to happen this way? Why couldn’t it have been some tourist??” asked the husband with an edge of anger and with tears welling up in his eyes.
“It would never have happened any other way, John. He…” Her voice quivered with sadness. “He would never have taken a tourist. He wanted us to know that he was back, he wanted the people he took to be from this town…” she said, tears beginning to stream down her face.
The old man, John, stared his wife in the eyes, clenching his jaw shut with fury. “But why couldn’t it have been someone else?! Why did it have to be our Jack?! Why did he have to take so many of us?!” he shouted, his voice shaking as he did so.
The woman began to weep. “Because…” She stared at him, the man she had been married to for over forty-five years, the man whom she had come to meet through tragedy but married in happiness. “Because he was our boy!”
John’s anger dissipated and was replaced by more tears. “We were the ones who ran him out of town! We were the ones who stopped him and showed the whole world who he was and what he was doing!” she shouted, adopting the anger that John had momentarily worn upon his tired face. And as she did so, flashbacks containing the images of the blood and the gore they had walked into so casually began to surge from their memories. Flashbacks of the man who stood over the mutilated corpses of his fellow employees, flashbacks of the burlap mask he held in his left hand while feasting on the bloodied human arm he held in his right hand.
The old couple fell silent as they began to reflect, once again, upon what had happened all those years ago in the small hick town of Flintwood. They remembered how they had met, how they had both been unfortunate enough to walk in upon the brutal murder and cannibalism of seven people at the local butcher shop at the same time, how they had been the first to discover the truth about Bill G. Graham, the man who murdered and cannibalized thirty-seven people in the small town of Flintwood. The final seven had been his fellow employees at the butcher shop in which he worked.
Terrifying memories of his bloodcurdling roar and his many bloodied teeth reverberated through the old couple’s minds like shattering glass as they continued to reflect further upon how they had met. They always knew that they would never have made it out alive if it weren’t for the police officer that entered immediately after them and had been swift enough to unload five rounds into the apron over Bill’s chest.
The couple remembered the sound of Bill’s body falling to the floor, they remembered the ambulance that took him and the corpses away, they remembered every detail about the day that forever changed their lives. But what they remembered more than any other detail was the article in the newspaper that simply said: Corpse of Local Serial Killer and Cannibal Disappears From Morgue.
They had both known that this day would come, the day in which he would return. The police had found no body or evidence to suggest this, but they knew that their precious boy and all those other poor vacationers were undoubtedly being feasted upon as the old couple sat at their cozy dining room table in their toasty little home.
They stared into each other’s eyes, silent and tearful. But perhaps more than that, regretful; regretful that they had not been there to pick up the phone when their son called to tell them that he was going to the cabins deep in Flintwood forest. Oh, how they wished that they had told Jack of the danger that they knew lurked in those woods and why they had always stayed at the cabins closest town when he was younger.
John let out a sorrowful sigh as his gaze fell upon the table once again.
The Butcher of Flintwood. That was the name Bill had been given by the media all those years ago.
The cannibal, the demon, the monster, the beast, the butcher. He was all these things and more.
And now, after so many years, the terror of Flintwood had returned.
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🔔 More stories from author: Zyon J.
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