I stood at the window that looked over downtown, affording me a view of the city that I loved. The mist from the waterfront was creeping in over the wharfs and the small, well maintained pathways. The news was on again, the reporter talking about a new book, “How I survived some monster” sort of tell all, and backstory had been played so much that my brain ached. It was all anyone talked about for so long, a mass murder in a city not 150 miles from here, some crazed maniac murdering people and stabbing them with mop handles. Inventive enough I supposed, who thinks of that? That wasn’t the cause of excitement however, the real fervour was over the survivor.
The Monster she survived is real, and he is still out there somewhere. Cliché perhaps but apt all the same. Though it was not usually to my literary tastes, I bought her book, curious after all the hype, and I spent my solitary evenings at home, reading her story. In reality, what else did I have to do with my time?
My coworkers were sitting around, telling risqué man jokes, and killing the last 10 min of this incredibly long week. It was Friday, finally Friday. Said job was phone jockey at a small export company. I liked it well enough, and it allowed me the time to work on my true passion.
Slipping on my coat, I lifted a hand in goodbye to the girls and nearly danced out the door, just an elevator ride to the bottom floor and sweet freedom was mine. By the time I reached the lobby, the rain was coming down in sheets, the puddles reflecting the sky back at me, turning the world into a rippled fantasy. It looked wonderful from the outside in, all glass and light. It wasn’t reality.
My reality was far less attractive. My reality was that I was going to walk home alone, again, in the pouring rain, back to my empty house. Only the ghosts of what once was live there now. Memories around every corner. I hated going back there day after day, night after solitary night, with only the ghosts and my thoughts for company.
I felt a tsunami of depression threaten to overtake me, enough to make me nearly scream with pain. I shoved it back, down into its box, with violent intent, not willing to be brought to my knees here, not here and not now. The fact that I was cold and soaked to the skin did nothing to alleviate that blue funk threatening to encompass me.
Amused suddenly, I snickered to myself, remembering joke that one of the girls had told…Why is a man like a chocolate bar… it was funny enough that I actually giggled out loud at that one. My mood lifted, slightly.
It was still daylight but it was deepening, and dusk was stealing around the edges of the trees in the park. The shade was darker and seemed a little more sinister to me. I really hated this part of my walk home. Still, it was the quickest way home for me, any other route would add another half an hour to my time.
Ahead was an old boarded house on the left…I chuckled darkly to myself….Last House on the Left, as it came into view. An old Victorian styled home with a large wrap around veranda, beautiful, or would have been had it not been condemned and left to rot in the elements. Beautiful, yet vaguely sinister, haunting, as though it had seen horrors, had them imbedded into its walls, and it wanted to share its darkest stories with me.
The windows were covered with weather warped and discoloured plywood and the yard was very seriously overgrown. The weeds had started to overtake the veranda and some of the stairs. No one had been there for a very long time it seemed. There weren’t any tracks leading up to or around the house, made by kids on a dare or couples looking for a place to make out.
Strange, I thought, as it came into view. Every cliché scary story starts with a dilapidated old abandoned house, complete with teenagers breaking in and meeting their doom. But this one was untouched…the glass that peeked through here and there from cracks in the plywood was mostly intact, even the door seemed nearly new. The Wrath of Mother Nature had taken its toll, peeled the paint, turning it a mourning grey, a non-colour really.
The day was so gloomy, the air thick with the tang of the ocean, and damp. Just the steady pace she was keeping caused moisture to gather on my face and it felt later than it was. I glanced at my watch. Had I been standing here for 10 minutes? Shaking my head to clear it, I continued on at a quicker pace. I just wanted to get home and into a warm shower and my book. It was interesting how she survived that monster. He must have a soft spot to leave her alive twice. Not that anyone in their right mind would want as serial killer to have a soft spot for them. I narrowed my eyes, sure I saw someone lurking in the shadows, just past the corner of the house.
I wanted to get past this hulking monstrosity and home, that there was no one else in sight bothered me intensely. The rain pouring down and turning me into something resembling a drowned rat, chilled to the bone. There WAS someone, just about out of sight. I slowed the tiniest bit, as I came closer, reminding myself that curiosity caused the death of a certain feline.
Gone. Just…gone. Perhaps I imagined it, just my paranoia getting the better of me again. I was almost past that dilapidated dwelling, when I felt my nerves jangle, I was becoming increasingly unnerved…that watched feeling again, no, PREYED on feeling. It as though there were eyes crawling all over my body. I turned back to gaze at the house…was that a shadow in the window? The rain had started again, the dense shushing of the drops as the hit the ground loud in my ears.
I could hear voices, the sweet gleeful sound of children playing in the street, the minute splash as they jumped in the puddles that gathered near their home. I was relieved. I wasn’t alone out here with that creeper hanging out by that old wreck. But still…I turned my head back to the old place, sure now that there was someone there, someone watching me.
I glanced up the street at the children, watching them as I crossed the street, unsure exactly as to why but felt compelled to do so. Tearing my gaze from the kids, I took another look at this building. This was the first time I’d been on this side of the street, and from this perspective, the house was not nearly as nice as first thought. It was in serious state of disrepair, boards broken and cracked, and a deep rotting stench that grew larger with each moment. The door was open slightly, the boards that had been blocking it ripped away and thrown in a corner of the veranda. Someone had broken into it. Why?
Taking the first step towards the door, I mounted the stairs, the wood feeling punky and rotten beneath my feet, almost like they’d give way at the slightest shift of weight. Wouldn’t that be wonderful, break my damn leg no one to save me. I turned to go, berating myself for even thinking of this stupid idea. There was some standing in the window. I froze, goosebumps covering my entire body, the hair on my neck standing straight up.
I recoiled, powerless to tear my eyes away; I couldn’t look away even if I wanted to. I knew this man. I’d SEEN him before. But where….when. How had I not noticed this small uncovered window? He made no move to step away from the glass, openly observing me. I raised my hand, in a half assed greeting, hoping to either get him to step away or make some effort at interaction. He did neither. Just stood and observed me.
Then, in my head, screaming out, a thought. This is a reflection. Oh…he’s behind me. I started to turn towards him, hand still raised and a smile on my lips. It felt like a death rictus, I was afraid, cold shivers running their course up and down my spine.
He leered at me, very openly, leading me as a lamb to the slaughter. The feeling of being preyed on was real…I was preyed on. I started to speak and he was in my face before I could say a word. His hand was hard over my mouth and I was being pushed back towards the front door…the open front door. Oh I am so stupid….
Marcus Miller The Orphan Killer
It is dark, my eyes barely adjusting to the scant light filtering through the cracks in the boards on the windows. It smelled terrible in here, dust, mildew, a deeper rotten scent that seemed to come from the walls and ceilings. And a stench, lower, meaner. Like an animal gone rabid.
I could barely turn my head, pain exploding behind my right eye, and travelling back to the throbbing spot on the top, where it throbbed and beat in time to my heart. Basement, I’m in the basement and it smells like death. I roll to my side, feeling the nausea rise from the movement, ears clanging like cymbals. My hands are free, and I use them to push myself to a seated position, fighting back the bile that is rising in the back of my throat. I am free to move around, with no ropes to bind me, I rise to my feet, and stagger from the weight of my head. There is a door, half hidden in the darkest corner of this rot infested place, there is no lock on the inside.
Tottering towards the deepest shadows, my joints feeling loose and out of place, I keep an ear to the roof above, listening for sounds of my captor. All is silence, but for the shuffle of my shoes in the dry and spoiled dirt floor. I can see the door more clearly now, my right eye blurred by a red film and leaking blood, drizzling bloody water down my cheek, it is cracked open slightly. Daylight bleeds through the gap where the hinges had rusted and crumbled, stabbing brightness into my damaged eye.
My hand encloses the handle and I pull, quick and hard. The door whines slightly, pulling easily open and I dash out the door, breakneck speed with no concern for my injuries, just the desperation to get away. There is no place to hide, it’s all open meadow, with a cluster of tall dense trees at the end of the property. I make for those, running head down and feeling my body resist movement, shrieking pain.
A roar of frustration and fury sounds behind me and I push harder, frantic to reach the relative safety of the treeline, gritting my teeth against the tormented grinding of my joints in their sockets. I can hear him coming, a harsh whickering from the long grasses as he pushes through it, moving fast. Black butterflies flit at the corners of my eyes, threatening to smother my vision, and I stumble, an errant tree root rising up to impede my progress. A hand twists in my hair, yanking me backwards, loosing a palmful of gold. I scream, loud as I can, hoping against hope that someone will see, or hear, or something. Slammed to the ground, hard, my voice stuttering in my throat, then cut off as much by the impact, as by the force of the blade that enters my back.
My captor crouches down beside me, his lunatic eyes grabbing hold and forcing me to make contact. He smile, slightly and it shivers me to my core. This man is a complete psychopath, there is not an ounce of emotion in those eyes, though there is little doubt that he is enjoying this.
You will learn
I am hauled to my feet and effectively marched back the way I came, his voice low and menacing as he mumbles and sings hymns. How the hell did I get in this position…
There is a car parked in front of the house, its lights ablaze in the gloom. Police, I’m saved! I begin to struggle against his grip on my neck, feeling him dig his fingers harder into the flesh at the nape of my neck, hitching in a breath to shriek, when the pressure is gone from my neck, instead to be place roughly on my throat, cutting off my air and killing the scream where it lay.
He holds my eyes and shakes his head menacingly, a clear warning to me that my doom would come sooner than later should I utter a sound. It appeals, death by my choice instead of whatever torture he had in mind for me. Drawing air into my lungs, preparing for the shriek that might well break my voice as well as earn my freedom, my captor’s hand squeezed, hard….the black butterflies overwhelm me..
The real world rushes in on me as I bounce off the support pole to crumble on the floor, the skin on my cheek tearing and leaving a streak on the wood, and leaving my head buzzing as though a brass band were playing full volume. I gain my feet quickly, my fear fighting off the pain from the injuries inflicted by this monster. I call him by name, Marcus Miller, scream it in his face, all the while he is advancing slowly towards me. The incline of the stairs to the main floor was within reach, though the floor was littered with old pieces of wood, short metal rods used for God knows what reason, and other bits of humanities leavings. I could try for the stairs and freedom, risk never making it close, or accept my fate now. I chose. I ran for my life, slipping and sliding on the debris in my way, every closer to my release.
Mounting the stairs, I hear him take a sharp intake of breath, and whip around to face my tormenter, half way up the flight to my liberty. My foot searches for the next step, and simply falls through, the spoiled wood having given way. I fall, for a seemingly endless time, my descent slowed to a minute crawl, feeling my hair flow forward and brush my cheeks. Pain, enormous pain, breath stealing agony, as a metal rod pierces my back, grinding through the layers of muscle and flesh. Unable to scream, my voice simply rasps as I watch in unmitigated disbelief the tip of the rod bulge then burst through the skin and fabric of the shirt I wear, an instant warmth of crimson colouring my abdomen and blanketing the stairs beneath me. Marcus chuckles, his amusement evident as he hovers over me, eyes flashing in the gloom, his hand pushing me further down upon my stake.
He leaves me there, gasping to breathe through the gargantuan burning misery that was mine at that moment, my whole being trembling in my agony. I could feel the slithering warmth of my lifeforce as it drooled out from around the violating intrusion that now was a part of my body. I could hear through muffled ears banging and crashing, the sounds of someone rifling through discarded items for…what. I didn’t care, I was so close to the door, a mere 10 steps away, I could make it if I was strong. I lifted myself slightly, attempting to rise from the place I had been nailed, and shrieked. A glut of blood spilled from between my lips as I fell back, panting, tears pouring from my eyes. I began to pray for Death to take me away, begging for this horror to end my miserable existence,
My tormenter had returned. I could hear him rattling around underneath where I lay, a harsh grinding sound rending the air, my fear that I wouldn’t die anytime soon a reality. The pole vibrates gently, sending throes of purest white pain through my spine and blinding my eyes, as he sings a hymn most odious. I have no voice to beg with, instead pounding on the wood beneath me with my ineffectual fists, knowing full well he wouldn’t hear.
The vibrations stops suddenly, and I feel looser somehow, detached, able to breathe slightly more than before, the pain still screeching in my core. Marcus stands just within view of my turned head, his mask streaked with my blood and licking his lips clean of the red that stains. I close my eyes and turn away, stomach churning with dread and disgust. I hear him moving around, the creak of the stairs under his weight and the neck twisting horror of his heavy breathing, and the horrendous, elephantine scream of pain as he lifts me from my resting place, sending me plummeting into the dark.
Someone left the tap on again, was it so hard? I can’t breathe, if feels as though my whole chest is packed with ice and agony. My whole body is on fire, except it’s cold and has teeth, bites so deeply at my wrists and my centre. There is a high eye watering sound piercing my ears, its pitch wavering and breaking through my cloud of solitude. I don’t want it broken and shake my head, trying to chase it away. Each moment brings new exercises in pain and I scream my consciousness, alerting Marcus that I have come to.
I am suspended from the old wood beams that run lengthwise down the room, my toes barely able to touch and steady me, wrists on fire and openly bleeding, crimson drooling down my arms. No chains, nor rope, no this sick fuck used barbed wire on me, wrapping it so tight that it had torn and imbedded itself into my flesh. From my middle, a rusted and bloody metal rod protrudes, its tip packed with gore, my own gore, from inside me. It was so heavy, gravity pulling it down, and making my core throb. I want to die, begged and prayed to die, but still I remain here at the will of this psychopath.
I’ve been watching you
I jerk in response to that grating and threatening voice, making my skin split further, and the pole jiggle, sending jolts of hellish torment shrieking from my mouth. Marcus chuckles, my maimed torture an obvious source of amusement, as he watches from the shadows. I feel my ire rise, a killing wish for him to get close enough to bite, kick, hurt in some way. The idea that this monster had been stalking me was enough to make my blood boil, that he handpicked me for this heinous gift, some deviant notion that this was appropriate?
My sister ran from me. You won’t get that chance
Sister. What sister? My mind races for any sort of knowledge I might have stored in there about Marcus Miller. Then I remember, this…thing…tortured and attempted to kill his younger sister. I snarl at him my good wishes to his baby sister, that I was glad that she escaped him, that I hope she never had to see him again, and if she did, that she KILLED HIM.
In his hand, Marcus Miller held the most terrifying weapon that I could have known; somewhere in this abandoned and rotting hellhole he had found garden shears, old rusted garden shears. He advanced on me quickly, brandishing his new toy at me as he did so. I kicked out as hard as I could, hoping to connect with his face and knock him out. I’d rip off my own hands if it meant I had the chance to survive. He catches my right foot as it aims for his face, twisting it viciously and slices straight through my Achilles tendon. I scream, for an eternity, my voice breaking in my throat as he tosses my now useless leg back to the ground, causing me to swing and sway.
The blood is pouring from my grievous wound, one leg now entirely useless, when the realisation hits that I am not getting out of this. I couldn’t run even if I did find my way loose of these bonds he placed me in. He stands still before me, the hateful shears now dropped and forgotten on the dirt floor. Instead he holds a sharpest blade, running his fingers along its edge, seemingly mindless of its bite, his eyes in the mask sparkling with dark delight. So tired now, my eyes drooping in spite of the desperation to watch this freak of nature, everything fish eyed and growing dim, my breath coming in harsh pants, trying to breathe around this obtrusion.
He twists my hair in his hand, yanking my head back hard, and with the other shoves down on the rod that has been driven through me. I cannot scream, I have no voice in which to do so, and yet I do, the response innate and immediate. My mouth fills with blood, choking me, cutting the silence off with a gurgle, and still he continues, pushing the rod back through the hole it came through, feeling the grinding and tearing of the flesh as it retracts. A surge of cruor splatters his shirt and mask, as he tears the rod free, reaching around to yank it from my freely bleeding wound and tossing it into the corner. It clangs as it hits, the sound sharp in my ears, as sharp as the death beetle that sounds its song somewhere in this dark place, mournful harbinger of my doom.
Marcus Miller, still with a handful of hair in his hands, pulls back farther, harder, laying the tip of his blade to my throat, and smiles as he draws deeply the blade, slicing the thin cartilage and spilling my lifeforce from the open gaping wound. Finally free, my vision fades quickly, the blood warmed by my body rapidly cooling upon my breasts, my captor softly laughing to himself the last sound I hear.
“The character Marcus is based on Matt Farnsworth’s character The Orphan Killer” All rights reserved”