Day One

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter One

Submitted: September 08, 2016

Reads: 1447

Comments: 4

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Submitted: September 08, 2016

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Chapter 1

 

“Hey...it’s time to wake up” a soft voice spoke into Jackson Terry's ear as he slept. These words, while spoken quietly, rang in his ears. With a huff of displeasure, Jackson slowly sat up.

“I think you're enjoying this a little too much Beth,” he said while seeing a devious smile peek from Beth's face. Being married for a little over two years, Jackson was well aware of the routine on Tuesday mornings. Beth would wake up at 6:30, quietly get up and take a shower.  Having this job as an executive assistant at a mid-sized consulting firm, she has adjusted well to early mornings.

“Maybe a little,” Beth chuckled.

“Well, did you at least cook me some breakfast?” Jackson said sarcastically. He knew the look Beth would give him. It was the look that silently spoke every obscene word known to mankind.

“Never mind” Jackson said realizing he probably shouldn't push his luck.

“Good choice” she laughed.  Wearing only blue boxers and a “kiss me...I’m Irish” t-shirt, Jackson walked up behind her while she looked into the mirror to finish her makeup.

“So tonight then?” he asked while placing his arms around her and pulling her close. Looking at him through the mirror, she saw his eyebrows raise and lower in his suave insinuating demeanor.

“Absolutely!”

“Really?” Jackson enthusiastically replied.

“Yes, we are meeting them at 7:00 pm.”

Jackson's enthusiasm quickly turned to disappointment.

“Lisa and Ted have been asking us to double date with them for weeks. It won’t kill you to make friends,” she reminded him. Visibly thwarted, Jackson released his firm grip from around her.

“I know, I know,” Jackson said as if he was a fourteen-year-old child being advised by an elder about the good ole days. “I don't mind Lisa, I really don't, but Ted is a Jackass.” Beth turned her head and gave him a long and soft kiss on the cheek.

“It’s just one night. I promise you will have a good time” she assured him while turning her body completely around and putting her arms around his neck. She moved her mouth close to his ear and whispered, “and if you behave, you may just get lucky after.”

 “So you really think I have a shot with Lisa?” Jackson snidely remarked. She smiled and gave him a little love punch on his chest. The smile returned to his face before he bent his head down and planted a passionate kiss on her lips.

“Ewww,” a small voice came from the doorway of their ranch home bedroom.

“Well, it looks as if Matty is awake,” Jackson smiled at Beth.

Jackson turned towards Mathew and started walking towards him. With a big smile on his face, Jackson bent down and placed his hands below Mathew’s arms and lifted him up.

“Hey buddy, did you sleep ok?”

“Mmhmm” Mathew nodded his head yes.

Jackson sat down on the bed with Mathew in his arms. Beth looked at them through the mirror and smiled. Mathew is Jackson's son from his first marriage, so Mathew was still a little confused on who Beth was. He called her, “Daddy's Girlfriend” when he's was around other people. Beth loved Mathew with all her heart but has made sure to never try and replace his mother. Mathew’s mother has not seen Matty in over a year. Jackson didn’t feel it was necessary to explain to his son that his mother was a drug addict and left without saying a word. It’s a tough situation to try and have a four-year-old grasp.

“Matty are you ok with Jennifer coming over tonight and watching you for a while?” Beth queried. Jennifer was the daughter of their neighbor Bill, who lived 3 houses down the road.  At fifteen years old, she very rarely had time to babysit but was always looking to make a few extra dollars. Mathew loved when Jennifer babysat him.

“Yeah, we can play with the blocks and build a fort” Mathew gave the typical four-year-old reply.

Beth laughed, “You guys can build a really big fort and Jennifer can order a pizza too.”

“Pizza?!?! Yes!” Mathew ran over to Beth and gave her a big hug.

“Ok buddy, go get dressed for school, we have to get going” Beth said.  Mathew released his hug from Beth and ran towards the door of their bedroom.

“Time for school!!” Mathew shouts delightfully.

“Let’s hope his excitement for school lasts a while,” Jackson said looking at Beth.  After a final check, she turned away from the mirror and walked towards the door.

Adjusting to living in a smaller house had been tougher for Beth than it was for Jackson. Just four years earlier, Jackson was involved in a car accident that left him in the hospital for three months while recovering from two surgeries on his leg. With Jackson unable to work during that time, the bills and pressure added up which inevitably drove the final stake into his already failing first marriage.

When Beth and Jackson first met, she was living with her parents in a big Victorian style house in the suburbs as she finished her master’s degree in accounting. They dated for a year before Jackson asked her to marry him.  Two months after getting married, they found this nice little ranch starter home closer to the city.

While exiting the bathroom after taking a shower, Jackson grabbed his light blue bath robe his mother got him for his birthday and threw it over him. As Jackson neared the end of the hallway to the Kitchen, he saw Mathew at the kitchen table finishing his breakfast while Beth prepared her cup of coffee for the morning commute to the office. Jackson sat at the table next to Mathew and clutched the morning paper.

“Make sure you let Petey out before you leave for work please,” Beth said as she set a cup of coffee in front of Jackson. He looked over towards the door to see Petey, Beth's Shih Tzu, sitting there with a tilted head and puppy dog eyes.

“Sure, I love little Petey,” Jackson said doing his best baby talk impression.

“I knew you would learn to love each other,” Beth sarcastically responded while patting his shoulder.

“Ok Matty, we have to get going,” Beth grabbed Mathew’s cereal bowl and took it to the kitchen sink. Mathew got up and walked over to where his shoes were and carefully placed each foot into the shoes. Mathew intensely concentrated doing his best to tie the laces while quietly repeating, “Over, under, around, and through...” He grabbed his backpack as Beth grabbed her briefcase and purse from the counter. “See you later Babe,” she placed her hands on Jackson’s chest as she bent down behind him. She gave Jackson a kiss as he turned his head to meet hers. Jackson returned to reading the newspaper as Beth headed towards the door, grabbing her keys off of the key hook.

“Bye buddy, see you when I get home” Jackson gave Mathew a big hug and kiss on the forehead. Jackson had been working later in the morning for about a month now after working early mornings for two years. Being able to see Beth and Mathew before work had been a nice treat even if his job working in a factory was not the most glamorous of careers.

Jackson watched as Beth opened the door and guided Mathew out. They both gave Jackson a wave goodbye as they went.

“Bye daddy!” Mathew yelled as they walked out. Jackson set the paper down and got up from his chair and headed toward the picture window in the living room. He watched Beth and Mathew get in the car and waved at them. Matty's smile always gave him a warm feeling and seeing Beth and him getting along so well reassured Jackson that he was lucky to have a such a great family. A smile crossed his face as he watched them back out of the driveway.

As the car disappeared down the road, Jackson took a quick look around the neighborhood. He noted to himself a weird quietness to the street. His street was not usually very busy but he couldn't help but notice.

Interrupting his thought, Petey reminded Jackson of his presence and need for relief with a few high pitch barks. “Alright Petey, I’ll take you outside,” Jackson made his way towards the back door. “You stay in the back yard. Do you hear me?” he gave Petey a stern look. Recently Petey had discovered that if he dug below the fence that surrounds the yard, he could go under and roam free. Jackson was given the objective to dog proof the backyard. A mission he was sure he accomplished.

“Ok, there you go,” he said as he opened the door for Petey to run out. This was an instruction Petey understood well and proceeded to wander out. Jackson closed the screen door and watched him as he sniffed around. “You’re not going anywhere,” he laughed proudly. Feeling satisfied, he turned from the door and moved to the table and picked up his cup of coffee. As he raised it to his mouth, his eyes caught the wall where the clock was mounted next to a “Today will be a good day” inspirational quote decoration that Beth put up when they moved in. We will see he thought as he saw the time and realized he has to get ready to go to work. He drank up the last few drops of coffee and headed down the hallway towards the bedroom.

To Jackson, getting “work ready” meant throwing on a uniform shirt and pants. Some days he would have a little giggle thinking about how long it took Beth to get ready in the morning and how methodical she was about her hair. He slid off his slippers and pushed them to the side as he grabbed his work pants. As he pulled the pants up to his waist and started to button them, he heard Petey barking outside. The way he was barking was weird as Petey didn’t bark much normally; a trait Jackson was quite fond of.

Jackson finishes putting his belt on and tightened the buckle. He could hear that the dog was still barking and barking very loudly and fast. “What is wrong with that dog?” he murmured to himself. Now annoyed, he placed his white under shirt over his head and started marching toward the back door. The thought crossed his mind that maybe Petey got stuck under the fence trying to escape the yard. He decided to stop and quickly put his shoes on in case he needed to go out into the grass on a rescue mission.

Just as he finished tying the second shoe, he heard a loud YELP come from the backyard. It was Petey and Jackson knew that sound meant something bad. He rushed over to the back door and peered through the fogged glass window. His eyes were immediately drawn to what looked like a person bent down on their knees with their back to Jackson. He couldn't tell whether this was a man or woman, or who this person was. He wrenched open the door and stepped out. Taking a couple steps toward the mysterious scene, he noticed what looked to be a small patch of white fur surrounded by what was for sure to be blood. “What the fuck?!?” Jackson blurted. “Oh my God!! What the fuck?? Is that Petey??” the thoughts ran wild in his mind. He charged toward the person and placed his hand on the stranger’s shoulder. “What the fuck are you doing??” he yelled as he yanked the person backwards. Although not being able to identify, based on the persons build and appearance, Jackson could tell this was a man. The man fell onto his back about six feet away from him. Jackson turned his head and looked down at the ground below where the man had been. The corpse of the small Shih Tzu laid there ripped open as if attacked by a wild animal. The sight left Jackson feeling sick to his stomach. He was overwhelmed by confusion and the onset of anger. He turned his head toward the stranger and saw him struggling to stand up. His face and clothes were covered in blood. Jackson noticed a gash below the man’s left eye and a wound on his neck below his chin. Jackson eyes met the eyes of the stranger. They were completely black as his pupils enlarged the total width of his eye.

“What the hell is wrong with you buddy?” Jackson stood trying to figure out what was wrong with this man. The man didn’t respond. Jackson took a step towards the man. Abruptly the stranger lunged at Jackson. His bloody mouth was wide open and hands out in front of him reaching for Jackson. Even as Jackson attempted to step away from him, the man quickly reached him. Jackson placed his hands out against the man’s chest as he was being pushed backwards. Unable to maintain his balance, they fell to the ground. Jackson struggled to keep the man at an arms distance. Blood fell from the man’s face onto Jackson's cheek. 

“Get the fuck off me! Hel...p” Jackson screamed as the man’s hands forcefully extended towards his face. The man’s weight pressed down against him, Jackson's arms were combating fatigue as the man's efforts seemed relentless. The man’s mouth stretched wide open, gradually pushing nearer to Jackson's face. The strangers’ teeth were covered in blood and small pieces of what Jackson could only assume were bits of Petey's flesh. The vivid smell that came from the man’s mouth was horrifying.  He attempted to push and roll the man off with no success.

Looking closely at the man’s face, Jackson realized this was NOT just a sick stranger. This was a person he had seen many times before. “Bill…Bill! Stop this?” Jackson screamed. This didn’t make any sense. Bill had always been a person Jackson could rely on. Bill helped him after the accident and his daughter has babysat Mathew for years. This was not Bill. This man attacked with determination. Droplets of blood continued to trickle onto Jackson’s face as the struggle vibrated both of the men. Jackson turned his face in attempt to prevent blood from going into his mouth and eyes. As his head turned, he saw one of the big rocks that Jennifer consistently nagged at him to remove, laying on the ground. He shifted his body slightly and prepared to move one arm to try and reach for the rock. His left arm folded downward and was now fully supporting Bill’s weight. Doing this now put both of their faces within a few inches of each other. Jackson’s right hand slammed outwards towards the hard mineral. Dammit! Just a little more, Jackson screamed in his mind. His bloody fingertips slipped across the surface of the rock, leaving red trails with every failed attempt. Jackson jolted his left arm upwards and quickly teetered his body in what seemed to be an exhausted final attempt to reach the small boulder.

The maneuver quickly revealed itself to be a success as he gripped his right hand around the rock. Without so much as a thought, he immediately swung both his right hand and body toward Bill. Thwamp! The rock struck Bill directly in his right temple and he gradually fell to the side. Without hesitating, Jackson rolled to his left and onto Bill. With every ounce of energy he could muscle, he repeatedly slammed the rock into Bill’s face on the ground. All reasoning, all humanity, and all fear left Jackson’s mind as he continued to pound the rock into what could no longer be the face of his neighbor. Fatigue hit him and his arm came to slow stop.

His chest moved up and down to match his struggle to breathe. His eyes peered down to view the scene that resulted from the attack. As he raised his shaking hands into view, the sequence of events that just happened quickly started filing through Jackson’s head. What happened to Bill? Why did he attack me...What did I do? the thoughts ran across Jackson’s mind. He tossed the rock to the side and began to try and rise to his feet. Still breathing heavily, Jackson’s body struggled to stand and his mind struggled to grasp what just happened. Bill’s body lay motionless. “I killed him.” He said to himself. “I..don’t…I…didn..t.” the feelings started flashing abruptly. He felt a quiver in his gut and small shocks in his chest while the fast paced short breaths barely supplied enough air to keep him conscious.

Jackson has never been a violent person. This was a new emotion and he was unsure how to handle it. It only took about 30 seconds for his breathing to become slightly more rhythmic and paced. Almost instantaneously the question popped in his head, what do I do? Jackson turned back towards the door and stumbled to reach the handle.

Every movement from there gave him a visual reminder of what just happened. His hand gripped the door knob and twisted it quickly. Foot after foot he walked past the table seeing his empty coffee cup. He made his way down the hallway and back to the bedroom. Jackson’s thoughts shifted direction when he walked in and saw the bed unmade and the scent of Beth’s perfume still lingering. He ran over to his side of the bed and frantically grabbed his phone and started walking back down the hall toward the family room. Damn phone, he thought while he had to keep wiping the blood from his hands onto his shirt and robe to try and press the phones touchscreen. He finally got to the contact list and quickly pressed “Beth”. Placing the phone to his ear, he paced the living room of their small ranch house. The ringing began. Ring…Ring…Ring “Hi this is Beth...” he heard Beth’s voice on her voicemail. “No, please?” He exclaimed. Beep! “Beth, Beth oh my god, something just happened. I’m…I’m not sure…Bill just attacked me and killed Petey and I…I…I killed him…Beth…oh my god…please come home?” Jackson wept into the phone. He ended the call and knew what number to dial next but panic, nervousness, and shock made each number touch seem like its taking minutes. The phone went back to his ear and the ringing once again started. Ring…Ri “I’m sorry. All lines are busy at the moment. If you need assist…” the automated voice said. “You gotta be kidding me. Busy??” Jackson responded. Feeling frustrated and angry, he squeezed the phone tightly and leaned down to his knees. “WHAT THE FUCCCCKKK??”  he screamed. His eye glanced toward the TV that Mathew left on in the family room. He noticed the scrolling text at the bottom of the screen read “Random attacks leave 10 dead and several injured.” Jackson turned his head quickly searching for the remote. Matty always had this propensity to leave the remote inside the couch cushions. On most days, this tendency would be extremely irritating to Jackson, but not today. Today it gave him what can only be described as a blink of brightness. As his hands fumbled through the couch cushions, his hand touched the hard plastic. He pulled the remote from the cushion and rapidly turned up the volume. The news anchor speaking on the TV repeated the words seen at the bottom, “As of now, 10 deaths have been reported as a result of these brutal attacks. We have also gotten word there could be as many as 25 more cases of injuries.” Jackson didn’t understand any of it. The look of confusion crossed his face and questions were flying rampantly through his mind.

THUMP! A loud and sharp noise rung the large picture window in the middle of the room. The glass shook enough to vibrate the vertical blinds that covered it. Jackson approached the window slowly. THUMP! Another sound struck the glass. The next sound Jackson heard was a streak across the window almost as if someone was washing the window with a squeegee. His right hand reached out toward one of the hanging blinds. Using his hand to move them aside he pushed open the blinds. “What the hell?” he said as his eyes saw a teenage boy flopping against the glass as if trying to get in. His right cheek was ripped open to the point that you could see clear through the wound when his head turned the right angle. While it made Jackson feel a little fearful, after what just happened, the fear seemed to dim. Jackson locked eyes with the boy and noticed the boy’s pupils were also enlarged to the point it blackened out his entire eye. Bill’s eyes were exactly the same way. This couldn’t be coincidence. “The Center for Disease Control just issued a statement and in it they told everyone to stay in your homes, lock the doors, and remain calm.” The voice of the news reporter caught Jackson’s attention.

Beep, Beep! It was Jackson’s phone. He looked down at his phone and showed a small yellow envelope symbol with two very relieving words flashing above it “From: Beth”.  He pressed the phone frantically. The message popped up, “Help? we are in the school in the closet the teacher was trying to hurt matty?” Jackson’s eyes squeezed closed and his head dropped. “Again, everyone, please do not attempt to leave your houses, businesses, or buildings. Just lock every window and every door and stay put. We are taking the appropriate actions to prevent any more instances from occurring” said a man on the TV in what looked to be a very expensive suit and tie.

Jackson stood up and brought his phone up to his stomach and typed, “I’m coming for you!”

 

 

 

Chapter Two Coming Soon!


© Copyright 2018 Shawn "Critta" Nyquist. All rights reserved.

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