The Hole

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
You'll get a "kick" out of this one.

Submitted: October 08, 2016

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Submitted: October 08, 2016

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Douglas D. Beatenhead Horror Short Story

9514 Timber Ridge Dr. 4,535 Words

Grand Blanc, MI 48439 First Serial Rights-North America

Ph: (810) 655-0129 Copyright 2006, Douglas D. Beatenhead

E-Mail: dbeatenhead@comcast.net

 

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THE HOLE

By

By: Douglas D. Beatenhead

 

His name was Tim, just an ordinary man, but Tim had a former neighbor who lived next to him in a quiet suburb. Tim's neighbor was Sam Higgs, and his occupation was photography. Sam was always showing Tim some of the pictures in the books he had published. His subjects were photographs of nature, and his favorites were flowers. He was well versed in botany; he had the degree and his books reflected his facts. Tim and Sam had become good friends over the last few years. On one hot summer day they were sitting in Tim's kitchen, listening to the latest national news and enjoying a cold beer. Sam was telling Tim about an adventure he had one year, when the radio switched to the gruesome local news.

 

"And here is the latest on the serial killer. It appears that police have found a sixth female body near another abandoned campsite inside the woods along interstate 45 early this morning. As police and forensic investigators searched the area, they found the woman's severed head in some bushes near by--again not far from the body. The remains were taken to the morgue where an autopsy revealed that she was first beheaded, raped, and then partially eaten, respectively. Police also extracted some DNA for future reference. At this time, all evidence seems to point to the same serial killer who's become known as the Gutter. More details will become available as this horrific series of events unfolds. We now turn to your local weather..."

 

After the news, Sam abruptly spoke up. "Damn, that's an awful shame; another poor girl. Did I even tell you I have two sisters?“

 

“No, you didn’t,” Tim replied.

 

“I hope they catch that sick bastard--rotten son of a bitch. It's so sad. There’s only one thing as beautiful as a woman.”

 

“And what is that?” Tim said unconcerned.

 

Flowers. They come in so many different varieties and styles; and just to kill women like that is like destroying innocent, beauty flowers, especially when they're so young in life--like little buds just before they bloom. Shit, it's like spitting in God's face. Well, I think you know what I mean. The whole world is becoming sick. This kind of thing is becoming much to common." Sam was 38 years old and said that he had never married; but assured Tim that he had had his share of women. The last time Sam talked to Tim was on the day he moved.

 

“I finally found just the right house. It’s an old farmhouse in a rural area about 250 miles north. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it here, Tim, but with the kind of work I do, I just needed more room.”

 

He said he was finishing his latest book and that he would mail Tim a copy. And when he left, they shook hands, hugged, and promised to keep in touch. That was the last time Tim saw, or ever heard from Sam again, except for a photography book mailed to him: Women and Flowers. Sadly, there was no return address.

 

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Three months later. . .

So Tim and Sam lost all touch with each other, however, they each continued to closely monitor the local news stories regarding the Gutter. There were more reports about the serial killer. The police and forensic investigatorshad gathered another sample of DNA, which matched the others, but as usual, no finger prints. Alarmingly, this was the ninth murder scene. It was about three months after Sam moved when the police had found yet, another two bodies. There was a special on TV about the whole incident. The same M.O., the severed heads, and the cannibalism--it had the entire community upset. Women were afraid to go outside alone. The killer had triggered one of the biggest manhunts of the decade.

 

Sam was driving home from the mountains after taking some photographs of wild flowers. After hours of driving back home, he discovered he was lost. But Sam knew he was near home, he just wasn't quite certain which direction to take. As he was driving along slowly, he watched as a gray, decaying old farmhouse appeared to rise from the ground above a hill in the gravel road. He noticed an old man with ruffled white hair and sporting a scruffy beard sitting on the porch, rocking in a chair and drinking something from a bottle. Sam stopped his van to ask directions. As he climbed out, he approached some old broken stone steps and questioned the elderly man.

 

"Excuse me sir, I was wondering if you might be able to help me with some directions."

 

The old man spit out a brown wad of phlegm. "Where you heading young man?"

 

"I'm looking for Berrybrook Road," Sam replied.

 

"Well, hell...you stupid shit," the old man grimaced.

 

"Now look here old man, I'm not looking for trouble, but you sure..."

 

"Oh, don't go getting your ass in a pig's knot young fellow. Can't you take a little foolin'? I haven't talked to anyone in five days. Just trying to be a little bit friendly! What's your name there, soldier?"

 

Sam looked at the old man in a quizzical, head-bent way. "Sam. Sam Higgs, sir."

 

"And you are...?" Sam questioned in returned.

 

"Well, hell. Around here, folks just call me Balls; on account I lost my gonads in the big one. Now where you trying to find?"

 

"Berrybrook Road." Sam said again.

 

"Well, hell. You're nearing your road. You must be new round these here parts. What you wanna do is take this here road straight to the end and...what's your address?"

 

"341 Berrybrook Road. My address is 341."

 

"Well, hell. That'll tell me lots." Balls replied.

 

"So which way do I go, Mr., eh, Balls?"

 

"Okay there now, young fellow, what you wanna do is to follow this here road straight to the end and then you wanna make a right turn and that there will be your Berrybrook. Take her about a half-mile and you'll see your house. I think she'll be on the East side."

 

"Thank you, Mr. Balls." Sam walked back to his van, started it, and chugged along.

 

When Sam reached his home, he was surprised that Mr. Balls actually knew the right direction. He pulled up the driveway and close to the house. He had a lot of equipment to move and not just his camera equipment, but also all of his tools and camping apparel. It took him nearly two hours to get everything inside. He always washed his tools and camping gear in warm soapy water whenever he returned from clicking, as he liked to call it. And Sam was always neat and clean with his stuff--he had to be. He kept his camera equipment on the first floor, and his camping gear and tools in the basement. The basement also concealed his favorite room where his photos came together--the darkroom. It was hidden behind a fake wall he’d built.

 

After Sam had put everything away in its proper place, he went upstairs to get cleaned up. He came down the steps whistling some unknown tune that he had picked up from childhood. It was going on six o'clock in the evening. He made himself a couple of butter sandwiches, grabbed a beer and sat down in his usual chair, ate and watched one of his favorite shows; Investigative Reports. This one he liked best, but then again, he liked all of them. After awhile, he glanced at the clock and discovered it was quarter after seven. He decided that at seven thirty he'd go to the basement and develop the pictures that he'd taken a few days ago. He turned the TV to the news channel and watched the news for the last fifteen minutes. He watched and listened about the world news until it was seven thirty. He turned the TV off and headed down the basement to his darkroom. Oblivious to Sam and his TV, the local news came on...

 

"...There was yet another attack on a woman, but this time she was able to escape. Again, it was suspected that the serial killer, Gutter, was responsible. Some hikers in the woods discovered her. They found her unconscious and her wounds were severe, but doctors say she'll survive the ordeal. It is believed that the hikers foiled the Gutters plans. She was taken to a hospital where Police asked if she could tell them what the Gutter looked like. She was quoted as saying, "his face is burned into my mind." She is expected to be well enough in a few days to give police an excellent sketch of the Gutter's face. Another sample of DNA was found, but still no fingerprints. We will keep you abreast of this chilling story as more information becomes available..."

 

Sam was thrilled when all of his pictures were developed. Just as he calculated, the flowers were astounding and beautiful in more ways than he had imagined. Not just the flower pictures but also everything he had captured with his camera was splendid. He hung all his negatives on a string and in their respective places, dripping with solution. He was so proud of his collection that he couldn't stop looking at them. But after an hour or so he decided to call it a day and go back upstairs and watch a little more TV before he went to bed. He sat in his chair with another beer and watched the television. It was now going on ten thirty, but he didn't care. Sam didn't have to get up early for any particular reason. He fell asleep in his chair and woke up a short time later, then looked at the clock--one in the morning. He got up; turned the TV off and went to bed.

 

He awoke the next day at about ten in the morning. Sam drank a couple of cups of coffee, stared at the walls, and thought about his pictures. After awhile he proceeded to the bathroom for his morning shower. Afterward, he dressed himself and went back downstairs. Looked out of the living room window, he discovered that it had rained during the night. But now, the sun was shining and he could see the dew and wetness on the leaves and grass. The sun was burning off the last little bit of haze and fog that misted over throughout the early morning landscape.

 

Sam Higgs turned on the TV and watched the news again. About an hour later, he switched the channel to public broadcasting. To his surprise, he was treated with a documentary about photography. It was titled: Nature and her Hidden Secrets in your own backyard. After the show, Sam became inspired. He got up from his chair and decided that he would take his camera and go outside and take some pictures. After all, his home sat on a parcel of land surrounded by four acres. He carried his camera equipment, which was bundled and snuggled in his arms and hands. Sam always liked to turn the TV off to save electricity. But with all the stuff in his arms and hands which he was fumbling with, he decided that the TV could wait.

 

After doing a little bit of exploring, his eyes caught something in the near distance. He came upon some wild shrubs that seemed to be multi-colored in nature. Not until he was standing right next to them, did he realize how unique the plant was. He had never seen anything in his entire life that looked like this. Indeed, it had many colored flowers: reds, yellows, blues, pinks and many more. And the smell of those many colors was as mixed and all the colorful hues. Fascinated by this, he laid his equipment down in the weeds and bent down on his knees to searched for the root system. He was amazed at what he had uncovered--the plant had only one root system. All of these beautiful colored flowers were growing from only one single plant!

 

“I’m going to be a famous man!” he yelled to the sky with his fabulous find.

 

For Sam, this was a first true prize--a new species. He stood up and started to take some pictures with the camera's shutter clicking in rapid motion. Being very excited by his new discovery, he stopped and bent down to get some close-ups. After taking a dozen pictures or more, Sam set his camera down carefully to study the flowers when suddenly his foot slipped from under him. The ground was still very wet. Strangely, instead of falling on his ass, he felt himself sliding down somewhere as he grabbed his camera and tripod. Suddenly, Sam could see and feel himself sliding down, in apparent slow motion, into a hole. The next thing he saw and heard was the splash of mud, a thud and a crunch when his body hit the bottom. Just how far he fell, he wasn't sure. Maybe fifteen or twenty feet he thought.

 

When Sam hit the bottom, he felt a spike of hot pain shoot up through his right foot and into his leg. There was hardly any room to move as he struggled to regain his wind. He wiggled and squirmed around until he finally saw his foot. It was bent and pointing in the wrong direction. After a few fuzzy seconds, he realized that the foot was broken. Just as that awareness set in, the initial numbness gave way to mind-shattering pain he felt in his other leg. He saw a broken tripod sticking through it. Sam fell back in a slumped position, went into shock and blacked out.

 

While Sam lay sleeping, he dreamed of his childhood--a dream that wasn't good. It was full of anguish and torment. Beatings and crying was how he spent his childhood. Spying on his drunken father slugging and kicking his mother. Sam sadly giggled shamefully at the almost comical way his father beat his identical twin brother, John, thinking he was beating him. He also dreamed about his poor sisters, Anna and Sue and the pain and suffering they endured, the shame of being raped and beaten over and over and raped again. He couldn’t erase the disgust and shame of being relieved when John, Anna or Sue was getting the beatings instead of him. The horror and disbelief, the confusion and all the psychotic events of the past unfolded behind his blacked out eyes. Finally as he started to awake, the separation from his mother, his identical twin brother, John, and his younger sisters, Anna and Sue became all too real again. Sam finally awoke screaming and crying. He laid at the bottom of that dripping watery hole, crying for hours and venomously hating he mother for her silence and hiding the secret.

 

After a while, Sam had had his fill of crying, and he could shed no more tears for his twin bother, sisters and mother. He started to feel the pain in his broken and twisted foot, but it was muted and soft. The broken tripod sticking through his other leg was the real killer. He clinched his teeth and pulled the tripod free. Now the blood started flowing. Feeling very nervous by his actions, Sam started to talk to himself.

 

"Oh, this is no good. No good. I should have left it in--I could bleed to death. Jesus, I've got to get out of here damn it--it's cold and wet. Oh God, please help me!" he said out loud to himself. Sam decided it was time to try and sit up. With some effort, he managed to drag his body up into a sitting position. He laughed nervously a little when he noticed his leg wasn’t bleeding as badly--but it sure hurt like hell.

 

"I have to fix my foot", he told himself, but wasn't sure just how.

 

"Help!" he screamed. "Somebody help me! Help! Can anyone hear me? Help! Help God damn it..." but there was nobody around to hear him.

 

"I've got to fix my foot and get out of here."

 

He thought for a minute, "a splint, that's what I need; that would fix my foot."

 

Sam felt around his body for a stick, a branch, something…anything. He lifted his ass and tried to find something underneath him. The water was cold, too cold he thought. He started to feel around the sides of the hole.

 

"It's starting to get dark in here as he looked at the sky through the summit of the hole. Help! Help! Somebody please help me!" Sam started to panic.

 

He listened for a response. Nothing. He started to feel around the sides of the hole again. Suddenly his hand felt a branch. He moved his hand along its trunk, up and down until he found the two ends. He estimated the branch to be about two feet long. He pulled at it but it wouldn't move. He pulled harder. He continued to pull as hard as he could until he felt himself developing a chilling cold sweat.

 

"What is this damned thing anyhow?" he said in frustration, "hold it...hold it; now I know the problem--it's a fucking root!" He cursed his luck. Still, and again he pulled and twisted.

 

"This sucker is going to come loose," he demanded. He pulled and pulled and twisted. Finally he felt it giving way.

 

"Keep pulling. Come on asshole, keep pulling...I've got it; I've got it!" Sam was now laughing.

 

The broken root was in his hand. "Okay...okay. I’m all right--no big deal. Now I can splint my foot."

 

Sam relaxed for about five minutes because the pain and struggle had left him exhausted. He looked up and saw that the faint light was now starting to slip away to dusk. It was getting much darker in the hole and he knew that the night was approaching. At the sight of darkness, Sam started to become very agitated. He felt that he wasn't doing enough.

 

"Okay...okay now, you've got your splint. I need something to wrap my leg and foot with it. Think. Come on now asshole, think." He tried to reach forward and down to his foot. "Oh shit! Oh shit!" he muttered through clenched teeth.

 

It hurt bad, real bad, but he was determined to get the splint on his foot. He brought his body backward and grabbed onto the top of his pants. He clenched his teeth and waited for the pain to subside when suddenly he said, "my belt; what am I, stupid? That's what I'll use to wrap around my foot."

 

Sam laid back to rest a minute, but instead, he fell asleep again.

 

The TV was still on in his house, and by the next morning another reporter was talking.

 

"It appears that there may be a break in the investigation of the serial killer who's become known as the notorious Gutter. Police may have in their custody, a man, thought to be responsible for the hideous killings of at least ten women. The suspect is now being questioned. Although the man denies having anything to do with the murders, his description matched the police sketch given by the woman who escaped these gruesome attacks. The women identified the man and told the police, "Without a doubt, this is the same man who attacked me." Police received a tip from a caller named Tim in Texas identifying that the man was his next-door neighbor. Police from Arkansas are appealing to extradite the man for questioning. Later today, the suspect will be tested for DNA. No fingerprints have ever been found, which complicates this case. We'll keep you informed when future updates become available..."

 

The trembling of his body awakened Sam. The night and darkness had set in. The cold water was sending him into hypothermia. He knew it and it scared him intensely.

 

"Help me! Help! Somebody…anybody, help me!" He thought he was yelling, but in reality, his voice was just above a whisper.

 

And again, no one came to help him. He could feel the weakness starting to set into his very soul. He started to move around when an intense pain reminded him of his wounded leg and his broken foot.

 

"The belt, I remember now," he mumbled.

 

He took his belt off screaming with pain. "Ah shit! Okay...okay, my belt's off. Now, all I have to do is reset my foot and put on the splint."

 

Sam bent forward and down to reach for his foot. He could hear his teeth grinding as the pain intensified. Finally he had a hold of his right foot. He jerked it and twisting it around as fast as he could. The pain felt like lightning streaking throughout his entire body. He couldn't help but scream. Sam fell backward against the cold and muddy wall. All he wanted to do was rest. He was feeling lethargic and worn out. He wanted to sleep again but was determined not to, that is until his eyes rolled back in his head.

 

Sam woke up after a couple of hours--he had no idea how long he had slept. His foot felt better, but it still ached with a dull numbing throb. He looked down at his foot and saw that it was pointing in the proper direction now. He smiled. He noticed that he no longer shuddered from the cold. His smile turned into a circle.

 

"Oh no, oh no, don't let it happen. I'm gonna die, I'm dying! I can feel it!"

 

Sam decided it was time to put the splint on now. It was now or never. Again, he bent forward and down, but this time he had his root-brace and belt in his hands. Ignoring the searing pain, Sam managed to assemble his makeshift splint onto his foot and leg.

 

"There, that's got it," he told himself as he laid back to rest again. When he felt his eyes starting to shut again, he quickly opened them and started shaking his head violently from side to side.

 

"I can't fall back to sleep. I've gotta stay awake," he whispered to himself. He knew that he had better try and get up on his feet.

 

"I have to climb out of this damned hole," he said with cold, gelatinous saliva running unnoticed down his chin.

 

Sam made an effort to get on his feet. He managed to get about half way up and stopped. He started to retch and gag; the smell was terrible! He realized that he had shit and pissed his pants. He also smelled vomit. He gagged and threw up again then started to cry.

 

"Oh please, oh Lord please, let somebody help me."

 

His hands started to dig and grip the muddy, slimy dirt on the sides of the hole. After some length of time, he managed to stand erect. He felt his legs start to tremble and shake when one of his hands found a root to climb on.

 

Sam struggled to lift himself up and climb to another root. He found one, and then another; he pulled himself upward with all his might. His hands searched for another root, and again he found one, and yet another. Sam was climbing out of the hole. He stopped to look up and saw stars in the sky. He figured he'd have to climb another ten or more feet to get out. Sam looked down and with striking surprise; he realized that he had climbed about five or six feet above the bitter watery grave.

 

Sam was making some real progress now. He could feel his confidence and strength returning. He even had to wait for a few seconds while he took time to giggle. He looked up, and then down. He turned his head up again and suddenly he started to feel dizzy.

 

"Oh no. Stop it, don't let it get to you," he told himself.

 

At that very moment, one of Sam's bloody hands slipped from a root. And as much as he tried, he couldn't keep hold. Sam fell back to the bottom of the hole again. The pain was beyond any kind of pain he had ever felt. He had to laugh a little because he thought it ironic that he fell standing up.

 

He looked down slowly, but only to discover to his horror that his foot had split away from his leg. The blood was gushing and he couldn't stop it. The icy water was now turning a slight bit warmer and although he couldn’t see it clearly, it was also turning red. Sam slowly slid down the wet muddy wall of the hole until he was lying in the cold, rank water again. He started to see some pale light sky again. At one point, Sam thought he could hear voices talking, but was too weak to make a response. Again, no one came to his rescue. He couldn't, and wouldn't, move again. He knew he was bleeding to death, and he cursed God for this. Sam simply laid back whimpering, and within a few very cold hours, ice tears clustered on his pale muddy face--Sam was dead.

 

When Mr. Balls saw Sam's face on the TV news, it wasn't long before the local police were searching Sam's property. The police went inside to search, but only because old Mr. Balls was insistent he had seen and talked to the killer. The TV was still on, and the two policemen stopped to listen and watch the news reporter talk.

 

"It appears that the serial killer known as Gutter has been found. Reports came in today identifying a man whose name is known to be John Higgs as the serial killer, Gutter. DNA tests confirmed his identity. In addition, the witness known as Tim testified that the killer used to live right next door to him. Tim had seen the police sketch of the killer that the only fortunate victim described. Although there seemed to be some confusion, police are positive that they have the killer in jail and awaiting arraignment. If convicted, John Higgs could be sentenced to death. Stay tuned for more details after these commercials..."

The police were searching Sam Higgs house as old Mr. Balls had demanded, and were satisfied that they had searched the house thoroughly. As the search was over, they were radioed to report back to the station--police had already caught the killer in Texas.

 

But unbeknownst to these local policemen, they had missed one room concealed in the basement--Sam's darkroom. Inside, strewn about and hung on every wall were pictures of beautiful flowers and dead women.

 

And across the states in a little, run down shack of a house, two women sat huddled together. Anna and Sue held onto each other and cried as they watched the late night TV news; aware they had lost one twin brother, but as of yet, unaware that they had also lost the other.

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© Copyright 2017 Douglas Beatenhead. All rights reserved.