Scapegoat

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Watching the news has been a hobby of the unnamed narrator's for a long time. Unfortunately, the appeal has worn off, each news story beginning to look like the last. However, that all changes once a family of four's graphic murder is covered by his favorite news station. Something is different about this news story, something sinister, something exciting . . .

Submitted: July 11, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 11, 2017

A A A

A A A


For as long as I can remember, news channels have always been good to me, keeping me informed on the current grievances of the nation, and furthermore, the world. However, something has changed in me over the years. While I enjoy watching the news, the appeal has worn off. Hearing about robbery, kidnapping, and the like becomes soporific after a while. Honestly, nothing has surprised me in years. Until today, that is.


Waking up from a deep sleep, I followed my normal routine of rolling out of bed, taking a piss, popping some food into the microwave, brewing coffee, and trudging my way over to the couch and flipping on the TV. Immediately, a young woman’s face filled the screen, her voice inundating my ear canals. As she began talking, a name flashed across the screen: Andi Fuller.


For around thirty minutes, Andi, a pretty blonde, discussed various issues in America, ranging from toxic algae drifting in the ocean to the current standing of the presidential election. Then, she said something that pulled my attention away from my pepperoni Hot Pocket: “Breaking News.” I set my coffee on the table, watching intently.


“A suburban family was found brutally murdered in their home this morning. A woman, her husband, and her two children were discovered after police were alerted about a disturbance early this morning,” Andi began.


“The woman and her family were bound with zip ties, had their mouths shut with duct tape, and were stabbed to death, with the husband getting the worst of it. According to first responders, his death was so violent, the assailant most likely injured himself with the knife, as well. Each death, however, has been labeled as ‘overkill’.”


As Andi continued to cover the news story, I became more and more transfixed. My eyes were glued to the screen, my ears tuned in to the news anchor’s voice, drowning everything else out. The details of the slaying were the only things circling around my mind, leaving me wide-eyed and open-mouthed.


Then, Andi said something that confused me.


“Even though the crime happened this morning, authorities believe they have caught the one responsible.”


“What?” I muttered, taken aback.


“According to investigators, the family’s sliding-glass backdoor was found partly shattered. Upon closer inspection, the hole was described as ‘big enough for a hand to fit through’; a small amount of blood was found on the glass. This break-in alerted the authorities, which lead them to the home in question this morning. When investigators arrived, they found the suspect burglarizing the home, a knife visible in his pocket. A single, horizontal slash was observed on his hand. While searching the home to make sure the family was OK, the bodies were found. The man was arrested at the scene despite his protests of innocence,” Andi concluded.


As Andi shifted to the weather report, I leaned back, confused. Looking down at my hands, I thought, “How odd.” Suddenly feeling itchy, I got up from the couch and switched off the TV. Then, I walked to my bathroom, gravitating toward the mirror.


A brownish, incessant red splotched—no, stained—my shirt as well as my arms, face, and neck. “I need a shower,” I murmured as I removed the bandages from my right hand, revealing deep, fresh lacerations. Reaching into my right pocket, I pulled out two black gloves, the right one torn to shreds. Only the inside was soaked in blood. While stripping out of my garments, a sheath fell out of my pants, causing a knife caked with a desiccated crimson to clatter onto the floor. I ignored it as I stepped into the shower.


Turning the faucet on, a torrent of warm water trickled across my skin. I watched as water mixed with darkened blood flowed down the drain, a smirk playing across my face.


“Heh. Poor guy. Their living room window was unlocked.”


© Copyright 2017 J. Vincent Street. All rights reserved.

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