The Long Weekend

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
Four childhood friends set off on their annual Easter trip to Mpumalanga. Unaware of the danger that lies ahead. Will the girls survive the long weekend or will a psychopath's appetite for blood ruin their plans...

Submitted: May 22, 2020

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Submitted: May 22, 2020

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The Long Weekend

 

By

Sharief Hendricks

 

Best friends Serena, Jordan, Amanda and Zodwa finally manage to get all the bags and supplies into Amanda’s Ford Tiguan SUV.

“Let's go, ladies, we have a long drive ahead of us before we get to the cabin, we all remember what happened last year Easter Holiday when we got lost the entire Good Friday of the long weekend.” Said Serena as she twirls her thick braids between her fingers while fiddling with her classic but outdated video recorder.

“Yip, and we all know who's fault that was, right ladies.” Said Amanda the tallest of the girls and also the palest, lifting her eyebrows towards Serena and Zodwa.

“Ok and we are finally off, woohoo, long weekend here we come, nothing but fun in the sun.” Said Jordan while licking on a Yogeuta lollipop out of breath from being somewhat overweight compared to her slimmer besties.

“That's right Jordan, you can say that again, take the Toll road Amanda, it might cost us now but it will save us in the long run, and Serena this bag you brought is not space-efficient at all.” Said Zodwa the nerdiest and smartest of the childhood friends as she hugs her physics textbook smothering it into her chest.

"You guys must learn to plan better.” She said rolling her eyes behind her thick reading glasses.

The three girls shout collectively, “yes Zodwa!” as they giggle and start their journey to the cabin at Crystal Springs, Nelspruit Mpumalanga.

The rules for the long weekend at the cabin are simple, no makeup, no dieting, no WhatsApp, definitely no boyfriends and no doing anything productive. Eat and eat some more. It’s heavenly. Every Easter the friends look forward to their annual trip to the cabin where they relax by the fire, enjoy great meaty-treats prepared by Serena and Zodwa, watch movies, and read out loud to each other. This year, Jordan was tasked with bringing the books. The meaty-treats, movies, and books vary, but the one thing the girls cannot do without is dried fish and biltong fresh from the surrounding farms. It has become somewhat of a tradition now, kind of their way of spending Easter, but still honouring customs taught to them by their parents. It’s a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of Joburg and there is nothing better for the girls than to snack on biltong otherwise known as “beef jerky” outside South Africa, and dried fish while watching a movie or reading a novel out loud. No need to worry about work responsibilities or their waistlines for that matter. This weekend the four “twenty-somethings” can just cut loose and chill.

"Watch the speed limit, Amanda.” Said Zodwa as she kept her spectacles focused on the speedometer.

“Relax Zodwa, I’m nowhere near the limit, stop being such a “Dolly Doright,” why don’t you study or something, seeing as you brought your school-books along. Let me drive ok.”

“So, is it just me or has this same black Opel been behind us since we left the last petrol station, do you think he is following us?” Asked Amanda as she checks the rear-view mirror once again.

“Shit, I hope not, there’s a lot of freaks out on the open road.” Said Jordan as she unwraps another lollipop and pops it into her mouth.

“Listen up, so I heard on the news there is this guy that stalks the highways, looking for helpless women to attack and do despicable things too.” Said Serena.

“Alright, enough with the scary talk already, and we are not helpless.” Said Jordan.

The car goes silent as each girl secretly keep an eye on the Opel that refuses to past them even though Amanda has slowed down considerably, driving way below the speed limit, for several hundred kilometres, until finally.

“We made it!” Said Zodwa.

“Well-done Amanda.” Said Serena.

“It was a breeze, no stress at all, the GPS lead the way, I just turned the steering wheel.” Said Amanda as she bobs her head to Brenda Fassie’s “Weekend Special” blasting from the radio.

In a flash, the girlfriends have unloaded the car, stocked the fridge, and changed into old sweatpants, over-sized tee shirts, and thick fuzzy socks. Eager to warm the cold cabin and get the lazy weekend started. Then panic set in when the girls discovered the firewood box was empty. Forfeiting the fire all weekend was simply not an option. Good thing Serena and Jordan are farm-girls from the Free State and know how to chop wood and get a fire going. Zodwa Googled the closest koi and buck farms where they can buy fresh dried fish and biltong.

“Got one guy!” Said Zodwa excitedly.

“Gert's Dried Meat and Fish, just five minutes away and there is still an hour left before it gets dark.” She said.

“Let’s all go together then we can get a few more snacks at the petrol station for Jordan's reading session tonight.” Said Amanda.

“Hey, wait a minute,” said Jordan, “just because I brought the books don’t mean I have to do the reading now.”

Serena showed support and said, “good point Jordan, but you’re still reading the book tonight.” All three girls burst out laughing and were eventually joined by Jordan.

As the besties are preparing to leave, they notice two guys just sitting on the grass looking at their cabin and this makes them uneasy as the men do not attempt to hide it. They also don’t look like residents, more like drifters, looking for a score. This prompted Amanda to walk around the cabin to ensure the doors and windows were locked. When the friends booked in at the front desk the manager informed them there were some attempted break-ins and one sexual assault two months ago.

The girls make their way to Gert’s Dried Meat and Fish excited to get fresh biltong from the farm, something not common in the city. The girls who have been friends since Primary school pride themselves on being independent and hate the idea of needing men to do things for them. Twelve minutes later the GPS informed them politely, “your destination is on the left.” Serena speaks for the first time since they left the cabin.

“Guys I don’t like this place, it looks run down and not so neat, they probably don’t have any biltong and if they do, I can’t see how it will be fresh in this dump.”

"I agree with you Serena, it looks downright dodgy and scary, maybe we should turn around guys and find a safer place in town."

“Come now Amanda, relax, this place is perfect, like the advert said, run by the owner, hands-on experience," Zodwa said to reassure them.

Then she tells Amanda to pull up by the gate and to drive slower as to not let the dirt road make unnecessary tyre tracks. Just then the owner, Gert pulls up to the gate with his white Toyota bakkie on his way out. Gert is a short stocky farmer with a reddish skin tone face but a friendly one with blown-up cheeks and almost a triple chin.

"Good day ladies, I’m Gert the owner of Gert's Meat, as it's known now. It used to be Gert's Dried Meat and Fish, but I changed the name after my wife Martie died, so now there is no more fish and only meat.” He burst out laughing alone. The girls did not appreciate the disrespectful reference to his late wife.

Zodwa said as she hugged her textbook even tighter. “We from Joburg and would like to get some of your famous dried meat Gert, can you help us?"

“Well, I was on my way to town to get a beer and a lap dance from Ntombi, but four is better than one, so what the hell, let me turn around.” He said while coughing as he tried to hold back his laughter at his feministic attempt at a joke.

“Zodwa, are you sure about this guy, he is a pervert and has a creepy look about him?” Said Serena as she nervously started to tug on her braids, to which Amanda shook her long neck in agreement.

“I don’t trust him,” said Jordan with her lollipop blue tongue as she adjusts her extra-large tracksuit pants by fiddling with the waist-elastic band, in the tight backseat.

“Don’t worry girls, he is just perfect.” Said Zodwa as she smiled calmly and adjusted her goggle sized spectacles.

Gert turns his Toyota around and pulls up next to the girls. “I have a Springbok, I shot the day before yesterday, he is just perfect and ready to be sliced open. Remember I don't have any fish though, but I smell fresh fish now, Hahahahahaha.”

Then the chubby red-faced man stuck his neck out of the window and said, “you girls sure are polite,” as he licks his lips surveying the girls through the windows of the SUV.

“Come now girls, don't be shy, just follow me and I will give you some good meat.”

The girls followed him down the winding dirt road further into the farm plot, none of them spoke as they fixed their eyes on the road to memorise it in case they need to leave in a hurry. The besties knew what each other was thinking, silently weighing the option of turning around with no biltong and avoiding who knows what danger. None of them was willing to decide to stop following the creepy overweight freaky. They wanted meat now and the closer they getting the more the hunger is beginning to overpower their fear. They have not eaten since they left Johannesburg over thirteen hours ago, and they came too far to quit now. Then a house appeared through the dust of the vehicle ahead of them. The small stoep was littered with everything from crushed beer cans to large kitchen appliances and rubbish everywhere. Among the dirt laid a big black cat that could easily just have been napping and just as easily have been rotting.

“I don't like this, I don't like it at all.” Said Jordan as droplets of sweat ran down the rolls on her neck like a surfer over bumpy waves.

“What if he is not alone and his whole “Wrong Turn” family is waiting for us.”

“Stop that Serena!, I like what I see, this is why we come to the country to experience country life,” said Zodwa as she bounces up and down holding onto her seat as the Ford comes to rest in front of the house. Serena pointed her video camera at a window, and she wasn’t sure if she briefly saw someone peeking through the curtain. She regrets not having pressed record in time.

Gert approached the SUV and said, “Ok, come now what are you waiting for, get your sexy Joburg asses out of that fancy car. Damn, they sure make them fine in good old “Jozi” don't they," he said as he rubs his palms together and licks his dry lips in anticipation of getting a glimpse of the girls' underwear as they exit the vehicle.

They reluctantly follow Gert to his back yard, where they pick up the scent of death, that all four girls recognise immediately, and it sparked their interest and got their hearts racing.

“Wait till you girls see what I have back here,” said Gert as they pass a wooden tree stump with a massive axe that looks like the blade is covered with old bloodstains on it, stuck in the stump. Besides the filthiness of the yard, there is also a rusty block-chain for removing engines next to the tree stump, and five abandoned SUV’s parked behind what looks like a workshop.

“Oh Gert, I need to use your bathroom please, where is it?" Asked Zodwa.

Gert said with a dirty smile, “we all friends here, so you can pee right here sweetie, I promise I won’t look.”

Zodwa stops with arms on hips and rolls her eyes over her black spectacle frame at the fat farmer and said, "please Gert I need to go, now."

Reluctantly he said. “Alright, alright walk back the way we came, kitchen, then loo is just past the dresser with the big mirror, you can’t miss it.”

“Is anybody home Gert?”

“Zodwa, are you nuts, you not going in there,” said Jordan wiping the sweat from her thick neck with her hand.

“Nobody here but me, good old lonely Gert.”

Zodwa walks back the way they came without giving a second thought to Jordan’s obvious concern.

“Well girls, here it is.” He points to the dead Springbok laying on a dirty wooden table in the open yard with slit neck hanging off the edge. Flies feeding on the open wound. No response from the three young women who remain rooted in place as Amanda silently throws up in her mouth.

“Hey girls, cat got your tongues, or is it tongues got your pussies, I can never get that part right, hahaha."

Then Gert hears fast approaching footsteps behind him and as he turns around, Zodwa gives a loud cry that contorts her nerdy face to that of a spectacle-wearing psychopath. She swings the axe with all her might directly into Gert's skull, splitting it open and lodging the long-handle axe in there. Gert stands frozen with an open mouth as his eyes hang on either side of his face. Thick blood streams out of him as he falls to the ground, causing the axe to go deeper into his dirty brain.

“Good hit Zodwa!”

“Nice and clean.”

"I want the thighs!"

“The ankles are mine this time!”

"Nobody touch my chops, I watched it walk in front of me the whole time and now it’s all mine!”

“And you Serena, what “meaty-treat” will you eat today?” Asked Zodwa as she wipes the blood from her spectacle lenses then licks her finger clean.

“You girls know me by now, any part of “man-biltong” is delicious enough for me.”

 

 

 

The End


© Copyright 2020 Sharief Hendricks. All rights reserved.

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