In An Instant

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

This was my fist attempt at a novel. It is as of yet still incomplete, but when I am finished with my current project and I am going to return to this.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - In An Instant

Submitted: June 09, 2007

Reads: 344

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 09, 2007



Chapter 1

The first person that I ever killed was an accident. If I hadn’t been there to see the look in her eyes as she took her last breaths, I may have never killed anyone else. The real truth is that it doesn’t matter. I was there and I did see her eyes. Everything else that followed may have happened anyway, it may not have. Who really cares? Maybe the families of the dead but most certainly not me.

From what I’ve read, many serial killers pick up their victims from clubs, bars, and roadhouses. I’ve always felt out of place in that kind of atmosphere. What I wanted was a totally random collection. No age, no ethnic type, no similarities at all.

When I shop I like to go to the parking lots of grocery stores and peruse the wares on display. White, black, blonde, brunette, redhead, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m equal opportunity. To me all women are beautiful . . . and attainable.

Only once did I break my steadfast rule of not picking up women at bars. I suppose that’s the real reason I’m writing this. My first time I broke my only rule. And it nearly cost me everything.

For some reason that I can’t remember (you must realize this was many years ago) I decided to go out to a bar and see if I could get a woman to go back to my place, which back then was a one bedroom house on the outskirts of town.

When the thought entered my head I didn’t know why I wanted to do it. Maybe just to see if I could pick up a woman. Maybe deep down, down where none of us like to travel too often, maybe down there I knew what I was going to do as soon as the illicit thought crossed my mind. Once again, either way it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I was able to pick up a woman and coax her back to my house, really no more than a shack, with a promise of cocaine, a substance that I’ve never actually seen in person.

The bar was just over the state line into Oklahoma and felt confident that no one would recognize me. After all, I had never even been out of the state of Texas in my life. I knew no one other than my co-workers at the lab where I worked each Monday through Friday from 6am to 4pm. I wasn’t likely to see any of them over a hundred miles away, especially since there were a score of bars between there and my bar.

When I opened the front door to the bar the first thing that hit me was the darkness of the place, followed shortly by the smell of soaked in beer and the heavily throbbing bass from a Johnny Cash song. After a moment my eyes adjusted to the lack of light and I let the door swing shut behind me on squeaky hinges.

It was a Thursday, I do remember that much. I also remember thinking that this bar must really make a killing on the weekends if it was this busy on a Thursday evening. All but one table were already surrounded by quartets of drinkers. At the bar I saw a man with frizzy red hair and a beard to match slide off of the stool he was holding down and stumble towards the door marked MENS.

I walked over to the recently vacated stool and ordered a beer when the bartended pointed one gnarled finger at me. With my beer in hand I swiveled on the bar stool to get a better look at the dance floor.

It was six o’clock and already I could tell that the bar was only going to become more filled as the evening wore on.

After sipping three bears until they were nothing but a foam ring clinging to a dirty schooner, I glanced down to the end of the bar and saw a woman sitting, well, actually she was swaying, by herself. As I watched she pushed back her half-full beer and half-fell, half-stepped from her stool. She looked toward the door to the women’s room, seemed to calculate the distance as too far, then decided that the outside door would be a safer bet. She managed to stagger her way through the doorway as the door was opened by a young couple on their way in.

After a few minutes she didn’t reappear so I left the bartended arguing with the couple who had just come in about the ID’s that they seemed to have forgotten, maybe all the way in Calcutta.

No one seemed to mark my progress as I walked across the edge of the dance floor and made my way out into the night.

From around the side of the building I could hear the unmistakable sound of someone losing their last couple of meals.

I walked around the corner and saw her bent over with one hand on the wall of the bar for support. I guess falling in your own vomit would only add insult to an already tender injury.

“Are you okay?” I asked timidly.

She jumped as if goosed. “Huh?”

“Are you gonna be okay?” I repeated.

She used the back of the hand not on the wall to wipe her mouth. “Fine,” she said. “Don’t I look fine?”

“Sorry to bother you,” I said, turning away, hoping she would take the bait of me just being a friendly guy trying to help. For a moment I thought that I would end up back in the bar looking for someone else. Just before I rounded the corner and headed back towards the door I heard her.

“Wait,” she said.

I turned back to face her. The light from the streetlamp threw a yellow glow over her hair that made it hard to tell if it was brown or red. Not that it really mattered. Anyway, I knew for a fact her hair was red. I had seen that much in the bar.

“Sorry,” she said. “You didn’t really catch me at my best time.”

“Sorry about that,” I replied. “I just saw you leave and wanted to make sure that you were okay. You looked sick.”

“It’s okay,” she said. “I’ve just been waiting here for my no good boyfriend at that damn bar for over an hour and he’s still not here. Guess I had a couple too many too fast. They all came back up express.”

I didn’t know what to say in response so I just nodded in what I hoped was an empathetic way.

“Hey,” she said suddenly. “You wouldn’t happen to know where I could get some blow, would you?”

“Blow?” I asked, for one crazy second thinking she was talking about oral sex.

“Yeah, you know, coke?” she said.

I saw a sudden opportunity but didn’t jump immediately. I didn’t know if she could smell my anxiousness as some animals can smell fear but I didn’t want to jump too soon. I didn’t want to seem like a wacko, which I guess most people would think that I am, considering what I was considering doing. I looked at her speculatively. “You’re not a cop, are you?” I asked.

This made her laugh out loud. “A cop?” she said. “No, I’m not a cop, are you?”

“Because if you are and I ask you, then you have to tell me. If you don’t, it’s entrapment and I walk,” I said, sounding like a cheesy actor to myself. What other example was I to use?

“I told you, I’m not a cop,” she said as she laid one hand over her not inconsiderable left breast. I felt a stirring below my belt as I looked at her breast and forced myself to make my eyes meet hers. “I swear,” she said.

“Well,” I said. I’ve been known to be able to locate things from time to time. How much are you looking for?” I asked, not even knowing how cocaine was measures below a kilo (which was all they ever measured it in on the TV shows).

“Just enough for tonight,” she said. “A few lines should do it.”

“I think I can handle that,” I said. “I’ve gotta go get it though.”

“Where is it?” she asked.

“A friendly place,” I said. “You’re gonna have to ride with me to get it though,” I said.

“I don’t know about that,” she said. “My boyfriend’s late and everything but he’s gonna show up eventually and he’ll pitch a serious fit if I’m not here when he gets here.”

“Well,” I said, thinking fast. “They guy I get it from lives like a half hour from here. If I drive all the way there and back that’s like an extra hour. If you ride with me I can give you the stuff, call you a cab to bring you back here, then go on home myself, which isn’t far from his place.”

“An hour, huh?” she said, weighing the pros and cons of riding half an hour with this stranger she’d just met or scoring enough coke for the night.

“You’ll probably even be back here before . . .,” I started.

She looked up from her internal debate. “Huh?”

“I said you’re probably even be back before your boyfriend. What’d you say his name was?”

“Mark,” she said. “You think I’ll be back before him?” she asked, her mind already made.

“Probably,” I reiterated.

A smile lit her face. “I’ll get enough for him too,” she said with sudden conviction. “Then he won’t even worry about me being here when he gets here.”

I continued to look at her as she came to her irrational decision. “I don’t know enough about Mark to say, but it sounds reasonable,” I said.

“Okay, let’s go,” she said. “Where’s your car?”

“It’s a truck, actually,” I said and pointed to a truck just out of the cone of light thrown by the arc-sodium lights. “That’s it.”

She headed toward it and looked back at me when I didn’t immediately start walking. “Coming?” she asked. The light from the streetlamps ticked off of some kind of necklace she was wearing.

“Yeah,” I said and made my feet move toward the truck. I climbed in the driver’s seat after unlocking the door, then reached across the seat and lifted her door lock. She opened the door are climbed in. Then we were off.

Most of the trip is somewhat hazy to me because by then I knew what I would end up doing to her. Once we got where we were going and there was no coke she would realize that something was up. Then the gig would be up.

I do remember her asking all kinds of questions about me. Was I married? A girlfriend? Any kids? Just on and on with the questions until my head was aching with them.

Finally I asked her to grab a scrap piece of paper from the floorboard of the truck and when she did I hit her in the back of the head with my right fist. I’d seen actors knock out the bad guys like that before but I didn’t really expect for it to work. I just could take the endless questioning anymore with my head throbbing the way that it was. To my surprise and pleasure the blow knocker her out and she slithered into the floorboard.

Looking into my mirrors I was no vehicles behind me so I pulled my truck off the road and killed the lights. I jumped out of my truck and opened the huge toolbox on the back. I had just bought it the week before and hadn’t gotten around to putting my tools in it. Now I was glad I had been too busy. Checking again to make sure that no one was coming I opened the passenger’s door and lifted the woman, I didn’t even know her name, and threw her over my shoulder. With a little maneuvering and bending I was able to get her legs into the toolbox, then the rest of her. I slammed the lid on the box and climbed back behind the wheel.

Checking my mirrors again, I started the truck and pulled back onto the road. I drove over the state line with no incident and just like that I was back on my native Texas soil.

My luck held and she was still out when I pulled my truck into my driveway thirty minutes later.

I’ve always been a private person and I guess that anyone who saw my house could have guess this about me. For a quarter of a mile in either direction there wasn’t so much as a single mailbox. All I knew about my closest neighbor was that their driveway was gravel and extremely potholed from what I saw from the road. Hopefully they were as clueless about me. That’s just how I liked it.

I head a thump from the toolbox and assumed my new friend was waking up. I couldn’t count on another TV style blow to the neck to knock her back out so I had to hurry.

I opened the latch on the driver’s side of the toolbox and saw only her feet and drawn up legs. Then I remembered that I put her in from the passenger’s side. I closed the lid and hurried around to the other side, worried that at any moment a car would drive by and I would be exposed. After what seemed to me like an eternity I was able to open the lid on the passenger’s side of the toolbox and get first her arms, then shoulders, then finally her torso out.

She slipped through my hands as I got the heft of her from the toolbox and she thumped to the ground, groaning.

I knew that if my luck held just a few more minutes all would be well. I had managed to get her from the bar without being seen. Now all I had to do was get her into the house without incident.

I managed to get back over my shoulder and stumbled around the back of the little house. I worked my foot on the latch of the cellar door and finally managed to undo it. I flipped open the left side and descended with her into the darkness.

I guess I really did know what I was going to do all along. That was why I bought the big Master lock that I used on the outside of the cellar hold. No one could even hear her if she screamed.

I laid her down near a corner and looked at her face to make sure she was still out. She was, but I couldn’t count on her being unconscious much longer. I hurried up the stairs, making sure I locked the cellar door behind me in case she woke up before I could make it back.

I ran around the back of the house and put the lock on the outside of the cellar doors. I closed the lid on my truck toolbox, then looked around to see if there was anything that looked out of place. It was hard to tell in the dark but from what I could see nothing seemed out of the extraordinary. I allowed myself a few deep breaths then went back into the house through the front door.

I didn’t hear any sounds coming from the basement and uttered a sigh of relief. I was going to pull it off.

I opened the cellar door and walked back down into the darkness, reaching above me for the chain pull that turned on the two sixty watt bulbs that lit the room.

A soon as I pulled the chain I realized she was no longer huddled in the corner when I had left her. I felt a thud as she hit me in the leg with what I could only assume was a length of wood for the stove. If I had been farther up the stairs rather than on the next to last riser I would probably be writing this from a jail cell and mastering the technique of evading rapist in the shower for Cell Block D.

Instead of falling, I stumble stepped down the last two steps and went down to one knee.

To this day I don’t know what she went towards the door leading directly outside instead of the door leading upstairs to the kitchen. I don’t even know how she knew the door was there unless she was shamming unconsciousness when I carried her in. Either way it was a mistake that cost her dearly, the most dearly a mistake can cost. It cost her her life.

She got to the outside doors and was jerking on them fruitlessly, apparently not wanting to concede to the fact that she had run for the wrong door, and for the last time.

I picked up the chuck of stove wood that she had hit me with. I imagine that if I had seen my face at that moment I would have stopped. I would probably have known that I was indeed crazy and that may have changed everything. Or maybe not. I guess in the end it doesn’t matter because we can’t go back and change the past no matter how hard we try.

I don’t remember how many times I hit her with the wood but I didn’t stop until I couldn’t loft my arm anymore.

Later on, when full dark came, I took her body out into the woods and buried her so deep that I felt confident that nothing would dig her up. There were a lot of wildlife around the woods back in those days and I wanted to be sure she was wasn’t discovered until I was long gone. After the hole was eight feet deep and my left arm felt like my right I judged that it was deep enough and I rolled her body in.

I went back to my house, cleaned the mess in the cellar, then took a shower until the hot water ran out and I was forced out by the frigid water. Then I slept for five hours, got up with the alarm, and went to work. My sleep held no dreams for me. My dreams had already come true.

After a week passed with me reading the papers nearly compulsively to see if anyone had reported my first victim (as I was already coming to think of her, not as the only one, but only the first) missing. After a week of nothing I finally began to relax, I was free and clear.

I finally saw an article, really no more than a blurb, about a missing woman. She was last seen at a bar across the border into Oklahoma on the night I made my mover. There was no picture of the missing woman but there was a name. The article said that twenty-three year old Yvonne Edwards was supposed to meet her boyfriend at the bar but when he showed up she wasn’t there. He hasn’t heard from her since. The bartender was quoted as saying he saw ‘some chick that might’ve been her.’ It was a busy night, he said, and he couldn’t keep track of everybody. That made me smile. If he didn’t remember her, then the odds of him not remembering me were excellent.

At work I tried to pay attention to the details that I was being paid to watch but every time I was researching tachyons, I would remember the way her eyes looked as she took her last breath, then look at the clock and realize I had been remembering for an hour. It was both a little scary and for some unknown reason exhilarating at the same time. I mean, the power that we all have is awesome. Only women can give life, but we all have the ability to take it, if only you have the courage.

At the end of each day I would go home and sit in my living room right over the spot where she died (I had measured the distances and was pretty sure I had the exact spot), sometimes clothed, but mostly naked, and replay her last moments, Yvonne Edwards’s last breath, over and over again. Invariably, I smiled.

© Copyright 2020 robertmassengill. All rights reserved.


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