Feeding on Dead Flesh

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A group of body snatchers carry out their dastardly deeds in routine of what they always do, each member with their own personal motivation. However, this particular 'package' is somewhat of a different persuasion than all the previous ones and makes for some....complications.

Submitted: October 09, 2011

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Submitted: October 09, 2011

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Feeding on Dead Flesh

 

“I want you to know, sister, that....I....*sniff sniff* I...KNOW that Jesus is our Saviour!!”  Brother Jemps choked out in emotional prowess to Mrs. Clark as she sat snug in her old armchair on the other side of the living room.  The room was neat and tidy.  The colours of the floor and walls were shades of light blue.  The walls and shelves were filled with pictures, trinkets and displays.  Everything you would expect from an elderly lady who’s lived alone for 23 years since her husband passed away.  She always liked company even if her home teachers were a little eccentric.  Brother Jemps was a convert of about 5 or 6 years.  He was very passionate about the gospel.  It was a real turnaround for him given his shady past.  His intentions were true and so was his repentance.  He just wanted to serve and give something back. 

Brother Henderson (that is, Samuel Henderson) on the other hand, was the exact opposite.  He had grown up in the church his whole life, but never really seemed to take it too seriously.  It was just a way of life, perhaps.  Home teaching was a real chore and so were the early morning ward correlation meetings every Sunday.  He almost always got distracted and even sometimes fell asleep.  He was a heavy set and timid man.  Always kept to himself.  Only spoke when spoken to.  Not too interested in people or anything else for that matter.  And at this particular moment in time, when brother Jemps was nailing the lesson home with his earnest and powerful testimony, Sam was idly looking around the room, patiently waiting to leave; A standard situation for Sam and his companion.

“Is there anything we can do for you Sister Clark?”  Brother Jemps asked with sincerity.

“Oh you two have always been good boys.  Such good boys!  Make sure you come again real soon.  I’ll make you some biscuits and cookies.”  They embraced the old lady and left the house.

As soon as they exited the doorway, Sam immediately went straight for his car.

“Hey, good job in there tonight Brother Henderson.  You’re a great companion.  I’ll be sure to call you for our next visit.”  Brother Jemps had to address his companion with a loud voice as he hastily made his way to his car.

“Ya, sounds good, see ya later.”  Sam replied indifferently.  It was always good to give him SOMEkind of a response.

Sam drove out of the neighbourhood and onto the main stretch.  In routine, after such visits, he usually took a specific turn by a specific store in order to get home in the most efficient manner possible.  But he didn’t take that turn this time around.  He continued driving in another direction.  This was partly due to the fact that his wife wasn’t exactly the most pleasant person to be around.  As a product of that, he had other plans for the night.  Such plans had recurred week by week, around midnight, for about 2 months or so.  He would have preferred to go home and get changed out of his white collar shirt, tie, dress pants and shoes, but he had already told his wife he was going to be staying with his mother for the night, or....something like that.

He eventually arrived at an old musty cemetery next to a rundown archaic catholic church.  He parked around the back of the building.  When he got out of his car, he walked up to the back of the church and knocked on an inconspicuous metal door.  An antique style peephole appeared when the slider opened to reveal a set of eyes looking back at him.

“Sucky sucky five dolla!”  Came a sneering old man voice from the other side of the door.

“Could you please just let me in Lynch?”  Sam was always tired of Lynch’s antics even before Lynch got started.

“No dolla??  NO SUCKY!!!”  One of Lynch’s only joys in life was to harass and make hard the lives of those around him.  Particularly weaker personalities and subordinates like Sam.

Sam let out a sigh of fatigue.  “Whenever you’re ready Lynch....”

The peephole slider closed abruptly covering the ugly old bug eyes.  Metal clicks could be heard, presumably the sound of the door being unlocked.  The door swung open to reveal a short man not quite old and not quite middle aged.  Maybe he was in his late 50’s.  But he was ugly and wrinkly.  He wore dirty old raggedy brown clothes and a hat; A mean, ugly, dirty, miserable son of a bitch.  “HEY LOOK EVERYBODY, IT’S FAT BASTARD FROM AUSTIN POWERS!!!”  As usual, Lynch made a spectacle of Sam in the most negative light.

Sam brushed past Lynch as efficiently as possible and headed down the concrete stairway into the crude unfinished and unfurnished industrial basement.  He entered a room where an Old Catholic priest and a farmer were sitting at a small splintery wooden table playing cards.  They all looked up at each other and nodded in acknowledgement of each other’s presence.

“Sam”

“Wyatt”

“Father Gabriel”

A moment later, Lynch entered the room behind Sam.  Taking another look of disapproval at Sam, he abruptly said “Why the fuck are you dressed up for church???”

“I had an obligation at my church and I already told my wife I was going to be staying with my mother.  I forgot to bring a change of clothes; Poor planning ok?”  Despite Lynch’s blatant unconditional lack of respect for Sam, Sam always somehow felt obligated to seek Lynch’s approval.

“You mean she kicked you out of the house so that she could line up all the men in the neighbourhood?  When am I gonna get my turn?  I should be there right now!!”  Lynch exclaimed with sardonic cruelty.

“Stop it Lynch” Father Gabriel intervened.

“Who asked you FATHER??”  Lynch snapped back at Father Gabriel and got right up in his face, “I ain’t no altar boy so don’t be talkin to me like I’m nobodies little slave BITCH!” 

Everything got quiet for a moment. 

Then Lynch switched gears and began speaking with a low, slow, spooky voice, “Legend has it....” he began while hovering from person to person, “That sometimes....when you dig up the dead....the spirit of that person will curse you, and haunt you with a vengeance....”  Silence reigned and a feeling of eeriness ensued.  Suddenly, in a flash, Lynch reached out towards Sam and smacked him in the chest with an open palm in an effort to startle him, “YAH!” Lynch shouted.  Sam jumped nervously.  Not necessarily because the story spooked him, but because everything about Lynch makes him uncomfortable.

 

“Of course preparations are in place” Gideon said with confidence and reassurance in his voice.  “This plot is only a day old.  It’s prime meat for the Doctor.”

James drove a black Mercedes and the two men were dressed in black business suits.  James drove while Gideon rode shotgun.  “We’re going to need a second body.”  James confessed.

“What?!  Flemming’s getting greedy.”  Gideon protested.

“He wants alot more than that.  But we can’t afford to take on the extra risk.  The city’s been cracking down.  We’re just going to have to charge more.  Business is business.”  James understood the balance of risk and compensation.  He’s a business man.

“Is the new legislature going to cause us any problems?”  Gideon inquired.

“I’ve written wills for years.  That’s child’s play.”  James dismissed the concern.  “I’m more agitated about Wyatt.  We’re the ones masterminding this whole operation and he’s unskilled labour.  Yet, he just keeps asking for more money.  You’re only paid what you’re worth, and just because your farm is failing and you have a family to feed and bills to pay doesn’t make this a charity.”  James vented with frustration.

“What about the Mormon and the Priest?”

James laughed, “I found them through a friend who’s a psychologist for the sexually depraved.  They’re not in it for the money” He laughed again.  “It was such a good idea, I wish I had thought of it before recruiting Wyatt” He originally thought a desperate farmer would be prime work hands; Hardworking because he’s a farmer; Trustworthy because he’s desperate.  Unfortunately it started to backfire when Wyatt got hungrier as his business drew closer to bankruptcy.  “He’s a liability and he needs to be replaced.”  James concluded with conviction in his voice.

When they arrived at the church, they drove around back and parked right next to Sam’s car.  When they got out of the car, they could hear shouting in the surrounding neighbourhood.  They felt uncomfortable carrying out illegal activities in such a busy place.  When they approached the metal door, James was just about to knock when he noticed the door was ajar.  He apprehensively nudged it open just a smidge.  They listened carefully and realized all the noise pollution was actually coming from the basement of the church, which is where their meeting place was.  James and Gideon shot looks of death at each other.  Ready to reign down hellfire and brimstone, they stormed in through the door and down the stairs.

They entered the meeting room and surveyed the situation.  Lynch had Sam backed into a corner.  He was harassing him in various bullying ways such as pinching his nose hard and saying in a loud voice “GOTCHER NOSE FATTY!! GOTCHER NOSE!!!” as well as slapping his face and pulling his ears and hair aggressively “STUPID DUMBASS FATASS!!!”.  Father Gabriel was yelling at Lynch telling him to leave Sam alone while Wyatt was arguing to Father Gabriel that Sam needs to learn to stand up for himself and stop being such a big baby.

James was absolutely appalled by the sight.  He felt the men failed to appreciate the delicateness of the situation.  He was irritated they had left the door open and were making so much noise.  Anyone could’ve just walked in and saw them.  They’d have witnesses on their hands and more liabilities; unnecessary risk; a sloppy and stupid mistake.

“GOOD THING THE DOOR WAS OPEN CAUSE NOW THE WHOLE FUCKING NEIGHBOURHOOD CAN HEAR YOU AND COME IN AND JOIN THE PARTY.  AND WHILE THEY’RE AT IT, THEY MIGHT AS WELL INVITE THE COPS TOO; THE MORE THE MARRIER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  James shouted in a loud, commanding and angry voice, immediately silencing everyone in the room.  Lynch was especially humbled by the rebuke because he’s the sexton.  He looked at James with wide and frightened eyes; he then scurried over to stand in front of James with his head lowered in humility and shame.

“I’m so sorry Mr. Black, sometimes the door latch gets fidgety, I, uh...we lost track of time....it won’t happen again, I promise....”  Lynch scrambled for a response, but ultimately wore guilt and confession as though he were answering to God.  James’ reputation certainly didn’t uphold that of God, or even comparably so.  But Lynch is just that type of guy.  He bullied his subordinates and feared his superiors.

With anger in his eyes, James ordered “TAKE ME TO THE PLOT, LYNCH”

“Yes sir...”  Lynch immediately led the way.  He instructed the group to grab their shovels, picks and tools.  Then he guided them out of the church and next door to the front gate of the graveyard.  As Lynch fidgeted with his huge ring of keys, he attempted to woo his boss by telling him annoying antics about the graveyard, “HEY, DID YOU KNOW THAT THIS GRAVE SITE USED TO BE A CHICKEN FARM???” Lynch offered in an overly happy and enthusiastic tone of voice.

“No Lynch I did not know that....” James replied in a blatantly disinterested voice.

Lynch found his key and inserted it into the lock “WELL IT DID, BUT THEY HAD TO SHUT IT DOWN CAUSE IT TURNS OUT THE FARMER WAS USING HIS ROOSTERS FOR UNDERGROUND COCK FIGHTING.  THEN THEY FOUND OUT HE WAS INTO ALL KINDS OF THINGS; DRUG TRAFFICING, MONEY LAUNDERING, YOU NAME IT.  THEY PUT THAT GUY AWAY FOR A FEW YEARS LET ME TELL YOU....” Lynch clicked open the lock, opened the gate, and walked with swift haste for about 60 rows, further back into the cemetery.  James followed closely behind.  Lynch took him directly to a specific tombstone.  As the rest of the group caught up, Lynch read aloud “Amber Lane, 1990-2011” Then he continued, “Yup, buried this one myself; Died of an allergic reaction so she’s still intact.  She’s a pretty one too; Ripe for the picking, eh Sam?”  Lynch said as he winked and clicked at Sam and Father Gabriel.  Sam and Father Gabriel wasted no time and immediately started digging.  “Well would ya look at that, seems these boys are EAGER for COLD BEAVER, HAH!!”

James aggressively rammed a shovel into Lynch’s hands “GET TO WORK” Then he pointed a finger directly at Wyatt “YOU TOO!”

“Listen Mr. Black, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about my wages...” Wyatt started.

“NOT NOW WYATT, WE’RE BEHIND SCHEDULE AND WE GOT DIGGING TO DO.  GET TO WORK NOW!!!!”  James was already expressing volatility towards Wyatt.  Gideon tried to defuse the situation by pulling Wyatt to the plot, giving him a shovel and digging with him.

The 6 men proceeded to dig throughout the night.  The moon was almost full and very bright, lighting up the night sky.  There were full clouds that added to the beauty and atmosphere of the night, but nothing that impeded the light of the moon.

After a few hours of digging, Wyatt’s shovel hit something that made a hollow ‘thud’ noise.  Everyone immediately noticed.  Sam frantically pushed Wyatt aside and dusted away the dirt until a wooden rectangular object was seen, presumably a coffin.  He quickly grabbed the crowbar, wedged it into the coffin, and pried the lid open.  They gathered around to observe the body of a young woman lying inside the coffin in the supine position wearing a beautiful white dress.  It almost looked like a wedding dress.  She had only been buried for a day.  Her natural beauty was still apparent.  Really, she looked like a sleeping damsel.  There was a moment of silence as the men gathered around to look at her.  Despite their blasphemous intentions, they were awed by how peaceful and beautiful she looked.  Sam, watching her face intently, slowly and carefully knelt down next to her and gently stroked her cheek.

Observing Sam’s romantic demeanour towards the deceased woman, Lynch’s eye brows crinkled in confusion.  “I can understand why Father Gabriel needs this, getting in trouble with the altar boy and all.  But fatso here, I DON’T understand.  Aren’t you married piggy??”

Sam caressingly ran his palm up and down the damsel’s face yearning for the affection of a beautiful woman he’d never receive.  He closed his eyes to dig deep in acknowledgement of the pain his wife caused him on a daily basis “She laughs at me...” he murmured in response to Lynch’s inquiry.

Lynch’s facial expression went from confusion to epiphany, “Oh I get it” Then he smiled at his own ingenuity, “You’re two inches short of a happy meal, hah!”  He laughed scornfully.  Without missing a beat, Sam darted towards Lynch in an explosion of anger with the intent to kill.  It wasn’t like Sam to respond in this way.  “Oh boy looks like I finally hit a nerve with the piggy!  Come on you son of a bitch, let’s see what you got!”  Lynch was ready to fight.

Father Gabriel restrained Sam, “Calm yourself my son; he’s not worth it...” Father Gabriel whispered peaceably into Sam’s ear.  Sam adhered to the old Priest and withdrew.

“Ok ok, enough screwin around.  Get the cadaver in the van already!”  James ordered with impatience.

Sam and Father Gabriel stepped back into the plot and carefully cradled the damsel in their arms.  They hoisted her up and carried her away.

“Be quick, we have a second job tonight!”  Gideon called out to them as they left.

“WHAT???  When were you gonna tell me?!  I didn’t prepare to stay this long tonight.  I have to milk the cows in just a couple of hours!”  Wyatt protested.

“You prepare to do as I tell you, when I tell you, how I tell you.  No ifs, ands, or buts.”  James vetoed his protest.

“Alright, that’s it James” Wyatt used his first name in defiance, “I’ve put up with as much as I can, for as long as I can, on such little pay.  My family’s been starving for the last 2 weeks.  I’m in debt far enough as it is.  I go further into debt so I can pay my other debt.  I’m a hurtin unit.  I need more money, and you can’t ask more of me until I get it!”  Wyatt commanded with insubordination.

James reached out to Wyatt as a gesture to walk with him, “Look Wyatt...”  Wyatt took him up on the offer and the two of them departed from the group with James’ arm around Wyatt, “You’ve been with us for, what....3 months now?” Wyatt nodded, “You’ve worked hard and done a lot of good for us.” Wyatt listened intently, “We paid you well enough, yet you demanded to be a partner.  So we merely gave it to you; 15%, no money down.  That seemed fair enough did it not?”

“Yes, but-” Wyatt began.

James, knowing exactly what Wyatt was going to say, swiftly interrupted him to continue his thought, “But you’re right.  This is a demanding business and you need to be compensated for all your hard work.  If you do this for me, we’ll raise you to 20%, which will in turn dilute Lynch’s share.  You’ll be a major share holder.  What do you think?”

Wyatt responded quickly, “Only 5 percent??  It’s still not enough to pay the mortgage; I could lose my farm by next week!!”

James could feel explosive anger rising within him, but he contained himself.  “You won’t lose your farm.  You just gotta trust me on this.  We can’t do everything for you.  We have bills to pay too you know.”  James was losing patience and really hoping for Wyatt’s compliance.

Wyatt sighed with frustration, “TONIGHT, it will do.  But we’re GOING to have this conversation again NEXT week”

James patted Wyatt on the back in celebration, “Good man....”  Then he led Wyatt back to the group.  “We’ve got work to do.  Lynch, me and Gideon prepped this next plot.  I’ll show you where it is.”  Everyone followed James a few rows down, not far from the first dig site.  James pointed to a tombstone, “This is the one.  It’s not that old.  Let’s do it”

Lynch scratched his head with a crinkled eye brow, “Uh.....I could’ve sworn we did this one a few months back.  You sure this is it?”

James responded quickly, “That’s what I thought about the last one and I trusted you, so now you’re going to have to trust me.  They all start to look the same after a while.  It’s just part of the job, that’s all.”  Lynch shrugged his shoulders and complied.

The rigorous digging commenced until they reached about 5 feet.  There didn’t seem to be any sign of a coffin or a body.  Everyone cleared out of the plot.

Lynch shook his head, “I’m PRETTY sure we did this one already.  The coffin was all rotten to shit; like they had used the worst kind of wood.  It was a big fatso like Sam; stank to high heavens.  We had a hell of a time hoisting his blubber lard ass outta here.  It was a real pain!”

James interjected, “No, this is the right one.  Wyatt, jump down there with the flashlight and see if you can sift around the dirt to make out signs of a wooden rectangle.  I’ll bet it’s just another inch or so.  Take a look real quick.”

James picked up a shovel as Wyatt hopped into the plot.  Wyatt turned on the flashlight, got down on his hands and knees, and searched the dirt intently.  James stood at an angle from Wyatt and raised his shovel high.  Wyatt picked up something small out of the dirt “hm...This looks like a rotten piece of wood.  I think this plot is really old...” Then James swung his shovel down on the back of Wyatt’s head with a loud metallic ‘PING!!!!’ noise.  Wyatt dropped on his face with his butt sticking up in the air in an awkward position.

Lynch yelled out, “WHAT THE HELL?!?!” as James got into a better position and started repeatedly bashing Wyatt’s head with the shovel.

Gideon interjected with urgency, “Careful not to do too much damage!  We get more money if the brain’s still intact!”

James took note of this and dropped his shovel.  He reached into his pocket and pulled out a knife as he dropped down into the plot.  He grabbed Wyatt by the hair, pulled his head back and sliced his throat, splattering blood all over the place, including James’ fancy business suit.  But James seemed completely unphased by the mess and more concerned with making sure Wyatt was dead.  “I’d like to see you milk your cows now you greedy bastard.”  James spat with sneering vengeance.

Lynch’s eyes were wide with horror, “COULD SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED???!?!?!”

“It doesn’t concern you...” James muttered as he wiped the excess blood off his knife and suit with a handkerchief.

Lynch continued his protest with indignation, “Ya right, until the NEXT time you pick the wrong plot, DESPITE MY INSTRUCTIONS, and have to improvise by using ME as your fall guy!!”

James stepped out of the plot and looked Lynch in the eyes, “It wasn’t a mistake.  For reasons not known to you, Wyatt was a liability and had to be removed.  We needed a second cadaver anyway.  It was convenient.  It had nothing to do with you.  Your position is secure.”

Sam interrupted, “By the way, I was wondering if we could change this to Friday nights from now on.  I have early morning ward correlation meeting Sundays and it’s starting to burn me out.”  James shook his head as he finished dusting himself off and walked away.

Lynch looked at Sam with a strained expression on his face, “Honestly fat boy, sometimes I just don’t know what to think of you.”

Gideon hurried things along, “Alright everyone, get Wyatt loaded up.  Stick his torso in the tub so he doesn’t make too much of a mess in the van.  Let’s get moving.  We’ve just gotta get to the morgue, finish preparations and we’re all done for the night.  And yes Sam and Father Gabriel, you’ll get what you ‘need’ before Mr. Black picks them up for delivery.”  Lynch shook his head at the twisted perverts.

As they finished loading up the van with the bodies, James ran through the routine with Gideon.  “I’ll stop by before dawn to pick up and deliver the bodies to Flemming.  You got this?”

Gideon affirms the order with ease, “Of course.  I’m a mortician.  I’ve done this for years.”

James patted Gideon on the back, “Good man.  See you in a few hours.  We’ll be in touch.”  Then he pulled Father Gabriel aside.  “Listen, I know you’re a little new to this.  Don’t think I’ve forgotten about our agreement.  It’ll take a few hours for them to prep the bodies and for Sam to do his thing.  I need you to deal with cleanup here.  By the time you’re done, the girl will be ready for you.  I need you to be thorough.  Make sure there’s no evidence.  Got it?”  James looked at Father Gabriel with raised eyebrows.

“Yes sir.”  Father Gabriel answered with his head lowered.  Clearly, he’s been looking forward to this all week and is starting to get a little tense with all the work that’s getting in the way of his reward.  Will he ever get what he wants?  And it’s not even really fair that Sam gets to go first.... but I guess that’s what seniority in any company is all about.

James got into his Mercedes and drove away.  Shortly after he left, the van pulled away with Sam driving, Lynch riding shotgun, and Gideon in the back.  Father Gabriel was left alone at the graveyard and church to deal with cleanup.

As Sam drove, all he could think about was his excitement of embracing the damsel.  There was a usual roundabout route they took through all the low key parts of town to get to the morgue.  The problem was, it’s the longest possible route and Sam was getting impatient.  Amber was more desirable than any of the other cadavers they’ve snatched up to this point.  Focused more on his lust and thinking less about discretion, Sam took the most direct route through the busiest part of down town.  Ordinarily, Lynch would be ready to jump down Sam’s throat at the slightest inclination of incompetence.  Unfortunately for them, Lynch was falling asleep.  Gideon was fidgeting with the bodies in the back.  He had a ‘body’ ‘preparation’ ‘mortician’ routine that he went through every time in order to make sure that they were ready the second they arrived at the morgue.

As Sam drove through down town, he didn’t even notice how busy it was.  There were masses of crowds, people and even cops strewn all over the streets.  Beer bottles being thrown, fights, people being arrested...cities are busy party places, but even this was a little excessive for the middle of the night.

Lynch jumped awake and looked around disoriented.  “What the hell???  Where are we?  What’s going on?”  Sam continued to drive unresponsive.  “Sam!  WHERE THE HELL ARE WE?!?  What route did you take?  Did you go down town?  Through the CITY?!?!?!”

Gideon called up front from the back, “What’s going on up there??”

Lynch responded with his usual sarcasm, “Oh nothing, fatty here is apparently on a mission to get us busted by taking us through the busiest part of town!”

Gideon looked out the window, “What the hell is going on out there??  Was there somekind of a festival today???  What’s the date?”

Lynch checked his watch, “May 5th.”

Gideon laughed with horror, “Cinco De Mayo??  You took us through the heart of a drunken Mexican party?  That’s just great Sam.  There’s cops all over the place!  Lynch, why weren’t you watching him???”

Lynch scrambled for an explanation, “I don’t know, I...I must’ve nodded off!”  Then he got up in Sam’s face, “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU FATTY??  CAN’T I TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU FOR 2 SECONDS WITHOUT YOU DOING SOMETHING STUPID????”

In that moment, they noticed the van approaching a check stop.  A police officer pointed a flashlight in their direction and was already waving them in.  Sam started sweating bullets once he realized the severity of the situation.

Lynch panicked, “AH!  SAM!  PULL A YOUIE!  NOW!!!”

Gideon intervened, “No, it’s too late for that.  They’ll just follow us or call out an APB.  It’s ok.  Just play it cool guys.  We’ll get through this.”  Gideon reassured.

The police officer motioned to roll down the window.  Sam complied.  The officer shone his flashlight through the open window and started looking around the van for anything suspicious “How are you gentlemen tonight?”  The officer asked with a cold stern voice.  He shone the flashlight on Lynch who smiled a creepy old man smile, trying to look happy and unthreatening.  Chatter could be heard on the officer’s radio.  Clearly the cops were busy tonight and on the lookout for ANYTHING suspicious.

Sam started shaking and stuttering, “w-we’re f-fine off-icer-rr....”

Once the officer heard Sam’s shaky voice, he immediately shone the flashlight RIGHT on Sam’s face and studied him carefully.  Sam’s sweaty face glistened in the light as sweat dripped off his chin, nose, and ears.

“You had anything to drink tonight son?”  The officer probed with a piercing gaze.

“N-n-n-no ssss-sir.....” Sam replied nervously and robotically.  The officer took a good long look at Sam; then he looked over at his partner on the other side of the van.  The other officer picked up on his partner’s concern, walked to the back of the van, and opened the door.  He saw Gideon sitting on a tarp that seemed to be covering....something?

The policeman put his hand on his gun, “Sir, I need you to step out of the vehicle.”  Gideon complied and did as he was told.

“Are you sick, boy?  Why you so nervous?  Is there something we’re gonna find in the back of your van that you don’t want us to?  Are you on drugs?”  The first officer continued to interrogate Sam.

Sam froze.  He was unresponsive.  He just couldn’t lie or hide anything.  He knew what was in the van and he knew the police were going to find it and there was nothing he could do to stop them.  Sam’s lack of response was beginning to make the policeman reach for his gun.

Lynch jumped up to the window eagerly, “I’m so sorry officer.  You have to excuse my nephew.  He has Down syndrome.  We were just getting back from a family gathering out of town for Cinco De Mayo.  Unfortunately, our dear friend here left his medication at home and made a fool of himself the whole time we were gone.  Honestly, can’t take these kids anywhere!  You have kids officer??”  The policeman shone the flashlight on Lynch’s face, studying him for a moment.  Then he took a step back, put his hand on his gun, and said “I need you gentlemen to step out of the vehicle.”

The second officer stood outside the back of the van bent over with his head in line with the open doorway as he reached for the tarp.  He lifted the corner up slightly just enough to see a human head.  His eyes went wide as he began, “ST-” but was interrupted when Gideon slammed the door on his head, disorienting him.  Gideon then grabbed the policeman’s gun and pistol whipped him in the back of the head, knocking him out.  Then he scrambled to strip the cop of a few extra clips.

The first officer, perceiving what had happened to his partner, pulled his gun on Sam yelling, “GET OUT OF THE CAR, NOW!!!!”

Gideon jumped back into the van, “GOGOGOGOGOGO!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Sam peeled away as the officer fired off a few rounds into the side of the van.  Though Sam got a good start, he was more focused on getting away from the cop than he was on manoeuvring around the check stop.  He immediately smashed into the cop car in front of them that was about 10 feet away, stopping the van and halting their progress.  There were about three or four other cops at the check stop.  They all pulled out their guns and opened fire into the front of the van.  Lynch dove to the floor as bullets penetrated the windshield and hit Sam in the chest with so much force his large body shook violently against his seat.  Entry wounds appeared in his chest as blood splattered on the steering wheel, windshield, roof and driver’s side door.  Gideon opened the side sliding door of the van, leaned out with his gun pointed at the check stop and fired off 3 rounds.  This caused the police to take cover, buying Lynch some time.

“TAKE THE WHEEL!”  Gideon yelled as he continued to fire.

Lynch frantically reached over to the driver’s side door and opened it up.  Sam was moaning slightly, indicating that he was barely alive.  Using all his force, Lynch kicked Sam, causing his large body to roll out of the vehicle and fall hard onto the pavement with a tumbling ‘SMACK’ noise.  Lynch hopped into the driver’s seat, re-adjusting the steering wheel to the left (in order to go around the check stop), and floored the gas pedal, burning the wheels with a high pitched squealing noise as they took off quickly around and away from the check stop.  “YEEHAW!!  THE FAT MAN’S GONE AND WE’RE MAKIN THE GRADE!!!” Lynch shouted with excitement.

The police immediately got into their cruisers and aggressively pursued the van.  Lynch climbed to 70 kilometres an hour while swerving drunken pedestrians, signs, fire hydrants and the like.  Gideon opened fire on the police through the back door that was still open.  When the cops returned fire, he took cover behind the closed door.  As the exchange of gunfire continued between the swerving vehicles, some of the bullets flying into the van pierced the tarp, spraying blood and chunks of flesh and bone from the cadavers.  Gideon was irritated, knowing that damage reduces the resale value of the bodies. 

Gideon reloaded his magazine.  Then he took careful aim and capped off a few rounds at the driver’s side of the closest cruiser.  He must have hit the driver because the car spun out of control.  When it did, it turned into the other cruiser that was following closely behind, taking it out as well.  The two vehicles veered onto the sidewalk and crashed into a coffee shop causing a pile up as pedestrians dove out of the way.

Lynch, looking back at Gideon’s progress shouted in celebration, “WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Then he turned his eyes forward only to see in the flash of an eye, a woman standing directly in front of the van not more than 8 or 9 feet away.  She was calm and looking directly at Lynch.  If one were to freeze time, it could be noted that she looked EXACTLY like Amber Lane, the body of the girl in the back of the van, white dress and all!

But one can’t freeze time.  The exchange was so instantaneous that the only thing Lynch had time to do was to react based on sheer instinct to avoid hitting the woman.  He jerked the wheel as hard as he could to the left, driving at 70 kilometres an hour, losing control of the van, causing it to fish tail wildly with the loud squealing of the tires.  He tried to regain control by jerking it to the right, but wound up going off road, onto the sidewalk and through a small construction site.  His right tires hit a wooden ramp, causing the van to become air born as though time slowed down for a moment.  As the van lifted off the ground, the tires lost grip of the road and the RPM’s of the motor could be heard going through the roof.  The van then tumbled on its side, sliding a few feet, and crashing into a brick podium at a very high velocity.  The RPM’s were still high at first.  The humming of the engine could be heard throughout the neighbourhood as the wheels continued spinning with no resistance.  Everything blacked out and went silent.

 

Gideon opened his eyes.  He was in pain and there was blood running down his face; Must’ve hit his head hard.  Worse yet, he had vertigo.  The inside of the van seemed to be downside up, or, upside....down?  He looked around.  The bodies and tarps had been strewn all over the van.  They were damaged all right.  Mostly just in awkward positions.  He looked forward to the front of the van.  Lynch was halfway through the jagged and broken windshield up to his torso.  There was blood and shards of glass covering the driver’s side area, steering wheel and console area, broken windshield, front hood of the car, and even the cement.  Lynch’s neck was all torn to ribbons; Looks like he bled to death.

How long were they out for?  Gideon didn’t even remember what happened.  He was so confused and disoriented; like he woke up from another life.  He does remember being in a high speed chase with the cops.  Everything after that....

He began looking around the van for a way out.  The back seemed to be the easiest way.  As he stood up, he noticed a sharp pain in his right leg and had to walk with a limp.

He limped his way, through the mess and debris, to the back door of the van.  He pulled the door handle in an unfamiliar direction and the door flopped out onto the ground instead of the usual side swing.  Oh, the van must be on its side.....

As he stepped out of the van onto the street, he realized he had a small audience.

“Hey man, you ok?” asked one young man who looked dressed for a street gang.  Come to think of it, most of these guys look like they were a part of a street gang.

Gideon shook his head, still trying to clear out the pain and fogginess of what just happened.  He really didn’t know if he was ok.  He has little to no idea what was going on.

One of the other thugs approached the van and looked inside, “what happened homes?”

“Looks like yall was in a car wreck.  A BIG one.” Piped up one of the other guys.

“Man ainchu hear the gun shots?  Dem Crackas was shootin it out with the pigs!”

“Why was the cops chasing you homes?  Whatchu got in the van?”  One of them took a closer look.  “Homie, there’s dead bodies in there!  This crazy white boy’s a body snatcher!”

“How do you know they didn’t die in the accident?  Dumbass.”

“That girl looks like a zombie!  Like they just dug her up!”

“Man that’s fucked.  Cops be crackin down on that sort of thing round here.  The government, the people...they all pissed about that!!”

“Ya!” One thug said in anger as he turned to Gideon, “My homeboy got dug up by one of you mutha fuckas a couple years back.  They never found the assholes who did it neither.  Got away scott free with their fucken money!”

Gideon started trying to limp away, though didn’t make much progress as everyone’s attention began to turn to him in anger.

“I say we fuck him up!  One less asshole in the world!” One thug suggested as he took the initiative and punched Gideon in the face, causing Gideon to stumble.

“Yo!  Check his jewels!”  Another thug offered as they searched Gideon and took his watch, wallet, keys, money and any other expensive jewellery he was carrying. 

Then they all started grabbing convenient blunt objects and beating Gideon.

“This is for Ricky mutha fucka!”

 

John Richards straightened his tie as he entered the kitchen where his wife was preparing breakfast.  “Good morning honey.” He greeted her pleasantly with a kiss and sat at the table.

“Good morning sweetie.  Did you have a nice sleep?” She responded as she brought plates of pancakes, eggs, hash browns and bacon to the table.

“Oh sure.  Little bit of a kink in my neck.  Probably should pay a visit to the chiropractor again.”  He answered as he opened the newspaper.

She stood behind him and began to rub his neck.  “Let’s hope it’s nothing that can’t be fixed.”

He put on his reading glasses, strained his eyes, and read intently, “High speed chase ends in demise and incrimination of body snatchers on Cinco De Mayo!”  He read with colour in his voice and perplexion on his face.

“What???  Last night?  Really????”  Sally said with surprise as she attempted to read over John’s shoulder.

John continued, “The bodies have all been identified as Sam Henderson, Lynch Mulfill, Wyatt Crachen, Gideon Ordselle, and Amber Lane.  It would appear Lynch Mulfill, a local sexton, died in the car accident, while evidence shows Gideon, a mortician, was accosted on the street and bludgeoned to death by locals, possibly the product of a hate crime against body snatchers.  Mr. Henderson, who had been shot and discarded from the suspect vehicle early in the pursuit, was taken to the hospital and pronounced DOA.  Mr. Wyatt Crachen, a local farmer who’s been struggling to adapt to the tremendous drop in milk prices, was murdered prior to the chase.  This indicates that he was victimized by the body snatchers, though the circumstances of his victimization are unknown.  There is speculation that he may have been involved in the scandal, and that there was a disagreement among the accomplices.”  Mr. Richards sipped his coffee before continuing.  “‘When they pulled up to the check stop, we immediately knew something was up.  My partner saw a body in the back just before the suspect attacked him, and knocked him out.  When he came to, he told us what he saw, and we knew right away that it was a body snatching scandal.  That’s when we searched every graveyard in town until we found the Priest.’ says Sergeant Stiggs of the Police Department who faced off with the suspects at a check stop just before they attempted a getaway.”  Mr.Richards sipped his coffee again.

“What about the Priest?  Was he involved?  Did they arrest him?” inquired Sally.

John searched the paper for a moment, “Hmmm....ah-hah!  Says right here...”  He pulled the paper a little closer and strained his eyes a little more.  “Father Terrance Gabriel confessed to being an accomplice and identified the grave of the woman that was found in the van.  Upon further interrogation, a one Mr. James Black, a renowned attorney, has also been identified, possibly the mastermind behind the whole operation.  It is believed that Mr. Black has illegitimate business dealings with Dr. Flemming, a local med school Professor who has been accused of association with body snatchers for years.  Though such claims are denied by both parties and are subject to further investigation.”

“He did it!  He totally did it!  I’ve heard of Dr. Flemming before.  Guilty as sin.”  Sally projected.

Mr. Richards closed the newspaper and put it down.  “Well I’m just glad they got that girl back to where she belongs.  I can only imagine how upset the family must be.  This city has such a horrible history with body snatching.  Hopefully the new legislation will make a difference.  Then we can put monsters like Flemming and Black away for good.  Keep our graveyards unspoiled for once.”

Suddenly, Sally had a thought and looked her husband in the eyes, “I’ve heard you can make good money body snatching.  Think about it....we could move into a bigger house....drive nicer cars....work less....and no one would even notice the graves were empty.  Just need a good lawyer like Black to forge the wills.  Any Doctor will do it.  As long as the wills are believable, they won’t even ask where the bodies came from.  We’ve got it MADE!”  She said with intensity and greed in her eyes.  John was hypnotized by his wife’s vision and they stared at each other with wide eyes for a moment.  Then the facade broke and they both laughed heartily as they started eating their breakfast together.


© Copyright 2019 Lurch. All rights reserved.

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