Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.
*About to get gruesome. I don’t write love stories. Just a warning.*
Paul and Paulina Featherstone were heading home from her business conference when they happened upon the sign Gavin had made by hand. It read: “FRESH, LIVE CHRISTMAS TREES!”
They were both weary and tired as they pulled off of the two lane road and onto what appeared to be a man-made road large enough to fit their SUV. They were a young couple, early thirties, filled with life and expectations, fit and in shape. They didn’t know what awaited them.
“You sure we should be doing this?” Paulina asked, staring out at the open field and the trees, listening to the weeds and grass brushing the sides of the vehicle, eyes seeing nothing but emptiness wherever she looked. It was spooky silent and quiet.
“You worry too much. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to have a live tree this year instead of that fake one we’ve been using all these years. The needles are about gone and we spend more time sweeping and vacuuming than we do enjoying it.”
“I like the fake one. Good memories you know,” she replied, glancing at the clock. It was just past 4 in the afternoon and the sun was starting to cast a thin light across the world.
“Sure, but I love the smell of a fresh pine tree. It takes me back to childhood days.”
“I get that, but it’s not even Thanksgiving. We still have a week to go. Isn’t this a bit early?”
“Maybe, but this is the first lot we’ve seen open. Might be able to get a real good tree at a real good price.”
Paulina fell silent. She knew she couldn’t argue with him when he got like this.
The car crept forward and when it rounded a set of trees they saw The Lot sitting alone in the field, basking in emptiness. Gavin had spruced the place up, given the small house and fence around the trees a Christmas makeover. Each white fence post had a Christmas scene painted on it – Santa with a child on his lap, Rudolph with his nose so bright, elves in Santa’s shop, Christmas trees and presents underneath, happy kids with toys, and so forth and so on. Nothing but good holiday cheer. Happiness and smiles all around. The house, which was nothing more than a shed with a roof and four walls, a door, and a tiny window, was painted to look like a Gingerbread House ready to be broken apart and devoured. Three spotlights had been erected in strategic areas around The Lot and were hooked up to a generator sitting behind the house. It was a beautiful unassuming Christmas scene, a perfect trap.
“I don’t know about this place,” Paulina replied, as Paul brought the car to a stop.
“It’ll be fine. Promise. Look I see a good one over there,” Paul replied, pointing into The Lot and turning off the car at the same time. He opened the door before she could protest again and climbed out. He took in a deep breath and savored the strong pine smell. It was the strongest he had ever smelled.
Paulina exited the car and joined her husband, who was peering into the trees, eyes on the one he wanted to take home.
“Have you ever seen them so green?” He asked.
“We’d kill it in a week.”
“What’s wrong with you? Where’s your childhood glee?”
“I just don’t like this place. It feels off.”
“How can it feel off? It’s a damn Christmas tree lot.”
“It just does. I think we should -”
A shotgun blast ended that statement, as she took a direct shot to the chest, tearing it open, covering her husband of ten years in a shower of bright red blood. Paul wiped away the pieces of his wife from his face, pieces that had temporarily blinded him, and dropped down to her side. He started to scream her name, as she bled out onto the ground. The roots of the trees moved quickly underneath the dirt and lapped up the blood as it sank into the Earth. Paul turned around, eyeballing the area, wondering where the shot had come from, and just as he caught a glimpse of metal, a second shotgun blast took off his head. Splattering him all over the front of the SUV, spinning him around in a circle. His lifeless body came to rest on top of his wife.
Gavin dropped the gun in the doorway and screamed. He then fell down to his knees and threw up. He couldn’t believe he had pulled a trigger that ended two lives, two healthy young lives from the look of it.
He smacked himself hard across the face, trying to regain his senses, and then forced his body to stand. He listened for sirens, but heard nothing, only silence, as he walked over to the dead couple and stared down at them. He had never seen death this close and personal and it caused a strange fascination. He jumped when Paulina, barely alive, reached up towards him. He looked down at her as death came and took her final breath.
Gavin turned away and puked again. When he was finished, he smacked himself again, wiped his mouth, and when he was composed, turned back to the task at hand. He grabbed Paul by his ankles and drug him over to the fence. He hoisted Paul up and onto the fence, hanging him there for a moment, stripping his pockets clean of all his personal items. He then grabbed Paul’s feet and was about to push him in when multiple tree limbs shot forward and grabbed him. They pulled Paul in, ripped him apart and then feasted on the scattered blood and body parts. When it was all said and done, all that was left of Paul were his shoes and tattered remains of clothes. Gavin picked them up the best he could and then tossed them into the back of the SUV along with Paul’s few personal items.
Finished with that task, he walked over to Paulina and was about to drag her to the trees when a thought popped into his head. He quickly stripped her naked, tossing all of her stuff into the back of the SUV, and then drug her body over to the trees. She was lighter than Paul, so he easily tossed her into the trees. He quickly turned away, but the sound of them eating was more than enough to make him nauseous again.
Gavin returned to the SUV and climbed behind the wheel. He sat there a moment looking the vehicle over, feeling the comfortable leather against his back side, imagining how great a ride this vehicle must be. The couple who had owned it had spared no expense. He closed his eyes, forced the tears to stay away, and when he thought he was composed, he opened them. That’s when he saw the two car seats, reflecting in the rear view mirror. They were covered in cheerio crumbs and goldfish, empty seats thankfully, but seats that said so much about the two people he had ruthlessly killed. He started to shake and bob back and forth. He screamed and screamed again. Clutching his hands. Fingernails digging into flesh. The nausea came. He puked again, but this time he had nothing left in his stomach, so he puked up blood, puked it all over the seat Paulina had just been sitting in. He wiped his mouth, punched the dash, and then turned on the vehicle. The SUV purred softly as he drove it down to the pond and stopped at the water’s edge. He opened the door, put the car in neutral, and climbed out when it started rolling. The vehicle was consumed by the dark water, dragging it deep into the murky depths.
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Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.