Previously on… Father Death (1)

1995

1

“We’re doing this. We’re really doing this,” Stu exclaimed through clenched teeth.

Billy strode in measured strides while Stu bounced and leaped beside him. Billy cast his eyes to the side to acknowledge Stu yet continued walking. Billy kept his breath steady to control his heart rate and the heat brewing below his skin. He tensed his muscles to maintain a nonchalant and placid exterior while he roiled beneath the surface.

“How do we choose someone?” Stu pressed, sweat gleaming along his forehead.

Stu’s voice agitated Billy and undermined his control, yet Stu was necessary. Billy pinched his molars together and held fast. He pulled his breaths deeper into his lungs.

Billy traced the perimeter of the town’s square until the sidewalk led them to the white gazebo perched on manicured grass. He turned to lean against the structure and looked back at the pedestrians moving down the street. Stu wrinkled his face at Billy, whirling to the mundane street traffic and back, searching for the answer.

“One of them?” Stu hissed, leaning into Billy’s ear.

Billy chuckled and smirked. He remained against the gazebo, allowing Stu to twirl beside him.

“What about Randy?” Stu suggested. “That prick drives us both crazy.”

Billy pursed his lips, considering.

“Plus, he loves your woman.”

Billy snapped harsh eyes up to Stu, and Stu looked away, wiping his hands on his jeans.

“Randy is too close,” Billy replied. “It can’t be someone we know that well. Too easy to be linked to us.”
“It’s not a very big town. We kind of know everyone.”

Billy glared at Stu until Stu shrugged. They both turned their eyes back to the sidewalk. Sheriff Burke and Deputy Dewey Riley stepped out of the Police Station. Sheriff Burke marched to his Jeep while Dewey chased his steps, asking a flow of questions Billy and Stu could not hear.

“I doubt we have to worry about them,” Billy chuckled softly.

“Ha! Not at all, man.”

The sun glinted off the Post Office door, flickering at the boys. Billy craned his neck to watch Maureen Prescott burst out into the sunshine. His body tensed at the sight of her, and he stopped breathing. He monitored Stu in his peripherals to ensure Stu did not register his reaction. Maureen’s dark, wavy hair flowed behind her as she strutted down the street. Her striped shirt left one too many buttons loosed, exposing her bare chest.

There she was: the bitch who had ruined his life. The coals of his anger blazed into flames inside his chest. The sweat prickled along his brow at the heat wafting inside him. He shuddered in his façade.

“Oh, look, there’s Sidney’s mom.” Stu planted his arm above Billy’s head and brought his mouth toward Billy’s ear, jutting his chin toward Maureen.

The boys watched as Maureen encountered Principal Himbry on the street. The two began talking, and Maureen reached out to touch Himbry’s forearm. She tipped her head back and laughed as she did. Then she passed a hand through her hair. Billy flexed his jaw until his teeth ground together to control himself.

“She’s at it again,” Stu said.

Billy licked his lips and pursed them tight, crossing his arms over his chest to bundle himself in his own containment. The rage roiled in his chest, tingled down his arms. Yet he waited. He glared at Stu in anticipation. Stu stared stupidly at Maureen for long and painful moments.

He needed Stu to pick her. It had to be her, but Stu needed to say it. Billy could not glance in Maureen’s direction without the nauseating anger strangling him, but he could not let Stu see that. Stu had to see nonchalance. Stu had to see Maureen as the perfect random choice.

Finally, Stu’s face exploded with inspiration. He turned his eyes back to Billy wide enough to burst. Billy released a small, relieved breath.

“Her!” Stu exclaimed, consumed by the entire word, embodied by the idea.

Stu snapped his neck between Billy coolly against the gazebo post and Maureen still caressing Himbry’s arm.

“Maureen Prescott?” Billy tempered his voice.

“Yeah,” Stu whispered, close and conspiratorial again. “I mean, look at her, man. We would be doing her a favor.”

“And every wife in town,” Billy scoffed.

“Exactly!”

Continued on… Father Death (3)

Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling

Like my writing? Check out my books!

  • Followers – You never know who is on the other side of the screen. Followers is a mystery and thriller that blends women’s fiction with horror.
  • The Rest Will Come – Online dating would drive anyone to murder, especially Emma.
  • Savages – Two survivors search the ruins for the last strain of humanity. Until the discovery of a baby changes everything.
  • The Waning – Locked in a cage, Beatrix must survive to escape or be broken completely.
  • Screechers – Mutant monsters and humans collide in the apocalyptic fallout of a burned world. Co-authored with Kevin J. Kennedy.
  • Horror Anthologies
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