Father Death (14)

Posted: September 12, 2022 in Father Death, Scream
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Previously on… Father Death (13)

9

Billy sat on the hill overlooking the football field as the sun died in the sky. In the fading light, he saw Steven Orth moving across the field in his final practice before Billy and Stu coerced him into their backseat. Billy smiled at the nostalgic figment and the way it meandered into his memory of gutting Steve in Casey’s backyard.

The night in Casey’s backyard felt like a lifetime ago. Maureen’s bedroom seemed even longer. It was as if Billy had lived entire lives in between. He had become a different person with each life stolen by his design.

And it was all leading to tonight. It was all about to culminate. Billy sucked in the cooling evening air and felt that reverberate through him.

When night fully heaped in the sky and darkness pressed down on the field, Billy pressed up to stand, brushing his hands on his pants. He trudged through the shadows and to the equipment shed.

He found Principal Himbry’s body folded in the wheelbarrow where they had left it. Billy gripped the edge of the plastic bag and peered inside. Principal Himbry’s still-wide eyes reflected the dim light pouring in from behind Billy. Billy smirked down at the fear forever frozen on his dead face. Resisting the urge to whistle as he heaped rope on top of the corpse, he pushed the wheelbarrow out onto the field.

This seemed like grunt work. This seemed like work Billy should have been orchestrating. This seemed like Stu work. Billy looked between the heavy body and the high goal post and sighed. Stu was tending to their fall guy and gathering their victims. Billy could set this piece on display. If he had to.

Billy cast casual eyes all around to verify the empty field. Everyone was distracted; everyone was under curfew. He could bask in public solitude as he positioned the wheelbarrow directly under the goal post then tore the bag away from the corpse. He felt more at ease looking at Principal Himbry’s dead face, reliving the fear that he had put there.

Gathering the rope in his hand, he unwound the bundle. He stepped back and pitched the end of the rope toward the arm of the goal post. It arched into the night then wilted back at his face.

“Fuck,” Billy hissed.

Snatching the rope up again, he pitched the end up over and over until it finally swung up and looped over the arm of the goal post. He pumped his fist in victory as he retrieved the successful end. Tugging the rope along, he moved to Principal Himbry’s corpse. He folded the body over on itself, propping it into a seated position as best the wheelbarrow could support. He threaded the rope under Principal Himbry’s armpits and bound it tight.

Billy yanked on the rope to pull Principal Himbry’s body upright. The knot held, so Billy exchanged the bound end for the side draped over the goal post. He tugged hard, pulling the length taut. Then he leaned with his weight and crawled his grip hand over hand. Principal Himbry’s body shifted in the wheelbarrow then steadily dangled from the rope. Body flopped in the bind, Principal Himbry’s wide eyes caught the dim light to glint down at Billy.

Grunting and struggling, Billy clung to the rope with trembling hands. Principal Himbry seemed to get heavier the higher he managed to heave him into the air. Sweat trickled through his hair. He pinned his elbows in the rope and walked backwards to the goal post, circling it and wrapping the rope around the post.

Billy peered around the goal. Principal Himbry’s corpse hung limp from the rope, arms and legs swinging gently in the residual motion. The silhouette was perfect and horrifying. The warmth of admiration poured off Billy’s chest. He secured the rope to the post and finally released his aching hands.

Shaking out then massaging his hands, he returned to the wheelbarrow. Grasping the handles, he migrated the wheelbarrow to Principal Himbry’s feet. Then Billy placed his feet in the wheelbarrows and extended himself toward the body. He slipped the knife from the forearm holster and slashed across the stomach, spilling Principal Himbry’s guts on the ground between them.

Stu hummed to himself as he replaced the duct tape in the kitchen drawer. Then he eased around the island to extract a few beers from the fridge and place them on the counter in anticipation. Before he had unloaded his hands, the doorbell chimed.

“Party time!” Stu called out to himself, hoping Neil could hear bound up in the basement.

Stu skipped across the hardwood and pulled the door open.

“Wesley and John!” Stu greeted. “If it isn’t the Woodsboro psycho killers.”

Wesley and John both smirked at Stu’s words before moving in the open door.

“Nah, man,” Wesley said, tilting as he spoke. “They were just costumes. We were just paying homage.”

“Whatever it was, it was awesome.”

Stu slapped Wesley on the back and escorted the boys into the kitchen.

“Grab a brew, gentlemen.” Stu gestured to the bottles on the counter. “We’ll toast to school being out!”

The boys each cracked a beer and held them up together.

“To our Woodsboro Rippers!” John toasted.

Stu beamed with pride before taking a swallow. The door chimed again, and more people poured in with additional cars parking behind them. The house enlivened instantly, became smaller in occupancy. Stu would never notice that his parents had not been home in days with so many breathing bodies within his walls.

Stu allowed his classmates and acquaintances to permeate his house, pour and flow through the rooms. He abandoned them to their own devices and posted himself in the kitchen. All parties ultimately centered in the kitchen.

“Who wants to do a beer bong?” Stu called, lifting up the tube and wiggling it over his head.

Wesley stepped up and slapped both hands on his chest.

“Step right up,” Stu encouraged.

Wesley took the receiving end of the tube while Stu lifted the other side high and poured a beer into the funnel. The liquid glugged down the pipe and into Wesley’s anxious throat. As he chugged, Tatum and Sidney paraded into the kitchen, clutching bags of snacks.

“Oh, that’s mature,” Tatum said, catching sight of the boys then dropping the bags on the counter.

“You’re tardy for the party, so we started without you,” Stu answered. Wesley finished the beer, and Stu offered him a high-five. “Oh, my man!”

Stu smiled hard to conceal the grimace. Tatum was late. The house was full. His window alone with her had closed. There would be no last goodbye, no final fuck. The disappointment welled in Stu, surged up from the same place where he resented his parents. Then it passed like a wave, and Stu’s grin was genuine again.

Stu draped an arm over Tatum and Sidney’s shoulders and turned them toward the living room.

“Come on, ladies,” Stu said. “Randy is going to pick out a good scary movie.”

“Really?” Sidney flinched. “Is it really time for a scary movie?”

“Oh, Sid,” Stu said. “It’s always time for a scary movie.”

Stu collapsed to the couch and tugged Tatum along with him, tucking her under his arm. Sidney moved around them and dropped to the next cushion. Randy stood in front of the television, wielding stacks of VHS tapes as usual. He turned to the waiting audience.

“How many Evil Dead?” he asked. “One? Two?” He counted the raised hands. “How many Hellraiser?”

Tatum toyed with a stem in her mouth. Stu leaned in to tug on it with his teeth, letting his fingers lace between hers. He snuggled into her, inhaled her scent.

Hellraiser, right here,” Stu said to Tatum.

Sidney rifled through a stack of tapes. “The Fog, Terror Train, Prom Night. How come Jamie Lee Curtis is in all of these movies?”

“She’s the Scream Queen.” Randy leaned onto Sidney’s armrest, whispering and placing his palms together.

“With a set of lungs like that, she should be. Yeah,” Stu said into Tatum’s hair.

“Tits. See?” Tatum shrugged.

The doorbell chimed again. Stu unearthed himself from beneath Tatum and tumbled over the back of the couch.

“Oh, I’ll get it,” Stu said. “Hey, grab another beer, would ya?”

“What am I?” Tatum asked. “The beer wench?”

Billy walked down the quiet, dark road. He donned the Father Death robe, knife already strapped to his arm, yet he let the mask dangle from his fingertips. It swung as he walked. He strode past Neil Prescott’s car that they had strategically not hidden very well in the trees off the road. Then Stu’s house came into view at the end of the road, lighted and loud.

The final party in a scary movie. A full crop of victims waiting to be culled. And Sidney was there waiting for him.

The anticipation, the excitement practically hummed on his nerves. All of his plans had led to this night. All of the deaths stacked and pointed to her. This was the climax and the crescendo, he had painstakingly architected. He had waited for so long, playing the good and patient boyfriend. Now, he could remove his mask. Now, he could show them all his true self before he executed them. He could end this story properly before going somewhere new to start a new narrative. A new script.

When Billy got to the Macher property, he could hear the voices and music drifting from inside. He noted the Top Story van parked not very secretive away from the drive. Slipping the mask over his face, he moved to the side of the house, avoiding any wayward glances from the party.

If Stu had followed directions, he would find what he wanted in the garage. If Stu had followed these directions, he might follow anything Billy had to say.

Moving through the dark grass, damp blades licked at the trailing ends of the robe. The night and the field extended around him. He thought of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and every other horror movie with teenagers isolated far away from help. He slid along the side of the house like a shadow, easing through the back door.

The party was louder inside. The voices nearly breathed on Billy through his hood. The music pulsed on his skin. There was so much life throbbing inside the walls. Yet it was concentrated in the living room, huddled around scary movies on the television. The world could not turn away from a good scary movie.

With all eyes entranced, Billy moved easily along the periphery of the festivities. He watched Tatum disappear into the garage, leaving the door ajar behind her. He moved to the door, easing it closed behind her and locking it. Then he waited in the shadows of the unlit corner for Tatum to walk back across the garage. Soon enough, the knob wriggled, and she knocked on the door.

“Hey, shitheads!” she called, but no one could hear her but Billy. “Hello?”

Billy waited, his breathing batting back against his cheeks in the mask. No one moved toward him in the house. When he heard the garage door rumble, he twisted the lock and slipped into the garage.

Billy perched on the top step and regarded Tatum. She looked ridiculous in a bright green sweater and flamboyant skirt. She shuffled toward the raising garage door, her arms heaped with beer bottles. Billy reached up and tapped the garage door opener button. The door seized.

Tatum halted and bent to dip under the door. Billy pressed the button again, sending the door descending back toward the ground. Tatum toddled, confused, before whirling around to glare at Billy.

“Is that you, Randy?” she asked, still narrowing her eyes.

Billy shook his head, slow and grave.

Tatum rolled her eyes, dismissive, and approached him. “Cute. What movie is this from? I Spit on Your Garage?” She waved her hand careless as she spoke.

Billy remained immobile and waited for him to reach her.

“Lose the costume. If Sidney sees it, she’ll flip.”

Billy shook his head again. He was done doing what Sidney wanted. He stepped to bar Tatum’s way.

“Oh, you want to play psycho killer?” Tatum asked playfully.

Billy nodded, smirking behind the mask.

“Can I play the helpless victim?”

Yes, you can, he thought. Billy nodded again to feel the motion all the way down his neck, the way he wanted to kill her so bad.

“Okay, let’s see.” Tatum tipped her head. “Oh no, Mr. Ghostface. Don’t kill me! I want to be in the sequel!” Tatum smiled and pushed to move past Billy, but he held firm. “Cut it, Casper. That’s a wrap.”

Billy seized her wrist and stripped her arm from her body. The beers tumbled from her arms and shattered around their feet.

“Randy, what the hell are you doing?” Tatum struggled against him.

Billy displayed his knife in front of her face before lifting her arm and drawing the blade down her skin. Blood dripped immediately from the wound, and Tatum’s eyes grew wide in horror.

“Ah! Stop!” she cried.

There it was. Fear wiped all the disdain and judgment Billy usually saw from Tatum’s face. It transformed her, put her under his control. He felt the wave of relief cascade down his spine as Tatum clutched her arm in disbelief, that gorgeous expression twisting her features. Billy inhaled it for an instant as Tatum tumbled into a chair before dropping down the steps to pursue her.

Tatum shot up from the chair with determination. She rounded in front of the fridge, and Billy lunged after her. The freezer door whipped open to halt his pursuit. His clarity and enjoyment shattered with the impact. A grunt expelled from his lips as he fell onto his back on the concrete.

Tatum sprinted across the garage as he shook the haze from his sight. She found the door locked. Billy wasn’t an idiot. He gathered himself to his feet, her blood still on his knife, when she turned back to him. She dropped to the ground and snatched up surviving beer bottles.

“Fucker!” she yelled at him.

The first beer exploded across Billy’s crotch. Billy staggered at the impact. He could not feel the beer soaking through his robe. The second beer shattered on his face. The blaze of foam temporarily blinded him before it poured down his cheeks. The second head collision called up the haze on the sides of his mind again. He blinked hard and planted his feet to ground himself.

Rage surged up through Billy. This was not how Tatum was supposed to die. Of the many times he had fantasized about killing her, he was never supposed to end up knocked down and soaked with beer. She was as much an inconvenience to kill as she was to deal with in life.

Billy charged at her, ready to embed his knife in any fleshy, bloody part of her. Preferably a part that would shut her up. Tatum’s eyes widened at his approach. At the last second, she collapsed. Billy flew over her, splaying on his back on the steps. The impact of each stair protested on his nerves, louder than the rush of finally getting to kill Tatum.

Tatum scrambled to her feet. Diving across the cement, she scrabbled toward the cat door at the bottom of the garage door. Billy lay across the stairs and stared at her bewildered.

What is she doing? he thought. That bitch is never going to fit through that.

Lost in his perplex, he gradually pulled himself back up as Tatum clawed her way to the tiny door. She managed to wedge an arm, shoulder, and her head through the opening. Her legs kicked wildly in the garage as if she could force herself the rest of the way through. Once he was standing, he looked at the garage door opener and smiled. As he pressed the button, the machine overhead rumbled to life.

Tatum screamed and struggled as the garage door opener roared and shuttered, dragging her up in the air. The tracks trembled as the entire apparatus shook. She kicked and pushed but could not dislodge herself from the small cat door. Billy watched in detached amusement as the door delivered her into the waiting edge of the house, smashing her head until the door could no longer move. The opener sparked and smoked, and the light flickered furious until all fell dark and still.

Tatum hung lifeless.

It was not the kill Billy wanted, but it was the kill he would take. He tilted his head to appreciate the bizarre happenstance. Then he opened the door as Stu had shown him and slipped back into the party.

Continued on… Father Death (15)

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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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