Father Death (18)

Posted: October 10, 2022 in Father Death, Scream
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Previously on… Father Death (17)


Stu jogged away from the house, leaving Randy quivering and clinging to the front door, still begging for Sidney. He rolled his eyes at how pathetic Randy was. He should have stabbed him on the couch before dispatching that cameraman. Yet then, he wouldn’t have been able to snicker in his ear. He wouldn’t have been able to enjoy telling Randy he was right.

Stu rounded the Jeep to obscure himself from sight, not that anyone would be looking after him. Especially not Randy. He hurried along the road, squinting into the night. The large puddles of blood caught faint glints of light. He started there and traced the bloody tracks of the news van.

The cameraman’s body slumped in a sad heap against the dilapidated fence. Stu glanced at it as he followed the road toward the trees. Skid marks drew across the asphalt. Stu chased them into the grass to find the news van pinned against a massive tree trunk.

Approaching the bumper of the trunk, Stu glaed at the square where Sidney had evaded him. He pressed his palm into the cool, smooth panel as he stomped through the tall grass. Peering through the open driver’s side window, he glimpsed the back of Gale Weathers’s head planted on the steering wheel.

Stu brushed his hands against his pockets, even knowing they were empty. No ghostly mask, no disguising robe, no knife. He felt much more exposed approaching Gale as himself. Whispering to Randy was not quite the same. Randy already knew. He sucked in a deep breath and glanced around the vacant night.

Stu reached through the window and grasped Gale’s shoulder. He tipped her back against the seat, her head flopping then lolling on her shoulders, sagging limp on her neck. Her mouth dangled ajar to reveal her perfect, white, straight teeth. Stu released a pent-up giggle. Sending his other arm through the window, he seized both her shoulders and gave her a firm shake. Her head snapped with the movement then drooped again.

“Well, that was easy,” Stu said to himself.

He released Gale to flop limp in the seat and turned back toward the house.

From the top of the stairs, Billy heard Sidney’s shouts. The door slammed. Then her whimpers floated on the air.

“Go away!” she cried against the door. “Leave me alone.”

Sidney was back in the house, and she was alone. It was time. Enough people were dead or would be shortly. It was time to wrap up this plan, execute this final elegant scene.

He drew a breath down into his lungs, feeling the blood on his shirt expand, and fluttered his eyes closed. Stabbed, left for dead, barely alive, crawling to save Sidney… he reminded himself and poured the character over his mind. This perfect boyfriend he had been feigning for over a year.

It all ended tonight.

Billy emerged and hobbled into the hallway.

“Sid,” he said, draping himself over the railing. He clung to the lacquered wood then skittered down clumsy and wounded.

He glanced down at the long case of wooden stairs looming below him, resisting the instinctual flinch before releasing his clutch and tumbling down. The edges and planes of each step bit and slapped at him as he rolled down the flight. He strove to relax into the fall as if he were focused on graver injuries. He skidded to a halt in a puddle at the base of the stairs.

“Billy?” Sidney rushed to him, her hands tentative over his body. “Oh, B—B–, are you okay? I thought you were dead?”

“I’m like a stuck pig, but I am all right.” Billy shuffled to his feet, leaned against the wall then against Sidney.

“You’re bleeding. Oh my god.” Sidney shouldered his weight, her hands playing about the fake blood.

That generally happens when you get stabbed. It was all working so well. She was seeing exactly what he wanted her to. The smile tugged at Billy’s cheeks, but he forced it from his face.

Billy hobbled to the front door. “We got to get help.”

“No, he’s out there.” Sidney threw herself across the door.

“Give me the gun.” Billy extended his hand and offered soothing eyes. Trust me, Sid. “Give me the gun. It’s okay.” It’s all going to be okay. It’s almost over.

Sidney handed him the gun with a reluctant hand and moved behind him. “Careful.”

Billy leaned into the doorknob as he turned the lock. Then he wrenched the door open. Randy immediately flew through the opening in a blur of his green shirt. He clutched Billy’s shoulder before dashing into the room, turning frantic eyes back to them.

“Please, help me!” Randy panted. “Stu’s flipped out. He’s gone mad.”

The sinister grin finally escaped Billy’s control. It unfurled across his face. The mask dropped, and he revealed himself to Randy. The fear he saw well up in Randy’s eyes showed that Randy saw him, but he figured that Randy had really always seen him underneath it all. Perhaps that is why he had wanted to kill him so bad all along. And the moment had finally arrived.

“We all go a little mad sometimes.” Billy leveled the gun at Randy.

“No, no, Billy,” Sidney shouted beside him.

“Oh fuck!” Randy knew it was coming, as he always did.

Billy pulled the trigger. The bullet tore through Randy, launching him backward and over the pointless table Stu’s mother kept in the center of the hall. The vase and flowers cascaded to the floor in shatters. Sidney rushed to Randy as he groaned on the floor. Of course, she did. Of course, she would.

It was all in the open now. Billy felt the freedom surge through him. They were here. They had made it to the endgame. He tipped the gun up and scratched the barrel along his scalp.

“Anthony Perkins, psycho,” he commented. Sidney turned disbelieving eyes to him. He loved that quivering look on her. She looked up from Randy’s body in trembling awe, just as Billy always wanted her to look at him. “Mmmm.” He slipped his finger into his mouth and sucked off the fake blood. “Corn syrup. The same stuff they used as pig’s blood in Carrie.”

The horrific realization on Sidney’s face was gorgeous. It contorted her features, making her look even more like her mother on the last night of her life. Billy nearly hardened again at the correlation. It had all come full circle, just like he had wanted.

Sidney whirled around, desperate, chaotic. Her hands spiraled from her body as she lurched toward the kitchen. Stu emerged, having rounded around the back of his property. She collided with him like a wall then cuddled into his chest. He leered down at her, but she was too distracted to gauge his menace.

“Stu.” She collapsed into his chest in a pitiful heap. “Help me.”

Stu flicked his eyes to Billy. They exchanged the thrilling sparkle of victory, the electricity of everything going to plan. Stu slid his hand up his body, positioning the voice changer over his wicked grin.

“Surprise, Sidney.” The device twisted his voice.

Sidney’s eyes widened. She shrank away from him. “No!”

Billy raised his eyebrows at her, mocking her with a shocked expression. She shoved Stu aside and threw herself into the kitchen. Billy ran around the hallway and entered from the opposite side, corralling her between them.

“Oh, now. Whoa!” He pushed the gun into her face. Stu chucked the voice changer, and Billy plucked it from the air in his blood-stained hand. His cheeks vibrated in his grin. “What’s the matter, Sidney? It looks like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Sidney’s legs buckled beneath her. She wobbled back and clutched the counter. “Why are you doing this?”

“It’s all part of the game, Sidney.” Stu loomed on one side of the island.

“It’s called guess how I am going to die!” Billy yelled through the voice changer and pointed the gun at her face.

“Fuck you!” Sidney dropped her hands from her hair as she yelled.

“No, no, no.” Billy’s voice softened. He offered Stu the gun and exchanged it for the knife. “We already played that game, remember? You lost.” Billy cornered Sidney, knife pointed at her face.

She had lost. She had lost so completely.

“It’s a fun game, Sidney. See, we ask you a question. You get it wrong—booyah!—you die.” Stu pointed the gun at her to mime a shot.

“You get it right, you die.” Billy shrugged.

Sidney raised stern, resolute eyes. “You’re crazy, both of you.”

Stu cuddled up to Billy’s back, amalgamating them into one threatening person in front of Sidney. He felt them together, in parallel. He had done everything he was supposed to; he had gotten them exactly where Billy wanted. Right here, to this moment.

“Actually, we prefer the term psychotic,” Stu said over Billy’s shoulder

“You’ll never get away with this.”

Billy tipped his head. “Oh, no? Tell that to Cotton Weary. You wouldn’t believe how easy he was to frame.” Billy teased the ends of Sidney’s hair with the blade.

“Watch a few movies, take a few notes. It was fun!” Stu’s face twisted comically.

“No!” Sidney melted and surged forward.

Billy caught her in his free arm. “Whoa.”

“Where are you going?” Stu laughed.

Where could she go? Cornered by both of them with a gun and a knife. This was the end of her.

“Why?” Sidney dragged herself up and slammed the counter again. “Why did you kill my mother?”

“Why?” Billy echoed. “Why?” He shouted, and Sidney and Stu both startled. Stu drew back away from Billy. “You hear that, Stu? I think she wants a motive. I don’t really believe in motives, Sid. Did Norman Bates have a motive?” Billy oscillated conversationally.

“No,” Stu answered.

“Did they ever really decide why Hannibal Lecter likes to eat people? Don’t think so!” His face jerked forward with his words. She cowered away. “It’s a lot scarier when there is no motive, Sid. We did your mom a favor. That woman was a slut-bag whore who flashed her shit all over town like she was Sharon Stone or something.”

“Yeah, we put her out of her misery because, let’s face it, Sidney, your mother was no Sharon Stone.” Stu pointed the gun and opened his hands around it.

“Is that motive enough for you?” Billy hesitated and toyed with the knife against his lower lip. “How about this? Your slut mother was fucking my father. And she’s the reason my mom moved out and abandoned me.”

Sidney’s mouth dropped open. Her eyes seemed to well with tears, if Billy could believe she cared that much. He stared into her as he watched the words resonate in her mind.

Stu lost his breath. His face went slack. He gaped at Billy. For an instant, he was back in Maureen’s bedroom, watching the rage seethe on Billy’s face. I had picked Maureen, not Billy, he told himself. Why didn’t he tell me? A blur of all their planning sessions, all the tasks he had carried out for Billy whirred through his head. Why didn’t he tell me?

“How’s that for a motive?” Billy continued. “Maternal abandonment causes serious deviant behavior. It certainly fucked you up. It made you have sex with a psychopath.”

Stu snapped back from the wound in his mind. “That’s right. You gave it up. Now, you’re no longer a virgin. Ooh! I said virgin!” Stu covered his mouth and squealed. “Whoops! Now, you got to die. Those are the rules.”

Billy seized Sidney and drew her to him, wrapping around her back. He played with the ends of her bloody hair and savored the fear and rage radiating off her. She felt the way he had felt these past months and years. He had finally succeeded in transferring it to her. And he drank up that success. This was how they were supposed to be.

“Just pretend it’s all a scary movie,” he said into her ear. “How do you think it’s going to end?”

Billy gestured to the hall with the knife. Stu exploded with excitement. They had finally reached the crescendo of his involvement, his masterpiece of contribution.

“Oh! Oh!” Stu shouted, clicking the safety on the gun and placing it on the counter. “This is the greatest part. You’re going to love this! We got a surprise for you, Sidney. Yeah, you’re going to love this one. It’s a scream, baby! Hold on a sec. I’ll be right back!” Stu dissolved into ghastly horror mocking and leaned with Frankenstein arms through the door.

Billy nuzzled deeper into Sidney and clutched her tighter. “You know what time it is, Sid? It’s after midnight. It’s your mom’s anniversary. Congratulations. We killed her exactly one year ago today.”

He had done it, and with Sidney helpless in his grasp, he savored that. They were all just where he wanted them.

“Attention!” Stu shouted.

Stu emerged, wrangling Neil Prescott. Neil hopped forward with his legs bound together by duct tape. The tape molded to his face, and blood trickled down over it. He looked wilted and defeated from his days in the basement.

“Oh, look! What do we have behind door number three, Sidney?” Stu shoved Neil into the kitchen and forward onto the floor. Neil fell to his knees at their feet.

“Daddy!” Sidney dove forward at her father.

Billy caught her by the shoulders and hauled her back to him. “Whoa. Hold it. That’s enough.”

Stu moved up behind Neil. The taxing days of serving as his warden were closing. He beamed in elation at feeling them spiral away into the past, flying away with this entire life behind him. Stu’s hand slithered into his pocket to retrieve the voice changer again. He brought it up to his lips once more, one last time.

“Guess we won’t be needing this anymore, huh?” He pushed the mutated words over Neil’s shoulder then slipped the device into Neil’s pocket. Then he dug into his other pocket to retrieve the cell phone. Just the feel of it in his palm brought thoughts of Casey’s tear-stained cheeks back into his mind. “And oh, look at this. Ring, ring! Won’t need this.” He stuffed the phone in with the voice changer.

“Got the ending figured out yet, Sid?” Billy jostled her in excitement. This was his plan, his brilliance laid at her feet.

“Come on, Sid. You think about it now, huh? Your daddy’s the chief suspect. We cloned his cellular. Evidence is all right there, baby!” Stu shoved Neil hard in the back until he toppled over to the floor.

“What if your father snapped?” Billy mused, slipping back into the fantasy he had been constructing for over a year. “Your mother’s anniversary set him off, and he went on a murder spree, killing everyone.”

“Except for Billy and me. We were left for dead.”

“And then he kills you.” Billy pointed the knife at Sidney’s chest, ready to press it through her flesh. Once she understood. Once she appreciated who he really was. “And shoots himself in the head. Perfect ending.”

“I thought of that.” Stu claimed his credit, his piece of the plan.

Billy pulled Sidney out of the way and stepped forward. He leveled his eyes on Stu. Stu’s heart thumped in dreaded anticipation.

“Watch this,” Billy said to Sidney. “Ready?” he asked Stu.

Stu was not ready. Stu hated this part of the plan. He was here to do the stabbing, not be stabbed. Why can’t I just get knocked unconscious and be left for dead that way? he thought. But he steeled his face. This was for Billy. He planted his feet and pressed his fists into his scalp.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m ready, baby,” Stu changed. “Right, get it up! Yeah, baby, get it up! Hit it!” His voice climbed with his anticipation.

Billy set his stance and stared into Stu’s eyes as he stuck the knife into Stu’s side. The pain blazed up Stu’s nerves. He had never been stabbed before, never cared to consider what it felt like when he plunged the knife into Casey or Dewey or that cameraman. His nervous system seized around the sensation, and his hands tingled as he balled them into fists to compose himself.

Stu folded in half then drew himself up with a hand plastered over the wound. “Good one, man!” Stu chewed back the pain. He would not look like a pussy in front of Billy. “Jesus!” Now, I can return the favor. He tilted his chin down and narrowed his eyes at Billy. “Oh, shit. My turn.”

Billy rolled skeptical eyes to Stu. Stu had followed directions. Stu had executed his tasks well enough to get them here. The victims were dead. Neil Prescott was bounded, gagged, and successfully framed at their feet. Yet Billy’s hand hesitated around the knife. If he did not hand it over, he would lose Stu, and the plan would unravel. He gritted his teeth and extended his arm toward Stu.

“Don’t forget. Stay to the side, and don’t go too deep,” Billy instructed. He seized a handful of Sidney’s jacket.

“Okay, I’ll remember.” Stu’s voice drifted off.

The pain continued to radiate through Stu, sending barbed messages up his nerves. It tickled that wound in his mind, that gap where Billy had not told him why they had killed Maureen Prescott. That massive detail he had not trusted Stu with. A seed of rage trembled in that hole. When Stu plunged the knife into Billy’s side, some of that rage pushed into it.

“Ah! Fuck!” Billy shouted. He turned into the island, shielding his injury. “Fuck! Goddammit, Stu!”

A warm pleasure crawled into the wound in Stu’s mind, a perverted sense of reciprocity. He could not prevent the satisfied leer from creeping over his face.

“Sorry, Billy. I guess I got a little too zealous, huh?” Stu dismissed, looking at Sidney.

Billy extended a bloody hand to Stu. Fake and real blood were no longer distinguishable. Pain cramped over his wound. The blood slid hot along his skin, but anger burned hotter across his forehead. He scarcely felt the pain under his rage. That now pointed at Stu. He should have stabbed himself. He kept his hand out and glared at Stu.

“Give me the knife,” Billy commanded.

Stu flinched internally at Billy’s menace. He forgot how terrifying he could be. “No.”

“Give me the knife. Now!” Billy’s voice shook the kitchen, and Stu surrendered the blade.

Stu turned to Sidney and regained his maniacal grin. “You see, Sid, everybody dies but us. Everybody dies but us. We get to carry on and plan the sequel. Cause let’s face it, baby, these days you got to have a sequel.” Stu’s hands spun in a flurry in front of him, spittle flying from his mouth.

My turn again, Billy thought. He seized Stu’s arm to steady him and brought the knife into his other side. Stu wilted in his grasp. Billy plucked the blade out and dragged up the outside of Stu’s arm, splitting his sweater then his skin.

“You sick fucks have seen too many movies!” Sidney said from behind them.

Billy hesitated for an instant to point the knife over his shoulder back at Sidney, keeping his eyes on Stu, reminding Stu of who he was.

“Sid, don’t blame the movies,” Billy shouted.” The movies don’t create psychos; movies make psychos more creative.” He spun Stu around and slashed the knife along his back.

Stu howled and arched against the injury. “Oh, stop it, Billy, would you? All right? I can’t take it anymore. I’m feeling a little woozy here!”

Stu’s head swam in the pain. His entire body chirped in panic as the blood dripped all around him. He surely would make a convincing victim now. Yet something else blossomed within him. When he glowered at Billy, he did not see his friend; he did not see his partner. He now saw the end of the knife.

Billy pressed the knife to Stu’s chin. “All right. Go get the gun, and I’ll untie pops. Okay?” Stu stared back at him, his blood dripping steady onto the floor. “Now!” Billy shouted.

“Okay.” Stu stared back and spoke softly.

Stu turned around. His head swooned with anger and a wave of dizziness. When he looked at the counter, the void on the white tile perplexed him. He stared at it, waiting for the gun to materialize again, waiting for things to make sense from under the pain.

“Um, Houston, we have a problem here.” Stu tapped his bloody fingers where the gun had been to verify its vacancy.

“What?” Billy turned from looming in Sidney’s face with the knife.

“The gun, man. The gun. I put it right there, and it’s not there.”

Billy stomped across the kitchen to look over Stu’s shoulder. “Where the fuck is it?”

Continued on… Father Death (19)

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Christina Bergling


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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