Tempted: The Cookie Jar

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Photo from: Pinterest

The last thing Anna said before leaving was, “Keep your hands out of my cookie jar!”

I wanted to ask why, but being the compliant person I am, I smiled, kissed her on the nose and said, “Whatever you say dear,” and in turn, she kissed my forehead, ruffled my unkempt hair, and walked out the front door, on her way to work.

Work?

It’s funny, but even after all this time, I’m still unsure what she does “at work.”

Well…yes…of course we’ve discussed it, however, her answers were so vague, I was always left feeling flabbergasted.

I mean, really…what could one say to…

“Honey, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.  Honestly, the most I can say is, what I do is very important to human kind.  Sometimes, I may have to bring work home with me, but for your sake, it’ll be on the rare occasion.”  

I must have had an idiotic look upon my face, because she laughed wickedly, wooed me into her embrace and whispered, “C’mon darling, enough of this silly talk…make love to me…”

And that was the last time I asked about her “work.”

I stared at the closed-door, and began to laugh.  I couldn’t believe it, she had just left and I was already missing her.  Shaking my head, I walked back into the kitchen, and reached for the coffee pot.  The coffee was strong and black, just the way I liked it.  I sat at the bar, enjoying the bitterness in my cup, when my eyes rested upon the cookie jar.

“Keep your hands out of my cookie jar…”  she had said, just before she left.

“Damn!  I love your cookies!” 

Running my hand through unruly, red curls, I pushed the hair from my face, and wondered just why the hell I couldn’t have one.  I took another sip of coffee and thought about the last batch of cookies she had made.  Oh my god…they were warm, soft and chewy and filled with dark chocolate chips.  That night she and I had lain on a blanket, in front of the fire-place, and shared a whole plate full, along with one tall glass of milk.  I remember laughing at her “milk-stache,” her blushing, and me kissing it from her face.  We made love and afterwards finished off the rest of the cookies.

I took another swallow from my cup, knowing the bitterness would pair well with the sweetness in the cookie jar.

I couldn’t resist the temptation any longer.  I reached for the cookie jar and pulled it forward to sit next to my coffee cup.  Slowly I lifted the lid, closed my eyes with anticipation, and slipped my other hand inside, to search for the prize.

At that very moment something clamped upon my hand.  I tried to pull it back, but it felt as if a million little needles had seized my flesh.  Excruciating pain radiated from my captured hand.  The pain traveled up my arm and settled upon the right side of my face.

Instinctively I slung my arm, and the cookie jar sailed across the room and didn’t stop until it crashed into the stone fireplace.  My eyes immediately went to the source of pain, and I saw a scaly creature attached to my hand.  Wild reptilian eyes stared at me, and its evil Cheshire grin, sunk beneath the softness of my flesh.  Oozing around each jagged tooth was a river of my blood.

Horrified at the sight, I let loose a blood curdling scream, and tried in vain to pull the monster off with my other hand.  Its response was to clamp even tighter, causing its teeth to crush the bones beneath.  The pain, more than I could bear, caused me to fall limp to the floor, at which point the creature began to ravenously  chew my hand.

Helpless, I felt myself slowly give way to unconsciousness, but before the darkness took me away, the front door opened…

“Damn it…not the cookie jar!”  

And as I faded into oblivion I thought I heard Anna’s whisper…

“Note to self…never bring your work home…never again…”

 

(In participation of today’s Daily Prompt:  Temptation)

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Photo from: Toyark 

The Angry Entity

The following is my participation in “One-Word-Prompt” and “Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.”  (175 word count; photo compliments of Barbara Taylor)

 

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Nye stared at the apartment where “it” had happened.  He was thankful for the body of water between; but the barrier did little to quell his fear.  Slowly he let his mind replay the events of that night.

The moment he emptied the last box, the clock struck midnight, and then a knock at the door.

“Strange…” he mused.  Curious, he opened the door…nothing.

“Even stranger…”  he said aloud.

Two minutes passed…another knock.   Again, nothing.

This repeated twice more.  Nye, finally threw the door open and yelled,

“Stop knocking or come the hell in!”

It came inside.

Immediately, he felt the evil entity.   Nye ran for the door, but the door closed and the lock turned.  A window opened and he felt himself being pulled towards it.  Horrified he watched as  five bloody claw marks ripped each arm.  Each time he resisted the jagged gashes grew deeper.

Screaming, he passed out.

Hours later, paramedics lifted Nye into the ambulance.    Nye overheard one say  “Poor bastard, probably threw the razor-blade out the window.

***

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Entity by lostknightkg-d515tnc.jpg

“Stay Creepy My Friends”

Visit my other blog Redhead Reflections

(Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers is a weekly challenge where you write a story from a single photograph.  The challenge:  It must be a complete story and word count cannot be over 175)

Siren’s Song

Siren's Song

Max’s stare was blank but his body was filled with longing.  Her song was the epitome of desire.  In all of his 50 years, Max had never heard anything to compare.

The first time it had happened, Max had been suffering from insomnia.  Sleep, always his distant friend, remained aloof long into the witching hours, and so, out of utter boredom, he had done the unthinkable…. he had walked barefoot to an empty dock, boarded his Irish Lady and taken her out into the calm sea waters.  Max knew sailing alone, especially in the dead of night, wasn’t the smartest thing to do; however a stifling loneliness prodded him to  curse all warnings and tuck them away into the deepest recess of his mind.

At first, all was quiet, save for  the wind’s gentle tug on the mainsail and the small waves kissing the sides of the Irish Lady.  With the waters so calm, Max relaxed by the rudder and enjoyed his cigar without interruption.  Nearing the end of the smoke another sound began to mingle among the wind and waves.  The mé·nage à trois slowly married and became  a sweet seductress caressing and whispering within his ear.

At first, Max wondered if another boat was near, but a quick 360 proved that he and his Irish Lady were the only ones upon the water.  As the song grew louder, he relaxed and was eventually enveloped within the soprano’s beautiful serenade.  The woman’s voice was soft and gentle and even though Max knew it to be strange he felt no fear, only a peaceful sense of longing.

“Strange…” he whispered, “so…so strange.”

The Siren’s song warmed him and put him in a blank trance  until it slowly left as it had come, leaving only the sounds of the wind and waves.  Max had stayed out another hour hoping to hear her voice again but it never came.  Disappointed he turned his Irish Lady and went home.  The moonlight sail proved cathartic, for he had slept like a baby once he was home and under the covers of his bed.

Max went out every night for the rest of the week and sure enough he was rewarded with his sweet siren’s song.  Never, not even once, had he any inkling  to jump overboard into the arms of some beautiful bare breasted mermaid.  Just the opposite, he laughed, her voice had made him feel warm and completely safe.

Fearing he was losing his mind, Max had promised that each night would be the last, only to break the promise the following night.  And so, here he was, once again, sailing under the milky way awaiting the siren’s song.  With each night his desire to hear her grew until tonight it was a consuming fire begging to be quenched.  Minutes faded into hours with no sign of his siren.   Max, unwilling to give up, continued to sail the dark waters like a mad animal ravenous for his prey.  Finally it became obvious that his siren was not coming.     Utter loneliness squeezed his heart so hard it physically hurt, but he had  no other choice but to turn the Irish Lady and head back home.

Max went straight to bed but once again sleep was a stranger. He lay awake in his bed watching the breeze flutter the curtains of the open bedroom window.  He was filled with the fear that he’d never hear his siren again.

“Why hadn’t she come?” he whispered into the nothingness.

Faintly…ever so faintly a voice…her voice… like a whisper drifted through the open window.   His heart quickened, and  quickened all the more, when he realized her song was gradually getting louder. Finally she sang to him right outside his window and just as it had been upon the water her voice soothed him.

Entranced he lay there listening until her song came to an end..  At first he was afraid she had gone but then he heard her breathing and he knew she was still there.  He thought it impossible but her breath outside his window was sweeter than her song.  Gradually her whispers of breath became heavier and huskier until his siren sounded like a woman consumed with orgasmic pleasure.  Max filled with need and he wanted her to come inside and slip beneath the covers with him.  Somehow he knew she couldn’t come inside until he offered an invitation.

He was about to beckon, only to be interrupted by her moaning…

“…Max…I came for you, I came for you upon the waters, but I couldn’t find you.  My heart hurt… my soul cried, and my body ached for you… and so, I have come to you, Max…please…please bid me come in…”

Max, throbbing with the pain of desire, could wait no longer, said, “Come to me.”

The screen that separated her from his room began to tear slowly from top to bottom.   Max looked for her presence, but could see no one, only the slow rending of the screen. Once it  reached its decent a head flowing with long black hair slowly emerged.   Max strained to see her face, however, it was downcast so that her hair fell forward and long. The figure climbed through the window and then stood naked within the moon’s glow. Her long hair fell strategically to cover her breasts and cascaded over her body to hide everything but the perfect rounding of her hips and the length of her legs.  Standing like this she didn’t move and  Max wondered if he should go to her; however, as if she heard his thought, she began to slowly move toward him.  Once at the foot of the bed she stopped to stand silently, her hair, still covering her face, had parted just enough to expose the nipple and swell  of her left breast.  Feeling as if he could wait no longer, Max begged her to come to him.  Once the plea left his mouth she disappeared.  He presumed she had vanished until he felt the rustle of the sheets around his feet, and he knew she was about crawl underneath the covers. Slowly he felt her womanly body inch its way over his until she lay full upon him.  Her body was warm and soft and she eased her softness over his hardness until he was totally consumed within her flesh.    She began to slowly move upon him.and he thought he would die.  Consumed in desire he arched upward and ran his hands over her buttocks, up the small of her back, and ever upward until they held each side of her head. .  His fingers entangled within her hair and slowly he was able to push it up and over her face, and in that instant his siren let out a blood curdling scream.  Max opened his tightly closed eyes and saw a hideous hag writhing in pleasure above him.  Her mouth, unhinged hung long and low, and rocked side to side like a metronome.  Horrified he watched as her jaw stretched even longer so that he looked down the black bottomless pit of her throat.  Feeling the pull this dark abyss, Max  looked to his siren’s eyes to beg for mercy, but her bulbous eyes were even blacker than the pit and he knew they contained no mercy.  Unimaginable pain wracked his body as he felt himself shrivel to a liquid that poured down her throat.  The hag hungrily drank every portion of him until all that was left was damp spot upon sheets.

Slowly the hag’s sagging mouth closed and turned into lips the color of rose buds; and her black eyes grayed and morphed  until they were the color of the Mediterranean Sea.  A beautiful naked women left Max’s bed, drifted through the torn screen and disappeared into the sea mist  that lay beyond.

The Blue Balloon

(The following is my participation in today’s one-word daily prompt:  Buddy.)

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Photo borrowed from Fine Art America

It was the blue one…always the blue one, and there was only one in the bunch. One blue balloon for one little boy.

The balloon man searched for his next buddy.

He pushed the cart of balloons and watched them all with a curious eye.  Children everywhere…the carnival had indeed, proved to be a smorgasbord of easy picking.

“Eeny meeny miny mo…Harry, Timmy or Jimmy Joe…  ”  He secretly snickered at the rhyme but was careful not to let his excitement show.  

He scanned his options searching for his Harry, Timmy or Jimmy Joe.  Finally his eyes landed upon the redhead who had strayed from his mom.

Bingo!  The winner-thought the balloon man.

He reached for the blue balloon, and handed it to the lost little boy.  The boy saw the balloon and reached in the air…

Then in a flash of blue, the boy is whisked away!

Blue lights are flashing everywhere, and the balloon man is sucking dirt from the ground.

The winded officer, on top of the clown, spoke into his shoulder mic, “We Got him!  The son-of-a-bitch will kidnap and hurt no more!”

The blue balloon drifted up and away…and then was gone.

***

“Stay Creepy My Friends”

Visit my other blog Redhead Reflections

(The Blue Balloon was previously published as The Balloon Man at Redhead Reflections)

(Photo borrowed from fineartamerica.com)

 

Survive the House of Poe?

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I should take up the pen to write it away,

Apathy wins…so there the pen lay.

Rid my soul…this melancholy pest?

Is there a way?  Or do none exist?

She grabs your throat through thinnest of cloth.

Uninvited she crawls… right into your mouth.

She reeks of bitter there is no doubt,

But swallow you must, there’s no way out.

Damn this melancholy…a gift from Poe?

Taking me down to the pits below.

Into the tunnel I feel my way.

No light to see, no presence of day.

I’ve been here before…a time or two.

Now, that’s a lie…Tis more than a few!

There is a place…Oh can it help?

But the grass is high…have the cards been dealt?

Anyone home?  Please…can you be there?

Please open the door… show me you care.

I call and call but no sound from you.

A step I hear and your laughter too.

This slap in the face I take on the chin.

So many times…and yet, now, again?

Over and over a deaf ear you turn,

So I’m nobody…no one of  discern?

I take my leave to walk in time,

Faces I see…Do they see mine?

No, faceless am I …no story to tell,

So back go I…where the melancholy dwell.

In a moment…brief though it may be,

I think I hear you, coming for me.

But then the silence around me drape,

A cloak of death…Should I partake?

This hole of despair I know I should climb.

Before it’s too late and I run out of time.

And so here I lay…my own little world.

This house of Poe…within I am curled.

Should I try…just one more knock?

Could it be true…Will the door unlock?

A face to gain and in dignity dwell?

No… is resounded from the pits of hell!

Into my cave with blackest of hue

Survival’s a myth…and I just don’t want to.

Morris in Thought

 

Please visit my other blog Redhead Reflections

Possession

Possession

Ghost ChildI was quite the unusual child.  No one dared speak it out loud, but none-the-less, it ate upon their brains like a canker sore.

“Different…,” they’d say.  “Just a wee-bit queer…for my like’n.”  Then they’d catch me looking at them and their faces would blanch white, as the cotton they were picking.

I enjoy making them uncomfortable.  I enjoy hearing the rhythm of their heartbeat quicken.  It makes me alive within this skin.

It’s a funny thing to feel so alive when scaring others to death.  I almost get giddy with the pleasure.  Once I almost smiled but  I never let them see me smile.

One day I’ll leave this village, but not until I’m finished with them.  I never leave a job undone.  I stay until the end…and sometimes it takes oh so long for the end.

The end makes me sad.  After the end there is no fear and it’s the fear I miss most.  And so I stretch the means to defer the end.

I try to linger as long as possible, but, alas, the end is always inevitable.  So when the job is done, I lay them to hell and spill dirt over their faces…and then…then I can smile.

I wonder the woods, for beyond yonder hill, my new family awaits.  The cabin is bright and I knock at the door.  When it opens they invite me in and  my job begins all over again.

Generations have come and generations have gone, and yet I’m still here…still the same unusual, girl of seven.

Yes, this always remains…

I’m never alone, for this body I possess, will always be my home.

***

Home is a person.  If you’re lucky, home is yourself. __ Duchess Goldblatt 

[Please visit my other blog Redhead Reflections]

Angel of Death

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Angel of Death Photo by David Dehner

 

She watched him from her place of containment.  Sure enough, he had “the mark” and so she fled her confines to mingle among the chaos of the crowd below.

She felt his stare.  Knowing this to be her cue, she covered the ten steps, separating them and asked with a timid voice, “Care to dance, handsome?”

As usual, the stranger’s eyes filled with suspicion, but once he saw her shy smile, he tossed doubt away, and  accepted her soft hand.  In an instant their bodies melded and he was consumed with unquenchable lust.  He wanted her, but the intense craving terrified him. Sensing his resolve, she crushed him closer and huskily growled, “My poor…poor beast..not use to being controlled…”

Slowly she pulled away…but only enough for him to look into her black eyes.  In them, he saw the innocents he had hurt screaming his name and coming for  him. Terror squeezed his heart until it burst and then the beast fell to the ground.

She let the corpse drop to the floor and then she faded into the picture hanging on the tavern’s wall.  The caption underneath read, “Angel of Death”

(Word count 175)

(originally posted as “Mark of the Beast”  in Redhead Reflections in the participation of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers)

The Book of Death

(The following short story was first published at Redhead Reflections my other Blog)

0707ephr9_600x5461 Tuesday began as any other boring day in the life of Annie Smith.  The alarm clock rang at exactly 6:45 am which gave Annie at least two wacks at the snooze button before she had to be up promptly at 7 am in order to make it to her job at the Martin County Public Library.  As usual, she stumbled to the shower for a quick body rinse to begin the awaking process which ended after her second cup of coffee.  Coffee, toast and one boiled egg and she was out the door of her small apartment, down the three flights of stairs, to stroll to the nearest bus stop.

Sure enough the drab Library was just where she left it the night before.  Annie inserted her skeleton key and thus began her lonely 8 hour shift.  Annie had always been an introvert, so this job suited her personality; however, as of late, she’d been experiencing a feeling…something akin to loneliness.  As much as she tried to shake the alien feeling, it clung to her and periodically invaded her thoughts throughout her 8 hours as librarian. The feeling, like an intrusive grain of sand in her shoe, pestered her ever so softly, just enough for her to know it there.

Yesterday, while at work, Annie had been so irritated by the feeling that she found herself strolling the romance section scanning the books on the shelves.    She noticed one particular book was jutted out a fraction more than the others.  Annie reached for that book and whispered the title  aloud in the empty library… “I Have Come for You”  She had opened the book’s worn cover and read the first sentence of chapter one: “Annie, oblivious to the precipice before her, fell head long into a seduction that would forever alter her lonely life.”  Shaken by such a personal application, her hands that held the book quivered until the book fell to the floor.  She stared at the open book, lying on the floor, for what seemed like hours.  Finally, she bent down to retrieve the book and saw that the left page of the book was blank but the right page contained the heading for chapter two which read…“There is no escape…I will have you.”  Annie had laughed nervously, and then shook her head in unbelief, as she put the book back into its place upon the shelf.

Today, as Annie strolled from one computer to the next, making sure each green light was lit, the whole scenario from yesterday seemed ridiculous to Annie .  What an absurd idea that the book had been personally speaking to her.  She giggled loudly with the thought.  Startled from the sound that had escaped her lips, she quickly put her hand to cover her mouth.  She looked around to see if anyone had slipped in through the front door.  No, the tiny library was as empty as when she had walked inside a half an hour ago.  For some reason Annie was frightened by the sound of her own laughter.  She couldn’t help but think that the shrill cackle had come from the lips of someone going mad.   No one else was here, so it had to have been her laughter.  Surely, she was not mad.  The thought rested uneasy within her psyche.

“Oh Annie…don’t be so stupid…,” she nervously berated herself and walked rather jerky to toward the comfort of her plush office chair.  The chair was one thing she had insisted upon when she took this job.  It was soft and firm where it needed to be to conform perfectly to her slightly overweight form.   Annie placed the palms of her hands on the desk and began to sit, but before she completed the final descent into the beloved chair she noticed something out of place.  There, lying atop the keyboard of he computer, lay a book.  Her faced blanched white because she knew it was “the book.”

“What the fuck?”  Annie never cursed but the word had come from her mouth as if she had been saying it all her life.  Her exclamation was loud but she didn’t care.  She didn’t care if someone was there to hear her profanity because nothing mattered to her exceptthe book lying on her desk.  Slowly she picked it up and instantly felt compelled to turn it’s pages to chapter three.  She did.  Glaring at her from page 117 were the words… “Don’t look behind you…” Annie’s heart quickened in her chest.  She desperately wanted to turn around, just to prove that they were only words on a page, but she dare not. Her heat began to beat even faster and once again the cackle of laughter filled the library. Annie heard it but was unaware it belonged to her.  Her mind raced with fear and wonder as to what the book would say next.  Slowly she turned the pages of the book until she came to chapter four.

Annie closed her eyes, too afraid to look.  She squeezed her lids so tight it was painful. She wouldn’t look…she couldn’t look…NO, she told herself…but alas she was overcome with curiosity and so she opened her hurting eyes to see a blur scribbled across the page.   Her heart beat wildly as she waited for her eyes to focus.  Finally her vision cleared and she read the sentence, “Annie…can you feel my breath upon your neck?”  The words brought on chills that crawled all over her body.  Tiny beads of sweat covered her already clammy skin.  She could feel a rhythmic draft of air upon her neck.  It touched her and then it was gone…touched her and then it was gone… Each time it came back to her it was warmer.

Something inside, perhaps sanity, told Annie to burn the book.  It pleaded for her to “…take it outside now, strike a match and burn the fucking thing before it was too late!”   But the breath kept touching her. It slid down her neck to caress her breasts.  Her nipples hardened and her heart beat even faster.  Again the voice inside pleaded with her to burn the book, but Annie turned a deaf ear.  The breath was too warm, too erotic.

There were two more chapters left in the book and Annie knew she was destined to turn to each one.  Desiring more of the feelings that hugged her body, she turned to chapter five with fervency, wondering where the breath would take her next.  Under the heading of chapter five she read,  “Annie…feel my hands touching you…”  Annie gasped as the breath upon her body became hands wooing her to ecstasy.  Deep inside her she heard the remnants of a distant voice saying something…something she barely recognized as…matches…or…fire?  Annie didn’t care. She only cared about the hands stroking and begging her to turn to the last chapter.  When the thought of…yes I will…formed in her head, the book fell open to the last chapter of it’s own accord.

4b45734f3ea305c41966b4754d10be82Annie’s eyes were closed but this time she didn’t need to read the words on the page.  The words of the book became sound and spoke to her in a man’s voice.

“I’m here for you.”

His voice was smooth as honey.  His hands, still warm upon her body, slowly turned turned her around.

“Open your eyes.”

And so, Annie obeyed.  She opened her eyes to stare into a hooded black hole.  The hole, shrouded by the hood, was so dark that she thought it to be empty, but then it smiled.   The white of its teeth broke the darkness and slowly morphed into a “Cheshire” grin of jagged fangs.  Her desire instantly turned to terror.  The thing gnashed its teeth, taunting her.  Annie screamed into the shrouded hole and her heart burst red with blood.  Her last thought was, …the book…I should’ve burned the book.

One month later:

“Yeah, they said it was’a heart attack”  Roger scratched his head and added, “…hmmm…but I ain’t so sure.”

Katherine, the new librarian,  looked at the janitor,  “What do you mean, you’re not so sure?”

“Well, I ain’t never seen a face of death quite like that one…sum’ing just wasn’t right.  It was like she’d seen…” he paused a second to shake his head slowly, then spoke in a hushed tone,”…it was…it was like she had seen sum’ing that scared the life right out’a her.”

Katherine smiled kindly at the janitors whispered words, and tried her best to quell his fears, “Don’t you worry, Mr Roger, I’m sure there’s nothing at all to be afraid of in here.” She let her eyes scan the mundane emptiness of the library and added, “nothing at all, except maybe, boredom.”

“Yes, ma’am, you right about that…this place can get kind’a lonesome.”

Katherine watched as Roger shuffled out the front door leaving her alone in the library.  She wasn’t afraid of being alone.  On the contrary, the introvert inside her welcomed the solitude…just more time for reading, she thought.

Katherine stretched within her comfortable chair and stifled a yawn.  Wondering what the thermostat was set on she got up to check but stubbed her toe on something beneath the counter.  She looked down to see what it was but nothing was there.  Figuring her toe had shoved whatever it was further under the counter she got on her hands and knees to  see.  Sure enough lying in the dusty darkness was a book.  Katherine seized the book and rather clumsily stood to get a better look.  Turning the tattered book in her hands she read its title, “I’m Here for You.”

“My goodness!  How long have you been hiding under there?”

Forgetting about the thermostat, Katherine sat back down into the plush chair and blew the dust from the book’s cover.  As she stared at the book she felt something akin to loneliness.  Quietly she whispered, “What the hell,” and opened the book to chapter one.

 

Zombie Island

savage glowThe thing hid in the shadows, and watched as fresh meat disembarked the yacht.  It had been weeks since the last shipment, so the creature could barely contain the blood lust raging within its decomposing body.

The thing growled and pulled against the chains holding him in place.  Its brain could no longer reason.  It only understood his ravenous need for human flesh.  The drive was constant, even after it had feasted, it still hungered. It was never fully satisfied.

It lunged its body again and reached a skeletal hand toward leaves, wafting in the warm tropical breeze.  Only a lone finger-bone  escaped the cover of foliage.

If the “fresh meat” had looked in the direction, at that precise moment, they would have seen the bony finger with its sagging, putrid skin. Perhaps it would have been their salvation, or perhaps not… as the trees were quite some distance from the yacht.

Four teenagers laughed as they balanced the plank resting upon a weathered pier.  It wasn’t as stable as Kimmie would have liked, so she held tightly to Ted’s hand.  Ted, sensing her fright, gallantly turned his body to welcome his girlfriend safely into his arms. Kimmie, much smaller than Ted’s athletic frame, felt engulfed within his embrace and she liked the feeling.

Carol, quite the opposite of Kimmie, jumped from the rickety plank and practically landed on Kimmie and Ted.  All three fell together to land in a heap upon the graying boards.  The wood was old and so the pier quaked beneath their sudden movement.

A raucous laughter emanated from the heap, while Mark stood alone on the plank, holding all four backpacks.   Mark, feeling excluded, couldn’t help but wish, Carol, to be more like Kimmie.  What he would give to have her fall into his arms…

Like that would ever happen… thought Mark angrily.

Carol, boisterously called to him, “Hey pretty boy…get down here, already!”

 

Mark, shrugged off his anger, slowly smiled, and headed toward the laughing heap.

Offering, his hand to Carol, he winked and said, “Yes, I “am” a pretty boy…and don’t you forget it!”

Carol, ignored his hand, jumped up on her own accord and replied,”Hey, I’m not arguing the point. Practically every gooey-eyed cheerleader wants you, and from what I’ve heard through the grape vine, even a couple of the football jocks do as well.”

Ted helped Kimmie to her feet and added to the conversation,  “As quarterback of the football team, I can vouch for that!” And then laughed hysterically

Kimmie nudged Ted in the ribs and whispered, “Hey, that’s not nice!”

“Aw come on, sweetheart…we’re just messing with his head.  Ain’t that right Carol?”

Carol, nonchalantly studied the apple she had just pulled from her pack, took a bite and said with her mouth full, “Nope…meant every word.”

Ted laughed so hard he snorted.  Once again Kimmie nudged him but she couldn’t keep herself from smiling.  A red-faced Mark, saw her smile and turned a deeper shade of red. Unable to the think of anything clever, Mark said, “Very funny…HA..HA…”  He turned and walked toward the island.

The four teenagers unloaded their packs and when they had finished, beach towels, sunscreen, chips and beer littered the white sandy beach.   They settled upon their perspective towels and began to chatter among themselves.

***

The captain of the Sally Anne watched the teenagers find their places in the sand.  With a shaky hand he reached for the shift-throttle and began backing his boat.

The deal had always been to wait at least an hour before leaving.  Nervously, he glanced at his watch.  It had only been thirty-five minutes but the captain decided he would wait no longer.

“What the hell, can he do…he’s already paid me for the year…” he muttered under bearded lips.  The sooner he could leave the island the better he would feel, and this had always been the case since day one.  He thought back to that day and remembered the creepy little doctor who had handed him the money.  As he tucked the cash into his jean’s pocket, he heard a faint noise that sounded like guttural grunts and growls.   Startled, the captain looked at the doctor who was grinning back.

“The children are hungry, ” he had said.

After that, the captain had gotten the hell outta there.

Seeing the disappearing island in his rear view mirror, the captain ran a clammy hand through  wind tossed hair and mumbled nervously  “Damn crazy son-of-a-bitch…”

***

Dr Stevens pushed wire-rim glasses up a sweaty nose.  Peering through the leaves he counted a total of four.  Judging from their proximity, he concluded the exact location the four would try to enter the thicket.  He’d been doing this for a long time, so he was rarely wrong with his hypothesis.  The undergrowth at this particular part of the island was thick with Deer Grass and Banat Trees, making it hard to penetrate.  And so he had found breaking a limb or two here and patting down the grass there, lured the prey into his direction, quite well.

Wanting a clearer look, Dr Stevens slid the wire rimmed glasses atop his head, removed a pair of binoculars from a vest pocket and positioned them snugly against soul-less eyes. He saw a rather athletic looking male carrying a screaming female towards the water’s edge.  The bikini clad female had her arms around the males neck with her face pressed into his shoulders, causing her blonde hair to cascade down his back.  The female kept screaming but the big guy laughed and kept jogging until they both splashed into surf, and disappeared under the wave making its way to the beach.

Dr. Stevens moved his binoculars slightly to the right in order to see the other two. The scene he surveyed was much somber.  There was a male, not as large as the other, but a nice build, sitting on his ass, knees bent, toes in the sand.  Sucking on a beer, the guy looked as if he were sulking.  The other female was stretched out, her belly against a beach towel and her nose tucked into the open pages of a book.  She was also wearing a bikini but her dark hair was cut boyishly short, almost GI Jane style.  Dr Stevens, almost chuckled at the comparison. He thought,”yes…yes…she will be the one to watch.”  He focused the binoculars for a clearer view and saw that “GI Jane” had a nose ring and a dragon-fly tattoo displayed upon her back.  At the sight, an unexpected laugh escaped his gaping mouth.  “It was perfect…just perfect,” he thought, “…you may be tough, GI-Jane, but not tough enough to handle what the children have in store for you.”

***

Carol was sick of Mark’s googly eyes upon her.  Thank god, she brought the book.  At that moment she realized the book was upside down and quickly righted it, hoping it went unnoticed.  “Pf-ff… so what if he did…” she thought; “maybe he’d finally take the hint.”

However, Carol had long given up on that.  He was clueless.  Hell, she wouldn’t have come if she’d known he was coming.  At first, Carol had been excited about an afternoon trip to a “deserted” island.  It would nice to get away with her BFF, but BFF informed her at the last-minute that the “guys” would be coming as well.  Unfortunately, by that time, it was too late to back out, without hurting someone’s feelings.

 Carol, sneakily peered over her book to see  Mark finish off a second beer and then toss the bottle toward the incoming tide.  Rolling her eyes, she thought, “What a dick…I’m so over his shit!”

Ted’s voice interrupted her thoughts.

“…ah…com’n baby.  Don’t be mad.  You’re just so hot, I thought you could use a little cooling-off!”

“Well, you…mister…are on my naughty list.”

Kimmie poked out her bottom lip and pretended to pout.  She wasn’t mad…truth be told she was getting ready to jump into the water anyway.  She just enjoyed teasing Ted…he was so easy.  She shook her head gently to get the wet hair from her eyes and then slid pink polished finger nails, through her hair, to smooth it back and out of her face.  Ted stood in front of her with puppy dog eyes and open arms.  Kimmie accepted the invite. She pressed her body against his, stood on the tips of her toes and pulled his face to hers for a “make-up” kiss.  However the “make-up” session was soon interrupted by Mark.

“Hey, man, where’s the boat?  Where’s the damn boat?”

Reluctantly, Ted pulled his lips from Kimmie’s and looked in the direction of the pier. Sure enough, the rickety dock stood alone.  The boat was gone.  Looking at where the boat had been, Ted felt a small tinge of panic.  Trying to assure himself he said the next thought that came to mind.

“Um…I don’t know…maybe he had to get gas…or something…?”

“Gas!  Where’s he gonna get gas!  It took us three hours to get here and I didn’t see any freaking gas-stations on the way… did you?

Carol laid down her book, put up a hand to shield her eyes, and looked at the empty pier.

Kimmie, looked over her shoulder and quietly mouthed the same question, “Where’s the boat?”

All four teenagers stared at the empty dock and vast ocean.  The only sound, to be heard, was the incoming and outgoing waves that bathed the island’s white sand.  Each one, too confused to speak, tried to rationalize the cause for the missing boat.

They stood like that for a couple of minutes until Kimmie’s quivering voice broke the silence.

“Ummm…wha…what are we going to d….do…?”

Ted, turned on his heel, ran to where the backpacks lay, and came back, cell phone in hand, hoping for a signal.  Mark tried the same thing, and when he could find none, he cursed and tossed the useless phone on the nearest beach towel.

Carol slipped closer to Kimmie and took her hand in hers, not knowing if she did it to comfort Kimmie or to comfort herself.

***

To be continued…

art by lise