Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Flat Tire (A Gravedigger Story)

Genre: Horror

Note to Readers: This short story is a sequel of sorts to my previous story, “Tight Spaces” which you can access and read by using the archives found on the right-hand side of the page.

Daniel Skye

            Georgia Nelson left the club that night with a wad of cash stuffed in her back pocket that amassed to about three hundred dollars. Not bad for one nights work, though there were nights where she had left the club with an easy five or six hundred bucks.
Outside of the club, she was Georgia Nelson; a dedicated student on her way to Harvard Law in a year. Inside the club, she was Georgia Peach; a stripper for the perverted masses of Westlake. Though, she preferred the term exotic dancer. She found the word stripper to be demoralizing.
Living on her own, Georgia put her pride aside and did what she had to pay her college tuition. Even if that meant grinding against drunken slobs for lap dances and letting them stuff singles down the cups of her bra.
She walked to her blue Volkswagen and got in and it took her a second to notice the difference. One of her front tires was flat. She got out to inspect the damage and realized the tire was deflated, as if someone had deliberately let the air out.
The first suspect that popped into her mind was her ex-flame, Nick Jordan. She didn’t put it past him to stoop so low, not after she caught him in the shower with her former best friend. She once caught Nick trying to pour sugar in her gas tank so she supposed she got off easy this time. Replacing air in a tire is a lot simpler than buying a whole new car.
She turned to walk back into the club when a patrol car that was cruising through the lot came to a halt. “Car trouble?” the officer shouted as he rolled his window down.
“Flat tire,” she yelled back. “I think it was my ex.”
“You want a lift down to the station to file a report?”
“No thanks,” she said as she walked further to the patrol car. “Asshole will get what he deserves eventually. You can give me a lift home if you don’t mind. I’ll put air in the tire tomorrow.”
“If that’s what you want,” the officer shrugged.
When she opened the front door, the officer gestured with his hands for her to step back. “Sorry, but I can’t let a civilian ride up front. It’s policy. You’ll have to ride in the back if it’s not too much trouble.”
Georgia shrugged her shoulders as she closed the front passenger door and hopped in the back. The officer was tall, lean, and had wavy brown hair. It was dark inside the patrol car and all Georgia could make out now was the back of his head, but he appeared handsome when she first laid eyes on him. She felt warm and safe in his presence and she didn’t even know anything about him besides his last name.
Downey. That’s what his brass name tag said.
“If you don’t mind me asking, what’s your full name, Officer Downey?”
He chuckled and said, “Call me Patrick.”
“Patrick Downey. An Irish boy?”
“Half Irish,” Downey answered as though he had rehearsed these questions time and time again. His benevolent tone made her feel welcome and almost made her forget about her money woes and troubles with Nick.
“I have to admit, I’ve got a thing for the Irish. The accents drive me wild.”
“Well, I don’t have much of an accent.”
“I bet you still drive the girls wild,” Georgia insisted. “The ladies love a man in uniform.”
Patrick blushed. “I do ok. Not as good as you though, huh?”
“What’s what supposed to mean?”
“It means I know your type. Body to die for, ex-boyfriend causing you trouble, working at the local strip club. You probably have a different guy at your place every night. That why he broke up with you? You cheat on him?”
“No,” Georgia balked. “It was the exact opposite. That pig cheated on me.”
“Uh huh,” Patrick nodded, his tone sharper, more accusing. He was no longer the kind gentleman who offered to escort Georgia home. “You bitches are all the same. It’s never your fault. It’s always us pigs who commit the atrocities and the rest of you are innocent, right? You were even ready to jump the gun and assume it was your old boyfriend who let the air out of your tire. You never considered the possibility that it was someone else who didn’t want you driving out of that parking lot this evening.”
“My house is two blocks from here,” Georgia said, trembling in the backseat. “You can just drop me off and go back to whatever it was you were doing.”
“I’m afraid we both know that’s not going to happen, Georgia Peach. Oh yes, that’s right. I know all about you. I had to watch you closely in order to estimate your height and weight. You don’t know what a pain it is to build these things to a person’s exact specifications.”
In addition to being a respected authority figure, Pat was a skilled carpenter. It started as a hobby in his teens and developed over the years. It was a good way to score extra work on the side. And it also came in handy when building makeshift coffins to match a person’s exact size and measurements.
Patrick Downey sped past Georgia’s block and continued down Main Street. Of course Pat Downey was not his real name. His real name was Charles Gein AKA "The Gravedigger", the notorious serial killer his station had been hunting for months. Whoever the real Patrick Downey was, he clearly had no use for the name anymore.
It had been three weeks since the discovery of Pat’s last two victims, Amelia Walsh and Todd Brennan. And if his intentions weren’t clear enough, they became apparent when Georgia saw the sign that read FORT HILL CEMETERY – TURN LEFT.
Pat veered to the left and drove down a narrow dirt trail that led them to the ominous iron gates of Fort Hill Cemetery.
“Depending on how much you scream, it should take four hours for you to run out of air.”

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