Thursday, September 26, 2019
By Randy Romero
Billy Kincaid was huffing and puffing the entire hike. He stopped periodically to rest against a tree while he hacked up a lung. Smokers cough. That’s what his doctor called it. The same doctor who’d been urging him to quit for months. But Billy was stubborn and refused to give up the habit.
Kristen Kincaid was ahead of him every step of their hike. Billy’s body wasn’t cut out for this. Worse than the struggle to breathe was the throbbing, aching sensation in both of his knees. He was practically falling apart.
“Come on smoky,” Kristen said. “Try and keep up.”
“I wish you wouldn’t call me that,” he groaned.
They came to an incline in the trail which led to the top of a tall hill.
“Let’s take a break,” he said, breathing laboriously.
He found a log at the bottom of a hill and sat to catch his breath. Kristen rested her backpack against the log, opened it up, and dug out her Nikon digital camera.
“I’m going to run up the hill and get a few photos.”
“Have fun with that,” he said and waved her away.
He stretched his sore legs, accidentally kicking Kristen’s backpack. The bag tipped over, its contents spilling out.
Among the items in her backpack, Billy spotted a strange looking doll. He reached over and picked it up. It eerily resembled him. The likeness was uncanny. Two pins had been jammed into its knees. And two identical pins had been hammered into the torso, right about where his lungs would be.
He examined it and accidentally put too much pressure on the back with his thumbs, causing him to wince as a bolt of pain shot down his spine. He dropped it into the dirt, and another shock wave of pain surged through his body.
The pain was so intense, he failed to notice Kristen’s return. She picked up the doll and dusted it off. “Neat, huh? This was worth every penny.” She drove two fingers into the abdomen, splintering his ribs. He fell to the ground, thrashing in pain.
“I know you’ve been sleeping with his secretary. Did you think I wouldn’t find out? A wife always knows. As soon as I found out, I started thinking of all these different revenge fantasies. I thought about getting a gun and shooting you in your sleep. I thought about smothering you with a pillow or poisoning you. But in the end I settled for old fashioned voodoo.”
He tried to pick himself up and lunge at her, but she bent one of the legs and he felt his own leg snap. He crashed to the dirt, his screams echoing through the vast trails. She took the other leg and snapped it, and Billy felt his bones shatter.
She ended his suffering by ramming a final pin into the doll, right about where Billy’s heart would be. He died instantly. Kristen tucked the doll in her backpack and started walking the same way they had come. She would dispose of the doll eventually, right after she reported her husband as missing…
By Randy Romero
…Reports of a grisly murder, as a woman’s body was discovered just outside of Ravensville, Pennsylvania earlier this morning. We have learned that the victim is a young female between the ages of 25 and 30, though the police are refusing to release her name until they notify her next of kin. This comes just after the bodies of several other young women were discovered in an abandoned steel mill–
Jane clicked the radio off in a hurry. She couldn’t stand to listen to another word. It was nauseating. The papers and the news channels were calling the killer the Ravensville Slasher. The killer sliced and diced his victims, carved their bodies up like Thanksgiving turkeys.
Ravensville used to be a save place. Used to be.
The phone rang in the kitchen. Jane was one of the few people who still had a landline. She put her coffee mug down on the kitchen counter and walked over to the phone, picked it up from its cradle and twirled the cord around one finger.
“Hello?” Jane answered.
A familiar voice was on the other end of the phone, panicked and breathless.
“Listen very carefully, Jane. We don’t have much time. There’s a man after you. He’s already killed four people. And he’ll kill you too if you don’t stop him.”
“Who are you? What is going on? How do you know my name?”
“Because, Jane…I am you. The future version of you. But if you don’t stop this lunatic, both versions of us will cease to exist. Your present and future self will be erased.”
There was a sudden knock at the door that made Jane’s blood run cold.
“That’s him, isn’t it?” she whispered.
“Yes,” Jane’s twin said. “Hang up and call the police. Then go to the kitchen drawer and get yourself a knife. The one with the white handle.”
The knocking at Jane’s door turned to pounding.
She hung up and frantically phoned the police. Then Jane did as she was advised and retrieved a large kitchen knife from the top drawer, the one with the white handle.
The pounding continued as the crazed Ravensville Slasher rammed the door repeatedly with his shoulder. The lock could no longer endure the stress and the door splintered around the knob and swung open.
He was a tall, husky man, dressed all in black. His face was shrouded by a black ski mask with no mouth hole, only two holes for his piercing gray eyes. He clutched a sickle in his left hand. Jane was terrified, but she managed to stand her ground. She gripped the white handle of the knife tightly and dared him to make a move.
“Come and get me you son of a bitch.”
He charged across the living room, swinging wildly with the curved blade of the sickle. She moved out of the way just in time and ran circles around the couch, the killer giving chase. She ran around the whole living room, attempting to tire him out, but the man showed no signs of relenting. So she bolted for the front door, but he sprang towards her, the sickle slicing down her back, cutting deep.
She spun around as he raised the sickle again. She grabbed his hand as he tried to drive the sickle down, the blade mere inches from her face. She struggled to force the curved blade away, and managed to get one knee up, striking him between the legs. The sickle dropped from his hand as he crumbled to his knees.
She summoned all her strength to ram the kitchen knife into his chest, retracted it, then stabbed him again. And again. And again. She didn’t stop until his body was riddled with stab wounds and the beige living room carpet was drenched in blood.
She dropped the knife with a heavy sigh of relief. Jane heard the sirens in the distance. The police were close. The phone rang in the kitchen and she ran to answer it.
“Is it over?” a familiar voice asked.
“It’s over,” Jane sighed. She winced in pain from the deep gash running down her back. She let the phone slip from her and dangle from its cord.
The police were at her front door, staring inside at the body of the Ravensville Slasher. His reign of terror over. Ravensville was safe once again.
The police radioed for an ambulance and tended to a wounded Jane. The police had questions, but those would have to wait. And Jane had questions of her own, like the phone call that had warned her of the attack. Was she really speaking to her future self? How was it even possible? But those questions would have to wait, too…
By Randy Romero
Thirteen years of marriage was more than enough for Rachel Ellis. It wasn’t just Michael’s arrogance or his competitive nature. Everything about him sickened her; from the way he chewed his food, to the tacky ties he wore with his suits. Or how he expected Rachel to do all the cleaning, wash all the dishes, and fold all the laundry.
She might have been able to look past his imperfections and his vexing behavior, if it were not for his infidelity. That was the final strike. Rachel had hired a private detective, who discovered Michael had been having an affair with his co-worker, Cindy. And Patricia in human resources. And Linda, his boss’s secretary. And Annie, his supervisor. And Jackie from the mail room. Michael had been sleeping with half of the office he worked in. And this maddening discovery was all the motivation Rachel needed.
Two drops of poison was all it took.
Rachel had prepared a sumptuous feast that evening, comprised of braised short ribs, roasted red potatoes and baby carrots, sautéed mushrooms and broccoli rabe.
Michael devoured nearly the entire meal before he even touched his Merlot. Just as he was almost finished with his dinner, he reached for his glass.
Rachel watched in sheer ecstasy as her husband took a fatal sip of red wine.
He retched at the bitter taste, and his eyes turned red and teared up. His glass plunged to the floor and exploded into shards. His face turned red, then purple as he clawed at his own throat, struggling to breathe.
“I poisoned your glass when you weren’t looking,” she said, grinning like a Cheshire cat. “If it’s any consolation, it’s not just for the insurance money. This is for every woman you’ve ever fucked behind my back.”
She raised her glass in twisted celebration, drained it in one gulp, and soon she was on the floor with Michael, gasping for air as her face turned as purple as her husbands.
Sprawled out on the floor about five or six feet apart, they locked eyes.
“I guess it’s true what they say,” Michael said through ragged, laborious breaths. “Great minds think alike. You poisoned my glass, and I poisoned yours.”
“Why?” she cried.
“Insurance money. We were going broke. I needed the money and I knew you were sick of me and you’d try to leave me eventually.”
“I’ll see you in hell,” as she took her last breaths.
“Not if I get there first,” he said as his eyes fluttered, then closed forever.