Saturday, 31 October 2009
TRICK OR TREAT - by Hal Kempka
Happy Halloween from debutant, Hal...
Trick or Treat
The trick or treaters had all gone home for the night and the streets were finally deserted. Jennifer stood at the door watching the shadows dance off the streetlights, and then extinguished the pumpkins’ candles on the porch. She turned off all the lights and went to bed.
She slid under the covers next to Marco, her husband, and reached for him.
“Don’t bother me, bitch,” he said, yanking his shoulder away. “I’m trying to sleep.”
“Screw you,” she replied, and curled up in a fetal position facing away from him.
An hour later, she rolled over and shook him.
“What!” he grumbled.
“I think somebody’s outside.” Marco sat up and cocked his head for a moment. “I don’t hear anything. Go back to sleep.”
“No, listen, there’s someone at the door!” Jennifer’s voice raised an octave as she grabbed his arm.
Marco lay back down. “So, go down and see who it is, for Christ sake. I’m tired.”
“Me? I’m not going down there!” Jennifer fired back. “Oh, Big man! You won’t even protect your wife, and want her to take care of it if someone’s breaking in.”
She got up and carefully made her way down to the landing. She looked out the door and through the windows. All was quiet, so she went back to bed.
As Jennifer pulled the covers over her head, she said, “There was nothing there; it must have been the wind. What a sorry excuse for a husband you are.”
A little while later, loud scratching again came from the front door. This time, the handle was being shaken like someone was trying to get in.
“All right you jerk, it’s your turn to go down and check it out!” she said.
“Oh, dammit!” Marco complained,” climbing out of bed. “Who the hell’s rude enough to bother someone in the middle of the night?”
“It’ll probably be no one, just like when I went down, brave guy,” Jennifer said, sounding spiteful.
Marco trudged down the stairs to the front door. He stepped onto the porch and looked around. He saw no one, but a strange putrid odor hung in the air, sending a shiver down his back.
He heard a sound behind him and turned. A loud “thwack” echoed across the yard as someone with a large, disfigured face brought an axe down on Marco’s forehead, splitting his head in half like firewood.
Jennifer stood at the top of the stairs, and hollered, “Honey, is everything okay?”
The man stood in the shadows, and waved his hand where she could see it.
“Yes, it’s done,” he said, “you can come down now.”
“Oh, it’s you,” she said, sounding relieved. “Thank God it’s over. I’m finally free of that no good lout.”
Jennifer descended the stairs and walked to the door. The man stepped out of the shadows, and she jumped back, putting her hand to her throat.
“Oh My GOD!” she said, “Where did you dig up that god awful mask? I’m surprised you could see well enough to pull this off.”
Marco lay by the door with blood still spurting from his head into a crimson pool.
“Wow, you did a number on him, that’s for sure,” she said. “That insurance money is going to come in real handy.”
“By the way, what’s your name again?” Jennifer asked, turning toward the door.
But, the man swung his axe like a baseball bat, and it connected with her neck just below the jaw in a clean, homerun-like swing.
“Jason,” he said, watching Jennifer’s head hit the ground and spin several times.
He examined the cashiers checks each had sent to his online Craigslist, P.O. Box, and slid them into his pocket. Then, he chuckled, and strolled out the door into the night with his axe resting on his shoulder.
Harold ‘Hal’ Kempka is a former Marine, and Vietnam Veteran. His poetry has appeared in Leatherneck Magazine, and short stories published in Many Midnights, Black Petals, Dark and Dreary, Microhorror, Long Story Short, The Shine Journal, and the Fiction Flyer, among others. He is a member of the FlashXer flash fiction workshop, and lives in Southern California with his wife, Celeste, and son Derek.