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Third Host: The Murder

May 5, 2008

The phone rang, breaking Henry’s attention away from the girl. He stared at it, almost as if it was actually taking his brain an extra minute to comprehend what he was looking at. Alexia watched him, face streaked with tears but eyes now cold and dry. After three rings, Henry finally stepped toward the phone. With his attention momentarily diverted, Alexia started inching backwards, trying to stay focused on the man and not the sticky red substance soaking into her jeans. A shudder traced through her, then she stiffened and kept scooting herself backwards.

Henry slowly put away his still bloody knife, but kept the gun in his right hand. He cradled the phone to his ear and waited. The man on the other end hesitated and papers shuffled in the background before he spoke, “Henry? Is that you on the phone? My name is Bryce O’Connel and I’m here to talk to you.”

The corners of Henry’s lips twitched upward slightly. “Hello Bryce. So how many of you are out their, waiting for me?”

Alexia didn’t really hear the man talk. She was focused on what she could feel behind her, fingers working through the blood and water and spilled food. A large shard from a ceramic bowl that had held the tables center piece sliced open her finger and she bit her lip to silence any sound. She slowly worked it up into her hand and started sawing at the ropes holding her wrists, eyes still locked on Henry’s back. His attention had moved to a window and he tried to peer through the blinds without actually stepping over to adjust them. Alexia tightened her grip, ignoring the cuts to her palm and managed to cut through the rope. She let it fall behind her, then carefully scooted back to where she had started.

Henry shook his head, “Oh no, can’t let them go. Poor little girl would be all alone in the world if I sent her out alone. A family should stick together.” He edged closer to the window.

Something in Alexia slipped away with those calm words. She slid to her feat almost silently and stepped toward the man who had killed her parents while she had watched, raising up the shard of ceramic in both hands. She knew if she got him in the right place on the neck there would be no saving him.

Henry was pushing down a small section of blinds with his gone to carefully glance outside when he heard the beginnings of a terrible scream starting to well up from the girl behind him. Instinctively he sidestepped and turned to face the possible danger, free hand moving to his knife. The next few moments were a blur. The glass window splintered and the side of Henry’s head exploded just as Alexia’s scream hit its peak. Before his body could finish hitting the ground, two men were smashing out the window and leaning in to check the room while another set smashed open the door.

Alexia stopped, just in front of the now limp body of Henry and fell to her knees, still holding her long curved shard of ceramic. One of the men retched slightly in the background at the scene and it didn’t take them long to pull her to her feat and out of the house while they secured the scene. The praises for the sniper who had taken him down were going on nearby, but she didn’t seem to hear. She was lead to the paramedics who started checking her over. The word shock was passed back and forth and the finally managed to pry her hands open enough to let the bit of bowl fall to the ground. It clattered off the pavement and into the gutter, surprisingly without any further breakage.

The ambulance left fairly quickly, but it took some time for the rest of the vehicles to leave the scene. Full night had fallen when a figure in a black suit with a black shirt and red tie came walking out of the gloom and up to the house. He tsked softly at the police tape around the house and made his way to the spot where Alexia’s make-shift knife had fallen. The man picked it up and examined it, a slow wide smile spreading across his features and slowly turning into a deep and disturbing laughter. He walked back into the gloom he had entered from, but that laughter seemed to hang in the air far too long after he left.

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One comment

  1. […] Third Host: To Kill the Dead April 14, 2010 (The first section of this is a redux of an existent story-bit back in the archives of the blog, but there is also a nice section of all new […]



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