They sat on a bench on the bike path overlooking the river. The late afternoon sun lazily making its descent to the horizon. The leaves rustling in the late fall breeze.
In days past they would have sat holding hands, or at least making some sort of physical contact. Lately, they didn’t mind the space. As a matter of fact, they felt more comfortable with a bit of separation.
They looked at each other at the same time and knew that they were both thinking the same depressing thought. They sighed.
She broke the silence first, as usual.
“How did we get here?”
“Seriously? We parked the car at the park, then followed the path to the bench” he said.
Another one of his ill-timed jokes that she used to find adorable, but now she found irritating.
“Sorry, I just don’t know how you want me to answer that.”
“I want you to be honest. I want you to tell me how you feel. Why do I always have to drag things out of you?” Continue reading
She couldn’t tell if she was nauseous from the amount of blood that she was being forced to swallow or the massive blow to the back of the head that knocked her unconscious. The rag tied around her head is stretching the corner of her lips and all she can taste was the rusty, metallic warmth of her own blood.
She was working to piece together what had happened. How did she get here?
The garage door was open when she pulled up to her house but there was no sign of her husband’s car. The early fall dusk allowed her to see that the bedroom light was on through the second floor window of their rustic farmhouse that she had so carefully designed.
She could remember the day 8 years ago that they bought the house. Everything seemed so perfect. They had tied the knot two years earlier and they were still very much in their honeymoon phase. The world, it seemed, was their oyster. When did that change?
She assumed that she had just forgotten to shut the light off this morning when she left for work. I am usually so careful about those things, she thought. As she stepped out of her harbour grey Mercedes C250 a gust of chilled autumn wind blew soggy leaves across the drive.
Ronald should’ve been home by now.
His behavior had been so erratic recently, she couldn’t figure out what was going on with her once exuberant husband. He had seemed to be in the midst of a year-long funk. She missed him. She missed the man that she built this home with.
She opened the door to hear music blaring over the Bose sound system. She yelled for her husband but go no response. As she set her purse on the table in the entry way there was a jarring blow to the back of her head. Her eyes flashed white, then she saw the floor quickly approaching before everything went black.
Now, she sits bound and gagged in her dining room in compete silence with a lone candle flickering on the table in front of her.
What? Why? Who?
She heard footsteps approach from behind her on their squeaky, rustic hardwood floor.
She could feel her pulse start to race and the adrenaline flooding through her legs. The blood in her nose made it especially hard to breathe. Panic set in when her assailant grasped a fist full of her hair and pulled her head back, then ran the cold steel tip of his knife down her cheek.
She attempted a scream, but it came out sounding like a gurgled yell under water. Blood, snot, and tears dripped off her chin staining her shirt. She could feel his breath against her ear as though he was about to tell her a secret but he didn’t speak. He was just breathing at a quick, sharp maniacal pace. His hand shook as he ran the blade under her chin, across her throat.
Who would do this to me? Where is Ronald? Her head was pounding and her thoughts were swimming trying to make sense of the situation that she had now found herself in.
He finally let go of her hair and circled around the table in front of her in a blue one piece jump suit and a black ski mask. Both looked brand new.
He sat in the chair across from her, his eyes looked black as they pierced through the mask. She couldn’t hold his stare, she could see the evil that burst forth from them like spot lights.
They sat in silence for nearly fifteen minutes. Then the room was illuminated by headlights coming up the drive.
He stood and swiftly left the room.
She started to struggle, her wrists were already raw from whatever bound her hands together. She could feel blood dripping from her little fingers. She was making no headway, then the music started again. Patsy Cline started singing “Crazy…” She continued to struggle. One of her favorite songs and within the first 3 seconds it had become the most menacing song she had ever heard.
She heard the familiar creak of their front door opening, she craned her neck to see if it was Ronald coming through the front door but as she stretched, the legs of the chair started to wobble and she tipped backward.
Her head bounced off of the floor and again she was dazed. Shaking off the cobwebs she heard the thump of what could only be a body falling to the floor. She didn’t hear a struggle. She knew the worst had happened.
Her fears were confirmed when she saw him dragging Ronald across the floor with a black hood on his head. He had on his favorite suit. She felt bad that the first thing that she noticed was that the suit was fitting a bit tight.
It had been a taught year for Ronald, he lost his job and had a lot of trouble finding work. His lack of activity led to a bit of extra weight. It wasn’t a bad thing and actually she thought that he looked cute with a little extra weight which Ronald seemed to think was patronising when she said it. She truly missed her husband.
He propped Ronald up in the chair across from her. Next, he walked over and tipped her up right in her chair lifting her by her hair.
Now she looked at her husband with a black bag over his head that hung limply forward. Her fear rose to a new level seeing Ronald in danger. All the while Patsy Cline continued to sing on repeat.
He circled back to Ronald, grabbed his limp right arm and placed his hand carefully flat on the table. Then, she realized that the knife had now been replaced with a hammer. He raised it above his head and slammed it into the center of Ronald’s hand. His once limp head snapped backward in pain immediately as he let out a muffled scream.
It was as if she could feel his pain and she screamed out back to at least let Ronald know that she was there with him. Breathing became more difficult through her sobbing. She tried to scream, “why?” but the rag in her mouth made it impossible to speak.
He was back behind her, breathing in her ear now more shallow and fast paced. She could tell that he was enjoying this torture party.
The familiar chill of the blade back against her cheek again terrified her of what was next to come. He moved back behind Ronald. He grabbed Ronald by the chin tilted his head backward, exposing his throat and in one swift motion slit his neck severing his carotid artery sending blood spurting across the table covering her face.She writhed in horror.
He killed him, she thought, he killed my Ronald.
Her head slumped forward as she sobbed. She couldn’t bare to look up at her dead husband. In that instant she gave up. She wanted it to end, she was ready to die.
He walked back behind her, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her head back. She prepared for what was about to happen. She waited. But nothing happened, he held her head upward. She couldn’t help but open her eyes.
He had removed the hood from Ronald’s head and when she saw the face looking back at her shock overtook her body.
The lifeless face staring back at her was not her Ronald. It was Chris, the party planner she had met with earlier this afternoon organizing her surprise anniversary party for Ronald.
Where is Ro….
But, before she could even begin she heard the most terrifying noise she could imagine. The gurgling sound of her own throat being cut open as blood spilled down her chest. Then, everything went black.
It was over. Overwhelmed with a sense of satisfaction Ronald pulled the ski mask off of his face and admired his dining room covered in blood so dark that it was closer to black than red.
Serves both of them right, he thought, sneaking around behind my back. I hope they are happy together in hell.
Ronald had suspected that she was cheating on him for months and his suspicions were confirmed this afternoon when he followed her to this asshole’s house.
Ronald knew then and there that this would be their fate, but he didn’t know what effect it would have on him.
He felt alive, he felt better than he had in months. He cleaned his blade off on the back of his dead wife’s shirt
Initially, he had planned to join those two in hell, but as he walked toward the door he decided that he would pay their neighbors a visit.