Suggested Audio Candy:
 Echo & The Bunnymen “The Killing Moon”
 Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
Sandra could hear the killer throwing his weight against what she knew was her parents’ door. This meant the others were still alive although how long that would last was questionable. Meanwhile Lauren was still busy to trying to fit her head through a space clearly too small to push her cheekbones into, screaming in vain as nobody down below was taking the hint. If she had hair like Rapunzel then it would be a darned sight easier to get attention although any potential heroes would likely struggle past her split ends. “Do you think we should help them?” Sabrina quizzed. No response. “Lauren? Hey, get the fat out of your ears for a second and listen to me. Friends…dying…a few feet away.” Lauren had heard her clearly but decided to cock a deaf ear as she didn’t fancy hearing the option selection.
Finally somebody picked up the alarm in her tone. It was Curtis, Sabrina’s neighbor from no. 43. He had always been sweet on Sabrina but had admired only from a distance as he was not even in her social stratosphere. Curtis was fifteen, littered with erupting acne and resembled a giraffe when running. He made haste into the garden and towards her front door, beneath where she was making her plea. “Is… erm… everything alright?” he bumbled. “No it’s not fucking alright. We need help quick. We’re trapped here.” If she had elaborated and explained that there was a 6″3 juggernaut wielding a knife mere yards away from her co-ordinates then Curtis may not have been so chivalrous. What you don’t know can’t hurt you huh Curtis? Wrong! This scrawny young lad looked like he’d battle to open a bag of potato chips, let alone fight off a potential boogeyman. He was merely fodder, a frail lamb to the slaughter.
Curtis tried the door but it wouldn’t budge. He had no idea that the dead weight causing the obstruction was Isabelle’s decapitated corpse so decided to try the back door instead. “Where are you going? Hey pipsqueak! Fuck” Lauren desperately attempted to regain his attention but he had already departed for the side gate. Sabrina had her ear to the door, listening in on their assailant shoulder-barging the other entrance and beginning to splinter the frame. “Our knight in Dunlop Green Flash is coming” Lauren informed her. He had already made his way round the back and was making his way inside, ill-prepared for the bloodbath waiting at the foot of the stairwell. “Sabrina?” he called. “Curtis? Curtis get out of here and get help” Sabrina hollered but somebody else had already caught wind of his attendance and the ruckus outside stopped. “Sabrina I’m coming” he continued and made his way through the kitchen, stopping dead in his tracks as he noticed the grisly sight before him. “Holy cow” he muttered to himself but, before he could rotate 180 and tuck the tail between his legs, the killer was hurtling down the stairs towards him.
Sabrina’s parents had been meaning to fix the kitchen door knob for months and Curtis paid dividends for their slack DIY as the handle came off in his hand. This afforded his reaper the chance to advance from behind, cornering the boy in the cramped space. “Mister. I’m not going to tell anyone about this. I promise.” Damn right he wasn’t, the blade was lifted high above his head and plunged deep into his cranium, causing an instantaneous hemorrhage in his cleaved open brain and leaving him with only fleeting death throes to look forward to. Once again, the serrated blade was given a run-out, cleaving through fragments of the boy’s skull until it exited from the front. This sent a spray of sinew from the fissure and it was the end of a very short road for Curtis. Poor lad hardly knew what was coming. Wiping the knife on a nearby tea towel, the hunter returned his attention upstairs and headed off to finish what he had started.
“How are you feeling babe?” asked Betsy Jane, knowing full well that the answer was unlikely to be a positive one. “Like shit rolled up” spluttered Mandy, sounding remarkably serene considering her heavy blood loss. “Is this all me?” she asked, gesturing at the vast pool of blood drying into the carpet fibers around her proximity. “I’m afraid so. We need to get you to a hospital” Betsy Jane pointed out the obligatory, knowing that her friend would probably not make it through the night in her current state. “I feel so cold. Gonna take a whole heap of transfusions to get me ship-shape”she admitted. Her friend had done everything in her power to make her comfortable in her final minutes but heavy blood loss was beginning to take its toll now and Mandy could feel herself slipping out of consciousness, despite any attempts to keep her chipper. “On the plus side it doesn’t hurt anymore” Mandy joked, knowing her leg would be way beyond saving at this point “I think I’ve built up an immunity to pain so that’s a distinct plus.”
Betsy Jane was striving desperately to keep a brave face on, despite the fact that the image of her best friend being gutted like a fish before her eyes was still emblazoned across her mind. “Did you see what he did to Isabelle?” she sobbed, finding it hard to hold her emotion in any longer. “Thanks for the reminder” Mandy replied, forcing a weak smile which both girls knew was more of a grimace. The killer was on his way back up the stairs by now and their tête-à-tête was about to be cut short once more. “That door isn’t going to hold out much longer” Betsy Jane observed. “Then leave me and go get help. I’ll be alright, I’m kinda comfy here anyhow”. She had changed her tune considerably since earlier and all but given up on making it out alive. “I can’t leave you like this” Betsy Jane halfheartedly retorted. “Why don’t you try saying that again, this time with some conviction. Go! Get your shapely ass out of here” Mandy ordered.
The door frame was buckled badly and couldn’t take any more damage. Outside, the barging had reconvened and their sanctuary was about to be breached. “Do me one favor before you do” Mandy requested. “Anything” Betsy Jane replied. “Slide me over the other side against the dresser, with a bit of luck he’ll think I’m dead and leave me be”. Betsy Jane wasted no time in giving the girl her final wish, dragging her across to the dresser and leaving her propped up against the unit. “I’ll get help alright?” she promised, planting a soft kiss on Mandy’s forehead and leaving her to her own devices as she returned to the drop down ladder. “I’ll hold you to that” Mandy reminded her, knowing it was to be the last time they would speak. Within seconds, the top part of the frame vacated its hinges and the assailant began clambering over the shattered timber, traversing the bed which had served its purpose now. As he consolidated the other side, brushing off the debris, and focused his attention on his prey, Mandy had already lost her fight. She never was any good at playing dead.
Embittered by the fact that he hadn’t been afforded the opportunity to grant her closure with his blade, he turned to the drop down ladder which Betsy Jane had unwittingly not retracted. She was already in the musky attic, pushing past boxes of Mr Whittingham’s Mad Magazines and desperately attempting to access the tiny window light in the corner. As she glanced behind her, her antagonist could be seen traversing the ladder and she knew there was little time for grace. Using her many obstructions to lever herself up, she began to shuffle through the small space as best she could, but became snagged at the hips. Cursing her mother’s child-bearing frame she cried out for attention. By this point the neighborhood had fallen silent, next door’s party was packing up, and a number of ears were privy to her screams. “Oh my God. Arnold? Arnold come quickly” Harriet Jackson from no. 37 called, first to react to the distressed signal. He waddled out from the building, hardly scrambling to come to his wife’s aid as he had been sick to the gut of that whining bitch for ten years now.
“Thrill me” he retorted, looking up to see what all the commotion was about. “Look. That’s Marge and Lloyd’s house. There’s a young girl up there. I think she may be suicidal Arnold. We have to do something”. He shrugged “What do you want me to do? I’m not a fucking negotiator”. She ran to the house to call the services calling out “You figure it out”, to which Arnold Jackson scratched his genitals as was customary at least every second minute, and began reasoning with the girl. “Listen darling. You won’t die from the fall you know, at best you’ll break your back on the pavement and end up a cripple”. Betsy Jane was hysterical, failing to make any headway with the opening, and running out of time fast. “Help me” she pleaded “help me please”. Arnold sparked his final Cuban cigar and continued negotiations. “You come down from there and we’ll talk about this. Pretty young thing like you shouldn’t have the weight of the world on her shoulders”. He was rather chuffed with himself for acting so quick on his feet. Maybe a career as a therapist loomed, with him getting laid off from the post office last month.
“Arnold. They’re coming”. Harriet had come back outside to join her husband. “Got it under control” he replied, although that was something of a mistruth, given the fact that time had finally run out for Betsy Jane Sandford. She had made it unscathed through five years of schooling, evading the wolf whistles and drooling reprobates, with her hymen still intact. It was ironic then that it was currently shattering for a whole different reason. Even dislocation hadn’t helped her to wrench herself free from her ensnarement and the killer was now stood right behind the girl, holding both her ankles to stop her legs flailing. “He’s got me. Please” she cried. “What the hell did you say to her Arnold” Harriet snapped. He tutted and began to walk away to the can of lager he’d left on the porch “That’s right. Blame that shit on me. I can’t do anything right” He muttered the final part of his rejoinder “fucking manky troll” and tugged the ring pull. Meanwhile, the round peg in the square hole was about to find its fit.
The knife was plunged into her side and began carving away any excess cartilage on her hip bone. Upon completion, he moved it to her right side and repeated the process, until which point as Betsy Jane was a good three inches thinner. This proved to be bittersweet for the girl as, although he relinquished the grip on her ankles and left her to her own devices once more, she was severely injured and hardly had the upper body strength remaining to lever herself free. To add an extra level of challenge to proceedings, he callously slashed both metatarsals, and pushed the rest of her through the gore-dripping gap. She landed on the rooftop, instantly falling foul to its steep gradient, and rolling down the slates to the guttering. Below her, a number of the neighbors were now clucking like hens, waiting for the cavalry to arrive and save this poor girl any more torment. Response times here were about eight minutes and that was to prove too protracted a period for Betsy Jane.
Her attacker seemed unfazed by all the attention and, considering time was running out to remain ambiguous, actually appeared buoyed by their interest. What a show he was providing, it was fruitless not to be just a little smug over his exploits thus far but his work wasn’t finished yet. By his calculations, there were two more frightened bunnies still waiting to be soundly ventilated and he had plans for them next. He’d had his kicks with Betsy Jane, she was dead to him now, and what better way to cease their involvement than to deliver his final adieu before his mortified audience. He found it far less troublesome making it through the space and used his blade to carve himself a sufficient opening, before clambering through and making his way to his quarry. Placing his boot, still coated in Jezebel’s brain matter, on her side he gave her body a less than gentle nudge, sending her careering over the edge. She fell twenty feet to her designated landing spot but it turns out Arnold’s ill-judged advice that the drop wouldn’t kill her was slightly off-kilter. She landed on the fence, impaling her midriff as she did and pushing her entrails through the newly-formed exit wound on her lower spine, and slumped either side of the divide, for all to witness. Being a perfectionist, her assailant couldn’t resist a quick glance at his masterpiece. Once satisfied, he returned inside.
Lauren was sobbing uncontrollably after having watched her friend’s body plummet past her at breakneck speed. There was no feasible escape route for the remaining two girls and, to make matters worse, there was hardly enough space to swing a tampon, let alone put up a fight against such a determined foe. They should have made a run for it when he was otherwise engaged but had bottled it. Now their position was far more precarious and they could hear him advancing once again. Turning sixteen was supposed to be a major milestone for Sabrina, the beginning of a new chapter in her life, doors were supposed to open from hereon in. One such door was all that stood between her and inevitable folly right now and she desperately wanted that to remain firmly closed. She wasn’t about to be granted her wish.
Truly, Clearly, Really, Sincerely,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill
Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2014