Cruel Sacrifices

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11

“No, that’s all right. You don’t have to apologize for him. That was his problem,” Lee responded.

“I broke up with him soon after.”

“I don’t blame you. You did the right thing.”

They were sitting inside a place called The Rise, it was a trendy, newer restaurant along Hollingsgrove finest. Not far from Lee’s condo.

Both of them took note of that. They were finishing up garden salads and breadsticks with streak and dressing. They down juice with their meals.

They chatted conversations on nearly every subject from entertainment, social life, vacations, school, fashion, friendships, their futures and much more.

“I’m having a very nice time with you tonight,” Lee smiled.

“So am I,” Andrea agreed.

“So, what you wanna do later on?”

She hesitated for a moment. “I don’t know, Lee. We can take a stroll around town I guess.” She wiped her hands with a napkin and placed it on her plate.

Lee looked at his phone. They looked over at each other. Andrea wore a silky black pantsuit and fancy boots. Lee wore a dress shirt, slacks, and boots too. They smiled and looked away at other diners, the restaurant’s interior, etc.

“You watch much news?” Lee asked her.

“Yeah, at least once a day. I like to know what’s going on around the world. The weather, latest events that’s happening, you know, politics, stars. What about you?”

“I watch news. I want to hear the latest all across the aisle. What networks you usually watch?”

“I watch CNN and C-SPAN mostly.”

“I watch C-SPAN and Fox news.”

“Hmm, I also like Entertainment Tonight and TMZ, you watch those?”

“Uh-huh, the latest in celebrity dirt and gossip.”

“This is a great place to dine at. I remember when they first built it.”

“I first came here as a sophomore. I had a date here with an ex-girlfriend.”

“Oh, so fond memories,” Andrea teased.

“That date should have never taken place!”

“It wasn’t a date from hell, was it?”

He laughed. “Nah, not that bad.”

“What was up with you and your brother?”

“Nothing much. The guy is worrisome! He’s having girl trouble as usual.”

“Really, did you help him?”

“Uh no, not much I can do. I gave him advice before, but that’s just the thing. He doesn’t listen. He’s the one that’s always right. Are you ready to leave for that stroll?” Lee reminded her.

“Sure.”

Both Andrea and Lee paid the bill then they left out the restaurant.

They walked a few blocks throughout Hollingsgrove. They pass by boulevards and other people milling by. Many of the destinations they passed by were heavily lit like it was daytime.

Commuters slowed looking for parking spaces, stopping at red lights, letting pedestrians like themselves through. They neared Lee’s ride after what seemed like a long walk.

Lee hit the remote and unlocked the doors. They sailed out of there, heading for the streetlights.

“Andrea, you wanna come over to my place with me for a little while?” Lee suggested.

Andrea smiled. “Sure, why not. What you got fun to do at your place?”

Lee laughed. “A lot. We can have a lot of fun!” he replied naughtily.

Lee drove at a normal pace to his property. Within minutes, Lee cut the engine and they walked to the front door.

“We could have walk to The Rise.”

“Yeah, it’s not that far from this neighborhood.”

They stepped inside. Andrea took a deep breath, gazing around his living quarters. Her eyes met portraits across the walls, a flat-screen surrounded by the newest technology.

A twin sofa set and dark oak table finished off the dining room. With a few potted plants and a PC with a wraparound bookshelf near the back. It looked like a bachelor pad.

Andrea sat down on the couch. Lee took off his jacket.

“Want me to take your jacket?”

“Yeah, here you go,” she handed it to him.

He hung them both up. He sat beside her, turned and smiled at her. She returned his smile.

“Are you comfortable?” he asked.

“Yep, I feel fine. What about you?”

“Well, I will be even more comfortable if we can get something exciting taken care of.”

“You naughty boy, you!”

Lee flung himself over to Andrea and French kissed her.

She returned the affection. They wrapped their arms around each other and cuddle and massaged each other firmly. Lee took off his shirt and slid out of his pants.

Andrea took her clothes off too. She stood only in her bra and thong. She sat down and cheese at him.

“Oh, you would freaking tease me like that, huh!” Lee exclaimed.

He bopped down beside her and took her in his arms. Andrea saw rippled muscles and a tattoo with his name on his shoulder. He ripped off her bra and underwear. She laid down on the sofa and spread her legs.

He reached for the scented condom he dropped on the floor, prepared himself and entered her with wild passion. It felt like a dream to them both as they lost themselves in each other.

Andrea woke up later in Lee’s bedroom. She was under the covers with Lee beside her. She vividly remembered Lee continuously making love to her and carrying her upstairs. She turned her head and saw Lee’s chest rise up and down.

She massaged his chest and watch as he stirred. She licked her lips and felt the traces of hickeys along her neck. She moaned softly.

Just then her cell phone rang. Tina Turner’s “What’s love got to do with it” sang out at her. She reached for the phone and almost drop it at the sight of a horrific text message that said:

"DIE WHORE DIE!"

***

Light snow fell over Summerville that night. A cold draft made me shiver from the window-panes. I was listening to Dido’s “White Flag” play over the MacBook. Then got up to stroke the fire. It’s time for action.

They are going to wish that they never met me. The cat’s done come back, now the mice playtime is over with. More corpses to add to my resume, I thought happily.

I snoop inside Maria Lopez’s house. Knowing that the girl was gone with her family to a birthday party, made doing what I wanted to do that much easier. I jogged up the stairs. Turned on the light in the room.

I poured pig’s blood all over Maria’s bed. Smiled then walk away, back down the stairs, and out of the back door. Thanks, Maria for letting me get this close to you, close up to get my own key made. I cackled monstrously.

***

“Andrea!” Maria yelled into the receiver when Andrea picked up.

“Yeah, what is it, Maria?”

“Someone was here! They poured pig’s blood all over my bed!”

“What, oh no! That’s terrible. I got bad news too. Somebody just texted me. Get this, it said: Die whore die!”

“Who would do that? How could someone be so cruel?”

“I don’t know, Marie. I tried to trace the text but it was a lost cause. Do you know who mess your bed up like that?”

“No, I thought one while that Josh was playing pranks on me, like with what they’re doing with Cody. I asked him and he didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. Then I thought my cousin did it, little Ramon, see he like to play pranks and stuff. But he said this one wasn’t his work.”

“You don’t think a burglar did it, did you? I know that sounds weird but...”

“You’re right, it does. What kind of burglar will pour blood all over someone’s bed?” Maria exclaimed.

“Did you call the police?”

“Yeah, they tested it and told me it was old pig’s blood. They are looking into it as a break-in.”

“Yuck, I reported my threat and they told me there wasn’t much they could do. They said the text was sent by a disposable phone, which turned out to be stolen. It was from a dead girl’s phone. They thought it was strange and said that they will be looking into it. They were wondering if it could be a lead into her case or something like that. You ever hear of some girl name Brittany Stellar?”

“Who, you said Brittany Stellar?”

“Yeah.”

“No. Am I supposed to have heard about her?”

“I don’t know. Her name sounds vaguely familiar. Like I heard of it before on some newscast, wait that’s it!” Andrea exclaimed.

“What, what’s it?”

“Her name. I remember her now. She was the girl that committed suicide a few months ago in her car. She had closed herself up in her garage and let the gas fill up in there. Her mother wanted the police to start a new investigation into her death, especially when she wasn’t suicidal. But she had ADHD. Her story was all over the news back then. It was a media frenzy.”

“With a case that big, how could we have forgotten about it?”

“I mean, I remembered the story as clear as day but somehow forgotten her name.”

“How old was Brittany?”

“I think she was our age. I think the police are reinvestigating her death, after all, it’s what her mother wanted. I think they hired a special prosecutor to look into the case.”

“But Andrea do you think it’s odd that her phone was stolen to make that threat against you. What if she didn’t kill herself and that same person that might have killed her, is threatening us now?”

“Now that is creepy! I hope not.”

“But think about it Andrea, what if it’s that serial killer that’s doing all of this. What if it’s connected some kind of way?”

“I don’t know, Maria. I really don’t know. I gotta call you back. Lee’s coming back.”

“OK, talk to you later then.”

Lee hopped back inside the car. “Wow, it’s chilly outside, let me turn my heater back on!” He remarked.

“Please. I’m shivering.”

Lee moved the dials and turned toward her. They were situated at the Hilltop, make-out city of Arkansas, where they had been making out half the night with other young couples everywhere they look.

They saw vehicles lined up all over the place. At least two people in each one. A public restroom was off in the shadows. Some couples or groups were lying in the grass, joking around with each other.

Andrea and Lee had been hanging out all day. Andrea had lied to her parents about spending the night over a friend, coaxing Maria to cover for her. When that friend was actually Lee. They snuggle up together. Lee kissed her on her forehead.

“Babe, are you all right? You look kind of sad tonight.”

“What, no I’m all right.”

“You sure, you look like you have seen a ghost!” Lee laughed.

Andrea turned to him then. Wondering if she could confide in him. She saw a strange glow in his eyes. She decided to hold on to that revelation. Something gnawed inside of her to wait and not reveal a thing to him, yet.

The feeling sort of creep her out but for some reason, she listened to it. She usually did. Lee looked from her to his phone. She saw his hands moving on his phone, saw that he was texting.

“Who are you texting, your girlfriend?” she teased.

He looked at her then. He gave her a half-smile. “No, I don’t have a girlfriend, well you’re my girlfriend now. I don’t have another girlfriend. Look, something’s come up. You mind if we cut our date short tonight?”

“Uh sure, if you got business to tend to.”

Andrea had the feeling that it wasn’t a mere suggestion, he was telling her that he was ready to leave. Lee drove them back into town. Andrea wasn’t quite ready to leave. When Lee dropped her off at her house, she pouted.

He caught on. “We can finish this date some other time, Andrea. How about this weekend?”

“I guess. See you, Lee.” She leaned over the window and kissed him on the lips.

They both felt electric sparks.

“Yeah, see you too, Andrea.”

Andrea watched Lee drive off, this time he didn’t wait to see her go inside her home. Andrea stood in the cold for a few moments, watching his tail lights grow smaller and smaller in the darkness.

***

“So the date is set at the Cafe Classic tonight,” Pete replied.

“That’s right it is,” Rebbie laughed.

“Hey don’t forget the flowers and the candy!” Josh joked.

“Oh yeah, be sure you make it pink roses and chocolate caramels!” Tony added.

The four laughed aloud. Andrea shook her head. Maria drained the rest of her soda. They were over Josh’s house, planning Rebbie and Cody’s first date after school. They had drafted the beginning stages of the prank.

Shannon had no idea about it. And even though Andrea and Tony were through, they still hung out with the same group of friends. They all had been friends for many years before they became couples.

Tony didn’t say much to Andrea, other than to say “Hi” or “how are you” when they got together as a group. Andrea didn’t say much to him either. Andrea can still see that he was mad because she knew she was.

“What time is it again?”

“Uh, seven o’clock. He told me he couldn’t stay too long because he had to be in bed around nine,” Rebbie informed them.

“What, are you serious? How old is this guy again?” Pete incredulously asked.

“He’s eighteen.”

“He acts like he’s twelve! I bet even some ’tweens stay up later than he does!”

“Is it what he wants or his parents?”

“He told me his parents are deceased. That it’s just him and his sister Shannon,” Rebbie told them.

“Really, I didn’t know that. Shannon hadn’t mentioned that to us,” Andrea replied.

The group remained silent for a minute then went on with their conversation.

“OK, guys I can’t wait!” Rebbie exclaimed, laughing loudly.

“And oh yeah, the grand of all schemes. Don’t forget the recorder to this disaster!” Tony joked.

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