Cruel Sacrifices

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17

I had on loose black pants and a short-sleeve shirt, and sneakers. I kept the mask on though. It was the only thing that I didn’t change.

The girl was half-naked, only clothed in dirty tatters of a bra and underwear. She wore no shoes.

The bottom of her feet was black as tar. The girl had been in a drunken stupor. I had been drugging her constantly, torturing her for days, kept her tied up and bound so tightly-the rope marks burned her sensitive skin.

“Promise me you won’t scream if I take off the tape,” I said to her.

She nodded her head, making grunting noises. The tape came off with a smack.

“Why are you doing this!” the girl pleaded.

I stared at the knife in my hand. I didn’t say a word to the girl. Only look at her indifferent.

“Please don’t kill me! I’ll give you what you want. My family’s got a lot of money!”

“Money’s not what I want, dear,” I finally replied. Looking at the sharp edge of the machete and then at the girl’s throat.

“Okay, I’ll give you what you want. Everybody wants something, right?” the girl continued to plead. “I’ll give you sex!” the girl cried.

I realized this girl was getting desperate.

“I wouldn’t touch you if you were the last person on earth! And besides, I don’t swing that way.”

“You do men?” the girl said in disbelief.

“So, you got something against that? It’s not the same world it used to be, darling. The world is changing. We live in the twenty-first century now. That cold narrow-minded lens you see life through is widening. And if you don’t like it, so be it. Because if you don’t change with the world, you’ll be left behind. And then you’ll be on the wrong side of history,” I smiled an evil grin. Then continued talking. “You and Rebbie from the same tree. Whores that soon gonna realize their numbers come up.”

“There’s got to be something you want? Everybody wants something?” the girl tried again.

“Yeah, they do. But I want revenge.”

I turned away from the girl and walked across the grass. There was nobody around for miles. I made sure of that. We were the only two souls here.

The girl continued to struggle on the ground. The more she moved, the more tangled she got. Her hair fell in wet tangles across her face. I turned to face her again. The girl must have realized the inevitable because she soon stopped squirming.

Fate must have donned on her. Letting her know that she was not going to escape. She was going to die in this nothing place. It was only a matter of time, obviously, when I would get tired of toying with her.

“You crazy, psychotic freak! There’s something seriously wrong with you!” She had given up pleading and now resorted to name-calling.

“Maybe I am a little crazy. I know it. The whole world knows it now. But I don’t care. Because we’re all a little crazy sometimes. But people like me always goes overboard. I’m crazy every day of my goddamn life because of fuckers like you and your slut-ass friend! Kylie, all of that course work but won’t get a chance to accomplish anything!” My eyes lit up with rage again, I hastily walked up to Kylie.

“The police are gonna find out, Justin,” Kylie moaned as the drugs started their effects on her fatally.

“Even delirious in death,” I taunted. “By the time the fuzz find out anything, you’ll be part of history. Yeah bud, you’ll be long dead by then. The cops don’t even know who they’re looking for. Don’t know my name, how I look, where I come from, or my motives. They don’t know anything about me. And guess what, that’s a good thing for me!” Then I reached out and slashed Kylie’s head open again and again, like slicing through meat, as she died in a puddle of blood.


***

“So you’re a native Arkansan, huh?” Michael asked Andrea.

“Yeah, that’s right.”

“I can’t believe how the temperature’s dropping tonight!” Rebbie complained.

“Lucky you have me to keep you warm,” Michael soothed.

Rebbie smiled.

“She’s cheesing over there,” Lee teased Rebbie.

Rebbie’s cheeks were a couple of scarlet circles. Andrea had started to feel the chill too. She wrapped her scarf tighter around her neck. Her black fur jacket was zipped up almost to her neck.

Before she left on their double date, she had taken her time picking out her outfit. She was wearing a midnight silk blouse and pant set with snow boots.

Even Rebbie had on pants and a cardigan classy sweater, and stilettos. Lee was dressed nicely as always. He wore black slacks, a silk tie, and a shirt and shoes.

Michael was dressed more relax like he was going to a party instead. He wore black jeans, a Polo shirt, and sneakers. The four of them were inside The Rise restaurant having dinner on their date.

“I can’t wait to get into college. You two are so lucky,” Rebbie said.

“College ain’t all that lucky. It’s even more challenging than high school,” Lee explained.

“I already work up some college credit. I’m grown and I can do whatever I want. I don’t gotta worry about parents. They let me do whatever I want anyway. Maybe I should take off for a year!”

“So that’s why you’re spoiled!” Andrea joked.

Rebbie stuck her tongue out at her.

“How long y’all been dating?” Andrea wanted to know about Rebbie and Michael.

“Not too long,” Rebbie answered quickly. “See, I was visiting a friend at the college and Mike showed up in that bad BMW and started coming on to me.”

“I had to check her out!” Michael laughed.

Andrea thought his laugh sounded kind of creepy. She didn’t like it. “I assume you too, go with other people?” Andrea asked Michael.

He looked at her weirdly.

“Andie’s the moral authority. As if the byotch can talk!” Rebbie remarked.

Andrea rolled her eyes.

“I agree with Andrea. I have never been a player,” Lee came to her defense.

“Yeah, and that’s what makes you boring,” Michael chastised him.

Lee only dismissed him with a wave of his hand.

“Andrea, you are the only one in my life,” Lee said.

“I’m glad to hear it,” Andrea smiled. Andrea heard a beep and look down at her phone in her purse.

“What’s that noise? What you keeping from us, Andrea?!” Rebbie swooned.

“It’s only my phone.”

“What’s it doing?” Rebbie asked.

“I got it where it can send me an alert when breaking news stories come in?”

“What’s breaking?” Rebbie continued to press.

Andrea looked down at the screen.

“Hey now, we want to see too! What’s happening? What’s so important?” Rebbie whined, her breath reeked of liquor.

Why she’s so anxious to see this? Andrea wondered.

“Yeah, we want to see too. We left our shit at our houses,” Michael replied.

“Stop fuckin’ lying,” Andrea remarked.

“You do know that is rude, right? Having your devices going off like that on a date,” Lee joked.

But Andrea barely heard them. She was paying attention to the developing now headline on the screen. She placed it on the table where they all could see it.

A young reporter was speaking live from Marianna, Arkansas. She stood in front of some kind of run-down shack. The wind blew her hair and jacket one way then the other.

“.... Well, Scott, this discovery by police was very hideous. Police officials say that the victim is nineteen-year-old Kylie Winters, the missing college student from UCA. The medical examiner has said that Winters had been repeatedly slashed with some sort of blade, most likely a machete. The murder weapon is still MIA. The police are not releasing much information about this case at this point.

’They are currently investigating this incident. There are no known suspects. But Kylie did break up with a boyfriend earlier this month. Officers have already spoken to him. But sources close to the case said that this boyfriend is a person of interest in the investigation.

’Kylie’s parents are on their way here. Nobody knows why the young woman was here in this area. Family and friends say that she was a popular, well-liked student. She was an honors student and volunteered at homeless shelters, mentored at-risk teens.

’It is well known that Kylie was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and grew up in Sherwood, Arkansas. She had lived in a small apartment near the school. Some sources have even speculated that maybe she was brought here. Because she had been found bound and gagged.

’We also spoke to many people that have been watching this case and they seemed to believe this might be connected to recent murders happening around the state and Louisiana. Police would not comment on whether or not they think the cases are related or that the same killer is responsible. We will have more live coverage of this event tonight at ten o’clock. Now back to you, Scott.”

“Thank you, Jessica. What a tragic ending to a promising student...”

“Oh my God, what the hell, Michael!” Lee scolded.

“Look, don’t talk to me that way!”

“Did you kill that girl?”

“What hell no! I never touch that girl!”

“You are a person of interest in her death?”

“Lee, we broke up and went our separate ways.”

“Yeah right, even the biggest idiot won’t believe that story!”

“It’s not a story. That’s what happened.”

Both Lee and Michael continued their argument back and forth. Andrea and Rebbie look on in astonishment.

“Hey, guys, shut up all right. People are staring at us!” Rebbie finally spoke up.

“Good, then they will know too that my brother is a killer!”

Michael got up. “Let’s get out of here. I’m ready to leave,” he snapped. He left the tab in the center of the table, right beside Lee’s.

Lee got up too. “I’m ready to bounce out as well. Andrea, you’re ready?”

Andrea finally snapped out of her trance and pushed her chair in. “Yeah.”

Rebbie joined them as they left. “You didn’t have anything to do with Kylie’s murder, did you, Michael?” she questioned.

“No, I did not. I didn’t kill my ex-girlfriend, guys!” He replied heatedly to them, as they walked to Lee’s and Michael’s rides. “She broke up with me. I left town. I haven’t seen her since. I know what you all are thinking. I am not that killer!”

“We didn’t say you were, honey,” Rebbie consoled him.

“You didn’t say it, you ask if I did it, but Lee said I did it! Accusing me, his own brother of horrible crimes like this!”

Andrea saw that Michael was enraged.

“You know what, I don’t have to explain a goddamn thing to you!” Michael screeched at Lee. Then Michael got in his car.

“Rebbie, you ready to leave? If you think I’m a serial killer then I’ll understand, you don’t believe me neither.”

“No, I believe you, Michael,” Rebbie turned to Andrea. “See ya later. Call me.” She got in beside him. Michael drove off leaving a cloud of exhaust.

“Are you ready? I’m sorry you had to see that,” Lee told Andrea.

“No, that’s okay. That was interesting. Do you believe that your brother killed that girl? That he is a serial killer?”

“You know what the saddest thing about that question is, I don’t know.” Then Andrea and Lee were heading back to town.


***

Andrea knocked on the door. Then she rang the doorbell. After a minute, Shannon peered through the peephole. She looked surprised to see Andrea on her porch. Shannon opened the door.

“Uh, Andrea, what a surprise,” Shannon smiled.

Andrea saw that she was surprised and annoyed? “Hi, Shannon, I was in the neighborhood and thought I’ll stop by.”

“Way over on Piermouth Avenue?” Shannon laughed.

“Yeah, how’s it going?”

Shannon let Andrea inside the house. “Fine.”

Andrea’s eyes observed the furnishings around the place. She saw mostly antiques, old paintings, autographed collections.

Glossy photographs of people. Pictures of Shannon and Cody lined the walls. Digital pictures of them and....where’s the parents? Andrea thought.

I thought they were close to their parents. She didn’t see any pictures of their parents in sight. It was like it was almost a shrine to herself and Cody. That sort of bugged Andrea but she let the oddity slip her mind for now.

“Come in and sit down, Andrea. I wished you had called me first so I would have cleaned the house up some,” Shannon replied to her.

“Again sorry, I didn’t mean to bop in if you were busy,” Andrea defensively said.

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