Things to do in Freehold

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Chapter Fifty-four:

Jacob Mackenzie (Late evening of September 11, 1994)

As soon as dinner was over, I immediately got up from the table and went over to Ma, in hopes that Chris then would back off. It was useless, however; I could still feel him, breathing down my neck.

“Hey, Jake, do you know where your brother went?” Ma asked, not even acknowledging the creep behind me.

“No, why?”

“I’d like to leave as soon as possible. Could you go and look for him?”

“Ma, I don’t think that’s such—”

“Of course, we would love to look for him, Jake’s mom,” Chris intervened, wrapping his arm around my shoulders once again and squeezing them, tightly.

“Great, and you are?” Ma questioned.

“Chris, it’s a pleasure,” he replied, shaking her hand, aggressively. He then pulled away and looked back at me. “C’mon Jake, let’s go find that brother of yours.”

Throughout the house, Chris followed me into pretty much every room, without saying a single word. It was when we headed into the garage that I’d had enough of the nonsense. “What the hell do you want, man?”

He just laughed at me. “Well, I guess, for starters, to know what your intentions are with Adeline.”

“My intentions? What, are you Joey, now?”

“No, but she is like a little sister to me. I would hate to see her heart get broken, especially by a chump like you. She’s already had to suffer enough heartache this year.”

I looked down, at the oil-stained ground. I keep forgetting her dad’s death was only a few months ago. The wound is still fairly fresh. “Well, you don’t have to worry about that. I’m not trying to break anyone’s heart.”

“Really? Because Priscilla seems to be pretty sweet on you. Is there anything going on there that I should know about? That Adeline should know about?”

“What? No, of course—,” I stopped mid-sentence when I noticed the type of car parked behind him. Baby blue Lincoln. “Whose car is this?”

“Mr. Ricci’s. Now, quit trying to change the subject?”

“Will you excuse me real quick?” I uttered as I was literally leaving the room.

“Hey, we aren’t done here!” I heard Chris yell, but I was already halfway inside by then.

I scoped the crowded room for Mr. Ricci, only to encounter Piper’s ghost once again. I’m not sure why, but something in the back of my mind told me to follow her down an empty hallway. As I was catching up to her, she had turned the corner, into a nearby bedroom. It was there I had finally found Patrick.

“Pat, there you are. I’ve been looking all over for you,” I told him, entering the room.

Pat, however, did not acknowledge me, in the slightest. Instead, he just stood there, in the middle of the room, with his back to me.

“Pat, what are you looking at?” I walked over to him, but then came to a halt when I saw the black duffle.

“It’s the same one as in that basement, Jake,” Pat had, at last, spoken. “The same exact one.”

Suddenly, I could hear voices coming from the hallway. It sounded as if they were heading straight for the bedroom. Quickly, I grabbed Pat and hid him in the closet, along with myself, shutting the sliding door behind us. Through the door’s shutters, I saw the voices belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Ricci. As quiet as we possibly could be, Pat and I watched as they started to argue.

“Hun, can we please just talk about this?” Mr. Ricci asked, closing and locking the door behind them.

However, Mrs. Ricci did not want to just talk about it. She quietly, instead, turned around and strutted over to her husband. Smack! Mrs. Ricci layed one right across Mr. Ricci’s face, making his entire head do a complete one-eighty. “You sick son of a bitch,” she finally spoke, just loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, but not the rest of the party. “She’s sixteen, the same age as your own fucking daughter.”

“I know and I’m so sorry,” Mr. Ricci bowed his head as his wife paced around the room, heated. “I did not mean for—”

“Didn’t mean for what? For me to catch you, eating an underage girl’s pussy?” Mrs. Ricci’s voice grew louder. “You didn’t even have the decency to lock the door. What if someone else had walked in on you, Walter? You’re telling me you couldn’t even wait until the party was over to start being a sex offender?”

“Look, I never meant for any of this to happen, but then she showed up, unannounced, in my study and seduced me. I was weak.”

“Jesus Christ,” Mrs. Ricci laughed, hysterically, taking a seat, next to the duffle bag, on the bed.

“You know, in a way, this is somewhat your fault.”

Even though I was about ten feet away from her, I could still feel the steam, coming off of Mrs. Ricci. Her blood was definitely boiling at that point and rightfully so. “Excuse me?”

“You heard me. Ever since we had Priscilla, you haven’t been acting like your old self. You’re more distant now. Baby, we used to be electric, you and I. Now, it seems like we only fuck once every six months; two, if you’re feeling spontaneous. And, damnit, I still have needs.”

“Are you seriously blaming me for your predatory behavior?” Mrs. Ricci glared up at her husband, burning a hole in his cheek as he, cowardly, tried not to make eye contact with her.

“No, of course not,” Mr. Ricci said, fixing his tie in the nearby vanity mirror. “It just seems to me as though you don’t love me anymore, or if you ever loved me. Sometimes it feels like you only married me to have my child and to live that perfect suburban life you’ve always dreamed of.”

Mrs. Ricci started to snicker. “You know what, hun?” she asked, jumping to her feet and slowly making her way towards him. “You are absolutely right.”

Mr. Ricci then turned back around, only to have his wife pull out a large carving knife from behind her back and stick right in his scrotum. I immediately covered Pat’s mouth to keep him from screaming. I could feel the tears, rolling down each of his cheeks and onto my hand.

“You were nothing, but a picket fence to me,” Mrs. Ricci continued, shoving the knife in deeper. She then began raising it all the way up to the top of his chest, spewing out his intestines and making him spit up a pint-worth of blood.

I tried to shield Pat’s eyes from it all, but at that point, it’d been already too late. He had seen it all. As Mrs. Ricci was finishing up, he accidentally let out a loud whimper. I quietly hushed him, but it was no use; Mrs. Ricci stared directly at us.

She was about to open our side of the closet when she heard a knock at the door. Praise Jesus. “Just a minute!” she called out, pushing Mr. Ricci under the bed, just far enough for him to be out of viewpoint for when she cracked open the door. “Oh, it’s just you.”

“Nice to see you too,” Sheriff Romano scoffed, entering the room. Ricci shut and relocked the door behind him. “What the hell happened here?”

“Apparently, Walter was a creepy fuck who liked to prey on minors,” Ricci explained to him as he inspected the horrifying mess around their feet. “So I gutted him.”

“Oh, shit,” Romano laughed. Why the fuck is he laughing?

“Yeah, so will you help me get rid of him? I don’t want Priscilla to find and see him like this.”

“I can’t right now; I have to leave in a bit. It is a school night, after all.”

Ricci sighed, deeply, looking down at the blood and guts, spread out across her floor.

“But I’ll help you get started,” Romano compromised, bending down to grab one of Walter’s legs to drag him out, from underneath the bed. “Let’s roll him up in that rug over there.”

Both Ricci and Romano lifted up an end of Walter’s body and dropped him down onto a mint green rug, near the foot of the bed. They began to roll him up into it, then placed it on the other side of the room, near the closed curtains. When they were done, Ricci went back over to the mirror.

“That fucking asshole,” she muttered, tugging at one of the looser parts of white silk dress that was now splattered with blood. “I happened to really like this dress.”

“So did I,” Romano smirked, coming up behind her to wrap his arms around her waist and to kiss her neck. Pat and I both looked over at each other, confused, after that.

“Oh, well,” Ricci shrugged, shortly before stripping down to her bra and panties. I definitely made sure to cover Pat’s eyes that time.

She walked over to the opposite side of the closet from us and began sliding open the door. With our backs plastered up against the wall, Pat and I did our very best to make absolutely no sound; we didn’t even breathe. Luckily, Mrs. Ricci was too busy picking out a new outfit to even look in our direction. She soon closed the door and we were finally able to exhale, but not too loudly.

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