Category Archives: Short Stories

Death Comes Unnaturally

I am a stonehearted, cold-blooded murderer. At least, that’s what others say of me. I prefer the term killer. It just seems, more colloquial, less intended. In addition, I like the play on words, and since I only kill women, my choice of ‘killer’ becomes ‘kill her!’ An inside joke that I find funny, but one you might not get.

Some have also labelled me a ‘psychopath,’ and I enjoy that label because I agree with it! No one would ever guess I run a multimillion-dollar company creating video games, but I do. By day, I’m a jeans-clad, T-shirt wearing businessman creating violent games for the masses who feed on killing gravatars without consequences. By night, I roam Central Park cloaked in my dark blue garb and polished black oxfords looking for stupid women who should’ve listened to their parents and not go out alone in the dark, especially in Central Park. It never ceases to amaze me how many women ignore that piece of good advice. I think perhaps they have an unsoiled notion that death comes unnaturally to other people, not themselves. That’s too bad – for them, but great for me and my hobby! Those creatures that think they’re invincible feed my insatiable hunger for murder and mayhem! I crave the sight and taste of blood, and if I could experience emotion, it’s probably the closest I can get to happy.

I’m a celebrity these days. I see the news; I hear them calling me a Serial Killer, and I smile at that title. I’ve definitely earned it. Seventeen women so far, since I began feeding my desires, and since no one knows who I am, I’m planning to continue my hobby. I’m hoping I can beat Theodore Robert Cowell, aka Ted Bundy’s record! As far as I know, reports state he admitted to killing over 100 people, though not all were women. My plan is to kill far more than that, only I want all my victims to be women! I feel darned accomplished, and I know the system backwards and forwards, so I think I can beat my idols record and not break a sweat.

I have quite the year ahead of me and I’m excited to ratchet up the stakes, and I believe I can do that since its early spring and the girls are crawling out of the woodwork! All these babes running through the park trying to get their bloated winter bodies in shape for summer fun; it’s almost too easy. Too bad some of them won’t get to enjoy their summers, slipping into skimpy bikinis, hanging onto their boyfriends arms as they strut their stuff at the beach. They’ll wish they went to the gym instead.

~~~~

Last evening was quite the thrill for me as the sun slowly waned. I went walking in the park, looking for my next victim, and I found her. She was stunning too, even if she was flushed and sweaty from her run. She had the most gorgeous head of jet hair, long and pulled into a ponytail. Her turquoise eyes were the truest turquoise I’ve ever seen; it was almost a shame I choose her, but she was so satisfying. I couldn’t help myself. I really enjoyed Jess, and she never for a second saw it coming! Oh sure, she was apprehensive at first, just like the others, but after I introduced myself, showing her my credentials, she relaxed; just like the others. Works every time!

We sat on a park bench for a long while, talking. I shared my adventures as a video game developer and she shared that she specifically loved my, ‘Murder in the Dark’ game. Said she played it every chance she got when she wasn’t on a modeling gig. That made me happy, or as happy as I can get, and it made me feel more connected to her; we had something in common. I’d decided right then, I’d make it a point of asking future selections if they liked playing video games, because the feeling of being that connected amped up the excitement even more!

I not going to bore you with the conversations we had. It was ‘getting to know you’ stuff and not stimulating at all, but I think she really liked me and thought maybe she had a shot at dating me, which made me giddy, since I already knew where this chance meeting was heading. I will confess, I did give pause to my plans for a hot second, but quickly dismissed it when my hunger overpowered my need for a date.

That hunger always begins the same way with a juicy, hot metallic taste in my mouth. I guess I’m like a German shepherd; once I get a taste of blood, I want more. I feel charged up, like I’ve been sucking on an electrical cable full of juice, and my loins get tingly. My hands and legs grow numb and my vision narrows to a pinprick as I focus on one aspect on my woman’s face. This time, it was Jess’s turquoise eyes. They were simply stunning. Her smile was beautiful too, all those glistening, perfect teeth, but they scared me at the same time! All I could think of was how easily they could bite through my flesh.

When I’m in the zone, I can actually feel my mind disconnecting from reality, the longer I focus on a part of my woman’s face, and then anger rushes over me, consuming me. Not sure why that happens. I don’t really understand it, but a while ago, a therapist said it had something to do with being angry with my mom. I disagreed. My mom died when I was five, so I don’t think I have any reason to be upset with her, other than she died when I was five, but that wasn’t her fault. So no, I don’t think it has anything to do with my mom. And, just in case you’re wondering, I don’t have a specific type. I choose any hair color, eye color and body type, so none of my victims reminds me of mom either. So long as they’re female, they’re fair game for me.

I acted as if I was smitten with her; she played coy with me, trying to entice me to ask her out on a date. Though, when I leaned in to kiss her, she backed away, and I could feel a little fear take hold of her. She stood to leave. I know I moved too fast for her, but I already knew what was going to happen. I actually did ask her out on a date, just to put her at ease once again, and it worked. She sat back down beside me and we resumed our flirting. I asked myself if I would’ve pursued her had she actually walked away, but that didn’t happen, so it’s moot. I leaned in again to kiss her, and this time, she responded. She had the nicest lips, and I have to say, I really enjoyed it!

We held hands as we went for a stroll further into the park; she was relaxed. We were somewhere close to the center, the day turned into dusk and I saw my chance, the park mostly empty. I pulled her behind a boulder, and as she was about to protest, I placed my lips against hers and gave her the smokiest kiss I could. She seemed to like it, so I ran my hand over her body and I felt her nipples responding. She confessed she’d never done anything like this in public before and she groaned loudly when I placed my hand between her legs, fondling her. Things got rough for her after that, and I can’t give you any details, because I don’t recall all of them, other than, I slipped a garrote from my pocket; I seemed to disappear completely into another place.

For the record, a garrote is not my weapon of choice. That would be my hunting knife! The serrated edge does a nice job of mangling their beautiful faces and sexual organs, and I almost feel like Jack the Ripper! I keep that stowed in its sheath down the back of my pants, uncomfortable, yes, but necessary to get the job done.

After I had my morning coffee, I had an incredible experience as I stood with a group of spectators near the crime scene. An inspector was there, dressed in a makeshift hazmat suit so he didn’t sully the area, examining the body of poor Jess who was already in a body bag, her blood seeping through the cheap canvas, and I was hoping they’d put me to work since I was wearing my Police uniform. Did I tell you, I used to be a N.Y.C. cop? I still have my old badge too. Is it any wonder those women trusted me? However, I’d like to believe it’s my charm.

‘A Miserly Man’ A short story by: Pattyann McCarthy

There once was a miserly man who desired to be a decent person but he never quite reached that level, for it was outside of his grasp to his shame, and shame he did not recognize before it was too late.

Edgar awoke one morning to a dreary day outside his narrow and unadorned window; the day full of rain and thunder; he was lonely at the age of sixty-three and he sought to change his ways, but, change them how, he didn’t know. He only knew that he must, for he was a sad and miserly creature. He had no friends and no one to talk to, and it was his own behavior that brought him to these unfortunate circumstances. Deserved; perhaps, but none-the-less unfortunate for him. He roused himself off the bed and went about his usual routine in getting ready for the day, but being so dreary, he wasn’t looking forward to it, though carry on he must, so he did. Today, he was determined to make a change in his life for the better. He would change the way people thought of him if he had to stand in the storm all day.

After his grooming, he left the dingy, worn bed sheets rumpled, most of them flowing as lava on the floor, but he didn’t care, because he is that kind of man and he had no one to impress. Leaving the tiny sparse bedroom, which held a single unshielded lantern and one small dresser, he made his way to breakfast; one that he would have to prepare for himself, as he had no woman to tend his needs, which he realized was his own fault. No woman would have him. His reputation far-reached the townswomen and far-off villages for miles around as word traveled from one place to the next of his manner, or his lack of manner, and the women knew, he was more trouble than he was worth.

After he finished his breakfast, he went for a walk through his village of Osprey, so named because of the Sea Eagles that dwelt there along the banks of the flowing river, and he was determined to make a change for himself. He perched a ratty hat upon his head to shield himself from the rain and off he went for a trek.

Smiling came hard to Edgar, though he did make an attempt at it, but it came off looking unnatural and forced and it scared the women he graced with it, they, moving far aside to allow him passage without having to engage him. He engaged them anyway, feeling awkward.

“Good morning, m’lady. Tis a miserable morn to be sure,” he would say to those bustling about and scurrying in and out of the quaint shoppes lining the street, but the reply was silence; looks of disdain written upon their faces as they hurried inside.

They were repulsed at the sight of him with his one rotted tooth sticking out from between his thick and livery lips. He worked hard all his life at not taking care of himself and it showed. His long smattering of greasy hair, needing a snip, tied back with a dirty kerchief underneath the hat, his face full of pocked holes and nose dirt always on display so that one was forced to look away. He made many attempts at speaking kindly to those he passed this day, wanting desperately for someone to acknowledge him, be it woman or man, just to have someone to while away some time, but no one wanted to engage, wondering what evilness he was up to now. For as it’s been said, he was a miserly creature, known for his evil ways and taking a whore to his bed for company since no woman of decency would tarry with him.

While he trod along the muddy streets, he thought back to the reasons he was so unwelcome by his townspeople and recalled with sadness of a time long past. He wasn’t always miserly; there was a time long ago when he appeared to be a happy man, young, virile, and very successful at his money changing business for he owned the bank, made so with old family money. He had a wife in those days, young Elizabeth, who was pretty and gentle. They seemed to be happy, and they were well received by their neighbors. Word spread quickly that the seemingly happy couple were expecting their first child and everyone came around to wish congratulations upon them, though all were unaware of the transgressions that took place behind their closed door. For you see, young Elizabeth at a tender age of fourteen, had been forced into marriage to Edgar who was the age of twenty-two, and unlovely to look at even then, and bought for a tidy sum that he offered up quickly to secure his future with an heir, though none of the townspeople were aware.

In public, they were the perfect couple with everything going for them. Dressed in their finery, they held hands and cooed to each other, walking about the streets smiling and greeting everyone they came across as friends. But behind their secured door and in the darkness of their abode, ugliness took place that some would call madness if they would have been privy of the goings-on. For Edgar had a much unrestrained temper, and it was that temper, and that alone that brought him to the sad state he finds himself in today. Though, back then, he did make attempts at controlling himself, but some part of him was already vile just as his father was, and it was a part of him he couldn’t ignore or deny.

When Elizabeth was in her third trimester, she thought Edgar would soften to her and respect her as the mother of his child, but Edgar did not disappoint and he did not soften. Instead, as the anxiety over his becoming a soon-to-be father held terror for him, he lashed out at his expectant wife and his fists flew during an argument over the child’s name; for Elizabeth hoped for a she, and Edgar insisted it best be a he, too selfish and ignorant to understand that it was neither’s choice to make. To say he beat her would be an understatement, for he far more than beat her. By the time he was finished with her, punching and kicking her wherever a blow could be landed, her face looked like rotted fruit pulp, meaty and blackened, her eyes swollen shut, her lips so swollen and split that she could hardly open her mouth to scream, and worst of all, between her spread feet on the dirt floor, her unborn child lay, still connected to the umbilical cord.

When Elizabeth felt the baby rip from her insides, the fluids she held spilling out of her, she looked down to the floor when she heard a thud and screamed with heart-wrenching agony as she watched her baby gasp once and then no more. Her little boy-child was dead.

Her body slumped to the floor and she bled profusely after ejecting her son, wailing in heart-wrenching agony, pain sliced into her heart as she’d never felt before. Edgar realized with eye widening fear and guilt what he’d done, he killed his unborn child in his rage, and a boy child at that. One he desperately wanted, but fear of becoming a failure as a father, just as his own father was, chilled him to the bone and in his rage, he aborted the tiny thing. He buried his dead son near a tree in his yard, and carried his battered wife to their bed where she lay for little less than a week before her sorrow stole the last breath from her body.

Word spread quickly through his village and to the surrounding villages that he murdered his child and his wife, but being the wealthiest man, he’d gotten away with his crimes as he paid for his freedom, and he paid dearly. His bank lost their clientele and his fortunes dwindled quickly since no one would have ties to him and before the next month was over, Edgar found himself completely alone. A detestable creature he’d become; the townspeople scorned him, feared him, and ostracized him, and deservedly so.

As the years went by, he managed to live on his dwindling fortune but by this time, while he walked the streets looking for a friend, he was long since destitute and long since deplorable. No one would give him a kind word, or even take the time to look upon him, as memories of an awful nature do not leave the mind quickly. He felt the weight and sting of his shame, just as he did after he murdered his child and wife all those long years ago; the shame keeping his shoulders hunched and his head bowed under its oppression, and his smiles faded just as fast as he thought to have them. Defeated and abandoning his new desire to make a change since no one would tarry with him for company, he sought a different goal; to make as many people as miserable as he possibly could, and once more to his shame, in that, he was successful. He went out of his way to speak meanly to those he passed by, hurtling insults and curses with a hateful scowl plastered on his face, and those verbally assaulted quickly moved out of his way as he picked up his walking pace making his way back to his rundown cabin.

On his travels back home, an unkempt dog approached him hungry and looking for food. Edgar thought to kick the dog away but stayed his foot as the dog sidled against his leg, rubbing his muzzle across his shin, and Edgar softened to the mangy-looking creature and realized they had something in common, neither were wanted or tolerated. He bent and scooped the filthy mongrel into his arms and trod towards home, the dog lapping at his face and for the first time since he was in his twenties, Edgar laughed, feeling wanted and needed.

The dog went home with him, and after a good bath and some fresh water and food, the two began to bond. While he sat by the roaring fire to chase away the chill, the dog cradled in his lap, scratching him behind his ears and cooing to him, he realized that he finally found a true companion and one who had no memory of the awful person he was in his past, and still thought to be, and one that cared not for the horrible things he had done so long ago. He found what he sought after for so many years, a friend. Something needed him and wanted to be with him and he accepted the dogs’ friendship and unconditional love without hesitation.

While the months rolled away behind him, he and his dog, whom he named Jack, would take leisurely walks through the village. No longer did Edgar feel the need to try and change the opinions of those he passed by, for he was content with his new companion, and he began to see as time marched on, that the townspeople were speaking to him! Only civilities at first, which surprised Edgar, for he did not feel he’d changed in any way, and he made no further attempts to engage his peers, but the townspeople were reacting to him, acknowledging his new friend and Edgar found himself sincerely smiling and proud of his beloved Jack. He saw that Jack was the bridge that connected him to his village and its peoples once again, and he found a contentment beyond his understanding, one he never thought he’d find.

One day, when his dog was very old and wearing thin in his years, Edgar came to understand, he had a son after all and his name was Jack.