Sunday, April 22, 2007

Entry #13

Case # 453
by Jude Ensaff

It had taken us four months to find it. Four months. Not long when you have all the time in the world. But we didn’t, and that last hour had cost us. That endless hour: 4 till 5 p.m.

He’d said it was in the woods, deep in the woods.

‘Just turn off the highway, follow a dirt track,’ he said. ‘You’ll find it.’

His voice had a dismissive air about it; he seemed to be laughing at me as he spoke. In May.

‘Ain’t no point asking me which highway neither. That’d spoil the fun, now, wouldn’t it?’

We’d tried every psychology trick in the book- agreed with him, confronted him, pleaded with him, even got his long lost sister to talk to him, but nothing worked. In July.

‘Your psycho babble ain’t gonna work on me.’

Why would it? In and out of hospitals all his life. He’d fooled them all. He was sane, civilised.

When we got to the cabin, time was up: there was no fooling us.

The child was the worst. Never seen anything like it. I had to turn away for fear I’d faint with the sight of it.

Smelt them before we even entered. Dishes piled up, drapes torn and them just lying there rotting, except for the child. She’d only been killed recently. Fresh blood splayed out around her and a note lay pinned to her, just like the others.

Time and date of death recorded: 4.23 p.m. August 1st.


Joni said...

You've literally got my stomach churning.

I guess that means you did good. ;)

Boy, this picture really brought out the best in us, huh?

Sam said...

Great story!
Pats down goose bumps on arms.
Write a full legnth thriller novel now please?

Bernita said...

You don't need the sentence "She'd only been killed recently."
You have all the best psycho-horror elements here. Well done.

Unknown said...

I knew this was going to have a horrific ending, but that last line was like a punch in the gut.

Scott said...

You got me in the solar plexus with that one.

Jude said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. Don't ask me why I went for a psycho story...

Bernita,I see what you mean about that line now that I look over it again....

Beth said...

Great job. My only confusion is the timeline. How was it a fresh kill when the man was locked up? I'm sure it's my sleepless night that has me lost a bit though.

briliantdonkey said...

I really like the way you presented the timeline. SAD,brutal, and yucky is how this one makes me feel. Very well done.


Unknown said...

Wow! Potent and blood chilling, Jude! Great story.

Esther Avila said...

ewww. bloody. and i just had dinner. disgustingly affective and very effective. not my favorite genre, but you did it good.

The Wandering Author said...

Jude, that was chillingly effective. I felt a sinking sensation in my own gut as I read the ending. And, while I would love to know how an imprisoned man managed to continue his gruesome "hobby", you handled this so effectively, I believe in his ability to manage it somehow.

That trick, to persuade the reader to suspend disbelief, is a rare and valuable one. Cultivate it!

Anonymous said...

So the person who killed the child was not the man they had in custody - leaving us with the knowledge that the killer is still out there somewhere - great ending!

Esther Avila said...

Congratulations Jude. (by the way, it is 6:30 in California and I just had dinner again) -- same thing happened to me again.... good writing - it turned my stomach again. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! A great tale in 250 words! Also, very expert movement of blocks of time. Perfect pacing.

A very high scorer overall.

Congratulations on the honorable mention!!

Jude said...

Thanks Jason :-)