The Dog Ate My Homework And Other Gut Wrenching Tales From The Hood

NOTICE: This story constants events the Jeff the Killer himself would normally do. If you're not ok with Blood, swearing or other things of the Nature this isn't the story for you.

on a side note sorry its so long....I got carried away...

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She reviews the notes from the notorious killer’s data base, making her way down the hall to the questioning rooms. A terrible gut-wrenching feeling about this interview is surging through her being, but her superiors are pushing for it. She stops at the room location for the pat down and is instructed to remove anything that had any metals, leaving her with only the ear piece and papers with the interview questions.

"Remember, the only thing you need to do is ask the questions or actions we request. Understand?" The voice say into her ear.

"Yes Sir."

She reaches the room where the interview is to taking place, the heavy door giving precedence over her. Two guards stand on either side of the door, one opens the door to let her enter. She gulps down fear that’s swelling up inside her, her heart beat already increasing. She steps into the room to be greeted by a male, his skin as white as paper. A straight jacket wrapping around his frame and for extra precaution is cuffed to the metal chair that’s bolted down. His unblinking eyes pierced hers, His look could kill alone. He smiles giving that was already an unnerving look, an even grimmer one.

So lost in thought that she jumps at the door shutting behind her, then takes in a deep breath to try to calm down. She walks over to the chair they placed in for her. He continues to stare at her, his gaze piercing into her soul. An amused smile still frozen on his face, strands of hair blocking parts of his face. She examines his appearance once more, fumbling to sit in the chair. What caught her attention aside of the facial attributes, is the long charred black hair. In the files it mentions that his hair color after the incident had been burnt black, his hair should now be his natural hair color but still its charred black.

"See something interesting?" He spoke in a deep voice, almost causing her to fall of the chair.
"Umm., N-no its nothing. Let's get this started." She spoke with a hint of her fear but kept a calm demeanor.

"Started?" He questions, his eyes not looking away from her in an unsettling manner.

"Yes, first question. What is your current age?" She asks.

"Interesting……. Alright I'll bite. As for the question, I've lost all count of that. Quite odd to keep track of your age at this point."

"Ok, where do you live?"

"HA, mostly in random house I venture in but more or less the woods. A lot quieter there…and less interruptions."

"Why do you kill so many people?" She ask noticing the slight flinch of the word 'Kill'. He begin to laugh uncontrollably then grins menacingly. "I don't KILL. I free people. I free them from the pains of the world, they don't need to suffer anymore. Just….sleep…" He response, his words causing the hair on the back of her neck to stand. His smile never fading as he spoke.

"M-moving on." She says shifting uncomfortably, trying hard not to show any sign of fear. "Ask about Case 34." Her supervisor said through the ear piece. She sighs and slightly nods.

"What was the cause for case…... I mean for the incident of January 13th of last year. The one involving the family of four?"

"There were a lot that had a family of four, can you be a bit more specific?"

"The one at The Salt lake. Unlike the other cases this one was …"

"I remember now…..That one was special. The family was full of liars, The kid though… said something's that… I guess caused me to 'snap' ." He began to laugh, this time a more sick and twist laugh. Case 34 the family were so bloodied, that you couldn't tell who was who. It was the most disturbing case she had ever seen. "Ask him what the kid said." Her supervisor instructs. "What did he say to you?" she asks but he remained silent. He just blankly stared, not really reacting in anyway. He finally moves and gave another wide smile.

"He said…. terrible things."

"Ok, N-next question then. Why do you cut the cheeks and sometimes eyelids of your victims?"

"To share. I was given a gift, it would be rude not to share it….. wouldn't it?"

"How did the two kids who attacked you get the guns?" she Instantly asks, wanting to get this done quicker.

"Not sure, though I hear…. that one of their dads had a Gun collection. So I'm guessing they got it from there."

"Did you hate your family?"

"Of course not, Sure my mother lied to me but she just didn't understand…..didn't understand it. She lied…."

"What about your brother? Why did you kill your brother?"

He pauses, not saying a word. His already fading grin become more narrow, then furrows his brow. He stares back up, the intensity like knifes piercing her all over at once. The longer his gaze fell on her, the more the feeling grew until it felt like he was setting fire to her soul. She fumbles with the papers in her lap, feeling herself begin to show signs of her fear quickly. She tries to ask the question again, but her voice catches in her throat.  Jeff then begin to laugh hysterically, it surprises her enough to jump up from her chair.

He stops in an instant and attempts to move towards her but only managed to move a bit. "I saved him…I saved him…he always protected me…and this time it was my turn!" He growls leaning up from the chair, moving back and forth in a crazed manner. "I saved him for everyone else.
She  could swear the chair moved from its hinges, she backs up closer to the wall. Her hand rubbing the wall behind her, searching for the door.  The mad man now pulling himself from the chair, only moving a bit.

"You're ok there's no way he can get out." Her supervisor states, but his words feel on deaf ears as she continues to pin herself to the wall far from him. His face once again became angry, "I….DIDN'T KILL HIM! I FREED HIM, FROM PEOPLE…” He pauses for another brief moment “…..Like the one that's been whispering into your ear." He once again leaps from the chair, this time with a loud metal sounds. He manages to rip the chair off of the ground, but is still strapped to the chair enough to hinder his movements.

The guards hearing this commotion, come bursting in and quickly sedating Jeff with a shot. Though he stops moving, his eyes are still wide open….. seeing everything even when knocked out. She stays frozen to the wall, holding her breath. A couple of medics come rushing to the room and ask her if she was injured. She manages in her extremely frightened state to shake her head, but as precaution they had her go to the medical ward.

***

"How are you feeling?" Her supervisor asks, patting her shoulder only causing her to jump a bit. "…..Aside from being scared shitless, and most likely being permanently scarred by the thing….I'm fine now." She says then sighs. "We'll have Matt finish up the questions…. you go get your stuff and go home." He says, then makes his leave.

She sighs again, almost on a brick of tears from the experience. She is so relived to be away from that horror, but knew she would never get that terrifying face out of her head.  She slowly makes her way to the offices, but decides in a brief moment to be brave and make her way back to the interview room real quick. The room had been left unattended and wide open, this wasn't normal but she shrugs it off as they simply were handle Jeff still. She peers into the room, seeing the papers on the floor; Still scattered around, the chair she was sitting in on its side. The bolts that held Jeff’s chair down, are bent and uprooted from the ground.

She examines the work that he did the bolts, she shouldn't be surprised that a man who's taken down pretty big men was able to pull the chair free but it did. She hears a faint buzzing sound coming from somewhere, her heart jumps in place but quickly calms herself. She looks around the room to find the source,  she rustles through the papers on the ground. There It is, an ear piece. However the one she had been wearing, is still in the medical ward.

Curious she holds the piece to her ear, at first the buzzing continues but after a few second it turns into what sounds like breathing but it’s hard to decipher. She pulls the ear piece on, hoping this will help. Still only the sound of breathing, “Odd…. Maybe someone left a mic on”  She says to herself.  She begins to pick up the papers she dropped, Counting the numerous questions she didn’t get to. The ear piece soon went silent, but she didn't pay too much attention as she focuses on the gathering the papers.

She sighs and neatly straightening the papers in her hands. "H…" a sound whispers into her ear, she pauses for a moment tapping the ear piece. "H…e..l-l….pp" a voice coming in clearer this time. She freezes upon hearing the voice, she quickly shakes herself back into reality and runs for the door. That’s when the lights go out, followed by red lights and alarms sounding.

Before reaching the door, it slams shut on her. Panicking she tries to pull the door open but it wouldn't budge."Patient has escaped, Patient has escaped! All personal evacuate immediately." She freeze in fear, her breathing becoming short and rapid. She pulls the door handle once again, Putting all her weight into opening the door. Tears starting to pour out of her eyes, as she panics. “HHEEEEEELLLLPPPPP! .... HEEELLPP ME PLEASE!!!” she screams, sliding down the door.

The ear piece begins to pick up sounds again, causing her to cease her sobbing; Though she still was breathing heavily. Sounds of some kind of struggle, is the first thing she could pick up.  The breathing she heard before was next to follow,   “HEL-.” </i>   a voice screams but is cut off. A gurgle creeper into her ear, then more shuffles following after.  The ear piece went silent, she feels her fear prick into her heart.

She slowly backs away from the door, hoping that the situation is being taken care of. “I’m ok……sshhh everything is fine….. I am safe…..” She whispers to herself, to keep calm. Until she hears sounds coming from hallway, as well as her ear piece.  First footsteps, then a blood curdling scream that echoed in her ear piece. The footsteps rapidly getting near her room, then another pair also getting closer; The breathing getting louder, as the sounds crept close.


*THUD*


She throws the ear piece away and holding her breath. Something on the other side gave a painful scream, then a gurgling.  She could see the floor in the red blinking lights, that some kind of liquid started to pool in. Her voice didn't make a sound, as she backed away from the liquid coming into the room. A scrapping sound starts sliding against the door, her body began to shake in great fear. The sound repeating over and over, until something even more chilling came in.

"Looks….. like someone got trapped….." he voice rings in her ears, her breathing ceasing. Thud, thud ,thud went her heart, loud enough that she was sure even he could hear it.  He begin to laugh manically, as he starts throwing himself at the door. Every thump causing her to flinch, she backs herself into the corner. Tears flowing down uncontrollably… "please….stop… no…leave me alone…" she sobs.

The door then gives way to the mad man, with one more loud thud it to swings open. A paper white face peers around the room, locking onto the his target. His smile widens ear to ear, his straight jacket now drenched in blood as it dangled free. The red light blinking off and on as he slowly made his way to her, causing a more ominous and morbid look to him. A newly found knife held tightly in his hand, she was too frighten to more away. Not the she could, the room too small and she’s backed into the corner already.

"That's the look I want to see." He says, kneeling down in front of her. Roughly he grabs her face. " I'm glad to have saved you for last…..while you aren’t hard on the eyes you still could be better…. I'm going to share what I have to offer with you." He grins and presses her violently to the wall, this time she tries to scream but his arm was cutting off her air flow not letting her make much of a sound. He lifts the knife to a corner of her mouth and slowly begin to cut into her cheeks. She struggles in pain, trying to push him away but was no match for him. He finishes his first incision then moves to the other side.

"Hold still! I don't want to mess this beautiful thing up…" he says continuing the knife up her cheek, he grins and looks over his work with pride. She cries in pain, and the undeniable fear. She feels warm blood run down her chin, as well as into her mouth. He laughs again, and leans to her ear. "now that your beautiful…Go…to….SLEEP. he says, a sharp pain shooting from her chest. She coughs blood onto her killer, drifting into blackness; that haunting smile burning into her mind.

Sparrow, Sparrow

by Gerry Wilson

Sunday mornings when Mama sleeps late my older sister, Charlene, and I clamber over her in the bed like pups nuzzling for a teat. Mama swats at us and says, Leave me alone, but finally she gives in and takes our shivering, scrawny selves under the covers. Our daddies have moved on by then. We don’t have the same one.

Later, the men who come and go are not even step-daddies. The summer I’m eleven and Charlene is fourteen, there’s a man who sticks around until Mama catches him with his hands on my sister. Mama swears off men after that. She reads the Bible and weeps. Her lamentation, she says, for her sins. We girls are marked by her sins, she says. I, Lura, was born with dark mark son my neck like fingerprints as though, Mama says, the devil had hold of me and didn’t want to let me be born. She says Charlene’s mark is her beauty.

By the time Charlene is sixteen, she wants to drop out of school and get a job, but Mama says, No, you’ve got to finish. I don’t want you girls turning out like me.

I want whatever Charlene wants. I am her shadow and she tells me to go away, but I don’t. At night I wake when she gets up and goes to the window and stands there, naked, looking out. I wonder what she sees, or if she sees anything at all. I wrap a quilt around her. Go back to bed, I say. Go to sleep.

At dinner on the grounds after church, Charlene shuns the boys and stands off to the side in the shade. She sucks her thumb the way she used to when she was a child and dances in one spot, like she hears music nobody else can hear. Her hair, pale, glossy gold, long, and curly, falls about her shoulders and moves with the breeze. That hair alone is a beacon of temptation, Mama says. At home Charlene sings little songs she makes up in her head. Whatever her eye falls upon becomes a song in that moment and then it’s gone. I ask her why she won’t write them down and she says they aren’t meant for anybody else to hear.

Until she meets a man named Otha Sparks who plays guitar in a band.

Where’d you meet him? Mama asks. Somewhere, is Charlene’s answer.

The first time Otha comes to the house, his dark hair is tied back in a long ponytail. His skin looks weathered like he works outdoors, the tips of his fingers callused from playing. He wears earrings. A tattoo shows below his rolled-up shirtsleeve. The part I can see looks like the tips of feathers, and I yearn to see the rest. He follows Charlene around with a little black machine and records her songs.

The second time he comes, he brings his guitar. Mama has washed her hair and put on a flowered dress and her boots made of finely tooled leather. She cooks dinner, but she and I are the only ones who eat. Charlene and Otha snuggle on the couch, his arms cradling her and the guitar, his left hand over hers on the frets, moving her fingers to make chords, their right hands joined, strumming. Mama watches like a guard dog. I close my eyes and sway to the music, moving my lips, forming words without sound because I cannot carry a tune.

Otha books Charlene at a bar in Memphis. A gig, he calls it. It’s small, he says, but it’s a start. Charlene practices on the guitar, but her rhythm is wrong. Even I can tell that.

Otha says, Don’t try to play, Charlene. Just sing. And so he strums along when she sings.

Sometimes he stops and scribbles in a notebook. The recorder is always, always on.

Otha tells Mama he needs to take Charlene to some clubs. She ought not to get up there before a crowd the first time, he says, without having seen what it’s like.

She’s under age, Mama says.

Otha puts his arm around Mama and says, I’ll take care of her.

He and Charlene stay out late. I’m awake when she slips into her bed, singing softly, but I can’t understand the words.

Otha buys Charlene a red dress, shiny with sequins. When she tries it on, it skims her body like light.

Mama goes to her room and comes back with the boots. Try these on, she says to Charlene.

The afternoon Otha picks Charlene up to go to Memphis, she says, I can’t go, Otha.

Stage fright, he says. It’s natural, your first time.

He practically carries her to the car. Mama and I watch them go. I blink at the bright sunlight reflected off Otha’s rear window.

He brings Charlene home at two in the morning. Her eyes are red and swollen and she storms off to our bedroom and slams the door.

Mama says, What’d you do, Otha?

He says, Don’t look at me, I didn’t do nothing. She wouldn’t even go up on the stage. She said she didn’t have a song in her head.

At home, though, Charlene sings. Her songs have always been quiet little things, almost whispered, but now sometimes she bursts out singing. Mama says it’s like some people speak in tongues.

One night Otha brings a computer to the house. We gather round while he puts in a CD. Out comes Charlene’s voice, only it doesn’t sound like her.

Audio-engineered, Otha says.

Charlene claps her hands over her ears and leaves the room.

Otha gets Charlene another gig at a roadhouse across the state line in Alabama. She’ll do fine, he

says. That first time was just jitters.

But they’re back early, and he has tight lines around his mouth. He paces our living room

and lights a cigarette. It happened again, he says. She couldn’t sing. Or she wouldn’t. He gets in his car and speeds away. We don’t know it then, but we won’t see him again.

It’s September. Charlene refuses to go to school. I have to go and Mama is working, so Charlene stays home alone. I ask Mama if she’s worried about Charlene and she says, No. If I had a dollar for every man who’s left me, I’d be rich.

I get home from school one afternoon and Charlene is gone. She doesn’t come home that night or the next. When she shows up, I think Mama must be too scared by how Charlene looks to yell at her because Mama puts her to bed. That night, Charlene moans in her sleep.

I’m scared, but eventually, I fall asleep. Sometime in the dark hours of morning, Charlene calls out, Mama? Mama? Mama comes in and snaps on the overhead light and Charlene is standing there with blood streaming down her legs, her eyes large with fear, her bottom lip trembling.

Oh sweet Jesus, Mama says. What have you done?

Charlene spends a few days in the hospital. When she comes home, she hardly speaks. There are no songs. After a couple of weeks, Mama makes her go to school. Kids snicker behind Charlene’s back, but she doesn’t seem to notice. She moves through the world like she’s the only one in it. Nights, she goes to bed early and turns her face to the wall. I crawl in beside her and tell her everything will be all right, but she pushes me away.

You don’t know, she says. You don’t know.

I guess I don’t, I say.

But I want to.

One morning I wake and Charlene’s not in her bed. Mama sits at the kitchen table, crying.

Mama’s suitcase and most of Charlene’s clothes are gone. Mama’s boots are gone too but the sequined dress hangs in the closet.

I think I know where Charlene might go. Someplace quiet, where her songs will come back to her. When I tell Mama I believe I could find Charlene, she touches the marks on the side of my neck.

No, she says and folds me in her arms. Rocks me. Holds on. And then she’s singing one of Charlene’s little breathless songs. Mama’s voice is clear and soft.

Little sparrow with one bruised wing,

Sweet bird, who taught you how to sing?

Who made you fall

And stopped your song

And never picked you up at all?

Rise up on your unbroken wing

And sing, sweet sparrow, sparrow sing.

I push Mama away. How do you know her song? I say.

I wrote it down, she says.

She cradles my head against her breast, I feel her beating heart. She sings the song again, and I join in, my flat voice a whisper, calling my sister home.

A seventh-generation Mississippian, Gerry Wilson grew up in the red clay hills of the north. She is a recipient of a Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship for 2015. Her short story, “Mating,” won the Prime Number Short Story Contest 2014 and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Other stories have appeared in Prime Number, Good Housekeeping, Blue Crow, Halfway Down the Stairs, Arkansas Review, and Crescent Review. A retired teacher, Gerry is currently working on a new novel and writing short fiction. 

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