Sunday 26 – Wednesday 29 July 2015
‘Oh God, it’s hideous. It’s full on 70s wallpaper. Look at that. The colour winding through the pattern. Do you know what that colour is? I’ll tell you what it is. It’s bloody mission brown.’ The room wasn’t spacious enough for Iona to comfortably swing around to take in the décor. At least it wasn’t with her three travel companions in the room with her.
‘Great, can’t even swing a cat in here without hitting a wall with you guys in here too. Whose idea was it to book this place?’ She looked from each friend to the next, an accusatory expression on her face.
Nash caved first. ‘Lance did. He Googled it.’
Nash’s shoulder was met with a solid right hook, throwing him back against the doorjamb.
‘Ooowww, you shithead. What’d you do that for? She was gonna work it out sooner rather than later.’
‘Iona’s right, Lance. This place is a pit. How could you possibly have thought that this was an acceptable place to overnight?’ Gabrielle looked at Lance with disdain. ‘It’s shitty, Lance. Really, really shitty.’
‘Well I didn’t see any of you getting organised for this trip. I mean, not once did any of you get off your asses, and do anything to help with planning this trip. It was all left up to me, so if you don’t like where we’re gonna be staying on this road trip, it’s your fucking fault for not helping.’ Lance shoved his way past his friends, and headed back to the reception and restaurant building.
‘I should go see if he’s okay,’ Nash said.
‘No, leave him. He’s probably going to stuff his face with bad motel restaurant food. He’ll come back when he’s ready,’ replied Gabrielle.
Andy Jarvis watched the tall kid leave the room, and head back across the parking lot.
‘Hey Cheryl, think you best tell Willie to spark up that griddle of his. Looks like we got a hangry one coming.’
A screeching voice replied from another room in the reception building. ‘An’ what the hell is hangry, you fool?’
‘Hangry is what all the kids are saying these days. It means hungry, and angry at the same time. Probably angry ‘cause they’re so hungry . . . or somethin’ like that. Anyways, get Willie on the grill, woman.’
‘You call me woman one more time, just one more time, Andy Jarvis, and I’ll cut your nuts off an’ hang ‘em on the tree at Christmas time.’ Cheryl appeared from her hiding place with a pair of scissors in her hand, and grinned at Andy.
‘Just find Willie,’ Andy replied.
* * * * *
In and out of consciousness since she’d hit her head on the tree stump, she’d lost track of how long she’d been in the woods. She touched her head at the site of the gaping wound, and had to stifle a scream as she felt the soft matter beneath what had previously been bone. He was here somewhere, of that she was certain. Watching, and waiting for her to make her getaway. Not that she could see him; she could barely focus on her bloodied fingers let alone what, or who, was out in the woods surrounding her.
At the rustle of leaves to her right she rolled her head in the direction of the sound. A bolt of pain shot through the parts of her skull that were still intact. She whimpered, barely audible, but to any experienced hunter it was the sound of wounded and scared prey.
‘Please, please,’ she began in a whisper, ‘leave me alone. I won’t tell. Please . . .’ Crying followed the whispering. ‘Leave me alone. LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!’
With swiftness and ease, the head of the axe severed her head from her neck. Blood spurted from the wound, and pooled under and around her torso. He took a step back from the corpse; blood evidence on his boots was the last thing he needed if anyone came around questioning her whereabouts. It wasn’t the cleanest of kills he’d made, but at the end of the day, a kill was a kill, and that was especially good seeing as though she’d escaped him once before. But nature had taken care of that. In trying to outrun him, she’d tripped and fallen, and her head had made intimate contact with a tree stump. After that, it was simply a matter of waiting for her to wake up before he finished her off. Conscious prey was always more fun to deal with.
There was little need to remove her corpse. The animals would take care of that. But with her gone, his little critter, he needed to find new prey before his need to hunt became overwhelming.
. . . To be continued . . .