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The murder house

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The Murder House

by David Barton

He saw the schoolgirl enter the house about half an hour after he’d parked opposite it.

‘Gotcha!’ he said to himself.

After climbing out of the car and taking a look around, he crossed the deserted street towards the house.

Making his way along the short path that led up to the door, he observed to either side of him as he trod, the overgrown garden that announced that the house hadn’t been inhabited for a while.

The girl had entered through the door, hadn’t even had to force it. Funny that it was open. He thought they would have kept it locked. Then he guessed that some of the local kids, like the girl who had just entered the building, had probably forced it open on some other occasion to explore the inside.

He found the girl lighting up just inside the hallway. He gave a cough; she shot a look towards him, the cigarette almost falling from her lips in the process.

She looked frightened, her eyes darting around as if looking for some means of escape, without having to go past him and through the front door.

‘It’s okay,’ he tried to reassure her, ‘I’m not gong to hurt you.’

‘Isn’t that what they all say?’ she said. Despite being afraid she took a drag on her cigarette and exhaled blue smoke into the air.

‘All … who?’ he asked.

‘Men like you.’

‘No … you … you have the wrong idea,’ he said, ‘I saw you enter the house, and …’

‘And … what?’ Again her eyes flicked around as if searching for an escape route.

‘Just … to see if you were all right. This property is condemned. It’s dangerous to be in here.’

She gave a casual glance around at the large hallway. ‘Looks safe enough to me,’ she said, then she looked back to him. ‘I only came in here for a smoke.’

‘Shouldn’t you be in school?’ he asked. It was only 2 pm; he knew the schools in the area didn’t let out until just before three.

‘School is for losers,’ she said. She took another drag on her cigarette.

‘So, you’re going to go far if you keep skipping school?’ He offered her a wry look.

‘Maybe … maybe not, who cares.’ She gave a shrug.

‘Are you still frightened?’ he then asked.

‘I never was in the first place.’ He put this down to bravado, although she now appeared to be calm and collected, as she casually puffed away on her cigarette.

‘No, you’re not frightened, are you?’ he said and gave a laugh. ‘A real toughie, I bet. I mean, if you were frightened, you wouldn’t have entered this place.’ He glanced around.

‘No, I’m not frightened,’ she said, taking another look around the hallway herself.

‘I mean; this is where it all happened.’

‘Yep,’ she said, ‘where it all happened. The Murder House.’

‘He murdered young girls, like you, he …’ He paused, thinking it best not to remind this young girl of what exactly that sadistic bastard had done to other young girls like her.

She looked him straight in the eye. ‘It’s okay, you can go into details, I’m not squeamish.’

‘I don’t think it’s the sort of thing you want to discuss with a young lady, what he did to them.’

‘Anyway, why would I be frightened? He’s not likely to be here, is he? Not when he’s dead.’

‘They never found the body,’ he said.

The girl’s attention now shifted towards the stairs that led up into the darkness of the floors above.

‘That’s true.’ She looked towards him. ‘Do you think he’s still alive? That he could return? That maybe …’ She peered upwards. ‘… he could be here, right now, hiding somewhere in this house?’

‘No,’ he said. ‘But if I were a young girl, I wouldn’t want to be near this place after what happened here.’

‘He tortured them, didn’t he?’ she said. ‘Then he … you know … had sex with them.’ Her eyes lit up. ‘I heard that with one of his victims, he cut her head off and then did it with her after. Without her head!’ She grinned with relish.

‘You’re weird,’ he said.

‘I’ve read all about it, in the papers … I like things like that.’

He frowned. ‘Like?’

‘Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting, innit? Stuff like that? Murder and all that?’

‘I’m not quite sure it’s healthy for a young girl to be interested in things like that. Shouldn’t you be interested in pop music and boys?’

‘Pop music’s boring. Except for Goth, I like Goth. And boys … boys are just stupid.’

Suddenly her eyes ignited again. ’Do you think there’ll be any blood upstairs? Stains, and stuff?’ She looked to be almost drooling over the prospect.

The girl peered upwards again, her eyes almost leaving their sockets.

‘You’re not going up there, he said. ‘It’s probably not safe.’

She glanced to him. ‘Are you going to stop me?’

‘There most likely won’t be any stains,’ he said. ‘The police will have cleared it up.’

‘Nah,’ the girl said, ‘the filth won’t have touched it. They’re lazy bastards. If there’s a burglary, like there is sometimes on our estate, they don’t usually turn up ’til hours after it’s happened.’

‘You live on an estate?’

‘Yeah. I suppose you live in big posh house, don’t you, eh, mate?’

‘No, not really,’ he told her.

She finished her cigarette and let it drop to the floor, then stubbed it out with her foot. Then she looked towards him. ‘Do you make a habit of it then, of following young girls into deserted houses?’

‘If I think they might be in danger, yes.’

‘Do it a lot then, do yer?’

‘No,’ he said, offering a smile, ‘you’re the first girl I’ve followed into a deserted house.’

‘Oh …’ she seemed disappointed. She stared at the stubbed cigarette at her feet as if thinking about something, then looked up towards him again. ‘Well, I’ve decided you can, if you want.’

‘Can if I want … what?’ he asked.

‘Have sex with me, if that’s what you’re after. You’ll not have an offer like this again. Young girl, coming on to you. Offering it to yer on a plate.’

For a moment he was stunned into silence. Then he said, ‘I’m not interested in you.’

‘Why not? I’m pretty, aren’t I?’ she said.

‘Yes, but … how old are you?’ He raised his eyebrows.

‘Sixteen. It’s old enough, innit? I mean, it’s legal, we wouldn’t be doing anything wrong.’ She glanced towards the stairs again. ‘I’d really like to see the upstairs.’

‘I’ve told you, it’s not …’

But before he could finish, the girl had made a dash towards the stairs and was bolting up them.

He followed her as swiftly as he could, and as he ascended them he put his foot through the rotted wood of one stair about halfway up. ‘Shit!’

He had grazed his ankle. Although he hadn’t done much damage, it hurt like hell. He pulled his foot out from the splintered wood and bent to rub it. He peered upwards. Now he couldn’t hear the girl’s footsteps on the bare boards above him. Why had she become so quiet now? Had something happened to her?

Wincing, he made his way up the rest of the stairs, treading carefully, wary not to repeat the same injury on any of the others, but nevertheless in haste to find the girl.

She was giggling and lying on an old mattress in what must have been the master bedroom when he did find her. It looked filthy, but she didn’t seem to be bothered much about its state.

‘Handy,’ she said. Then she patted the mattress beside her. ‘Lie next to me.’

‘No,’ he said, lingering in the doorway.

She started to unfasten her skirt.

‘Don’t do that,’ he said, appearing more uncomfortable with the situation by the minute, but entering the room now. ‘Please, don’t.’

Then the girl seemed to notice something on the opposite wall of the room facing her.

‘Oh, awesome!’ she said, her eyes widening.

She rose to her feet, and as she did so her skirt fell from her. She stepped out of it, her blouse hanging down loosely now.

He turned to face the wall. There were bloodstains on there and on the floor. The stains were only small but nevertheless some blood had been shed here at some point.

As the girl reached the wall, she put her finger to one of the stains. ‘This is … fresh,’ she said, looking at it.

As he looked he saw that some blood had indeed come off the wall onto her finger.

‘Shit!’ he said in sudden panic. He glanced to her. ‘Let’s get out of here!’

‘Do you think he’s come back?’ she asked, still examining the blood on her finger.

‘I’ve told you … he’s … dead.’ He was edgy now. ‘We’d better get out of here, though.’

‘Why?’ she asked. ‘I mean, if you don’t think he’s come back … why do we need to get out of here?’

He stared at the stains on the wall and tried to put out of his mind images of what might have happened in this room to cause them. Another victim, a young girl like this one in the room with him now. He looked to her. He couldn’t help himself but glance towards her and run his eyes over her. Her legs. Her breasts. He tried to fight images flooding into his mind, substituting a victim of the killer for her. Imagining what had been done to the girls happening to this girl. It was no use, of course. Those terrible images were flashing through his mind, as he saw victim after victim perish at the hands of the killer.

‘Something’s not right here … the blood …’ he finally managed to utter, averting his eyes from her to halt the flow of visions.

‘You’re thinking about it, aren’t you?’ she said.

He looked back to her. ‘Thinking about what?’

‘About what he did to them? Imaging if it was me who was the victim.’ She was searching his face for signs that he was, although she seemed to know.



Her eyes gleamed with fresh excitement. ‘Let’s play victim and killer!’

‘What?’ he asked. ‘Look, we’ve really got to get out of here!’

‘Too much to stand, is it? The thought of what he did to them? What you’re thinking of doing to me?’

The bitch is right; he heard a voice say somewhere inside his head. It was as if it was whispered in his ear and then echoed around his mind. Do to her what you did to the others!

‘But I didn’t do anything to the others!’ He’d said it out loud.

‘I knew it,’ the girl said. She appeared excited at the idea.

‘You should get out of here!’

‘Why, what are you going to do to me?’ she asked him.

’Nothing,’ he said making for the door. ‘I’ve … got to get out of here.’

But she ran over to the door before he could reach it and closed it, standing in front of it, barring his exit.

‘What are you doing?’ he asked her.

‘You can’t leave,’ she said. ‘We haven’t had any fun yet.’

‘I’ve told you … I don’t want … sex with you’

Her eyes were full of mischief now. ‘I’m not talking about that,’ she said.

‘Or play … games.’

‘But we haven’t decided who’s going to be the victim and who’s going to be the killer yet,’ she said.

Then she pulled out something from her jacket pocket and before he knew what was happening, merely catching sight of a flash of silver, she had thrust whatever it was into his ribcage.

A sharp pain gripped his abdomen.

She had stabbed him with a small flick-knife.

He looked from the knife to her, stunned at what she’d done. Then she withdrew it and thrust it into him again. And then repeated the action yet again.

She stood back and watched as he slid down the door to the floor, where he sat just staring bewilderment at her.

‘Guess that means I’m the killer,’ she said matter-of-factly. Then she added, ‘Told you I was interested in murder, killing and stuff,’ she said. ‘You’re my first, however.’ She grinned, and stared at the wounds she’d made in fascination. ‘They say it gets easier with each one. That’s what I’ve read.’

‘Why?’ he asked. It only came out as a croak; such was his pain.

‘Do I need a reason?’ she said. She shrugged. ‘It just seemed like a fun thing to do. I was bored and I wanted some amusement. Schools for losers, as I said. Least this way I learn something.’

‘You need help,’ he uttered weakly.

She laughed. ‘I need help? I’m not the one bleeding to death!’

Then she got her mobile phone out from the other pocket of her jacket. She saw him look to it and rolled her eyes, then said, shaking her head, ‘Oh, no … I’m not going to phone for an ambulance for you. I’m phoning my mum to let her know I’m safe. There a lot of funny people about, she worries.’

She made the call. He couldn’t believe how calmly she spoke to her mother. It was as if nothing had happened.

‘I’m fine, mum,’ she said into the phone. ‘Be home soon. Yes, I will be careful, won’t talk to any strange men or anything.’ She flashed him a grin as she said this.

When she’d finished she stared at him. ‘Such a worrier,’ she said. ‘Well, can you blame her in the world we live in today?’

Her voice was different now. Her face was taking on a different appearance too. The features slowly changing into that of a man.

He recognised the face. He had seen it staring back at him from countless newspaper reports. That face. The face of evil. ‘Redmond? I thought you’d be rotting in hell!’ he said to the man who now stood before him.

‘Why would I want to be in hell, when there’s innocence to corrupt?’ Redmond took a moment to stare at him, then said, ‘I whispered in her ear and she was willing. So willing. It’s in everyone if you … bring it out of them.’

‘You evil bastard!’

‘Thank you,’ said Redmond and grinned. ‘Thank you so much. Such a compliment. Just one thing? Why didn’t you have her, when she offered herself to you?’

‘Because I’m not like that.’

‘You are … like that. I can see it in you. It might be hidden in the furthest reaches of the catacombs of your mind, but its there. And much more. I can see it all. Every depraved act you ever thought of committing. You could have had her. It would have made dying afterwards a little more bearable, knowing you’d made love to such a pretty young thing.’

He thought back to the images he’d seen of Redmond’s victims and realised that Redmond had probably been responsible for placing them in his mind.

‘You’re not human! You never were!’ he cried at Redmond.

‘Yes, I was,’ Redmond said. ‘I was once human. But I surpassed that. I transcended it. I could see that it was limited in possibilities. To be a moral, upstanding member of the human race is just dull. Far better if you can … live a little. Not be restricted by what’s considered good or evil.’

Redmond grinned.

‘Is your life passing before you eyes?’ the fiend asked.

He didn’t answer.

‘Must be filled with good deeds, and so much goodness. After all, did you not enter this house because you feared for the safety of the child? Wasn’t that a mistake and a half!’

He looked down at the blood escaping from his abdomen, when he looked up, Redmond had gone and there was just the girl again.

‘Cheer up,’ she said, ‘might never happen.’ Then she gave a giggle. ‘Oops, it just did!’

She raised the knife to her eye line and stared at it as if mesmerised by it. ‘Come on knife,’ she uttered to it. ‘We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re going to be busy aren’t we in the next few weeks, you and me? Lots of fun to be had. After all, bunking off school is usually pretty boring. Gotta do something to keep myself occupied. Keep me off the streets. You just don’t know who’s out there. There’s lot of funny people around.’

She looked towards him, as his life was just about to pass from him.

‘Aren’t there?’

Copyright David Barton 2006

David Barton is the editor of Lost Souls Magazine, his fiction has appeared in the "fan fiction" section of the website for American horror author, Nicholas Grabowsky  http://www.downwarden.com and in the now defunct 31 Eyes ezine.  More info can be found at: http://chainsawhell.tripod.com/homepage

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