Lost Souls

Vermont Fly Trap

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Vermont Fly Trap

by Daniel Hoar

Delbert Bowes had a face that gave people nightmares. Even Delbert’s own mother admitted her only child was homely. Everyone else said he was just pug-ugly.

Tall and gangly with shoulder length blond hair. One half of Delbert’s face was swelled forward while the other half seemed buckled in. He had baby-blue eyes but one eye was bigger than the other and higher on his head. A crooked nose showed one tiny nostril while the other nostril flared out to the diameter of an o-ring. Underneath the nose were lips as thick as two sausages stacked on top of each other that pushed out a row of jagged teeth from a squashed lower jaw. If you stared at his ears long enough you noticed one oversized earlobe hung a half inch lower than the other.

In spite of his train-wreck looks Delbert had been blessed with a brilliant mind. He should have been grateful. But the twenty-one year old junior at the University of Vermont was a lonely young man caught in a crisis that was slowly, agonizingly pushing him over the edge. He was a virgin. He had never slept with a woman. It disturbed him. Devoured him. It hunted him along the outside boundaries of his every waking thought. It invaded his dreams. His subconscious had become a vast playground of unrestrained erotica.

Unfortunately Delbert’s erotic dreams only lasted for so long. In the real world women couldn’t stand the sight of him.

Delbert’s days were filled with the alternate tedium of engineering classes and time spent in his room at the boarding house. The only person he exchanged even a passing conversation with was old Miss Landry, the boarding house’s landlady. She seemed to be always poking her head out from her downstairs apartment whenever he was coming or going. She’d invite him in and he’d refuse.

“I’ve just made some scones, Mr. Bowes.”

“No thank you, Miss Landry.”

“You have to come and visit sometime.”

“Maybe next week, Miss Landry.”

That was his abysmal life, a continuous cycle of monotony that went on day after day, week after week.

* * *

Delbert’s life changed forever the day he met Laura Harrison. She was a junior transfer student, and like Delbert, a chemical engineering major. They were assigned to be lab partners.

Laura had a pretty country-girlish face, a slender body and high breasts that were firm and full. Her light brown hair hung straight, just past her shoulders and whenever she turned, her hair glistened like the sea. Her deep hazel eyes seemed huge, angelic and the faintest flush lipstick she wore highlighted a vivacious full mouth.

Right from the start of their time together in the lab, Delbert knew his repulsiveness didn’t bother Laura. She was always kind to him, always looking him in the eyes when she spoke. Some days after lab they would get coffee together and talk about things outside of school. Laura was a talker and always led the conversations but that was fine with Delbert. He was content just to look at her.

It didn’t take Delbert long to cast Laura as the star of his nighttime fantasies. One day Laura came to class wearing a short tight, dungaree skirt and a shimmering revealing tank top. Delbert couldn’t take his eyes off her. In his mind he touched and kissed and licked Laura everywhere, from her eyes to the tips of her toes, to her most secret and mystical places. She explored him and he explored her, in every manner imaginable, by every position they could conceive. Every night Delbert wanted more of Laura. Much more.

He studied her. He began to dissect her every move. He watched the way she took lab notes, the way she pushed the locks of hair off her forehead when she asked questions. He looked to see what books she took back to her dorm. He took pictures of her when she wasn’t looking. In the beginning he started out as her friend. Then somehow it all changed.

It wasn’t long before he had a file two inches thick on her life. He even hacked into the computer in the registrar’s office to get a look at her transcript. It was the most impulsive, risky thing he had ever done.

He even spent one night outside her dormitory window. Watching her. When she went out with a couple of girlfriends he opened the unlocked window and went in. He was careful not to disturb anything. He took pictures. He took a pair of her panties as a trophy. He would give them back when the time was right.

When Delbert returned to the boarding house he had Laura’s panties tucked safely beneath his shirt. He was aroused. His legs felt like rubber. He nearly jumped out of his shoes when Miss. Landry called out.

“Another late night, Mr. Bowes? How about a piece of fresh pound cake?”

“No thanks, Miss Landry. Gotta hit the sack. Big day tomorrow.”

“That’s too bad. I was hoping you could visit…”

“Maybe next week,” he laughed to himself. Why would he want to spend any time with this old hag when he had Laura?

Every night before he went to bed he studied photos of Laura on his computer. In one photo it appeared she was looking directly at him. She walked up to him and began kissing him. Her tongue licked across his lips. She unbuttoned her shirt. She slipped off her panties. Her warm hands roamed all over him, gradually in their travels unbuckling his belt, unfastening his pants, lowering his zipper. Don’t be shy, Delbert.

The next day Delbert decided it was time to step things up. It was getting near the end of the semester. Laura had been complaining about how she couldn’t get any studying done in the dormitory because of all the noise. Even the library was no good because all the students ignored the “keep conversations to a minimum rule.”

The perfect opportunity had finally presented itself. He had to let Laura know he wanted to help her, without making obvious his ulterior motives.

“Why don’t you come over to my apartment tonight? It’s quiet and real close to your dormitory. You can study all you want.”

“I couldn’t do that, Delbert.”

“It’s no big deal. I’ve got a bunch of reading to do.”

Laura thought about it for a moment. Then she smiled.

“I could bring dinner. Give me directions, Delbert.”

It was almost too easy. Laura would arrive at five. They’d have an early dinner. Followed by a night of studying. At least that’s what she thought. This was going to be the greatest night of his life. He didn’t have much time. He needed to buy some champagne and condoms.

After Delbert got back from running his errands, he took a shower, brushed and flossed his teeth and put on his best tee shirt. He dimmed the lights and sat waiting anxiously for the knock on his door.

Laura arrived on time, looking beautiful, and announced that she couldn’t stay. Her boyfriend had called unexpectedly and was arriving in town tonight. She was excited to see him. Later they were going out to dinner and a movie. She apologized for the sudden change in plans. Said she’d see her goodole buddy, Delbert, tomorrow in lab. As she tried to leave, Delbert got between her and the door.

“What’s going on, Delbert?”

He cracked her hard across the face with his open palm. A boyfriend! She never mentioned a boyfriend! The rage came: swift and absolute. He hit her again. She staggered back, her eyes fluttering.


He rolled his big hand into a fist and punched her in the face. She screamed and made a weak attempt to get past him.

“Somebody help me!”

He punched her in the stomach. That shut her up. Then again in the face, sending her to the floor. She tried to get up. He punched her a few more times until her head slammed against the hardwood floor. He liked the sound it made.

He got on top of her. He was surprised how quickly her face had turned to a bloody pulp. Her eyes were closed. She was straining to breathe. He put his big catcher’s mitt sized hands around her slender throat and began to squeeze. Her hazel eyes bugged open. She struggled. He squeezed down. She bucked at first, and then wiggled a little. Then she went limp.

He got up and went to the sink and washed the blood off his hands and face. He felt no remorse. She lied to him. Led him on. She got what she deserved. Now he had to get rid of her. How would he do that? He knew the real problem was getting past Miss Landry.

“What’s that you got draped over your shoulder, Mr. Bowes? My, that looks to me like a…”

He couldn’t toss the body out the window. Someone could be walking by. What to do? Then he remembered that mob show he used to watch on TV. Whenever they got rid of a body they cut it up. Easier to move.

He picked up Laura’s body and brought her to the bathroom, placing her in the tub. Then he went to the closet and got the hacksaw from his toolbox. He started by sawing her in half, and then cut her legs and arms off. The last thing was removing the head. He stood over the bathtub gazing down at the bloody pile of body parts that was once Laura Harrison. A whole semester’s worth of hard work for nothing.

The parts were thrown into two separate plastic garbage bags. Then he placed them in two large luggage bags. He quickly cleaned the tub with ammonia solution. Then grabbed two twenty-five pound plates from his weightlifting set to ensure the bags would sink in the river.

Shutting the door quietly behind him. Delbert walked down the steps, past Miss Landry’s door, carrying the two luggage bags. As he walked across the dark parking lot he saw the approaching outline of man walking his dog. His heart pounded as he moved quickly. The bags were heavy but he reached his truck safely. The man passed without noticing him.

His old pickup truck started with a rattle and he was soon driving down the darkened street.

He tossed the two bags in the river. As he was driving home it dawned on him that he had to get rid of Laura’s schoolbooks. There was always the incinerator.

Later, on the way upstairs to his room, Miss Landry called to him from her door.

“Another late night, Mr. Bowes? I suppose you’ll be relieved once final exams are over. How about a cup of coffee? You look like you could use a little perking up.”

“Sorry Miss Landry. I’m really tired tonight.”

He opened the apartment door, immediately the smell of ammonia hit him in the face. He opened a window and sat down, retracing his every move. All in all, it had gone pretty smooth, except for the moment when the man and his dog almost caught him. He was sure the man hadn’t seen him. Even the dog didn’t seem to care. He kept going over his movements. Did he make any mistakes? She was in the river. No one saw him. In a little while he’d take a nice hot shower and then incinerate his clothes and her schoolbooks. He was sure he’d covered his tracks…except he didn’t have an alibi.

He got up and turned off all the lights. Did she tell anyone about him? Did anyone know she was coming here to study? Her boyfriend!

In the darkness he cringed. She must have told her boyfriend she was coming here first. Told her lover-boy all about her favorite lab buddy, Delbert Bowes. Lover-boy’s waiting for her right now. And when Laura doesn’t show up he’ll come over here.

Delbert jumped up and headed for the door. He went downstairs and knocked on Miss Landry’s door.

She answered in her bathrobe. “Mr. Bowes?”

“Hi Miss Landry. I’ve been a real jerk lately about not stopping by to visit you.”

She smiled. “Nonsense, Mr. Bowes! But come in! Come in! I was just about to give myself a massage with one of those lovely machines. But I can have the coffee ready in a jiffy. Would you like a scone to go with it?

“Yes, please.”

She escorted him across the hardwood floor with an amusing attempt at flirtatious grace and offered him a lumpy sofa.

“You’ll see it’s a very relaxing settee, Mr. Bowes.”

Delbert sank down in the sofa and got comfortable. His anxiety seemed to dissolve, slightly.

Miss Landry returned with a hot cup of coffee and a big blueberry scone.

“How do you take it, Mr. Bowes?”

“Excuse me?”

“What do you put in your coffee, Mr. Bowes?”

“Oh, two sugars, no cream.”

She returned to the kitchen. He was still on edge. He needed to calm himself down. Otherwise she’d get suspicious.

She returned and dropped two sugar cubes in his coffee. She sat down across from him, looking at him with dark inquisitive eyes.

“What do you do for excitement when you’re not studying, Mr. Bowes?”


“I guess you don’t have a lot of free time. All that schoolwork you do. I have a lot of free time. One of the great benefits of being an old lady, I guess. But I find things to occupy myself.”

“That’s great, Miss Landry.”

“Do you know what I like to do most with my free time, Mr. Bowes? I like to spy on people.”

He began to perspire. “That’s an interesting hobby…”

“I bet you never noticed the keyholes in this house are very old and very big. If you look through one you can see almost an entire room. Did you know Mr. Pemberton on the fourth floor likes to watch TV in the nude? Naughty man!”

She giggled. “I know I shouldn’t snoop. But I can’t help myself.”

She sipped her coffee. “I saw you tonight, Mr. Bowes.”


“I walked by your door earlier. Heard some commotion going on, so I had a look. She was very pretty.”

Panic! His eyes roamed the room and saw an empty plastic bag lying on her table. She saw him! She could put him in prison! He could be quick like before. Shoving the plastic bag over her head. Her face turning blue, eyes bulging.

“Another thing I do to pass the time. I keep a video diary. The camcorder is in my bedroom. After I saw you choke that girl it made me very upset, Mr. Bowes, so I went and told everything I saw to the camera. Then I took the cassette over to my lawyer’s house and asked him to put it in his safe and only look at it if I should pass on or suddenly disappear.”

She let out a good laugh then.

“My lawyer asked me if I was okay. I said I was never better.”

It felt like he’d just been kicked in the head.

“What do you want, Miss Landry?”

“From you, Mr. Bowes? Nothing. I want everything to stay the way it is. You have your schoolwork and I have my leisurely pursuits. Of course, I’ll expect you to visit me nights, for a little companionship. Remember you need an alibi.”

Suddenly she rose from her chair and sat down next to him. Her white skeletal hand was on his leg. Her face flushed. She was breathing faster. A ferocious lust rose in her soggy yellow eyes.

“You’re very tall, Mr. Bowes.”

She pulled open her bathrobe so he could see her sagging wrinkled breasts. “Before tonight I thought you were a shy man around the gals, Mr. Bowes. But I was wrong about you. Seeing you strangle that hussy. I knew right then and there I’d found someone I could play with.”

She unbuckled his belt, unfastened his pants, and unzipped his zipper. He hesitated. She whispered in his ear.

“You want to do this in prison with some large sodomite, Mr. Bowes? Now just relax. Pretend I’m your grandmother. And take off your pants.”

Outside, Laura’s boyfriend was ringing the buzzer to Delbert’s apartment. He was looking at his watch. She was late.

Copyright Daniel Hoar 2006

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