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The Ostrich
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The Ostrich

by S. Whoopher A. Fortin

He saw the young woman lay in her bed asleep, in her dream world, unaware of her surroundings. Reality was gone; her imagination took her away. She was restless as he stood and watched her; he knew she could sense his presence. The cold wooden floorboards screamed as he walked across them. He knew all this would seep into her dream, making her totally unaware of what was about to happen.

She gasped- then awoke as he stood over her. He could see that she was paralysed with fear. She did not know what he was going to do. He raised his axe slowly to savour the moment, to see the fear in her eyes, to see that look, the look of someone knowing that this is the end. Her fate would come soon.

The killer contemplated her thoughts. What kind of disgusting impression would she have of him? He presumed she would judge him and think he was trying to play God and decide her fate. He was going to hack her to death.

He raised his axe higher; so as to put more power behind his first blow. She leaped out of bed; the axe hit the mattress making a ripping sound that would send a chill down her spine. She raced out of the cabin.

The killer knew running was futile. Where would she go out here? There wasn’t a neighbour for miles. He assumed that running made her feel better. He knew it made her feel as though she was putting up a fight, that she would make him chase his prey. He would have to hunt her down like a wolf chasing down a rabbit.

He could see the woman was panicking, her feet tripped over each other, the leaves crunched like ice under her feet. The stones that were scattered about the forest were sharp like thousands of little pins that would stick into her bare feet. He heard the night creatures, the howls of the wolf, and the cries of an animal as a predator made its kill.

They had been running for a long time now. He hoped she could no longer hear the heavy breathing or his footfalls, as twigs crumbled beneath his feet. He could see she felt confused and alone. Had she given up? He followed her, watched her, stalked her. She finally stopped running, the killer stopped as well. he stood behind a thick tree trunk. He laughed to himself, for the woman did not know what to do. He could see that she was sweating and cold at the same time. The icy breeze flowed through her thin nightgown, she must have felt naked.

The killer saw that she couldn’t do it anymore; the woman fell to her knees and wept. Whatever was going to happen, he knew she would let it happen. She did a quick prayer hoping that God would hear her; that he would spare her life.

The killer stood right in front of her, his axe down by his side; she looked up at him. He knew that look; he had seen it many times before. She was pleading for her life with those eyes. She looked kind of like a puppy begging for table scraps. He saw that she feared death, she didn’t welcome it, but she did want it over with quick and painless. This was the part he liked best, to look into the victim's eyes and feel the power rushing through his veins. During this time he could be in total control. He had her life in his hands and was going to end it.

He put his gloved hand on her head and pushed. She fell back; and lay flat on the ground, eyes closed not willing to look her killer in the face. He saw the angel of death standing beside her, waiting to take her soul. The killer knelt down next to her; he wanted to say something, but didn’t know what. Perhaps he would think of something later. He brought his axe up. It came down fast and hard, but not hard enough. Her leg hadn’t come off yet. He swung again, this time cracking the bone. It would take three more hits to detach it. Finally her right leg was severed.

As he pushed it aside to move on to the next leg, he could see the large artery that he had sliced through. It was a horrible cut, the blood squirted out of it like a fountain. The killer imagined kids dancing through water, cooling themselves off and lapping at it to quench their thirst. The killer snapped out of it and looked back at the woman’s leg. He would have to do the next one more quickly, so he would be able to look in those beautiful eyes once more before she left him.

Now that both of her legs were amputated, she could not run away even if she wanted too. Chasing this woman was the hardest part of this mission. His ears ached with pain from her screams. That didn’t matter now, he looked at her face; her eyes were still closed.

“Look at me!” he said sharply. Though she must have been in a tremendous amount of pain, she did as he asked, probably hoping that the torture would stop.

She looked directly in his eyes. Something he did not expect; he felt strange; he felt she was looking into his mind. Violating his thoughts, he knew she saw the hatred emanating from his eyes. She strained to say something.


He came closer; the life was draining from her.

“Because, I have to make sure they get the message!”

She was gone. Her soul had left her. The colour disappeared from her eyes. All she had now was a cold grey stare, a stare that could pierce right through you, an evil matched by very few humans.

All the woman was now was a body. He felt sick. He wished she had never died. The moment when death was just around the next corner, that was what he wanted. He wished for time to go into limbo. But that’s how life is. He would have to do it again to rekindle the feeling he craved.

He severed her arms and head and re-arranged them. He picked up one of her legs and placed it vertically on the ground. Next he took her right leg and placed it vertically along the ground. He took her left leg and her two arms and placed them adjacent to her right leg. He put one at the top, one at the bottom and one in the middle; making an "E" shape.

He thought he heard someone coming. He knew it was just his imagination running away with him. Just in case it wasn’t, he decided that he wouldn’t have time to chop up and bury her head and torso. He picked them up and carried them under his arm. He slipped into the darkness disappearing into the night like a shadow in the light. He felt better now. He would go home and have a nice hot cup of tea before retiring.

In the morning, at the police station, a strange place to be. Detective Jared was just happy that he was there because he was a cop and not a convict.

“Sergeant Jared!” the Captain shouted. His voice was gruff and everyone jumped when he spoke. “In my office now!” He hollered. Jared quickly walked over to the Captain's office; a place no cop in this station would want to be because it usually it meant you were in trouble. Sgt. Jared, scared of what was to come, opened the door and stepped in. The Captain didn’t look happy, but Jared knew he never did.

“There’s been a murder and several disappearances in the town of Moosehead."

Jared had an astonished look upon his face; he didn’t know what to think. Moosehead was where he grew up. There's never been any crime there except the odd squabble between neighbours. The Captain continued.

"The authorities there are requesting our help."

Jared felt sick to his stomach; all his family and childhood friends were there. He had to know, to ease his mind. It is better to know who the victim is than to be kept in the dark.

"Who's the deceased?"

"I don't know, the authorities there will show you the crime scene."

Barked the Captain. Jared didn't say anything, he didn't know what to say, he nodded and slowly walked out of the room.

All the way to the small town all he could think of was "Why, why would someone do this kind of thing?"

Jared knew that he must go there and face his fears, to find out if this was the work of a serial killer. He thought that once he got there he would feel better to get out into the fresh air and to be home.

He discovered that he had made an error in his assumptions. Stepping out of the car made him feel worse; all his muscles tensed up. Seeing the group of officers standing around in a circle discussing things- things he could not quite make out. He could smell something faint in the air. At first he didn't know what it was, this smell was familiar to him; he's had to breathe in this kind of thick air before. It was the smell of rotting flesh. There were strong winds that day blowing in his direction. He figured that’s how the smell was able to travel so far.

The car door slammed shut making the police officers jump; they hadn’t noticed him until then. None of them said anything. They just stood there like ghosts that had just come up out of the graveyard; standing in front of their tombstones to watch the living go about their daily lives- most of them paying no attention. The dead silence made Jared feel the tension in his bones; he had to say something.

"Where is the crime scene?"

"Follow me," the tall Constable replied. The tall man started into the forest Jared had to quicken his pace to catch up with him. The other two followed in behind him. The forests in these parts were strange, giant rocks protruded out of the ground. They had holes in them, large enough to put your hand in, but he never did for fear he' wouldn't get it back.

The officers didn't say a thing; they just walked. They could hear the cheerful song of a sparrow and the ear-piercing shriek of a crow. Jared noticed something. The closer they came to the crime scene the thicker the crows grew. In some areas the trees and rocks were black with them, screeching and snapping at each other.

There was something else that everyone noticed. The air was getting thicker the stench, that awful smell of death grew stronger, more intolerable, but they had to keep going.

A different force than the others drove Jared there. He had to go to find out who it was. Who was this monster’s latest victim?

One of the constables started gagging. Jared stopped to see how he was. The others kept walking with their hands up over their mouths.

"Are you alright? Do you want to stay here?"

Jared turned to the others.


They stopped.

The tall man shot Jared a look that he felt went right through him. Jared figured that he just wanted to go and get it over with. The gagging man didn't reply, he stood back up on his feet and walked up to where the others were. They all turned and continued on their way. Jared, with a confused look went along with it. The rest of the way there he kept to himself, quiet as the others, though the dead silence of the men made him uneasy.

When they finally arrived at the scene, it was a gloomy and horrifying site. Big black crows flew in circles above. Some were feeding on the victim. Slightly congealed blood lakes swam around the victim's legs and arms that had been rearranged to make an "E" shape. The stiff legs of a dead cat skewered her torso and head.

Jared looked closer at her head. It was her! She was someone he knew from childhood.

"Marianne!" Jared blurted out. He couldn’t restrain himself, he ran over to her head. The crows that were feeding on her didn't move. They didn't even acknowledge his existence, they just kept feeding. Jared knelt down in front of her. Her eyes were closed. All he could do was stare. The tall man concluded that the victim was someone he knew. He thought he should say something, all the officers' thought they should, but didn't. They just stood in silence staring at Jared with a wild look in their eyes. They let Jared wallow in his own misery.

Jared looked up, he saw an ostrich standing between two tall rather crooked and mangled trees. It just stood there watching him with those big cow eyes. A twig cracked making everyone shift their attention over to where the sound came from. A short mangy looking man came running out of the forest into the clearing. He had something in his hand, but no one could see what it was. He stood at the top of the "E" and faced the officers. Jared stood up to see what he was going to do.

The man slowly opened his hand. Jared and the officers couldn't tell what it was. The man opened his mouth to speak. A deafening bang was heard shortly there after. The man snapped his head back, blood poured out of his mouth and chest. The man’s knees buckled and he collapsed. There he stood behind him-the killer. He held a black gun in his hand. He turned the gun on the officers.

"Get out of the way!" Jared shouted at them. But they didn't move, they couldn’t move; they were paralysed with fear. One by one they were shot down. He first hit the tall man, then the one who was sick earlier. Jared felt helpless he couldn't move his legs; this frustrated him, sending him into madness.

After the last one fell, the killer turned and looked at Jared. He threw down his gun and reached behind him and pulled out an axe. He slowly walked towards Jared. He raised his axe. The killer smiled and brought the axe down sinking it deep into Jared's chest. He collapsed and fell to the ground. The killer squatted down beside him and took off his ski mask. He looked into Jared's eyes. The killer's face seemed to be flickering like a computer screen. What looked like an ostrich's face appeared on the killer.

The killer could see Jared's sole leaving him; soon there was just a vacant stare just like all the others. He went to the body and cut off the arms and legs. He did the same to the rest. He began re-arranging their body parts. He was glad he didn't run out of parts, in fact he had too many, so he buried them. After he finished he stood back to admire his work

"Sincerely yours, Vengeance!" the killer whispered to himself. Once again he slipped away, disappearing into the mist.

Suddenly the Ostrich woke up from a very disturbing dream.

Copyright S. Whoopher A. Fortin 2004

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