When Death Follows Close...

by Brad Richards

(This story is not completely finished. In fact I hope to make it quite lengthy if it is good. I wanted to get some critique on it so far. It is just a sprout from a small idea. So I decided to write with the moment I had. My punctuation and English might not be the best. But eh, mistakes are made.)

When Death Follows Close

John E. Harris sat in his office thinking about what his future might be. His career as a detective was slimming it's chances of continuing and his life, as he knew it, was as just as slim. Sitting at his desk, reflecting about his future, with flashing neon lights coming in through the shut blinds seemed like his normal night. But then, something ugly reared it's head into his office. Unexpectedly. As he was packing up, and heading out of his door, he noticed a package waiting by his door. He picked it up, figuring it was a wrongfully delivered package since he wasn't expecting anything. "Eh. What harm could it be?" he muttered to himself. Opening the brown packaging revealed to him a VHS tape. No label, nothing spectacular. Just a regular tape. The package itself wasn't too descriptive either. No return address on it. No stand-out characteristics. He had no VCR at his office to play it in, so it was just his luck that is was in flow with him leaving for home. Home being a run down apartment with rats and a dripping ceiling. Brown walls, creaky flooring, pots and pans piled high. At least, this is what he considered home. Some might call it a shanty. It worked for him though, so he wasn't one to complain. Coming home from a not-so-rough night left him with enough energy to willingly pop a video in. After setting down his briefcase, and taking off his clich brown trench coat and hat, he popped the video in and sat down on his couch waiting for something spectacular to jump on the screen. Nothing but static. Well, at least for the first 5 or so minutes. He was thinking about turning it off when all of a sudden he could hear muffled struggling coming through the screen. The static fuzzed away and now he could only see a black screen. Soon enough a light turned on. It seemed to be a flash light being shoved into some helpless woman's face. He could barely make out the surroundings. Out of the corner of the shot he could barely see a bed stand. The walls seemed grimy and moldy. Her mouth had been gagged, and her arms were tied to bed posts. The bed seemed to just be a mattress with many stains on it. He first assumed that the stains could have been from previous murders, but it just seemed that it was from being used for so long that many people have left their own, so to say "marks," on the bed. She seemed to be trying to scream "Help," but the gag stopped that. Soon enough, after a minute of hearing the muffled cries, he could see a pair of hands appear. Nothing else. Just the hands of the assailant. These hands didn't do anything at first. They caressed the face of the woman almost as if to say "You're going to be alright. For now." Then, almost like a magician, a scalpel appeared in his hands. The woman's eyes bugged from her head. She started frantically struggling for released. But to no avail. He placed the scalpel at the top of her forehead and slowly, and deeply, started cutting from the top of her face all the way around to his starting point. Blood was gushing down her face. Her breathing was heavier. Her struggling was growing stronger, but he was in control. He then started cutting around her eyes. And finally around her lips. Her face was reddened with blood. She was growing weaker as she struggled more. The blood was pouring down and her life was fading. Then, with one swift movement, he ripped the woman's face clean off. The blood poured out like a Niagara Falls of life. She soon slipped away. And he held up his handy work to the camera. In disgust and shock at the sight before him, John began vomiting violently. Could he really just have seen such a horrendous crime being committed? Why was he chosen to view it? Who sent the tape? A river of thoughts flowed through his head as the acidic taste of puke lingered on his tongue.

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