Submitted by Heidi Hanson to Contest #15 in response to: Write about a character’s secret area of expertise, something most of their acquaintances would be surprised to learn they know tons about.... view prompt

He hopes no one is watching while he throws the heavy black bag over the bridge and into the water, smiling at himself for a job well done. Proud of himself for pulling off such a split second decision. 

He gets back into his car and drives home, smiling all the way, so very pleased with himself. 

Once he gets home, he happily washes the red from his arms and clothes. He watches, entranced, as it washes down the drain, paling as it is diluted with more and more water. He tosses his clothes in the washer and splashes some bleach over the stained clothes as to prevent them from becoming unwearable. 

He is sure, though, to pull his smartphone from the back pocket of his dirty jeans before he throws them into the machine. 

He reads through his messages. 

His girlfriend wants to schedule a double date. He says yes. 

A couple friends want to get together and watch a game on friday. He says yes. 

His parents want him to come over for game night and dinner on sunday. He says yes. 

Smiling at his productive day and booming social life, he climbs in bed and pulls the covers over him, falling into a deep sleep within seconds. 

*   * *   * * * 

I shout out of my room to my roommates, “Dave is coming over friday to watch the game!” 

They woop and cheer. I swear sometimes that they like Dave more than me, even though they chose my as my roommate instead of him. But everyone likes Dave, so I don’t worry about it too much. 

I love the guy just as much as they do.

*   * *   * * * 

Dave’s mom smiles as she reads his text saying that yes, he will be coming over on sunday for game night and dinner. She hasn’t seen him in a while. He says he found a new hobby that has been taking up a lot of time. 

She wonders what is is that keeps her sweet little boy so occupied. 

She tells her husband, who immediately opens up a cookbook to figure out what exactly it is that he will be making. He feels as though he hasn’t seen his son in years, although he knows he saw Dave within the last month. 

He hopes that Dave is happy doing whatever it is that he does. Whatever it is that he won’t divulge even to his parents. 

*   * *   * * * 

Jessica lays in her bed, grinning at her boyfriends emphatic “Yes!” 

She can’t help but believe that maybe Dave is the one. He genuinely loves Jessica, and she loves him back. And not the lust filled passionate flames that burn out in a week. This feels more like a steady burning candle to the both of them. 

She texts Maria, the friend they are planning a double date with, and tells her that the date is on. 

*   * *   * * * 

Dave dumps another wet black bag down into the lake. His second one in a week. This one, although messier than the last, Dave feels was easier. He hoped he would have been able to go straight to Jessicas, but he rushes home to change first. 

After all, he doesn’t want to scare his girlfriend away. 

He showers as fast as he possibly can. He despised tardiness. And he wants to grab some flowers before he picks up Jessica. 

Already late, he picks up a gorgeous bouquet of red and white roses. The crimson redness of the roses immediately drew him in, and he just had to get them for her. 

He knocks on her door and apologizes profusely for being late while handing his beautiful girlfriend the red and white flowers. 

She takes a deep sniff. Smiles. Sneezes. 

“Bless you.”

“Thank you.” 

They lock arms and walk down the steps. Dave opens the passenger side door for Jessica. He takes the flowers from her while she buckles up. 

And then they are off to the restaurant to meet up with Maria and her boyfriend. 

*   * *   * * * 

Jessica is really only interested in talking about one thing. 

Her newspaper this morning mentioned something about half a dozen missing people. 

How could so many people just up and leave?

The police weren’t sure if there was any foul play involved or not. There was no sign of a struggle. No sign that anyone else had entered their homes. Either it was a freaky coincidence, or whoever was doing this was a pro. 

They talked about the missing person cases for a little while, but sweet Dave seemed uncomfortable. Bothered by the disturbing subject. Jessica thought his heart was simply too big to be able to handle this topic. 

She changed the subject. 

The date went well. Without a hitch. 

Dave dropped her off at home. Kissed her on the cheek, and left. 

*   * *   * * * 

The three roommates sat on the long, used couch with Dave while a game played in the background. 

None of them, other than Dave that is, were really watching the game at all. 

They were talking about the missing person cases. 

More specifically, about the seventh person who was recently reported missing as well. 

“Can we maybe talk about something else?” Dave asked. He looked embarrassed that he was so bothered by the topic, the three roommates thought. 

For the sake of not humiliating Dave further, they didn’t say another word on the topic. They watched the came, laughed, cheered, joked, yelled, but they didn’t talk about the seven missing people. 

*   * *   * * * 

Dave was beginning to feel frustrated. Everywhere he went all people wanted to talk about was the missing people. He hoped his parents would have more pleasant subjects in mind as he threw an eighth black bag into the river on his way to his parents house. 

*   * *   * * * 

He should have expected it, though, his parents gossiping about the poor missing people when he arrived. 

Right from when he knocked on the door all the way through a round of monopoly it was all they talked about. Dave’s mom saying how she hoped they were okay. Dave’s dad saying how sick it was that anyone could do something like this.

The cops were sure at this point that it was foul play, although they had no leads. 

*   * *   * * * 

That is, until the dredged the the lake. Found eight bodies. 

And the DNA of one man who had done a very good job at going unnoticed. 

And knocked on his door. 

And took him away.

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11 likes 6 comments

15:57 Nov 23, 2019

Amazing story! The quality is amazing and keeping the name discreet whilst he is a murderer is sooooo clever!


20:35 Nov 23, 2019

Thank you so much!


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16:09 Nov 21, 2019

Intriguing. Leaves the reader wondering about motive.


18:35 Nov 21, 2019

Well that's good! That's kind of the feeling I was going for!


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02:18 Nov 14, 2019

This is so interesting!


18:34 Nov 20, 2019

Thank you!


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