Horror Crime Thriller

In a playroom sweet as candy with its pink walls accented white, Taffy Simpson set a small plastic table for tea. It was a very intimate tea with the brand new teddy bear Mama gave her as the only guest. Like a little lady, she sat gently in a chair across from her guest and tipped the pink teapot into their cups.

“Thank you for coming, Chester. Since you’re new here I want to make you feel at home right away.” Taffy said. “Perhaps later you can watch me and Mommy carve pumpkins in the kitchen.”

She spoke with the same air as her mother, who she admired and loved very much. Mommy was always happy and smiling. She was gentle and soft-spoken and everybody loved her. Daddy says he loves her too even though he hurts her and makes her sad sometimes. They think Taffy can’t hear her cry in their room after he leaves but she does. Lately, she’s begun to cry outside of the room while he says terrible things to her. Daddy lost his job recently so now only Mommy works.  This makes Daddy angry. She may be master of her domain at work but at home Daddy was king! Taffy heard him say so to Mommy once when he was being naughty. That was just before Mommy fell down the basement steps and had to go to the hospital. Daddy said he was very lonely at night so Taffy had to get in bed with him.

She shook her head, not wanting to think about that except that it was the first time he gave her a lemon drop. She had a whole bag of them now, tucked away beneath the wooden frame of her bed, as it was a secret between her and Daddy. Taffy smiled at Chester. The sweet-faced bear smiled back.

“I wish you could come trick or treating but Mommy says bears aren’t allowed. I’ll show you my costume before we go to grandma’s. Mommy says her neighborhood has much better candy than ours and we even get to stay over!” She pressed a tiny finger to her lips. “Shh, but don’t tell Daddy. It’s a surprise.”

The front door slammed and the little girl stiffened. 

“Daddy’s home early.”

Her eyes grew wide as footsteps sounded in the hall.

“Tom, is that you? Come into the kitchen, please.”

“In a minute.”

Hearing the man’s voice just outside the door sent a shiver down the child’s spine. Her blood ran cold as she heard the door open and her father step inside. She squeezed her eyes shut as he approached and the brush of his hand on her cheek made her tremble.

“Taffy, don’t you have a kiss for Daddy?”

She opened first one eye, then the other to see him sitting on a chair beside her. Daddy was a tall man, taller than the others, and handsome. The women at church and the grocery store say as much. While her golden curls came from her mother, she got her green eyes from her father and not the brown hair he kept cropped short. Daddy always dressed nice and smelled good too, at least she used to think so. Now his smell made her feel sick.

Taffy realized he was still waiting for his kiss and tentatively got to her feet. He pulled her onto his lap and she lightly pressed her lips against his clean-shaven cheek. 

“Ah, that’s better.” He looked over at Chester. “What’s this?”

“M-mommy gave him to me.”

“Did she?”

“Mm-hm, his name is Chester.” She watched dry-mouthed as Daddy picked up the bear, suddenly afraid he might hurt him too.

As Daddy examined the bear closely, his lovely blonde wife stood in the doorway. Mommy was still healing and worked from home so she was wearing her smart red suit, her power suit she called it, with a black silk blouse. Taffy often wondered what powers it gave Mommy. Could she fly like Superman?

“Tom, I need to speak with you in the kitchen, now!”

Taffy jumped at Mommy’s sharp tone and glanced at Daddy who frowned. Mommy never spoke to Daddy that way.

“I think you’re forgetting who you’re speaking to in that tone,” Tom said, crossing his arms. “What do you need to speak with me about.”

Daddy always mocked the way her mother spoke. He calls her an uppity bitch when they think Taffy can’t hear them.

“It’s not something I wish to discuss in front of Taffy.”

Taffy gasped. Mommy was so stern, so angry. There was absolutely no fear. She’d never seen her that way before. Did she know about their secret lemon drop time as Daddy called it? Taffy watched his expression as Mommy left the room. His face was tight, nostrils flared with white around the edges, and his eyes dark and flashing. Taffy’s belly twisted into a cold knot as Daddy rose and left the room. She turned to Chester and shook her head, her voice wavering as she whispered, 

“Daddy’s gonna be naughty again.”

She didn’t know what Mommy was going to do but suddenly she felt the need to be there. She stood in the doorway of her room, hugging Chester to her, and watched her parents go down the hall. As soon as they reached the kitchen, Daddy shoved Mommy hard and she flew forward into the cabinets. She turned around as he grabbed her arms and shook her.

“Who the fuck do you think you are? How dare you talk to me like that? I am the master here!” 

He roared, suddenly dropping to his knees with a shriek. Mommy’s face was red and there were tears in her eyes.

“A master doesn’t molest his own daughter!” She yelled, her voice cracking.

“What did she tell you?” He croaked.

“She didn’t have to tell me anything. I knew something was wrong when I came home from the hospital.”

“You twisted bitch, just because you aren’t home for a few months to come between me and my daughter you just assume I’m touching her?”

“I know you’re touching her.” Mommy leaned forward, her eyes narrowed. “I saw you!”

“A goddamn nannycam.” Daddy laughed, shaking his head. “I knew it. As soon as I saw that stupid fucking bear I knew it.”

Mommy straightened and looked down her nose at Daddy. 

“You have two options. Walk out of this house right now or Taffy and I will. Either way, you’re never touching that little girl again.” 

Daddy’s arm shot out suddenly and he wrapped his large hand around her ankle, pulling her down. The loud crack Taffy heard when the back of her mother’s head hit the edge of the counter as she fell filled her with a sense of urgency, though she didn’t feel panicked. Instead, everything seemed to slow down as she moved toward the kitchen. Only one thought ran through her head over and over again - Daddy’s going to kill Mommy.

She stepped inside the room to find Daddy hovering over the unconscious woman, his hands wrapped around her mother’s throat. Blood pooled beneath her head as he squeezed and screamed. He didn’t see Taffy regard the table top that was at eye level. He didn’t see her note the large pumpkin, its head split open beside a smaller pumpkin still intact. Between the large pumpkin and the edge of the table was the carving knife used to split the Mommy pumpkin open. Taffy regarded the knife and then she regarded her father. Daddy’s going to kill Mommy.

Officer Alex Barker responded to neighbors’ reports of screaming and shouting at the residence of 15 Arnot Street Apt. B. There was a history of domestic violence at the residence though the wife hadn’t wanted to press charges when questioned at the hospital several months back. He knocked at the door, then opened it when he heard no answer. Drawing his service revolver, he announced himself to the residence but heard nothing. The home was clean and simply decorated. He slipped down the hall, delicate white flowers danced along yellow-papered walls. To the left was a pretty pink bedroom, an oversized dollhouse stood against the wall across from him beside a soft pink bed. In the middle of the room was a tiny pink table set for tea. 

“Hello? It’s the police. Can anybody hear me?” He called again. 

The silence in this home that had children in it left a cold lump in his belly. Approaching the kitchen, he began to see the evidence of the carnage. Blood dripped from the kitchen counters. In the middle of the room was the body of a tall dark-haired man face down in more blood that coated the floor. He’d been stabbed several times in the back, legs, and neck and the officer hazarded a guess that the large carving knife protruding from the man’s back was the culprit. Next to the man sat a little blond girl, 6 years old at most, her pretty pink dress soaked in blood as she calmly stroked the hair of an unconscious blond woman whose head rested in her lap. As he called for backup, the officer noticed a nannycam bear sitting on the kitchen table. He hoped it would provide the answers they needed to close the case and find the killer. 

October 25, 2022 17:39

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