Willy Wilks and the Boogeyman

Submitted into Contest #163 in response to: Write about a character who risks everything to pursue their heart’s desires.... view prompt


Horror Mystery

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

I was walking to my car in the back alley on the left of the diner when I saw the two soiled, rugged men from before waiting by my truck, smoking cigarettes. It seemed almost cliché and too perfect. Seconds and minutes felt like hours and days walking that back alley, watching them watch me. The rush of imminent violence was invigorating and terrifying at the same time but I was ready. 

As I walked, I thought how unfortunate. What kind of men can come to such a low as to prey on those of us trying to make the world a better place? I loathed it as everyone else. It was the simple audacity these men proclaimed to declare their occupation as thieves. That was the truly insulting part. They think they can be the predators and not the prey. But that was the way, I guess. Legal or illegal as it seemed, such was life. Politicians did it by enacting laws in monkey suits just as criminal lowlifes like them did it in raggedy clothes. At least criminals looked the part. There was no deception like a politician in a $10,000 suit convincing you taxes helped everyone and not just themselves. As I thought more about it, I respected the real criminals more than politicians as I believe society felt the same. I held dogs to a higher standard than that filth. But I digress... 

They didn’t know it but I eyed them up in the morning right away. I was in the diner having my morning breakfast when I saw them come in. We can smell our own like blood to a vampire. The young one drove all night, the bags under his eyes didn’t lie. Both had coffee and a plain bagel in front of them; the cheapest food in the joint although I don’t know why. When the older guy pulled out his wallet to retrieve what looked like a business card, he had a wad of money stashed inside.  

Lowkey in a small town like this could have been accomplished if not for their general demeanor. They looked on edge. Casing the diner from time to time to see if anyone recognized them. Obviously, they pulled some heinous crime a couple of towns away, maybe even crossed state lines that was news worthy. The older guy was scanning the paper, commenting every once in a while about his findings to the kid. It must have been serious but not serious enough to take up the first page of the local paper. Amateurs. The front page read, “Boogeyman Claims 8.” ‘A thorn in my side’ is what it should read. Everyone here is worried about a killer who kills killers. They should probably be thanking him. Or her, whatever the case may be. 

They were dirty looking, grungy. Maybe slept in the car a day or two. The younger guy shivered, trying to warm his hands by holding his coffee like a baby would suck on a bottle. He was thin but had some definition. A young little punk, maybe the first time on his own. He was scared but determined to show the older guy he was resilient.  

The older one was rested, stocky; maybe a vet in the community of thievery. I’m sure he made the younger guy feel secure. Try to teach him the ropes so to speak, make him do all the work so he could be a ‘proper criminal’. Poor young sap, learning from a multiple convicted felon; you could tell by the old man’s prison tattoos. I always thought to myself, why learn from a C student? Jail wasn’t a place to make friends and especially not a place to find a mentor.  

“To dissect is to know. To over analyze is to prepare.” It’s what my mentor always taught me. Never assume too much, but assumptions based off experience can find fact. I concluded they were low level thugs. It was fall and they were both dressed inappropriately; t-shirts and jeans. Not a good choice for the north which meant they were probably arrested in the summer. Maybe even how they made friends in the joint. Who knew? I knew their kind though. They were dumb, but dangerous and sure enough had friends close. 

 You could tell Kelly was uncomfortable waiting on them. They were taking up her time, being overly nice but asking intrusive questions; maybe about her or maybe about the town I couldn’t hear. I was too far away but I could tell from their body language, they were not making friends. She tried to avoid them but every time she passed, they were inquisitive or requesting more coffee with broken smiles. The younger one even flirted with her from time to time to which angered his older, more reserved partner. At one point, she handed them the remote to the Tv. They immediately switched it to the local news. 

I knew they were going to be in the diner for a while. There was heat, cheap coffee and a tv that took most of their attention. They never pulled out a phone so they ditched their communication and any kind of tracking. They were off the grid and didn’t want to be found. Their friends must have been here or close by.  

The town of Siklmore was small and the land surrounding it was farm land as far as the eye could see. Trespassing is ill advised even for the toughest thugs. It was a rough country side, not made for the novice survivalist, so to speak. It was rugged and if you stepped on the wrong property, more times than not you would disappear. People liked to keep to themselves here. That’s where law enforcement came in, in these parts. We liked to keep it that way despite what the Sheriff tells me. That happened a lot around these parts. People would go missing. Unfortunately for them, you can’t hide in the country without shelter and supplies and you couldn’t hide in the town because everyone knew everyone. It was a perfect prescription for disaster. Someone innocent was going to get hurt so I had to be the hero but I could choose what kind of hero I was going to be. 

I decided now was the time to make my presence known. I waited until I made eye contact with one of the guys. It just happened to be the younger one which was the best situation. I winked at him and he immediately took offense and told the older one. Kids...they’re so easily offended and predictable. Kelly headed my way to finish me up. 

“Is there anything else I get you?” 

“No, thank you Kelly I’m okay. When you get a second, get me the check.” The older one looked over at me after the conversation. He sees me, smiles and looks away. “Are those gentlemen bothering you?”  

“Nothing I can’t handle. Just a bunch of apes passing through.” 

“They said that?” 

“Something along those lines. I think they said something about the Parkers farm up on Crescent.” She adds up the total on the tablet, rips off the paper and hands it to me. “Have a good day, Deputy Wilks. Will we be seeing you again tomorrow, same time?” 

“You know I can’t pass up the best eggs in the state?” She laughs because they were far from it; runny and tasteless. “Do me a favor and keep the deputy stuff on the down low? I’m supposed to be under cover.” I smirk and wink at her (wearing civilian clothes while on duty always has its benefits). She smiles and walks away. She was sweet and played along. 

“Anything you say Willy.” 

I take one more sip of my coffee before leaving and I notice them noticing me nonchalantly. Good. Time to put on an act and reel them in. I can tell they took the bait. I faked a limp out to my truck and got in as gently as I could. 

I made the usual rounds and prepared for the upcoming onslaught. I passed by town every once in a while, just to make sure they were still around and sure enough, they never moved from the diner. After doing some digging, I found out couple of guys not only robbed a small-scale bank two states days ago, they also killed 2 people in the act. Three, if you count the unborn child. They were scum. It sounds like small time crooks hit the right bank at the perfect time, supposedly making off with a lot of cash.  

Someone helped them figure out this heist and they’re leading them to an abandoned farm and probably to their death. This was a big score. How they got away from the law enforcement in this day and age is beyond me but whoever did it put them right in my backyard. Maybe even an inside job. I had to get to them first. It didn’t matter who it was that helped them; a biker gang, the mob, it didn’t matter. What mattered now was capitalizing on this treasure. 

I could play this out 2 ways; kill them both and take the money or arrest them and get that claim to fame. I could even make my way to the top. I could become a politician! It would make me a hypocrite, but a rich hypocrite nonetheless. 

I could set up my family for life, if play my cards right. I could set up my family for generations to come. My son would run for office and his son after him if I did this right. Everyone would think I was a hero! They would shower me with everything I would want; money, fame, status, power. This was my heart’s desire. But what were they doing here of all places? The parkers farm has been abandoned for the past couple years. Whoever did this may be watching them. If they’re watching them, I’ll have to wait until they come to me. Too dangerous to approach them without a plan. 

It wouldn’t take long. Knowing thugs and scum like that all my life, the first thing they would want after they fill their stomachs would be to get a weapon. Any weapon. Anything they could threaten people with in order to get what they want. They couldn’t just go to the gun store and buy a gun, I thought. They would need to get creative. Then I thought, across from the diner was an old mom and pop hardware store and that’s exactly what it was; a mom-and-pop store. The townies called them mom and pop Frankenstein. Mainly because, aesthetically speaking, they are not the best-looking couple in the world. To be honest, mom could turn you to stone with a glare and pop was as close to a monster as you could get. Even walked like Frankenstein to a degree. Nice people, could talk your ear off about the ins and outs of the town but still monsters. 

So, it takes about an hour to get to the Parkers farm. They would want to leave right before dusk and they would want to get weapons before that, so allow another 30 minutes. Dark is always a good cover. I’m sure they parked close, if not right on top of the diner just in case they got made by someone.  

It was undeniable, I could hardly contain my excitement. I can make this happen. It won’t be like the other times. I can change my life for the better and the life of my family, even generations to come. And why wouldn’t I? So many other famous people in history committed atrocities to get up the food chain so why not me? The Kennedy's were bootleggers. Dick Cheney started wars. George Washington had slaves. The history was riddled with blood and murder. Kill them both, or take them in. Either way I’m the hero. I have to take my shot again and this time it will work. 

I parked far enough away from the diner so I could watch them leave without them noticing me. One last thing; since I was off duty, I needed to keep this quiet just in case this happens like the last times. Mistakes were made by even the best of us. Even Einstein made mistakes. I switch my service pistol for an unmarked pistol I bought a while back and attach a silencer. Time for patience. 

They left an hour before dusk like I was hoping. When they ft the diner, for some reason, they went through to the back alley. They must have parked in the back by the waitress Kelly. They may have thought she was an easy target. When they came back to the front, they walked right over to the hardware store. These have to be the guys, I thought. It’s all making sense. 

Good police work and good intuition is a necessity in my line of work. I’d have to pat myself on the back later. I could see it now; campaign speeches, money laundering, committees, secretaries and most of all power. It was all too perfect. When they went into the hardware store, I knew I had some time. Mom and Pop Frankenstein always talked, talked, talked. Especially if you were new to the area. When they were out of sight, I quickly parked in the back right by their car and went into the diner to ready myself. The time was almost at hand. I was going to be a hero. I got a seat by the window and had a bump of coke to sharpen me up. They left with some tools, or weapons is what I like to call them, and headed straight to the alley.  

There I was, in the diner, awaiting my fate. Awaiting my success to come to fruition. This was it. All the beatings my dad gave me when I was younger, all the beatings from bullies and non-believers, all the warnings from my superiors that I wasn’t doing my job right and firing me. I was going to show them. I needed to take notes of these memories for my memoirs. My avid fans will appreciate the real-world authenticity my books will have to offer. As I was daydreaming of what was to come, I forgot I needed to put this in motion! They almost got away again! I paid my tab and left.  

As I walked through the darkened alley, I could feel myself loosen up. I was limber, agile, hot, and ready for anything. Just like all the times before. My palms started to sweat when I saw them. My head was heavy and my sight grew dim. Deep breaths I said to myself. It was so exciting I started to walk funny, like my knees were giving out. The older guy saw me and approached.  

“Hey buddy, are you okay?” I ignored it and tried to focus on my future. He flicked his cigarette and came closer. “You need a hand?” I started to panic. This was going exactly like the times before! Compose yourself, compose yourself! 

I was blacking out. Not again, I thought to myself! Why does this always happen? Why, in my greatest moments in time, I black out. When I woke up, I was at home again. Pill bottle in hand, in front of the Tv on the couch with bloody clothes. I was ashamed I missed my opportunity again. I gathered my pride and went through normal routine; clothes in plastic bag, shower, burn the clothes and go to the diner to get breakfast. 

I read about it in the papers. They weren’t the ones who robbed the bank or killed anyone. They invested in old the Parkers farm and were remodeling it to start a hemp farm. The front page read, “Boogeyman claims 2 more.” I don’t know why they call him the boogeyman. It seems to me he is the one helping. Who wants a hemp farm in these parts anyway? As I finished in disgrace and shame for yet another missed opportunity, I noticed a couple that came in to the diner. They only ordered coffee and told Kelly to hurry up. How rude. Don’t they know she works off tips? Kelly told me they were in a rush. I wonder what they’re up to? I should stick around and find out. I bet they just got released from prison. Look at their clothes; colorful, baggy and loose. Much like what hippies would wear in those old detective movies I loved so much. People like that are always starting trouble. 

September 15, 2022 16:05

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Yvette Francaise
21:22 Sep 24, 2022

I liked the different view of the situation. You made a quirky character that left me wanting more into their life.


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Tommy Goround
00:16 Sep 22, 2022

The story is smooth. I really don't love the idea of this deputy trying to become a famous politician. It's twerky. You're making the main character a hypocrite.


Matt Allen
02:05 Sep 22, 2022

Isn't that the least of his worries and ours since he's a sworn citizen meant to uphold the law and a serial killer to boot? I thought it was a hilarious character flaw.


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