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Fiction Mystery Suspense

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

He sank in his chair rocking softly to the gentle dusk breeze outside a clammy narrow verandah. His eyes stare into the distance while his long bony fingers tap the armrests in anticipation. The night creeps in and the twilight starts flitting all over. Crickets and cicadas crack the early evening silence with a gut wrenching stridulation. He remains a planted statue in an infinite loop of back and forth movements, as his mind shuffles through thoughts.


Looking back love betrayed him. It was torture. Before encountering what seemed like love he could only admire what others had. Beyond admiration he could only imagine. He yearned for so long for a relationship but he was a faded figure to the rest of the world.


“Hey” a soft voice echoed in his ears. His bones shivered. He turned to see who it was. Still blue eyes looked into his soul and he was entranced. “Hi stranger” this time she said with a hearty chuckle. “H-i-i” Ethan stammered as he choked himself with a glass of whiskey.


She took a sit beside him smiling all the while. He felt itchy all over and sweat sprung from every pore on his body. A woman beyond his dreams was right beside him and his lungs felt heavy. He wanted to say all the right words without embarrassing himself. 


“Are you from around here” Ethan asked. “I’m a ghost” she said glaring at Ethan with sly eyes. He jumped out of his skin. He was puzzled. Questions stirred in Ethan’s head. “I’m just pulling your leg” she said bursting into a mild guffaw.


Ethan was still spooked nevertheless. “Com’on loverboy loosen up the night is still young.” Upon the word loverboy Ethan’s heart started tearing muscle fibers as it scarred his ribcage. “Tell you what tonight we forget about our problems and live okay loverboy” she said clasping her icy little hand in Ethan’s fleshy soiled hand.


He had to be dreaming he thought. Today he was loverboy. His nerves were in shards and he felt like he could fly for once in his life. “To pleasure” Ethan encouraged as their glasses clinked in a boisterous toast. “ Arrrghhh ahoy mate. Today we drown in liquor.”


They drank their hearts out and they were wasted. “Lady today I walk on the shhun for yu” Ethan slurred struggling to rest on the bar counter. His bulky arms were sweeping all over. “Aww really loverbouy”. “But you haven’t told me your name lady”. “That’s a story for another day” she winked extending her arm feebly and wrapping it around his broad shoulder.


“What do you say we head home for some good lovin” she winked again crumpling her lower crimson red lip into a sexy curl. Ethan’s eyes splayed, blood melted his veins and he was on fire. “As you wish me lady” Ethan said clambering off the bar stool and stumbling to his feet swaying both arms in the direction of the bar exit. They headed out clinging onto each other wobbling and bumping into objects as they threaded their way to Ethan’s apartment which was a couple of blocks away.


He switched on the lights of his apartment and a white florescence flooded the tight enclosure. Finally, his glossy eyes floated a gaze at her from head to toe. She wobbled tall on lengthy beautiful legs in a steamy russet dress that sketched her voluptuous frame. Blonde ruffled hair formed a grotesque net on her face and rested on her shoulders while black disheveled mascara set her deep blue eyes alight. Her skin was a silky soft fibre. She had big jaws which now hung a bit slack. She was not exactly beautiful but she was definitely beyond Ethan’s dreams.


He drowned in his own breath and gasped, “Ohh sweet mother nature.” She floundered to Ethan and dipped her right index finger on his lips and they both plunged into a cupboard sending everything spluttering in a shrill clangor. Ethan was to remunerate pain later. At present he was elated.


They locked eyes in a deep gaze while on the floor and their lips drew closer to each other in fatal attraction. Eventually their lips curled in a smouldering kiss. Their bodies yearned for each other and they heaved on the floor with sun-glaring passion as two bodies became one. This very night they were in heaven.


His eyes peeled open to the silhouette slipping out through the door and vanishing away into the unknown. Nausea pitted in his stomach and his back shredded his nerves while everything around him was swirling. His skull was splitting and he couldn’t stand. Ethan tentacled his way to the restroom where he fell sick into the toilet. He was drained. His brazen eyes were stinging and his tongue was a soggy sponge. 


Without a name he was just squaring the circle. He punched above his weight in a bid to find her but he ended up back at the bar drowning his longing for her in liquor. She left him with a shred of memory that he treasured. He thought of her more than he thought of his own life. He was sad before but this time he trudged with depression draped around his soul comforted by the warmth of cold comfort.


Almost a year later Ethan found himself sleepless before the crack of dawn. He lay in bed awake hoping that by some miracle she would came back to be by his side once more. A soft wail broke his train of thought. He ignored at first but the wailing grew louder and seeped in through the walls. “Who could that be?”


He rose to his feet and followed the sound which led to the entrance door to his apartment. As he drew near the wailing was deafening and his heart butchered his chest. He opened the door and saw tears cascading down soft chubby cheeks and little hands swaying in the air in violent protest.


There it was, tucked in a straw basket and a letter was pinned on the basket handle. Ethan's eyes widened as his mouth gaped. The air abruptly grew thick and dense. His eyes ransacked the vicinity but not even a ghost’s footprint. He unpinned the letter and it read:


Hey how are you. I hope you are fine. I thought I could manage but at this point I can’t even take care of myself. My intuition strongly believes that you make a good father so I leave you with the fruit of our steamy passion that night.

Yours 

Lady xoxo


His heart flung out his chest and his strength vaporized with each sigh. He trembled convulsively in disbelief. The letter cut him to pieces as he knelt down beside the baby. Splinters of thought drifted through his mind and teared him apart.


She came back to kill him. He remained rooted in the lobby kneeling beside the baby still trying to uncoil things. “How could she do me like this?” It was dawn and orange-red rays started poking through windows flittering all over.


He could dump the baby elsewhere but an instant patriarchal instinct kicked in. Ethan was going to be a single father. There was no doubt he was the father because he couldn't shake off the bond he felt. Like the last memory he had of her, women instantly became silhouettes sifting through the air. His regard for them was charred. 


***


His small table barricaded by a black couch was carpeted in overdue bills and the baby was crying frantically. Ethan lay huddled in a corner almost in tears himself. Stuck in a dead-end job he couldn’t do much to make ends meet.


Ethan had to face the unrelenting odds like a man. He stood up with determination and took the baby in his arms crooning a makeshift symphony. Ethan decided that if the baby and him were to live a decent life then they stood a better chance in the countryside. Without a moment’s hesitation he clutched his belongings and traced his way to the countryside leaving behind his whole life. His baby was strapped clumsily on his belly. A great sacrifice and a gesture that glued him to his son’s heart.


Cows bellowed in the distance as he swallowed up the dusty earth in swift strides. Houses were fewer and worlds apart. The people went about their lives in calm regulation. The sun showered magnificent rays all over and the entire atmosphere swelled with vitality. His life was going to change for sure. 


The wind sifted a chilly breeze as the horizon sucked in the sun. “Howdy there partner” a large man with a gregarious personality blurted and his fleshy lips cracked a warm smile. He had a big paunch that bulged as he talked.


“Hey how are you doing” Ethan responded. His sunken pale cheeks reddened as he inched closer to the man who was planted on a chipped wooden chair by his stable. The man narrowed his eyes at Ethan and the baby rested on his belly.


“You ain’t from around here are you?” Ethan shook his head. “Well, it's fast gettin late and you don wanna be prey for the scumbags around this place. Have have you settled?” Ethan could not believe his ears. “No sir” Ethan said. “I got a room I don’t use back at my house it can be yours if you want for as long as you can stand on your two feet.” Ethan almost kissed the man. “Thank you very much I deeply appreciate it.” “My pleasure and you can call me Bob.” “Thank you Bob. I’m Ethan.” “Pleased to meet you Ethan” Bob said. “Pleasure is all mine.” 


Life had taken a turn. His heart pulsed to the rhythm of steel crunching into the crusty earth. Ethan worked his fingers to the bone to provide for his son Joshua. Joshua grew healthy and strong. The father-son bond grew even stronger and sturdy. Ethan had built his own house by the time Joshua turned fourteen. They were almost always together except for the times Joshua had to attend school. Joshua was fond of his father.


“Hey”


A soft voice sieved through his ears and his insides started to crawl. Joshua turned his head from his book and fixed his eyes on her. “What do you want?” Joshua enquired without a moment of hesitation. “It was just a gesture to greet you” she said. “I am fine. Happy now?” Joshua said his mouth molding an evil smirk. “Hey I haven’t been doing well with my calculus lately and I figured …..” “Figured that you could use me. Oh no not me uh uh this dog ain’t rolling over.”


Her eyes dropped and her shoulders slumped as she plodded her way back to her seat. He sunk his head in his book again. Although his father’s lessons about women had infiltrated his head, he still felt the brunt of guilt. 


Clothes drenched in sweat as the wave simmered a stinting scorch. Cheers echoed all over as the basketball game offset on a high note. She sat on the edge of the terrace alone. Joshua saw her and his heart bled. He moved closer and sat under her breath.


She was rigid and her eyes were fixed on the game. She said nothing. “Lost your tongue have you?” Joshua cracked the silence. “Last time I opened my mouth it didn’t go so well with you” she said her eyes still glued to the court. A cyst of graveyard silence formed between them while the surrounding atmosphere was a rapturous racket.


“Ok maybe I was a little harsh on you and I’m sorry” he said staring stonily at his cupped hands. “It’s okay really. I’m used.” Joshua took a hard look at her. “What do you mean?” “All my life I've been treated like trash so I wasn’t expecting any less when I approached you the other day.”


Joshua’s blood curdled and his eyes were almost glossy with unshed tears but hell would break loose if he allowed anyone to see him like that so he quickly covered it up. “If it’s any consolation I’ll be more than glad to help you with your calculus.” She looked at him and her face lit up. “Thank you so much.”


“How come you are always absent from home unlike the previous times.” “It’s school dad. We have back-to-back assignments” Joshua said strapping his backpack to his back and flying to the door where he slipped away. Ethan peered through the blinds and saw his son with the silhouette.


No one could have his son except for him. It was a devastating blow seeing them holding hands and striking an engaging conversation as they strolled away into the horizon. They didn’t finish each other’s sentences but their hearts were one. If they were not learning, then they were in each other’s company. Chantelle’s academic progress picked traction and Joshua’s bitterness unshelled unlike his father’s. 


After Chantelle, he came back home in high spirits after school. As his joy flourished, his father drowned in resentment. “Son I’ve seen you with that skimpy girl for quite some time now have you forgotten.” Joshua swirled his silver fork in a plate which erupted a crescendo clink that weighed above them like a dark cloud.


He was quiet for a little while. “Dad she is no more than a partner I’m working with on our recent science assignment.” His calculating eyes dropped on Joshua and lingered around him. “Stop spending so much time with her she is bad news. Son it’s me and you against the world” Ethan declared uprooting himself from the dinner table and heading to his bedroom.


For a moment he tried to follow his father's command but he found himself coming back to her. She had become an integral part of his life. Chantelle thought of him very often. The two were love stricken and their bond was diamond.


A shrill scream broke the night silence. Chantelle and the rest of her family streamed to their living room in soft disturbed silent murmurs. No one was able to go back to sleep. Not after that piercing scream which still rang in their ears. As they bundled in their living room a dripping sound came through the door.


Chantelle’s father surreptitiously snaked his way to the door and opened it ever so slightly while his wife and three daughters protested. The door creaked open and a pool was swelling on their front porch. He lit the light outside and there it was.


A vermilion puddle meandered all over their front porch. Chantelle’s father was perplexed so he leapt outside and he met the shock of his life when the door slightly retracted. A woman’s head was trussed on the door knob outside with hair strewn all over and brooding over her face. The woman’s eyes pooled while her jaws hung loosely on her face blood dripping from a fleshy butchered remnant of neck. Above the head a messy crude scribble read:


Leave town or this could be you.


The sonorous connection was gone. He moved heaven and earth but his efforts were futile. Joshua was no more than a walking corpse now. His father went out his way to please him but he wedged up forced smiles. One afternoon he lay in his bed staring at his satchel propped against the gnarled wall and his eyes picked up a letter popping out one of the zippers. He took the letter and it read:


Dear Josh 

It pains me to have left without saying goodbye. On many nights I struggle to sleep but when I think of the love you showed me I start feeling warm. I left because my family was threatened and we were no longer safe. Where I am and where I will be, I guess only the wind will ever know. But we will be together somewhere somehow.

Yours 

Chantelle.


He left the letter on his bed and immediately left home in pursuit of his love. No compass and no direction yet his heart headed where it belonged. After a lifetime he rejoined with Chantelle again and the fire rekindled. Ethan rummaged for his son but he was gone. He just waited hoping that one day he would return.


Ethan continues to rock in his chair outside. His long wispy white beard flags in the wind. “Parasites are only good when dead.” A gun cocked and dug into Ethan's temple. 





August 03, 2022 18:02

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2 comments

Yves. ♙
23:51 Aug 07, 2022

So many twists, I could hardly keep up! It seems we're both entered into the contest this week-- absolute best of luck, and congratulations on your first submission. This shows so much promise for more!

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03:36 Aug 08, 2022

Thank you soo much for your kind words. I feel so encouraged.

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