Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Special Delivery"- a short story by Justin Hamelin

Here's a short story I penned a few months back, just for the hell of it and I figured I'd share it just in time for the Halloween weekend.

Please let me know what you think- I welcome any and all feeback, positive and negative!!!



           It was yet another uneventful Saturday night for the young couple.
            Jason lay sprawled across the sectional, eyes glazed over, TV remote in his grasp. The Cubs were winning 6-4 in the eighth.
            The shower finally squeaked off from the bathroom down the small hallway of the couple’s one-bedroom apartment. The second floor unit was hardly luxurious, but it was home for two young adults who still had dreams of a bright future.
            His girlfriend of three years, Alexis, was a lot of things- a smart, beautiful bank teller with a sharp tongue, but a quick shower type a’ gal she would never be mistaken for.
            The thin window panes of the living room shivered with a gust of unseasonably cold air. A low rumble of thunder off in the distance was drowned out by an inning ending double play for the Cubbies.
As the clock struck nine, the Cubs were three outs away from a rare win, Jason had tomorrow off and his girlfriend was now standing in the hallway, dripping wet in a small towel. Life was currently quite good in his book.
            “Were you peeking in on me?” Alexis reached into the hall closet and pulled out a larger towel, wrapping it turban-style over her damp brunette hair.
            Jason shook his head, shifting on the couch. Eyes now firmly fixed on Al’s wet thighs.
            Alexis shrugged, biting her lower lip. “It felt like someone was watching me.”
            Jason scoffed, reaching over to the coffee table for his can of Pepsi. “All those damned horror movies you watch.”
            Al shot him a playful glare, “Shut up.”
            She disappeared back into the bathroom and Jason settled back into the overstuffed couch as the top of the ninth began.
            “Jay,” Alexis called from the bathroom, a shot of tension in her voice.
            With a groan, Jay rose from the couch, watching as a leadoff single put the Dodgers one 350 foot blast away from tying the game up. “Shit,”
            Alexis stood near the doorway of the bathroom, eyes glued to the stained glass window in the shower.
            “What is it?” Jay slipped past her and inspected the shower, then looked out the window.
            “I swear someone was just looking at me.” Alexis muttered softly, eyes wide, lips pursed tightly together.
            Jason laughed, slapping at the tiled wall in the shower. “You really are losing it.. no more scary movies for you, one week…”
            Alexis slapped at his back softly and gazed at him with pleading eyes, genuine fear in them. “Jay, I’m serious. Someone was looking into the window. I went to grab my conditioner and looked out, and there was someone standing down there, just looking up. I saw him. Or her. Whatever it was. It’s dark!!”
            Jason nodded, “Which is exactly why I say you have nothing to worry about. It was just a shadow. No one is out there.”
            He looked out the window again to calm her nerves. It was obvious she was terrified.
            He looked back at her with a smile, “All clear. Now hurry up and get to the room. I’ll be in there in about five minutes. The game’s almost over.”
            Alexis sneered and let the towel fall to the floor. Jason smiled and stepped towards her, arms extended to embrace her.
            Suddenly, a heart stopping explosion of knocking roared through the apartment, from the only entrance to the apartment in the kitchen.
             Alexis let out a shrill yelp and Jason almost slipped on the tiny puddles of water across the bathroom floor.
            Wide eyed, Alexis fumbled for the towel on the floor and Jason darted past her, through the living room and into the dark kitchen.
            Alexis followed slowly, warily. Those horror movies always tried her nerves the later the night wore on.
            Jason stood in the kitchen, legs apart, arms tightly pressed against his sides.
            He felt someone looking at him from behind and snapped his neck to the living room. Alexis stood near the television, clinging to the towel, bottom lip quivering. Jason waved her into the bedroom and she followed his gesture without a word.
            “Who’s there?” He asked in a strangled voice. He cleared his throat in an attempt to shake the tremble from his vocal cords. “Hello?”
            Jason waited, counting to ten, then to twenty.
            When no one answered still, he decided to step to the door, pressing his eye against the peep hole. Nothing but his neighbor’s door across the hall stared back at him.
            “Shit,” Jason let out two lungs’ worth of stale breath he had been holding for what seemed like an eternity.
            He unlocked the dead bolt and opened the door slowly, still expecting someone to be standing on the other side.
            The door opened without a sound and a pale wash of fluorescent light from the hallway splashed across his pale face.
            Another low rumble of thunder sent a fresh row of goosebumps up his spine.
            Nothing at all.
            He stepped out of the threshold of the doorway and began to close the door, eyes falling to the floor.
            That was when he saw the stark white envelope lying on the floor mat in front of their door.
            Alexis was curled up on the bed, the comforter pulled up to her chin. Her crystal blue eyes were a cartoonish wide.
            Jason shuffled into the bedroom and sat at the foot of the bed.
            Alexis scrambled from under the covers, now in a pair of blue boy shorts and a tattered Cubs t-shirt, and against Jason’s side. “What is it?”
            Jason shrugged, shaking his head. “No idea.”
            Jason wasted no time tearing the flap open, the adhesive strip peeling apart with little resistance.
            Alexis was staring at the envelope from behind Jason’s shoulder. He could feel her heartbeat against his shoulder blade. “Did you lock the door?”
            Jason looked back at her, forcing a reassuring smile, “Of course.”
            Two sheets of paper were in the envelope. Glossy. Photos.
            Jason pulled them out and stared in wide-eyed disbelief.
            Alexis clapped a palm over her gaping mouth.
            Jason shuffled the photos, examining both quickly and then holding one in each hand.
            “What the hell is this?” He muttered, a hot flush creeping over his face. He felt his throat close up.
            Alexis began to whimper, trembling violently. “Oh, my God…”
            Jason stared at the photos hard, unbelieving.
            The photo in his right hand was of himself.
            Jason in the photo was lying spread out on the sectional, arms folded over his chest. The left side of his face was obliterated in a swampy mess of crimson and ivory. His right eye stared at whatever camera lens had taken the photo, glazed over, dull and lifeless.
            The photo in his left hand was of Alexis.
            Alexis in the photo was slumped over, sitting on the hardwood floor of the hallway. A gaping hole ate up practically all of her chest and stomach in a grisly hole. Innards and blood doused her lower half.
            “Oh, God, no…” Alexis was sobbing freely now.
            Jason shook his head, dropping the photos to the floor. He stormed out of the room, headed for the kitchen again. “What the fu-“
            The lights suddenly went out, prompting a shriek from Alexis. Jason stubbed his toe on the video game console on the floor  in the living room and fell face first into the coffee table with a grunt. Lost in darkness, he struggled to find his bearings or his feet. Alexis was still screaming in the bedroom.
            Amidst the chaos, neither of them heard the deadbolt click unlocked in the kitchen, the door opening without a sound.

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