Month: May 2014

Prompt: Child stumbles on a serial killer in the woods


I’d love criticism of every flavor, 
Prepare for all sorts of spelling and grammatical errors, I rarely edit or revise writing prompts. 

Forty-eight.. Forty-nine… Fifty, here I come! He turned away from the damp oak tree they used as “home base”, zipped the grey fleece up to his neck and crept into the woods to find the others. The rushing stream further down the mountain drowned out all sound, he opened his mouth to yell out anyways but thought better of it. James and his friends had always picked on him in school; they called him Dirty David behind his back and told all the girls about him never showering after gym. The sharp crack of a stick under his left boot sent a flock of crows up into the sky from the nearest tree. They swarmed up out of the dead branches temporarily casting a shadow over the small boy. He enjoyed himself running from one large tree to another, he checked under bushes and up in trees that looked climbable. 

The sun sat low in the sky, casting long shadows from the trees like arms reaching for darkness. He had only played ‘hide-n-seek’ with his older foster brother Luke, David was always the ‘hider’ because he liked it that way. He would find the secret places around their property and isolate himself for hours. Hiding until he could hear Luke giving up, but sometimes he wondered if Luke was really looking. David was really looking this time, he started walking faster and stammered out a “Hello?” he tried to zip his fleece up higher but the zipper was already snug near his throat. The state took Luke away, their foster Mom said Luke had stolen from her. She kept the food locked up in the kitchen. One night when she was too drunk to wake up, Luke broke the lock and made dinner. He was gone a week later. David started to run now, he shouted for James, Trevor and Blake to no avail. He stepped on something slippery and fell hard into the base of a massive elm tree. His head cracked against the gnarled bark, he called out for Luke and his vision swam. The boy stood on wobbly knees, and tried to shake his head. The world was veering side to side like the deck of a ship. He fell onto his hands and knees and lost consciousness, but not before seeing what he had slipped on, the corpse of a woman.

Night had fallen, a veil of stars glinted and winked through the trees overhead. Suddenly remembering where he was he tried to get up, his head was pounding and he couldn’t blink the sleep out of his eyes. 
“Easy kid.” 

“Who’s there!” David screamed, unable to move.
The beam of the flashlight didn’t help his vision; he could see the silhouette of a man behind it. 
“What are you doing out here, you know it isn’t safe.” 

“Hide-n-seek.” He mumbled. “There was a woman there, is she okay?”

“Well, aren’t you a gentlemen, concussed and still worried, she’s gone now.”

“Wa- was she dead?”

David swallowed hard, the roar of the river filled the dead silence.
“Come on” the man offered a hand and pulled David to his feet. He had turquoise latex gloves on and David flinched at the touch, and stood before him shivering. The man was dressed sharply with shiny saddleback wingtips and a Long trench coat over his pinstriped suite, a red tie was tucked into the buttons of his shirt, he asked the boy if he could walk. David shook his head and began to cry sinking to his knees. The man slipped an arm gently under his shoulders to pick David up. 

The boy recoiled and screamed “Get away, get away leave me alone!” 
The man ignored his cries and picked him up, David swung wildly and punched him in the jaw. All the air in his lungs left as he hit the ground, he gasped for air and the man bent cruelly over him. 
He grabbed the boys shoulder and squeezed, he was breathing through clenched teeth and shaking. 

“Listen boy, you’re coming with me now!” The boy nodded through tears, the man picked him up and walked towards a black car. He set the boy in the car and told him not to move, he turned the car on and powered off the blaring classical music. He left for a minute and came back holding a bundle of rags and a shovel, he placed them in the trunk and got in the car. They slowly reversed out of the woods onto a service road, the man whistled lightly and mock conducted an orchestra as they sped towards the highway.

“What will you do?” 

“Whatever I want.” The man snapped.

David began to cry again.
“You know those boys fooled you, you know they left as soon as you started counting.”

“How did you-“

“Just shut up kid, I saw it happen. Don’t let them get to you. Stay away, avoid them until you grow up then leave and never look back. They’re nothing, do you hear me they are nothing to you!”

David didn’t know how to respond so he looked out the window and tried not tremble. 

“Ahh, here we are, you know it’s been real swell. You’re like a younger me, don’t worry everything will be fine.”
They rounded a corner and pulled up to a brightly lit hospital; the man left the car running and carried David to the curb. He winked and drove off.