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Second Chances

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“500 expected dead in this surprise hurricane that has hit the south coast of Florida. Tune in after the break for the story that has terrorized millions- how the Miami-Dade County jail collapsed, facilitating the escape of 100 prisoners, including serial killer Darwin Johnson.” The TV chimed away while newlyweds Cristina and Matthew Hunter sat on the couch munching popcorn.

“Hmm, that’s scary…we should lock the windows,” Cristina said.

“Don’t bother,” Matt popped another kernel into his mouth.

“But what if someone comes?”

He grinned, “Then I’ll protect you.”

Cristina gave in to her husband’s ego, but couldn’t help the worried feeling in the pit of her stomach. Later that night, while Matt was asleep, she crept down the stairs and made sure that the doors were locked, brought down the hinges on the blue windows, and closed the blinds. The house looked different without the pops of baby blue, which was actually the reason they preferred this house over the other ones. It was an interesting idea, that even if it was the darkest and rainiest day, it looked clearer somehow if she looked out blue windows.

In an abandoned shack so close to the sea that he could taste the salt in the air, Darwin Johnson took shelter. His first day of freedom in five years and he couldn’t find what to do with it. He looked down at his stomach as he heard it grumble. Can’t think on an empty stomach.

Darwin walked over to the kitchen, and amidst all the rubble he found a fridge. He guessed that since the hurricane hit only 24 hours before, there would still be plenty of food in the fridge, and he was right. He was stuffing his mouth with the second spoonful of yogurt when he heard footsteps approaching, and he saw a tall man with a beard whom he coincidentally recognized from his trial.

“Hey! Aren’t you Dar-“

In one swift move, Darwin swallowed his yogurt, grabbed a kitchen knife from a stand next to him, and plunged it into the man’s stomach. He made no sound and was dead in a matter of seconds, but Darwin kept his hand there until he could feel the blood seeping out of the man’s clothes and staining his hand. He smiled. This is what I missed the most.

He let the man fall back, washed his hands, and finished his yogurt.

It wasn’t until around seven at night the following day that the heavy rain poured through the roof and started seeping into the house and Darwin knew that he had to get out of there. He started walking until he found the entrance to a neighborhood called Sea Horse Ranch. Which house do I go in? The one with the sky blue windows called out to him the most.


“Get the door!” Christina called out to her husband, while she sat on the kitchen table with her laptop finishing an article for the newspaper she worked in. In the background, Desperate Housewives was being heard since news reports had been banned in her house to keep her from getting scared.
Matt opened the door to reveal a scraggly looking man. He was dressed in a ratty t-shirt with a ripped sleeve and had dirt all over his body and cuts all over his face.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” he said, “but the roof of my house has caved in because of the hurricane and I don’t have anywhere to stay. I was wondering if I could use your phone, or I don’t know.”
“Yeah, sure, come on in.”
The man walked in and followed Matt into the living room to use the phone.
“Mathew!” Christina popped her head out of the kitchen.
He walked over. “Yeah?”
“Who is that?” she asked.
“His house caved in, he just wanted to use the phone.”
“Ok. But keep an eye on him, he looks a little creepy,” Christina went back to her work at the same moment that the man was walking in.
“Hey, did you get to make that call?” Matt asked.
“Yeah. I called the airport to see if there were any flights to Dallas, where my sister lives, but nothing is going out today. I guess I’ll be sleeping on the streets tonight. Thank you for everything,” he said, looking down, but instead of walking away immediately, he lingered for a moment.
Matt looked at his wife. Christina, knowing what he was thinking, shook her head.
Matt pretended not to notice. “Well, you can always stay here. I mean, we don’t have much room, you’d have to sleep in the couch, but it’s better than the pavement.”
“No, I wouldn’t want to intrude,” Once again, he didn’t move.
“You wouldn’t be.”
“Well, in that case then I guess I’ll take your offer. To tell ya the truth I wasn’t really looking forward to sleeping out in the rain.”
“Yeah, I can imagine why not. Anyways, we’re about to have dinner. If you want I’ll show you to the bathroom and you can shower and I’ll lend you some clothes.”
“That would be great.”
After Matt showed the man were the bathroom was, he walked over to the kitchen slowly because he knew exactly what awaited him.
“What the hell was that?” Christina exclaimed as soon as she saw him. “I looked at you in the eye and shook my head. I shook my head and you completely ignored me! I do not want that man in my house!
Matt shushed her. “He’s going to listen!”
“I hope he listens because you are going to go back there and ask him to leave!”
“I’m not gonna do that Christina.”
“Why the hell not?” she stood up.
“Because we already told him that he could stay here! The poor man’s house just caved in! Help out a little, Christi, please.”
“Ugh, fine. But you’re making dinner.”
Matt took it as a compromise, and began to prepare his special pasta bolognese (a.k.a. the only thing he knew how to cook).

Darwin couldn’t believe how easy it had been. He obviously had not lost his touch. He took his first warm shower in five years, changed into the naïve man’s clothes, and went downstairs to eat dinner.
As soon as Darwin was visible in the kitchen, the other man spoke. “Just in time. Oh, and I didn’t catch your name?”
“Vince. Yours?”
“I’m Matt, this is Christina.”
“Nice to meet you.”
The small talk continued for the entire dinner. Darwin tuned them out; Matt was too busy telling the story about how him and Christina got together to notice. All the while h was looking at her, at Christina. She had a tiny, delicate frame all the way down to her thin wrists. So easy to snap.
She caught him staring and glared back at him. Darwin could tell she didn’t want him there. That wasn’t a problem; he wasn’t planning on staying for too long. And they aren’t either.


Luring him down after they'd went to bed was easy, just the fall of a blue and white detailed vase was enough. Killing him, though, was probably going to be a little harder. Darwin had noticed Matt’s buff shoulders as much as he had noticed Christina’s delicate wrists.

He stood behind the staircase clutching a kitchen knife and waited. Matt’s footsteps were getting more and more pronounced.

“Vince? Did something happen?” Well, something’s about to.

Before Matt could notice anything, Darwin was behind him, with the knife held up to his neck.

“What the-“ Matt turned around almost as fast, releasing himself from Darwin’s grip. “You sick person! I gave you a place to stay! I gave you food!”

Darwin just smiled. There’s one more thing you have to give me. He darted forward hardly even looking where he was headed, and plunged the knife forward, he missed his chest, but got his right arm instead.

Matt cried out in pain, but the only thing that did was get Darwin more enthusiastic.
“Please don’t do this.” When his victims started pleading, he knew that the fight was almost over. By now they had lost most of their hope. This was his favorite part in a murder, the part where he knew he had all of the control in his hands.
Without giving it a second thought, he thrusted the knife into Matt for the second time, this time hitting a perfect bulls eye right in the center of his chest.
“Oh my god!” Christina whimpered. After hearing the commotion, she had come out. She held her hand to her mouth, and ran back upstairs, as if it was even worth to pretend to be hiding at this point..
Darwin waited until he was sure that Matt was dead, and then walked upstairs, slowly. He knew Christina was being tortured right now, since she was practically waiting to die. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”

As soon as his second foot stepped through the door of the bedroom, he felt something come down with a bang on his head. He shook off the glass, and after the short disorientation wore off, he turned around to see Christin looking terrified. Stupid, stupid people. What was supposed to be the plan now?

She now attempted a punch, which Darwin caught without any difficulty, and then twisted her wrist until it snapped. I was right.

“Ahhhh!” Christina looked around, her sight blinded momentarily by the tears that were building up. What is she going to try now?

But before she had the chance to do whatever it is she was going to do, Darwin grabbed her by the neck and began choking her. She kept her eyes wide open, and her mouth shut as if trying to keep her breath until the last bit of air finally escaped her.
He placed the knife in her hand, changed his bloody clothes, and then walked out the door.

Darwin Johnson was back.





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