THE BUTCHER

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I can’t get that summer out of my head. What happened was horrible. I just can’t imagine who would do such a thing to my friends and me. I mean, we were just hanging out and having a good time weren’t we? We weren’t hurting anybody or doing anything illegal. I’ll… I’ll never go back there again. There’s too much pain that coincides within that place. I’ll never forgive myself for what happened. I can remember it. Yes, I can remember it all just like it was yesterday.

My friends and I were just walking through the woods near my parents’ summer cottage. The weather was okay, but it wasn’t anything that would cheer you up on a bad day. I noticed how close the path was to the foggy, fifty-year-old lake that we nick-named Erie. We didn’t choose that name because of the Great Lake though. It was because the eeriness that surrounded the lake and all the land around it. The reason I noticed how close it was, was because of a bunch of tiny little side trails that led down to it. I also noticed broken twigs, drag marks, and blood around the area, but I decided that it was nothing but evidence of hunters in the area. They go there every year to collect bear hides when they run out of other animals to kill.

I thought I heard something breathing heavily behind us. But again, I was naïve in my young age and I didn’t bother to tell Claire or Jonny. Claire was thirteen and Jonny twelve. I was the oldest at fourteen and I was also the bravest. I had to be though; they both looked up to me and would follow me anywhere. Claire was always skipping rocks on the trail as we went along and Jonny was always throwing rocks at Claire. I just figured that he was either showing signs of becoming a serial killer or he had a crush on Claire. I could’ve cared less either way, but I still yelled at him to stop throwing crap. I think he only stopped because he didn’t want me to make him stop.

It was just about to the point where we were going to turn around and go back to the cabin when… when we saw the barn. It was a dark black barn about two-stories tall and covered in crows that each possessed their own set of demonic red eyes. I… I think I may have seen a man at the corner of the barn, but at the time I thought that I was mistaken so I led my friends closer.

We went into the barn, but could hardly see anything except for where the holes in the walls permitted light to shine in random spots. The barn smelled of death and terror. “Man,” I said aloud so everyone could hear me, “it sure does smell in here.”

“Yeah it does,” Jonny said, always trying to agree with me.

“Jonny?” Claire asked.

“Yes,” he answered stupidly.

“Would you please stop touching the back of my neck? It’s kind of making me feel uncomfortable.”

At that point I knew something was wrong because Claire was on my right and Jonny was on my left. “Claire,” I uttered nervously, “Jonny’s over here.”

“Then who….” Claire paused and then quickly followed with a shriek. “Get off of me!” she cried out in desperation. But it was too late for her. A man who could only be described as shadow had her in his arms. He slit her throat and as if her last gurgles weren’t enough to signify her death he continued to stab her repetitively in the back with his butcher’s knife. Each time he thrust the knife I could see the blade sticking out of her ribs. He finally stopped, feeling satisfied with seven blows to the heart. He then shifted his focus, first towards me, then towards Jonny. Jonny let out a screech of terror after being released from shock and stared upon with the eyes of a sadistic madman. Scared out his mind Jonny darted for the door. The Bearded man dropped his knife and picked up a wood hatchet. With one smooth motion he tossed the hatchet through the dense fog of fear that had consumed Jonny. It spun twice before cleaving Jonny’s skull with a resounding crunch. Jonny fell to the dirt with a thud. The man noticed that Jonny was still alive and proceeded to sever Jonny’s neck with a rusty old corn knife that looked as if it hadn’t been sharpened in a few years. Jonny was begging for mercy as the man was hacking away at him.

I then realized that I was next. I felt something under my foot; I looked down to see the butcher’s knife and a hayfork. I picked up both of them and charged at the man, thrusting the hayfork forward the whole way. It was too heavy for me to hold a chest height so I struck him through the knees. As he was falling to the earth I jumped on top of him and planted the knife in the very bottom of the back of his wrinkled neck. Knowing I had killed him I ran back to my parents’ cottage to tell them what happened.

That was almost two years ago and it has led me to where I am now; sitting on my parents’ bed with my father’s pistol in my sweaty palms. I—I just don’t think I can live with this anymore.





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