Little Rock Drive This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

It was Christmas Eve of 2002 when my wife and daughter were murdered. Her blood staining our bed, our first-born Nora screaming in terror at the strange man with the mask on, with the alarm blaring throughout the house as I grabbed the first thing I could find in attempt to kill the b****** who had taken everything I had ever loved away from me.

He got away without being touched. He slithered away like a snake in the grass, leaving nothing more than an illegible note taped to the headboard above the bed where I used to hold Virginia in my arms and talk about our future like we were 16 again. It was the same bed where we used to watch re-runs of the Andy Griffith Show and kiss like we were in high school. The same bed where Nora would climb up during a storm, or when she got scared of the boogeyman.

I stood in shock at the horrific scene portrayed within the walls of my home and called the police as if they could resurrect my family. They arrived over an hour later, the paramedics following suit with body bags and fancy cameras to document the event at hand while I sat on the curb with a robe around my body as the neighbors waited and watched like it was the premiere of an anticipated movie.

Christmas morning was spent alone, accompanied only by a plethora of fruit baskets and left over ham meant to compensate for my murdered family. Virginia and Nora’s presents had been left under the tree along with the few present’s with my name on them.

A certain blue package caught my eye, shining brightly with the assortment of colored Christmas lights hanging from the Christmas tree that Nora picked out. The packaging of the gift was my favorite color, wrapped the same wrapping paper she had used to wrap my first anniversary present. I sat down with my legs crossed, forcing back the tears that were sure to pour when I took back the presents meant for my family. Slowly I took off the bow and tore through the glossy paper, showing a little more brown with each tug.

Under the wrapping held a simple cardboard box that encompassed a piece of paper with an address on it that we, as a family, were supposed to follow in order to pick up my present.

“896 Little Rock Drive, Centennial, Colorado.”

The address was near my home in Centennial, but I had never heard of Little Rock Drive. I plugged the address into my GPS and followed the directions given to me by “Victoria’s” high-pitched and robotic voice in order to pick up my present.

I passed my office where I was to return in a matter of days, the local park where I used to push Nora on the swing, and the chapel where Virginia and I were wed. I passed the coffee shop where we frequently made impromptu stops to satisfy night-time cravings, the book store where we used to go for story time, and the bar where I stopped for a drink after a long day at work.

After I passed the nostalgic south-side of town, I started to get into an area I did not recognize. Although our home was a decent size, the houses on the north-side of town were apparently meant to house the local dentists, radiologists, doctors, and other high-paid workers

I took two left turns, one right, and continued onward to 896 Little Rock Drive.

As I turned into the driveway, I realized the house was massive. Statues of lions guarded the entrance and the white marble glistened through the snow-filled sky. My 1993 Honda Civic looked rather funny next to the owner’s luxury cars parked outside the mansion.

I stepped out of my car, shut the door, and walked towards the house. When I rang the doorbell, it chimed like the Liberty bell as a man in a red satin shirt stepped through the threshold to greet me. The man seemed nice and expressed his name as Lionas. He had a big smile and new exactly who I was immediately. Apparently news traveled across town pretty fast, because he was already sending his condolences to me about my family. All of this talking was accompanied by a walk around the back of his house to what looked like a fancy garage. As the electronic door raised, he continued to say that my wife was so excited to give me this present and had spent a great deal having it arranged.

The garage lifted and through the darkness of the room I saw a big red bow around a beautiful, 1969 Chevelle. I gazed at the muscle car with amazement and nostalgia, recollecting the memories of my high school days riding around in a beat up suv, always joking that I would one day pick Virginia up in a 1969 Chevelle. This must have been why she had been putting a portion of her money into a savings account every month. This must have been why she had taken Nora out for pizza in November and the reason I wasn’t allowed to come along. This must have been why she was more excited than usual the night of her death. Realizing all of this I broke down. Virginia was the best thing that could have ever happened to me and Nora was the best child any father could have ever asked for.

I grasped on to Lionas and told him thank you. He clutched onto me as well, acting as if he could feel the same pain I felt, helping my wounds to heal a miniscule amount.

When the hugging was over with and the tears running down my face began to lessen, I shook his hand and began to turn away to my new car. He threw me the keys and began to tell me that if I ever needed anything to just give him a call. He wrote his phone number on the Chevelle owner’s manual and slipped it into my hand, leaving it to me to drive away with my dream car.

I started the engine and began to put the owner’s manual into my console. As I reached for the manual my heart stopped. My Head began to spin. Chills ran over my spine. I began to sweat. The handwriting written on the book was handwriting used to write scribbles left on my headboard. I knew it to be true. I studied that note. I studied the angles and corners looking for a clue as to who took my family’s life.

Lionas was still standing there with a condescending smile plastered on his face, knowing what I had seen. I was in a fit of rage and turned the car off, proceeding to step out of the car with my fists clenched, ready to beat him dead. I didn’t ask Lionas why, nor did I particularly care. Without speaking a word, I grabbed his throat and put his head through the window of my new car, not thinking twice as to make sure he was dead with a few more swings of my arm and brushes of my elbow filled with glass.

I checked his pulse, called the police, and waited to be taken to jail, blood staining my white shirt, the neighbor’s screams echoing off their marble homes.

It was worth it.





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