September 29th, 2012

The officers sent to secure the crime scene had called in at five to tell their superiors that everything was clear. They were expected back at six, but when eight o’ clock rolled around without sight of them, Lieutenant Scott Kraven became uneasy. The lieutenant’s partner, Officer Peter Call, assured him that they had probably gone to dinner, but something about that didn’t sit right with Kraven. By the time nine o’ clock had come and gone, he resigned himself to look for them. Unfortunately for Call, that meant he was going as well.

“Scottie boy, you’re turning into a worry wart, old man,” Call mocked, pulling his bagged dinner off the desk he leaned against. Kraven rolled his eyes.

“They had orders to see me at six o’ clock. If they really are fine, I’m gonna raise hell about this,” Kraven threatened.

Call didn’t reply, busying himself instead with chewing through his sandwich. Kraven focused his full attention on the road until they came upon Plainfield Ave, the busiest street in Porter, Pennsylvania. The house they stopped at appeared average in every way; it was three stories high and white with green shutters. The green grass was perfectly groomed, and recently, the windows shown with a clean glare from the streetlights, and the walls were freshly painted. Kraven had admired the pictures he had been given of the house before, but they didn’t do it justice.

The couple that owned the house had been in Scotland on business for a few months now and had alerted the police about their alarm system breaking down. It wasn’t what the police called a ‘big’ problem, or even a ‘small’ problem; this was a bug on the windshield of what they did everyday, otherwise known as ‘break time.’ The alarm system had been expected to break down around this time, the batteries would need replacing. The two officers this afternoon had been sent to just make sure nothing had been stolen. Their car wasn’t there.

Call took another bite of his sandwich. “See? I told you. They’re not here.”

Kraven grew suspicious at the sight of a small lump in the grass. Call scrambled to follow when Kraven got out of the car and scowled when he watched his partner pull a small video camera from the lawn. A piece of duct tape on the top of the camera read, Property of the Porter Police Department.

“They must’ve left in a hurry,” Kraven mumbled. He didn’t think much of it. As he approached the car, he opened the screen to find out why hey could possibly have dropped a very expensive piece of equipment into the dirt. Full tape, flashed across the plastic. The two men pulled themselves into their seals, Call put down his dinner, and Kraven started the tape from the beginning.

The two officers in the tape started looking around the living room. “Nothing wrong in here,” one announced. They continued through the rooms on the first floor before making their way upstairs to the second. Nothing seemed to be amiss until they started scaling the long flight of stairs to the attic. There was a single door, simple white wood, a simple lock and handle, but it was locked. The owners had said that only the outside doors had been locked.

Using the skeleton key given to them by the landlord, they broke in. Basically, the attic was organized like a large bedroom, complete with an entirely white bedroom set. The curtains were pulled together and despite their brightness, cast a shadow across the whole room. A very distinct bulge in the quilt on the bed claimed the attention of the cameraman and his partner.

“Who’s th…” the cameraman began before an arm shot across the screen. He screamed and shook the camera then fell, camera still strapped to his hand. A pair of combat boots took up the entire frame. One lifted and kicked out at the officer, sending him, and the screen hurtling down the stairs. The sound of a body hitting the floor, followed by wheezing, was caught by the microphone.

Someone screamed, loudly, like they were being murdered. Kraven could hear footsteps in the background, walking in slow, measured steps down the long staircase. The person they couldn’t see took the camera and directed it at who had just fallen down the stairs. The officer was bleeding, not very badly, but his eye was already swelling from the kick to the face and a small stream of red trickled down his chin from the corner of his mouth. The new holder of the camera lifted the officer over his shoulder as easily as if he weighed nothing at all.

He walked like a body builder and didn’t stagger once while he carried a grown man down the stairs. Call and Kraven hadn’t been aware that there was a basement until the burly offender kicked the door open and carried them into the dark. For five minutes, all they saw was a black screen. A flashlight abruptly illuminated the faces of the two unconscious officers, the camera’s movements went jerky, then it was completely still; he had put it down. A new face took up the view of the camera.

Not necessarily a face. A mask had been hastily fashioned from half of a thread potato sack with the eyeholes and mouth cut out. Two slits were made at the nose. It looked like the face of a demented scarecrow with its creepy smile and dark holes in place of the eyes. The lips inside the smile were pursed in a frown.

“Stay out of my house,” he growled, pulling a knife from his belt. The scarecrow wore an oversized grey jumpsuit, kept up from touching the ground with a belt tied around his waist, black gloves, and combat boots so no skin or distinguishing marks could be seen. Straw patched up the holes in the crummy uniform, making him appear like an actual scarecrow. The knife he held was large and awkward looking, like a non-mechanical landscaping saw. Both sides were tipped with ten long, pointed ends, separated by another ten shorter points. At the very end of the knife, the flawless steel came to a dagger-like point. The flashlight’s gleam rebounded off the knife differently with every step he took.

Taking a tight grip on the handle in one hand, he lifted one officer up by his neck with the other and hung him on the arm of a junky looking, old, boring, ceiling chandelier. Kraven didn’t get the chance to look away before the scarecrow shoved the tip of that horrendous knife into the officer’s torso, waking him and drawing a hideous shriek from his labored lungs. The monster twisted the knife and pulled it out, dragging with it the ropes of intestines that had wrapped around it. Blood showered the floor and the other officer, snapping him out of his own nothingness. The screaming of the hanging officer quieted as he eventually died.

The other was soon to follow.

 

Alyssa Adamson

Advertisements